When the body is irritated or invaded by a foreign substance, special cells release histamine. This chemical causes the arteries in the area to open up allowing more blood to travel to the damaged part and thereby allowing the white blood cells, vitamins, minerals and other necessary factors for healing to reach the area quickly. Unfortunately, this increase in blood flow is experienced as inflammation, which is irritating to the nerves and causes redness, rashes, itching and pain.

The complementary medical view is that if this is encouraged the problem will be dealt with swiftly in a healthy body. The orthodox view is to take away the irritation by blocking the healing effect of the histamine release. Antihistamines, whilst effective and if taken in the right doses not particularly harmful, are in fact preventing the body’s natural healing mechanism. Antihistamines have several side effects but predominantly cause drowsiness and should not be taken whilst driving or using machinery.