Histamine Issues


Managing certain challenges with bee venom therapy

Histamine production is the body’s response to injury and allergy to foreign substances. It is a normal reaction to honeybee venom, especially during the adjustment phase in the first few months, but for some people this histamine release causes challenges because their body is already overwhelmed with histamine from other causes.

What challenges? Severe pain, migraine headaches, and gut pain are one type of response. Rashes, hives and itching in areas distant from the original stings are another. Classic allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose and eyes are a third.

The Bucket theory

Imagine there is a histamine “bucket” in your body with a small drain hole. Your body can only empty the bucket slowly. Now imagine there are 25 different histamine sources dripping into the bucket every day, and the bucket is near to overflowing most of the time. Now you add bee venom and that pours water into the bucket – the drain can’t speed up and the bucket overflows. Those challenges above are “overflow” symptoms.

Can I make the drain bigger? Not really, sorry.
But you can reduce the histamine sources. Here are three sources and some solutions. We have

included some online resources that will help you learn more.


These are substances in your environment that your body is reacting to. Common triggers are listed, with some links to good information about how to mitigate. (Note, some of these links also sell products, which we do not endorse, they just got included for the clarity of the material they present)

Allergy tests can help you identify the big problems, but creating an allergen-free bedroom, and working to eliminate your exposure to all of these, helps many people.

  •   Dust Mites
  •   Mold
  •   Chemicals – cleaning supplies, cosmetics, lawn chemicals
  •   Cockroaches and fleas
  •   Pollen
  •   Pet dander
  •   Wood smoke and tobacco smokehttp://www.natlallergy.com/learning/allergen-avoidance-works/ http://www.dustfree.com/support/iaq-info/understanding-allergies


For many of us, certain things we eat and drink provoke a bad response, whether these fall under the official “allergy” definition (IGE response) or provoke a lesser response that people refer to as an intolerance or a sensitivity (IGG response). Your doctor can do allergy testing for these, although the sensitivities won’t show up unless your doctor also checks with a test for both responses. You can test yourself with a food elimination test, as explained below. Common food allergies:

  •   Wheat and gluten
  •   Soy
  •   Cow’s milk products
  •   Chocolate
  •   Citrus and other fruits
  •   Peanuts
  •   Shellfish
  •   Tree nuts
  •   Eggs
  •   Food additives
  •   Nightshade family veggies (tomato, pepper, potato, eggplant)
  •   Sugar
  •   Corn (including corn syrup)
  •   Anything you eat nearly every day could be an allergen (chicken, beans, whatever)Elimination test – Eliminate all the foods above for 14-28 days. Make everything from scratchat home – rice, meat and greens are staples for this diet. Take notes before, during and at the end of this phase. You may feel poorly at first as your body adjusts, but most people feel better at the end of this phase.Reintroduction/Challenge – choose one food from the list, and re-introduce it into your diet every 48-72 hours. Eat plenty of that food that day – for example, corn flakes for breakfast, corn on the cob for lunch, cornbread for dinner. Take notes about any reactions you see or feel over the next 48 hours.If the food does not create problems, keep it in your diet. If you get any adverse symptoms – headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, rash, hyperactivity, runny nose, insomnia, you name it – you have a sensitivity to that ingredient. Avoid the food for at least 6-12 months, and experiment with whether you can have it occasionally without symptoms.When any reaction has cleared, you challenge with a new food.http://thewholejourney.com/differences-between-ige-and-igg-testing-for-allergies-and-sensitivities http://greatist.com/grow/easy-elimination-diet-for-food-intolerance http://www.precisionnutrition.com/elimination-diet


Many foods have histamines in them already – not produced by your body, but usually by bacteria. These are in the first two groups. The third group contains foods that very commonly produce a histamine response in the gut. Healthy people make an enzyme – DAO – that breaks down these histamines in the gut to neutralize them. Some people have a genetic variant that reduces their DAO production, others have lost the ability to make much DAO from age or illness.

High Histamine foods to avoid

Very High

  •   Cured, canned or smoked meats – bacon, ham, hard sausage, smoked fish
  •   Aged cheese – the older and stronger-tasting, the more histamine.
  •   Fermented foods – yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, soy sauce, tempeh, pickles, kombucha
  •   Leftovers, packaged cooked meats – naturally occurring bacteria creates histamines
  •   Alcohol, esp wine and beer.
  •   VinegarMedium High
  •   Avocado
  •   Beans
  •   Nuts and peanuts
  •   Canned and dried fruits and veggies
  •   MushroomsFoods that cause gut histamine production
  •   Spinach, chard and beets
  •   Eggplant, Tomato, Pepper and Potato (Nightshade family)
  •   Papaya, Pineapple, strawberries, citrus
  •   Fish, shellfish, pork
  •   Chocolate/cocoa, Nuts, raw egg white, black teahttp://paleoleap.com/histamines/Some drugs can interfere with histamine management –aspirin and NSAIDS and some antibioticshttp://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/5/1185/T5.expansion.htmlSUPPLEMENTING WITH DAO – this is an option to try in conjunction with avoiding the worst offenders on the list above. Take 2 DAO capsules every time you eat. Give this at least a two weektrial and see if it helps. DAO can be purchased from many online sources, including amazon.com So yeah, there goes my bacon, tomato, spinach and avocado sandwich for lunch.

Nettles – This wonderful herb reduces the allergy response – take as a strong tea (infusion) or capsules

several times a day. Very nourishing – full of minerals – and supportive of the kidneys.


Bee pollen – If locally sourced, oral consumption of bee pollen reduces sensitivity to this environmental allergen. If you have seasonal allergies, begin with just one granule of bee pollen that you let dissolve in your mouth. If you have no reaction you can increase this dose every day until you are at a tablespoon per day. This supplement can provoke an allergic response, so may not be appropriate for short-term reduction of allergies – think of it as long-term de-sensitization.



This is a lot to digest!

If you are having difficulty starting out with BVT, you may want to work with your integrative or functional medicine doctor to develop a plan to reduce your overall allergy issues. If you are making this plan on your own, you can tackle as many issues as you feel able to, depending on which aspects seem the most important to you.

Overwhelmed? Try these two measures to see if you get some relief:

  •   Create an allergen-free bedroom with a HEPA air filter (see links above)
  •   Focus on eating FRESH natural foods – perhaps mostly rice, very fresh/frozen meats, and freshlyprepared green veggies (except spinach and chard). Include plenty of oils and animal fats.

Our first Pioneers Introductory book (“Pioneers: Healing Lyme with Bee Venom Therapy”) is our of print!!

Dr. Rose also has a NEW book. It is workbook that covers Bee-Acupuncture Treatment Plans and Pathways. It is available on Amazon:

Buy Amber Rose’s Companion Workbook NOW!

iStock_000010983416XSmall purple rose with honeybee






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