When in Rome...well actually Japan

This is the first in a series International Allergy blogs! I love to travel so thought a look at other cultures and their allergy solutions would be interesting. First stop Japan!


Allergies are quite prominent in Japan – with a large number of those suffering primarily from pollen type allergies. So if you too suffer from rhinitis, you will find a very allergy-friendly (so to speak) country in Japan.


Heres a few tips about handling allergies in Japan.

1. Wear a mask – Folks in Japan wear a mask for a variety of reasons, but most notably to keep allergies in check or to prevent the spread of whatever illness they might currently be carrying


2. Allergy meds –Whatever prescription you have in your home country or whatever OTC meds you use, bring the info to a doctor in Japan to find what you need (or a similar alternative). 

3. Drink beni fuuki – For many years Japan's agriculture ministry has encouraged agricultural cooperatives and affiliated organizations to develop healthier food products. An example of such product is the green tea, Benifuki, which is touted to reduce allergy symptoms.


4. Use a neti pot – I’ve used it and still use it occasionally as it works quite well to clear and moisten the nasal passages. Google neti pot for more info. Read our blog from Oct 13, 2016 for Neti Pot information.

5. Try Quercetin – a supplement made of an extract from apple and pineapple. Known to reduce the histamine response and boost immunity. I use it regularly and can say that it definitely works and has helped me immensely.

The great thing about tips 3 & 5 are when you get home you can continue to use these natural remedies to lessen your allergies!

Lets talk about benni fukki tea first. I love green tea but this particular tea is an aquired tatse because it is a little more bitter than other green teas.  Benifuuki was the result of crossbreeding Benihomare with MakuraCd86 in Makurazaki city, Kagoshima prefecture, 1965.  The right seedling was selected many years later, and it was registered in 1993. The MakuraCd86 (枕Cd86) tea plant is quite special. It comes from the Darjeeling region, which produces some of the best teas in India. Benihomare is of the assamica variety (mostly found in India and Sri Lanka), while MakuraCd86 is of the sinensis variety (popular in China and Japan).

 Benni fuuki is said to contain hundred times more methylated catechin than regular green tea. Methylated catechin is thought to help relieve the effects of hay fever. Methylated catechins with their anti-allergic qualities help to fight perennial and seasonal allergies. Their substances are readily absorbed by human intestines and remain longer in our blood cycle than regular catechins. Menthylated catechins ease allergy diseases like hay fever and atopic nasitis! You can order benni fuuki tea online, you can find it sold from companies right here in the US like Amazon or if you’d like, even have it sent from Japan!

What about Quercetin? Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their colors.

Flavonoids, such as quercetin, are antioxidants. They scavenge particles in the body known as free radicals which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals. They may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage free radicals cause. In test tubes, quercetin has strong antioxidant properties. But researchers are not sure whether taking quercetin (and many other antioxidants) has the same effects inside the body.

Quercetin may help protect against heart disease and cancer. Quercetin can also help stabilize the cells that release histamine in the body and thereby have an anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effect.


In test tubes, quercetin prevents immune cells from releasing histamines, which are chemicals that cause allergic reactions. As a result, researchers think that quercetin may help reduce symptoms of allergies, including runny nose, watery eyes, hives, and swelling of the face and lips.

Quercetin supplements are available as pills or capsules. They are often packaged with bromelain (an enzyme found in pineapple) because both are anti-inflammatories. Other flavonoid-rich extracts include those from grapeseed, bilberry, ginko biloba, and green tea.

Enjoy all the sites and sounds and especially cuisine of Japan.

Wishing you the best of Health-TheVentMaskTeam