A small study from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, found that grapeseed extract, an herbal product used to treat seasonal allergies, did not provide relief for symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.
To investigate the effects of grapeseed extract, which is touted as a natural antihistamine, researchers gave 100 milligrams (mg) of extract twice daily or an inactive placebo to 54 individuals aged 18 to 75 with ragweed allergies, who recorded their symptoms. After 8 weeks there were no significant differences in the severity of symptoms between individuals who took grapeseed extract and those who received the placebo.
Patients in both groups complained that their allergies continued to affect their sleep, led to headaches, fatigue, thirst and poor concentration, and made them feel frustrated, impatient and irritable. And an equal number of people in both groups used a "rescue medication" such as an antihistamine to help relieve symptoms.
Grapeseed extract did not have any major side effects, although more research is needed to study the safety of the herbal preparation over a longer period.
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