I have an ongoing interest in this area, and this is a followup to my Jan 20th post dealing with Histamine Producing Bacteria and their treatment. In that article I found that Cinnamon, Clove, Sage were good candidates for reducing Proteus morganii (All species) which is likely an overgrowth in sensitive individuals (To confirm that, we will need a population of histamine-sensitive people getting their gut bacteria sequence).
When I did from googling on those and histamines, I found that they were frequently referred to as histamine liberators [Amy Burkhart, M.D.]. That description is probably very correct — the histamine is being released from dead and dying Proteus morganii.
Unfortunately, some cases writers deem them to be histamine producers [ref, ref] which clouds the issue for sufferers and may prevent them from being released from this problem!
Die-Off or the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction
Wikipedia has a good summary of the “Herx”. I have experienced this on several occasions and actually view it as an indicator that I am taking an effective herb, spice or antibiotic for what was making me sick. The Herx stopped with remission. By moderating the dosage, I could tune the herx to last only a few hours (or at night, all night long) – with the result that after the herx ended, I felt better.
- “plasma histamine concentrations rose appreciably before and during the clinical phase of the reaction.”[1985 Full Text]
So the question then becomes one of moderating the histamine release. I recently came across G. Pelletier’s “Naturally Occurring Antihistamines in Body Tissue” in Histamine II and Anti-Histaminics Handbuch der experimentellen Pharmakologie / Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology Volume 18 / 2, 1978, pp 369-380
He found that arginine – an amino acid, had significant impact and was the easiest to obtained of items listed. Interestingly, I found that arginine was usually associated with histamine in most online patient-written articles and recommended to be avoided. In other articles, I found that histidine and arginine tend to bind to each other (potentially reducing the risk of histidine being converted to histamine?). Going to PubMed, I found
- “Our findings reveal that malarial-parasite-infected mice, like humans, develop L-arginine deficiency, which is associated with intestinal mastocytosis, elevated levels of histamine, and enhanced intestinal permeability.” , so arginine deficiency and elevated histamine appears associated. And supplementation can reduce it.
- “Arginine and glutamine attenuate IgE-dependent human mast cell activation” 
- “while the histamine response in cells cultured in a high Arginine concentration was suppressed”