Kissing could help to ease hayfever symptoms by acting as a natural antihistamine and suppressing the body’s allergic reaction to pollen.
Scientists based at the Satou hospital in Japan found that kissing worked by relaxing the body and reducing the production of histamine, a chemical that the body produces in response to pollen, causing the common symptoms of hayfever including sneezing, runny nose and streaming eyes which characterise hayfever attacks.
Blood samples were taken before and after a 30 minute kissing session of 24 couples where both were hayfever sufferers. The study compared levels of histamine, and results showed that after the kissing session levels of the chemical were significantly reduced. When the experiment was repeated with cuddling but no kissing, no change was found in the levels of histamine.
Commenting on the findings, Allergist Dr Hajime Kimata of Satou Hospital in Osaka who conducted the research, said: “The results indicate for the first time that kissing may alleviate allergic responses.”
It is already known that stress can cause increased allergic reactions to allergens, suggesting that kissing has a relaxing effect, causing the reduction in histamine levels.