Discover 9 Benefits of Quercetin for Immunity, Exercise Performance, Gut Health & More

Published on February 13, 2023

By Kristen Boye BS, Natural Health

Kristen Boye

Kristen Boye is a natural health expert, writer, copywriter, and editor. Kristen was raised on an organic farm in British Columbia which inspired her life’s work. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Health, is a Certified Natural Foods Chef, co-owner of a medicinal herb farm, and is a natural foods and children’s health advocate. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in Western North Carolina.

Few natural substances can rival the antioxidant superpowers of Quercetin

This plant pigment, found in deeply colored fruits and vegetables, is one of the most-studied and prevalent antioxidant flavonoids.REF#568 REF#569

Red wine, berries, or tea's health benefits are all superfoods that contain Quercetin.

Since its discovery, Quercetin has been studied for a wide range of health benefits—from heart health and exercise recovery to aging and inflammation, and it’s a popular ingredient in supplements and skin care.*

In this article, we break down the science behind the health benefits of Quercetin


  • What it is
  • How it works
  • 9 demonstrated health benefits
  • The best food sources
  • How to choose a quality Quercetin supplement or skin care product.

What is Quercetin?

Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant in various types of deeply colored fruits, vegetables, and herbs, such as berries and leafy green vegetables.

What is a flavonoid antioxidant, exactly? 

Let’s break this down, starting with flavonoids.

Flavonoids are a diverse group of natural substances found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, wine, and seeds. As previously mentioned, flavonoids are plant pigments that give plants their color.REF#570

Quercetin is an important flavanol of 6 sub-classes of flavonoid compounds.REF#571

Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay cell damage from excess free radicals (unstable molecules).REF#572

Free radical damage can lead to oxidation of the cells resulting in premature aging, pain, and various ailments..

Antioxidants can be found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, wine, meats, and other foods. Some antioxidants, like glutathione, are manufactured by our bodies.

Some examples of antioxidants include vitamins C, and E, selenium, carotenoids such as Lycopene, and flavonoids such as Quercetin.

9 Incredible Benefits of Quercetin

As an antioxidant, Quercetin has demonstrated beneficial effects on cell health and supporting normal inflammation.*

These antioxidant properties can produce a cascade of beneficial effects on various organs, systems, and various health concerns.

Let’s explore how Quercetin helps support histamine function, heart health, endurance, weight, inflammatory response, and more.*

#1: Quercetin May Support Normal Histamine Function & Skin Inflammatory Response

Quercetin supplements are right up there, with raw, local honey as a popular go-to during pollen season.

And according to research, if you suffer during pollen season, Quercetin may be worth a try.

Studies have demonstrated that Quercetin may provide relief by promoting normal immune response and histamine secretion.REF#573 REF#574

Quercetin has also demonstrated efficacy in supporting skin health during an allergic reaction. In a study titled: “Quercetin Is More Effective than Cromolyn in Blocking Human Mast Cell Cytokine Release and Inhibits Contact Dermatitis and Photosensitivity in Humans”REF#575, researchers found Quercetin worked by supporting normal inflammatory levels in mast cells.

This led to a reduction of symptoms that would typically occur during a contact-allergy reaction.

Herbalists and integrative health experts often recommend taking Quercetin, and other respiratory- and sinus-support herbs and foods like Nettles or local honey, proactively to prevent pollen-related symptoms.*

Get more tips for a healthier pollen season in Breathe Easy with Tips and Herbs for Respiratory Health.

Additionally, check out Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme® Sinus Support with Turmeric, Feverfew, Nettle, Quercetin, Goldenseal, and Black Pepper for absorption.

#2: Quercetin May Aid Exercise Endurance & Immunity

If you’re looking for a helpful nutrient to support your workouts, Quercetin may provide some endurance and immune benefits for athletes and novices.*

A review published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found Quercetin provided a statistically significant benefit in human endurance exercise capacity and endurance exercise performance.REF#576

The authors noted that larger groups needed more research to draw a more concrete consensus.

Regarding immunity during intense exercise, a randomized control trial published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise tested the effects of Quercetin and ECGS supplementation on exercise performance, mitochondrial muscle biogenesis, and changes in measures of immunity and inflammation before and after three days of heavy exertion in cyclists. 

The results showed that supplementing 1000 mg of quercetin alone three weeks before, during, and two weeks after three days of 3 hours of cycling in the winter supported immunity and upper respiratory health.REF#577

The research on Quercetin and exercise is in its infancy. 

However, these early studies suggest a potential benefit for supporting a healthier and more effective workout.

Interested in incorporating herbal supplements into your workouts? Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme® Joint with Turmeric, Quercetin, and other herbs is a great place to start.

#3: Quercetin May Support a Healthy Heart

It’s not news that antioxidants in foods like red grapes, leafy greens, and other superfoods can support heart health.

However, flavonoids like Quercetin have demonstrated specific and promising benefits for cardiovascular health.*

According to a scientific paper titled: “Therapeutic potential of Quercetin as a cardiovascular agent” published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry Quercetin has demonstrated a variety of supportive effects on cholesterol, inflammatory response, nitric oxide, and endothelial function under conditions of oxidative stress, platelet function, and protection from oxidative damage.REF#578

The authors went on to say, “The role of quercetin and its derivatives may go beyond their existence in food and has potential as a lead molecule in drug development programs.”

This explains why doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, and integrative healthcare practitioners emphasize the importance of “eating the rainbow.” 

Plant pigment-flavonoids offer potentially powerful support for your heart and cardiovascular system.

Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme® Heart Health contains Quercetin and other heart-supportive organic herbs such as Coleus, Ginger, Hawthorn, Japanese Knotweed, and Turmeric (with Black Pepper for absorption).*

#4: Quercetin May Support the Gut Microbiome

We hear a lot about the importance of the gut microbiome these days. 

That’s because this vast and complex ecosystem significantly influences digestion, brain health, the nervous system, oral health, the immune system, the liver, reproductive organs, inflammatory response, the heart and cardiovascular system, and the metabolic system.*REF#579 REF#580 REF#581REF#582 REF#583 REF#584 REF#585

In other words, our gut health has the potential to impact every other organ and system in our bodies.

The gut microbiome has also been linked to various chronic conditions, with many experts re-visiting Hippocrates’ famous theory that “all disease begins in the gut.”REF#586

The bottom line is, tending your gut microbiome is essential to creating optimal physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

When it comes to nurturing your gut microbiome, the Quercetin found in gut-healthy plants packs a friendly one-two punch:

#1: Quercetin is one of the few molecules known to support mast cell stabilizing in the gut via its antioxidant effects (mast cells are a type of immune cell) and provide protective benefits to the gastrointestinal lining.*REF#587

These actions help promote intestinal integrity of the gut mucosa (a protective substance in the gut lining), which sets the stage for a healthy and diverse microbiome.

#2: Quercetin has prebiotic benefits, meaning it helps feed beneficial gut bacteria. 

This has been shown beneficial for supporting healthy gut microbiota balance and benefitting the gut-liver axis.REF#588

Getting more Quercetin is one of many ways to tend your gut microbiome. 

Learn more in: Understanding the Microbiome & Tips to Maintain a Healthy Gut.

#5: Quercetin May Offer Relief For Relief of Aches and Pains

As an antioxidant, Quercetin’s main superpowers are protecting cells and supporting a normal inflammatory response.

For this reason, it’s been studied as a potential drug-free option for occasional pain.

According to a review published in the journal Current Neuropharmacology, the studies reviewed showed Quercetin “exerts potent analgesic effects” by supporting normal inflammation and its role in regulating oxidative stress caused by free radicals. 

It’s also demonstrated supportive benefits on modulation of synaptic plasticity (changes in the brain), the GABAergic system (a regulator of cognitive and emotional processing), and the opioidergic system (a pain control system).REF#589

For occasional aches, pains, and joint mobility Gaia Herbs offers Turmeric Supreme® Joint with Turmeric, Devil’s Claw, Boswellia, Ginger, Quercetin, and Black Pepper for absorption.*

To learn more about natural alternatives, check out: 7 Best Herbs for Everyday Pain to Support Additional Pain Relief and Restore Balance.

#6: Quercetin + Turmeric Promote Wound Healing

We’ve previously written about the evidence supporting Turmeric and Curcumin’s benefits for skin health and wound healing.*

Evidence also suggests Quercetin combined with Turmeric may create a similar effect.

In a 2022 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Science entitled: “Effects of Quercetin and Curcumin Combination on Antibacterial, Antioxidant, In Vitro Wound Healing and Migration of Human Dermal Fibroblast Cells,” researchers found a mixture of Quercetin and curcuminoids (the active plant compounds in Turmeric) at a 3:1 ratio applied topically was effective at promoting wound healing.

The scientists believe the combination supports dermal bacterial balance, cell migration (skin cell migration is an essential part of wound healing), and its antioxidant actions.REF#590

Learn more about the power of Turmeric in Turmeric: The Essential Guide.

#7: Quercetin May be Helpful for Weight Management

Polyphenols, like Quercetin, Resveratrol (found in wine and red grapes), and curcumin (found in Turmeric), have shown great potential for supporting various aspects of health.*

However, few people are aware of their potential benefits for weight management.*

In a review entitled: “The Beneficial Effects of Quercetin, Curcumin, and Resveratrol in Obesity,” researchers studied the effects of various polyphenols/antioxidants on weight management.

After reviewing several published studies, they concluded that current research suggests polyphenols such as Quercetin, Curcumin, and Resveratrol can benefit weight management via their antioxidant effects on cell health, inflammatory response, and the production of fat and fatty tissue.REF#591

This is one of many reasons foods and beverages like green tea, berries, and colorful vegetables are recommended for weight loss. 

  • They are high in high water and fiber, which make them filling.
  • They’re low in calories and dense in nutrients.
  • They’re a rich source of naturally occurring and potentially slimming polyphenols.*

Gaia Herbs offers several products with Quercetin, Turmeric, and Resveratrol, including:

#8: Quercetin + Curcumin Supports Healthy Joints

Joints can take a beating as we age, resulting in aches, pains, or even severe mobility challenges.

This is especially true for former athletes or those who have lived a very active lifestyle.

Fortunately, there are natural options to help support joint health and mobility so you can maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

Once again, Quercetin and Turmeric have demonstrated a beneficial symbiotic relationship for promoting healthy joints.

According to a study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, the combination of Curcumin and Quercetin works by suppressing the expression of enzymes that degrade cartilage over time.REF#592

Curcumin and Quercetin have also been shown effective for supporting normal inflammatory response, immune response, synoviocyte proliferation (synoviocytes are a type of cell that lines the inner surface of joints tendons), and angiogenesis (the process in which new blood vessels are formed to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues).[REF#593

If you’re interested in trying Quercetin and Curcumin for joint health, check out Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme® Joint with Turmeric, Devil’s Claw, Boswellia, Ginger, Quercetin, and Black Pepper for absorption.

#9: Quercetin Promotes Normal Immune Function

The immune system is typically viewed as a first line of defense against unwanted pathogens.

However, the immune system also plays an essential role in the inflammatory process by releasing pro-inflammatory chemicals like cytokines.

Quercetin’s antioxidant properties support normal immune function by promoting normal levels of inflammation.

It’s also been shown effective for supporting normal bacterial levels, histamine production and gut health (as discussed earlier), and blood cell health.REF#593

In other words, Quercetin provides potentially diverse support for our immune system.

If you’re interested in Quercetin for immune support, try Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme® Sinus Support with Turmeric, Feverfew, Nettle, Quercetin, and Black Pepper for absorption.

To learn more about natural ways to support immunity, check out: Simple Tips to Support Immune Health.

How To Begin Enjoying Quercetin’s Health Benefits

Some of the best sources of Quercetin are fruits, vegetables, and herbs, including:REF#594 REF#593

  • Brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kale, turnip greens, mustard greens)
  • Berries
  • Capers
  • Grapes
  • Onions (red onions are especially good)
  • Shallots
  • Green or Black Tea
  • Tomatoes
  • Gingko Biloba
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Elderberry

If you’re interested in trying out a more concentrated and standardized version, Quercetin supplements are also a great option.

You can also find many high-quality, clean skin care products with Quercetin. Look for chemical-free, non-toxic brands with a decent concentration of Quercetin.

If you’re interested in taking a Quercetin supplement, we recommend following this criterion in your selection:

  • Look for a brand that does third-party testing for identity, purity, and contaminants.
  • Avoid supplements that contain artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, fillers, or excipients (such as magnesium stearate or talc).
  • If you’re considering an herbal formula with Quercetin, look for certified organic herbs to avoid pesticide residues.

Gaia Herbs offers several supplements containing Quercetin and other beneficial herbs, including:

To learn more about Quercetin, check out:


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