Sneeze Free Spring

Have a Sneeze-Free Spectacular Spring!

Christina LeBoeuf, L.Ac., MAOM; CCT; CLDT

Allergy season is right around the corner. Are you among the 20% of the general population suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever)?[1] Herbal therapy and Acupuncture offers a highly effective, safe, alternative to resolve your allergies without unpleasant side-effects!

An article in the September 2004 issue of Allergy, reported 85% of the patients treated with Acupuncture/Herbal therapy achieved substantial improvement while only 40% of the control group experienced any relief. For 6 weeks Acupuncture was given once a week in combination with the herbal remedy given 3 times a day. Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) goal is to find the root cause of the imbalance and restore harmony rather than simply treating the symptoms.

Allergies can be defined as the body’s immune system overreacting to a foreign substance (toxin), such as dust, pollen, or environmental pollution. Does it make sense to treat allergies with an unnatural pharmaceutical substance causing side-effects such as: headaches, insomnia, nausea, dizziness, and backache?[2] In TCM, the protective energy of the body is governed by the Lung and manifests on the skin. When there is an invasion of the Lung meridian by a pathogen, (for example: pollen) hay fever can result. In TCM theory, people with allergies are often emotionally hypersensitive. Each Acupuncture treatment and herbal formula is tailored for the patient’s specific dis-harmonies.

There are several useful herbal formulas for hay fever that strengthen the body and significantly reduce the symptoms of sinus congestion, sore throat, itchy eyes, runny nose, post-nasal drip, sneezing, headache, and skin rash. The following remedies can be purchased from your Acupuncturist and some can be found at the Herbal Path. Yu Ping Feng San is useful to prevent recurrent colds, boost immunity, and prevent springtime allergies when taken for 2 months before the onset of allergy season. Ge Gen Tang treats nasal blockage, itchy eyes, runny nose, chills and fever without sweating, as well as stiff neck and upper back. Bi Yan Pian is a formula used for treating allergies, and sinus infections with stuffiness and yellow discharge.

Also very helpful for allergies are the following single herbs: Nettle leaf, Eleuthero root, Astragalus root, Marshmallow root, Mullein leaf, Andrographis root, and Burdock root. Mushrooms such as Reishi, Shiitake, Tremella, and Cordyceps can offer immune enhancement and reduction in the severity of allergies, wheezing, coughing, and runny nose.

Some useful suggestions include: 1,000mg of Vitamin C daily, 1000mg Quercetin daily, B-Complex, Bee pollen, and herbal teas containing: sage, yarrow, or ginger. Eliminating phlegm producing foods such as orange juice, dairy products and greasy fried foods is also recommended.

Inspiration: Acupuncture and herbal therapy can promote your body’s self-healing ability.

 [1] Management of Allergic Rhinitis in the Working-Age Population. Summary, Evidence Report/Technology Assessment: Number 67. AHRQ Publication No. 03-E013, Feb 2003. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville , MD.