Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture & Allergies

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can effectively treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, according to a study published in Allergy (2004;59:953–60).

Allergies are overreactions of the immune system to things in the environment, such as dust, pollen, animal dander, and foods. When an allergic person’s immune system is triggered by an allergen, it causes some degree of inflammation. The severity of an allergic reaction can take the form of simple itching eyes, sneezing, and runny nose (rhinitis); skin reactions such as eczema or hives; and even life-threatening constriction of the airways.

Increasing numbers of people suffer from allergies. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis, for example, is now estimated to be between 10 and 20% of the population in developed countries. Allergic rhinitis and mild allergy symptoms are usually treated with antihistamine or decongestant medicines and sometimes with steroid medicines, but these often cause unwanted and even harmful side effects.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) includes Chinese herbal medicine, tai chi (movement and meditation practice), and acupuncture. TCM has been used to treat allergies for hundreds of years, and the results of several studies suggest that TCM therapies can be helpful for allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema, and food allergies. Both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been shown to help people with allergic rhinitis. Although these therapies are traditionally used together, their combined effect has not been studied scientifically.

In the current study, 52 people with allergic rhinitis were randomly assigned to receive either weekly acupuncture sessions and Chinese herbal medicine three times per day or placebo (sham acupuncture, in which the needles are placed at nonacupuncture points, and nonspecific herbs) for six weeks. The people receiving treatment were given two herbal medicine formulas: one was a basic formula for allergies and the other was created for each individual, based on the person’s TCM diagnosis. All herbs were used in the form of tea made from dried herbs. Participants answered questionnaires about their allergy symptoms at the beginning of the study and at the end of each week; a daily symptom diary was also used to monitor symptoms.

At the end of the study, allergy severity in people receiving treatment was significantly lower than in those receiving placebo. Nearly 85% of those in the TCM group improved while improvement was noted in only 40% of those getting placebo. Furthermore, twice as many in the TCM group as in the placebo group had no symptoms or mild symptoms at the end of the study.

The results of this study suggest that a TCM protocol involving both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can benefit people with allergic rhinitis. In a previous study, acupuncture was found to be helpful, but herbal medicine did not increase its efficacy more than placebo. More research is needed to establish the importance of each aspect of TCM in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Maureen Williams, ND, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. She has a private practice in Quechee, VT, and does extensive work with traditional herbal medicine in Guatemala and Honduras. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

How Chinese Medicine Views the Liver and Allergies

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) stresses that an allergy-free and healthy body often depends on a balanced liver. The liver, a yin organ, controls tendons, keeps the qi moving throughout the body, and stores blood. Its yang partner is the gallbladder, which stores and excretes bile, protects the nervous system from overreaction, and helps stabilize emotions. When the liver is congested (made more yang) from eating yang (heating) foods or overloading the body with toxins, the gallbladder’s function is likewise impeded, and symptoms of allergies may manifest.

One day, on a hike, Stan, a 39-year-old computer engineer, inadvertently came in contact with poison ivy. He was unaware of the fact until, two days later, when he broke out in a rash, accompanied by uncomfortable itching (allergic contact dermatitis).

Stan tried to relieve the symptoms by taking an over-the-counter antihistamine, Beneadryl. This lessened the itching, but the rash continued to get worse. By the time he consulted acupuncturist Ira J. Golchehreh, L.Ac., O.M.D., of San Rafael, California, six days after exposure, he hard large, red, raised blisters all over his body, particularly on his abdomen, thighs, and groin.

Dr. Golchehreh discovered that Stan had a history of severe allergies as well as signs of a liver imbalance, which manifested on an emotional level as occasional angry outbursts. According to TCM, this indicates a “hyperactivity of liver yang,” explains Dr. Golchehreh, or liver whose energy, or “fire,” is so overreactive (yang) that it creates problems throughout the body and mind. Poison ivy, too, is a manifestation of too much heat, says Dr. Golchehreh, “and the boils are considered an infection of poison in teh organs.”

The first order of business was to remove the heat from Stan’s system so that the toxic manifestation would be eliminated. Dr. Golchehreh used acupuncture to redirect qi imbalances and allow the poisons to drain from his system. Additionally, he gave Stan the Chinese herbs Bupleurum schizonepeta (commonly used to treat hives) and Gypsum fibrosum (calcium sulfate) to help disperse the heat and remove the toxins from his system. Stan also moistened the Gypsum fibrosum powder with water to make a paste and applied it topically to cool the lesions. Another remedy in TCM that rebalances the liver is a combination of the herbs Tang-Kuei and Gardenia (3 g, three times a day, between meals).

“I recommended that Stan drink cooling drinks and eat ice cream to cool down his body temperature,” Dr. Golchehreh says. “When you have blisters that have become inflamed, it indicates too much heat on the surface of the body and the best thing is to cool down the system with something cold.” Applying ice to the skin can also be beneficial for poison ivy symptoms.

Since poison ivy often lingers for weeks, Stan was greatly relieved to find that 48 hours after his visit to Dr. Golchehreh, all traces of his allergic contact dermatitis had disappeared.

Also, you can get a free allergies E-book in our website here: Natural Allergy Cures This book is about all the natural drug free ways to treat and cure allergy and asthma problems.

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Protocoale de tratament prin acupunctura a alergiilor

Below you will find some of the more common tcm diagnoses and acupuncture treatment protocols for allergies and related issues. There are many ways to treat this condition with Eastern Medicine and our presentation is only one of many possible options.

  • Etiology & Pathology:
    • Wind-Cold effecting the LU
    • Wind-Heat effecting the LU
    • When the patient is not in an acute stage you should treat the Root KD, LU & GV Deficiencies
    • General Speaking, according to Giovanni Maciocia, a persons “allergic” reaction(s) to certain substances correlates with a weakening of the body’s Defensive Qi (Wei Qi) system in the body due to LU & KD deficiences.
  • Differentiation:
    • Wind-Cold effecting the LU
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Similar to general Wind-cold as it presents with the common cold, however, there are more signs of an underlying KD a/or LU Deficiency.
        • Patient may have: sneezing, runny/stuffy nose (white discharge), slight headache, no thirst, pale complexion.
      • Treatment Protocol:
        • Expel Wind-Cold
        • Restore the Descending and Dispersing Function of the LU Qi
      • Treatment Points:
        • Main Points:
          • UB 12 – Main point for Wind Disorders.
          • GB 20 – Expel Wind.
          • GV 23 – Expel Wind from the Nose.
          • UB 13 – LU Back Shu.
          • LU 7 – Restore the Descending and Dispersing Function of the LU Qi.
        • Local Points:
          • Use various local points for the sinus issues:
            LI 20 a/or Yintang – good local points for sinus issues.
    • Wind-Heat effecting the LU
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Similar to general Wind-heat as it presents with the common cold, however, there are more signs of an underlying KD a/or LU Deficiency.
        • Patient may have: Fever and Chills w/Fever predominating, slight sweating, runny nose w/yellow discharge, headaches, body aches, cough, itchy red eyes (heat), sratchy throat (wind).
      • Treatment Protocol:
        • Expel Wind-Heat
        • Restore the Descending and Dispersing Function of the LU Qi.
      • Treatment Points:
        • Main Points:
        • Local Points:
          • LI 20 a/or Yintang – good local points for sinus issues.
          • GB 20 & UB 2 – used together for itchy eyes.
    • Root Deficiencies of LU, KD & GV
      • When the patient is not experiencing an acute phase you should try to tonify the KD & LU Deficiencies and Strengthen the GV.
      • Points to Tonify the Kidneys:
      • Points to Tonify the Lungs:
      • Points to Strengthen the Governing Vessel:

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were consulted within this section:

  • St. John, Meredith: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes
  • Valaskatgis, Peter: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes


Puncte de Acupunctura pentru Alergii

Gasiti mai jos punctele de acupunctura relevante pentru aceasta afectiune. Aceste puncte nu sunt singurele puncte relevante, ci sunt cele mai simplu de folosit si cele care sunt folosite uzual folosind acupresura cu scop de auto-vindecare.

¤ punctul de acupunctura LU 7 – numit in chineza Lie Que – de pe meridianul Plamanului

Allergy in TCM Point of View


Spring is here and for some people, it means a great time outdoors sporting. But for those millions of people with chronic or acute allergy problems, spring can be a dreaded event. In spring, the flowers are blooming, and some people are sneezing away as the pollen wafts through the air. According to WHO, allergy problems affect at least 10-25% of the population, and is one of the most common complaints of patients seeking medical attention in the season of spring.

Allergy infections can be both acute and chronic. Usually, the infection starts with a cold due to factors such as weather changes; or an allergy episode that causes swelling of the mucous membranes and increases production of watery mucus. The classic allergy symptoms are nasal congestion, thick yellow nasal discharge (or thin and clear discharge in mild cases), frontal headache, and possibly fever with a sore throat.

Western Medical treatments for allergy include prescribing decongestants, mucolytics (drugs that thin mucus secretions), pain relievers, and antibiotics. Nasal decongestants can become ineffective and can lead to dependency if used for a long time. Antibiotics work well in some conditions, but not all. There are often cases that do not respond to them at all. As a last resort, surgery may be used to clean out and drain thick secretions that are blocking the allergy if drug therapy is not effective, or if there are structural abnormalities.


Ancient healing traditions such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believe that in order to treat any condition, the body as a whole should be analyzed. Orice dezechilibre de yin si yang pot fi corectate folosind plante medicinale si/sau acupunctura.

Conform principiilor MTC, temperaturile scazute pot slabi puterea digestiva. Aceasta duce la un sistem imunitar slabit si creaza un mediu fertil pentru ca virusii si bacteriile sa atace. Bautul de lichide fierbinti (ceaiuri din plante medicinale, supe etc.) si imbracatul ǎre sa tina de cald ajuta sa se pastreze puternc sistemul imunitar.

One of the best-proven TCM herbs for fighting allergy is Huang Qi (Astragalus Radix). Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) has been shown to increase nearly every phase of immune-system activity. One study showed that astragalus increases  the production and storage of interferon, a substance that alerts the body to invading viruses, bacteria and stimulates cells to begin their defense, and to  increase interferon’s effects in fighting illnesses. It is  indicated in bacterial and viral respiratory infections including common cold, and acute allergy.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), many of the symptoms that are manifested as allergy infection could be due to an imbalance of other organs. A commonly seen condition is where a patient suffers from running nose, reddish eyes, sinuses, itchy face and so on. If the immune systems are not able to get strong, it leads to imbalance in the upper body, and to produce the wastes. The herbal formulas used in this case would be useful to treat these conditions and reduce all uncomfortable symptoms. Continue reading Alergiile din punctul de vedere al MTC

How to Treat Allergies with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body. Common allergens (substances that produce allergic reactions) are foods, pollen, animal dander, mold, insect venom, drugs, and dust mites. An inflammatory reaction takes place in an attempt to eject this substance from the system, resulting in a variety of symptoms. A traditional Chinese medical treatment for pollen allergies, or hay fever, follows.

Causes of Allergies

Several Chinese patterns of disharmony may be involved in cases of allergies. In all cases, however, wind is part of the diagnosis, usually combining with another pathogenic influence in wind dampness, wind cold, or wind heat. Typical of patterns involving wind, allergy symptoms often occur without warning. In seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, the most common diagnosis is wind and dampness. This combination produces a sudden onset of symptoms: sneezing, itching eyes and throat, and a heavy sensation in the head with copious mucus.

Treatment of Allergies with Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese
medicine uses herbs, diet,
and acupuncture to treat
pollen allergies.

Treatment with Herbs

The treatment strategy is to repel the wind with herbs that are dispersing in nature, such as Japanese catnip (Schizonepeta tenuifolia, jing jie) and Siler divaricata (fang feng). Herbs that drain dampness are also employed in order to clear the nasal passages and sinuses; the major herbs for this purpose are Angelica dahurica (bai zhi), magnolia flower buds (xin yi hua), and Xanthium sibiricum (cang er zi). This combination is known as Xanthium Decoction. An appropriate patent medicine is Bi Yan Pian.

Typically, an underlying weakness, often a deficiency of lung and spleen qi, makes persons with allergies susceptible to allergic reactions. Lung qi is responsible for the proper function of the entire respiratory tract, including the nasal passages. Spleen qi controls the transport of fluids; when spleen qi is impaired, weakening digestive function, it can lead to an overproduction of mucus, which tends to collect in the lungs. This weakness of qi is treated with tonifying herbs that bolster lung and spleen function, such as Codonopsis (dang shen), Atractylodes (bai zhu), Poria (fu ling), and prepared licorice (zhi gan cao).

An appropriate patent medicine for this type of deficiency is Six Gentlemen Teapills. This formula also contains Pinellia (ban xia) and aged citrus peel (chen pi), which enhance the base formula’s ability to clear mucus and dry dampness. A traditional Chinese medicine practitioner may customize the formula to meet a patient’s individual needs. For example, Chrysanthemum flowers (jua hua) and Cassia seeds (jue ming zi) can be added to soothe itchy eyes, and jujube dates (da zao) can be included to enhance the overall antiallergic action of the formula.

Treatment with Diet

Diet plays an important part in controlling seasonal allergies. Sweets, dairy products, and cold foods all tend to increase mucus buildup, putting ice cream and yogurt at the top of the list of foods to avoid during allergy season. When excessive mucus accumulates in the system, allergens stimulate a much stronger allergic reaction. Soups, salads (in warm weather), vegetables, and boiled grains are all easy for the body to digest. When digestion is efficient, there is less of a tendency for mucus to build up.

Continue reading How to Treat Allergies with Traditional Chinese Medicine

MTC pentru alergii: cum obtineti usurarea temporara, prevenirea si controlul pe termen lung

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine offers another way of interpreting and treating seasonal allergies as part of an overall health program. Dietary changes can help.

Seasonal allergies, most often caused by plant pollens or molds and fungi, affect millions of people each year. Classical allergy symptoms include sneezing, congestion, runny nose and red, itchy eyes. And the knock-on effects for allergy sufferers can be significant. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) seasonal allergies or hayfever are considered a manifestation of Wind invading the body. In addition to developing an herbal formula for clients, Chinese herbalists will often give dietary advice to control or relieve seasonal allergy symptoms.

TCM and Allergies

According to TCM theory, Wind enters through the upper body. Wind can bring Damp-that runny nose and congestion and Heat- those red itchy eyes. Wind gets into the body because the Wei (or Protective) Qi is weak. This is rather different than the western medical interpretation that often people with seasonal allergies have strong immune systems, which hyper-react to perceived dangers (the allergens).

If a person seeks help from Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine at the height of his/her allergy season, the herbalist will design a formula to ease the symptoms, concentrating on making the client feel better as quickly as possible. Depending on the severity of those allergy symptoms the Chinese herbalist may also begin to address the reason the person is suffering from allergies by building up the body’s defensive Qi. But largely the formula will be based on dispelling the Wind, draining Damp (if there is congestion and a runny nose) and relieving Heat (if there are signs of Heat such as red, itchy eyes).

Using Foods to Heal

Dietary suggestions to help with seasonal allergies will be based on the energetics of foods. To the Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner each food has properties that can enhance or worsen health. For example, radishes are cooling and moistening. That makes them great for those dry, itchy allergy eyes. Plus they transform Phlegm meaning they will help clear the sinuses, drain mucous and ease sore throats. The Chinese herbalist will recommend other foods based on all aspects of each individual’s health.
Also helpful for those red, sore eyes is Chrysanthemum tea, which can be made from dried flowers.

In the longer term

Once the worst of the allergy symptoms are under control, the Chinese formula will change to one that concentrates on building the body’s Wei Qi and addressing any other imbalances present. Then, a few months before the start of allergy season, the Chinese herbalist may recommend a formula to build up the Wei Qi again, helping to prevent or minimize allergy symptoms.

And, best of all Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine can be used in conjunction with other therapies,whether western or alternative, as long as the practitioner is aware of what else the client is doing for their allergies.