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Soothing Herbs for Seasonal Allergies

Find relief from seasonal allergies with this ultimate guide to soothing herbs. Learn about each plant’s healing properties as well as how you can incorporate them into your allergy management routine for a natural, effective relief.

Soothing herbs for seasonal allergies 2

Spring and early summer is the time for growth and renewal. However, it is also considered as allergy season, a time when sneezing, runny noses, and itchy eyes are at their peak. Now is the perfect time to get started on your Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) holistic allergy regimen. The great thing about herbal remedies from TCM is that they not only treat seasonal allergies; they may be taken as a preventive measure.

Here are some soothing herbs that will help get you through the sniffles and itchiness of seasonal allergies. Ask your TCM specialist about these herbs and if they are all right for your body’s constitution.

You Ji Huang Qin (Scutellaria baicalensis)

Chinese skullcap (有機黃芩) enters through the Lung, Stomach, Gallbladder, and Large Intestine channels. This particular herb is helpful to patients who are experiencing Lung Heat and help support mucus clearance in the respiratory tract. Aside from clearing heat, skullcap also balances the immune response, relieving other allergy-related complications. 

Xin Yi Hua (Magnolia spp.)

Magnolia flower (辛夷花) enters through the Lung and Stomach channels. It opens the nasal cavity and clears nasal obstructions due to wind-cold). Magnolia flower may also be helpful in recurring seasonal allergies. 

Cang Er Zi (Xanthium sibiricum): 

Xanthium fruit (蒼耳子-驗測) enters through the Lung and Liver channels. It is often used to treat conditions of the nasal cavity. It also relieves discomfort associated with sinus headaches. Research shows that xanthium fruit may also reduce nasal itching and sneezing frequency. 

Bai Zhi (Angelica dahurica)

Fragrant angelica root (白芷-驗測) enters through the Lung, Spleen, and Stomach channels. It dispels wind-cold by reducing nasal discharge and clearing congestion. The active components in fragrant angelica root helps in relieving an overactive immune response caused by seasonal allergies. 

Bi Yan Wan

Jade Dragon – Cool Sinus (鼻炎丸) calms down seasonal allergy conditions with symptoms such as nasal blockages, irritated eyes, and sneezing. Bi Yan Wan is best used when Wind and Heat pathogenic factors are present. Ingredients include Xin Yi Hua, Cang Er Zi, Huang Bai, Lian Qiao, Wu Wei Zi, Ye Gan Cao, Zhi Mu, Jie Geng, Jing Jie, Ju Hua, Bai Zhi, and Fang Feng. 

Huang Qi (Astragalus membranaceus)

Astragalus root (黃芪) enters through the Lung and Spleen channels. It tonifies Wei Qi that are showing signs of deficiency. Research also revealed that astragalus root helps in balancing the immune system through the stimulation of immune functions. 

Sang Ju Wan

The formula of Jade Dragon – Early Defense (桑菊丸) supports upper respiratory problems when cold or allergy complications first arise. It is best used in the early stages of seasonal allergies. Ingredients includ: Sang Ye, Ju Hua, Jie Geng, Ku Xing Ren, Lian Qiao, Lu Gen, Ye Gan Cao, and Bo He.

Bai zhu (Atractylodes macrocephala)

Atractylodes rhizome (白朮) enters through the Spleen and Stomach channels. It helps treat manifestations of wei qi deficiency by strengthening wei qi and tonifying the Spleen (Chen & Chen, 2012). Scientific studies report that the polysaccharide content of Atractylodes rhizome may be the reason for its immune-supporting effects. 

Fang Feng (Saposhnakovia dicaricata)

Siler root (防風) enters through the Liver, Spleen, and Urinary Bladder channels. It is used for strengthening wei qi associated with wind-cold symptoms. Studies have shown that siler root may dispel Wind and remove Dampness.

Niaouli MQV (Melaleuca quinquenervia)

Niaouli is an essential oil that is related to Tea Tree and has an aroma that is similar to Eucalyptus. Niaouli is used for treating Wind-Heat viral conditions, including the common cold with fever and sore throat), and is effective for allergies. The oil lowers your histamine levels, and is most effective when used as a preventive measure.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Peppermint is powerful oil used to “open the channels”, clears congestion from the head and face, and disperse “wind-heat” symptoms. Allergies presenting with red itchy eyes, itchy nose with sneezing, and sinus pressure and headaches are relieved by peppermint. Peppermint also enters the Liver acupuncture meridian to relieve qi stagnation. Peppermint is a very strong oil that is not suitable for very young children.

Ju hua (chrysanthemum) 

This herb is used to clear heat, disperse wind, and clear the liver and eyes. A cooling herb, it enters the Lung channel and Liver channel. “Wind” refers to fleeting sensations (like pain or itchiness) or maladies of the body that appear quickly and are constantly changing. Allergies can appear suddenly and may present with sneezing, headaches, and dry, itchy eyes. Ju Hua is a great herb to use as a tea when you present with allergies. It is also effective as an eye compress when the eyes feel hot, dry, and itchy.

Bi Yan Pian 

This Chinese herbal formula is often used to in the treatment of sinusitis, rhinitis, and nasal allergies. It also helps stop a runny nose and opens up stuffy sinuses. The formula contains herbs that clear Heat and reduce toxicity. This makes Bi Yan Pian best for nasal allergies that present with inflammation, infection, yellow phlegm, and facial heat. Ingredients include Xanthium sibiricum (Cang Er Zi), Anemarrhena asphodeloides rhizome (Zhi Mu), and Magnolia biondii flower (Xin Yi Hua).

Yu Ping Feng San “Jade Windscreen” 

Yu Ping Feng San is a classical herbal formula. It tonifies the Lung and Spleen Qi and relieves dampness. It also protects the exterior from “wind invasions”, such as colds, flus, and viruses. This three-herb formula includes the adaptogen astragalus, and is taken as a preventive measure to boost the immune system. Ingredients include Radix Astragall, Rhizoma Atractylodes macrocephala, and Radix saposhnikoviae.

You need not suffer from seasonal allergies when there are a number of soothing herbs to choose from. Consult with a TCM physician who will assess your body’s constitution and determine the causes of your allergies in order to provide you with personalized treatment.

References

  1. Balance Charleston. A TCM Toolkit for Seasonal Allergies. [Last accessed  March 15, 2024]
  2. NuHerbs. Seasonal Allergy Support: TCM Herbs + Botanicals For Spring and Summer. [Last accessed March 15, 2024]
  3. Healing Points – Acupuncture. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for Spring Allergies. [Last accessed March 15, 2024]

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