Treat Seasonal Allergies with Acupuncture and Homeopathy
Updated: Oct 28
Borrowing from acupuncture, Chinese Medicine dietary therapy, Homeopathy and holistic healing modalities: immune boosting strategies to prevent and treat seasonal allergies.
You may have noticed a bit more nasal congestion, sneezing, sniffles, and itching the past week or two. That's because we're gliding from late summer into early fall when ragweed pollen is at it's peak - the kick-off to allergy season begins!*
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, allergy symptoms are the branch of the issue, while immune system imbalances are at the root. Immunological issues typically involve an energetic and physical dynamic of organs and meridians. Specifically, the lungs, large intestine, spleen/pancreas and stomach as well as your protective field (Wei Qi). By fortifying your internal organs and Wei Qi, you strengthen your immunity. Alls you need to follow is a healthy diet, get regular exercise and follow some of these immune-boosting strategies:
Eat fresh, seasonal foods in their natural state - vegetables, whole grains, fruits and proteins that are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Dark leafy vegetables and summer greens are a perfect transition into the season. Avoid inflammatory foods, such as fried foods and those high in refined, processed sugars.
A glass of room temp spring or distilled water with a squeeze of lemon supports liver functioning.
Exercise - all kinds bolster circulation and motility of organs and connective tissue.
Reduce stress through breathing exercises, moving the body, meditation and deep sleep.
Enjoy a small teaspoon of locally harvested honey - it's thought to inoculate against native pollens
Safely use a Neti Pot. Used daily and as directed, neti pots help rinse pollens, molds and mucus from the nasal passages. If Neti pots aren't your jam, perhaps a specifically designed saline spray or sterile bulb aspirator ("snotsucker") will be?
Take brief, hot showers. They wash away allergens from the skin and hair and clear the passages.
Enjoy steam baths and facial steams.The steam helps open and clear the airways. Adding a drop of Eucalyptus oil (a natural anti-inflammatory) helps heal the mucus membranes.
Change clothes after being outside for several hours and before sitting on furniture.
Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools or hot tubs - can exacerbate allergy symptoms.
Deep clean your home & consider a HEPA air filtration system. Research shows that cleaning home air ducts has minimal effect on allergen counts, making air filtration devices a much better investment.
Turn off your cell phone. Studies show that one hour of continuous cell phone use can exacerbate peoples’ allergic responses to dust and pollen(!).
Massage the thumb edge of wrists and stimulate immune boosting acupressure points. The points are Large Intestine 20, Stomach 2, Bladder 2 and Spleen 5. See below for more info on the points' location and how to stimulate them.
Utilize acupuncture to vitalize the immune system, address underlying conditions, and reduce inflammatory responses to allergens. That's where I come in!
Check with a healthcare practitioner to identify a hormone imbalance, chronic stress responses, and food sensitivities.
Since we're all different, treatment strategies and remedies are individually tailored. If you decide to go the supplement, herbal or homeopathic route, I strongly suggest consulting a naturopathic doctor, Chinese Medical practitioner, herbalist, or homeopath, respectively. Integrating one remedy at a time to observe any positive or negative reactions is also key. It's tempting to believe that supplements labeled natural are always good or beneficial. They are not. Even if remedies are high quality they may not be indicated for the person or the condition. Please take it slowly and remember that more is not better. Ultimately, harnessing the body's own wisdom is perhaps the most potent medicine available.
All that said, below are a few supplements, herbs and remedies commonly used to assist in the treatment of hay fever and seasonal allergies.**
Supplements. There are so many different types and brands of vitamins and supplements available. Our best options are food-derived, allergen-free, non-GMO, and organic (when possible) from reputable companies (I like TwinLab, Pure Encapsulations, and New Chapter).
Food Derived vitamin C - a gentle antihistamine.
Organic, sublingual Vitamin D - reduces allergic reactions, also to mold
Quercetin - flavonoid that prevents histamine release
Refrigerated, low histamine specific strain Probiotics - reduces antibodies that trigger allergic reactions
Herbs in capsule, tincture or as a loose tea. If you are in Tucson, I highly recommend visiting the locally owned and operated Tucson Herb Store on 4th Ave.
Chrysanthemum flowers and cassia seeds
Butterbur (do not take if allergic to ragweed)
Homeopathic Remedies. Homeopathy offers a whole-person approach. While one-off remedies for acute situations are helpful in a pinch, a certified homeopath can help identify constitutional remedies that clear deeply held patterns that otherwise inhibit immunity and optimal mental and physical functioning. Again, all that said, two of my favorite remedies that help relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies and hay fever are:
Histaminum hydrochloricum 30c for general allergy symptoms such as sinus pressure, post nasal drip, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, sneezing. Can also be helpful for food and environmental allergies.
Sebadil - a combination formula that helps relieve itchy, sneezing, runny noses and itchy, watery eyes. Made for kids, great for adults too.
Click link for more specific Primary and Secondary Homeopathic remedies for Hayfever and Seasonal Allergies.
Large Intestine 20, the points outside the nostrils, should be pressed diagonally upward, as if you're aiming for your eye on the opposite side. Stomach 2, the points below the eye, should be pressed downward toward the mouth. Bladder 2, the ones on the eyebrow, should be pressed upward toward the top of the head. Image & text credit: the lovely Sara Calabro, LAc.
*We'll see another uptick in seasonal allergies and hay fever in the Spring when tree and grass pollens are climaxing.
**Content from Intuitive Health & Healing is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Please do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the this site!