Natural treatments for allergies
By Kristina Rogers
Spring’s beauty is blooming all around and yet for many people it also brings allergies…especially as the jacarandas begin to flower.Lecture “Natural Treatments for Allergy Season” By Kristina Rogers L.Ac. Wed, Apr 2, 4pm Moonrise Health Órganos 29 154-4076 50 pesos admission redeemable against store purchase
Allergies occur when the immune system misidentifies a harmless substance as a threat to the body. These can be pollens, foods, mold, or animal dander. The body has an inflammatory reaction trying to eject the allergen. With pollen allergies, it causes symptoms including runny nose, headache, sneezing and a sense of dullness or fatigue.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we consider organ weakness to be the cause of illness. Allergies arise from a primary frailty in the lungs with an underlying compromise in the spleen and kidneys. The lungs govern our protective energy and are susceptible to outside influence such as allergies. In TCM it is said that the spleen makes the phlegm and the lungs store it.
There are many ways to cope with symptoms during allergy season. Eliminating dairy products, especially milk, cheese and ice cream will reduce excess mucus. Limiting fried food, alcohol, wheat and sugar consumption will also boost the system. The spleen prefers warm foods, so during times of high sinus drainage it is better to eat fewer raw, cold fruits and vegetables.
It is ideal to strengthen the immune system prior to an allergy attack, though you can address it simultaneously with the acute symptoms. Siberian Ginseng (eleurthro) and astragalus are herbal tonics that strengthen the immune system. Siberian Ginseng enhances immune function, increases cortisone levels and anti-inflammatory response. Astragalus boosts the immune system, has an anti-inflammatory affect, and increases overall energy. You can take these in pill, tincture or tea form. Pe Min Kan Wan, a traditional Chinese herbal formula, will dry out nasal congestion. Start by taking a low dose of one to two pills twice a day, as it can cause too much dryness if overdosed.
Helpful homeopathic remedies include Allium Cepa to reduce clear watery phlegm, Nux Vomica to relieve sinus congestion especially at night, Wyethia for an itchy nose, and Ambrosia for itching eyes.
Acupuncture is another route most effective for allergies when started a month before onset but is still helpful during acute occurrences.
For temporary relief of nasal congestion and itching, massage acupressure points for a few minutes several times a day. Large Intestine 20, located on the groove below the nostrils will help sneezing and congestion. Stomach 2, a hollow under the cheekbones, directly below the eyes, will help drain sinuses. Large Intestine 4, on the back of the hand between the thumb and index finger, helps drain the sinuses and soothe headaches. Massaging the edge of the horseshoe shaped occiput bone, at the back of the head will also drain the sinuses.
Allergy season is here, but with dietary changes, herbal allies, and acupuncture treatment you can flourish and be well!
Kristina Rogers L.Ac. is an acupuncturist practicing in San Miguel. With 30 years experience, she brings with her a large bag of healing tools. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-109-5108