Summer weed in full bloom

Anyone who has suffered from allergies knows how miserable you can feel and how treatments can range from wildly effective to useless. To understand allergies a little better, it is helpful to think about them as an exaggerated immune response to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens. Common symptoms include red eyes, itchy eyes and skin, and a runny nose, none of which sound horrible until your day is ruined and you can’t think straight.

Western medicine often relies on inhibiting the allergic response via antihistamines such as Chlor-trimetron and Benadryl. Although these medications can be very effective treatment for the allergic response, they only treat the symptoms and may produce side effects. The side effects, or remaining allergic discomfort, cause many people to seek alternative approaches to managing their allergies.

Alternatives for Allergy Sufferers

Acupuncture. Allergies often respond well and quickly to acupuncture treatment. Needling points around the nose and sinuses, as well as other points on the body opens up the nasal cavity and decreases inflammation. In a large German study, 5,237 men and women with allergic rhinitis were divided into two groups; one followed the routine treatment and the second group received acupuncture in addition to routine care. Improvements were noted at the 3 month and the 6 month evaluation for the group using acupuncture. The authors of this trial concluded that treating patients with allergic rhinitis with additional acupuncture leads to clinically relevant and persistent benefits.(1)

Jade Windscreen. Jade windscreen is the name for a 1000 year old Chinese herbal formula. This popular, classic formula has a great reputation for boosting the immune system, strengthening the digestive system, and fortifying the body so that you can fight off wind-borne viruses and bacteria. Jade windscreen is made up of just three herbs: Huang Qi/Astragalus, Bai Zhu/Atractylodis Macrocephalae, and Fang Feng/Radix Ledebouriellae. These three powerful herbs together combat allergies as well as help people who are prone to colds, flus, and ear infections. Also, consider this formula for illness prevention if you are flying in airplanes or have been around sick people. Many Chinese herbal formulas need to be purchased from licensed health professionals but this one can often be found at Whole Foods or other health food stores.

Neti Pot. Neti pots have been used since ancient times in India to clear nasal passages. A neti pot is a container designed to rinse the nasal cavity with a saline solution. It is a great way to help reduce allergy symptoms and is also helpful for other sinus problems and colds. Clearing out the sinuses can reduce allergens, and help with congestion or mucous buildup. One good brand that includes a neti pot with saline packets is Sinucleanse.

Seasonal allergies don’t have to be an unalterable way of life. Consider some of the alternative treatments that I described above – no side effects and no chemicals.

1) American Journal of Epidemiology. 2008 Nov;101(5):535-43.

Image: © Bruce Macqueen |

Comments: It is well known that Acupuncture is an adjunctive therapy if not a primary therapy to have wellness and health. If you have allergies seek a knowledgeable LifeStyle Health-Wellness Strategist, call or email me for a 30 minute Free consult… for your success… offer only good for next 30 days from the day of this post.

Dr Pat