Don’t you dread it when the flowers start to bloom and buds come up each spring? You know you’ll have those dreaded allergies again this year! Or perhaps you’re one of the unfortunate ones that have allergies all year round? Don’t you just hate the constant sneezing and wiping your nose? Then, at night, you can’t breathe at all because your nose is plugged badly.
Every spring my patient complained of sneezing attacks, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, post-nasal drip, and frequent throat clearing. Her fatigue was unbearable and she had dark circles under her eyes. She had already gone to her doctor for a skin test and an IgE antibody blood test which revealed that she was allergic to dust mites and various types of pollen. Occasionally, she would even develop a sinus infection.
She’s tried anti-histamines, nasal steroids, decongestants, antibiotics and allergy shots with mixed results. Unfortunately, some of these medications gave her side-effects. Reducing her exposure of dust, pollen, and pet dander has helped some but she was still suffering.
Chinese medicine views rhinitis as an “externally contracted” condition similar to Western medicine’s concept of “air-borne disease.” Externally contracted conditions or “wind invasions” can enter the body via skin pores or breathing and cause many of the above-mentioned symptoms. Wind can combine with heat (itching) or cold (sneezing and runny nose), or it can combine with dampness (thin white discharge) or phlegm (thick yellow discharge).
The treatment then is to encourage intermittent perspiration to sweat out the pathogen and to resolve the phlegm. By opening the pores of the skin, we allow the pathogenic wind (or air-borne pathogen) to leave the body. Simple home remedies for wind cold patterns include hot ginger tea which, when consumed, creates a warmth inside our bodies. For nasal congestion consider doing a hot water steam or ginger steam which assists in getting rid of phlegm.
If the main symptoms are red and itchy eyes drinking chrysanthemum tea could be useful. Cosmetic pads soaked in chrysanthemum tea can be applied to the eyes which will cool the wind heat pattern. Specific herbs can be used to resolve the phlegm.
Chinese herbs have a long history of addressing “externally contracted” conditions for millennia. Simple, US pre-made formulas are available to address specific patterns and aid folks in moving through their hay fever and associated symptoms faster. However, the best time to treat hay fever is during the off-season. That is the perfect time to use nutritious foods, herbs and supplements that boost the immune system, so that when the next season comes around you will be more resilient.
Of course, on occasion, some people with more severe manifestations will still need western medical intervention, but most people’s milder conditions can greatly benefit from natural treatments. Easy supplements to consider to enhance one’s immune system are vitamin C, cod liver oil and vitamin D3.
For more information go to: www.orientalhealthsolutions.com. Future online courses about this and related topics will be available soon. If you are interested in being notified about the classes, click here and receive the complete ginger tea instructions.
This blog was previously published on https://medium.com/@dehling/holistic-treatment-options-for-allergic-rhinitis-sinusitis-and-post-nasal-drip-98ebd23bf370
Individual coaching sessions are available here.