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A Natural and TCM Approach to Spring Allergies

Flowers, grasses, weeds, and trees bloom as spring nears, however this can also mean the onset of seasonal allergies.  Itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, skin reactions, headaches, and fatigue can cause us feeling dragged down by the spring season.  There are many traditional Chinese medicine and natural options to help us cope with seasonal allergies. 

In TCM, allergies are a sign of an imbalance in the immune system.  Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can effectively help with allergy symptoms. In TCM, wind (feng) of early spring is a combination of the remainder of a harsh winter wind and the gentle breeze of spring.  The organ system associated with spring is the liver, when there is an imbalance with the liver allergies can follow. Acupuncture is used to balance and remove blockages in the body's energy (qi). It also strengthens the Lung and Liver Qi and in particular the Defensive Qi (Wei Qi) to block the "invasion of wind."  

During spring it is crucial to have a diet that strengthens and cleanses the liver. Since green is the color of the liver and of spring, green vegetables help cleanse the body and liver. Dandelion, citrus fruits, pear, apple, celery, and carrot are also helpful. Blue Earth Dragon, Jade Screen and Astra C are all good choices to help with seasonal allergy symptoms.

A natural approach to spring allergies includes eating a diet rich in vitamin C, such as broccoli, citrus fruits, and kale. Probiotics like those found in yogurt are not only good for digestion but can help balance the immune system.  Garlic and onion are rich in the antioxidant Quercetin, which has been shown to inhibit the secretion of allergy-inducing histamine.  Butterbur, elderberries, and stinging nettle are herbs all shown to reduce inflammation due to allergies.

Other ways to reduce spring allergy symptoms include washing pollen off your skin and hair after being outside.  Check pollen levels before going outdoors and keep windows closed to keep pollen out.  The steam from a hot shower can also relieve inflamed sinuses and clear out unwanted congestion; a sprig of eucalyptus is natural decongestant and will enhance the steam as well. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.