Seasonal allergies are the worst: Red eyes, an itchy throat, and non-stop sneezing can leave you so bummed you barely get a chance to celebrate the changing weather and blooming blossoms. If you’re popping antihistamines like candy, it might be time to turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to tackle your allergy needs.
This ancient, holistic practice believes that when the body is out of sync, allergies can flare up. Instead of just addressing the symptoms, TCM identifies and treats the root cause of this imbalance with natural remedies for long-lasting effects.
If you’re over feeling like a wheezy, watery mess, read on to discover 5 ways to treat allergies the eastern way.
1. Give up dairy: TCM believes that some allergies may be caused by excess phlegm that can stuff up your nasal passages, block your lungs, and swell your tonsils. To counteract this build-up, ditching dairy is a good place to start as it may increase mucus production. Plus, many fermented dairy products, like cheeses and yogurt, can contain histamines which may intensify allergy symptoms. So, if you’re looking for a reason to finally try oat milk, this might be your sign.
2. Gua sha your sinuses: If you’re feeling pressure in your nasal passages, lymphatic fluid may be stagnating in your sinuses leading to blocked qi ( vital energy), a root cause of imbalance according to TCM. To get things flowing again, try a gua sha massage: an ancient practice that involves running a smooth stone tool along specific areas to improve blood circulation and reduce pressure. For a full how-to, visit this step-by-step guide.
3. Get acupuncture: This treatment involves placing hair-thin needles along specific pressure points, or meridians, in the body to release blocked qi and reinstate balance. For allergies, these points normally include the lungs, stomach, spleen and colon. One review of 13 studies found a significant reduction in nasal allergies and allergy medication usage in participants who received acupuncture.
If you think acupuncture may be for you, speak with your doctor first and be sure to find a licensed practitioner.
4. Try an herbal remedy: Plant-based supplements are core to TCM and an effective, natural alternative to over-the-counter antihistamines. An easy way to work key herbs into your diet is with NOOCI’s Noo Air Allergy Relief formula. This sustainably-sourced supplement includes three proven allergy-busting herbs to prevent allergies before they even begin.
- Reishi mushroom: can support immunity to help reduce allergic reactions.
- Mint: can relieve clogged sinuses and respiratory tract issues caused by allergies.
- Perilla leaves: may reduce blood levels of histamines to help dampen seasonal allergies.
5. Take deep breaths: To keep your allergies at bay long-term, TCM recommends taking daily deep breaths to nourish and strengthen the lungs. Mindful activities like swimming and yoga can also help build lung vitality for years to come. Plus, the calming effects of pausing for a little air is a much-needed bonus on a busy day.