Allergies are a nuisance to deal with, and if you're someone who is sick of popping antihistamines every time you get the sniffles, you might be looking for alternative remedies. There are a number of ways to treat allergies, according to Eastern Medicine, and incorporating some of these treatments into your routine might be helpful if you're struggling to get rid of those pesky symptoms. Since Eastern Medicine deals more with the cause of allergies, you might find that you have more success managing your allergy symptoms by incorporating these natural remedies.
"According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, allergies are a response to an imbalance in your body," Simone Wan, L.Ac, M.S, a nationally licensed herbalist and acupuncturist, tells Bustle. "Your body’s organs are always in flux, and symptoms like allergic flare ups are a sign that your body’s organs need to be rebalanced from either a deficiency or excess."
For instance, if you are suffering from sneezing and coughing, this relates to the nose and throat, which relates to the lungs, ways Wan. Boosting your lungs or reducing the excess in your lungs would be part of the treatment. If your allergies manifest in itchiness and redness in your eyes, then your allergies are rooted in a poor or deficient liver function.
It's time to banish those watery eyes and runny nose once and for all by using some ancient treatments. Here are eight ways to treat allergies, according to Eastern Medicine.
1. Load Up On Greens
If you have bad allergies in the spring that include red, itchy eyes, you might want to consider a lifestyle adjustment, says Wan. "According to TCM, green foods help detox the liver, so whether it’s a green juice or a diet rich in greens, help out your liver so it can help you." Some key greens to consider include kale, beet greens, dandelion, spirulina, broccoli, and spinach.
2. Alleviate Stress
According to TCM, the liver is heavily affected by stress. "Use techniques such as meditation and yoga on a regular basis to help keep your stress levels down," says Wan. "A dietary supplement rich in adaptogens, which help your body manage stress, is also good to add to your routine."
3. Eat Liver
You can also boost your liver health with nutritious foods. "To function efficiently, your liver needs specific vitamins and nutrients from your diet," says Warm. "According to TCM, eating liver is one of the best foods to help do just this. Whether it's beef or chicken livers, eating them once to twice a month is a good start."
4. Try Cupping
If your main symptoms are coughing, wheezing and nasal congestion, you may want to consider getting cupping to help reduce blockage in your lungs. "This ancient technique can help circulation in the lung area, which helps [cleanse] the lungs and opens the alveoli, tiny sacs within our lungs that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the lungs," says Wan.
5. Get Acupuncture
Multiple studies have found acupuncture to be a safe and valid treatment for allergies. "Acupuncture can alleviate symptoms almost immediately for temporary allergies or even chronic issues combined with other modalities," Elizabeth Trattner, a Chinese and Integrative Medicine expert, tells Bustle. "There are specific points that alleviate phlegm, wind, heat, and other pathogenic factors where western medicine hits a 'glass ceiling.'"
6. Ditch Dairy & Processed Foods
Another way to improve allergies is to get rid of phlegm via the diet, says Trattner. "Phlegm in TCM is your runny nose, mucous, dried mucous blocking your nasal passages, sputum in your lungs, clogged ears, swollen tonsils and post nasal drip," she says. "By removing dairy, sugar, refined foods, cold foods, raw foods and greasy foods, you can drastically eliminate phlegm." Instead of these foods, opt for warm foods, gently steamed vegetables, and organic whole grains and animal products.
7. Incorporate Some Herbs
Allergies can help be relieved by using Chinese herbs such as Yu ping feng san. "Herbs can be tailor-made for the type of allergy a patient is experiencing, says Trattner. "Chinese Herbal medicine is high nuances, but also very effective in treating allergies." It's best to see an herbal specialist who can help give you options specifically for your needs.
8. Practice Qigong
Qigong is an ancient Chinese method that involves movement and mental concentration to help the mind and the body. "In a study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, researchers found that Qigong training significantly increases levels of monocytes and lymphocytes, types of white blood cells involved in the immune response," says Trattner. "Studies like these indicate some of the potential physiological benefits of tai chi and Qi gong."
Utilizing these tips from Traditional Chinese Medicine might be able to help alleviate your allergies by helping to balance out your body.