Last weekend I spent a day in the bloom festival (garden festival in Ireland). It is great fun to see different ideas of garden and to taste lots of artisan food. It is also good to see a trend there towards biodiversity and protection of the pollinators. After spending another day in the allotment I started to feel really itchy in the eyes/nose. And it followed by sneezing and running nose. Typical Hay Fever.
People say that after we (Chinese) immigrated to a western country sooner or later we will get Hay Fever.
Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, causes cold-like signs and symptoms, such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure. But unlike a cold, hay fever isn’t caused by a virus. Hay fever is caused by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, or tiny flecks of skin and saliva shed by cats, dogs, and other animals with fur or feathers (pet dander).
One of the way to minimize the symptoms of the Hay Fever is to avoid the allergens. For most people this is very difficult. For me it is impossible as I love working in the garden and the allotment. I also love being out in the nature.
Rather than trying to change the outside environment which we have very little control of we could change the internal environment which is our body. So why do some people have allergic reactions to pollen? In Chinese Medicine we have a complete different theory. Sneezing/running nose, a lot of symptoms of the Hay fever are similar to a common cold. The symptoms are commonly a phenomenon of the body trying to get the cold/damp out of the body. If the internal environment of the body is cold and there are excess fluid that the body doesn’t have enough energy to deal with these can be manifested as digestive issues, sluggish, fatigue etc. When the summer is approaching the temperature picks up. And the Yang energy in the body is also rising. With the rising Yang energy the body starts to expel the cold and damp out of the body which triggering sneezing and running nose. Similar reactions are seen when cold invades the body and the body is fighting the cold.
With the beginning of the Hay Fever season I started to drink Ginger and Chinese Dates tea every morning. This is also a remedy we used in China for colds/flu. This is to help the body to expel coldness and build up the Yang energy
In addition I also made a herbal decoration for the Hay Fever – Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang. This is a simple yet very power formula in warming the body and removing damp/phlegm from the body. I talked about it in another article in relation to dizziness. https://dlahc.ie/why-am-i-dizzy-case-study-1/
There are only 4 herbs in this formula: Cinnamon twigs, Poria, White atractylodes and Licorice root. All 4 herbs are the most commonly used herbs in Chinese Herbal Medicine. I have been using this formula to treat various conditions including: Sinusitis, Dizziness, Heart conditions, Asthma, Ear infections etc etc. Basically conditions caused by cold/dampness/phlegm in the body. The results are quite amazing.
- Fuling (Poria): Strengthens the Spleen, drains Dampness, harmonizes the digestive system and transforms Phlegm.
- Guizhi (Cinnamon twigs) : Warms the Yang, disperses Cold and helps to resolve congested fluids and descend rebellious Qi.
- Baizhu (White atractylodes) : Strengthens the functions of the Spleen and dries Damp..
- Gancao (Licorice root) : Strengthens the digestive system and harmonize with the other herbs
A woman came in last week for sinus congestion who were prescribed 3 courses of antibiotics and nasal sprays. She didn’t get any relieve on the sinus. With one Acupuncture treatment and the herbal powder of Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang the symptoms are nearly all gone. Alternatively using Moxibustion we can achieve the same effect.
After drinking the decoration my sneezing calmed down, no running nose. Most importantly the eyes stopped being itchy which makes a huge difference.
Happy summer days!
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