Published: November 21, 2023

Seasonal allergies are often associated with the spring season and can feel unexpected during autumn and winter. However, many plants produce pollen in the cooler seasons, triggering an allergic response. These symptoms can bring considerable discomfort to individuals of all ages. Common symptoms include itchy red eyes, sneezing, congestion, and runny nose. 

Conventional Western medicine prescribes antihistamines, decongestants, or medications targeting the nervous system to manage these allergies. While effective in alleviating allergic reactions, these treatments frequently include unwanted side effects like drowsiness, immune system suppression, or medication dependency.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers an alternative approach, addressing treatment based on each individual’s unique body composition. Treatments acknowledge that those with chronic allergies may exhibit signs of spleen or kidney deficiency, as well as lung issues. 

The primary objective of TCM is not solely to address acute symptoms and provide immediate relief but also to address any underlying imbalances in the immune system that could trigger allergy issues. Such interventions may encompass acupuncture and dietary modifications, which includes incorporating specific herbal formulas.

Seasonal Allergies 

Seasonal allergies, also known as “hay fever” or seasonal allergic rhinitis, occur during specific times of the year, typically coinciding with the release of pollen particles into the atmosphere by trees, grasses, and weeds.

Individuals with allergies to pollen have immune systems that perceive these particles, referred to as allergens, as foreign invaders. They release various chemicals, including histamine, into the bloodstream to mount a defense. This chemical release gives rise to allergy symptoms.

Allergies to pollen vary, with some being allergic to one or more types. The specific type of pollen dictates when their allergy symptoms occur. For instance, in the mid-Atlantic states, tree pollen levels peak from February through June, grass pollen is most prevalent from May to August, and weed pollen reaches its highest levels from July to November.

Fall Symptoms

One of the primary culprits responsible for fall allergies is ragweed, a plant that thrives abundantly across various regions, particularly along the East Coast and in the Midwest. Ragweed undergoes blooming and releases its pollen from August through November. In numerous parts of the country, ragweed pollen levels peak in early to mid-September.

Additional plants that can trigger fall allergies include:

  • Sagebrush and mugwort
  • Burning bush
  • Tumbleweed and Russian thistle
  • Cocklebur
  • Pigweed
  • Lamb’s-quarters

Seasonal Allergy Relief

The core approach to TCM allergy treatment revolves around enhancing the body’s self-healing abilities, restoring equilibrium, and preempting the onset of infections. Herbal formulas can play a pivotal role in the treatment of allergies.

Practitioners must first pinpoint the root causes of the reactions and associated symptoms. Addressing these underlying triggers helps gain control over the body’s responses and mitigate the risk of recurrent allergies.

Yu Ping Feng San is known to invigorate the qi of the lungs and spleen while concurrently addressing issues related to dampness. It safeguards the body’s exterior, fortifying defenses against potential “wind invasions” connected to ailments like colds, flu, and viral infections. This formula includes the potent adaptogen astragalus and is typically taken preventatively to enhance immune function. Yu Ping Feng San benefits those looking to bolster their immune resilience. It is also a valuable choice for those bracing for an impending allergy season.

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang is another herbal formula often used to help treat seasonal allergy symptoms. One study involving Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effects and benefited individuals finding little relief from Western pharmaceutical solutions. 

Additional TCM Strategies 

Acupuncture and diet also aid those looking for allergy relief. Acupuncture has the potential to regulate the body’s inflammatory response to allergens, with cumulative benefits becoming evident through consistent sessions. Many individuals experience prompt relief from nasal and sinus congestion shortly after the insertion of acupuncture needles.

A beneficial diet should focus on the intake of predominantly whole foods rich in nutrients and reducing processed or unnatural options. It’s advisable to abstain from cold foods, including frozen items and cold beverages, which deplete spleen qi. Avoiding dairy products is recommended since they tend to encourage dampness. In TCM, dampness is associated with heightened mucus production in the respiratory system, potentially worsening allergies. 

Smoothing Seasonal Shifts

Herbal formulas or Chinese herbal medicine for seasonal allergies offer natural relief by addressing symptoms and underlying causes. They can reduce allergy-related discomfort without the side effects of some medications. When using herbal formulas or receiving TCM products or treatment, working with a licensed practitioner is essential. 

Herbal formulas are most effective when properly sourced and made with high-quality ingredients and standards. At KPC, formulas have been crafted for generations and undergo rigorous testing and quality control. The top priority when providing herbal formulas is ensuring their quality and safety. Learn more about the KPC process and catalog here


*Please note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to suggest specific treatments for patients or that any supplements mentioned prevent or cure diseases or problems. Before taking any herbs, all patients should discuss their options with a licensed practitioner, including any other medications the patient is currently taking, as there may be contraindications between pharmaceuticals and herbs.


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