How Does Chinese Medicine Treat Allergies?

Chinese medicine including acupuncture has become widely accepted as a treatment option for many common ailments. From chronic pain to anxiety and weight loss, research is now backing up this 2,000-year-old anecdotal medicine.

One of the many questions we receive at Acupuncture & Wellness Center is how does Chinese medicine treat allergies? And while its methodology is different from Western medicine, some patients have found great success. Research also suggests that Chinese medicine could be a safe and valid treatment.

In fact, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation recommends doctors offer acupuncture to patients seeking natural treatments for allergies or refer them to an acupuncture provider.

The most common approach in treating allergies is to test what you’re allergic to and then provide recommendations on avoiding whatever is causing your reactions.

Chinese medicine is different in that it’s not interested in what you’re allergic to but how you are reacting to the allergy. There are two specific strategies that acupuncture and Chinese medicine take.

Chinese medicine treats allergies in 2 specific ways

1.Relieves the body of its exaggerated response to the allergen

For example, if your nose is runny then Chinese medicine will treat the runny nose by heating your body. Whether it’s through specific needle points with acupuncture or a personalized herbal formula, the idea is that by responding to the exaggerated response it will relieve symptoms by bringing your body back to balance. In simple terms, if your body is too hot TCM will cool the body down. If your body is running cold-like symptoms, then TCM will heat your body.

2. Strengthens the immune system

Most importantly, in treating allergies, Chinese medicine strengthens the immune system using a specific herb called huang chi or astragalus which increases t-cell count as well as anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects. By strengthening your immune system over time you will get over the allergy.


Chinese medicine has been treating season allergies for over 2,000 years. Symptoms of runny nose, sneezing, and watery or itchy eyes, specifically during Spring and Fall, are common conditions for which many people seek acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment.

The initial treatment of acupuncture and Chinese medicine for allergies typically involves weekly or twice-weekly appointments over several weeks or months, depending on the severity of symptoms. This is generally followed by annual booster treatments or more on an as-needed basis.

Give us a call or schedule an appointment online and begin treating your seasonal allergies. We will do our best to support you!

Photo by: Andrea Piacquadio

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