How does Allergic Rhinitis happen?

Allergic rhinitis is triggered by breathing in tiny particles of allergens. It might be dust-mites, pollens and spores, animal hair or cold air. It may all due to a weak immune system which mistakenly classifies a harmless substance – or so called allergen – as an invader and sets off a false alarm. As a result the production of antibodies is immediately induced causing cells to release histamine. Finally, these chemicals trigger the allergic reaction causing us for example to sneeze.

Does Chinese herbal work for allergic rhinitis?

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), allergic rhinitis is known as nasal blockage with pus (bi qiu). Its etiology is deficiency of lung qi, such that pathogenic cold invades the nose, resulting in symptoms of nasal congestion, sneezing, and rhinorrhea. In China, herbal medicines and acupuncture are commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis. Research has shown that certain herbs including astragalus root (Huang-qi  黄芪), Magnolia flower (Xin-yi-hua辛夷花), Xanthium fruit (Cang-er-zi苍耳子), Cicada molting (Chan-yi蝉衣), Licorice(Gan-cao甘草) and many other herbs have shown to be efficacious against allergic rhinitis. Some of those herbs can also regulate the immune response and enhance cellular and humoral immunity.

How does Acupuncture helps manage Allergic Rhinitis?

Researchers from Stanford, RMIT, Griffith, and Western Sydney Universities conclude that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for persistent allergic rhinitis and can alleviate symptoms such as nasal and eye itching, sneezing, and runny nose. The research has shown that acupuncture exerts an immunomodulatory effect on patients with allergic rhinitis and that also benefits patients with allergy related asthma. 

How long does it take for  acupuncture to work?

For allergic rhinitis, I would recommend to do two times per week, for a total of 16 acupuncture sessions over a period of 8 weeks. However, with the combination of herbal medicine, most patients begin to see improvements in the second or third weeks of treatments.

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