Allergy Recommendations from TOTEM




It’s that time of year again and many are noticing more seasonal symptoms each year as they age. Here I am going to discuss strategies for dealing with symptoms. First of all, I want to address the term ‘allergies.’ When we use the word, ‘allergies’ it is assumed we either have allergies or we don’t have allergies, which is misleading. I take issue with using the word “allergies,” a noun or a thing, when what we are really talking about is a histamine reaction, a verb over which we have control. When we gain control of the histamine response, the symptoms are reduced or eliminated.

When I treat someone’s seasonal allergy symptoms I’m doing three things. I’m regulating the histamine response, strengthening the whole system (the way we would say this in Chinese medicine is strengthening Chi and blood) and since everyone is different, managing and treating your specific symptoms.


I wanted to give some suggestions of Chinese herbs, nutritional supplements, and homeopathic remedies, as well as suggestions of treatment plans for your acupuncture visits.

I’m going to divide these recommendations into three categories. One  is preventative and this is ideally how we can treat allergies before they even start. But this is not always possible, so I will give you another recommendation.  Number two is for symptom management. And number three, deep immune system repair, is for people who have had lifelong issues with allergies, year long allergies, or known conditions of respiratory dysfunction such as asthma or a more severe diagnosis.


  1. Preventative – Sometimes it’s hard to predict when allergy season starts since it is weather-based. Ideally, for mild allergies I would recommend coming in 2 weeks prior to the seasonal start for weekly acupuncture, moderate allergies 3 weeks, and severe allergies 4 weeks before allergy season
  • Nettle tea- this is a very effective way to treat mild allergies, however I realize not everyone likes to drink tea. If that is the case this may not be the right solution for you.The recipe is as follows: 3 cups of cut and sifted nettles, Starwest is a good brand, placed in 6-8 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and let it steep for 2 to 4 hours. Strain and refrigerate. Drink 2 to 4 cups a day.
  • Acupressure on Ren 17, Lung 1 and Lung 9 (20 seconds of moderate pressure on each point twice a day.)


2) Symptom management

  • ‘Sabadil’ homeopathic dissolving tablets by Boiron.These are great convenient tablets for allergies especially helpful for children who don’t swallow pills. You are not healing your allergy reaction to hear that you are treating the symptoms effectively. You must take as directed and not just when you feel like it for it to work.
  • Acupuncture weekly or biweekly depending on how debilitating the symptoms are. I am confident that acupuncture alone can reduce the intensity and frequency and many times eliminate your symptoms all together. However, if you were a person who has relied on antihistamines and decongestants in the past, taking herbal supplements in addition to acupuncture might be wise.
  • Bi yan pian nasal clearing pills herbs plus weekly acupuncture. This is a great way to reign in an allergic reaction to seasonal pollen or mold. I keep this herbal supplement on hand in the office  especially during ‘allergy’ season.


3) Deep immune system repair

Addressing the inflammation is at the root of treating immune system disorders.There are many natural substances that are potent anti-inflammatories. I carry a product by health concerns called,

  • ‘Cucurma’ for inflammation cucurmin is the scientific name for the spice Tumeric. But just sprinkling Turmeric on your food is not helpful enough to shift inflammatory patterns. So, this is a therapeutic dose: 500-100 MG.
  • Weekly acupuncture and Chinese massage cupping on the back.The acupuncture will strengthen your immune system and improve the function of your respiratory system.
  • If you feel you were headed for a sinus infection or already have one  I recommend 400 mg capsules of oregano oil twice a day I like the Gaia brand plus 2000 mg of ester c in powder form split into two doses.This is also where a Netti pot can be effective. You’re wanting to rinse the affected material out of the sinus cavity. I’m actually not a huge fan of using the Netti pot every day unless you have a sinus infection as it can irritate the inside of the nasal passages. Always use saline solution and not just water. I’ve seen people be able to do this protocol and avoid antibiotics.
  • Nebulized Glutathione used as a breathing treatment three times a week.
  • Investigating other causes of inflammation in the body. Many people find making dietary changes by eliminating inflammatory foods can be extremely healthy.Think whole 30. This type of diet can clear up many root causes of common conditions such as an overactive histamine response causing allergy symptoms

I hope this is helpful to you and your family and friends. I finally decided to put this information all in one place since I am repeating this list several times a day in my office during allergy season! Best of luck and let me know if you have any additional questions. As always, thank you for continuing to support me and my practice and allowing me to do what it is that I love to do.

               Stephanie McGuirk, owner of TOTEM Acupuncture Health and Healing

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