Some foreign substances can cause certain immune responses in your body, called allergies. Typically, those foreign substances would be harmless to most people. These substances, known as allergens, may include pollen, pet dander or certain foods. Read on to know more about allergens and how the ancient practice of traditional Chinese medicine can be useful in such situations.

Symptoms of Allergies

Your body has an immune system that keeps you healthy by fighting harmful disease-causing agents. It attacks anything that it perceives as a potential threat to your body. The immune system normally gets adjusted to your environment but at times, it considers some substances which could be normal to others as invaders threatening your body and gives a reaction. Based on the type of allergen, the responses could vary from inflammation, sneezing and a host of other symptoms. It may depend on the type and severity of the allergy. When your skin comes in contact with an allergen, it may show symptoms like rashes, eczema, swollen eyes, itching, burning, etc. Food allergies may trigger hives, nausea, swelling, fatigue, etc. Seasonal allergies may mimic a cold, with congestion, runny nose, and swollen eyes. Severe allergies can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition with difficulties in breathing, loss of consciousness, and lightheadedness.

Causes and Risk Factors

An allergy can start with your immune system mistakes a commonly harmless foreign substance for a dangerous invader. The system produces antibodies that remain as an alert to that particular allergen. Further exposure to that allergen triggers the release of a number of immune system chemicals like histamine that causes symptoms of allergy. The triggers may include airborne allergens such as animal dander, pollen, mold and dust mites, foods like peanuts, tree nuts, soy, eggs, milk, insect stings, and certain medications. Family history of allergies, young age, presence of other allergic conditions like asthma, etc., can be risk factors.

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs

According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), your health is a result of a harmonious balance of two opposing, but complementary forces called yin and yang which creates the life force known as qi. Any disharmony or deviation in the energy flow can cause an imbalance and can result in illness. An experienced acupuncture practitioner accesses the concerned acupoints with thin needles and corrects the energy flow. The corrected flow results in holistic health, as the body regains its vitality. Other methods in TCM involves Chinese herbalism and moxibustion, where herbs are burnt on or near the body. It intends to treat the patient as a whole, including the patterns of symptoms. Recent studies ( have shown that Chinese herbal medicine can be used to treat allergic diseases on an individual basis. Another research ( upholds efficacy and safety in treating seasonal allergies with traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese herbs.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Li Zheng is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. She has 26+ years of clinical experience. Here she is talking about Chinese Herbs and Allergies. An allergy is a mistaken response of your immune system to an allergen. Treat it with Traditional Chinese Medicine including herbs to regain holistic health. Enjoy the freedom!