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Allergies and Cold Season

by Oct 14, 2016

Home » Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Student Blog » Allergies and Cold Season

Here we are, almost halfway through this tri and we’re still having a gorgeous weather, pumpkins everywhere, and soon, midterms and Halloween!

I never experienced allergies until a few years ago when I relocated to the U.S. When my nose started running all the time during springtime in Seattle, I didn’t even pay attention to it. I told myself that’s just my body adjusting to the new environment and it will pass. My family doctor had a different opinion and insisted on prescribing me Claritin. We ended up having an argument when I refused the prescription. She wrote in my file that I’m a difficult patient and I refuse treatment. So, now whenever a doctor looks into my medical history, it starts with the idea that you can’t reason with me….

2016-10-14_gourdsMaybe it’s just my Romanian heritage or maybe it is my stubbornness but I really don’t agree with jumping into medicating any single symptom. I still believe that a runny nose doesn’t need Claritin and that’s just my immune system working on keeping my body healthy in any way possible. Twelve years later my nose is perfectly fine except my hours in the Anatomy lab.

Since I just started learning Chinese herbs I don’t know enough so I could decide on something for my allergies. You can imagine how happy I was that I studied Ayurveda before, and I could always choose some remedies from their Materia Medica. One of the best Ayurvedic formulas for respiratory issues is called Sitopaladi Churna. It’s a combination of: Bambusa Arundinacea, Cinnamonum Zeylanicum, Elettaria Cardamomum, and Piper Longum. This combination should work for any constitution and it’s recommended for colds, flu, fever, congestion, bronchial conditions, and coughing (dry or not). It’s very fast and acts as an anti-allergic.

2016-10-14_beeA little bit about the ingredients:

  • Bambusa Arundinacea has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Cinnamon has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It helps with breathing difficulties.
  • Cardamon reduces mucus and helps in asthma cases.
  • Piper longum works on strengthening the immune system and has analgesic and expectorant properties.

In Ayurveda, it is one of the best supports for allergic and viral respiratory infections.

2016-10-14_gourds2Another formula that you can find in any Indian store is Chyavanprash. This is an Ayurvedic combination made of: amalaki, honey, ghee, bilva, haritaki, gokshura, pippali, ashwagandha, shatavari, guduchi, musta, punarnava, cardamom, cinnamon, bamboo, brhati, bhumyamalaki, sati, patra, vasaka, nagakesara.

It is an excellent rejuvenative for both mind and body, strengthens your immune system, stimulates metabolism, helps with stress but most of all has a special affinity for the lungs. It is used for conditions like: colds, flu, asthma, allergies, chest congestion and coughs. It’s designed for any constitution and the best thing is that it looks and tastes like a fruit jam. 🙂

Another easy thing that I do to support my respiratory system is to mix fresh ginger juice with water and honey. First, I boil the ginger juice with water, and then I add honey, saffron, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. This mixture is good for fever, colds, cough, and asthma but also for indigestion, colic, spasms, and stomach pains.

2016-10-14_witchOther things I do to support my body while dealing with allergies: Russian steam bath, hot yoga, cupping and constitutional hydrotherapy.

Right before going into the Anatomy Lab, I use a herbal salve to coat my nostrils so the chemicals don’t hit me so hard. The salve contains a bunch of herbs like calendula, plantain, comfrey, lavender, and yarrow, and it works amazingly well for my allergies.

As a general guideline, you can use two types of herbs: herbs with a drying effect–fresh ginger, calamus, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, dry ginger, pippali, and sage, or herbs with a moisturizing effect–licorice, comfrey root, eucalyptus, thyme, and wild cherry.

Hope this fall treats you well and there’ll be no colds for you all this season!

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About the Author

Iuliana Lixandru

Iuliana Lixandru

Hello! I'm Iuliana and I'm a student at National University of Health Sciences in the Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) program.

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