Sunday, April 21, 2013

Common Chinese Patent Herbal Formulas for Allergic Rhinitis

For Acute Symptoms:

There are two patent formulas that are worth having in your home-remedy kit for the relief of acute allergic symptoms, particularly allergic rhinitis and headaches:

"Bi Yan Pian,or "Nose Inflammation Tablets," disperses wind, clears heat, expels toxins and transforms phlegm to unblock the sinuses, treat sinus congestion and pain and sinus headaches and relieve red, itchy or watery eyes.

"Xin Yi Wan," or "Magnolia Flower Teapills," dispel wind-cold and eliminate dampness to relieve nasal congestion, sinus pain, post-nasal drip, sneezing, runny nose, headache, stiff & achy upper back & neck.

Both of these formulas consist of herbs that expel wind from the exterior of the body, like Japanese catnip, or Schizonepeta tenuifolie (jing jie) and Siler divaricata (fang feng). They also contain herbs to clear the nasal passages, like magnolia buds (xin yi hua) and xanthium fuit (cang er zi). 

What is the difference between these two formulas?

Basically, bi yan pian is for allergies characterized by wind-heat and phlegm signs (which might include thick, sticky, yellow nasal discharge; red, itchy eyes; feeling of warmth, fever or agitation or avoidance of warmth.)

Xin Yin Wan is for allergies characterized by wind-cold and dampness signs (copious, clear, runny nasal discharge; stiff upper back & neck; feeling of heaviness or foggy-headedness; sneezing; feeling of chilliness or avoidance of cold.)

For Allergy Prevention:

As your acute symptoms decrease, your herbalist will work with you to address underlying physiological imbalances and regulate your immune system to reduce overall occurrence of allergic reactions.

Typically, an underlying weakness, often a deficiency of Lung and Spleen Qi, is what makes people susceptible to allergies. Lung Qi is responsible for the proper function of the entire respiratory tract, including the nasal passages. Spleen Qi controls the transport of fluids in the body. When the Spleen is impaired, weakening digestive function, it can lead to an overproduction of mucous, which tends to collect in the lungs. Weakness of Kidney Qi sometimes plays a role in long-term chronic allergies and asthma.

The weakness of Qi underlying seasonal allergies is treated with herbs that bolster Lung and Spleen function, such as codonopsis (dang shen), atractylodes (bai zhu), and honey-roasted licorice (zhi gan cao).

A classic formula for toning the immune system is Jade Windscreen Powder (in Chinese, yu ping feng san), containing two herbs to bolster Lung and Spleen--astragalus root (huang qi) and atractylodes (bai zhu)-- and one herb to repel wind--siler (fang feng).

Another useful formula for allergy prevention is Six Gentlemen Decocotion (liu jun zi tang). This formula bolsters the Spleen and Lung AND contains to medicinals, pinellia (ban xia) and aged citrus peel (chen pi), which enhance the base formula's ability to clear mucous and dry dampness.

There are many other Chinese herbal patent formulations on the market besides those mentioned here. Consult with your herbalist to learn which products are safe and from reputable companies, as well as which formulations might best meet your needs. 
Furthermore, an herbalist who mixes formulas from individual herbs has a much wider range of options to draw from in customizing a formula that meets your specific needs.

Related Articles:

Relieve Allergies Naturally with Chinese Medicine

Research: Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs Effective in Relieving Seasonal Allergies