Learn about helpful relief for hayfever and other mild allergy symptoms, including mild food intolerances, based on herbs traditionally used in Chinese medicine. In this article we’ll also discuss herbs traditionally used to relieve hot, itchy skin symptoms and calm coughing and mild bronchial irritation.
Allergies can be extremely frustrating, popping up when you least expect them.
They’re caused by an overactive immune response in which the body responds to a substance that’s usually harmless (a trigger, or allergen) as though it were an unwanted invader needing to be actively fought off.1
You should always seek urgent medical advice if you experience severe allergies or are concerned that your child may be having an allergic reaction. However, in milder cases of allergies, you might consider herbs traditionally used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) such as baical skullcap for symptomatic relief.
Minor Bupleurum Combination: traditionally used in TCM for mild allergy symptoms
A herbal formula called Minor Bupleurum Combination (or Minor Bupleurum Decoction) has been used in TCM for around 3000 years.2
Today, this ancient combination of the herbs bupleurum, baical skullcap, Korean ginseng, ginger, ziziphus, pinellia and Chinese licorice is found in Oriental Botanicals AllergE, available at pharmacies around Australia.
In TCM, key herbs in Minor Bupleurum Combination are traditionally used to relieve a variety of mild allergy symptoms, and some have additional benefits for digestive, skin or mild respiratory-related symptoms, as detailed below.
Ease sneezing and runny nose
Do high pollen levels or encounters with dogs, cats or horses leave you sneezing and sniffling? The baical skullcap in Minor Bupleurum Combination is traditionally used to help manage mild allergy symptoms in TCM, including:
- Sneezing and runny nose (watery nasal discharge)
- Itchy or dry eyes, nose and throat
- Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes and nose
Calm coughing and mild respiratory irritation
In TCM, Chinese licorice is traditionally used to relieve mild bronchial irritation, soothe coughing and promote the expectoration of respiratory mucus (catarrh).
In Oriental Botanicals AllergE, Korean ginseng, which regulates the immune system, is teamed with Chinese licorice and baical skullcap (which are traditionally used in TCM to support Lung Qi and tonify defensive Qi, the form of life energy thought to help and support the body), and pinellia (which is traditionally used in TCM to relieve cough by encouraging Qi to move in a downwards direction).
Soothe itchy skin
Allergies that affect the skin typically cause itching, redness and heat, all of which are classic signs of inflammation.3
Minor Bupleurum Combination is traditionally used in TCM to relieve hot, itchy and inflamed skin conditions, help manage mild eczema (atopic dermatitis) and hives (urticaria) and clear excess heat from the surface of the body.
Manage digestive symptoms
Based on its traditional use in TCM, Minor Bupleurum Combination may also help to relieve certain digestive symptoms, including those that can occur as a result of mild food intolerances, such as digestive discomfort, nausea, bloating and diarrhoea.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, worsen or change unexpectedly, talk to your health professional.
1. Victoria State Government. Last updated April 2017 and accessed July 2020 from betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/allergies
2. Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements., 3rd ed Sydney: Churchill Livingstone, 2010. Kindle edition.
3. John Hopkins Medicine. Accessed July 2020 from hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/rashes-and-skin-inflammation