Melbourne's Trusted Team for Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine

Say Goodbye to Antihistamines with Acupuncture for Hay Fever

If you’ve struggled with hay fever in the past, the tips in this blog post will help you overcome those roadblocks.

Although spring signifies new beginnings, it also marks the start of pollen season… and for a lot of us, this means one thing – hay fever.

Do you wonder each year how bad this spring will be?

Had the thought, “why doesn’t this happen to everyone”?

Are you continually applying the same methods with minimal results?

Well, if this is you, keep reading…

The truth is, the weather is warming up, flowers are blooming, and your body is… you might say, suffering for another year.

You may have noticed that you sneeze more when the seasons change… or when you’re Spring cleaning.

So, here’s the deal!

There’s more allergens in the air!

Allergens that cause an allergic reaction… sound familiar?

Typically, this occurs around springtime because plants and flowers are in bloom.

Most people have a reaction to the pollen found in the air.

This is due to the body doing what it does, clearing itself of any foreign bodies.

What is hay fever?

To get started, here are a few things you should know about hay fever in Australia:

Grass pollens, transported by the wind, are the cause of hay fever.

The pollen swirling around is great for plant growth but not for some of our bodies.
You also might have to deal with other triggers for hay fever, which include:

  • dust mites
  • the weather
  • pets
  • and more…

…so, an important aspect to consider is determining what triggers your reactions?

We will get to this shortly, but first, hay fever is also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis.

It affects around 3 million Australians, according to statistics.

You should know that hay fever is inflammation or swelling of the nose lining and its symptoms include:

  • sneezing
  • nasal discharge
  • itchy and watery eyes
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • itchy ears, nose, and/or throat
  • and headaches

… but you know that already, right!

Why does my body react this way?

Your body naturally reacts when it detects foreign particles in your system.

Yes, this occurs when pollen reaches the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract…

This reaction creates an immune response, which produces histamines… and that’s why we start suffering from these familiar symptoms.

What is the best medicine for hay fever?

Typically, Western medicine prescribes antihistamines or decongestants… yet, these medications are often associated with side effects.

These effects include drowsiness and resistance suppression.

Below are the typical Western medicine options and over-the-counter hay fever medication:

Oral antihistamine


Most commonly used to stop chemical messenger histamines. Used for symptom relief such as itchy eyes and throat, watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose.

Yet, generally they do not relieve congestion.

Corticosteroid nasal spray


The most effective hay fever medication to relieve congestion. It narrows blood vessels, which reduces inflammation and swelling.

Anticholinergic nasal spray


This reduces secretion of mucous thus helping to stop a runny nose.



Introducing regular doses of the allergens to your body… orders your body to get used to the allergen over time.

But, when it comes to hay fever… pollen isn’t the only culprit!

If it was, everyone would be experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms.

Want to know why?

Keep reading…

A Chinese Medicine Perspective for the solution of side effects

In Chinese medicine, when the pollen arrives, our discomfort levels grow.

So, here’s the deal, pollen is not the issue…

It is your immune system response!

Your immune system has the habit of reacting excessively under pressure.

And, this becomes clear, after just one symptom-reducing acupuncture for hay fever treatment.

In most situations, we see an immediate and lasting response.

Listen now for the causes, this is important, the cause-and-effect issue occurs when winter arrives and gives us doses of colds and flus… just before spring.

Furthermore, our busy lifestyles severely tax our health reserves.

Work, family, socialising, and other activities leave us exhausted.

A combination of the fatigue, illnesses, medications, overwork, etc, leaves our immune system struggling… with little strength left to fight off allergens.
It sounds simple right, well, it is… that’s why we know we can help!

Acupuncture for hay fever directly targets the site of the inflammation.

It also strengthens the immune system, digestion, and your lungs.

NOW, we are treating the root cause and NOT just the symptoms.

What does Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) say?

Seasonal allergies and hay fever are triggered by imbalances or systemic deficiencies.

Let’s dive in for a bit of ancient Chinese wisdom and we will offer solutions in a minute.

As discussed before, TCM views hay fever and allergic rhinitis as an over-reaction of the immune response… and the constitutional weakness of one or more organs below:

The Spleen

The Spleen system includes our digestive health: the ability to digest and absorb nutrients from our food.

Spleen deficiency is one of the most common patterns that I see in the clinic among my hay fever patients.

Dr Scott Ling

Read on to understand more about absorbing nutrients and a reduction of mucus build-up.

The Lung

The combination of weak lungs and a tired immunity leaves one unable to defend themselves.
Constant suffering from respiratory illnesses leaves the lung system weak.

The Kidney

A TCM Kidney deficiency is very prominent, especially in modern society.

Let’s face it overworked and/or stressed is the norm these days.

This is how we understand adrenal fatigue or ‘burnout’ in modern terms.

What is the best treatment for allergic rhinitis?

When treating hay fever with TCM, we use a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

This is how we gain control of the symptoms immediately… and prevent the allergic reaction from recurring.

Chinese medicine treatments are cumulative.

They reduce symptom frequency and intensity over a course of treatments.

Quality of life will improve… and the best thing is you will start to experience:

  • better vitality
  • better sleep
  • better digestion (which means more energy!)
  • more calmness and relaxation

So why Acupuncture you may ask?

Acupuncture is particularly effective for:

  • nasal passage congestion
  • post-nasal drip
  • inflammation and swelling of the nasal passages
  • itchy nose, eyes and throat

What is the fastest way to cure allergic rhinitis?

Well, most patients experience relief within the first session.

Symptoms can be well under control within 10 sessions of acupuncture for hayfever.

Then it is just about maintenance!

No more spring cleaning, just a touch up around the edges for prevention of recurrence.

In a few sessions, patients reduce the use of antihistamines and corticosteroids.

Of course, this all depends on the severity of symptoms and the patient’s state of health.

Chinese herbal medicine can address the underlying causes of any systemic deficiencies. Each individual receives a custom herbal formula based on their deficiencies.

Tweaking formulas weekly helps us achieve the best outcomes within the shortest time

No two hay fever patients are treated with the same strategy… treatments are tailored to each individual’s conditions and constitutional deficiencies.

Can acupuncture help with allergies?

In some severe cases we see:

  • recurring asthma
  • wheezing
  • secondary respiratory infections 
  • coughing headaches
  • and post-nasal drip

Peak season for hay fever in Melbourne is typically around September to December.
Our acupuncturists have conducted hundreds of treatments during these four months. Below are a few more reasons to use acupuncture for hay fever as your solution.

Build Strength

As discussed, the effect of acupuncture is always cumulative.

The purpose of acupuncture for hay fever is to prevent our body and immune system from overreacting to allergens.


Acupuncture for hay fever focuses on improving a person’s wellbeing… instead of temporarily relieving symptoms.

Acupuncture focuses on the root of the tree, not the branches of symptoms.

TCM holds that the overreaction of the immune system is the principal cause of hay fever… this indicates a deficiency of our ‘Qi’.

Natural & Safe

Acupuncture for hay fever is completely natural and drug-free… a safe method for the treatment of hay fever symptoms.

What are some natural remedies for hay fever?

Specific herbs for allergy symptoms may include:

  • Goldenrod
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Nettles
  • Eyebright
  • Jing Jie
  • Quercetin

The team at Sustain Health recommends remedies with antihistamine properties. These herbal medicines can drain mucus congestion in the nasal passages and sinuses…

.. and boost the immune system!

Diet also plays a critical role in controlling seasonal allergies.

It’s best to avoid the following foods:

  • Dairy products
  • Desserts and sugar-laden items
  • Cold foods (which have the tendency to increase mucus build-ups)

As an example, frozen yoghurt or chocolate ice cream would be a big no-no during both winter and spring.

A more efficient digestive process brings a reduction of mucus build-up. This reduction reduces congestion and irritation.

3 Very useful ideas to reduce your symptoms:

Avoid the pollen


Sensibly, people with allergies/food intolerances avoid their allergens or triggers.

This also applies for people with hay fever. Spending the day in a park on a windy high-pollen day will obviously upset your system.

Hay fever may seem to be a small inconvenience while spending time outdoors with others.

However, the exposure to the high dose of pollen may trigger a fierce histamine response… this encounter can reduce the body’s ability to tolerate even small amounts of pollen…

And that’s for the rest of the season.

Watch the pollen count and avoid going outside on high-pollen or windy days.

If travelling between locations, wear sunglasses, a face mask, and a scarf.

Flush out the pollen


Use Saline nasal sprays and eye drops to remove pollen and other allergens. They are effective at flushing out allergens that have entered the system.

Apply them as directed morning, night and after trips outside on high-pollen days. Do not leave home without them.

Apply a heat bag


If your nose is congested but not runny – do not blow it!

If your eyes are itchy, do not scratch them!

Scratching will further increase the histamine release and inflammation.

Heat can reduce inflammation. It will stop itching and reduce swelling and congestion.

Make sure the heat bag is allergen and dust free.

Another option is to use the edge of a warm cup of tea (then drink it!).

Apply heat to:

The Eyebrows.


The inner and outer tips of the eyebrows are hay fever acupuncture points (Bladder 2, Yuyao, SanJiao 23).

These points will help reduce symptoms.

The entire eyebrow is in front of the frontal sinus… which can harbour many inflammatory bodies.

The temples.


This gives access to the hay fever acupuncture point TaiYang. This point reduces one’s vulnerability to the wind and soothes headaches.

The sides of the nose and cheeks.


This will reduce the inflammation in the nasal and maxillary sinuses.

It will soothe the nose and eyes. Heat is better than cold in this circumstance.
Cold cuts off circulation.

Cold makes it harder for the blood supply to process and stop the histamine reaction.

Cold or ice will also make the skin more sensitive – causing chills and increased sneezing.

Spring Clean


Vacuum and wipe down everything, especially under the bed. Get rid of all the dust and allergens that are keeping the body on high alert.

If you have read this far and this article has made sense, then we can help.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine successfully treat the symptoms of many allergy & autoimmune conditions.

Call us for your acupuncture for hay fever treatment on 1300 432 639 if you have any questions.

Alternatively, you can book online now.

Written by

Sustain Health
Sustain Health is a multidisciplinary, wellness clinic located in South Melbourne, Australia. We believe good medicine is about looking at the whole being, treating the person and keeping them well. We view each patient as an individual affected by their unique lifestyle, diet, environment, emotions and attitude. Every individual’s health needs a tailored approach to achieve better and sustainable medical solutions. Sustain Health currently offers its clients: * Fertility * IVF Support * Acupuncture * Chinese Medicine * Chiropractic

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