Traditional Chinese Medicine and Allergies

bowl of vegetable soup

Normally, we look to pharmaceutical and herbal medicine to treat seasonal allergies, but there is a lot you can do with your nutrition to lessen allergy symptoms and even lessen the allergies themselves. Here are some suggestions:

  • Increase your Omega 3 intake: wild caught fish, with lots of omega 3 fatty acids, help decrease inflammation, which can exacerbate symptoms like asthma.
  • Increase your probiotics: healthy gut flora aids the immune system. Eat foods like yoghurt and kefir.
  • Go organic: pesticides found in conventional fruits and vegetables add extra toxins to an already overloaded system.
  • Drink green tea: green tea has natural antihistamines that can reduce allergy symptoms.
  • Increase quercetin-rich foods: foods like capers, onions, tomatoes and dark berries that contain quercetin are thought to have anti-histamine properties.
  • Increase vitamin C-rich foods: vitamin C has powerful antihistamines. Increase your intake with foods like mangoes, oranges, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers. 

IMMUNE BOOSTER: Lemon-Garlic-Spinach Soup

"One of my most cherished recipes, lemon-garlic-spinach soup, incorporates plenty of garlic, an important food for heart health and the immune system. Garlic has a high sulfur content, which is important for regulating blood pressure and lowering cholesterol, and protecting our red blood cells from unwanted fatty-plaque build up. Garlic is also high in Vitamin C and selenium for immune boosting and fighting infection. Remember, the Vitamin C from the garlic and lemon juice will help absorb the iron from the spinach!

3 tbsp olive oil
8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 can chopped tomatoes with juice
4 slices peeled fresh ginger, quarter size
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 (10 oz) bag washed baby spinach

  • Combine 5 cups of water, chicken broth, or veggie broth with oil, garlic, salt, and tomatoes in a pot. 
  • Wrap ginger, rosemary, and bay leaf in cheesecloth; tie it closed with kitchen string, and add bouquet to the pot.
  • Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Discard bouquet from pot.
  • Return soup to medium heat, add lemon juice. Crush garlic against side of pot with the back of a spoon, and stir so garlic melts into soup.
  • Stir in spinach and simmer until wilted. Remove from heat and season with freshly ground pepper.
    * For added protein, add cooked beans or lentils, or some shredded chicken."

Immune Boosting Recipe by Marin L. Kokin, L.Ac. from Kokin Healing Center.

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