The common diagnosis of allergies in Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM is Lung and Spleen Qi Deficiency. Common symptoms include sneezing and/or nasal obstruction, itchiness in the nose and/or eyes, nasal discharge, loss of smell, skin problems/rash/eczema, fatigue, and digestive concerns. Any one or a combination of these either prior to or during the spring or throughout the year may point to allergies.
According to TCM to Lungs govern Qi and respiration, allowing inhalation of “pure Qi” (air) and exhalation of “dirty Qi”. The Lungs control the skin, are the most “exterior” of the organs and influence Defensive Qi. This indicates that the Lungs provide the body with a protective layer and when functioning normally allows a person to remain healthy. When the Lungs become weak, this protection breaks down and the immune system is compromised allowing for colds and allergy symptoms to manifest.
The Spleen’s main function is to assist the Stomach
in digesting and absorbing the nutrients from food. The symptoms of a weak Spleen could be tiredness, a feeling of cold and/or digestive concerns. As well, when the Spleen is weak it is unable to process the food properly. So rather than the by products of digestion being elimated through the urine or feces, it comes out on the skin in the form of eczema.
The combination of Food Qi taken in the the Spleen and Pure Qi from the air which is absorbed by the Lungs allows the body to have a strong Defensive and Nutritive Qi which protects and nourishes the body and is similar to what we understand as our immune system.
The treatment of allergies includes removing the exterior factors and then building the immune system.