Allergic Rhinitis / Hay fever

Hay Fever Relief with Acupuncture

What is Allergic Rhinitis or Hay Fever?


Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, comes with various symptoms such as a running or blocked nose, sneezing, itchy, watery or puffy eyes, or a scratchy throat and cough. These symptoms are caused by inflammation of the nose, airways and/or eyes. They indicate that the immune system is pumping out histamine, a chemical in the body that causes inflammation in its effort to get rid of allergens that have entered the body. Examples of allergens include pollen, dust mites, animal hair and moulds. Some people get the symptoms only periodically depending on the season or change in the environment. Other people have them throughout the year.


Conventional medicine can offer you pharmaceutical medicines including intranasal corticosteroids and antihistamines, although side effects can be a problem in some people. Chinese medicine can offer you an alternative approach, which for the vast majority of people has no side-effects, and which research has shown to be effective in alleviating and often eliminating the symptoms. The relief can last for many years. Chinese medicine treatments involve acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine. Some people take one or the other but it is usually more effective if you choose concurrent treatment of both.


What is Chinese Medicine Treatment – Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine?


Acupuncture as practised by an AHPRA registered Chinese medicine practitioner can address the problematic symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are evidence-based practices and recent high quality academic research has found evidence for acupuncture’s efficacy and effectiveness in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Research has also found that acupuncture is safe and cost-effective. The clinical practice guideline by the Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery Foundation now recognises acupuncture as a treatment option for patients with allergic rhinitis.


When practised by an AHPRA registered Chinese medicine practitioner, Chinese herbal medicine can provide you with the appropriate Chinese herbal formula to alleviate or even eliminate the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.


Chinese herbal medicine has been traditionally used in the treatment of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis for thousands of years and has more recently been studied by numerous academics for its effectiveness (see below for the list of recent studies). There are many formulae developed for allergic rhinitis because Chinese medicine sees different underlying causes for allergic rhinitis depending on the person.  A registered practitioner will be able to prescribe the most suitable formula for your allergic rhinitis taking into account your physiological constitution.


If you suffer from hay fever and would like to know more please don’t hesitate to contact us.





Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2011). Allergic rhinitis (‘hay fever’) in Australia. Canberra: AIHW. Retrieved from

Maciocia, G. (2008). The practice of Chinese medicine: the treatment of diseases with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

McDonald, J., Janz, S. (2017). The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd. Retrieved from

Academic literatures related to Chinese herbal medicine treatment for allergic rhinitis

Chan, R. Y., & Chien, W. T. (2014). The effects of two Chinese herbal medicinal formulae vs. placebo controls for treatment of allergic rhinitis: a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 15(261), 1-10. doi:

Seidman, M.D., Gurgel, R. K., Lin, S. Y., Schwartz, S. R., Baroody, F. M., Bonner, J. R., . . . Nnacheta, L. C. (2015). Clinical Practice Guideline Allergic Rhinitis. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 152(1 supplement), S1 – S43. doi:10.1177/0194599814561600

Yang, S. H., Yu, C., L., Chen, Y. L., Chiao, S. L., & Chen, M. L. (2010). Traditional Chinese medicine, Xin-yi-san, reduces nasal symptoms of patients with perennial allergic rhinitis by its diverse immunomodulatory effects. International Immunopharmacology, 10(8), 951-958. doi:

Yang, S. H., & Yu, C. L. (2008). Antiinflammatory effects of Bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 115(1), 104-109. doi:

Zhao, Y., Woo, K. S., Ma, K. H., van Hansselt, C. A., Wong, K. C., Cheng, K. F., . . . Leung, P. C. (2009). Treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis using Shi-Bi-Lin, a Chinese herbal formula. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 122(1), 100-105. doi: