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How to Treat Itchy Skin, Allergies, and Sore Throats with Chinese Herbal Medicine

Spring is in the air!

If you suffer from respiratory or skin conditions, you may already feel it. Spring tends to stir up pesky issues like allergies, sore throats, or eczema. Aside from the typical warmer weather and higher pollen counts, other factors may be at play. 

Here’s the good news: spring symptoms like these are treatable and preventable with natural help from Chinese herbal medicine. 

Let’s learn why these issues arise in spring and how we can use Chinese herbal medicine to stay resilient all season long.

Chinese Medicine and Spring Wind

Spring is the season of growth, renewal, and potential. Unfortunately, it is also a season for unbearable allergies, sore throats, and itchy skin. 

One of the main factors contributing to these springtime woes is what Chinese medicine doctors call “wind.”  In Western medicine, we don’t have a concept that matches the TCM idea of wind completely, so let’s look to nature to understand.

Because Chinese medicine was developed in ancient times, doctors of the past didn’t have microscopes or lab tests to determine the cause of disease. They looked to nature to understand what was happening in the body. 

Picture wind blowing through a dry desert. It speeds up over a dry and empty landscape and may even cause a sand storm. Similarly, if we are too dry or hot in the body, wind can generate heat and itching to the skin’s surface.

Wind can also be related to the environment or pathogens like viruses or allergens. For example, at the onset of a cold or allergies, we may be under attack from “wind.” Even wind itself can cause us to feel “under the weather,” dizzy, achy, or feverish. 

So, if you’re struggling with a stuffy nose, sore throat, red eyes, congested chest, or itchy irritated skin, spring wind might be at play. Let’s see how Chinese medicine can help.

Chinese Herbal Medicine for Itchy Skin

Chinese herbal medicine excels at treating dermatological disorders. From itchy skin to severe skin conditions, herbal medicine balances the body’s internal environment to restore calm and healthy skin.

It is common for issues like eczema, hives, or psoriasis to worsen in spring. There are many factors to consider, like increased stress, diet, or warmer temperatures. And let’s not forget wind! Here are a few Chinese herbal favorites for reducing itching and calming the skin:

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The Great Windkeeper: Xiao Feng Wan

The name says it all! Herbalists created this herbal formula to help relieve pain and itching. Use it for issues like hives (urticaria), eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, or other sensitive skin rashes. 

White Flower Oil

With hot, irritated, itchy skin, sometimes you just need immediate relief. White Flower Oil offers instant cooling and calming to itchy skin. The smell of eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender soothe skin and the mind. Methol and camphor offer gentle numbing to eliminate the itch. Apply a small amount of this oil to itchy areas, or blend a few drops with a safe carrier oil (like almond oil). Avoid using it near the eyes or mouth. 

Note: Itchy skin is not only caused by wind or heat. Many different underlying factors contribute to complicated skin conditions. Check with your Chinese medicine practitioner if you are unsure about how to manage your itchy skin. 

Chinese Herbal Medicine for Allergies

Spring allergies and hay fever are common in both children and adults. Thankfully, we don’t have to let allergies make us miserable all season! 

Chinese medicine takes a holistic view when treating allergies. We need to address the surface-level issues and eliminate the problems causing our bodies to react. In addition, we must bolster and support the immune system and our body’s core energy to overcome allergies. 

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Bi Yan Pian: Nose Inflammation Pills

Bi Yan Pian is the go-to Chinese herbal medicine formula for nasal or sinus congestion. It combines powerful phlegm-fighting and cooling herbs to clear away mucus and inflammation from the upper respiratory tract. Bi Yan Pian can also be used for runny noses, sinus infections, sneezing, itchy eyes, and other annoying symptoms that come with seasonal allergies

Jade Screen Teapills
In ancient times, people would use a solid screen made of jade to block drafts and wind from disturbing them inside. Similarly, Jade Screen Teapills work to block the “wind” that causes colds and spring allergies. Use this formula preventatively throughout spring to prevent allergies and support a healthy immune system.

White Flower Oil
White Flower Oil has a wide range of uses. Along with helping to calm itchy skin, you can also rub it on the chest to clear out congestion from allergies or a cold. Rub a few drops in your hands, then cup your hands over your nose and inhale deeply to clear out a stuffy nose. You could even put a few drops in a bowl of hot water for a nasal steam bath.

Chinese Herbal Medicine for Sore Throats

A sore throat is a quintessential sign of a cold or allergies. And in Chinese medicine, this usually means wind is present! Like treating allergies, Chinese herbal medicine addresses both the symptoms and the underlying issues of a sore throat. While some herbs work to eliminate the inflammation of the throat or even have antimicrobial properties, other herbs boost the immune system and restore the body’s fighting energy. 

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Yin Chiao Jie Du Wan Tablets
Yin Qiao is a famous herbal formula for sore throats. It is best to keep this handy formula on hand so that you can attack a sore throat right at the onset (best within 24-48 hours). If you take Yin Qiao tables as soon as you feel that subtle soreness in the back of your throat, the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial herbs help your body fight the infection and boost your immune system before the infection takes over. 

Pe Min Kan Wan

If you didn’t get to your Yin Qiao in time, or your sore throat developed too quickly, you can use Pe Min Kan Wan instead. Pe Min Kan Wan is an excellent formula for treating sore throat, sinus infections, colds, allergies, cough, earaches, post-nasal drip, and more. This formula clears away mucus and cools inflammation so you can feel better quicker. 


Stay Healthy This Spring with Chinese Herbal Medicine

After a long, cold winter, you deserve to enjoy the new life of spring! Sadly, spring health issues like allergies and itching keep many of us inside, and we miss out on all the action.

Don’t let spring health woes keep you from enjoying all that spring has to offer. Best Chinese Medicine is here to help you find an herbal remedy to keep you healthy through spring the natural way. Shop our entire collection of formulas for respiratory health here!

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About the Author

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kate Downes is a Chinese medicine practitioner with a passion for herbal medicine. In fact, it was her love for plant and earth medicine that first drew her to study Chinese medicine.

Kate has a MSAOM (Master of Science, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) certification and practiced acupuncture in Indianapolis, IN for five years before packing her bags to roam the world. In order to stay in touch with the wellness community and continue to help others thrive with herbal medicine, she transformed her work from face-to-face patient care to spreading wellness through words. Her life as a remote herbalist and writer has allowed her to work with a variety of wellness brands, health pioneers, and her wonderful clients. She has a special interest in working with women’s health.

Kate thoroughly enjoys writing educational and useful pieces for Best Chinese Medicine. Her goal is to help the public gain a better understanding of the wonders of Chinese herbal medicine so they can be empowered in their own quest for natural, vibrant health.

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