Ease for your Patients with Active Allergy Symptoms Now!
Ease for your Patients with Active Allergy Symptoms Now!
by Bob Flaws
(So far this year I [Honora Wolfe] have visited more than a dozen schools and colleges of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. After students and faculty at several schools informed me they had little knowledge of the Blue Poppy Originals product line, developed by Bob Flaws over the last dozen years, I thought it might be useful to republish some of Bob's articles about the more popular formulas in this line. The articles give you Bob's sources, his clear and organized logic for his formulas, each of which is tried and true for the condition it is designed to treat because it is created for the most common pattern combinations that present for each condition in typical Western patients. They won't often let you down. And Bob's explanations for them are interesting even if you use other brands or make your own formulas using granules or bulk medicinals. I will publish a series of these articles, one every few weeks, over the coming few months.)
...Several years ago, Blue Poppy introduced our version of Li Dong-yuan’s Astragalus & Ginseng formula for the prevention of seasonal allergic rhinitis. However, numerous customers asked us to also create a formula for the remedial treatment of allergic rhinitis. In response to this request, I combed the Chinese medical literature for what I believe is the best formula for the treatment of allergic rhinitis during its acute stage. After reading scores of Chinese research reports on various formulas, I kept coming back to a formula which I personally have used in my own practice for a number of years. This formula is a modification of Bi Qiu Tang (Sniveling Nose Decoction) created by Dr. Wei Zi-zhang of the First Affiliated Hospital of the Guangxi College of Chinese Medicine.
This formula is based on the concepts that everyone who has allergic rhinitis has a defensive qi vacuity and everyone who has allergic rhinitis has deep-lying or hidden phlegm in their lungs. Although there are different opinions about the creation of defensive qi, after 23 years of practicing Chinese medicine, I agree with the authors of the Nei Jing (Inner Classic) that the defensive qi exists or issues from the middle burner. In my experience, it is the spleen qi’s upbearing of the clear which supplements the lung qi, and the lungs control the defensive qi. In addition, it is said, “The spleen is the root of phlegm engenderment; the lungs are the place where phlegm is stored.” If the spleen is or becomes vacuous and weak, it will lose control over the movement and transformation of water fluids in the body. These will collect and transform into dampness. If dampness lingers and is retained, it tends to congeal into phlegm over time.
In terms of Chinese medical theory, pollen, animal dander, airborne molds, and microscopic dust are all species of wind evils. Wind evils refer to invisible pathogens which tend to be airborne (although they do not absolutely have to be). If a person’s defensive qi is vacuous and fails to secure the exterior, wind evils may take advantage of this vacuity and enter the body. The lungs are the florid canopy as well as the tender viscus. Therefore, the lungs are typically the first viscus to be affected by invading wind evils. If these evils hinder and obstruct the diffusion and downbearing of the lung qi, then the lungs lose their control over the water passageways. Instead of fluids being downborne, these back up, if there is already phlegm rheum deep-lying in the lungs, this phlegm counterflows upward along with the lung qi. Thus there is sneezing, nasal congestion, and runny nose. Because the lungs open into the orifices of the nose, wind evils cause itching of the nose.
Although it is wind evils which cause the paroxysmal or acute stage of allergic rhinitis, the pattern that patients with allergic rhinitis present is one of wind cold. Wind describes the disease cause and cold describes the kind of phlegm rheum that is evident. The runny nose that is pathognomonic of allergic rhinitis is a clear, thin, copious watery phlegm. This is cold phlegm as opposed to phlegm heat which is thick, opaque, and tends to be yellow. While allergic rhinitis may transform into sinusitis, if there is yellow or green phlegm, then this is both a different disease and a different pattern. Simple allergic rhinitis always presents a wind cold pattern. Further, because the defensive exterior is, ipso facto, weak and insecure and because there is typically a continuous, unceasing runny nose, the lung qi is insecure and failing to astringe.
This means that the treatment principles for wind cold allergic rhinitis are to fortify the spleen and boost the qi, diffuse the lungs and dispel wind, transform phlegm and warm rheum, and open the orifices of the nose at the same time as astringing and securing the lung qi, and this is exactly what Wei Zi-zhang’s formula does. Within it, Dang Shen, Huang Qi, Bai Zhu, Yi Yi Ren, and Shan Yao supplement the lungs, spleen, and kidneys, the three viscera which govern water metabolism in the body. He Zi and Wu Wei Zi secure the lungs and specifically stop runny nose. Fang Feng and Jing Jie Sui gently dispel wind evils from the exterior while not damaging the defensive qi. Xin Yi Hua and Bo He open the orifices and free the flow of the nose, thus relieving nasal congestion. Chan Tui dispels wind and stops itching. Jie Geng guides the other medicinals to the lungs and also transforms phlegm. Gan Jiang warms the lungs and transforms phlegm. The combination of Yi Yi Ren and Ze Xie seeps dampness via urination and, therefore, helps Bai Zhu eliminate dampness. Gan Cao harmonizes all the other medicinals in the formula at the same time as helping fortify the spleen and supplement the qi. Thus this formula exactly fits the disease mechanisms of this condition.
This formula is not meant for long-term administration. Once the allergic attack has been brought under control, the practitioner should consider switching the patient to Astragalus & Ginseng in order to address the underlying disease mechanisms during the remission stage. However, during acute allergic attacks, one should consider taking more AllerEase than the recommended dose on the bottle, if necessary. This dosage is largely for FDA requirements and is a minimum daily dose. For larger persons and for quicker effect, this dose may typically be doubled or tripled without harm. During acute attacks, one should suspend Astragalus & Ginseng. It is not necessary or particularly beneficial to take both formulas at the same time. AllerEase itself treats both the root and branches (or tips) simultaneously.
Of course, patients with allergic rhinitis will typically also have to modify their diet. One cannot expect huge results if they continue eating a lot of dairy products, sugars and sweets, and oily, greasy, fatty foods. Nevertheless, research in China has shown this formula to be extremely effective for the remedial treatment of acute allergic rhinitis. Thirty-three patients with wind cold allergic rhinitis and an underlying lung-spleen vacuity were given a single course of treatment with this formula and then followed for six months. In six cases, their symptoms disappeared and did not recur for the full six months of the study. In 23 cases, their symptoms recurred after more than three months but less than six months. However, repeat treatment was able to immediately eliminate their symptoms. Only four cases got no effect. Thus the total effectiveness of this formula was 87.8%. When combined with proper diet and Astragalus & Ginseng, one should be able to dramatically decrease any tendency to relapse.
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