How to treat rhinitis

rhinitis, tcm, acupuncture


Known as air-conditioned garden city, Singapore, most people are constantly moving between hot and cold places. Outdoors makes you sweat while indoors is so cold that I have to bring a sweater everywhere I go. In a first world country with an overdose of antibiotics, too much sanitizing hand soaps that kills 99.9% of bacteria, vegetable deficiency and lack of sun-dry habits of our soft toys/carpets, many people have developed weak defensive Qi and this may be one of the causes of rhinitis.


What is rhinitis?

“Rhino” means nose, “itis” means inflammation.Rhinitis is a chronic condition where the is irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane inside the nose, characterized by congestion, sneezing, stuffiness and runny nose.

There are 2 types: Non-allergic rhinitis 鼻炎 or Allergic rhinitis  过敏性鼻炎.

Allergic rhinitis is due to an antigen-antibody reaction in the nasal mucosa.

It is due to the results of the interaction between the allergen and the IgE antibodies. When one is first exposed to the allergen, many IgE antibodies stick to the mast cells. When one is exposed again for the second time, the IgE antibodies cause the mast cells to release massive explosion of histamine. Histamine will then increase its permeability of the nasal epithelium, allowing allergens to reach the IgE bound mast cells.When allergens enter the nose, the afferent nerve endings are overstimulated, causing sneezing with lots of watery secretion and nasal blockage for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Sinusitis鼻窦炎 is different from allergic rhinitis. “-itis” means it is an inflammation of the tissue lining in the sinuses due to an infection. The nasal discharge is thick and yellow and there is no sneezing. Other signs and symptoms may include fever, headaches, poor sense of smell, sore throat, and cough.

What are the contributing  factor?

Biao (manifestation)

  • Lung Wind Invasion – Wind Heat

  • Lung Wind Invasion – Wind Cold

  • Lung Dampness – Phlegm Heat

Wind obstructs the nose and it impairs the Lung Qi from dispersing and descending.

Ben (root)

  • Spleen Qi Deficiency

  • Kidney Yin/Yang deficiency – Caused by weak constitution, allowing Wind to enter the nose and it is the cause of the allergic constitution. Also, the kidney yang qi moves up to pull the lung qi down to every part of the body (纳气).

How to treat?


Back: GB-20 Fengchi, BL-12 Fengmen, BL-13 Feishu, BL- 23 Shenshu
Hand:LU-7 Lieque
Head: LI-20 Yingxiang, Bitong, Du-23 Shangxing, Yintang.

Cupping is applicable on BL-12 Fengmen and BL-13 Feishu.

Moxibustion may be useful for cold deficient symptoms.

Herbal treatments

Xiao Qing Long Tang – Expel Wind Cold

Xin Yi San –  Expel Wind Cold

Cang Er Zi San – Expel Wind heat

Ma Huang Tang – Treat Lung deficiency, warms Lung

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang- Treat Spleen deficiency




Omega-3 Fats, Vitamin C & E, Quercetin (found in capers, yellow and red onions), selenium-Rich Foods (brazil nuts, seafood, iodised seaweeds) and Probiotics.



Damp-mop all flooring, steam clean the carpets, get rid of soft toys, spray anti dust mite on mattress, wash curtains, clean the window shades, consider getting a air purifier.

Fur Carpet


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