Formulas To Treat Hayfever


Many of us suffer from hayfever and although it isn’t a life-threatening disease, it can affect our daily lives substantially. Hayfever or Allergic Rhinitis is caused by a variety of substances from pollen to dust mites and the most common form is seasonal allergic rhinitis, which typically occurs when flowers and plants are in bloom.

However, it isn’t always the pollen that’s the problem but the immune system. It is believed that you are more likely to suffer from hayfever if you have a history of being treated with repeated antibiotics as a child, as well as eating a diet high in sugars, dairy products, fruit juices and yeast.

The symptoms of hayfever usually include itching of the nose, the roof of the mouth and eyes together with sneezing and clear watery discharge. This may also be accompanied by a headache, irritability and insomnia.

In Chinese Medicine, it is believed if patients suffer from weakness of the Wei Qi, or Defensive Qi, they are more likely to suffer from hayfever. The Wei Qi represents a similar function to the Immune System, making the TCM theory and Western theory remarkably similar.

To effectively treat hayfever in TCM, the formulas assigned should address the presenting symptoms but also the underlying weaknesses. We have recommended two common formulas to treat hayfever.

Cang Er Zi San

Cang Er Zi San is a commonly used formula that alleviates pain, unblocks the nose and disperses wind.  It is favoured for its ability to alleviate sinus congestion. The formula contains:

  • Cang Er Zi: disperses wind, dispels dampness and opens the nasal passages. With Xin Yi Hua, it is effective at unblocking the nasal passages, treating headaches and profuse nasal discharge
  • Xin Yi Hua: expels wind-cold and unblocks the nasal passages
  • Bai Zhi: releases the exterior, disperses cold, opens the nasal orifices, disperses cold, opens the nasal orifices, disperses wind-dampness, alleviates pain and headaches, reduces swelling and expels pus. When used with Cang Er Zi and Xin Yi Hua, it is effective at treating headaches caused by nasal congestion with thick putrid discharge.
  • Bo He: disperse wind-heat, clears the head and eyes and benefits the throat.

This formula can be effective at treating nasal obstruction, bloodshot-eyes, headaches and many other symptoms of hayfever. However, this formula should not be taken for a prolonged duration of time as the chief herb, Cang Er Zi, is slightly toxic and drying and too much can cause headaches or mild nausea. This formula can be adapted and modified depending on the patient’s needs.

Yu Ping Feng San

Yu Ping Feng San can be effective at tonifying Qi, stabilising the exterior and stopping sweats. The formula contains:

  • Huang Qi: strengthens the Spleen, raises the Yang Qi of the Spleen and Stomach, tonifies the Wei Qi, stabilises the exterior, tonifies the Lungs and aids circulation of moisture downwards from the face. When used with Fang Feng, it stabilises the exterior without causing the pathogenic influences to remain.
  • Bai Zhu: strengthens the Spleen, tonifies Qi, stabilizes the exterior and stops sweating. With Huang Qi, Bai Zhu is effective at treating Spleen Qi deficiency with weakness, lassitude and loose stools. When used with Huang Qi and Fang Feng, it can treat spontaneous sweat with wind aversion.
  • Fang Feng: releases the exterior and expels external wind. When used with Huang Qi, it can prevent wind from entering the skin.

This commonly used formula is effective at treating many ailments, including cold and flu, chronic sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia and bronchial asthma, as well as hayfever. This formula is not suitable for patients who suffer from night sweats due to Yin deficiency. This formula can be adapted and modified depending on the patient’s needs.

Chinese Herbal Dispensary

If you would either of the above formulas in dry herb or concentrated granule form, please visit our dispensary at or email our dispensary administrator Charlotte at Alternatively, you can order the herbs separately in herbs and granules. If you have any questions regarding the hayfever formulas or how to modify them, please contact us at

Disclaimer: Please note that this information is intended for qualified herbalists only. If you are a patient, please consult your practitioner for a diagnosis as these formulas may not be suitable for you. If you would like us to recommend a herbalist who uses Phoenix Medical products, contact us at and we will gladly assist you.

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