The story appears on

Page C3

January 26, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature » Health and Environment

Stop sniveling: Rub the back of your knees

RUNNY nose, stuffy nose and sneezing are facts of life for many people, and for some they are a persistent problem, medically known as rhinitis.

Rhinitis isn't necessarily caused by a cold virus but can be an allergic response to something in the environment. It's much worse for chronic allergy sufferers who may have to alter their own constitution to get rid of the problem, or else they remain dependent on anti-histamines, nose drops, eye drops and lots of tissue.

Congestion, nasal drip, itchy nose and throat and coughing are common.

Anti-histamines and nose drops help, but when an allergy patient enters a new environment with new allergens, they may again start sneezing.

Traditional Chinese medicine holds that persistent rhinitis is not just a nose problem, but reflects disordered energy in the organs.

Reinforcing the disordered energy either through medication or acupuncture can help relieve symptoms, according to Zhong Li Ba Ren, or Zheng Zhongfu, member of the Beijing TCM Association and author of "Qiuyi Buru Qiuji" ("It Is Better to Ask Yourself for Help Than to Ask a Doctor").

According to Zheng, rhinitis can generally be divided into two categories: rhinitis with congestion, runny nose, clear mucous, frequent sneezing; and rhinitis with thick mucous, impaired sense of smell.

Rhinitis patients with clear mucous need to dispel pathogenic cold in the bladder and kidney meridians, clear dampness from the spleen while reinforcing lungs and kidney energy.

Patients with thick mucous usually have disordered energy in the stomach and gallbladder meridians. They need to dispel pathogenic fire in liver, dissolve phlegm, move the bowels and reinforce the gallbladder.

For those with clear mucous, Zheng recommends gua sha (scraping) on du mai (governor meridian and bladder meridian). Moxibustion is a better choice for those who also cough. Commonly used acupuncture points on the back include feng men, fei shu, pi shu and shen shu.

Patients with clear mucous usually suffer pathogenic dampness and cold. If the patient feels cold easily, patent TCM drugs like Fu Ai Li Zhong Wan with aconite root (monkshood/wolfsbane), ginger and liquorice are recommended to warm up the system.

In cases of thick phlegm, TCM patent drugs like Shen Ling Bai Shu Wan made of herbs like tuckahoe, ginseng and bai shu (largehead atractylodes rhizome) can dispel pathogenic damp. The patent drug Yu Ping Feng San with milk veteh, bai shu and fang feng (radix Saposhnikovia) help ward off invasive pathogenic cold and prevent rhinitis.

Pressing on wei zhong, the acupuncture points at the back of the knees, can help clear the nasal passages quickly but temporarily. Intense stimulation (such as acupuncture) on pang guang shu on the lower back can help clear passages for a longer period.

Reinforcing the kidneys is the main strategy for treating allergic rhinitis in TCM. Ginger and jujube soup are recommended. It promotes sneezing to get rid of mucous. In some cases a stuffy nose gets worse after drinking soup, but that's temporary says TCM author Zheng, who says TCM nose drops can help.

Moxibustion on the guan yuan point below the navel, shen shu on the lower back and tai xi at the ankles can help reinforce kidney and thus improve an allergic constitution.

Treating rhinitis with thick mucous is much easier, says Zeng. Most TCM patent drugs work; knocking along the stomach meridian and gallblader meridian can also help. Feng men

Symptoms: Cold with cough, fever, headache, stiff neck, pain in back and lower back.

Fei shu

Indications: Cough with shortness of breath, chest pain, vomiting blood and recurrent fever with night sweats.

Shen shu

Indications: Frequent nocturnal emissions, erectile dysfunction, loss of bladder control, irregular menstruation, abnormal vaginal discharge. lumbago, soreness in the waist and knees, ringing in the ears, edema, shortness of breath and diarrhea.

Wei zhong

Indications: Lumbago, syslremma, vomiting and diarrhea, acute skin inflammation.

Pangguang shu

Indications: Problems with urination, constipation, stiffness and pain in the back and lumbar region.

Guan yuan

Indications: Problems with urination, frequent nocturnal emissions, hernia, menstrual problems and pain, abnormal vaginal discharge, postpartum bleeding and pain, indigestion, diarrhea, pain in the lower abdomen, indigestion and diarrhea.

Tai xi

Indications: Dry and sore throat, toothache, deafness, ringing in the ears, shortness of breath, diabetes, irregular menstruation, frequent urination, insomnia, erectile dysfunction and lumbago. The negative-calorie food

Crunchy celery is high in fiber and rich in vitamins K, C, B, iron, potassium and other elements. Celery is known as a negative-calorie food because it takes more calories to digest than it contains.

It is well known as a laxative.

TCM classifies celery as a "cold" (yin energy) food that helps dispel pathogenic heat, soothe the liver, relieve bleeding and promote urination.

Celery is now widely recommended for high-blood pressure patients as it contains phthalides, which help relax muscles around the arteries and reduce production of stress hormones. It contains some sodium so that should be taken into account.

Modern research shows celery is helpful in reducing swelling through its diuretic effect. Iron-rich celery can help women replenish iron lost in menstrual bleeding.

People suffering from diarrhea should avoid celery temporarily.

Celery congee

Ingredients: Celery (40g), rice (50g), green onion (5g)

Preparation: Wash and chop celery. Make congee. Add (a little) salt and sesame oil for seasoning.

Benefits: Helps dispel pathogenic heat. Recommended to treat high blood pressure and edema.

Celery and dried bean curd

Ingredients: Celery (250g), dried bean curd (300g), ginger and green onion (slices)


1. Wash and chop celery. Shred bean curd.

2. Quickly fry ginger and green onion with oil.

3. Add bean curd and pan fry for five minutes.

4. Add celery and pay fry for a few minutes.

5. Add (a little) salt for seasoning.

Benefits: Helps reduce blood pressure, soothe liver, acts as laxative.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend