An Acupuncturist Weighs in on Treating Summer Allergies


With the arrival of summer, many people eagerly embrace outdoor activities, enjoying the long-anticipated warm weather. However, for those living with seasonal allergies, this time of year can be more irritating than fun. Sneezing, sniffling, itchy eyes, and congestion can easily ruin a good time. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate allergy symptoms and enjoy the summer to the fullest.

I sat down with Dr. Michelle Iona, DACM, L.A.c, who is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, a Functional Medicine Practitioner (IFM), and a Certified NADA Detox Specialist to discuss natural ways to treat seasonal allergies. Dr. Iona shared some of her favorite allergy-busting strategies, including supplements, foods, and avoidance techniques.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a balanced diet is key to maintaining a strong immune system and minimizing allergic reactions. Dr. Iona shares that “70-80% of our immune system lies in our gut; addressing gut issues is the first line of defense when it comes to allergies.” She also mentions the importance of uncovering food sensitivities that may contribute to seasonal allergies.

To start, avoid inflammatory foods like dairy, sugar, processed foods, and greasy/fried foods, as they can exacerbate allergies. Alternatively, anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce pesky allergy symptoms. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds, are great choices. It’s also important to get a good amount of fruits and veggies in your daily diet. A healthy gut microbiome plays a crucial role in supporting a robust immune system. Using a high-quality probiotic supplement can help restore balance and reduce allergic reactions.

There is one supplement Dr. Iona highly recommends to her patients: D-Hist. This is a popular natural allergy relief supplement that has gained recognition for its efficacy in managing seasonal allergies. Its key ingredients include:

Quercetin: A natural flavonoid with powerful anti-inflammatory properties that helps stabilize mast cells and reduce the release of histamines, which are responsible for allergic reactions.

Stinging Nettle Leaf: An herb that has been used for centuries to relieve symptoms of allergies and contains compounds that block histamine receptors and reduce nasal inflammation.

Bromelain: An enzyme derived from pineapple that aids in the breakdown of mucus and supports respiratory health, providing relief from congestion.

Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine known for its immune-boosting properties that can reduce the severity of allergic reactions.

A saline solution can help clear nasal passages and remove allergens, reducing congestion and sinus irritation. Practicing stress management, at first glance, may not seem like an allergy solution, but Dr. Iona says that high-stress levels can worsen allergy symptoms. Incorporate relaxation techniques daily like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or gentle yoga to keep stress at bay.

You can support your immune system by making changes to your environment, too. Maintain a clean-living space by regularly dusting, vacuuming, and wiping surfaces to minimize allergens like dust mites and pollen.

When it comes to treating any condition, Dr. Iona says “Getting to the root cause of your symptoms is crucial. Each patient presents with different symptoms and constitution. Therefore their treatment plan should be tailored to address their specific symptoms and cause.”

Summer allergies shouldn’t hold you back from enjoying the outdoors. By incorporating supplements like quercetin and probiotics, consuming allergy-relieving foods, and avoiding common triggers, you can manage those annoying allergy symptoms. Remember, consulting with a healthcare professional is always recommended before starting any new supplements or making significant dietary changes. Dr. Iona has been practicing for 22 years, helping her patients reduce allergy symptoms. She states that the “combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs is very effective at treating allergies and can help strengthen the body’s immune system. Patients often report that their sinuses open immediately during an acupuncture session.”

You can find helpful tips for reducing allergies and more on her Instagram, at @healingpointsacu.


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Maria Faller
Maria Faller is a certified wellness coach and the founder of Be A Better You Fitness and Be Better Kids. She is the creator of the Transform and Tell program and author of the newly released book “BABY STEPS: A realistic guide to Being a Better You.” To contact her, visit or follow her on: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @BeABetterYouFit.