Up to 20 percent of the U.S. population lives with a runny nose – a condition that may present symptoms intermittently or seasonally. In western medicine, a runny nose is typically ascribed to allergies or a viral infection, but Chinese medicine has a different perspective on this obnoxious condition – and a different approach to treating it.
How Chinese Medicine Addresses a Runny Nose
In Chinese medicine, our bodies are seen as an extension of the natural environment, governed by a balance of Yin and Yang energy, along with the elements that make up all of nature. As such, you’ll frequently hear practitioners refer to Yin/Yang imbalances or heat, wind or dampness when referring to various medical conditions. From a practitioner’s perspective, the various health disorders we face can be likened to the sometimes-nourishing, sometimes-destructive nature of nature itself.
In the case of runny noses, Chinese medicine practitioners will typically diagnose the underlying problem as Yang deficiency or a “wind” disorder. Like the wind, a runny nose comes and goes, its symptoms quickly emerging and disappearing.
These imbalances can be caused by many things, like a lack of sleep or exposure to cold (think Houston air conditioning). The goal of Chinese medicine is to restore these imbalances, fortify the patient’s whole-body health and reduce the prevalence and impact of symptoms – a runny nose, in this instance.
How the Cang Er Zi Herb Can Help with a Runny Nose
One widely prescribed option used to treat runny nose is the herb Cang Er Zi – also referred to as burweed or xanthium fruit. This beneficial botanical is known to open the nasal passages and disperse both wind and dampness – both frequent causes of a runny nose.
Cang Er Zi is an effective herbal therapy for people experiencing regular runny noses, but it can be toxic if taken to excess. As such, it’s important to seek out a practitioner’s guidance in dosing before using the herb to treat the condition.