Indoor Pollution and Its Effects on Allergies: How Chinese Medicine Offers Relief Indoor Pollution and Its Effects on Allergies: How Chinese Medicine Offers Relief

By Albert Vaca, L.Ac.

We're all familiar with outdoor air quality problems, like smog, smoke, forest fires, and industry pollution - but indoor pollution is lesser known and perhaps more critical to everyday long-term health. Indoor pollution is a growing concern, with various allergens and pollutants triggering allergic reactions in individuals. Indoor pollutant levels can be two to five times higher than outdoor pollutants, so it's good to be aware of its effects.

Here are some of the most detrimental indoor pollutants:


Mold is caused by inadequate ventilation and moisture intrusion, leading to the growth of mold spores. Mold in abundance can be toxic and become a health hazard, aggravating allergies, creating sinus and respiratory infections, and having long-term effects on fertility. In addition, since mold is part of the fungal family, it can aggravate existing yeast growth within the mucus membrane, potentially causing SIFO - small intestine fungal overgrowth with its corresponding digestive symptoms of bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Check for plumbing issues that may contribute to mildew growth and cause excessive moisture in floors and walls. Turn to nature's anti-fungal fighter, caprylic acid from coconut in Yeast Control.


Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are found in household products like paints, cleaning supplies, and furniture. Some VOCs can be very harmful, particularly formaldehyde and benzene. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, eye, nose, and throat irritation, and in some cases, long-term exposure may contribute to more severe health issues like damaging the central nervous system. Turn to nature's anti-inflammatory nutrient to counter the irritation from VOCs with quercetin from the skin of apples and onions. When cleaning, make the switch from chemical-based treatments to organic products. Or better yet, try homemade solutions like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice.


Dust is a mix of indoor and outdoor matter, including soil, pet dander, and dead skin, that may float around naturally in your home. These allergens and other airborne particles float in the air and settle on surfaces. Indoor pollutants such as these can lead to symptoms like sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, and more. And for those with high sensitivity, it can lead to shortness of breath, chest tightening, or even sleep issues.

Easy steps like vacuuming regularly, using microfiber cloths for wiping surfaces, and changing your sheets weekly can help reduce indoor dust. Filtering and cleaning indoor air is essential if allergens and particulates are abundant. HEPA air filters can reduce your home's dust levels and trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. For reference, the smallest thing the human eye can see is 25 microns. Make sure to change your filters at least every six months.

Turn to natural herbs like magnolia flower, kudzu, and silver root in Allergy Tamer to calm the body's histamine reaction to dust particles. Chinese medicine provides a holistic approach to addressing allergies. It has been used for thousands of years to address respiratory issues.

Acupuncture helps regulate the immune response and alleviate allergy symptoms. It can target meridians associated with respiratory health, promoting better lung function and reducing inflammation. It can also relieve stress, which can exacerbate allergy symptoms. Moreover, acupuncture has been shown to block histamine production and reduce inflammatory reactions, therefore providing relief to airborne allergies.

Indoor pollution is a significant factor in the rise of allergies. Chinese medicine offers a holistic and natural approach to addressing the root causes of allergies. By improving the body's overall balance and energy flow, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can reduce the frequency and severity of allergic reactions. Call our office and schedule your acupuncture appointment today and start breathing easier

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