We are currently undergoing hayfever season in Melbourne and our Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Dr. Oscar Moreno, would like to give you a number of self-help tips to reduce the symptoms of hayfever (allergic rhinitis). In addition, I would like to recommend the use of acupuncture by supporting its effectiveness with current scientific evidence.


Recent research supports this effectiveness (2,6,7,8,12). Acupuncture is used worldwide every year for the management of hay fever (2). A number of single and double-blind randomised trials support this, with some of the strongest evidence coming from Australia (6,7,8,12).

Finally, this recent research is showing that acupuncture can have a modulating impact on the allergic immune response (7).

If you suffer from hayfever, come and see a Chinese Medicine doctor at Merge Health. We have extensive experience working with this problem as integrated medicine practitioners, and we are very happy to help you. 

Please call the clinic or book now for an appointment.

What not to eat

Avoid foods that can cause inflammatory reactions in the gut and render a hyperimmune reaction. This highlights strongly the relationship between our gut microbiome and immune/allergic reactions (1,3,4,9,10,11). 

Foods to avoid: Bread, dairy, sugar, omega 3 fats, margarine, and excess salt. Also, peanuts, legumes, potatoes, and smoking (1,3,4,9,10,11).

Eat more of these foods 

Increase foods that can help clear inflammation and support a healthy immune system and liver, with high antioxidant foods being of particular importance (1,3,4,5,9,10).

Foods to increase: Vitamin C, citric acid-containing foods (lemons, oranges), blueberries, tomatoes, olive oil (Vitamin E), fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and Spirulina (1,3,4,5,9,10).

Move more and reduce stress 

Rest properly and remain active. The immune system is prone to be affected by low vitality. Movement is very important to maintain good liver circulation and lymphatic clearance for proper internal detox.

The immune system can be negatively affected by continuous stress. Keep this in mind if you suffer hayfever and have a very stressful life. Meditation can be very helpful for this.

By Dr Oscar Moreno 



1. Farchi, S., et. al. (2003). Dietary factors associated with wheezing and allergic rhinitis in children. European Respiratory Journal. 2003; 22: 772–780

2. Pfab, F.; et. al. (2014). Acupuncture for allergic disease therapy – the current state of evidence. Expert Review of Clinical Immunology 10(7), 831–841 (2014)

3. Huang, S.L., et. al. (2008). Dietary factors associated with physician‐diagnosed asthma and allergic rhinitis in teenagers: analyses of the first Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan. Volume31, Issue2. February 2001. Pages 259-264. Accessed October 27, 2019 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2222.2001.00938.x

4. Liu, X., et. al. (2017). Dietary patterns and the risk of rhinitis in primary school children: a prospective cohort study. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep44610. Pp 1- 10.

5. Mao, T. K., et. al. (2005). Effects of a Spirulina-Based Dietary Supplement on Cytokine Production from Allergic Rhinitis Patients. Journal of Medicinal FoodVol. 8, No. 1

6. Mc Donald, J. L.; et. al. (2016). Effect of acupuncture on house dust mite specific IgE, substance P, and symptoms in persistent allergic rhinitis. Annals of Allergy and Asthma Immunology xxx (2016) 1-9

7. Mc Donald, J.; et. al. (2013). The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Acupuncture and Their Relevance to Allergic Rhinitis: A Narrative Review and Proposed Model. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2013, Article ID 591796, 12 pages


8. Ng, D. K.; et. al. (2004). A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Childhood Persistent Allergic Rhinitis. Pediatrics November 2004, 114 (5) 1242-1247; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2004-0744

9. Myles, I. J. (2014). Fast food fever: reviewing the impacts of the Western diet on immunity. Myles Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:61

10. O’ Connor, L., et. al. (2018). Intakes and sources of dietary sugars and their association with metabolic and inflammatory markers. Clinical Nutrition. 2018 Aug; 37(4): 1313–1322.

11. Saulyte, J., et. al. (2014). Active or Passive Exposure to Tobacco Smoking and Allergic Rhinitis, Allergic Dermatitis, and Food Allergy in Adults and Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLOS Medicine. March 2014 | Volume 11 | Issue 3 |

12. Xue, C.; et. al. (2007). Acupuncture for persistent allergic rhinitis: a randomised, sham-controlled trial. Medical Journal of Australia ISSN0025-729X Xue , Charlie C L Year: 2007 Vol: 187 Issue: 6 Page: 337