4 Chinese herbal formulas to treat seasonal allergy

In the last article, we talked about how traditional Chinese medicine help with seasonal allergy, including theories and different methods. Here we want to share four classical Chinese herbal formulas you can use to relieve allergy symptoms and build up the immune system.

4 herbal formula allergy

1.       Yu Ping Feng San (Jade Wind-Screen Powder)

Yu Ping Feng San, or “Jade Wind Screen Formula.” It is a classical formula for building up defensive Qi, strengthening the immune system, and preventing the common cold, flu, and allergy symptoms. Just like a solid Jade screen, this formula prevents the invasion of external pathogens by building up body's defensive Qi.

Yu Ping Feng San helps with recurring common cold, spontaneous sweating due to Qi deficiency, aversion to the wind and cold, and pale face.


Huang Qi, Bai Zhu, Fang Feng


Tonifies Qi, stabilizes exterior, and stop spontaneous sweating.

This formula is usually combined with the next formula, Yin Qiao San, to treat the common cold, flu, or seasonal allergy.

2.       Yin Qiao San (Honeysuckle and Forsythia Powder)

Yin Qiao San, or Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian (Yin Qiao detox tablet), is very effective for the common cold, especially the Wind-Heat type of cold such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever, aversion to the wind, and headache.


 Jin Ying Hua, Lian Qiao, Jie Geng, Niu Bang Zi, Bo He, Dan Dou Chi, Dan Zhu Ye, Jing Jie, Lu Gen Gan Cao.


Disperse The Wind, clears heat, and relieves toxicity.

Both Yu Ping Feng San and Yin Qiao San can be taken several weeks before the cold and allergy season for disease prevention.

3.       Cang Er Zi San (Xanthium Powder)

Cang Er Zi San is a classical formula to treat nose related problems such as allergic rhinitis, chronic or acute sinusitis, rhinorrhea, and nasal congestion.

The clinical symptoms include profuse nasal discharge, headache, dizziness, aversion to cold, and muscle ache.


Cang Er Zi, Xing Yi Hua, Bai Zhi, Bo He.


Disperse The Wind, unblock nose, alleviate pain.

4.       Xing Su San (Apricot Kernal and Perilla Powder)

Xing Su San is great for a cough that is related to exterior Wind invasion. It regulates Lung Qi, stops a cough and resolves phlegm. Suitable for Wind-Cold with Wind Dryness Syndrome.


Xing Ren, Zi Su Ye, Qian Hu, Jie Geng, Zhi Ke, Chen Pi, Fu Ling, Zhi Ban Xia, Sheng Jiang, Da Zao, Gen Cao.


Disperse Lung Qi, sooth Lung, stop coughing, resolve phlegm and mucus.

Combining formulas

Depending on your symptoms, these four formulas can be combined, and dosage of herbs can be adjusted. Yu Ping Feng San builds up defensive Qi, Ying Qiao San treats exterior Wind, Cang Er Zi San focus on nasal problems, and Xing Su San is great for a cough. All of them are related to exterior Wind (Wind- Cold, Wind-Heat or Wind-Dryness).

It is always a good idea to consult a certified Chinese herbalist if you are not sure what formula is best to take.

Where to buy the formulas

These four formulas are commonly used, and patent herbs are available online, at a Chinese supermarket, or local Chinese herbal stores. Most Chinese herbal stores will have consultation service and offer raw herbs to cook at home.

A word about the formula name variation

There are different variations of the same formula names. At the end of the formula name, “San” means powder, “Wan” means pills, "Pian" means tablet, and “Tang” means decoction (tea or soup). They are just various forms of the same formula. The ingredients should be the same. For example, the function of Cang Er Zi San should be the same as Cang Er Zi Tang or Cang Er Zi Pian.

The most effective method is to buy raw herbs and cook at home. We have an article about how to cook Chinese herbs. It does require a little more time and effort. Pills and powders are convenient and cheap. Make sure to check ingredients, so it is not too far off from the original formula. Avoid patent herbs with Western medicine or chemicals added.

Read the last article about treating seasonal allergy and the Chinese medicine theory behind it.  Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or thoughts.