Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I have terrible allergies. I cough a lot and fear I am developing the beginnings of emphysema. What can you recommend to alleviate the symptoms?
A: For allergies, it is important first to harmonize your immune system and eliminate the allergens. Emphysema is a more deep-seated and chronic condition, that is often due to smoking, which damages the lungs, or congenital deficiency of alpha-1-antitrypsin. If you have not already, please discontinue smoking; it will dramatically improve your condition.
To help strengthen your immune system and reduce intolerance, I recommend you incorporate the following into your diet: ginger, green onions, garlic, bamboo shoots, cabbage, beets, beet top tea, carrots, leafy green vegetables, yams, organic chicken gizzards, and astragulus.
Avoid wheat, citrus fruits, chocolate, shellfish, dairy products, eggs, and the nightshade family of vegetables. Avoid pollen, polluted air, and always maintain a well-moving bowel (no constipation).
You might also take up tai chi or qigong exercises; these are wonderful low stress exercises that can help strengthen your body.
You may find the herbal supplements “Allergy Tamer”, “Immunity”, and “Perpetual Shield” helpful in temporarily relieving your allergy symptoms and strengthening your immune system. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.