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Using Traditional Chinese Medicine to Treat Food Allergies, Eczema and Asthma

Today we welcome a friend of mine Selena Bluntzer from Amazing and Atopic. Selena has a 6-year-old daughter who has food allergies, asthma and eczema. She’s going to share with us about her daughter’s treatment in private practice with Dr. Xiu-Min Li for these conditions. And she needs your help, read on to see what you can do!


ILW: Selena, please tell us a little bit about your daughter.

SB: I have a 6-year-old daughter with allergies to multiple foods, including milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, flax seed, etc. She has a history of asthma and eczema. She was diagnosed with food allergies at 18 months of age, but showed signs of atopy (eczema, etc.) starting around 3 months old. She loves to draw, paint and create and like many kids these days, she is into all things Minecraft. :)


ILW: What lead you to pursue treatment with Dr. Xiu-Min Li?

SB: We have been practicing strict avoidance for years, and after a couple of reactions in the early post-diagnosis period, we remained reaction-free for three years. I had read about other treatment options, which looked promising, but due to my daughter’s multiple list of foods, I did not want her treatment to include ingestion of her allergens.  So for a few reasons, we decided that we were content to continue with the relative safety of strict avoidance.

In 2013, I began reading more about Dr. Li’s work with Traditional Chinese Medicine, and then it came back up on my radar when a friend of mine pursued private practice treatment with Dr. Li. At the same time, Henry Ehrlich, was writing Food Allergies: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western Science, and the Search for a Cure and he began discussing his work with me. I was intrigued by the science of TCM; it seemed to offer a physically gentle protocol, it was not allergen-specific and didn’t involve ingestion of allergens. My thinking was that we could continue the comfort and safety of strict avoidance, while re-educating my daughter’s immune system. Plus, Dr. Li’s stellar safety profile put me at ease.

My husband initially raised an eyebrow at the idea of Traditional Chinese Medicine, but after reading Henry’s book he was satisfied with the meticulously conducted treatments that were making their way through the FDA-approval process.


Using Traditional Chinese Herbs to heal food allergies, asthma and eczema.ILW: Can you describe the general nature of treatment?

SB: Clinical trials use a formula called FAHF-2 (future trials will use Butenol-refined, Food Allergy Herbal Formula 2), but in private practice, an individualized combination of treatments can consist of pills, teas, creams and bath soaks.


ILW: How are things going for your daughter?

SB: We started treatment a little over a year ago and things are going well. It took some time to adjust to the new regimen, but now it is part of our daily life. Although we have not encountered any side effects, in the early months it was sometimes hard getting my daughter to take the bitter tasting herbs. We’ve made up so many games to make the process more palatable, both figuratively and literally. My daughter has been able to completely discontinue the use of hydrocortisone ointment, which Dr. Li helped us taper off slowly, she is also slowly tapering off the daily oral antihistamine that she has been taking for years. We’ve also noticed improvements in my daughter’s resilience against catching viruses.

Our most recent IgE tests showed drops across the board. My daughter’s numbers had been falling over time, before treatment, which can happen with strict avoidance, but doesn’t necessarily translate into tolerance. The drops seen while undergoing treatment are more meaningful, as Dr. Li’s treatments work to break cell-bound IgE (the troublemakers) and turn them into free-floating IgE. However, IgE testing cannot distinguish between cell-bound and free-floating IgE. In fact, IgE can fluctuate during treatment as more cell-bound IgE is “broken” and becomes free-floating IgE. This is where we can really see the need for  better biomarkers, aside from IgE, to gauge progress!


ILW: So, tell us about the fundraiser that is currently underway.

SB: Dr. Li has plans for a practice-based study that will test the effectiveness of B-FAHF-2 on a set of patients and in the process will explore the utility and accuracy of a series of biomarkers, other than IgE, which are specific components in the blood. These biomarkers will hopefully give us a more precise picture of a patient’s food allergies, and potentially their threshold for that food item. Currently, oral food challenges are performed to show one’s tolerance, lack thereof, to a food. With these new biomarkers, information could be gathered through a simple blood test, rather than subjecting the patient to the food challenge without any idea how it will go. IgE is currently used, but it is not always a reliable indicator of severity.

Susan Weissman and I are organizing a fundraiser to raise $50,000 so that Dr. Li can begin work on this study and we are at approximately 84% of our goal, but time is running out. We have until April 30th to raise the remaining funds. This is an interim study that will lay the groundwork for future clinical trials that will be funded at the institutional level and will cost millions of dollars. Dr. Li has tapered the costs down at every opportunity and this is a chance for us, as individuals, to contribute to groundbreaking scientific research in a meaningful way.

We’re asking everyone to help us make the last steps towards our goal, so that research can begin towards finding better ways to monitor the progression and hopeful resolution of food allergies.


Please DONATE NOW – every little bit helps!


The deadline for the fundraiser is April 30, 2015. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

TCM for food allergies fundraiser


For more on Dr. Li’s research and treatments, check out these posts:

Is This The Future & The End of Food Allergies In Children?

One Family’s Search For A Peanut Allergy Cure

A FREE Online Event for Skin Concerns: The Glowing Skin Summit

The Glowing Skin Summit will provide access to 35 of the world’s top skin, wellness, nutrition and hormone experts as they teach you the best natural treatments for radiant skin and vibrant health!

Save the dates: April 27 – May 4, 2015


Over the years, Dr. Trevor Cates, as a naturopathic physician, has discovered that skin is a key indicator of your entire body’s health. When your skin is dull, dry and discolored, or you have problems like eczema, acne, rosacea or premature aging, it’s a sign that something is out of balance within your body. The Glowing Skin summit could help you restore your health from the inside out with a natural, integrative approach. The goal? Get your skin to glow!

Here are some of the speakers I’m most excited about:

  • Susanne Bennett; Alleriges and Their Impact on Skin Health
  • Trevor Cates; Addressing Skinflammation
  • Todd Lepine;  The Gut and Skin Microbiomes
  • JJ Virgin; The Sugar Impact on Skin
  • Josh Axe; Super Foods and Essential Oils for Glowing Skin
  • Tom O’Bryan; Your Diet’s Role In Skin Health
  • Izabella Went; The Thyroid-Skin Connection
  • Alan Christianson;  Adrenals, Stress and Skin

**Register for FREE**


Heavy Metals In Your Mouth May Trigger Eczema, Allergies & Asthma

By Diane Meyer B.S., D.D.S. (bio below)

In the Dental field, various metals are implemented to create different types of restorations. Unfortunately, not all of these restorative metals will be the best fit for you. In fact, some of these metals may elicit adverse health effects including allergic reactions. Auspiciously, there are options for dealing with these metals after exposure, but it is advantageous to learn how to avoid these allergens altogether.


The most toxic of these metals is mercury, which is found in “Silver fillings.” A 2006 study confirmed that the mercury in the dental amalgam (i.e. Silver fillings) of pregnant woman can travel to the fetus and still be present in newborns. The mercury from the mother’s amalgam fillings during pregnancy was identified as the chief cause of atopic eczema. The study also confirmed that the newborn’s eczema disappeared after the infants underwent mercury detoxification (1,2) . Another article published in 2003 found that lichenoid bodies (similar to eczema) disappeared in all patients after their amalgam fillings were removed (3).

Read more

The Road from Eczema to Naturopathic Doctor – Introducing Dr. Amy Duong

I’m super excited about today’s post! Since starting this blog and The Eczema Company, I’ve dreamed about a day when I could offer you more than just my own experiences or stories from others who have walked down this difficult path to improved health. I also have hoped to be able to provide you with more than general advice from a conventional or alternative medical practitioner. Of course these things are helpful – they encourage you to take control of your or your child’s health, to ask the right questions of your own doctors, to consider natural healing methods and hopefully lead you towards a more holistic way of life. BUT if these things just aren’t enough and you need specific help and guidance with alternative treatments and care, I am happy to say that I have finally found someone you can turn to. Read more

Announcing the Itching for a Cure Walk – Chicago

Are you in the Chicago Area?

If so, then check out the Itching for a Cure walk, a National Eczema Association event dedicated to eczema advocacy. For more information check out their event website.

itching for a cure eczema walk chicago 2015

How to Prevent Scratching When Itchy Skin Is Relentless In Babies & Children

If you have an itchy baby or an itchy toddler, I don’t need to tell you how impossible of a task it seems to be able to prevent them from scratching their skin. Our innocent little ones turn into these Houdinis that can wiggle and squirm in just the right unbelievable way to reach that pesky itchy spot. And they are relentless in scratching their itchy skin. They will scratch until it hurts and it bleeds because that is the only way they know to make the itching stop. Not only does this intense scratching cause bleeding, but it makes the eczema worse, more inflamed, and many times can create an infection. Obviously, that’s the last thing we want. So, just how can you prevent your itchy baby from scratching their itchy skin? Here are a few things you can try: Read more

How Going Grain Free Healed My Child

By Dawn Dodge (bio below)

There I was for the tenth time that day, watching helplessly while my unclothed two-year old screamed and wept inconsolably on the bed. This time we couldn’t find the right pants. Actually, the right pants didn’t even exist – in our universe anyway. One pair would be painstakingly chosen and put on, only for her face to crumble in dismay, take them off crying, and choose another pair: and the whole process would start over again, never resolving. None of the pants were right.

It was during a moment like this that I told myself I was finally going to make the call. No more putting it off, we needed to find a doctor that could help. Something was not right here, and it wasn’t just the pants. Deep down, I somehow just knew that this wasn’t a simple case of “terrible twos.” This was something more, and I needed to know what it was. Read more

How to Prepare Your Child for an Allergy Skin Test

By Houston Allergy & Sinus (bio below)

Mild allergies don’t always get as much attention as other, more serious childhood conditions like asthma or anaphylaxis, but they can still make your child’s – and your – life miserable, and they can exacerbate other conditions. So when your child’s pediatrician says: “I think your child has allergies,” you may be wondering – and dreading – what’s next, especially if your child is afraid of needles.

Fortunately, allergy tests for kids are incredibly common, and since many children have to go through them; the testing has been refined so that it’s as painless as possible. These purpose of allergy testing in children is simple: To identify the substances your child is allergic to. Once you know what the substances are, you can avoid them if at all possible or pursue other treatments if not. Read more

Our Eczema Trials: Safe Laundry Detergent Alternatives

In our family, we do a LOT of laundry. I’m sure you feel the same and that it’s just never-ending. Even though laundry was part of my daily routine, when my son developed eczema, I never considered the fact that his skin condition could somehow be related to our laundry routine. After my son was diagnosed with eczema I researched the condition endlessly, as I’m sure you did as well, but I kept coming across something time and time again. Laundry detergent.

Are laundry detergents an eczema trigger?

The first thing I found is that some people can actually be allergic or sensitive to ingredients in laundry detergents, so in these cases the detergent can be an eczema trigger. Read more

Top Tips for Traveling With Food Allergies & Eczema

By Emily Lucas (bio below)

What are your favorite memories from family vacations? Building sand castles on the beach? Skidding down the fastest slide at the water park? Laughing at your mum’s ridiculously floppy sun hat? Getting your hair braided? Posing for a caricaturist?

Vacations are to be treasured, enjoyed, and reminisced. But they are also sometimes cause for great stress and worry! Heart pounding from adrenaline. The weight of the world on my shoulders. Surely life’s most responsible job. I was 10 years old and I was given the task of helping the airport staff lift our suitcases onto the conveyor belt and watch them roll away. Feeling as if it was down to me and me alone for the safe arrival of our bags. I can still remember the relief when they appeared on the other side at Majorca’s airport. Read more


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