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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Treating Colds and Flu with Chinese Medicine

This is the cold and flu season which means there are lots of germs out there and lots of sick people. In my Chinese Medicine class we learned about herbs for Cold and Flu.

Here is a recap and summary of how the symptoms of cold and flu may be treated with Chinese medicine.

First off, before you buy or take any Chinese herbs and medicines, our instructor advised us to make sure it has the “GMP” label; Good Manufacturer Practice certification. He said 2,200 companies in China applied for this certification and only 8 met the requirements and standards to assure quality control was in place. You want to make sure the herbs you take don't include dangerous chemicals and penticides so choosing products with the GMP label will help assure safety.

Having a cold is considered a wind attack in Chinese Medicine. It can quickly blow through your body and make you ill. When you are first feeling the signs of getting a cold (such as a sore throat), you should take
  • Yin Quao San (made from honeysuckle)
  • Ganmaoling (which can be put in a soup with green onions, ginger, garlic)
  • Lots of fluids
  • Zinc (considered an anti-viral in Chinese Medicine)
  • Moxibustion (as an accupuncture treatment)

Later the cold can move throughout the rest of your body, and if that happens you should take

  • Gan Mao Ling (You take the dose frequently, such as every two hours. The instructor recommended taking the type where you chew it or suck on it so it can “drip on your throat throughout the day or night so it can go directly where the problem is; your throat”. )
  • Ahong Gan Ling (used to get rid of heat; take it if you have a fever)
For long term colds take
  • Ren Shen Bai Du San (this boots the energy and treats the pathogen.)
For a cold that lingers, take
  • Zong Genling
To prevent colds
  • Get enough sleep
  • Don’t hold onto stress
  • Exercise
  • Vitamin D
  • Eat Healthy
    Such as eat fermented foods, which are good for the immune system (cabbage).
    Don't eat refined sugar. This has a direct negative effect on the immune system and it decreases the ability for the white blood cells to function.
You may decide to use some of the Chinese Medicine treatments to help you prevent a cold, combat your cold quickly, or treat it so you can get back to normal. These are aditional options you have available to try and keep you healthy and out of the doctors office.