Whether you like it or not, it's coming. During cold and flu season, no one is safe. In the U.S. alone, around 5 to 20 percent of the population suffers from the flu every year. A cold or flu is the result of your body’s immune system fighting off a virus or bacterial infection. Traditional Chinese Medicine has a range of holistic options to manage cold and flu symptoms, relying on foods, herbal extracts, and other remedies, as well as practices to improve your health.
Relying on Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat your cold or flu can be incredibly helpful, mainly because treatments usually come from common ingredients that you can find, and practices that you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle. Let’s look at the five main ways that you can use traditional Chinese medicine to ease your cold or flu.
5 Ways Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Keep You Healthy During Cold and Flu Season:
For starters (pun intended), soups and broths are great ways to keep your body warm from the inside, mainly because feeling chilly is a symptom of having the flu. Even western researchers are well aware of the potential benefits that a bowl of chicken broth or soup can offer while you have a cold.
Hot soup can ease nasal congestion because it’s usually laden with spices like pepper and garlic, which have the ability to thin down mucus. Although it isn’t a cure, it can ease inflammation the body so that your body can heal itself without making you feel too sick. In addition, the main component is water, so it helps you stay hydrated when the last thing you’re feeling is thirst.
DAO Co-Founder Chef Travis Metzger has a number of warming soup recipes here.
Similar to a bowl of hot soup, a piping hot cup of tea works well when you’re dealing with the symptoms of flu. In this case, especially, ginger tea does the trick, mainly because the root is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that ease inflammation and discomfort from the inside. Meanwhile, the steam can reduce nasal congestion and help you breathe better.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has relied on the root to treat these symptoms because it assists the body in warming up the lungs, or "yang" energy.
3) Herbal Medicine
2,500 years ago, a Chinese doctor would prescribe you medicine based on your symptoms, and whether there you’re exhibiting an excess of cold or hot energy. So, depending on wind-cold or wind-hot, you‘ll need to take a combination of herbs that can enhance your body’s resistance to pathogens.
For example, "wind-heat" would require a detoxifying herb like Lonicera (Jin Yin Hua), along with Forsythia (Lian Qiao). Similarly, for" wind-cold" you’d need a stimulant like cinnamon (Gui Zhi), combined with an anti-inflammatory like ginger (ShengJiang).
Usually, wind-cold is the main reason for such symptoms, which makes a combination of different herbs fairly useful. These are still used today to enhance longevity and boost performance naturally. The expellin extract is a common example, and it contains herbs like lophantherum, isatis, forsythia, burdock, and honeysuckle. It helps in relieving headaches caused by sinusitis and rhinitis.
This is another well-known method of alleviating a cold with Traditional Chinese Medicine. It helps the body heal by stimulating certain pressure points with the use of needles. This encourages the flow of blood to important areas like the neck, head, and chest. Visiting a well trained acupuncturist can provide immediate relief from common cold and flu symptoms.
If you need help locating an acupuncturist near you or understanding herbs that will help your specific symptoms, feel free to send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help connect you with someone who can help.