Herbs for Cold Season – Now

By John G. McGarvey /

Herbs for Cold Season – Now

It’s here and it’s nasty. This year’s cold season is already harsh, and we’re only in the first part of January. With freakishly cold weather gripping much of the U.S., it’s likely to drag on, with peak cold season typically hitting in February. Brace yourself.

Not surprisingly, Chinese medicine offers an immunity solution that’s timely, ageless and powerful – in Chinese, the formula is called Yu Ping Feng San and is the basis for our Immunity Support powder. I’ve been taking it this year since October, the colds have run through our household and our kids’ school….yet I feel great (seriously).

The Secret: Three Powerful Herbs

Yu Ping Feng San translates to “Jade Windscreen,” named over 700 years ago by early Chinese doctors to mean, “forming a solid screen to protect your body” (think about that as cold season strikes). Fast-forward: it’s still incredibly popular across Asia yet hardly known in the U.S. The magic comes from a combination of three powerful herbs:

  • Astragalus Root: widely considered the “senior of all herbs”, Astragulus is considered the best immune tonic herb, strengthening your protective “Qi” (a foundation of Chinese medicine. Qi is everything).
  • Atractylodes Stem: a sweet and warming herb, Chinese medicine doctors use this regularly for immunity support, digestive strength and for replenishing energy.
  • Siler Root: this “herb” is typically used to expel “wind” (a Chinese medicine term, but complimentary to warding airborne pathogens this time of year).

The simplicity of just three herbs belies the formula’s strength and power: Chinese health authorities used Yu Ping Feng San widely during the SARs outbreak in the early 2000s to help boost immunity, with recent research stating that, “clinically, [the formula] has been applied in anti-viral or anti-bacterial effects, which indeed has been shown to prevent viral infections….and enhance cellular immunity.*” Think about that as you reach for just vitamin-C.

DAO Labs Immunity Support

As I’ve talked about in numerous other posts, I’ve been taking Yu Ping Feng San since it was introduced by my business partner, the esteemed Dr. Eric Karchmer. I’ve witnessed (and felt!) first-hand the herbal formula’s strength, taking it regularly during cold season and any time I step on an airplane. We’ve “modernized” the formula for on the go consumption (it easily effervesce’s with room temperature water; we also made it taste good, which Chinese herbs notoriously do not!). Simply add to your water the way you would other vitamin powders and let the power of Chinese medicine work it’s immunity magic. Try it today.


*Du CY. et al., Yu Ping Feng San, an ancient Chinese herbal decoction containing Astragali Radix, Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma and Saposhnikoviae Radix, regulates the release of cytokines in murine macrophages. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 11;8(11):e7862

An important disclaimer! These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease or symptom. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


John G. McGarvey is a co-founder of DAO Labs and a regular contributor to The Way. A frequent visitor to China and Asia for both business and pleasure, he is an avid consumer of Chinese medicine. He can be reached at john@mydaolabs.com.

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