The Fall season we all seem to love is here, with nice cool mornings, golden leaves, and warm, wonderful aromas inside and outside. But, it’s also prime cold and flu season too, with scratchy sore throats, sniffling red noses, chills and fever, sneezing, and barking coughs. As with all things in life, we take the good with the bad. We want you to be able to enjoy more of the good during this Fall and less of the “crud”, so we’d like to share with you some ideas and food for thought to shoo the cold and flu away this year.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine…
…we view colds and flus not as viral or bacterial infections, but as external elemental forces that invade the body through the skin barrier and disrupt homeostasis of the internal environment. These external pathogenic influences are wind, cold, heat, damp, damp-heat, and dryness. They can combine into many combinations, but the common cold and flu are described generally as wind-cold or wind-heat conditions. Western medicine makes one diagnosis as either bacterial or viral infection and treats everyone the same according to that diagnosis with usually antibiotic or antiviral medications. Traditional Chinese Medicine will treat each individual based on their individual pattern of wind-heat, wind-dryness, etc.. Cold and flu can show up as many different patterns of imbalance and are goal is to rebalance the body, expel pathogenic influences and stimulate natural immunity to restore and maintain health.
Many Different Approaches to Treatment
- Elderberry Syrup or Capsules, great anti-viral and Vit.C
- Liposomal Vit. C, 1000mg daily, highest assimilating form, natural immune-booster
- Vit. D3 drops, 3000-5000 IUs daily, optimal immune and hormonal function
- Organic Bone Broth, rich in immune building minerals, collagen, and protein, tonifies and strengthens the body (like super chicken soup!)
- Echinacea tea or tincture, antiviral, great blood cleansing and immune boosting herb
- Eucalyptus oil on the chest and covered feet for lung congestion or upper respiratory infections
- Acupuncture, stimulates immune response, opens sinuses, expels pathogenic influences, rebalances body systems
- Chinese Herbal Formulas, there are many of these, they can be formulated specifically to treat imbalance and pattern of symptoms
- Cupping and Guasha, great immune stimulators, opens the pores and pathways to expel pathogens
- Diet and movement therapy, can be prescribed based on pattern of imbalance. Congee Rice Porridges are wonderful for healing and overcoming colds and flus.
My personal favorites for prevention are Elderberry, Liposomal Vit. C, and Vit. D3. My tried and true go to method to overcome cold and flus once I’ve got them is the following procedure:
- Acupuncture, 20min. session to fire up the immune response, open up the sinuses and pores, balance function of particular organs such as the lungs and liver
- Next Cupping or Guasha, further stimulate immune response, open pores and skin barrier to allow the body to release and expel heat, cold, wind, etc., whatever the imbalance maybe, done on the back of the neck works wonders for sore throat conditions
- Make a diaphoretic tea to help the body induce a fever and sweat out the pathogens:
Simple Diaphoretic Tea Recipe:
- Simmer 3-4 nickel size pieces of fresh cut ginger root in 2-3 cups of water for 5
minutes 2. Add in 2-3 chopped green onions and/or fresh raw garlic clove 3. 1 Tbs. of raw honey 4. Sip slowly
- Take a hot steam bath for 15-20 minutes while sipping the diaphoretic tea
- After the bath, cover entire body with heavy clothes, I like to use thermal underwear for this with sweats, a hooded sweatshirt, and a toboggan.
- Wrap up with heavy blankets and sweat it out!
- A sauna or steam room would also do the trick
You may have to rinse and repeat with this method several times a day for a day or two to get the proper immune response and to induce a thorough fever to burn the bugs out. Having said that, there is a time and place for proper western medication and should be used if your body is very weak and not responding to any of the alternatives. Emergency conditions such as extremely high fevers, obstructed airways, etc. are situations best handled by your primary care physician. Vaccinations should be used only be extremely immunocompromised individuals and weak and deficient young children and the elderly.