Preparing for Cold and Flu Season

Preparing for Cold and Flu Season

Herbs for Cold and Flu Season

Natural medicine including Chinese Herbs can be very effective in decreasing the severity and duration of any illness. They work the best when taken right at the start of an illness, but can be helpful at any stage - even that pesky lingering cough.

How does it work?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) does not distinguish between bacteria or virus, rather it differentiates between heat and cold.  Illness is said to enter the body by wind-invasion, which may sound strange but even before microscopes came along Chinese medicine theory could explain airborne contagions.  Thus illnesses are categorized as wind-heat or wind-cold invasions.  

Herbs can help resolve illness by releasing the exterior and resolving the heat or cold.  It's another way to think about strengthening the immune system and helping the body to do what it may be too weak or tired to do efficiently.  Often there is some desire to have herbal formulas for illness help the body to lightly sweat or gently increase urination, so of course it is always recommended to drink enough water (roughly half your bodyweight in ounces per day).  Releasing the surface layer of the body helps to eliminate pathogens that have entered.

What should I keep on hand?

Gan Mao Ling is a good choice to keep around.  It is one of the few standardized formulas that should help with most illnesses because it has the ability to address both heat and cold.  Although traditionally primarily for wind-heat, our formula includes Evodia lepta which is a warming herb that has been compared to Echinacea for its immune system enhancing qualities, and is balancing to the other herbs.

If you'd like a custom formula, email us at

What else can I do?

For home remedies consider a hot bath, ginger or mint tea, and getting some extra rest.  

Hydrotherapy can help decrease congestion by improving lymph circulation.  Check out this how-to before bedtime to decrease that bothersome phlegm!

Bastyr univeristy wet sock hydrotherapy guide

As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!  Be well!

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