Posts Tagged ‘common cold’
Feb 13, 2012
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a term that refers to medicine practices developed in China and other parts of Asia. Traditional Chinese Medicine generally covers many types of modalities including acupuncture and moxibustion, Chinese Herbal remedies, Tui Na or Chinese Medical Massage, as well as other manual therapies including gua sha (spoon massage or coining) and cupping.
In China, the term Chinese medicine (in Chinese it is called Zhong Yi 中医) often refers to the practice of Chinese herbal medicine. Although it can also refer to the entire practice of Chinese medicine. While acupuncture refers to acupuncture and moxibustion.
Some of these therapies are performed only by experienced physicians, such as prescribing complex herbal formulas or doing acupuncture. But others are considered more home remedies. This may include folk herbal remedies for common colds or manual therapies such as gua sha which can be used for nausea, car sickness, the common cold, and other common illnesses.
Common ideas in Chinese Medicine
While the therapies are diverse, done both by physician and family members, they all rest on the holistic view of the body and health that developed over 2000 years ago. A primary idea is that health is a state of balance in the body and between the body and the environment. The body has qi, energy, which flows through channel and meridians. Also, that environmental factors such as cold, heat, and dampness can cause illness. And these environmental factors represent certain illness within the body.
For example, if you have a cold, a physician may write an herbal prescription to release the heat to help you get rid of the cold. But the home remedy of gua sha spoon massage on the neck and upper back can also release the heat.
Chinese Medicine: An Evolution of Ideas
Many of the dominant concepts in Chinese medicine were discussed in the early books of the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classics as well as the Treatise on Cold Diseases. Although they referenced older works, they are no longer in existence. Over the years, physicians and scholars have debated these ideas evolving into the contemporary tradition of modern Chinese Medicine.
Yet, it is important to understand that Chinese medicine is an evolving tradition. These are not static concepts, but ideas that scholars, physicians and even individual family lineages have expanded on and explored. Chinese medicine has a strong tradition of writing, discussion, and debate. There is a great diversity of ideas. Through experience and training a Chinese Medicine practitioner will develop their own style.
For example, certain physicians believed that the best way to use Chinese medicine for psoriasis was to clear heat and toxins from the body. However, other physicians believed that psoriasis developed from internal cold and the body must be warmed. These debates continue today.
In fact, some of the significant therapeutic strategies of modern Chinese medicine physicians were not developed until recently. As I mentioned in my last post, the development of electro-acupuncture for pain was only developed within the last century, a relatively short time for the history of Chinese medicine.
Oct 11, 2011
This herb is best for preventing colds. Now, the change of seasons, is the perfect time to begin taking Ling Zhi. When the seasons change it is easy to get cold. Ling Zhi helps to prevent getting the cold be giving an immune boost. I take only a small dosage and still feel the improvement in my health.
It actually grows all over the United States. A few weeks ago, I went on an foraging tour with Wildman Steve Brill. We actually found Ling zhi on our trip in Westchester. If you are picking wild ling zhi, it is very important to go with a guide as many mushrooms can be dangerous.
Oct 6, 2011
As we all know that the change of season can easily cause a common cold. Eating soup is a good way to boost up your qi.
There is no big secret to vegetable soup. I eat it all the time, especially during the change of seasons to prevent colds from coming on. I particularly like it during the colder months, summer to fall, because it helps to warm the body and open the respiratory system with aromatic vegetables.
1 large yellow onion
2 celery stalks
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt
optional: broccoli stalks, cauliflower leaves, turnip greens, or any root vegetable
The simple directions for vegetable soup
Put 8 cups of water up to boil. Chop all the vegetables. Put in the ingredients in the soup. Gently boil for 20 minutes. Serve with toast or add noodles.
The Ingredients Analysis
Chinese medicine describes foods in terms of their properties. Aromatic vegetables, such as the onion and the turnips will help to fight off viruses by warming the body. Celery and parsley are bitter as well as aromatic. This will open the respiratory system but also create circulation in the body. Carrots are sweet and used to boost to body’s energy. Naturally healthy sweet foods tend to give the body qi.
Mix them together you get a rich tonifying soup.
Jan 7, 2011
Recipes for the Common Cold
Oct 12, 2010
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have long been used to treat asthma. It is especially important during the cold and flu season to keep asthma under control. For people with asthma, common colds not only cause sinus headaches and cough, it can also lead to wheezing, asthma attacks, and a cycle of colds which is difficult to stop.
In Chinese medicine, a lack of energy, or qi, is the most common imbalance that leads to asthma. When there is too little qi, people are often very susceptible to getting a cold or flu.
Acupuncture helps to treat asthma by boosting your qi. Acupuncture can help treat symptoms of colds and boost your immune system. Acupuncture points such as Stomach 36 on the legs and Lung 7 on the arms can boost the energy in the body. Kidney 3, near the ankle, is also very effective for boosting energy. Cupping can also help to relieve the feeling of chest tightness and congestion.
Chinese herbs are also very effective to treat asthma. During my training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, my mentor, Dr. Xiu Min Li, has done extensive research on Chinese herbs for asthma. Much of her research shows that Chinese herbs regulate the immune system and reduce the inflammatory processes associated with asthma.
One formula that is often used to prevent colds with people with asthma is called Jade Wind Screen, or in Yu Ping Feng San in Chinese. This simple formula is good for boosting qi which protects the body from getting a cold. It has huang qi (astragalus), bai zhu (atractylodes), and fang feng (siler). Huang qi and bai zhu boost qi, while a small amount fang feng works to attack germs which you may come in contact with. I find the mushroom reishi also to be helpful for preventing colds with those with asthma.
Read what our patients are saying about acupuncture for asthma.
Oct 8, 2010
This fall is very cold and rainy here in New York, easy to catch a cold. In my last post I wrote about acupuncture for the common cold. In this post, I will discuss Chinese herbs and herbal formulas.
It is important to take the herbs that are right for you, as well as purchase high quality herbs. So before you take any herbs, it is important to consult a trained herbalist.
Gan Mao Ling: Gan mao means “common cold” in Chinese. This herbal formula is great for preventing and treating common colds. Take it preventatively when there is a cold going around or if you have a cold. It is best to treat are sore and itchy throat, and a little cough. If you are sweating gan mao ling may not be strong enough.
Yin qiao san: Yin qiao san is stronger than gan mao ling. If you are experiencing a light fever and light chills, sweating, and a sore scratchy throat, this may be a good formula for you. Gan mao ling is better for mild colds and also to prevent a common cold. Yin qiao san is better for stronger colds and it is best to take the herbs early in the cold.
Bi yan pian: Bi yan pian is a powerful formula for nasal congestion and sinus headaches. This can be used during the cold. It can also address the nasal congestion and runny nose that follows a cold.
Ling zhi: Ling zhi, also called reishi, is a mushroom that is used to boost immunity. This herb is best to take in small doses as a way to prevent getting a cold. It won’t help that much after you get a cold. It will help to give you immune system a boost to prevent the cold from coming on.
Oct 4, 2010
Here are some acupuncture points and acupuncture point combinations that help reduce the common cold. Lung 5 and Lung 7 are effective for reducing cough and chest congestion. If there is a lot of chest congestion, Lung 1 may be helpful, along with cupping on the back. LI 4 helps to relieve sinus headaches. It can be combined with Urinary bladder 7 and Yin Tang, which is on the center of the forehead. Spleen 9 also can help relieve sinus headaches. For sore throats, Lung 7 and Kidney 6 are very helpful. St 36 helps to boost overall energy levels. Stomach 40 can help with post nasal drips and phlegm in the throat. The combination of Gall bladder 41 and San Jiao 5 can help to fight off an early cold that is starting to become more severe. San Jiao 5 can also help sore throat.
In my next post I will write about Chinese herbs and herbal formulas that can help fight and prevent the common cold.
Apr 24, 2009
Chinese medicine is more than just what I do in my office, Acupuncture, Acupressure, and Chinese herbal formulas. There are many practices which prevent illnesses and maintain health that you can do on your own.
Here are some I often recommend to my patients and my readers.
Food as Medicine
Eating healthy is the best way to prevent illnesses. Here are some articles which share Chinese medicine dietary therapies and philosophy of food choices.
- Eating Healthy to Create Harmony
- Chinese Medicine Recommendations for Vegetarians
- A Rainy Day Beef Ginger Soup
- Foods to Beat the Common Cold
Our bodies are made to move. Here are some exercises and stretches to boost your body and your qi.
You can use acupressure as a self massage to help boost your energy, reduce pain, and prevent illness.
- Acupressure for Cramps, Digestive Problems, and Boosting Energy
- Acupressure for Nausea, Hiccups, and Acid Reflux
- Acupressure for Headaches
Prevent and Beat the Common Cold
Chinese medicine has tons of remedies to prevent and treat the common cold. Here are a few.
Feb 10, 2009
In a press release yesterday, NYC has announced that the flu has come to New York City.
In Chinese Medicine there are two main ways to prevent getting the flu. First, boost your own immune system, which Chinese medicine (read this post for more info). Second, fend off any invaders before you get sick.
It is best to treat a disease before you get it by boosting your immune system. I recommend taking the mushroom reishi, also called ling zhi in Chinese, which will help boost your immunity and your energy.
But when the flu is going around, it is important to take an herbal formula which will help prevent the sickness. Gan Mao ling is a great formula for this. If you get the flu, this formula will not be powerful enough. At this point it is important to seek advice from a Chinese medicine doctor for the right formula.
People who get chronic colds will need a more customized herbal formula and acupuncture treatment.
Photo by JJohn.