During this last month, I have had so many people coming into my Chicago acupuncture office complaining of colds, that I thought I’d post some good tips on how to avoid and treat the common cold.
Huang qi/Astragalus– I have written about this herb many times on my blog and with good reason. It stimulates the immune system; therefore it is often used to treat and prevent the common cold, sinus infections, allergies and other upper respiratory infections.
Yin Qiao (also spelled Yin Chiao) – This Chinese herbal formula is a great first line of defense against the common cold. It is best taken at the initial signs of a cold or flu, especially if you have a sore throat. If you take it soon enough, you can prevent the illness. If it is too late for prevention, you will have lessened the duration and severity of the cold.
Jade Windscreen – This is a popular and classic formula with a well-deserved reputation for boosting your immune system. The history of Jade windscreen goes back 1000 years in China where it has been effective for people who are prone to colds, flus, and allergies. It is also a great preventative formula if you are traveling, flying or have been exposed to sick people.
Miso Soup – I like the soup best with scallions added. Miso is a soy soup and, when your cold is just beginning, have some Miso soup to head it off. Recipe here
Get Acupuncture!– Of course Acupuncture can prevent colds and flu by strengthening your immune system and significantly improving symptoms like congestion and sore throat. It can also shorten the duration of the illness with just a few needles inserted into key points in the body.
Many of these suggestions are easy to find but always purchase a good brand. Whole Foods often carries popular formulas and for those of you in Chicago, you can stop by my office. There are many other Chinese herbal formulas, but it is better to work with your acupuncturist or herbalist to choose the best formula for you.
Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at www.tcm007.com.
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