Chinese medicine is fantastic at helping prevent and treat common colds and flus that many of us succumb to during the Fall’s “flu season.” Chinese herbs can be used in classic or modified formulas, depending on symptoms and constitution, to best treat the whole person, and help resolve the illness quickly without the progression into a deeper disease, such as sinus infections, bronchitis or pneumonia. Chinese herbs are a wonderful alternative to flu and cold drugs, as they do not contain ingredients such as PPA (phenylpropanolamine), which may cause hemorrhagic strokes, and are found in over-the-counter cold remedies. Chinese herbs also do not have side effects such as drowsiness, elevated blood pressure and pulse rate, anxiety or nervousness, difficulty sleeping, and others that are associated with over-the-counter medications.
Properties and Characteristics of Herbs
Many Chinese herbs have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Some of the more commonly used herbs to prevent and treat colds and flus include: astragalus (huang qi), ginger (gan jiang), baphicacanthus root (ban lan gen), licorice (gan cao), coptis rhizome (huang lian), scutellaria (huang qin), pinellia (ban xia), mint (bo he), honeysuckle (jin yin hua), forsythia (lian qiao), magnolia flower (xin yin hua), xanthium fruit (cang er zi), schizonepeta (jing jie), angelica root (bai zhi), balloon flower root (jie geng), ledebouriella root (fang feng), cinnamon twig (gui zhi), apricot seeds (xing ren) and many, many more.