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Chinese Medicine

Chinese Herbal Remedies for Colds and Flus

Nancy Lowe, L.Ac., Santa Cruz

29 Oct 2012

Change of season is often the time when colds and flus start showing up and I wanted to share some Chinese herbal remedies with you.

Some things you can do to boost your immune system is of course come in for some acupuncture to balance your system after the summer. Longer nights and cooler temperatures indicate a lessening of yang and a burgeoning of yin. To stay in balance with the season we also need to sleep more and eat more seasonal cooked foods.

But if you do feel like you’re fighting something here are some herbal suggestions.


This is a wonderful remedy to build a weakened immune system, especially if you sweat too easily or are sensitive to wind or cold.It is good for kids who have a chronic runny nose or frequent colds or flus. DO NOT take this formula when you’re already sick or coming down with something.

YIN QIAO PIAN  [pian means pill]

This is a very familiar to a lot of Westerners and is useful in the first 12-24 hours of showing signs of getting sick. Sore throat, low fever, thirst, aching shoulders and neck, swollen glands, headache and dry cough are the symptoms that indicate using Yin Qiao. It isn’t necessary to have all these symptoms to use the formula. If the pathogen has gone into the lungs this is not the appropriate remedy.


Symptoms indicating this formula are, early onset aches with chills and shivering.The treatment here is to dispel wind, cold and damp by promoting sweating.It’s advised to take a dose, a hot bath and get into bed under lots of blankets.


This is another popular formula. If Yin Qiao didn’t quite kick it out, give Gan Mao Ling a try. For many people this is their first choice. It treats common cold and flu with nasal discharge, swollen glands, sore throat, fever and sinus congestion.

For all the formulas except Jade Screen,the dose recommended on the bottle can be increased to every 3 hours and you can also increase the number of pills you take. 

I advise you to continue to take the herbs for a couple of days after the initial symptoms have cleared. These things have a way of coming back in the early stages.

Most of the health food stores in town carry these Chinese remedies.

Of course, if these don’t work for you and things escalate, please call me or come in and I will recommend or make an appropriate formula for you.

Please contact me today for a free consultation.

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