Best TCM Strategies To Fight The Common Cold, Flu, and COVID19
Since we are in a pandemic with a new strain of the Coronavirus attacking the global, I want to share with you in this blog is what initial symptoms to look for and some simple strategies to stop colds/flus and even the corona virus in its tracks using Chinese Medicine.
When you get sick, do you tend to experience sinus infections or lower respiratory infections?
Do you get sick at certain season each year?
Knowing the answers to these questions will better prepare you for when the cold and flu season strikes.
We are frequently being invaded by pathogens and don't even know it. This why so many people are walking around with the Coronavirus and are asymptomatic. Usually our immune system is strong enough to fight any invaders without us becoming symptomatic. In clinic when I am performing pulse examinations, I frequently feel patients’ immune systems are responding to something. I will ask them if they have a scratchy throat, slight cough, or even postnasal drip and they usually say no. A few days they contact me asking how did I know they were sick, because they are now feeling symptomatic.
There is a fine balance between our immune system an pathogens. When our immune system is strong and the pathogen is weak our immune system can tackle it without us even noticing it. However, it is a different story when the pathogen is very strong and our immune system has to go into battle. This is when we become symptomatic and can be feverish. On the flip side, if our immune system is too weak then pathogens can invade easily and one may experience frequent colds and flus or has difficult recovering that lasts a long time.
This is way is it very important to have a strong immunity. However, our lifestyle can easily weaken our immunity like overwork, emotional stress, improper diet, lack of sleep, and excessive physical activity like exercising or sex. Another factor that can weaken immunity is a chronic pathogen that causes the immune system to be taxed. I recommend getting an annual blood test to assess immunity cells, which will give us a clearer picture if the immune system is dealing with a chronic pathogen.
The ancient physicians of Chinese Medicine have studied the stages of illness and how to treat it effectively with acupuncture, herbal formulas, nutrition, Qi Gong, and moxibustion. We can even apply these ancient treatments to even newest strains of pathogens. Pathogens want penetrate deep into your body to harness and rob you of your resources so the goal is to prevent that and to push it out of the body quickly as possible.
What are the first signs that a pathogen has invaded the body?
Have you ever had that feeling when something hits the back of your throat like a piece of dust? That could be a pathogen that has latched onto your throat and now you're experiencing an immune response.
Feel fatigued or malaise for no reason?
Ever notice your neck and shoulders feel more achy than usual?
This is when you want to take immediate action to prevent it from taking over and getting you sick. Plus, it so much easier to fight a pathogen at this entry level verses when it is attacking an organ.
According to Chinese Medicine, there are specific strategies to take when you are fighting a cold/flu and even COVID19 especially at what stage the pathogen is in. There are supplements, herbal medicine, nutrition, and heat therapy to help support your immune system. Remember, it is so much easier to treat in the early stages verses severe stages. So please act quickly if you start to feel ill.
How To Stop A Cold/Flu At First Sign
The initial stage is when you have either been exposed to someone who is ill or you just noticed a slight change in your body like we discussed above. This is the time to take immediate action.
What Is The Best Thing To Do and Take At The First Signs Of Cold/Flu?
I highly recommend having a herbal throat sprays with you during the cold/flu season. Spray your throat and coat it well by spraying back and forth to each side.
Increase Vitamin C. Caution with consuming too many fruits.
Supplement-take food grade product and avoid taking ascorbic acid.
Foods-bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, parsley, papaya
Take Vitamin D average dose around 2,000-5,000 IU’s. Be sure to have your levels tested annually, which will help you know the correct dosage that your body needs. My favorite form is from cod liver oil.
Foods-wild salmon, sardines, egg yokes
Zinc is trace mineral, zinc 30-40 mg.
Foods-oysters and other shellfish, meat, mushrooms, kale, garlic, spinach
Avoid taking zinc citrate. Zinc lozenges work well.
Gargle solutions like warm salt water or 3% hydrogen peroxide with water at 2:1 ratio (2 parts water and 1 part peroxide) and gargle for 1-3 minutes. Do not swallow the gargle solutions.
Light to moderate exercise can help circulate your immune cells faster.
How To Stop A Cold/Flu In The Early Stages
This is why you start to first experience symptoms. There are two different symptoms that are either cold or heat symptoms and require different strategies. At this stage, it's not a good idea to spread it so stay home and rest. And don't forget to wear a mask to protect your family from contracting it.
Symptoms: sneezing, stuffy/runny nose, slight cough, chills, white/clear mucus, achy body, stiff neck or headache.
This strategy is using heat therapy to expel the cold type pathogen.
Diaphoretic Therapy is to induce sweating, open pores will expel the pathogen out. Take a hot shower or bath to increase core temperature. Then wear warm clothes and bundle up in bed to induce sweating while drinking hot tea.
Drink hot ginger tea by simmering 2 cups of water and 1 inch thick of fresh ginger root for 20 minutes.
Consume hot spicy soups with lots of ginger, garlic, and spring onions. Miso soup is ideal.
Avoid dairy, raw, cold foods, sugar, and processed foods because this will make the production of mucus
Symptoms will be similar but more heat symptoms like sore throat that may even become severe, fever, and yellow mucus.
This strategy is using cooling therapy to expel the heat type pathogen.
Drink cooling teas like mint or peppermint.
Avoid hot and foods as well as dairy, sugar, and processed foods to prevent production of mucus.
Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to your tea if sore throat is severe.
Consume cooling fruits like oranges and pears
It is important to monitor your temperature when you are ill to assess whether you are feverish. Be sure to know what your average core temperature is so if you do increase you will know. Some people tend to have a low core temperature, so it is difficult for these people to know if they are having a low grade fever.
Be sure to contact your primary care physician if you presenting with COVID19 symptoms or any severe symptoms.
Please immediately contact your acupuncturist who is a trained herbalist to get a specific formula to help fight the pathogen. Chinese Medicine has been effectively treating colds and flu’s for thousands of years.
Common signs and symptoms of COVID-19:
fever that’s mild then spikes quickly, cough, SOB, difficulty breathing, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, and possible nasal congestion.
Difference between flu and COVID-19 is flu hits you hard then gradually gets better while COVID-19 starts mild then gets gradually worse.
If you present with COVID19 symptoms, again it is recommended that you contact your primary care physician immediately who will then determine if you need to be admitted to the hospital. Please use your best judgement and call 911 if you need medical assistance.
You have the resources to take care of yourself and stay healthy.
In Good Health,
Disclaimer: Vibrant Life Acupuncture and it’s owner, Stacy Spence, and it’s employees do not in any way claim that Chinese Medicine, either Acupucture or Chinese Herbal medicine, can cure Covid -19, or any other chronic or acute disease.
Prevention and Treatment of Influenza, Influenza-Like Illness, and Common Cold by Herbal, Complementary, and Natural Therapies
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Vitamin D deficiency contributes directly to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Zinc deficiency primes the lung for ventilator-induced injury.