(NaturalNews) There is a lot of fear of Swine flu (H1N1) this season, but Traditional Chinese Medicine has effective techniques both to boost immunity and recover from flu, which are thousands of years old.
In Chinese Medicine, flu and colds are considered an invasion of the body of external pathogens, either cold or heat. Cold often turns to heat in the body, and we have signs of sore throat, fatigue, achiness, headache and cough. When our body`s Qi (Energy) - especially Wei Qi (Immune Energy) is strong, we are able to fight off these invasions. The energy pathways responsible for keeping the Qi strong are the Digestive energy and Lung Energy (which controls the Wei Qi.)
To keep our Qi strong and prevent the flu and common cold:
Eat a Healthy Diet, full of fresh raw fruits and vegetables
Cut out sugar, especially white and brown sugar, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. These lower our immunity
Wash your hands frequently with regular soap and water
Get outside in the fresh air. Take walks and expose yourself to sunshine (Vitamin D).
Receive Acupuncture treatments to balance energy - Acupuncture strengthens the entire body, balances energy, and strengthens the Qi and Wei Qi.
Herbal Medicine and Supplements can keep the immune system strong:
Astragalus is an excellent immune tonic
Medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi and Maitaki can bolster the immune system, especially when the immune system is compromised
Four Gentlemen Formula - a classic Chinese herb formula to keep the Qi strong
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a combination of ginseng and astragalus, used in specific cases to strengthen the body`s Qi
Gui Pi Tang is used when both qi and blood need a boost, with signs such as insomnia, irritability and anxiety
Once someone comes down with symptoms of the flu, the treatment focus switches from formulas that tonify the qi to formulas which expel the invading pathogen. There are western herbs and nutritional remedies such as Vitamin C and Echinacea, which are beneficial.
In Chinese medicine, classic herbal formulas are used, including:
Yin Qiao - This formula contains cooling detoxifying herbs such as forsythia and honeysuckle. It is used when just getting sick, with symptoms which include sore throat, headache, and a yellow tongue coat.
Gan Mao Ling - if you find yourself in the midst of a bad cold or flu
Another way to keep your immunity strong either to prevent or to recover from the flu is to make sure your digestion is strong, such as:
Eat plenty of fresh Raw Foods, which are full of natural enzymes and vitamins and minerals, which keep your body nourished and functioning at its best
Take digestive enzymes with food, to make digestion easier
Bao He Wan is an excellent Chinese herbal formula to help with digestion, especially if there is a feeling of fullness, bloating, gas and slow digestion after eating
Eating fermented or cultured foods like yogurt, kefir, miso, and live cultured vegetables
Taking Probiotic supplements
Chinese medicine, as well as the flu, have been around for thousands of years. The healthier people are, the more resistant they are to colds and flu, and the faster they will recover if they find themselves sick. Strengthening the digestion and tonifying the body`s energy (qi) and immune energy (wei qi) are good ways to prevent becoming sick. If someone is sick, the focus switches to expelling the pathogenic influence and building the immunity again.
Xinnong, Cheng, Chief Editor. Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Foreign Language Press, Beijing. 1990.
Bensky, Dan and Gamble, Andrew. Chinese Herbal Medicine, Materia Medica. Eastland Press, Inc. Seattle, WA. 1986.
Bensky, Dan and Gamble, Andrew. Chinese Herbal Medicines: Formulas and Strategies. Eastland Press, Inc. Seattle, WA. 1990
About the author
Melissa Sokulski is an acupuncturist, herbalist, and founder of the website Food Under Foot, a website devoted entirely to wild edible plants. The website offers plant descriptions, photographs, videos, recipes and more. Her new workbook, Wild Plant Ally, offers an exciting, hands-on way to learn about wild edible plants. Melissa also runs The Birch Center for Health in Pittsburgh, PA, providing the best in complementary health care: acupuncture, therapeutic massage and herbal medicine.
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