Prevention and treatment of colds and flu with Traditional Chinese Medicine

The treatments offered by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer us many possibilities to treat these very common disorders. The reaction of our organism, when we surprise it with these treatments, is more than favorable: they are a new aid and the result is usually magnificent. Remember that in ancient China everyone paid their doctor to stay healthy; they only stopped paying when they got sick.

colds flu

With the coming of the cold

The cold months lead to health risks, which on this occasion are aggravated by the current pandemic. Traditionally, with Western naturopathic medicine, we have combated colds and flus with: diet (a few days of fasting on citrus fruits and juices; enemas if necessary); hydrotherapy (wraps, cold morning friction with a coat, steam); Y classical medicinal plants (among others: rosemary, eucalyptus, plantain, elderberry or echinacea, in recent decades). We can include many more resources, from honey, pollen and propolis to inhalations, or the excellent applications with essential oils.

colds and flu

One of the easiest ways to distinguish a flu from a cold is by coughing, sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat and headache typical of colds, while with the flu there is also fever and chills, dry cough, great tiredness and loss of appetite.

In China, great importance has been given to diagnosis, as personalized as possible

Nature is wise, that is why it favors us and encourages us to follow a fast. But if what we want is to prevent, then it is worth remembering the classical chinese vegetarian diet based on rice and cereals (35%), algae, vegetables and greens (35%), legumes (10%), protein (10%) and fruit (10%).

The diagnosis

In China, great importance has been given to diagnosis, as personalized as possible. Thus, together with the examination of the tongue, the alterations of the organs are appreciated through a qualitative analysis of the pulses. Up to 14 pulses can be appreciated at different levels, and each one usually corresponds to a specific organ or function. It is a magnificent procedure for early diagnosis.

colds flu

Medicinal plants

In addition to the talus (Astragalus membranaceus), which is a medicinal plant rich in polysaccharides that are very favorable for the immune system, we include a couple of specific formulations with plants from the Chinese pharmacopoeia that are highly indicated for colds and flu, coughs, pharyngitis, etc.

  1. yin qiao sano. Contains: Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae); Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae); Niu Bang Zi (Fructus arctii); Bao He (Herba Menthae); Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi); Dan Douchi (Semen Sojae Praeparatum); Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae); Jing Jie (Herba Schizonepetae); Dan Zhu Ye (Folio Lophathri) and Lu Gen (Rhizoma Phragmitis).
  2. Er Chen Tang. Contains: Fu Ling or Poria cocos (extensive wolfiporia), Saint Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae), Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae), Sheng Jiang (crude ginger extract) and Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae).

five wonderful mushrooms

As preventive resources, in addition to the onions and the GarlicWe have five wonderful mushrooms for prevention in the body and activation of the immune system. Some can be found dried or canned, or in extracts prepared as a dietary supplement (together or separately):

  1. Yun zhi (Coriolus versicolor), also known as you trick.
  2. Dong Chong Xia Cao (Cordyceps sinensis), either cordyceps.
  3. Hui shun hua (leafy grifola), either maitake.
  4. Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum)either reishi.
  5. Xiang gu aka hua gu (Lentinula edodes), either shiitake.

Two types of colds

There are two basic types of cold states. In Chinese terminology, there is a warm wind type and a cold wind type. They have different symptoms and different treatments.

warm wind type

This type of common cold is characterized by high fever, some chills, sweating, sore throat, cough, headache, body aches, and yellow nasal discharge or sputum.

  • Recommendations: mint, zucchini, chrysanthemum flowers, burdock root, coriander, dandelion, apples, pears, bitter melon, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest.
  • Non-vegetarians should eliminate (or at least avoid): seafood, meats, vinegar, drafts, spicy foods.


  1. Take zucchini broth at will.
  2. Prepare an infusion of coriander and mint.
  3. Take an infusion of mint, chrysanthemum and dandelion.
  4. Drink an infusion of mint, dandelion and licorice.
  5. Take an infusion of burdock.

As preventive resources, in addition to onions and garlic, we have five wonderful mushrooms

cold wind type

It usually occurs with a change in weather or when you are exposed to wind and cold. With a weak immune function these pathogens penetrate the skin. Symptoms may include chills, fever, no sweating, headache, body aches, stiff neck, and clear, profuse nasal discharge. When pathogens are in this early, superficial stage, we try to sweat them off. A hot bath or dry sauna could be very suitable to start the sweating process.

  • Recommendations: regularly try to eat ginger, garlic, grains and mustard seeds, grapefruit skin, coriander, persimmon, chives, cinnamon, basil, soupy rice porridge, and try to eat as little as possible so as not to load the system with too much digestion. .
  • Non-vegetarians should eliminate (or at least avoid): seafood, heavy proteins and fats, meats and all vinegars.


  1. Boil garlic, ginger, spring onions, basil, mustard, or cinnamon over low heat for five minutes, and drink the infusion; lie down and get ready to sweat.
  2. Take an infusion of coriander and ginger.
  3. Take an infusion of chives and basil.
  4. Prepare an infusion of dried grapefruit skin.
  5. Prepare an infusion of mustard seeds, coriander and spring onions.
  6. Drink an infusion of persimmon and ginger

Author: Jaume Rosselló, Editor specialized in health and food

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Bio Eco Current January 2023

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