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Cold and Flu Season Update

This flu season is making the news. This years H3N2 strain is proving tricky as H3 strains are more resistant to the vaccine than the H1 strains. We've reached the peak of the season, but you don't have to stay home and avoid all contact, Chinese herbal medicine can help you avoid contracting the flu as well as curb symptoms as soon as they start, avoiding a full break out. Come in and see me to find out which formula is best for you.

Chinese Herbal formulas are combined in specialized ways to address the specific symptoms and problem areas that affect each of us differently. Our bodies become vulnerable to sudden weather changes and to stress and fatigue which then compromise it's ability to defend against pathogens. Below is a list of the most common formulas for cold and flu season as compilated by a colleague, Steve Blackstone in Texas. As you can see how specific they are, I will need to see you in the office to determine which formula is best.

1.) Yu Ping Feng Pian The best way to avoid a cold or flu is to stop it before it starts! Right? That’s why I highly recommend this formula for boosting the immune system in children and adults. It is best used before cold or flu symptoms become evident. In clinical studies Yu Ping Feng Wan is shown to significantly reduce the frequency of the common cold and bacterial infections in the respiratory tract in people who have chronic bronchitis and children who are susceptible to the cold or flu. Do you have a child that is constantly coming down with strep throat? I have found that 12 weeks of this formula at the recommended dosage can alleviate that problem. Tablets may be crushed and added to warm water or mixed with food for those who have difficulty swallowing pills.

2.) Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian Ancient Chinese secret? No. Not really. The herbal formula known widely as Yin Qiao (pronounced yin chee-ow), is renowned in Chinese Medicine not solely for curbing colds in the initial stages but, for preventing them and keeping them from manifesting as a full blown episode characterized by cough, itchy throat, watery eyes, mild fever, and runny nose. If you have the nature to develop sinus infections and respiratory infections in conjunction with the onset of a cold, Yin Qiao may prevent those complications. It’s been proven that Yin Qiao can be taken as a preventative when exposure to conditions is imminent, typically at work or school. This is one formula to always have on hand (at home and at work). It will keep family members from missing school or work unnecessarily. For young children, tablets can be easily crushed and mixed with food.

3.) Zhong Gan Qing Pian is suitable for use when a cold or flu has progressed into later stages… nasal congestion, headache, difficulty sleeping, profuse green mucous, fever, and cough. This is most effective when it is used at the first sign of a common cold. If the cold has passed the initial stage, it is more beneficial to take Yin Qiao.

4.) Su Zi Jiang Qi Wan This remedy has a remarkable capacity to help those who have a tendency to contract bronchitis every time cold weather sets in. The most notable symptom is a barking cough possibly accompanied by chills, aversion to cold, abundant clear or white sputum. This formula relieves coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest discomfort.

5.) Bi Yan Pian and… 6.) Te Xiao Bi Min Gan Pian These two herbal formulas are often used interchangeably for seasonal allergies. Both dissolve phlegm (especially nasal mucus), alleviate discharge and open the nasal passages. These formulas are recommended for the inflammation and stuffiness associated with rhinitis, allergies, sinusitis, cold or flu, and they work quickly; without the drowsiness or side-effects associated with over the counter antihistamines. For some, one works better than the other. Many find Te Xiao Bi Min Kan Pian works better for symptoms that include itchy eyes and ears.

7.) Ge Gen Tang Pian Use this when a cold first hits! It it often hard to address a cold in this stage because it often progresses rapidly to a more advanced stage. When wind and cold first invade the skin surface the body responds with the quick onset of alternating chills and fever, headache, muscle aches, sneezing, cough, nasal congestion, runny nose. I recommend this Chinese herbal when symptoms are accompanied by chills and neck stiffness that become worse with exposure to cold.

8.) Qing Qi Hua Tan Pian is formulated for those who have developed phlegm in the upper respiratory tract. The most prevalent symptom: cough with thick, yellow or green phlegm that is difficult to spit out. In severe cases, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing may be evident.

Acupuncture is also very beneficial at helping your body vent out illness right when the first symptoms appear. So come on in and see me at this critical time! And as I mentioned in the Fall - keep the back of your neck covered with a scarf at all times outside.

In health,


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