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Beat The Common Cold With Chinese Medicine

Despite having pestered mankind since we first walked on earth, the common cold still has no cure. However, if detected early, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has several means of dealing with it quickly.

From a Western medical point of view, the coronavirus is a common source of a common cold. However, various bacterial agents can also cause similar symptoms. While antibiotics can help with the latter, only bed rest and mom’s chicken soup seem to help vanquish the former.

The Chinese see colds as an invasion of external wind, often accompanied by cold, heat, or damp pathogens. Each manifests with different types of symptoms, and each calls for different treatment. Several simple remedies can be used if you detect the cold in its early stages. These remedies can only be used at an early stage, because TCM views the progress of external invasions as going from the superficial layers (skin) to deeper parts of the body. As long as the pathogens are still on the surface, the following methods work to push them out.

When wind and cold invade the body’s superficial layers, they manifest as a scratchy throat, chills, and possible head and body aches. Wind-Cold colds, from a Western medical point of view, generally correspond to viral infections. Against these wind and cold pathogens, TCM will use ginger soup to warm the body, promote sweating, and expel wind and cold. It is simple to make: boil 3 to 5 slices of ginger in a cup of water for three minutes; add about one teaspoon of sugar to flavor. For best results, drink it before bed and wrap yourself up in blankets. This means should help you “sweat out” your cold.

On the other hand, wind and heat-type invasions affecting the surface resemble bacterial infections. For this type of cold, whose early symptoms include a sore throat and possible fever, it is better to take a cooling tea. Add two tablespoons of crushed mint or peppermint to one cup of boiled water and let it sit for about five minutes. Another method is to boil three tablespoons of fermented soybeans and five green onion bulbs in a cup of water for about ten minutes. Both of these simple teas help to cool the body down while promoting a sweat which pushes out the pathogens. You can also try taking common herbal pills such as Yin Qiao San or Gan Mao Ling. They are often available in Oriental food stores.

In the event of a wind and damp invasion, which includes symptoms such as a heavy head and profuse, clear nasal discharge, boil five green onion bulbs and two tablespoons of mint or peppermint in a cup of water for about 10 minutes. If you have access to magnolia buds, add five crushed bulbs to the mixture as well.

Once again, these simple teas work for early stages of a cold only. Once pathogens invade the deeper levels, you can expect mixed chills and fevers, coughing, body and headaches, fatigue, and other more complex symptoms. At this stage, do not try to self medicate! It is better to see a healthcare professional, be it an acupuncturist or Western doctor.