What Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Do For You During The Flu Season?

The holidays are just around the corner.  But don't forget this is flu season as well. Generally, most flu activity in the US occurs from November through March. The best way to treat a disease is to prevent it. It is absolutely a bad idea to wait to dig a well until you are thirsty. So, do something to enhance your qi now, before the influenza virus shoots you down. In China, special anti-virus teas are usually given in public schools to help prevent illness during the flu season. Chinese herbs such as Huang Qi (Astralagus) and Dang Shen (Codonopsis) are used to strengthen qi and to boost the immune system. Herbs such as Ban Lan Gen (Isatis) and Da Qing Ye (Daqingye) are commonly used as anti-virus herbs.

  • Acupuncture can help stimulate the immune system and rid the body of pathogenic influences. Several clinical studies have demonstrated that acupuncture and herbal medicine reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of time one is ill. When you get sick with the flu, do not wait. Start acupuncture treatments in the early stages.
  • Regular exercise of moderate intensity (enough to warm you up, but not to make you sweat) has been shown to reduce the incidence of the flu. Exercises such as qi gong, tai chi, and yoga can help reduce emotional and physical stress, strengthen the immune system, and prevent illness.
  • Make sure to eat a full balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Foods containing beta-carotene (such as carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, garlic and tomatoes) can help boost your immune system and keep your mucous membranes and upper respiratory system healthy and harder to infect. Eating these foods can also speed up your recovery from illness.
  • Drink plenty of water (one 8-ounce glass per hour) to help flush your immune system of invaders and their waste products. Chicken soup adds extra water and expels mucous to help you get rid of the illness.
  • Extra rest and sleep will give you energy for battling the illness. This is particularly important if you became sick when you were already tired or run down.

For questions, contact a Tao of Wellness office and any of our practitioners will be more than happy to answer them.