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Chinese Medicine Cold, Cough & Flu Basics

Chinese medicine takes two approaches when it comes to fighting illness. The first is to reduce inflammation and infection. The second is to bolster the immune system and boost the body’s core energy to keep up the fight.

The “Defensive” Qi
In Chinese medicine, qi is the life-giving activating force in our bodies that keeps our organs functioning. There are many kinds of qi, but one kind in particular is important when it comes to the immune system: defensive qi, or wei qi. This qi circulates near the surface of the skin to help ward-off illness. A fight between germs and the defensive qi is often experienced as the fever and chills. Many Chinese medicine techniques strengthen the defensive qi to prevent issues like colds. 

Cold, Heat, Dry, Damp
Our environment also plays a big part when it comes to staying healthy. External conditions like cold, heat, dryness, and dampness can throw off our body’s balance and cause illness.

Major Organ Systems in Chinese Medicine and Cold, Cough & Flu Care:

Lung: The Lungs are the organs most closely related to the external world. As such, they’re often the first ones to fight illness. This is easily recognized as cough, nasal and chest congestion, sinus pressure, and mucus. 

Spleen: The Spleen system is responsible for protecting our immunity and strengthening our qi. With a weakened Spleen system, we may fail to fight off illness or lack the energy needed to keep up a strong defense.   

Common Treatments for Cough, Common Cold and Seasonal Flu in Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine offers are few different ways to treat symptoms like cough, runny nose, sneezing, chest congestion, phlegm, fever, chills, and fatigue. Acupuncture can help to strengthen the immune system and reduce discomfort. Techniques like cupping are often helpful for opening the chest, easing coughs, or reducing a fever. 

Chinese Herbal Formulas for Colds, Coughs and Flus

There are several different infection-fighting and immune-boosting herbal formulas in Chinese medicine. These vary by type of infection, time of year, and the symptoms present. Many Chinese herbs have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. No matter the formula, however, special care is always taken to balance the formulas with strengthening and supportive herbs.

Special Herbs for Coughs, Colds and Flus

The following are important herbs used in our popular cold and flu formulas. 

Jin yin hua/Japanese honeysuckle: Jin yin hua is a delicate flower, but it packs a mighty punch against heat-based colds and flus. This herb is known for reducing fever, inflammation, and congestion in the Lungs. 

Gui Zhi/ Cinnamon twig: Gui zhi is a commonly used herb in many cold and flu formulas. It is warm and invigorating and helps to support the defensive qi in fighting off infection. 

Mao Dong Qing/ Holly root: Mao dong qing is the key herb in a famous Chinese cold medicine, Gan Mao Ling. This herb is a potent infection-fighter and is known for its ability to cool inflammation and fight viruses. 

Shop our Collection of Chinese Medicine Cold, Cough & Flu Remedies

Don’t let the seasonal bugs keep you down. Chinese herbal medicine can help prevent illness or recover from these common colds faster and easier. Shop our collection of Chinese herbal formulas dedicated to banishing coughs, colds, and flus