Natural Living: Protect yourself during the cold/flu season naturally | NevadaAppeal.com

Natural Living: Protect yourself during the cold/flu season naturally

Maureen Lamerdin, O.M.D.

The common cold has been around to afflict people since recorded history, and probably even before then. Though not life threatening, it can be uncomfortable and lead to missed school and work for many. Any one of more than 200 viruses is responsible for the common cold, however one of the most common is the rhinovirus.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a long recorded history of treating and combatting infectious disease. One of the highest regarded classical Chinese medicine texts is the "Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Cold Damage)" written by Zhang Zhong Jing in about 200 AD. This valuable information from our ancestors gives us the knowledge today as to differentiate the correct pattern in a patient, as not all are created equal. The most common patterns in Chinese medicine are wind-heat or wind-cold. Typically, feeling feverish, a sore throat and sweat point to the cause as wind-heat. Bodyaches, neck-stiffness, and chills generally indicate wind-cold. Seeking the guidance of a TCM doctor will help you to properly diagnose your condition.

For wind-cold invasion, the most commonly used prescriptions include Gui Zhi Tang and Ge Gen Tang. For wind-heat invasion, Yin Qiao San and Gan Mao Ling are conveniently available for use. It's recommended to keep these medicines, which are available in pill form, easily accessible so they may be taken at the first signs of a cold. Often, a consistent usage of Yin Qiao San pills within the first 24 hours of cold symptoms can help you avoid the cold altogether. These formulas are available in pill form from Chinese herb shops and your local acupuncturist.

You are your best doctor at preventative measures and keeping yourself well this season. Here are a few tricks to do just that:

As mentioned above use Chinese herbs for first line of defense, they will fight off viruses and strengthen your immune system at the same time.

Drink green tea daily as it has a plethora of antioxidants along with fighting off cancer cells and supports digestive health.

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Eat lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables and garlic, avoid sugar and junk food.

As a preventative or for exposure drink ginger, lemon, garlic tea.

Take Vitamin C daily (at least 1500 mg/day).

Keep out of drafts and keep the back of the neck protected from cold, wind, and drafts.

Get adequate rest and relaxation.

Limit your exposure to sick people and wash your hands often.

Getting acupuncture tune-ups will keep your immune system strong thereby fending off bugs.

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