Winter Cold and Flu Tips
Cold and flu season is upon us again. However, by following a few simple tips and strengthening your immune system with both Chinese and Western herbal remedies you can experience a much healthier season than you might otherwise! Below I have included some information from benedictineherbs.com, a website which I recommend for your purchase of herbal formulas for the whole family—even kids and animals. It's user friendly, so you'll be able to figure out what you might need.
Or, if you would like more guidance in herb selections, I can set up an online account for you through Kan Herbs, and I can place herbal prescriptions that you can order online and receive by mail. If you prefer to pick up herbs from my office, I'm putting together winter health kits that you can have on hand. I'm also offering a pre-paid series rate of three acupuncture sessions for $200 to help you through the cold and flu season. Come in this month to sign up, talk about herbs, and maybe even take your first session to boost your health! Then, if you do start to become sick, I'll make sure to see you right away for one or two sessions to get you back on track toward wellness.
Wishing you good health in the coming months! Please be in touch soon!
Cold and Flu Season Tips:
- REST. Going to bed a few minutes earlier, sitting once or twice a day with your feet up and eyes closed—even for 5 minutes—does make a difference.
- CONSUME WARM FLUIDS. Drinking warm herb teas and making more delicious soups with onions, garlic, and veggies in bone soup or strong veggie broth hits the spot.
- VITAMIN C. This no longer controversial as it once was when Linus Pauling first suggested it nearly 45 years ago. There are several delivery systems to choose from. My favorites, depending upon the need, are fresh fruits and veggies, and a special form of degradated C that bypasses the intestinal system and stays in the intestinal tract a couple of days instead of 4 hours before being eliminated.
- GENTLE MOVEMENT and JOINT ARTICULATION. A short walk, a few minutes of yoga stretching or chi gung breathing, even splashing in a hot tub for movement of the joints and articulation of the body. There is a belief in Chinese thought that “evil” (read virus and bacteria) lurk near the joints so gentle movement allows them to be thrust from their hiding places where the blood constituents can eliminate them efficiently.
Progression of Cold and Flu:
These attacks on our immune system are conceptualized as occurring in three stages. In STAGE 1, the cold enters the body via the upper respiratory tracts as a virus. (In Chinese thought you need to protect the back of the head, neck, and chest from “wind”) Symptoms include achy muscles, stuffy head and nose or headache, sore throat, low grade fever, cough, and clear or colored phlegm. This is obviously the best stage to arrest its development with home remedies and herbs. If the cold progresses to STAGE 2 it has progressed to include a bacterial response to the initial viral invasion (the really sick stage)( If you’re inclined to use western medicine, this is the stage to use it.) The symptoms become worse and more interior, such as really sore throat with swollen glands, ear ache, movement into the bronchi or lungs with lots of highly colored mucous from sinuses and chest. STAGE 3 is the final stage of infection where the virus returns to the sinuses before resolving and completing its cycle.
Benedictineherbs.com also recommends a variety of herbal supplements to help you stay healthy:
- ANTI X. All herbs are antiviral and some are additionally antibacterial. It is useful in stage 1,2, and 3.
- CHINESE COLD & FLU. This formula is especially useful for sore throat, lymph, and to keep the liver open in dealing with infection. I’ve added Evodia to slightly warm the stomach as the other three herbs are considered very cold and would compromise the digestive system. Adding this fourth herb allows the formula to be used with more confidence by the young, pregnant and nursing mothers,as well as the elderly, and infirm.
- DEEP LUNG. This formula is most useful in stage 2 after 18 hours when the infection may have descended into the bronchi or lower or have changed into the bacterial stage. It is very effective.
- ELDERBERRY PLUS. This formula contains no sugar, but relies on a thick concentration of the berries themselves is useful for COUGH as well as a tonic for the lungs, and immunity. It is well received by young children.
- ASTRAGALUS. This is best applied in stage 3 and in the re-cooperative stages until the natural energy (chi) has returned. It is especially useful in cold and wet lung conditions. Do not use for a dry lung condition or if it appears to increase coughing.
- IMMUNITY PLUS. A comprehensive herbal immune tonic best used for 3 weeks before exposure to infection or throughout the entire season by susceptible patients.
- OLIVE. This is a strong anti-microbial, especially anti-viral that many find useful when experiencing viral eruptions, such as herpes.
- USNEA. This is another strong anti-microbial many find useful when experiencing respiratory and urinary infections.
- CHINESE EAR OIL. This is an effective topical application for ear pain. NOTE: It stains clothing and needs to be stored in the refrigerator except for the time needed for an active infection.
- MULLEIN EAR OIL. This topical oil is useful after the active ear infection if over, but it is necessary to use something to continue addressing the ear for another week.
- LYMPH OIL. This topical oil is applied in lymph rich areas such as the neck or groin area to facilitate the movement of overburdened lymph glands in the removal of infection waste material. I use it extensively with children (and adults) with ear aches, and swollen throat glands. It has been helpful for children with chronic ear infections.
- ECHINACEA. This is a mild lymph mover useful in fighting infection.
- PHYTOLACCA. This is a strong lymph mover useful in fighting sore throats and infection. CAUTION: DO NOT EXCEED DOSE RECOMMENDATIONS!
- NASO-CLEAR. This is phenolated (anti-microbial) Irish moss used topically to soothe and shrink swollen membranes of nose and throat.
Herbs to induce sweating are especially good for the first stage of infection. These include peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, and chamomile. Add a pinch of cayenne to enhance therapeutic value. Any hot beverages and foods are useful such as chicken bone broth or egg drop soup, consume or miso. Hold them in your hands and inhale the hot aromas.For cough, slippery elm with honey, or lemon with fresh berry puree and honey (and ½ tsp. brandy) is appealing.I encourage the use of fresh, organic, non-GMO (gene modified organism) produce, and free range grass and organic feed fed cattle as well as chickens for meat and eggs.
Springtime is perfect for quitting smoking
Acupuncture can help
The World Health Organization has declared May 31 as World No Tobacco Day.
Donna Call follows the stop smoking treatment plan of Dr. Portia Zheng, which uses both acupuncture and herbs. In honor of World No Tobacco Day, Donna is offering a free drop-in consultation and a free herbal cigarette in her Mendocino office office on May 31 (from 9 am – 1 pm.)
Here's a testimonial from one of Dr. Zheng's patients:
Dearest Portia (Dr. Zheng),
I happily write this letter today to share with many of you who are thinking about quitting smoking or have difficult time overcoming the desire to light up.
I have smoked about 10-15 cigarettes per day for nearly 16 yrs, since I was about 17 years-old. In August 2008, I started once a week acupuncture treatments comwith Dr. Zheng's herbal smokes for 6 weeks. During this 6 week period, I cut down from 10-15 nicotine cigarettes per day to 3 nicotine cigarettes per day in 3-4weeks time and maintained at 1 cigarette per day for 2 weeks and 0 cigarette for 3 months as of Jan. 21, 2009. This is wonderful that I have never like it before.
In spite of many relapses during the early phase of my treatment, Dr. Portia's treatment and her words of encouragement helped me to get through the difficult time. She was always available to counsel and provide treatments as needed.
I find Dr. Zheng's method non-addictive and affordable. Her method is effective and has many advantages in helping one to become rehabilitated from the nicotine addiction. In conjunction with the acupuncture treatment, Dr. Zheng's method has successfully
- Suppressed nicotine cigarette craving
- Controlled weight gain normally associated with quitting smoking, i.e. appetite suppressant
- Induced mood enhancement and relaxation
- Helped to get better sleep at night
I feel stronger, happier, and healthier. I can breathe better and have more time to do other things. My hair and my clothes smell nice all the time. I also feel like I have more control over my own emotions and stress management. I never thought I can live a day without having a cigarette, especially when I am happy or upset. Instead of reaching for a cigarette, I have learned to breathe—this was one of Dr. Zheng's teachings: close eyes, breathe-in, let whole body relax, and breathe-out gently. Now that I have quit, the tightness around my chest and crabbiness just sort of melted away.
I strongly recommend Dr. Zheng's method for anyone who has the desire to quit cigarettes but cannot over come the physical and psychological craving. Dr. Zheng's stop smoking method has helped me to become smoke-free while proving means of weight control during the quitting process.
Thank You, Dr. Portia. You are a beautiful person. I absolutely could not have done this with out you.
Your Anonymous & Grateful Patient