Wellness Wednesday :: unique remedies for common colds

In todays wellness Wednesday video I discuss the energetics of what we call the common cold.

In Chinese Medicine illnesses can have thermal natures that are either cold or hot. This thermal nature determines which herbs and plants to use for treatment. Listen in to find out what thermal nature your cold is and how to treat it.

Eastern systems of medicine recognize that illnesses have different energetic characters. So while western medicine may diagnose multiple people with the same illness those same people will have a different energetic diagnosis. 

For example when you have a common cold your symptoms can present differently than a friends or your child's. These differences may relate to what virus or bacteria you were exposed to but could also relate to any underlying weaknesses your particular body has or just your general constitution. 

In Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda there are a few basic types of common colds. First it can be helpful to decipher whether your condition is "hot" or "cold". This will help to determine whether you want to use heating or cooling remedies. It can also be helpful to determine how much stagnation or what we call damp, phlegm or Amma is in the body. This sticky mucus type congestion slows the body down and is a breeding ground for pathogens.

For most infections and weaknesses in the body its a good idea to reduce or cut out sugar and eat a whole plant based diet with lots of greens. This will reduce inflammation and support the body in healing. Some people find that during the first few days of a common cold they don’t feel like eating and doing a day long fast with just simple broths can be quite helpful. 

If your condition is "cold" you'll have a stronger aversion to cold, you’ll have more aches and pains, you might have a headache, and your congestion will be more runny and dilute. In this case you want to take more warming herbs like ginger (Sheng Jiang), cinnamon (Gui Zhi) and garlic. Stay warm and especially protect your upper back near vertebrae C7 - this is where pathogens are thought to enter the body. You can also go to a sauna or steam or have a hot bath and then wrap yourself in blankets to encourage the body to sweat.

If your condition is "hot" you’ll have more fever, a feeling of heat, sweating, sore throat, thirst and your mucus may be thicker or more yellow. In this case you’ll want to take more cooling remedies like peppermint or (Bo He). Or try chrysanthemum flower (Ju Hua). It’s used as a cooling summer tea in Asia and is a wonderful plant to use with heat conditions especially if you have red or itchy eyes. 

If you’re congested and have a lot of mucus eliminate dairy products and eat simply so that the body can eliminate this excess damp or sticky amma.     

And of course - remember all the basics - get lots of rest and drink lots of water! Taking higher doses of vitamin C during this time can also be very helpful.  

To prevent frequent colds support your immune system by reducing stress and making sure you get enough sleep. You can also take a formula called “Jade Windscreen” (Yu Ping Feng San). This is especially true if you get colds easily, you tend to be tired and weak, and you spontaneously sweat. But don’t take this formula if you have night sweats - in that case another formula would work more effectively for you.

So now you know a few different expressions of the common cold and how to treat them. Let me know in the comments below how you treat your common cold and if you found this video helpful.

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