Staying Healthy This Winter with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs:
Eight Essential Formulas for Everyone’s Medicine Chest for Winter Wellness
Cara O. Frank, L.OM.
You never have to wonder when the “cold and flu season” is around the corner. Media will be sure that you are reminded of its impending arrival no matter where you turn. Yesterday, I shocked the pharmacist at the drugstore when I declined to get a flu shot. When I explained to her what I do for a living, she asked for my business card. I don’t need TV or print ads to tell me when cold and flu season has arrived because every day I treat people who’ve succumbed to the latest version of you-name-it: head cold, chest colds, sinus infections, etc.
It’s not that I am against flu shots per se: for many, they are a form of life-saving protection. As for me, I’m not in a high-risk group for seriouls complications and, I have secret weapon; I have a huge herbal dispensary at my disposal with lots of effective herbs and formulas to keep me and my loved ones healthy. Since influenza is a viral infection and many herb formulas have potent anti-viral actions, I feel armed and protected.
The problem with prevention is that it is essentially impossible to enforce. When the dreaded season of doom drapes its black curtain over us, we are warned that whatever you do, don’t come within sneezing distance of anybody, don’t even think about shaking anyone’s hand or otherwise engaging in bodily contact, and NEVER, EVER touch a doorknob, shopping cart, dollar bill, or any other object that might have possibly come into contact with any human at any point during its existence.
If you buy into the hype, you’ll find yourself locked away in a dark room waiting for the hazmat team to give the “All Clear.”
The reality is that germs don’t make you sick. Rather, your body’s inability to fend off germs and foreign invaders is what results in you succumbing to illness.
Think about it… How is it possible that a family of 5 people living under the same roof can have completely different reactions during flu season? If everyone were exposed to the same germs and viruses, if the sickness were attributed completely to the virus, everyone would get sick and exhibit the exact same reactions and symptoms.
What happens in reality is that one or two family members get ill while the others don’t. Clearly, the issue is not the germs, but the body’s response to them.
Chances are the last time you got sick you were running yourself ragged, skimping on sleep, eating improperly, slacking on your nutrition, all stressed out from work, skipping your acupuncture sessions, and neglecting your workouts. This is a vicious pattern that many of us fall into and it’s one that weakens the body and allows germs to take hold.
So come in for an acupuncture tune-up, keep your lifestyle habits in good order, and maintain a positive attitude. Do so, and those pesky little germs don’t stand a chance!
Meanwhile: Here’s a short list of formulas that we consider essential for every home’s medicine chest:
- Gan Mao Ling: This modern formula is incredibly effective against colds and viruses. It also helps alleviate headaches.
- Yin Qiao San: This tried and true formula is effective for treating early colds with sore throat and mild fever.
- Zhong Gan Ling:this formula contains powerful anti-viral herbs to help fight the flu. It reduces fever, alleviates muscle aches and reduces inflammation.
- Ren Shen Bai Du San: This formula combines herbs that help reduce fevers and muscle aches along with ginseng to help the body defend against colds and flu.
- Chuan Xin Lian: This small formula contains extremely bitter, but effective herbs for clearing upper respiratory infections. Don’t worry about the flavor; it’s in a pill, so you wont taste it!
- Clear Lung: Our exclusive go-to formula for heavy, phlegmy coughs.
- PND: This formula is China Herb Company’s bestseller for alleviating symptoms of postnasal drip.
- Herbal Throat Drops: Made from many of the same herbs as the Clear Lung formula, our patients love these throat-soothing cough drops.
Need a winter tune-up? You can schedule yourself online or call 215-772-0770
About Cara Frank, L.OM.
Cara Frank, L.OM. was raised by in a health food store in Brooklyn NY. When she was 8 she cartwheeled 5 miles from Greenwich Village through Soho and Chinatown and across the Brooklyn Bridge. For over 30 years she has had the same crazy passion for Chinese medicine. At 17 she had her first acupuncture treatment. At 20 she enrolled in acupuncture school. 1n 1998 she went to China to study where she fell deeply in love with herbs and has never recovered.
Cara is the founder of Six Fishes Healing Arts in Philadelphia where she maintains a busy acupuncture practice and acts as the head fish of the office. She is also the president of China Herb Company You can read her full bio or schedule an appointment.