Got a Cold? Chinese Medicine to the Rescue!

Got a Cold? Chinese Medicine to the Rescue!

Tansy Briggs, L.OM.

In my practice, patients often call to reschedule their appointments because they are sick. They are worried about coming to the office and exposing us to their germs. They may not know that Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can effectively treat colds and flus.

But, guess what….?

This is the perfect time to come in for acupuncture! Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are uniquely and elegantly equipped to treat colds and flus at every stage. Infectious Disease Theory is linked to Traditional Chinese Medicine in historical texts such as Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic), thought to be written in the 1st or 2nd Century. This text accurately described infectious diseases, termed “Wen Bing” or warm diseases, their transmission and progression, and the importance of strengthening the qi in relation to the pathogen. Treatment strategies were developed and have been in use for thousands of years to effectively resolve acute and chronic illnesses.

Here are some general tips and guidelines that may help:

Colds & Flu’s

Come in for treatment at the first sign of illness. If you can’t get in for a treatment for some reason – call to pick up an herbal formula to help you. If your cold is lingering or you are having relapses, make sure to come for acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help clear this up and strengthen your immunity.

Did you know….?

The Chinese herb formula Yin Qiao San- Honeysuckle and Forsythia Powder is a classic formula that treats colds and flus effectively. It is commonly used at the initial stage of a cold or flu presenting with heat, sore throat and fever. Taking a dose every couple hours at the first sign of illness can reduce the severity of the cold and also clear it up faster.

The formula Gan Mao Ling- Common Cold Effective Remedy is used at initial stage of illness that is characterized predominantly by chills. It can also be used preventively. For instance, when traveling in an airplane where everyone is coughing and sneezing around you. I use it daily during the cold and flu season to prevent catching my patient’s colds. My patients love it so much, they give it as gifts to family members and friends!

Even Better….?

If you know that you get sick more often in a certain month or time of year – it is best to start getting acupuncture before you get sick. Chinese medicine is an effective modality for boosting the immune system to prevent many chronic or recurring illnesses. Work with your practitioner to have regular acupuncture and herbs on hand to begin taking as soon as you feel sick.

Did you know….?

The formula Yu Ping Feng San- Jade Windscreen Powder is used to prevent illness in people who catch colds easily. If you catch ‘everything going around’ this can be a great formula for you. For example: I have used it with my patients who are schoolteachers and tend to catch colds from their students.


Similar to colds and Flus, come in as soon as you experience symptoms. As allergies can be a longer-term problem, we can set up an ongoing program for [CF1] .

Even Better….?

It is best to start treatment during the season before you normally have allergies. Allergies are a form of [CF2] disorder and your practitioner can work with you to correct the underlying imbalance and support your constitution – so A BONUS– feel better, stronger, healthier and reduce your allergies all in one place!

When in doubt…..?

Call us and most likely we will tell you “Yes, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can help that – come in!”


1. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Infectious Disease, by John Chen PhD, PharmD, OMD, Lac Acupuncture Today, August, 2009, Vol. 10, Issue 08

2. Notes from the South Mountain, A Guide to Concentrated Herb Granules, by Andrew Ellis, 2003

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Recharge your body and mind! – I first came to see Cara because she was highly recommended for her expertise in Chinese herbs. I was in need of a “body charge” for my autoimmune system and didn’t want the traditional medical approaches that had helped to get me in the condition I was in. Boy, did I get a REAL body charge when she combined her knowledge of herbs with acupuncture! When my session is complete, I often joke that I feel drunk. The truth is, my body feels completely relaxed and refreshed, my mind peaceful. Cara is amazing- she has helped me tremendously with my myriad of medical issues.