Winter is tough, especially when the viruses keep visiting. We have a toddler at home, so in the past three years, we had plenty of occasions to add onto this list.
The big idea comes down simple, we want to clean/chase off the viruses, dispel wind-cold (in most of the cases) and boost the immune system.
First thing first, basic hygiene and fresh air circulation when temperature permits are actually very helpful.
Most of cold/flu viruses enter through our nasal passage. Even though most people find nasal irrigation is neither pleasant nor sexy, the salt-water rinse does the trick! It washes off most airborne pathogens and moisturize the nasal pathway to help prevent cold/flu.
*Saline nasal spray from pharmacy works just fine, or if you are fancy, you may want to get a neti pot.
2. Drink hot beverages made with ginger, cinnamon or mint
Let your imagination run wild, you can make some delicious hot beverages with these spices and herbs. Not only they taste good but in Chinese medicine, they are known for their ability to stimulate circulation, promote sweating and dispel wind-cold.
* A few weeks ago, I was reading about cinnamon; I was amazed by its presence as a medicinal herb in so many other cultures. There is even a story circulating around saying that during the 1918 spanish flu pandemic, workers from cinnamon factory seemed to be immune to the disease.
3. Aromatherapy: eucalyptus essential oil
A major bronchial remedy in western folk medicine. It is known to promote expectoration, reduce phlegm, relieve coughing. A recent scientific study also proved it has notable antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Much of its benefits can be obtained through diffusing the essential oil. It helps you to fight off the viruses and also stops the cold/flu from spreading to other family members.
4.TCM herbal formula: Gan Mao Qing Re Granule For Wind Cold
This is a must-have TCM herbal formula, it saved us from falling ill countless times. It is not for every kind of cold/flu, but if your first signs are chills, headaches, sore muscles and stuffy nose, this is the go-to herbal formula.
* You can find it in any Chinese medicine pharmacy, they come in two forms with one having added sugar.
5.Mint/camphor Ointment rub
In Chinese medicine, mint and camphor are two herbs with extra strength to dispel wind-cold. There are quite a few rubs with these two main ingredients out there to help relieve cold/flu symptoms (vicks, tiger balm etc.). Our favorite one for cold/flu is the Mentholatum® Original Ointment, we find its formulation gentle and soothing.
Use as indicated, but also you can try to apply on certain acupuncture points: Feng Chi, Da Zhui, Tai Yang, ZuSanLi, JianJing ( We covered a few of these points in our last blog post about acupressure auto-massage)
6. Acupuncture or Shiatsu treatment
Calling your therapist might not be the first thing that comes to mind but it will definitely speed up your recovery. If the the headaches, stuffy nose and cough seem to last forever, booking an acupuncture or shiatsu treatment is the thing to do to help you to fight off the virus and accelerate the natural recovery curve.