Flu season is just around the corner. In general, most flu activity in the US occurs between November and March. The flu, as known as “influenza” is a highly contagious respiratory infection. The flu as compared to the common cold causes more severe illness. It may cause a high fever (100 to 103 in adults and often higher in children), cough, sore throat, extreme fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, runny nose, watery eyes and even vomiting and diarrhea.
“Dig the well before you are thirsty.”
- Chinese Proverb
The most effective way to treat the flu is to prevent it. Chinese herbs, acupuncture, exercise, a healthy diet, adequate hydration and rest can all help strengthen your body’s resilience to the flu.
Chinese herbs such as Huang Qi (Astralagus), Dang Shen (Codonopsis), Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra) and Reishi Mushroom are used to strengthen the body and boost the immune system. While herbs such as Jin Yin Hua (Honeysuckle flower) Lian Qiao (Forsythiae fruit), Ban Lan Gen (Isatis) and Da Qing Ye (Indigo) actively fight the virus.
Acupuncture regulates energy to balance and strengthen your body and stimulates the immune system. Several clinical studies have demonstrated that acupuncture and herbal medicine together, reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of illness.
Regular exercise that is vigorous enough to warm you up, but not make you sweat has been shown to reduce the incidence of the flu. Exercise such as Qi-gong, Tai-Chi and Yoga can help reduce emotional and physical stress. It also strengthens the immune system and prevents illness.
Eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals will strengthen your immune system as well. Foods containing beta-carotene (carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, etc.) help boost your immune system and keep your mucous membranes and upper respiratory system healthy and resilient.
Drinking water helps your body flush out the virus and the debris from the battle with your immune system. Moreover, increased water intake will help your body recover more quickly.
Finally, be mindful about getting a good night’s sleep and resting when you need to. If you do get sick, allow yourself extra rest to help you save energy for battling the illness and to help you recover faster.
The Traditional Chinese Medical Clinic wishes you a healthy and happy winter!