Beating the Common Cold with Foods in Chinese Medicine

It’s that time of year again when the common cold becomes more common.

The best medicine is prevention and there’s a lot you can do at home. Getting plenty of rest, moving your body in a way that brings you joy, breathing mindfully, staying hydrated and eating well are all great ways to maintain health and wellbeing. Chinese medicine tells us that eating pears in the fall helps to protect your lungs since they are your first line of defense against many illnesses. Eating cooked foods instead of raw and avoiding too spicy foods will also help the lungs. And don’t forget that physical health is tied in with mental, emotional and spiritual health, so it’s lovely to aim for balance. There’s even a growing movement that claims colds are caused by a conflict. That may or may not be true but if there are any areas of conflict in your life then healing them will most certainly be beneficial to your health.

If you do find yourself coming down with a cold you can take steps to head it off at the pass. Many Chinese herbs are foods you already have in your kitchen. Steep them with hot water to make a tea or broth.

If you don’t have a high fever, try:
fresh ginger, garlic, or cinnamon

If you do have a high fever, try:
dandelion, honeysuckle flowers, or chrysanthemum flowers

Cilantro, mint and green onion are good choices regardless of whether you have a high fever or not.

Of course, acupuncture treatment and a prescription for a Chinese herbal formula custom-tailored to you can also be helpful for both preventing the common cold as well as treating it once it has begun.

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