How to Prevent Colds and Flu

January 23, 2008 at 3:23 am Leave a comment

Here are some self-care tips to keep you healthy during cold and flu season.

  1. Wash your hands, thoroughly and frequently (you know this one already).
  2. Take good care of yourself (you know this one too): get plenty of rest, eat well, drink lots of fluids, and take some time to relax.
  3. Eat root vegetables. In Chinese dietary therapy, root vegetables are said to strengthen the lung — which in Chinese medicine includes the lung, nose, throat, sinuses, and skin, as well as the first line of defense against illness. Try incorporating root veggies into your diet at this time of year, whether by making a hearty vegetable stew, adding a sweet potato to your meal as a side dish, or simply including carrots and beets in a salad.
  4. Keep your neck covered. Illnesses such as colds are said to enter the body via wind, usually through the back of the neck. While this differs from our usual thinking about germs, I’ve found there’s something to it. Try wearing a scarf as it gets colder, and avoid drafts, especially if you’ve been sweating or your hair is wet.
  5. Keep a bottle of yin qiao or other herbal cold formula on hand. There are several Chinese herbal formulas that, when taken at the first hint of symptoms, can help ward off a cold before it really gets started. Ask me for the one most suited to your usual patterns of getting sick.
  6. Try a homemade herbal remedy as soon as you start feeling like you might be catching something.  See the post on teas to make at home. 
  7. Consider taking an immune-boosting herbal formula if you are someone who catches cold frequently and predictably at a certain time of year. Feel free to call and I can help you out with this.

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Treating Colds, Flu, and Respiratory Illnesses with Chinese Medicine Treating the Common Cold: Two Herbal Teas You Can Make At Home

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