How to Protect Yourself from the Common Cold

Home » Chinese Medicine News and Research » How to Protect Yourself from the Common Cold

It seems that we are facing an early start to the cold season this year; I have already come into contact with a half dozen sick patients and friends.

Everyone has their favorite methods of preventing and treating colds. In this article, I will share some tips from a Chinese medicine perspective.

Take care of yourself. While this is basic common sense, many people forget to follow it. Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated (with plain water, herbal teas, and fruit juice that has been diluted with water), and eat healthy foods including lots of fruits and vegetables. Avoid greasy, rich, and sugary foods. Manage your stress level; several research studies have shown that stress negatively impacts the immune system.

Avoid cold and drafts. This may seem like an old-wives tale, but there are scientific reasons why it is true: when your body is struggling to maintain a stable temperature, it has fewer resources to support the immune system. Also, anything that dries out your mucus membranes makes them less effective at trapping bacteria and viruses. Moisten your sinuses with nasal rinses and steam treatments.

  • Stay away from fans and open windows.
  • Don’t walk around barefoot.
  • Keep your head, neck, and upper back covered.

Acupuncture can help kick a cold. There are many acupuncture points and other treatments that can help to reduce the severity or length of cold symptoms. In my office, I encourage patients to come in if they have a mild cold. However, if you have a severe and highly contagious illness such as the flu, conjunctivitis (pink eye), strep throat, or infectious diarrhea, please call us to reschedule your appointment.

Chinese Herbs can treat a variety of illnesses. Many herbs have anti-viral or immune-strengthening properties. Some formulas can be taken in the months preceding cold season to help prevent sickness. Other herbs can be used once you contract a cold; the popular over-the-counter remedy Airborne contains herbs from these traditional Chinese herbal formulas.

Share your favorite cold treatments; please leave us a comment!

Comments are closed

Website design, maintenance & hosting by Super Blog Me.