Beating Flu Season with TCM

Beating Flu Seasons with TCM

As the nights draw in and the weather gets colder, it is evident flu season is upon us. During this time, it is more important than ever to protect yourself and your patients from colds, flu and viruses.

According to Chinese medicine, it is imperative to protect the defensive Qi and expel pathogens to help treat cold/flu symptoms and boost the immune system. The theory behind catching a cold/flu in TCM is that the body natural Wei Qi is not strong enough to combat external pathogens including wind, heat and cold. This invasion is known as External Wind and causes cold and flu.

There are two different types of cold – Wind-Cold and Wind-Heat:

  • Wind-Cold is characterised by chills, stiffness (especially in the neck), headache, sneezing and possibly cold feet. This typically is the first stage of a cold and can last a couple of hours or a few days.
  • Wind-Heat cold is notably characterised by a sore throat, feeling warm and aversion to warmth at the onset of the cold. This is the more common type of cold.

Whether your patient is suffering from Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat, there are TCM solutions to help combat their cold.

Formulas for Cold and Flu Season

Notably, one of the most popular Chinese formulas for treating cold and flu is Yin Qiao San. The Honeysuckle and Forsythia Formula disperses Wind-Heat, cools heat and relieves toxicity to help treat dry cough, sore throat, runny or blocked nose, fever and chills.

  • Jin Yin Hua: antibacterial and anti-viral properties
  • Lian Qiao: antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-viral properties
  • Ban Lan Gen: anti-viral properties, it is also traditionally used to relieve a sore throat
  • Jie Geng: scientifically shown to be an expectorant, decongesting the sinuses and lungs
  • Bai Zhi: natural anti-inflammatory that alleviates body aches
  • Xin Yi Hua: clears and reduces inflammation in the sinuses.
  • Dang Shen: traditionally used to support the body to help fight the pathogen and fatigue
  • Fang Feng: traditionally used to support the immune system.
  • Chuan Xiong: reduces inflammation to soothe body aches
  • Chen Pi: traditionally used to reduce phlegm
  • Gan Cao: traditionally used to help circulate the herb blend throughout the body

All herbs in the above formula can be purchased individually in dry herb or granule from our online shop. Alternatively, we offer a comprehensive in-house dispensary that can make up bespoke formulas for herbalists. Contact our dispensary team for more information.

Alternatively, pre-made formulas may also be beneficial at treating/preventing cold and flu symptoms:

Not to use in Cold/Flu Season:

  • Ba Zhen Tang – discontinue during cold and flu
  • Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang – discontinue during cold and flu
  • Shi Quan Da Bu Tang – discontinue during cold and flu

Additionally, it is highly recommended to drink lots of fluids, eat plenty of warming and nourishing soups and keep warm and rest.

To purchase any of the items mentioned, please click here. If you require any additional information, please contact us.

Disclaimer: Please note that this information is intended for qualified herbalists or healthcare professionals only. If you are a patient, please consult your practitioner for a diagnosis as these recommendations may not be suitable for you. If you would like us to recommend a practitioner who uses Phoenix Medical products, contact us at and we will gladly assist you.

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