By Amanda Lewis, L.Ac.
There are so many incredible plants to use as remedies during cold and flu season. As an acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, I primarily work with Eastern herbal formulas. However, for the immune system, I commonly recommend certain Western herbs.
To choose the most beneficial herbs, consider two basic diagnostic distinctions: 1) whether the illness is affecting the superficial or deep aspect of the body, and 2) whether it's a hot or cold invasion.
Superficial vs. Deep
This distinction determines the severity of the disease. If superficial, the pathogen is more acute and lingers at the surface, with symptoms of sudden onset and short duration. Watch for fever and chills, aversion to wind, headache, body aches, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, a thin tongue coating, and a floating pulse. Signs of a deep condition—mainly associated with organ imbalance—vary from person to person. Deep syndromes tend to be more serious and long-lasting (see your local acupuncturist/herbalist for treatment).
Hot vs. Cold
This distinction determines the nature of the disease. If it's hot, symptoms include red face, aversion to heat, thirst, yellow mucus, constipation, and yellow scanty urine. The tongue will be red with yellow and dry coating, and the pulse, rapid. If it's cold, you'll have sneezing, runny nose, body aches, pale face and tongue (white, glossy coating), slow pulse, chills, fatigue, clear urine, loose bowels, and clear or white mucus.
What follows is a listing of the top herbs I recommend for cold and flu season (generally most effective taken separate from meals). If in doubt, consult your local herbalist!
By Deborah Allison
What happens when you find yourself or a loved one at that point in the healing journey that follows cancer treatment? What is the best support at that point for being more energized and in control of your own wellness plan? Many find they are at a loss as to where to turn next. Here are some simple strategies for overall healthy living and improved wellness.
In terms of diet, you can include more nourishing foods, such as organic fresh vegetables, berries, pineapple, green apples, and fresh-pressed juices. Fresh-pressed vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are readily absorbed and reach down to a cellular level, immediately nourishing and enhancing the growth of healthy cells.
Cruciferous vegetables (including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale), asparagus, garlic, and onions increase glutathione in the body, a potent anticarcinogen. Since stress, diet, infection, toxins, and medications deplete normal glutathione reserves, this is important to replenish after cancer treatment.
Consider adding probiotics to your diet to optimize your gut flora, reduce inflammation, and strengthen your immune system. Research suggests that probiotics might slow cancer progression and improve the response to chemotherapy. Probiotics can be found in certain whole foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and any fermented foods. You can also find high-quality supplements with millions and even billions of live cultures in whole-food stores such as GreenStar.
Gentle detox methods provide important support and need not be scary. Deep Breathing cleanses stale air from the lungs. Dry skin brushing assists the lymphatic system to remove toxins from the body, as does jumping on a mini trampoline for 10 minutes a day. Using an infrared sauna for 30 minutes a few times a week encourages a healing response through sweating. Researchers have found a significantly higher number of toxins leaving the body through the pores from the use of an infrared sauna over regular exercise. (Locally, Dodge City Clippers in Genoa has an infrared sauna.)
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