This year has been one big Cold, Flu and ‘Mystery Viral Illness’ fest. Since it has been such a big problem, we’re going to do yet another newsletter on the subject of prevention.
Most Chinese medicine and other herbal remedies ONLY WORK if taken at the very first signs of a cold or flu. Once the cold or flu has taken hold, there are herbs and strategies that can be used, but now you can only shorten the illness time by a short amount or try to relieve symptoms. However, if you catch it at the very first signs, you can often fight it off before it takes hold.
THE SETUP- If you are around somebody that is sick or coming down with something, your body is at war, whether you know it or not. If your body is stronger than the invader, you might never even know you were up against anything. The more people you are around that are sick, and the stronger the invader, the more likely your body will have to fight pretty hard.
If the environment is changing in some very dramatic way, you are also at war. Wide temperature fluctuations, changes in barometer, humidity levels, and so on – all these things affect you. They force your body to spend a lot of energy trying to keep everything within a certain ‘normal zone’ – your body temperature, your moisture levels, and so on. This places stress on your body and reduces the amount of energy it has to keep your immunity high.
When you are around a sick person, or sick people, you are susceptible. When you are in an environment that is changing quickly, you are susceptible. When you are exposed to both, you are very susceptible.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME- The best way to play this game is to start taking an immune builder during the first signs of fall and on through the spring so that by the time the temperature really starts to swing and people start getting sick your immunity is already strong.
The second best way is to start taking an immune builder with cold and flu prevention when you notice that you come in contact with sick people and/or when the environment starts to fluctuate.
The last method is to wait until you feel a cold coming on and then start taking the proper antidote. But if you miss this window and don’t recognize a cold or the flu at its very first signs, then it can take hold and you are in for a rough ride.
THE SIGNS- Here are the signs of the earliest stages of a Cold or the Flu:
Itchy feeling in the roof of the mouth or throat, sneezing fits, feeling a chill after being exposed to a temperature change, sensitivity of the skin and soreness of the muscles – especially of the scalp, upper back and neck – and feeling tired, needing more sleep or feeling ‘run down’ for no reason.
Nothing is perfect, there is no absolute antidote, and everyone gets sick from time to time despite their best efforts. But doing this properly can definitely lessen your chances of anything strong taking hold.
SOME SUGGESTIONS- Jade Windscreen and Minor Bupleurum are two Chinese medicinal herbs that are main staples for prevention in China and Japan. In America, vitamin D, vitamin C, Elderberry, Echinacea and Astragalus are major preventors. All of these can be taken for prevention, or at the first sign of a cold or flu.
Hope this helps,
Dr Matt and Dr Robin
This week’s bit of Useless Information: Ever wonder what the traditional New Year’s Day food symbolize? Remember this adage…”Peas for pennies, Greens for dollars, and Cornbread for gold”. Pork symbolizes progress or moving forward, and also wealth and prosperity. Lobster should not be eaten on New Year’s Day because the lobster moves backwards, symbolizing setbacks. Also, the chicken scratches itself backwards which is said to bring upon regret or dwelling on the past.
This email is courtesy of Matthew Barnes, D.C. and Robin Barnes, D.C. Neither this nor any of our emails are intended to be medical advice and should not be taken as such. They are opinion and are for informational purposes only. None of the nutrients discussed here are meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.