Chinese character for health-clipped

What does Chinese medicine have to say about the common cold?

“In Chinese medicine, we think of the common cold as a ‘Wind Invasion,’” said Linda Stengel, who has studied traditional Chinese medicine for the past 12 years.

This invasion takes one of two forms, she said. “Wind Heat (burning throat, more fever than chills) and Wind Cold (scratchy throat, more chills than fever).”

“To treat the invasion is a matter of dispelling the wind and clearing the heat, or warming the cold, she said. “This can be achieved through Chinese herbs, with acupuncture, or with a folk medicine technique called Gua Sha, which dispels the invading wind by scraping the back of the neck and upper back with rubbing alcohol and a round-edged instrument (I use a Chinese soup spoon) to raise the petechiae.

“Caught early enough, this can stop an oncoming cold or severely decrease the symptoms and duration of a common cold.”

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