Food as Medicine: Combatting Cold & Flu Season
It's simple! Drink lots of warm fluids, avoid cold (damp) foods, and listen to your body.
Let's put on our Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) hats, and determine which type of cold you have to understand how to fight it.. with food!
There are generally two types of the common cold according to Chinese Medicine; "wind-cold", and "wind-heat" type colds.
Wind-cold symptoms may include sneezing, runny nose with clear or white discharge, itchy throat, chills, clear or white phlegm, and an achy body.
Wind-heat symptoms may include headaches, runny nose with yellow discharge, thirst, headaches, slight sweating, and yellow mucus.
How to combat? Let's eat and drink!
If your symptoms are more "wind-cold", add ginger, cinnamon, garlic, green spring onion, coriander to your daily consumption with more tea and soup based foods. With pungent and hot properties, find foods that will help expel pathogens. Bai zhi and jing jie releases wind-cold dampness and soothes headaches and sinus congestion.
If your symptoms are more "wind-heat", add peppermint, spinach, citrus fruits, chrysanthemum, solomon's seal rhizome, and mung beans. Find cooling foods that will help alleviate heat symptoms. Yin Chiao is a patent formula that is recommended for its cooling herbs such as forsythia and honeysuckle.
Honeysuckle Flower Tonic can be taken to soothe and cool as well.
Gan Mao Ling is a patent formula that can be used for both wind-heat and wind-cold patterns. Effective when used for early signs of winter discomforts. In both cases, do your best to avoid or lessen your intake of dairy products, sugars (candies, alcohol), oily and fried foods.
Be mindful of what we eat and drink, and we will be well on our way to feeling 100 percent again.