In order to distinguish between Wind Heat (Fēng Rè 風熱) and Wind Cold (Fēng Hán 風寒), we may need to understand the concept of Wind in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) first. Just like the wind in nature that are present in all seasons while bringing to and taking things way from plants, the Wind in TCM also affect our body as a Yang phenomenon and culprit of many ailments and diseases. In particular when it is associated with Cold or Damp weather, for example, the Heat and Humidity in summertime and the Cold Wind in wintertime; they work altogether to attack human body and immune system; that is when the pathogens are able to cause the illness.

Speaking of the two types of a common cold in TCM, Wind Cold and Wind Heat respectively refer to how the Wind invades and then leads to either tonsillitis (head, upper part of body) or a bronchitis (lung) eventually.It is because Wind is thought to be initially manifested in the highest parts and exterior of the body like skin pores, leading to sweat glands and lungs. To put it simply, it depends on whether the "wind" is more associated with "heat" or cold.

On one hand, the Wind Cold representation is normally highlighted with more chills than fever. The common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, an itchy throat with no pain and a runny or stuffy nose with clear phlegm. There will be no sweating as the cold contracts and closes the pores.

On the other hand, the Wind Heat is characterized with more fever. The symptoms include a dry cough with a sore throat, runny or stuffed nose with a yellow or green phlegm since the heat depletes the fluids of the lung but also produces a slight sweat and a slight thirst


By Jingzi 2023-12-20

December 20, 2023 — The Herb Depot

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