Wednesday 14 March 2012

Chinese Medicine Practitioner-Herbal Formulas-Immune Booster-Chinese Herbs

Let's learn about how to use herbs during the cold/flu season: Don't use most 'immune boosting' formulas while you have a cold

Many so-called "immune boosting" formulas have an herb called Huang Qi (astragalus) in them. No. Do not take a formula containing Huang Qi during a cold; it may drive the bug deeper and extend the length of time it takes you to get well. This is one of the most frequent misunderstandings that I hear people talk about. They think that it is good to take an immune booster during a cold. Remember: it depends upon the ingredients! Wu Wei zi (schisandra) is another such ingredient; okay to take when you are not experiencing cold symptoms.
The good news is that there are herbs that will help fight a cold and you can get these from your licensed Chinese medicine practitioner or Acupuncturist. Ban lan gen (isatis root) has antibiotic properties, jin yin hua (lonicera - honeysuckle) has anti-inflammatory properties so it can help with some symptoms. Gan cao (licorice root) is another individual herb can help break a cold right at the beginning.
Here's a good place to clarify that Chinese herbs are prescriptions and should be prescribed by a knowledgeable practitioner. In my most humble professional opinion, they should not be sold over the counter. One of the most frequent stories I hear is that a person bought a Chinese medicine formula in a grocery store and then didn't understand why it didn't work. Well, if you take a formula that is designed to deal with the beginning energetics of a cold midway through your cold, you're right, it's not going to work! Or, if you have a runny nose kind of cold but you take a formula designed for a phlemy, sore throat kind of cold, it's not going to work and might even extend the length of your cold or flu. Please talk with a licensed Chinese medicine practitioner before purchasing Chinese herbal formulas. Taking herbal formulas, especially those containing herbs used in Chinese herbal prescriptions is one case where checking the training and credentials of your alternative medicine practitioner is important.
Remember, this information is based on my training, clinical experience, and licensure as a practitioner of TCM and is not something with which the FDA would necessarily agree or suggest. read more..

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