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My Eight Favorite Chinese Herbal Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

With the onset of winter I see many more people in my clinic with symptoms of the common cold or flu than at any other time of year. The inability of the body to adjust to sudden changes in the weather is what causes the cold or flu. Chinese herbal formulas developed centuries ago help the human body comfortably adapt to the changes in season. Due to their profound efficacy throughout the ages, these formulas remain well known today and are used regularly by health conscious individuals worldwide.

The best way to avoid a cold or flu is to stop it before it starts!

ActiveHerb provides the most convenient, affordable and potent Chinese herbal formulas to cover the gamut of cold and flu related symptoms occurring in the winter months. The following is a list of my favorite formulas for addressing the most common winter ailments.

1.) Jade Defender (Yu Ping Feng Pian) The best way to avoid a cold or flu is to stop it before it starts! Right? That’s why I highly recommend this formula for boosting the immune system in children and adults. It is best used before cold or flu symptoms become evident. In clinical studies Yu Ping Feng Wan is shown to significantly reduce the frequency of the common cold and bacterial infections in the respiratory tract in people who have chronic bronchitis and children who are susceptible to the cold or flu. Do you have a child that is constantly coming down with strep throat? I have found that 12 weeks of this formula at the recommended dosage can alleviate that problem. Tablets may be crushed and added to warm water or mixed with food for those who have difficulty swallowing pills.

Cold Signoff™

2.) Cold Signoff (Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian) Ancient Chinese secret? No. Not really. The herbal formula known widely as Yin Qiao (pronounced yin chee-ow), is renowned in Chinese Medicine not solely for curbing colds in the initial stages but, for preventing them and keeping them from manifesting as a full blown episode characterized by cough, itchy throat, watery eyes, mild fever, and runny nose. If you have the nature to develop sinus infections and respiratory infections in conjunction with the onset of a cold, Yin Qiao may prevent those complications. It’s been proven that Yin Qiao can be taken as a preventative when exposure to conditions is imminent, typically at work or school. This is one formula to always have on hand (at home and at work). It will keep family members from missing school or work unnecessarily. For young children, tablets can be easily crushed and mixed with food.

3.) Coldclear (Zhong Gan Qing Pian) is suitable for use when a cold or flu has progressed into later stages… nasal congestion, headache, difficulty sleeping, profuse green mucous, fever, and cough. Coldclear is related to Cold Signoff. Cold Signoff is most effective when it is used at the first sign of a common cold. If the cold has passed the initial stage, it is more beneficial to take Coldclear.

4.) Breathmooth (Ke Chuan Pian) This remedy has a remarkable capacity to help those who have a tendency to contract bronchitis every time cold weather sets in. The most notable symptom is a barking cough possibly accompanied by chills, aversion to cold, abundant clear or white sputum. This formula relieves coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest discomfort.

5.) NasoPass (Bi Yan Pian) and… 6.) Nasal AllergiClear (Te Xiao Bi Min Gan Pian) These two herbal formulas are often used interchangeably for seasonal allergies. Both dissolve phlegm (especially nasal mucus), alleviate discharge and open the nasal passages. These formulas are recommended for the inflammation and stuffiness associated with rhinitis, allergies, sinusitis, cold or flu, and they work quickly; without the drowsiness or side-effects associated with over the counter antihistamines. For some, one works better than the other. Many find Te Xiao Bi Min Kan Pian works better for symptoms that include itchy eyes and ears.

7.) Kudzu Relaxe (Ge Gen Tang Pian) Use this when a cold first hits! It it often hard to address a cold in this stage because it often progresses rapidly to a more advanced stage. When wind and cold first invade the skin surface the body responds with the quick onset of alternating chills and fever, headache, muscle aches, sneezing, cough, nasal congestion, runny nose. I recommend this Chinese herbal when symptoms are accompanied by chills and neck stiffness that become worse with exposure to cold.


8.) FlemClear (Qing Qi Hua Tan Pian) is formulated for those who have developed phlegm in the upper respiratory tract. The most prevalent symptom: cough with thick, yellow or green phlegm that is difficult to spit out. In severe cases, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing may be evident.

Don’t just wait and see what happens this year. Get a head start and stock up on Chinese herbal formulas that will make a difference in your health this winter!

This post was originally published on November 20, 2014