Fall is is one of the busiest times of the year for our practice. With children back in school, germs abound in many households so many of our patients are looking to support their immune function. Studies show that patients who receive regular acupuncture treatments get sick less often. If you can’t make into the office for a treatment, here are some herbal formulas we recommend for your medicine cabinet this cold and flu season:

Yin Chiao

This herb is to be taken at the very beginning of a cold or flu when a sore throat and body aches are first felt. If taken early, it can be effective in preventing the progression of the illness. It is to be taken every 3 hours for the first 24 hours and then every 4 hours until symptoms disappear.

Gan Mao Ling

This formula can be taken as a preventative for exposure to the common cold or flu. Like Yin Chiao, it can also be used at the onset of symptoms and is an especially potent remedy to prevent further progression of a pathogenic invasion. If you missed the initial window, this formula can be taken in the full throes of an illness when headache, fever, enlarged lymph nodes or infection are present. It can shorten the duration and lessen these symptoms. This formula is taken every 3 hours while symptoms persist.

Xanthium Nasal Formula

This is a great formula for sinus pressure and congestion due to an acute infection or an intense allergic reaction. This formula frees the nasal passages, transforms phlegm and dries dampness. Instead of reaching for an over-the-counter (OTC) cold remedy, which can be hard on the liver or the small intestine, this formula is safe and effective without damaging other organs. It shouldn’t be used long term but can be taken every 4 hours when symptoms arise.

Of course everyone knows about Universal Precautions and prevention here is key. Just training yourself to be mindful to wash your hands frequently and to not touch your face can go very far toward prevention, as well as protection for you and your family. In cases where influenza exposure is probable, but no symptoms have appeared – as is often the case when a family member comes down with the flu – an effective strategy can be to take a big dose (2x the recommended dose on the bottle) before going to bed and right after breakfast while the family member is contagious (about a week).

All of these formulas are available to purchase at our office. Call today to pick up yours so you can be prepared when the first signs of a cold hits!