My Cold & Flu Medicine Cabinet

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* photo credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Who knows at least one person who has been sick already this year!? It seems like each year more and more people are getting sick and the symptoms are lasting longer and longer! I’m so thankful for all the categories of medicine, but I do have a very special place in my heart for more natural remedies.
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EXTERNAL PATHOGENIC INVADER
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), external pathogenic invaders (EPI) are what we refer to as cold and flu viruses/ bugs/ illnesses. In any given season there are EPIs floating about in the world. The health of your internal defense system, also known as wei qi “way chee,” will determine if you develop symptoms and become sick or if you’re able to fight off the infection and remain symptom free.
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-> If the EPI is strong and your wei qi is also strong, you may develop some symptoms but your body is most likely able to fight off the EPI.
-> If the EPI is strong but your wei qi is weak, you will get sick.
-> If the EPI is weak and your wei qi is also weak, you will get sick.
-> If the EPI is weak but your wei qi is strong, you most likely won’t get sick.
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This gives some reasoning behind why a variety of people can come in contact with a person with an EPI but only a select few develop symptoms and get sick. Luckily there are a whole host of things one may do to enhance their wei qi (future post to come).
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COLD & FLU MEDICINE CABINET
We all have our own ways of handling colds and flus. Whether you’re one who continues to work through it and just hopes to get better, or you take the very important time to rest while implementing the whole kit and kuboodle… here are my items I’m sure to give a try to battle the EPI:
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Herbs are individual to each presentation and require a diagnosis from a licensed acupuncturist/ herbalist:
– Gan Mao Ling
– Herbal ABX
– Minor Bupleurum
– Yin Qiao
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Supplements & Oils:
– C grams (vitamin C) from Advocare – or Vitamin C from your local drugstore
– Congaplex from Standard Process – a whole food supplement
– Essential Oils: eucalyptus, frankincense, immupower, lemon, peppermint, thieves
– Gypsy Cold Care Tea from Traditional Medicinals – most grocery/ health stores
– Immuno Guard from Advocare – a supplement with the health benefits of mushrooms
– Oscillococcinum from your local drugstore and Amazon – a homeopathic remedy
– Sambucol – from your local drugstore – the healing properties of black elderberry
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I’ve been using these products for years for all of my cold and flu like symptoms. Usually after using and alternating the products above, I’m able to keep the cold/flu symptoms in check. Some of these products are able to be purchased at your local drugstore at your convenience but remember it’s best to check with your licensed acupuncturist for which herbs to use along with your medical physician to determine the best products for you.
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What do you like to use to help get feeling your best during the cold and flu season!?
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Always feel free to stop into your local, favorite acupuncturist to help keep you healthy and talk about alternative ways to beat the colds and flus circulating this year. I’m sure they would love to share some of their favorite tips and tricks with you as well!
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**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

Why do some people tend to get sick more than others?

You may wonder why some people get sick while others do not. Those that tend towards sickness most likely have some internal deficiencies or imbalances.

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The specifics are difficult to explain and one of the many reasons for all of my education and training! Basically, a certain substance in the body is either not able to fulfill all of its functions or the external pathogenic invader is really strong. If the EPI is strong, but the right qi of the body (part of the body’s defense) is also strong, the person tend to not get sick as often. If the EPI is strong but the right qi is deficient, the person tends to get sick.

If you’re starting to feel less than your best, read my post about responding to cold and flu symptoms for more information on what is going on and what to do next.

Acupuncture Ally: Thieves Essential Oil

young living thievesTo continue our talks about the season of autumn and colds and flu, an essential oil I’m sure to never go without is Thieves from Young Living Essential Oils. 

Thieves essential oil includes clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary. It’s known to help support the immune system at the onset of colds, flu and candida. It may also help with sinusitis, coughing and sore throats.

I really like diffusing thieves in the diffuser, as it smells amazing and reminds me of Christmas. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can put a drop on a cotton ball and inhale it periodically.Others will apply thieves topically to their feet with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil.

I also will add 1 drop to about 16 oz of water in a glass bottle (do not use plastic with essential oils, as the oils break down toxins, and will break down the plastic). This can have quite an intense taste, but when paired with peppermint or lemon essential oils, it dilutes it down a little. I will start using Thieves the moment my throat becomes sore, which can be a pretty good sign that an illness may be attempting to break through. Usually after one day of use my throat is relieved and I’m feeling better.

Please note: repeated use can result in extreme contact sensitization and can cause extreme skin irritation. Use with caution during pregnancy.

***The posts, testimonies and information provided on this site are not intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease or illness. Please be sure to always check with your health care professional before altering any prescription medication or starting a new health care regiment regardless. The suggested use of essential oils on this page are YOUNG LIVING EXCLUSIVE. We cannot be held responsible for damage done through the use of off brand or synthetic essential oils, supplements or homeopathy suggested on this page. INGESTING SYNTHETIC or PERFUME GRADE essential oils is highly dangerous. These bottles are labeled “NOT for internal use”. Young Living essential oils are MEDICINAL grade, used internally in over 50 U.S. Hospitals and, will be noted on the label as “GRAS” by the FDA for internal use or as a food additive.

Responding to Cold & Flu Symptoms

According to Chinese Medicine, when a person gets sick, we refer to this as having an external pathogenic invader (EPI). This means that it is an external condition and the goal is to expel the external pathogen first and then gently tonify the internal so one does not get sick again. When you feel like you are starting to get sick, the way you respond can determine if you will be under the weather for a few days or weeks.

It is important to take action quickly and appropriately at the first onset of symptoms. Generally, EPIs in America may be dealt with as follows:

Get plenty of rest. The importance of resting cannot be overstated. When you rest, your qi and blood is able to replenish itself to try to fight off the EPI. If you continue with your busy schedule and high demands, your qi and blood won’t be able to keep up with your schedule let alone fighting off the enemy!

Layer up! When a person dresses warmly the extra layer of clothing helps warm the body, which supports the yang qi. This allows the yang qi to focus on fighting the EPI and not work so hard to keep the body warm. With most EPI, the goal is to induce a mild sweat, so that the EPI may be expelled. It is difficult to induce a mild sweat if you are not properly covered.

Consume warm food and drinks. In modern America, it is not uncommon to constantly be ingesting cold foods and drinks. However, you may not know how harmful this can be to your body, especially when you are trying to fight off an illness of some sort. Just like it is important for the yang qi to keep you warm, it is also important that your food and drink helps contribute to this. Your spleen and stomach are in charge of digestion. These organs are like a melting pot; in order for the substance to be extracted from the food, it needs to be hot. Think of how much harder your spleen and stomach need to work if what you consume is cold! Cold foods can require your spleen and stomach to work harder, which in turn may cause them to be a little deficient at times. During times of sickness, you definitely don’t want your spleen to be deficient.

See your acupuncturist if you feel your body needs an extra boost to fight off the EPI and to determine other modalities that may be appropriate.

See your primary care physician if symptoms progress or worsen.

**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.