There’s a reason why common colds, flu, hayfever and sinusitis become more common when the temperature drops.

In Chinese medicine, these conditions are largely caused by an ‘invasion’ on Wind and Cold into the nose and Lungs.

Considering that Brisbane’s winter weather is usually windy and cold especially in the mornings, it’s little wonder these two ‘pathogens’ give us more bother at this time of year.

Cold need not be generated by the weather: air conditioning is a major cause of summer cold and flus.

There are some simple things you can do to boost your resistance to these and other nasties.

Common colds and hayfever due to Wind and Cold generally involve chills, a clear and watery nasal discharge, no sweating, sneezing, headaches, aching joints, a ticklish throat and a cough with little sputum.

If you suffer from these symptoms, have hot showers and then rug up in bed. Cover up your neck at all times, especially when outside. Stay away from airconditioning, fans and windy weather. Make sure you wear shoes or slippers. And, drink plenty of water (room temperature – not refrigerated).

Also, add these foods into your diet: sweet basil, cayenne pepper, fennel, fresh ginger (as a tea with lemon and honey is great), mustard seed, star anise and prickly ash leaf.

If you have a sore throat, high fever, headache, sweating, a cough with yellow or green sputum, or a similar nasal discharge, you have Heat mixed up with a Wind invasion.

If you are suffering from these conditions, stay away from airconditioning, fans and windy weather, use lots of cool compresses for headaches, and drink plenty of water.

Foods to eat to cool your body are banana, bitter endive, black fungus, salt, spinach, strawberry, bamboo shoot, beet leaf, mung bean, peppermint, spearmint, sweet basil, celery, coconut meat and green onion.

As soon as you feel a cold or flu coming on, consider a course of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. It works best if you come in for your first treatment as soon as these symptoms arise. Oftentimes, acupuncture on day one of a cold can stop it in its tracks.

Also, we have plenty of effective cold and flu herbal formulas in clinic. Simply pop in and we can dispense the best one for you.

If you suffer from hayfever or sinusitis, please know we have been very successful in treating these in clinic – even chronic conditions of more than 20 years duration!

Prevention

Naturopaths say echinaca and olive leaf extract are great for preventing colds and flu.

In Chinese medicine, we like to boost the immunity through herbal formulae like the Jade Screen Powder (Yu Ping Feng San) and Energy Tonic (Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang) – both feature the immune-boosting Chinese herb, astragalus.

Naturopaths are so impressed with astragalus that it’s now widely used among western herbalists to boost the immune system.

Also, living a health lifestyle is important. So too is washing our hands regularly throughout the day – and covering our mouths up when we cough or sneeze!