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How Traditional Chinese Medicine Helps You During Flu Season

How Traditional Chinese Medicine Helps You During Flu Season

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the flu results from external pathogens, such as wind, cold, and heat, invading the body. If your body’s natural defences, or wei qi, are not strong enough, it is likely that you cannot escape flu season unscathed.

Read on to learn about flu in TCM and how TCM practices can help you maintain your health.

Cold and Flu in TCM

Most cases of flu and colds result from wind invasions, which refers to the process of pathogenic factors attaching themselves to the wind and attempting to enter your body.

TCM distinguishes between two types of wind invasions: wind-cold and wind-heat. By identifying what you have, you can determine your treatment plan.

Wind-cold typically occurs during cold weather and environments. Common symptoms include sneezing, itchy throat, body aches, and the appearance of clear or white phlegm. It is crucial to expel the cold pathogenic factors from the body to recover.

Wind-heat occurs more frequently when it is hot and dry. Common symptoms include a sore throat, fever, and the appearance of yellow phlegm and mucus. Treating wind-heat requires you to dispel heat and cool the body.

While most wind invasions eventually resolve on their own, it is best to treat your illness swiftly so you can return to normal life as quickly as possible and avoid the possibility of the flu devolving into a more serious ailment, like pneumonia.


The best cure is prevention.

Prevention requires a strong and balanced immune system. One way to achieve this is to practice exercises like qigong regularly. Qigong helps increase blood and qi circulation throughout the body, reducing stress and tension and boosting the immune system.


Regular exercise can help boost your immune system.

Another way is to take TCM supplements and plant-based remedies. For example, Cordyceps Sinensis benefits your health by regulating your innate and adaptive immunity, thus reducing your risk of contracting infections or diseases and keeping you healthy. Additionally, as the benefits of bird’s nest include anti-virality, you can also consider consuming this delicacy for improved health.

Furthermore, popular herbs such as elderberries and astragalus have similar immune-boosting properties that strengthen your body’s defences against external pathogens.

Eat and Drink to Expel Pathogens

What you eat or drink depends on the type of wind invasion you are experiencing.

If your symptoms are more wind-cold, it helps to consume warm or yang foods such as green onion, ginger, and cinnamon.

On the other hand, if your symptoms are more like wind-heat, you should have cooling or yin foods such as oranges and peppermint tea.

For both types of wind invasions, it is best to avoid dairy, sweets, and fried foods.


Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles into specific points of the body to stimulate a response. By targeting the relevant points, practitioners can help improve circulation and calm inflammation, thus boosting your immune system.


In TCM, flu is often associated with wind invasion. The ideal situation would be to avoid catching the flu by strengthening your immune system. However, if you do fall ill, it is essential that you identify whether you are experiencing wind-cold or wind-heat to implement the appropriate treatment plan.

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