Bronchitis,Chronic Bronchitis - Cold Flu Treatment, Antibiotics, and Herbs
Cold Flu Treatment, Antibiotics, and Herbs
Antibiotic overuse (especially for the common cold) has led to
antibiotic resistance. Natural antibiotics and anti viral herbs
that may boost immune system are discussed, plus the types of
cold and flu, and cough and cold in a weak immune system.
Most people don't realize that western biomedical understanding
didn't include the immune system until very recently. The first
vaccine was developed in the late 1800's, and most of the immune
system was not understood until the 1960's. Oriental Medicine
has been diagnosing and treating immune system diseases with
herbs since as early as 150 A.D. when the first systematic book
on externally contracted illnesses, the "Cold Damage Classic"
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Medical professionals are now concerned about
antibiotic-resistant 'superbacteria.' These superbacteria have
evolved because of inappropriate medical prescriptions.
Antibiotics are effective only against bacteria, not against
viruses. MD's and DO's often prescribed antibiotics to pacify
patients who refused to leave the doctor's office without them -
even when the doctor knew the antibiotic would not help. The
problem is that we are running out of antibiotic drugs; there is
a finite number of them. It is thought that, in the future, the
more complex treatment agents such as natural herbs may be our
Chinese herbs have successfully treated and caused remission of
viral hepatitis and AIDS. In clinical research studies on human
beings, at least 15 herbs have been shown to stimulate the
immune system and destroy viruses and bacteria (see next table).
Chinese herbs appear to have an effect against bacteria and
viruses directly, and they stimulate and strengthen the immune
system (wei qi) in doing its job of ridding the body of
15 Anti-Viral Chinese Herbs Proven Effective in Human Studies
1. Andrographis (Chuan xin lian): Viral hepatitis, encephalitis
B, herpes zoster, viral influenza 2. Astragalus (Huang qi):
Restores immune function in immune suppression from
chemotherapy, increases IgA, IgG, and interferon production 3.
Deer antler (Lu rong): Promotes lymphocyte transformation and
treats leukopenia due to chronic benzene poisoning, promotes
bone marrow function 4. Ganoderma (Ling zhi): Treats hepatitis,
chronic bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, altitude sickness,
cancer (especially leukemia) 5. Ginseng Ren shen: Increases
resistance by stimulating adrenal gland via pituitary 6. Isatis
(Da qing ye, Ban lan gen): Encephalitis B, measles, mumps,
infectious hepatitis, URTI 7. Licorice (Gan cao): In pulmonary
TB, it increased ESR - arthritis and hepatomegaly from hepatitis
- acute and chronic hepatitis 8. Lonicera (Jin yin hua): Severe
acute pneumonia, bacillary dysntery 9. Oldenlandia (Bai hua she
she cao): Peritonitis, UTI, hepatitis, chronic bronchitis 10.
Phellodendron (Huang bai): Meningitis, dysentery, GI infection,
conjunctivitis, UTI, candidal/trichomonal vaginitis 11.
Polygonum (He shou wu): Malaria Polygonum cuspidatum (Hu zhang):
Lung infections, tonsillitis, hepatitis, RA, osteoarthritis 12.
Salvia (Dan shen): Hepatitis, SLE 13. Siberian ginseng (Wu jia
pi): Xue and qi xu - improves leukocyte count in 70% of
leukopenic patients - caution when there is heat 14. Sophora
(Shan dou gen): Alkaloids effective in countering leukopenia due
to radiation 15. Viola (Zi hua di ding): TB
Oriental Medicine Concepts of Immunity
Wei (pronounced 'way') qi ('chee') is the protective qi. This qi
is thought to circulate in the more superficial levels (skin and
muscles). In biomedical terms, it is probably not the entire
immune system, but the part of it that deals with external
invasions. Protective qi is controlled by Lung organ-system, and
can be compromised by overwork, grief, smoking, not eating, and
talking too much.
Vulnerability occurs particularly when you are tired, or from
excessive environmental influences like cold, heat, dryness, and
dampness- each of these is associated with a season when that
pathogen is more prevalent
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Entrance of the pathogen
The Lung (a system of correspondences including the lung,
throat, nose, and skin) is the most exterior and most vulnerable
organ. Sweating opens the pores, and 'wind' enters through
pores. Wind can be thought of as the pathogen itself, since
another quality (cold, damp, or heat, for example) is usually
attached to describe the pathogen. Wind-heat, then, is the
invasion of the body by a heat pathogen.
Types of Colds and Flu in Oriental Medicine Wind-Cold *
Symptoms: Feeling of cold, chills more than fever, cough,
congestion, fatigue * Herb Formulas: if no sweating - Ephedra
Formula; if more body aches - Kudzu Tincture * Kitchen Medicine:
Fresh ginger or garlic tea (warming)
Wind-Heat * Symptoms: Feeling of heat, fever more than chills,
sore throat or cough, body aches, red eyes, irritability * Herb
Formulas: More sore throat - Honeysuckle & Forsythia Formula;
More cough - Mulberry & Chrysanthemum Formula * Kitchen
Medicine: Mint or chysanthemum tea (cooling)
Sweating (or 'exterior-releasing') is a major therapy in OM. The
type of invasion may be identified by whether or not the patient
is sweating, and whether or not that sweating is leading to
improvement in your health
Fever is thought to be the 'heat of battle' between pathogenic
and righteous qi. In OM, you have a fever if you feel hot, even
if your thermometer shows a normal body temperature. Chills are
a sign that the pathogen is winning, while fever is a sign that
your body is winning.
Tiredness, Qi deficiency, & Weakness The fight may take so much
of your energy that you can do nothing but lay in bed. You may
also lose your appetite, which is a sign of qi deficiency in OM.
Some people are more constitutionally weaker from birth,
especially those with childhood asthma and allergies. These are
often metal or water type people. They need to be especially
vigilant in prevention.
These OM disease theories are not without controversy; some
biomedical research has concluded that cold temperatures, for
example, do not contribute to getting sick. However, since
biomedicine only became aware of the immune system in the
1960's, and OM has been treating colds and flu's for thousands
of years, I would slightly favor the application of OM. It is
true that OM's theories may be inexact at the same time that the
treatments is applies according to those theories are effective.
In another thousand years, once biomedical researchers and OM
practitioners have tested and sifted through OM theories and
treatments, we will have a stronger, more accurate, and
integrated medical system.
About the author:
Acupuncturist, herbalist, and medical professor Brian B. Carter
founded the alternative health megasite The Pulse of Oriental
Medicine (http://www.PulseMed.org/). He is the author of the
book "Powerful Body, Peaceful Mind: How to Heal Yourself with
Foods, Herbs, and Acupressure" (November, 2004). Brian speaks on
radio across the country, and has been quoted and interviewed by
Real Simple, Glamour, and ESPN magazines.