Treating colds and the flu

Here is another post by our Education Specialist, Samaya Cullerton:

This year the Influenza outbreak has been devastating with many deaths and hospitalizations. Unfortunately, the flu vaccine had a low rate of effectiveness against the mutation of the virus which hit the United States. The immunization field is working on a new type of vaccine, entitled the universal flu vaccine. The goal of such a vaccine is ambitious; however the side effects of such a vaccine are as of yet unknown. In this month’s blog we will discuss influenza from a Traditional Asian medical perspective, a preventative health, and integrative health point of view. Often when Western medicine falls short, traditional medicine has an opportunity to shine. The centuries old methods for the prevention and treatment of Influenza continue to be effective, safe and trusted options. Ancient medicine has seen epidemics before, and it has some seasoned treatments.

In traditional Asian and Western medicine, our innate immunity, our lifestyle, and underlying health plays a key role in how often we get sick, how sick we get, and how well we recover. Whether observing the human body from a Western scientific model or a traditional Asian model, the human body’s health and wellness is a very dynamic and complicated concept. In traditional Asian medicine the Wei Qi is often compared to our immune system. It is our barrier system against pathogens which can attack our body, causing illness. The Wei Qi originates in the stomach, is created from the qi of food and water. It circulates the exterior of the body within the muscles and the skin and regulates body temperature. The circulation of Wei Qi is dependent on the lungs. In Traditional Chinese medicine, the entire GI tract is also considered part of the exterior of the body. Wei Qi, the traditional Asian medical model for immunity, is the defender of our body. It is intrinsically related to our digestive tract function as well as our mental health. The function of a healthy spleen and stomach in the traditional Asian model keep us clear and calm. In Western medicine, we know our autonomic nervous system plays a vital role in our stress levels as well as our digestive function and dysfunction. Essentially, chronic stress, emotional disruptions, low grade health issues, and digestive dysfunction can all profoundly disrupt the Wei Qi, and our immunity.

From my perspective, the people I know are stressed. Our political climate has been a chronic source of stress. The issues affecting the human race today from climate change to political extremism, school shootings, a massive refugee crisis, the brutalities of war, the constant media stream, the personal issues each and every one of us are all contributing factors. Life can be a series of stressful events but lately it’s been at peak levels. This long term, chronic exposure to stress takes a toll. Worry and pensiveness damage the spleen qi. Grief, sadness and despair injure the lung and kidney qi. Having to constantly filter information, deciding what to take in and what to not have an emotional response to, will damage the stomach and gallbladder qi. Anger, rage and frustration will cause the liver qi to become disrupted. In traditional Asian medicine, emotions have a profound effect on the digestion, and the Wei Qi.

This brings me back to the dynamic nature of health. We need to address our own individual dynamic wellness in order to have strong defenses against the flu and other seasonal pathogens. We need to address our emotional and mental health, our digestive function and microbiome, and healthy daily lifestyle habits. Being rested, hydrated, fed a nutrient rich diet, and having good hygiene, and methods to reduce stress goes a long way on the path to prevention and quick recoveries.

When life is hectic and our immune system falls short of protecting us, when superbugs make the rounds and we do get sick, the path to a rapid and full recovery is the next goal. Your body is now begging you for rest and care. Fear not, we at Benedictine Healing Products have your back. Here is a quick break down of our cold and flu line of herbal remedies for adults. Be sure to also check out our children’s, and pet formulas for colds and flu, after all, we all catch a cold sometimes.

Immune Plus as a preventative measure. When everyone around you is going down with illnesses, or for when you know your immunity might be low due to stress, fatigue or poor self-care. This adaptogen rich formula stimulates your body’s innate immunity to stand strong. This formula should be discontinued if acutely ill, and replaced with a cold and flu formula.

Elderberry Plus can also be used as a preventative measure, as well as after becoming ill. Elder flowers when combined with the berries have been traditionally used as an antiviral formula. We think our formula is unique and outperforms other Elderberry syrups on the market because we use both plant parts, and it is sugar free.

Chinese Cold and Flu is our amazing formula traditionally used for the treatment of acute influenza. Based off the traditional Asian formula Chuan Xin Lian, this formula was created to clear heat and toxins, to treat sore throat, cough, and sinus congestion accompanied by a fever. When taken at the first sign of the flu, the formula works best. We believe our formula is unique and gentle as we add herbs to protect the digestion from the cold and bitter herbs in the traditional formula.

Anti X Sinus is our formula traditionally used to treat sinus congestion, head cold, and ear infections. Some people are more prone to head colds, sinus infections and ear infections. This could be caused by the anatomy of peoples sinuses and ears, or it may just be a weak spot for some people, for a number of reasons. This formula has herbs which traditionally target the face, ears, sinuses and head, with both broad spectrum antiseptic, and anti-phlegm herbs, but also herbs which moisten and regenerates the tissue of the nose and sinuses, as it can become so tender and raw.

Deep Lung is intended for the second or bacterial stage of colds and flu. In Chinese medical theory, colds and flu initially enter the body as a virus in the upper respiratory system. If they are met with enough resistance and a strong immune system at this point, the infection is arrested. If the virus goes deeper or a secondary bacterial infection occurs, this manifests as symptoms of deep coughing, phlegm in the lungs, and prolonged acute illness.

Deep Lung 3 in 1 is made as a blend of our three cold and flu formulas: Anti-X, Chinese Cold Flu, and Deep Lung. It’s a great remedy to have on hand in the medicine cabinet. It is the catch all cold and flu formula, which boosts the innate immunity, nourishes the body, and is broad spectrum antimicrobial.

Lymph Oil is a topical oil traditionally used for drainage of congested lymph. It’s a wonderful addition to the cold and flu regiment for easing sore lymph nodes, congested sinuses, and sore throats.

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