Stop the Cold NOW formula

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Yin qiao san is a bigger formula than Yu ping feng san. I will discuss a bit about all of the herbs and  explain a little about how an herbal formula is created in Chinese medicine.

This formula is used to treat Wind/Heat as most of the herbs are cooling. But any formula will have a few herbs that also cool. You usually don’t want to take it too far. This is a great formula to take at the merest hint that a cold is starting – you wake achy, sore throat, headache, tired (different from your usual morning). In many instances it can stop a cold in it’s tracks if you start taking within 6-12 hours, don’t wait until the end of the day.  You can ‘slam’ this herb by taking a dose very often the first day and then start spreading it out over the next 2 – 3 days. If you don’t notice much difference by the end of the second day you need a different formula.

Traditionally there is (are) one or two chief or emperor herbs in a Chinese formula.
In this formula we have Jin yin hua (lonicera – honeysuckle flower) and Lian Qiao (forsythia)
These are both the chief herbs. They release the exterior (open the pores for mild sweat), clear heat (help relieve fever) and relieve toxicity (eliminate the pathogen).
These actions are the focus of the formula.
As discussed a bit yesterday when the defensive or Wei qi is weak it cannot defend against invasion through the exterior. The Wei qi is considered our immune system and lives in the exterior of our body between the skin and muscles. The skin pores may be open, which let in the pathogen and they may close up trapping the pathogen inside. A mild sweat is encouraged to open the pores to release the pathogen. It is also recommended to keep wrapped up to prevent more invasion when the pores are open. It is a delicate balancing act. What this really means it we need to take time to help our bodies heal itself and give it rest and protection from more exposure.

Imagine a fox in a hen house. If you reinforce the fences and gates before you get the fox out, you’ll have no chickens left. Get the fox out first, then reinforce your defense network.

When we create a formula we want to consider whether the condition is basically hot or cold – fevers or chills. Herbs have temperature characteristics that address this. Everything here is balance – where there is heat – cool it; where there is cold – warm it up. Basic concept for thousands of years. We don’t follow this enough in many situations and again we follow it often but don’t understand it’s history.

The assistant herbs:
Jie geng (platycodon) and Niu bang zi (arctium) move Lung qi and help soothe the throat. Lung qi needs to move to get rid of phlegm and ease breathing.
Bo he (mint) and Dan dou chi (Sojae) release heat. Note mint is often used for sore throats and to cool, in general. It will help start a mild sweat which is why it cools you off.
Jing jie (schizomepeta) helps release the exterior but moderates the dryness that can come from too much sweating
Dan zhu yu (lophatheri), Lu gen (phragmitis), Gan cao (glycyrrhiza, licorice) help create fluids and alleviate thirst. Often with fever you sweat too much, get dehydrated. These help to
prevent dehydration.
Note, these groups balance each other – generate fluids, prevent fluid loss, open pores, control sweating.
Additional note: gan cao or licorice is often added to many  formulas as the one that consolidates all the flavors, makes it easier to digest and absorb, balances it all out.

I highly recommend you get to know this formula and Yu ping feng san. Get them from a licensed acupuncturist so they can guide you in the best and safest use for you.

Disclaimer: This information is for your education only. It is always advised that you speak with an acupuncturist before you use any Chinese herbal formula.  Herbal use is never recommended with pregnancy. I know herbal use is part of everyone’s heritage but most of us have lost touch with their wise and safe use. I also believe that everyone needs an acupuncturist as all of us have energy meridians that need to be kept is good shape. If you every get a tune-up for your car, go to the dentist or have your eyes checked,  you need a tune-up for your energy meridians. A licensed acupuncturist is the best person for the job.

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