The primary goal of traditional Chinese medicine is to create inner wholeness and harmony by helping the body’s qi, or energy force, flow unimpeded.
This qi consists of five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, water. When balanced, these elements promote health. A qi imbalance in the body can manifest itself as lethargy, muscle pain, high stress levels, and a tendency to catch the flu easily.
Embarking on a holistic traditional Chinese medicine healing plan can involve a combination of herbal therapy, acupuncture, dietary changes, and lifestyle shifts.
TCM practitioners swear by these eight herbs and ingredients, and they're all thought to bring balance to the body, boost the immune system, and promote overall health. Try adding them to your routine today:
This antiviral and antibacterial herb contains polysaccharides that increase the body's production of white blood cells, which fight infection. Echinacea is available in an extract or tablet form, making it easier to get your daily supply of this immunity-boosting flower.
Adaptogenic astragalus is thought to combat stress, and it contains anemia, which can improve blood counts. Add this herb to soups to fight fatigue and boost your immune system during cold and flu season.
3. Yin Chiao (Honeysuckle Forsythia)
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners often prescribe this nine-herb formula, which contains soothing licorice, nasal-clearing peppermint, perspiration-stimulating Jing Jie, and Lu Gen, which soothes the lungs and stomach.
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. It's also a natural decongestant! The sky really is the limit with this flavorful ingredient, and you can work it into pretty much any meal.
Elderberries are packed with quercetin, an antioxidant with antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects. A teaspoon of elderberry syrup can combat flu symptoms and help people with sinus pains or chronic fatigue find relief.
Andrographis is a plant commonly used in Asian countries to prevent influenza and soothe digestive issues, liver conditions, fever, and sore throats. This herb's detoxifying properties cleanse the blood and strengthen the immune system to fight infection.
This pungent root is a powerful antihistamine and decongestant that delivers a one-two punch against cold symptoms. Add it to stir-fried dishes or boil it to make a cup of ginger tea with some added lemon and honey for a pleasant and healing hot drink.
8. Medicinal mushrooms
Chinese and Japanese herbal medicine practitioners have used medicinal mushroom for centuries, and blends containing shiitake, reishi, and maitake mushrooms are great for strengthening the immune system.