Herbs & Acupressure Points for Cold and Flu
As we learn to navigate this new world where an ever looming virus is present, it’s important to learn which ways we can help ourselves and loved ones get through a time of illness. Below are herbal remedies and acupressure points for self-care to help aid with symptoms of cold and flu such as coughing, shortness of breath and fevers. HERBS (H) & RECIPES (R) Below are a few herbs you can pick up online or at your local Co-Op store to help with cold and flu symptoms. It’s important to keep in mind that those who also have an irritated throat should avoid eating hot or spicy foods. Alternatively, those with long-term/chronic coughs should consider limiting the amount of frozen and greasy foods that are consumed.
(H) Nan Sha Shen: Also known as American silvertop root, this root is known to reduce inflammation, vascular permeability and can help with dry cough and phlegm as found in a study conducted in 2010. (H) Gan Cao: Gan Cao (aka licorice root) acts as an expectorant that helps to accelerate mucous secretion as found by the World Health Organization. It’s also prescribed by Chinese Medicinal Practitioners to help reduce coughing and shortness of breath. (H) Sang Ju Wan: This formula is best used when a sore throat and cough are just starting to appear. It helps aid in symptoms such as dry cough, headaches, painful chest, fever, sore throat and watery eyes. (R) Peppermint Tea: This herbal concoction can be made by preparing fresh peppermint (1 TBSP) and fresh reed rhizome (⅓ cup). Clean and cut each ingredient into fine pieces and then steep in boiling water for 10 minutes or until preferred taste is established. Drink this frequently to aid with symptoms of Dry Coughs. (R) Apricot Tea: Gather 1 TBSP of crushed apricot kernel, 1 pear (cut in half with the core removed) and 2 TBSP of rock sugar. Boil these ingredients for 20 minutes in the same pot. Once done, drink the liquid solution and eat the pear. This recipe helps with Dry Cough.
ACUPRESSURE Heavenly Pillar: This acupressure point is used to relieve stress, overexertion, burnout, sore throats and coughs. It can be found about 1.5 inches below the base of the skull and about one inch on either side of the spine. For best results, apply pressure to both sides of the spine and massage in a circular motion and up to 8 minutes. This can be done 3 times a day until the cough or other symptoms have subsided. Triple Warmer (TW 15) balances temperature in the body, so its good for fever as well as chills. Hold this point for about three minutes on both sides. Curve your fingers, like the rounded shape of the top of a coat hanger, and place it on the back of your opposite shoulder. Rub the area until you feel the top tip of your shoulder blade. Apply firm pressure just above that, where it feels knotted or tight. LI-11: This point is used to aid in the relief of fever and other cold symptoms. To apply pressure, bend your arm (hand to shoulder) and place your finger on the end of the crease that is on the outside of the elbow. Open your arm while applying pressure to stimulate this point.