Cinnamon and Botanical Medicine to Prevent and Treat the FluFlu season is like a roulette wheel. Conventional medicine offers a flu shot that contains two or three predicted strains but there are many more you could be susceptible to. Botanical medicine to prevent and treat flu could be an alternative that not only relieves symptoms but may eradicate contracted flu pathogens before they get a chance to spread.

The Power of Cinnamon
Conventional medicine can do very little for the flu once you have it. It recommends plenty of fluids and some anesthetizing over-the-counter analgesics for discomfort. Overall, a two week period is the expected recovery time in the eyes of a conventional approach.

Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) has been utilizing botanical medicine for thousands of years. Gui Zhi Tang is an herbal, cinnamon decoction tea that has been successful in treating the flu over a one to two day period.

Referred to in the Shanghan lun (Treatise on Cold Damage), a Chinese text written over 1,850 years ago, Gui Zhi Tang’s cinnamon ingredient (derived from the branches of the cinnamon plant) is described as “one of the few materials that has the ability to “tong shen” (invigorate mental function and establish connection to the spirit world).

Gui 桂 literally means the plant that is shaped like the ritual jade instrument Gui, and which in similar fashion can establish a spiritual connection. It is the herb that correlates with external cold. Rougui is cinnamon derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree and correlates with internal cold. When combined with Gui Zhi Tang, a very potent formula is formed and used for battling the flu.

CCM explains the many facets of symptoms and locations that cinnamon remedies have been capable of battling flu pathogens:

  • Taiyang (Small Intestine, Bladder): cold sensations, immune function, urinary system
  • Taiyin (Spleen, Lung): cold phlegm, tendency to mass formation
  • Shaoyin (Heart, Kidney): cold abdomen, sexual system, circulatory system
  • Jueyin (Liver, Pericardium): vascular system, nervous system and mood support

Talk to a naturopathic doctor to see if you are a candidate for the Gui Zhi Tang protocol.

Elder Healing
Elderberry is a powerful herb used in treating the flu. The Department of Virology, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel conducted a randomized study of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. Published in the Journal of International Medical Research (March/April 2004), it was stated in the abstract that,

“Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.”

The Preparatory Herb
Some herbs are best used before a flu strikes and astragalus is one of the top preparatory treatments. Used for centuries in Chinese medicine, the root of this native Asian perennial plant that sports hairy stems and multi-paired leaflets is the medicinal source.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center,

“Astragalus is called an adaptogen, meaning it helps protect the body against various stresses, including physical, mental, or emotional stress.”

Also, in a study published by the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, it was stated that,

“It [astragalus] is primarily used to ready the immune system against the onslaught of outside challenges, such as cold or flu viruses. With the use of this herb, the immune system is “combat ready” to respond to challenges of a cold or flu viral attack.”

It’s Thyme
That’s right, the herb used for enhancing savory meals just made it to the anti-flu sector. Thyme has shown to release volatile oils when sprigs are placed in steaming water. These oils can be inhaled and immediately transported to the respiratory system. This is essential in the presentation of the flu inasmuch that its antimicrobial properties immediately go to work relieving a scratchy throat, congestion and aching head.

“A study in France showed thyme to be among several essential oils that were found to destroy 90 percent of microbes within three hours, when used in a vaporizer. It deodorized the air and purified it from proteus, staphylococcus, streptococcus, and cryptococcal.” (Natural News 10/26/12)

A naturopathic doctor versed in the healing powers of botanical medicine may be able to create a preventative herbal protocol or acute prescription that compares to or surpasses those that conventional medicine synthetically attempts.

At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

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