It’s hard to believe that winter has actually come to Napier, New Zealand. If it is winter, it is very mild. Having unseasonable weather actually causes problems to our health, even though we might like the idea of having nice warm weather in the beginning of winter. In other instances, where there has been a long warm winter spell, birds will even start to build nests thinking it is spring.
People also start to adapt to warmer weather and then when the true cold winter kicks in, they have difficulty in adjusting to the change.
There has not been a chance for the body to toughen up a bit, so to say, and suddenly the body becomes extra vulnerable to bugs and flu.
Chinese medicine talks about cold diseases and hot diseases and these can occur at the different times of the year. In western medicine the symptoms of sneeze, cough and headache would be treated with the same medicine all year round, whereas with Chinese medicine, different herbs are used depending on what season it is.
How to build up resistance with Chinese medicine
A simple home remedy to help build up strength against catching colds and flu is to take a simple “soup” consisting of lily bulb (bai he) and Chinese dates (da zao). The lily bulb assists in moistening the lung and the da zao is known for strengthening protective energy. To cook this, use a small handful of lily bulb and 1-2 dates and stew for 20-30 minutes and drink the liquid while warm.
A simple formula to help treat a cold
If you come down with a cold in the winter and have the following symptoms, feeling chilled, stiff neck, headache, sneezing and mild cough, you can often help “push” out the cold with this simple formula. Chop 3-4 white parts of a spring onion, 2-3 slices of ginger and a table spoon of brown sugar and stew for 10 minutes with one and half cups water and drink warm. Sometimes, soon after drinking this, a sweat may break out which is good, as this means the “cold” is being expelled.
Can acupuncture help strengthen resistance to colds and flu?
There are specific acupuncture points that strengthen the “protective” energy as well as moxibustion can be used. There is a specific protocol of acupuncture treatment that is used in the last two weeks of winter and first two weeks of spring that has the tradition of being used to strengthen the body for the coming year.
Enjoy the winter. Might see you at Mt Ruapehu.