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It's Cold and Flu Season...Are you Ready?

by Anne Gordon

It's Cold and Flu Season...Are you Ready?, Atha Wellness in Kirkland, WA

It’s well known that Chinese Medicine – acupuncture, herbs, and food therapy – can help a wide variety of conditions, including the treatment of the common cold and flu, but did you know that acupuncture can be used as a preventive medicine?  Regular acupuncture treatments can increase immunity, by strengthening the body’s ability to defend itself against viruses.  Acupuncture also reduces stress, which can be a key factor in any disease.  I also like to recommend that my patients take adaptogenic herbs during this time of year to to give their immune systems an extra boost.  One of the most powerful immunostimulants that we have in Chinese Medicine is Huang Qi, also known as Astragalus.  This herb is a Qi Tonic,  increasing energy levels, strength and endurance, and stimulating the immune system.  This herb can be taken daily for cold and flu prevention.  (Do not take if you are on immunosuppresants, have hormone sensitive cancer, or taking anticoagulants or blood pressure medications.)

So what to do if you already have the cold or flu? 

Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, taking in enough fluids like coconut water, hot tea with lemon and honey, and chicken or bone broth.  You can also shorten the duration of the cold and reduce the severity of symptoms with natural remedies like garlic and honey, and come in for acupuncture.  Acupuncture at the on-set of a cold has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of the cold.  In my clinic, I also use injectable homeopathic remedies to help ease symptoms and shorten duration of the cold.  Additional herbal formulas may be prescribed as well. 

An easy to make home remedy for sore throat, cold and flu symptoms that is wonderful to have on hand when cold and flu season comes along is a Garlic Honey Syrup. 


·     3–4 fresh garlic cloves – crushed (not minced)

·     2 tablespoons powdered turmeric or two inch, crushed piece of fresh turmeric

·     ⅓ teaspoon ground black pepper

·     1/2 cup raw honey

·     Juice of 1/2 lemon


1.   Place honey, lemon juice, ground black pepper and (powdered) turmeric in a small bowl and, using a spoon, mix until well combined.

2.   Now add your crushed garlic cloves (and the fresh turmeric, if you chose to use it instead of the powdered one). Mix again and let it rest and come together for about 10 minutes.


-You can eat raw turmeric with no worries, but avoid eating more than ½ – 1 small garlic clove per day as raw garlic consumed in larger quantities on a daily basis can be too harsh for your stomach and make you feel sick.
-Take 2-3 tablespoons of the syrup per day.
-Replace garlic cloves daily to maximize its effectiveness.
-Store this syrup refrigerated for 4-5 days.
*Do not give raw honey to children under 1 to avoid the risk of infant botulism

Wishing you health and wellness this season!

Anne Gordon

Atha Wellness

Kirkland, Wa