Theory

Chinese Herbal and Acupuncture Treatment Protocols for Common Cold - Formulas, Protocols, TCM Diagnoses


Common Cold - Basics

The common cold is transmitted through inhalation of and physical contact with one of the 200 different viruses that cause cold symptoms. These symptoms include coughing, sneezing, sore throat, congestion and headache.

Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for the common cold.


Common Cold - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of common cold generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).

The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of common cold:



Common Cold - Acupuncture Protocols

The treatment of conditions with acupuncture can be a complicated endeavor that should only be undertaken by individuals with a deep understanding of the underlying Chinese Medicine theory (and/or whatever system being used for treatment). There are many approaches, but generally speaking few viable approaches are involved on a point to condition basis. Rather using proper diagnostic procedures the patients diagnostic pattern is ascertained and that is what is treated. The protocols listed here exemplify some of these clinical approaches.

The following Acupuncture Treatment Protocols May Be Used With Common Cold


Common Cold - Formulas From Our Store

The following herbal formulas are potentially useful in the process of treating common cold. For a complete list from our store with more details see our common cold formula section.


Common Cold - Questions

Need treatment options for common cold and not finding the information you need?

Using our forums our staff and our community may offer guidance with regards to the treatment of common cold.



Common Cold - Related Acupuncture Points

The following (9) acupuncture points may be useful for common cold. A subset of these could potentially be useful with acupressure stimulation and/or tongren therapy methods as well.

Generally treatment would be based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting points by function alone, (see general points selection rules.)




The following (11) Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Common Cold

Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao Wan

  • Ligusticum Tea Pills
    • Headaches, primarily from wind-cold (but used with wind-heat/wind-damp), with neck stiffness, muscle aches and/or nasal discharge.
    • In certain cases may be useful for migraines, frequent headaches - particularly when they are influenced by cold weather and/or changing from warm to cold environments.
    • Rhinitis, sinusitis.
  • Expel Wind
  • Release Wind from the Skin and Channels
  • Cautions
  • Pregnancy
    • Use only with direction during pregnancy.
    • Avoid in cases of headache from liver yang rising or deficiencies of qi and/or blood.

Er Chen Wan

  • Two Aged Herbs
    • The primary base formula to resolve phlegm damp, particularly in the lungs and GI system - cough (with white mucus), plugged ears, sinus blockage - along with GI symptoms of nausea, vomiting.
    • Upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD - when arising from phlegm damp.
    • Phlegm accumulation in the head symptoms such as dizziness, insomnia, meniere's disease, alcohol hangover.
    • Cysts from phlegm accumulation - fibroids, breast cyst, ovarian cyst, thryoid cysts, goiter. 
  • Treat Phlegm
  • Dry Dampness and Expel Phlegm
  • Cautions
    • Avoid in patients with yin deficiency - i.e. cough from dryness.

Gan Mao Ling

Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Wan

  • Agastache Powder to Correct the Qi
  • Fever w/chills, chest oppression, abdominal pain, nausea, possibly vomiting and/or diarrhea, loss of taste, headache.

    The Pulse will be soggy and moderate and the Tongue will have a white greasy coating.

  • Expel Dampness
  • Transform Damp Turbidity

Jing Fang Bai Du Wan

  • Schizonepeta and Siler Powder to Overcome Pathogenic Influences
    • Early stages of disease arising from wind cold damp - common cold, flu, bronchitis, mumps.
    • Early stages of skin diseases - boils, carbuncles, eczema, dermatitis with the right underlying factors.
    • Mastitis arising from cold/damp.
  • Release the Exterior
  • Release Exterior Cold
  • Cautions
    • Avoid with issues arising from wind-heat, possibly yin qiao would be far more suitable.

Qing Shu Yi Qi Tang Wan

  • Clear Summer Heat and Augment the Qi
    • Please note that there are two formulas with the same name but slightly different compositions.  One is from Wang's Wen Re Jing Wei and tonifies the yin more strongly, the other (which is the one discussed here) is from Li's Pi Wei Lun (Discussion of the Spleen and Stomach) and tonifies the spleen more strongly.  Both have similar usages but are not directly interchangeable.  
    • Clears summerheat and dries dampness - summer colds and flus, heatstroke - fever, fatigue, excessive sweating with loose stools and heaviness in the body.
    • Along with respiratory infections in the right cases certain types of asthma may be appropriate for this formula.
    • Dampheat related inflammatory condtions such as Colitis are approprirate with the right underlying factors.
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with symptoms of spleen deficiency and heat.
    • Wtih the right underlying factors the range of perimenopausal symptoms may be appropriate - low libido, fatigue, water retention, fibroids, heavy cycles.  Where this appear with spleen qi deficiency signs and kidney weakness, this formula may be appropriate.
  • Clear Heat
  • Relieve Summerheat

Ren Shen Bai Du Wan

Xin Yi Qing Fei Wan

  • Magnolia Flower Drink To Clear The Lungs
    • Colds and/or allergies with heat signs (yellow mucus and/or fever, etc.).
    • Chronic sinus congestions / issues, chronic sinusitis, chronic rhinitis, loss of smell.
    • Nasal polyps with the right underlying factors.
    • Difficult to resolve sinus issues with thick, sticky mucus.
    • Headaches from sinus congestion.
  • Release the Exterior
  • Release Exterior Disorders with Head and Neck Symptoms
  • Cautions
    • May not be appropriate with heat signs from lung yin deficiency.

Yin Qiao Wan

  • Honeysuckle and Forsythia Formula
  • Common cold, flu, general immunity, fever w/slight or no chills, headache, desire for fluids, cough, sore throat.

    Pulse will be floating and rapid and the Tongue will have a red tip with a thin white or yellow tongue coating.

  • Release the Exterior
  • Release Exterior Wind Heat
  • Cautions

Yu Ping Feng Wan

  • Jade Windscreen Formula
  • Frequent colds, flus, chronic bronchitis - general low immunity to common infections. Aversions to drafts, spontaneous sweating.

    The Tongue will be pale with a white coat and the Pulse will be floating, deficient and soft.

  • Stabilize and Bind
  • Stabilize the Exterior and the Lungs



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