TCM To Fight Evils Of Flu
While H1N1 (Swine Flu) is really getting everybody concerned and wish to be immune to, almost all of us have some kinds of flu fever at least once in a lifetime. Although to bring down a fever is a priority for both Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the approach of the latter one is more specific and actually depends on which “evil” that attacks us.
In Western Medicine, it tends to isolate physical factors as the cause of disease: bacteria, viruses, and chemical compounds are blamed for most illnesses, such as flu. TCM, on the other hand, regards many of the causes only are the triggers. It is because if a certain organ is weak and incapable of resisting outside invasion, it will be therefore prone to be attacked and the body eventually gets sick.
Aside from internal emotional factors (also read That’s When Emotional Is Too Emotional), TCM attributes the cause of most diseases to external cosmological, a.k.a. “Six Evils” that are governed by the meteorological conditions of season and climate. The “Six Evils” are wind, cold, summer-heat, dampness, dryness, and fire.
Back to flu, TCM believes that there are three types of flu. The first one is caused by a chill (evils of wind and cold). Symptoms include light fever without sweating, headache, body aches and pains, stuffy and runny nose without sore throat, and feeling very cold even though body temperature rises. “In addition to herbal medicine, to combat this kind of flu, we must keep the body warm while bringing down the fever,” TCM Practitioner said. “To cover the body with layers of blankets, soak the feet in hot water, and use hot-water bag also help bring down the fever by means of sweating.”
The second kind is caused by “wind-heat” (evils of heat and wind). “Patients with this type of flu usually have higher degree of fever along with sweating, headache, thirst, and sore throat,” TCM Practitioner noted. “Apart from using sweating as a medium to bring down the fever, patients should also replenish their body with a lot of water.”
The last one is caused by summer wetness (evils of summer-heat and dampness). This flu often happens in summer time when the weather is hot and humid and attacks people who are generally prone to edema. “Patients will have symptoms of heavy head, lack of strength, as well as vomiting and diarrhea,” TCM Practitioner added. “It is of utmost importance for the patients to restore a normal gastrointestinal function. To do so, the patients should have diets that are easy to digest. Also, in order to expel the dampness from the body, patients can eat more food like bitter melon, water melon, green bean (mung bean), and mint that promote the circulation of body fluid.”