top of page

'Tis the Season for Colds and Flus

Holistic options for effective prevention and treatment

Colder Rochester weather is here, which means colds, sore throats, coughs, flu, and flu-like symptoms aren't far behind. These symptoms can creep up on us, especially when we're already exhausted from living with the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic for most of the year. Adhering to state requirements is a full-time job: social-distancing, wearing masks, and curbing personal interactions keep us apart from our family and friends and takes a toll on our bodies, hearts, and minds. As social creatures, we need meaningful connections to survive and thrive!

Yet, diligence is what's needed to protect and maintain our individual and collective health. Here are a few practical things you can do to avoid, manage, and eliminate troublesome winter health conditions. Please email me with questions! I'm here to support your health and wellbeing.

Five Ways to Boost Your Immune System

1. Take Vitamin C: A daily dose of 1,000 mg or more can help. A Licensed Holistic Provider or Primary Care Physician may advise people with a severely compromised health condition to take more Vitamin C.

I like the powdered form of Vitamin C best because my body absorbs it quickly, so I receive the maximum nutrients. Many other states, such as hard tablets, don't break down well in the digestive tract and get pooped out before providing any nutrients.

Some of my favorite natural immune enhancing products on the market include Vitali-C by Life Force, a powder consisting of 1,000 mg of pure Vitamin C, and two immune enhancers: pinecone extract and black currant. It has a berry-like flavor and is easy to drink. I mix it in hot water during the cold months. You can add it to your cup o' tea in the morning! If your body cannot tolerate a full dose of Vitamin C (i.e., loose stools), take half a package each day for 7–10 days and then increase the amount until you've reached 1,000 mg. Click to order Vitali-C and another superb Life Force product—Body Balance.

2. Use Peppermint Oil: Blend 1–3 drops of full-strength peppermint oil and with ½ teaspoon of carrier oil—an oil with little to no scent. I apply this blend inside each nostril with a cotton swab and one streak onto the roof of the mouth before bedtime.

A diffuser is also a way to reap the benefits of peppermint oil. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions to ensure you're using the diffuser properly. Always make sure you use FOOD GRADE essential oils; organic food grade is even better.

3. Irrigate Your Nasal and Sinus Passages: Cleaning and clearing your nasal and sinus passages with a saline solution is a clinically proven way to relieve sinus congestion caused by allergies, hay fever, sinusitis, the common cold, dry air, dust, and pollution.

There are several methods and tools available at your local drug store for doing nasal irrigation. Nasal rinse cups and neti pots look like genie bottles made of ceramic or plastic. Your pharmacist can recommend an over-the-counter saline solution that you mix with water to fill the devices, or you make your own by dissolving sea salt in lukewarm spring or distilled water. Don't use chlorinated table salt, which is very harsh and can cause a burning sensation in the nose's delicate tissues and sinus cavities. High-tech nasal irrigation tools are available from WaterPik© and Navage Nasal Care.

4. Run a Humidifier: Keeping your mucous passages moist and healthy is extremely important, especially while you sleep. Be sure to keep your humidifier reservoir clean by following the manufacturer's recommendations.

5. Drink Plenty of Fluids: Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of hot fluids throughout the day. During these cold and damp months, I treat myself to homemade Ginger-Honey-Lemon Tea. Here's my secret recipe. Adjust the proportions to suit your taste. Enjoy!

Diane's Ginger Honey Lemon Tea

Cut 1-2 inches of peeled fresh ginger into quarter-inch chunks.

Place the ginger root into 14 ounces of water.

Boil for 5–10 minutes to decoct the ginger juice.

Strain the liquid into your favorite mug.

Add fresh-squeezed lemon and honey.

When You Experience Symptoms, Act Quickly!

Every individual has familiar onset symptoms that they know will manifest as a cold or the flu. Maybe it's a scratchy throat, headaches, an achy body, a rundown feeling, or general malaise. Don't ignore their arrival! Treat yourself within the first 24 hours of feeling symptomatic with Chinese herbal medicine. Perfectly suited for the job, Chinese herbal remedies prescribed by a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist is 100% safe way to alleviate and clear regular cold and flu symptoms.

FIRST 24–48 Hours

The Chinese herbal remedies and teas ideal for short-term use are:

  • Yin Qiao

  • Loquat and mulberry tea and other soothing Chinese herbal teas are great for colds and sore throats.

  • Wu Han Tonify Wei Qi Tang is a newly formulated product for symptoms that are more aggressive or intense than usual or for extra assurance that you're fighting off the symptoms as best you can.

AFTER 48 Hours

If your symptoms continue, switch to one of these remedies:

  • Gan Mao Ling

  • Hubei Sha Shen Mai Dong Tang, a new remedy for quick-moving, worsening symptoms that are harsher and stronger than you usually experience.

Contact Brighton Pathways for Help

As a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist, I have these remedies and teas in stock, ready to dispense. Contact me about your symptoms, so I can help you obtain the right remedy. You can read more about these Chinese herbal remedies at Mayway, the US-based company that manufactures them.


Disclaimer: The above statements are outside of the US Food and Drug Administration's scope and have not been approved or verified by them. Always consult with your Primary Care Physician or Licensed Holistic Healthcare Provider about using the remedies and teas mentioned above.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page