Atlanta Acupuncture Center

275 Carpenter Drive, Atlanta, GA. 30328

Tel: 404250-9903; E-mail:


Li Hua, L.Ac. TCMD


¡°Common Cold¡± Treated By Traditional Chinese Medicine



The ¡°common cold¡± is one of the most familiar health problems. It usually occurs on the seasons changing. If it is not treated correctly, this can be dangerous to your health.


I.                   The Common Cold Is Not A Small Problem


Although the symptoms of common cold are not considered serious, and most treatments are eventually successful, many people do not consider the common cold to be dangerous. After a common cold, your immunity is low, and it is easy for other diseases to ¡°enter¡± or ¡°attack¡± your body. Especially, for the patients with chronic problems, after having common cold, the chronic problems may become worse. As the nose and the throat are the gate of respiratory tract, they are near the nasal sinuses, ears, trachea and lung, so the virus or the bacteria can easily enter these areas to cause sinus problems, otitis media, laryngitis, trachitis, bronchitis or pneumonia.


II.                Common Cold Spreads Not Only Through Breathing In Flying Particles Of The Saliva Or Phlegm, But Also By Way Of Your Hands


According to the research, the main pathogen of common cold, rhinovirus, usually exists in the nose. People with common cold symptoms often suffer with a runny or stuffy nose, therefore, the ¡°common cold¡± may be transmitted not only through breathing in particles of the saliva or phlegm, but is also spread when shaking hands. This is a common way to spread the common cold.


III.             How Traditional Chinese Medicine Views The Common Cold


It is easy to understand how we catch a cold in the wintertime. But how do we catch a cold in the summer time? The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory tells us ¡°wind, cold, heat, wetness, fire and dryness¡± can be some of the reasons that people catch the common cold. The ¡°heat¡± can be ¡°external heat¡± and ¡°internal heat¡±. The summer heat belongs to ¡°external heat¡±. When people work long hours under the sun in summer time, if they do not drink enough water or do not get enough rest, they will feel sick ¨C dizzy, nauseated, develop headaches, deficient sweating or become unconscious. These people have excess ¡°external heat¡±. The ¡°internal heat¡± comes from our inside body. When we do not have enough rest, do not eat correctly, do not relieve stress quickly led to disorder of digestion system, do not exercise properly, or are depressed, our body will produce ¡°internal heat¡±. In the summer time, when the temperature is high, our body¡¯s internal heat is higher than our outside body heat, so it is easy for us to catch a ¡°cold¡±. According to Western medicine, we catch a ¡°cold¡± when the virus attacks our tissues. If our immunity is high or we have no ¡°internal heat¡±, how can we be attacked by the virus or catch a ¡°cold¡±? So we see that it is important for us to have enough rest, eat correctly, exercise properly, relieve stress quickly and have a good mental attitude in order to increase our immunity.


IV.              How To Treat The ¡°Common Cold¡± Properly


Using antibiotics to treat common cold is not always correct. Common antibiotics are not an effective treatment for the virus of common cold. If you take antibiotics for long time, there may be adverse health effects. So the common cold is better not to be treated by antibiotics. If the common cold were complicated by bacterial infections, diagnosed by your doctors, antibiotics would be appropriate.


V.                 Proper Diet For The Common Cold


Some people select ¡°overeating¡±, ¡°no eating¡± or ¡°drinking wine¡±, for their diet when they have the ¡°common cold¡±. All are incorrect. After you catch a cold, your appetite will decrease. Your digestion will become weak. Eating too much food can overload your stomach and intestines and cause indigestion. If you do not eat food, it will decrease your immunity and will not help you recover from the common cold, The best diet for the common cold is to eat easily digestible, low salt foods, including fruit, such as oranges, water melon, cooked pear, apple, etc., also it is recommended that you drink warm water or water at room temperature. Water can help speed up detoxification. Ice and peppery food are to be avoided at this time. If you drink wine or beer when you catch a cold, the alcohol in it will stimulate throat mucus and make throat swelling worse, increasing the secretion in respiratory tract and the symptoms of the common cold will get worse.


VI.              Is Exercise Good For Common Cold?


Some people think running or being physical active can help the common cold. This is not a correct assumption. When you catch a cold, with a possible fever, your energy will be low. In addition, your appetite is not very good. Your immunity is decreased. Under these conditions, if you use too much physical energy, it can cause your common cold to get worse, making you more open to more serious diseases. Resting is very important for recovering. Traditional Chinese Medicine has many effective natural solutions for common cold. Chinese medicine doctors will select Chinese herbs or acupoints, TuiNa or cupping according to your individual health condition. Even though the common cold is not very serious problem, it is best to see or consult your doctor as soon as possible. We can prevent the common cold by frequent hand washing, drinking plenty of water, eating properly, getting enough rest and doing Tai Chi Qi Gong to relieve stress to improve energy to avoid the ¡°internal heat¡±.