As the weather cools off, our “protective layer” works to keep us safe from the many "external pernicious influences" that circulate. (Colds and Flus!) In Chinese Medicine, immunity is closely linked with the Lung Organ System, and in general, Chinese Medicine aims to keep ALL of the body’s organ systems strong so that we are less susceptible to environmental stressors. Here are a few simple things you can do to fend off this season's bugs!
1. Take a Probiotic
Probiotics have been studied extensively in the area of immunity and we now know that a lot of immunity comes from the gut. Taking daily, multi-strain probiotics have been shown to improve a number of immune responses. I like Klaire Labs Therbiotic Complete.
2. Eat Pears!
Pears nourish and fortify the lungs. They are a great food to counter the dryness that comes with cold weather and I always recommend them to those who suffer from a dry cough. An easy treat is to bake pear slices, drizzle them with local honey and sprinkle them with cinnamon.
3. Don’t Go Overboard with the Vitamin C
Although Vitamin C is often recommended to help with a whole host of health issues including immunity and is considered helpful in doses around 500-1000 mg. Taking very large doses (above 1000 mg) on a regular basis may cause certain aspects of the body’s PH to change (such as cervical mucous in women- which is important when trying to fall pregnant.) In large doses it can also cause loose stools in some people. To avoid “overdose,” you can source your Vitamin C from foods such as strawberries, tomatoes, citrus and greens.
4. Consider a Chinese Herbal Formula
Two famous formulas, “Yu Ping Feng San,” and “Gan Mao Ling” are often recruited to help fortify the immune systems of my patients who suffer from frequent colds and/ or allergies. As always, it is best to check with an herbalist who can help choose the best formula for your particular constitution.