TCM & Flu by Physician Jeffrey Ong

TCM & Flu by Physician Jeffrey Ong

In TCM, flu is perceived as an invasion of the body by external pathogenic factors, brought about by seasonal changes. The battle between pathogenic factors and the body’s immunity, also known as Vital Qi results in the exhibition of symptoms such as runny nose, cough, dry throat and fever.

The six external pathogenic factors are the wind, cold, summer heat, damp, dryness and fire heat. They arise from abnormal changes in the weather or climate, and can occur in combinations. The two most common ones are the wind-cold flu and the wind-heat flu.

Wind-cold flu
Occurs more frequently during cold weathers or environments.
• Running nose with clear mucus, severe aversion to cold, chills, fever, little or no sweating, cough with clear phlegm etc.

Treatment methods such as herbal remedy, acupuncture or cupping are usually employed to ease the wind-cold symptoms. Herbs used will usually be warm in nature, such as Folium Perillae ( Zi Su Ye ) and Ramulus Cinnamomi ( Gui Zhi ), which aim to induce sweating to dispel the cold and wind pathogenic factors from the body.

Wind-heat flu
• Occurs more during the hot and dry seasons.
• Hot sensations, cough with yellow phlegm, running nose with yellow mucus, sweating, headache, sore throat, thirsty, yellow urine, dry and hard stools etc.
Treatments are aimed at expelling out the heat and cooling the body. Examples of herbs which are used include Fructus Forsythiae ( lian qiao ) and Flos Lonicera (honeysuckle flower).

Self-help home remedies
Note: As discussed above, treatments vary a lot when dealing with different types of flu patterns in TCM, so it is important to have a correct diagnosis of your own condition before proceeding with any remedies.

Ginger Tea
• For patients suffering from the wind   cold flu pattern
• Ingredients: 10g Ginger, 10 to 15g   Brown Sugar
• Preparation: Slice the ginger and   simmer in boiling water with the lid    closed for 5 to 10 minutes. Add in brown sugar   after. Drink while it is hot.

Chrysanthemum  Tea

• For patients suffering from wind-heat   flu pattern
• Ingredients: 6g Chrysanthemum    flowers, 6g Mulberry leaves, 3g   Wolfberry fruit
• Preparation: Simmer the flowers and    leaves in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.    Add in the wolfberry fruits. Drink when cooled.

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. With a strong immunity, one will be less susceptible to falling sick. It is vital to strengthen one’s body immune system, especially during the season of haze or influenza. Here are some tips!

1. Always stay hydrated. A minimum of 8 cups or 1.9 litres of water daily is recommended. 2. Exercise regularly. Simple jogging or swimming 3 to 4 times a week can help to ensure good blood circulation and a smooth flow of Qi in your body.
3. Have adequate sleep. Have at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to recharge your body.
4. Have a balanced diet. Avoid spicy, fried and oily foods to prevent one from getting heaty. Avoid cold drinks. According to TCM, cold drinks and food can hurt our digestive system.
5. Ensure adequate intake of foods high in fibre and constantly replenish fluids to ensure smooth bowel movements.

Herbs like wild American ginseng and cordyceps are known to help boost the body’s vital Qi and improve the respiratory (lung) functions. Having a luohan fruit tea regularly can also help to clear the lung heat and replenish the body’s yin.

Physician Jeffrey Ong Wei Jun, Registered TCM Physician
Operating Hours:
Mon to Sun: 9.30am – 9.30pm
*Closed on PH

Brief Bio

Physician Jeffrey Ong graduated with a double degree in Biomedical Sciences (Nanyang Technological University) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Beijing University of Chinese Medicine); He integrates both Western medicine knowledge and TCM knowledge into his practice and is effectively bilingual in in English and Mandarin. He currently practises at Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic @Seng Kang, HarbourFront and Jurong West.


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