No doubt that the most popular topic about health in winter is how to prevent a cold or flu. It is certainly not a pleasant experience when we catch a cold, we not only have to take some time off from the work, but also suffer from headaches, fevers, coughs, a stuffing nose and lack of energy. But there are some natural and simple solutions out there that can prevent a cold or flu in the first place, and also get you back on track quickly.
One quick and easy solution is to get a hot water bottle handy. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are some important acupoints on your neck and back that can be used to treat a cold or a cough effectively. You may wonder where they are. Let’s understand the concept of the acupoints first. Your body consists of many interacting energy channels called meridian channels, just like many highways, these meridian channels form a web in the body for the energy to flow freely, and the acupoints are like the traffic lights on these highways, and they can turn on or turn off the energy flow. If you stimulate a certain acupoint, it can enhance the energy flow at the specific location, thus resolves the energetic blockage located there and speeds up the healing process. So acupoints are the gatekeepers for the energy flow in another word. There is an important acupoint called Dazhuiacupointright located on the midline at the base of the neck, which is in the depression below the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebra (C7). It is right below the most noticeable vertebra when you bend your head and feel it with your hand.
You don’t need to know exactly where the Dazhuiacupoint is located, just place the hot water bottle filled hot water on your neck, and lie down to rest for 15-20 minutes. You can do this twice a day if you want to get rid of a cold faster. The more you rest, the faster you will recover from a cold. Believe it or not, this acupoint does the wonders to treat a cold or flu.
The hot water bottle can do other wonders beyond your imagination, here are a few examples.
1. Treat a Cough
Just fill the hot water bottle with hot water and cover with a thin towel, and place it on your upper back for about 15-20 minutes a day. It will stimulate the blood circulation in your lung system and supply more nutrients to these organs to boost your immunity, which in turn to prevent a cold and treat a cough.
2. Promote a Sound Sleep
If you have trouble to sleep at night, this tip will do the magic for you. There is an important acupoint for sleep in your neck right behind your earlobe. It is called “Anmian” acupoint, which means sleeping acupoint. You can rest your neck on a hot water bottle filled with hot water at night before you sleep to stimulate this acupoint, which will give you a restful sleep at night.
3. Stop the Diarrhea
Most diarrhea is caused by the energetic blockage in your abdomen according to the traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), you can place a hot water bottle filled with hot water on your belly right on your belly button for 15-20 minutes a day. This will promote the energy flow in your abdomen and stop diarrhea in no time!
The belly button is called the magical gate in TCM, it can be used both as a diagnostic tool and also a treatment center. You can discover its magic power in this video.
4. Reduce the Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)
According to TCM, the energy of the kidney system opens in the ears, this means the root cause of the issues related to the ears is the energetic blockage in the kidney system. The hot water bottle comes handy again; you can place the hot water bottle filled with hot water on your lower back, either in a sitting or lying down position for about 15-20 minutes a day. Well, soon you will notice that the annoying ringing in your ears when you sleep disappears in a blink of eyes.
If you want to boost your kidney function and extend your lifespan, read how the little ears can do to your health.
5. Relieve the Back Pain and Shoulder Pains
It is common that some of us are suffering from the back and shoulder discomfort especially in winter. People with chronic arthritis may experience more pains in such a cold and damp weather. Well, a hot water bottle is all you need instead of the painkillers. I happened to catch some rain in a cold raining day a few days ago, and I felt the neck and shoulder tension the next day. All I did is to place a hot water bottle filled with hot water on my neck and rested for about 15 minutes, and only one treatment the pain and stiffness are gone. I was amazed how fast and effective it is!
I am a true believer that the best remedies for any health issue should come from the food first. How to treat a cold or a cough easily with food then?
Roast the Tangerines
Most coughs are caused by a cold. This recipe is perfect to stop a cough when it just started, especially for the children. All you need is to get some fresh tangerines from the grocery store. Don’t forget, it is tangerines, not oranges. Then roast the whole tangerine in the oven, when it turns to the dark color that is just right. Then let it cool down and remove the dark peel, and enjoy the pulp inside. Just take one or two of this roasted tangerine twice a day; you will be amazed how quickly it will settle your cough. How does it work? Both the skin and the pith of the tangerine have been used therapeutically to treat a cough or bronchitis for thousands of years in Asia. The procedure of roasting the tangerine will allow the therapeutic ingredients in the skin to penetrate into the pulp. Don’t overlook this roasting procedure, it does the trick!
Steam the Oranges with the Salt
If you didn’t get the chance to take care of a cold when it just started, you may experience a fever and sore throat during the second stage. Now the strategy to treat a cold that has been already progressed is different too. This time we are going to choose oranges instead of the tangerines. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, the pulp of the oranges has a cold nature, and it has many therapeutic health benefits, including comforting the stomach, reducing nausea and enhancing digestion. While the skin of the oranges is a different story, it actually has a hot nature and soothes your lungs by reducing the cough and activating your body’s self-defense system to fight against a cold. How to combine these two ingredients to maximize the therapeutic result? Here comes the solution. Soak an orange in the salty water for a few minutes and wash the skin well. Cut the top of the orange to the point that you can see the pulp. Punch a few small holes with a small knife on the top and spread 1/8 tsp of salt to cover the holes. Now place it in a bowl and steam it in a pot for about 10 minutes. When it is ready, you can just enjoy the pulp. You can enjoy this salt flavored orange one or two a day and watch how fast you can recover from a cold.
When it comes to the best remedies to prevent a cold or a cough, garlic would be one of the best out there. Why? According to TCM, the therapeutic ingredients of the garlic enter the lung meridian channel, which prevent a cold and cough in the first place. There are many ways to make garlic a powerful weapon to fight against a cold or a cough, I will introduce two simple recipes that do all.
1. Garlic and Ginger Drink
Prepare 7 to 8 slices of fresh ginger and 7 to 8 garlic cloves, remove the skin. Put all the ingredients in a pot and add 2 cups of water, bring it to boil and cook for 10 minutes with a medium heat, then add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. This drink does the magic to stop a cough. You can drink it twice a day to speed up the recovery. It only takes a few days to ease a cough.
2. Garlic Soaks in the Honey
This is one of my favorite recipes to boost your immune system, especially in winter. It is very easy to prepare. All you need is a clean glass jar, chop some fresh garlic heads into small pieces and fill the jar with the chopped garlic, then pour the honey on top of the garlic and let it flow through the garlic until it covers the top, and seal the jar with a cap. That is it. Leave it in a refrigerator for about 2 weeks, it is ready to serve. You can take one tablespoon of this garlic and honey mixture early in the morning before the breakfast. This recipe is perfect to prevent a cold or a cough in winter and also works wonders to ease a cough for those who suffer from chronic bronchitis.
Ginger is another wonder food that has many amazing healing benefits.
There are many wonderful solutions to treat the illnesses from the Mother Nature; we should use them as the first defense as much as we can instead of jumping right into the drugs. Mother Nature has way more wisdom than our humans can comprehend at this point, would you agree?
Even some food wastes have tremendous health benefits that are beyond your imagination, here are a few examples.
What are your magical weapons to treat a cold or a cough? Please share with us.
If you are interested in more tips about health from the Traditional Chinese Medicine, check my ebook “Harness the Magical Power of Ancient Chinese Medicine”. This book gathers the wisdom from ancient Chinese medicine, including how to balance the Yin and Yang energy, how to work on the energetic points of different meridian systems and how to harmonize the Five Elements such as the Fire, Water, Wood, Earth, and Metal in our body. It provides a framework to help you develop an easy to follow daily routine that not only cures chronic conditions but also prevents illnesses down the road, and achieves optimal health.
“All that man needs for good health and healing can be found in nature, it is the job of science to find it.” ~ Paracelsus, Father of Pharmacology