There are many prescriptions for colds. Many people also develop their own remedies that have been proven to be useful from personal experiences. The most common solution to fighting colds is to drink lots of water, eat fruits rich in vitamin C and get a lot of rest. If that is the case, how does Eastern medicine approach colds and cure them? For this blog, we will talk about such viruses and influenza from the perspective of Eastern medicine and not from the Western medical approach.
Eastern medicine recognizes colds as something that originates from outside of the body. However, Eastern medicine is more interested in the body’s response to the virus than the external causes of the virus that modern medicine focuses on. First, the body reaction that Eastern medicine focuses on is sweat. An important lesson learned from the progress of patients with colds or infectious diseases was that once they started sweating, their symptoms often got better. As a result, the idea was, sweat it out even if we have to force it. Experiments such as eating spicy medicine including green onion roots and cinnamon then eating hot porridge were tried in attempt to sweat out the cold. The result turned out to be very good and colds were easily treated through this method.
How do you think this was possible? What modern science says is that the first symptom of a cold virus after it enters the body is that the back of the neck becomes stiff. You are probably already aware of these common cold symptoms of body discomfort. The reason why the back of the neck feels stiff is because the body discharges the blood to fight the virus. The body prepares itself to fight the virus by increasing the pressure and temperature. However, if you sweat in this situation, then the pressure can naturally be relieved. Because we were able to focus on how the body reacted to the virus rather than how the virus entered the body, we were able to discover such valuable clinical information. Thus, folk remedies like eating red pepper powder and spicy ramen, are all aimed at sweating out the virus.
If you look at what people from previous generations have done, adults always wore vests and scarves in the winter to protect their neck and upper body from the cold temperatures. This is just another way to stop the growth of one of the most common cold viruses – the rhinovirus. The rhinovirus is most prolific between the temperatures of 33 and 35 degrees Celsius. Our bodies maintain a temperature of 36.5-37 degrees, but the temperatures of our nose and throat are likely to be lower as they are more exposed. Covering the neck with a scarf in this situation can help prevent the spread of a virus infection. The previous generations seem to have clearly understood that maintaining normal body temperature was the best way to prevent colds.
Lastly, we will discuss one of the most common symptoms of a cold, which is a fever. When the body is infected by a virus, it produces white blood cells to fight the virus. During this process is when the fever occurs in the body. Fevers are an important component as the body creates more white blood cells to heal during this process. Thus, it is important to not always view fevers in a negative way. If you think that you can handle the fever, taking any kind of fever reducing medicine is not always necessary as there are benefits of fevers to the body. As long as the body temperature is lower than 40 degrees Celsius, this is a great opportunity for the body to filter and cleanse its system.