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Herbal Therapy Question


Does anyone have suggestions for common cold herbal therapy with a mild yin xu condition?

It seems that when I get a wind heat (w/swollen lymph nodes), I take yin qiao or gan mao ling for 5 or 6 days which clears the sore throat and swollen lymph nodes but then I end up with sticky phlegm in my lungs due to getting dried out from the patents. Then I take Lillium teapills to moisten the lung yin and end up feeling that if I should have just let the cold run its course. I cannot always get an acup tx because the person I trade with lives 20 min away, in addition to having to coordinate our schedules.


This is a good question. I have often wondered if letting the cold run its course is the best thing as well. It seems once you get a cold, herbs don't help it get much better any faster. They are good at preventing colds, but not so much with once you get one--at least in my experience.

It seems that most people taking herbs have symtoms of their cold lasting just as long as normal colds would run anyway--such as sore throats lasting on average 3-4 days, and runny noses about a week, and if a cough develops, that lasting about a week. It seems herbs help to boost the immune system before you get sick to help make the course shorter if you're strong...

Again, I am just speaking to the common cold, as I think herbs are much more effective in other illnesses.

I hope an experienced practitioner can help speak to this!


Blue Poppy has a product called Cold Quell that is an interesting combination of three formulas . . .

Yin Qiao
Xiao Chai Hu Tang
Si Wu Tang

In other words it is a balanced combination of eliminating pathogens and supporting the righteous.
I recommend it highly - take it at high dosages immediately upon sensing the raw throat coming on.

For that residual lingering sticky phlegm in the lungs, I have found Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan (called Clean Air Pills in Mayway line and Pinellia Clear Phlegm in K'an line) to be very useful with a number of my patients. (assuming they fit the pattern addressed of course)



Thanks for the info. The formulas sound great.

One question: how long do your patients' cold last when using these products? Any shorter than the average untreated cold?

your feedback would be helpful!




Well, that is THE question, isn't it?
You know, I generally find that the only people I treat with colds (and this is probably true for most practitioners in North America) are people who are coming because they get sick a lot and it usually lingers for a long time. In other words, they are 'run down'. (One reason that Blue Poppy's Cold Quell is good for these people is precisely because it supports the righteous Qi and dispels evil invasion concurrently). So I can say with some certainty that those patients have benefited highly from the formulas I recommended - their experiences of recovery have been faster than was customary for them.

For a fully healthy person who rarely gets sick and typically gets over it fast, I rarely see them but if I do (perhaps they are coming for something else and happen to get sick while seeing me), my inclination is to simply say 'go home and rest'.




thanks for the reply. It makes a lot of sense!



Often when a person gets a cold, there is disharmony with the lung afterwards, eg. the bulk of the cold is gone but there is still some lingering symptoms.

This is why it is good to use herbs even when you have already got the cold happening in full swing.

As for the patents you are using, perhaps you could consider getting a raw herb prescription that would be better tailored to your pattern.


for common fever cold: take “Ma Huang Tang"(if no sweat) , "gui zhi tang (if sweat),

for common wind heat cold: take " Yin Qiao San" or "Sang Ju Yin" if lung heat + "Huang Qin", if dry mouth + "Tian Hua Fen"

Gan mao ling is also good for common cold


I know this is a really old thread, but it is not my experience that herbs are ineffective for colds. If I catch a wind-heat cold I usually have symptoms for 2 weeks. If I take Yin qiao san or sang ju yin, I have symtpoms for at the most 3 days. That is a pretty good result I think. Last time I had a cold I took only sang ju ye and ju hua (i.e. just the two &#39sovereign&#39 herbs, without the rest of the herbs in the formula), and I only took a single dose and that was enough.

But these experiences apply to bulk herbs only. I have taken yin qiao san in pill form and it seemed to be completely useless.

I have never tried a formula for wind-cold. Though I did once foolishly take a large dose of ginger for a cold, before I knew that the presence of sore throat indicates wind-heat rather than wind-cold, and the results were not very pleasant.

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