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The common cold has many forms in traditional Chinese medicine. The most common forms fall under the categories of wind cold and wind heat. As is the nature of exterior disorders involving wind, the pattern may change very quickly, necessitating a change in treatment strategy over the course of an illness. In all the forms a cold, as well as a cough or the flu, may take, prompt treatment brings the most effective results. The longer one waits to treat an infectious disease, the longer it takes to clear the pathogen.

Wind Cold pattern exhibits the following symptoms:

  • fever

  • chills (these are worse than the fever)

  • inability to get warm

  • nasal or sinus congestion with clear mucus

  • cough with clear mucus

  • stiff neck and shoulders

  • occipital headache (back of head)

  • a slower-than-normal pulse that is more easily felt at the surface. 

Wind Heat pattern exhibits the following symptoms:

  • the fever is worse than the chills

  • the pulse is faster than normal

  • swollen and sore throat with headache and irritability

  • If there is a cough, it is usually dry, with occasional expectoration of yellow mucus

Using Herbs to Treat the Common Cold
Diaphoretic (sweating) therapy is especially helpful in this condition, since it warms the body and pushes the pat