For centuries, Chinese herbal pharmacies have been preparing patented preparations as pills and liquid extracts. In modern times, classical formulas for the treatment of respiratory tract infections are also made in fast-dissolving extracts packaged in individual foil packets.
Traditionally, Chinese herbal medicines are a personalized prescription to meet the individual needs of each patient. After an extensive examination and history taking, the doctor of Chinese medicine prepares the formula that addresses each aspect of the patient’s condition. Most large cities have traditional Chinese herbalists and clinics where you can receive treatment with Chinese herbs.
Gan Mao Ling: This modern anti-influenza combination contains isatis and Chinese honeysuckle flowers (flos lonicera), along with other infection-fighting herbs. It comes in pills and instant granules for making into tea.
Ge Xian Weng: This preparation contains extracts of isatis leaf and root, dandelion flower and leaf and zi hua di ding/herba violae (Wola yedoensis), another infection-fighting plant from the Chinese anti-viral arsenal.
Yin Qiao San: Widely used remedy in China for the treatment of febrile disease, this formula is best used in the early stages of the flu when there is fever. The principal herbs are jin yin hua/flos lonicerae (Lonicera japonica) and lian qiao/fructus forsythiae (Forsythia suspense). Used together, they have synergistic activity against influenza.
Zhong Gan Ling: Known as “serious effective cold and flu tablets,” this formula is best used when headache and sore, swollen throat accompany the flu.
Adapted from Beating The Flu: The Natural Prescription for Surviving Pandemic Influenza and Bird Flu, by J.E. Williams, O.M.D. (Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 2006).