Chinese Formulas for Beating the Flu

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).

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Nils Anders Lunde


Dale Overall

Interesting information, so many different herbs in the world. Some are tasty, some are horrible but one learns over time. Always check to see if a herb will interfere with any medication one is taking, ask a pharmacist, they study this sort of thing.

Heather Marvin
Heather Marv3 years ago

A friend of mine suffering from an over active thyroid for years went to a Traditional Chinese doctor who prescribed specially herbal tea. When she got home her son mentioned to his doctor who had also been hers what she was taking. He advised her not to take it as she was on strong medication that would be affected seriously by it. I don't know whether or not she told the Chinese doctor if she was on medication. The two combinations could have a terrible affect on a patient, so important to tell a herbalist exactly what you are on or better still ask your own doctor before seeing a herbalist if you have a serious condition.

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Aditya Narayan
Aditya n.3 years ago


iii q.
g d c.3 years ago


Bon L.
Bon L.5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Mari Basque
Mari 's5 years ago

The Chinese are wonderful!

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Mique C.
Mique C.5 years ago

I've been using Chinese herbs for some time and found the most consistently reliable source is east earth trade winds (