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This is based on one of the first remedies I learned during my training in Chinese medicinal herbs. I’ve omitted the fermented soybean and added a few things because it makes the formula more flexible.

In eastern medical theory, acute cold and flu are called exterior wind disorders. This is when the pathogenic factor has just entered the body yet it is still on the surface and has not yet penetrated to the deeper levels. The symptoms are fever and chills possibly body aches, sore throat, slight sweating. We all know those first signs very well. Even before they develop we can feel that something is not right. The skin is sensitive maybe a slight hint at a very low grade fever or chill. Maybe the start of a headache. The herbs prescribed at this time are designed to “release the exterior.” We want to push the external pathogenic factor back out to the exterior before it gets deeper into the body via the lungs or GI tract. This formula is perfect for just that and the herbs I’ve added also make it appropriate if the condition has progressed.

Ingredients: 1 serving

  • Filtered water – 2 cups

  • Scallion (fresh/raw) – 2 Tblsp.

  • Ginger root (preferably fresh/raw) grated – 1 tsp.

  • Lemon (fresh squeezed) – ½ lemon

Additional ingredients:

  1. Turmeric root (powered) – 1 pinch

Cooking instructions:

Remove the outer layer of skin and the tiny roots from the scallion and chop finely. Peel the skin from the ginger root and use a grater to break it down. Add the scallion, ginger and tumeric powder (optional) to a small non-aluminum pot with the 2 cups water and bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and squeeze the ½ lemon into the “tea.” Strain the contents into a large cup allow to cool slightly but should still be hot, and slowly drink. Immediately following this one should get under very warm covers to try to induce sweating.

The full protocol to release an acute exterior wind condition before it settles in:

Give yourself about an hour and a half for this. One should attempt to begin the protocol as soon as symptoms start to show. After completing the protocol it is vitally important that you rest, stay in bed, DO NOT GO OUTSIDE OR EXPOSE YOURSELF TO THE ELEMENTS or you’ll make your condition worse. You’re sick, remember.

Prepare the Scallion, Ginger and Lemon Tea according to the above instructions and have it steeping in a covered pot. Then:

  1. Exercise lightly for 10 minutes or until you break a slight sweat to increase respiration and circulation – wear loose but warm clothing and exercise until you are slightly winded. Intensity and duration will differ according to your level of fitness. If you do not currently have a regular exercise regimen then please go very easy as we don’t want you to have to be dealing with a strain as well as the flu. You can use a treadmill or recumbent bicycle. I do not recommend going outside for a run or to the health club since that would require more exposure. If none of the above is available I recommend marching or running in place with high knee lift it’s simple and easy and you can also get the upper body into it by exaggerating the arm movement. Do intervals of it; slow and easy for a minute then increase the intensity for 15 seconds. Once you’ve gotten a slight to moderate increase in respiration immediately go to the next step.

  2. 10 minutes of gentle stretching – I particularly recommend doing 9 slow and gentle sun salutations. If you don’t practice yoga this isn’t the time to learn so you can do any type of gentle stretching that will open the circulation further. If you haven’t a clue then stand up, “bend and stretch, reach for the sky, stand on tippy toes oh so high” (remember Miss Joan from Romper Room?) Go immediately to the next step.

  3. Drink your tea. Test that it’s not too hot and sip slowly. Go immediately to the next step.

  4. Get into bed, cover yourself with an abundance of covers and stay there until you break a mild to moderate sweat. Sweating can be very therapeutic at this time but for certain compromised individuals too much sweating can cause weakness. You only need to sweat slightly to push out the pathogen. Go immediately to the next step.

  5. It is very important to come out of this carefully. Remove the heavy covers but stay in bed with some covering. Sleep. If you didn’t finish your tea you can finish it now or take a few sips of warm water or tea. Do not go out and resume normal activities until the infection has fully passed. Call your holistic health care practitioner for advice on how to proceed from here.

This protocol works the best if it is done close to the initial onset of symptoms. It can also be done if one feels susceptible. If the condition doesn’t improve then consult a holistic practitioner.

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