In Western Medicine Infection from the common cold or influenza virus takes place through the upper respiratory tract. It occurs in any season but it is more frequent in Winter or Spring. The common cold may be caused by a variety of viruses including the adenovirus, echovirus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus. Influenza may be caused by the influenza viruses A, B or C.
Chinese medicine views common cold as either a manifestation of Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat. The majority of common colds start off as an external invasion by pathological influence, they are sudden in onset, superficial in location, usually the symptoms are mild and of short course, and if a patient comes to see us at the onset of the cold the treatment is extremely effective. If the cold goes untreated the body becomes weaker allowing the pathogen to move deeper into the body causing it to progress to an interior condition, the condition then becomes more chronic and the longer the pathogen resides in the body the deeper it may travel and more complicated it will be to treat.
When Diagnosing and treating common cold, TCM simplifies and breaks down the syndrome by differentiation of symptoms, so to tailor the correct treatment and herbs for each individual. The syndromes are diagnosed as either Interior/Exterior, Hot/Cold, Excess/deficiency, Yin/Yang. We then need to determine at what level according to the signs and symptoms displayed, has the pathogen developed within your system. Every syndrome has its own specific symptoms, only by understanding these principle methods can we make accurate judgement about the disease.