Angela Rauter, AP, DOM, LMT, Pilates | Article

Chinese Herbs for Cold and Flu

Traditional Chinese anti-inflammatory tablets have a combination of three herbs that makes a potent antibacterial and antiviral medicine.

Chinese name: Chuan Xin Lian (chwahn shin lyahn) Antiphlogistic Tablets

Also known as: Andrographis Anti-inflammatory Tablets

Inflammation due to excess heat, swollen glands, severe sore throat, viral infections, bacterial infections

Clears heat, clears toxins, cools the blood, reduces inflammation

This powerful antibacterial and antiviral formula contains just three herbs: Andrographis leaf, Isatis root, and Taraxacum root (dandelion). The combination of these ingredients produces a pronounced cooling effect on toxic heat throughout the body. Some of the bacterial infections this patent medicine treats are acute sore throat, swollen glands, lung abscess, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and dysentery. It can also be used for viral infections such as influenza and hepatitis.

The chief ingredient, Andrographis paniculata (chuan xin lian), has been shown to inhibit the Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Shigella organisms that can cause various infections. It is extremely bitter -- its name in Chinese translates to "pierce the heart lotus," meaning it is so bitter, its flavor "pierces the heart."

One herbalist recalls that while working in a Chinese herbal pharmacy some years ago, he noticed an extremely bitter taste in his mouth. When he turned around, he saw that a teacher had opened the drawer containing the Andrographis, 20 feet from where he was standing! Because of its bitterness, Andrographis is usually taken in pill form.

The second ingredient, Isatis tinctoria (ban lang gen), also has antiviral and antibacterial actions. Its broad antimicrobial effect has been shown to inhibit the bacteria that cause dysentery, salmonella, strep infection, and typhoid. Isatis has strong antiviral action against hepatitis and encephalitis. This is highly significant, since Western medicine has virtually no weapons against viral infections.

The third ingredient is the much-maligned dandelion (pu gong ying), a major medicine in both Western and Chinese herbalism. Traditionally used for breast abscesses, jaundice, and urinary tract infections, dandelion has impressive antibacterial effects against the pathogens that cause strep throat, pneumonia, dysentery, meningitis, diphtheria, and tuberculosis -- all from a plant that is relentlessly sprayed with herbicides by the unsuspecting suburban homeowner!

Manufacturer: United Pharmaceutical Manufactory

Dosage: 3 to 6 pills, three times a day

Green tea's antioxidant properties have made headlines in recent years. Next, read about a powerful Chinese cold medicine designed to be taken with green tea.

For more about traditional Chinese medicine, treatments, cures, beliefs, and other interesting topics, see: