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Teri’s Cold and Flu Medicine Cabinet

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What is in Teri’s Medicine Cabinet for the Cold/Flu Season?

  1.     Honey Gardens:  Apitherapy Honey Wild Cherry Bark Syrup
  2.     Honey Gardens: Apitherapy Raw Honey
  3.     Bi Yan Pian
  4.     Vicks
  5.     Breathe essential oils
  6.     On Guard essential oils
  7.     Eucalyptus essential oils
  8.     Peppermint essential oils
  9.     Coconut Oil Pull
  10.     Grape Fruit Seed Extract
  11.     Garlic pills
  12.     Gan Mao Ling

For years every change of season would bring on whatever new virus was out there.  Every fall and winter I would be home sick in bed rather than out and about, but not anymore.  The key is prevention.

  •    No more sharing drinks & food with people.
  •    Purell is great, but washing your hands with soap and hot water is better. You should be soaping up and washing for the duration of the “Happy Birthday Song” (20 Seconds. Check out the CDC website to learn more on “How and when to wash your hands”. http://www.cdc.gov/features/handwashing/
  •    Keep your hands away from your face and mouth.
  •    When you go to sneeze or cough do so into your elbow and not your hands.  By doing this you are helping others. Coughing into your elbow prevents whatever excrement that came out you from being transferred to someone else’s hand, door knob, keyboard, etc.
  •    Wipe down your work surface with an anti-bacterial wipe frequently.  Especially, your keyboard and phones.
  •    Acupuncture and Reiki treatments can help to increase your immune system, and decrease stress.  How often have you noticed that you get sick when you are stressed out? Reiki is wonderful option since it can be sent as a distance healing, and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home if you are sick.
  •    Coconut Oil Pull:  Put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swoosh it around for 15-20min. The benefit of this is that it helps to decrease the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Coconut alone is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal.
  •       Honey Gardens: Apitherapy Raw Honey- Local raw honey has been shown to inoculate you to the local flora.  It is great for people with outdoor allergies Do not give this to children!

Chinese Medicine works in two ways. The first is prevention. The second is “venting/ releasing” the “exterior invasion”.  Any kind of cold is referred to an exterior invasion in Chinese Medicine.  What do you do when something invades?  You kick it out..  Chinese herbs will help the bodies natural defenses speed up the process of healing, and decrease some of the symptoms. For more information of the common cold and Chinese Medicine please read http://calandraacupuncture.com/2011/12/common-cold/

As soon as I start to feel the onset of symptoms (headache, neck/shoulder tightness, alternating chills/fever, that over all unwell feeling) I start with this regimen.  I recommend you take all of these with food and a full glass of water. I have on more than one occasion given myself heartburn and nausea because I took them on an empty stomach.

Gan Mao Ling– Is good for both wind cold and wind heat. Meaning whether you have a sore throat, or the chills this is a great formula to start AS SOON as you start feeling the onset of symptoms. Sometimes you have to switch formulas depending on how your cold manifests, but this formula will prevent it from getting worse.

Bi Yan Pian– Is good for sinus congestion (especially if it is starting to turn yellow or green).

Grapefruit seed extract–  Is known for being both antiviral and antibacterial.  It is most effective if you start this as soon as you start feeling symptoms. Please be aware if grapefruit is contraindicated with your current medication then this is not the supplement for you.

Honey Gardens:  Apitherapy Honey wild Cherry Bark Syrup & Honey Gardens: ApitherapyRaw Honey-  I grouped the both of these together because I tend to take them at the same time.  First I take a teaspoon of the raw honey (leaving a little bit on the spoon) then I use the same spoon to take the wild cherry bark syrup.  The combination of these two help with respiratory disorders.  It helps to loosen up the phlegm in the chest and open the lungs.


Vicks– Laugh if you want..  I have been using Vicks since I was a child, and I swear by it.  Vicks is a safer route to go if you are pregnant, or just can not take over the counter medication for congestion.  It can help open up the chest and nasal passages.  Some people recommend putting it on the bottom of your feet with heavy socks. Personally I have never tried this, but hey when you are miserable it might be worth a try.  Here is how I recommend using it. At night have a cup of hot tea (peppermint, chamomile, or ginger) with a little bit of honey and lemon juice. Take your supplements (Gan Mao Ling or Bi Yan Pian. I would not take both at the same time rather space them out a bit). Also, take the raw honey and wild cherry bark. Rub your neck and chest down with Vicks.  You can put a small dab under your nose if you like. Then bundle up in you most cozy pajamas and burrow under a pile of blankets. The goal here is to get you to sweat.  Repeat if necessary.


Essential Oils

Essential oils are a great way to help fend off an impending cold, or to help with the symptoms of an existing cold. There are four essential oils that I rarely leave home without.

doTERRA Breathe Oil: Opens the airways to aid in breathing and can help promote a restful nights sleep. It is my go to for almost anything chest or sinus related. You can put some in a diffuser, or apply it to the back of your neck or chest (with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil).

doTERRA On Guard Oil: Supports healthy immune & respiratory function, antimicrobial, aids in healthy circulation.  If you are constantly around sick people you can add a couple of drops to your diffuser, put some on the back of your neck, or even on the bottoms of your feet (with a carrier oil). One drop of On Guard in water, be sure to use a glass and not plastic or metal, can even be ingested.

doTERRA Eucalyptus Oil: Calming, opens the lungs and sinuses. A couple of drops in your humidifier or in your diffuser does wonders.

doTERRA Peppermint Oil: This is probably beyond a doubt my favorite oil. It is with me at all times. Peppermint helps to open up the air passages, can help headaches (especially sinus headaches), aid in digestion, helps with constipation, and nausea. It can be applied topically to the neck, temples, chest, or abdomen. It can also be ingested, and diffused.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Please discuss all of these options with your doctor or acupuncturist prior to starting any herbal regiment. These are not a substitute for medical attention.  Should your symptoms get worse or last longer than a few days seek out medical attention.  Please be aware of any allergens, contraindications to current medications, if you are pregnant, diabetic, or have high blood pressure.  Herbal formulas should be purchased from your acupuncturist or herbalist to ensure the highest quality, and prevent any herb/drug interactions.

About the author

Teri Calandra

Teri Calandra Dipl.Acu, MSTOM, L.Ac., LMT, RMT

Teri began her studies in energy medicine as part of her own personal development journey, and continues to to learn and integrate that knowledge into her practice. Teri is the founding practitioner of Calandra Center for Health & Wellness in Schaumburg, Illinois. She is licensed by the State of Illinois in acupuncture (L.Ac.), and board certified through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

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