Flu season, spring pollens, fall grasses – who of us doesn’t struggle with the changes of the seasons? The occasional colds and coughs of winter, the sneezes and runny noses of a spring day are perhaps an inevitable part of life.
But some of us clearly suffer from colds and allergies more than others: the elementary school teachers who bring home every sniffle of their students; the elderly who seem particularly vulnerable to the germs of flu season; the traveler who inevitably gets sick after every long plane flight; those of us who seem to always wake up sneezing, itching our eyes, and blowing our noses uncontrollably.
Although we tend to think of colds and allergies as totally unrelated – one caused by nasty microbes and the other by small but mostly inanimate particles – there is a unifying explanation in Chinese medicine. All of these assaults on the body by these seemingly ubiquitous pathogens and allergens are carried by the “wind.”
Those of us plagued by frequent colds or allergy attacks, their shared deficiency is an inability to ward off the dangers of “wind” because their “defensive qi” is weak (their immune system). Defensive qi refers to the qi that circulates at the surface of the body, invigorating the skin, keeping the pores closed, fortifying the body against external pathogens. When it is deficient, the skin becomes vulnerable, the pores open, pathogens have greater opportunity to enter the body. One classic sign of this condition is excessive sweating, as defensive qi is unable to retain bodily fluids.
Dao’s Immunity Support is a based on the classic formula for treating this condition, known as Jade Windscreen Powder. This small formula contains three items: atractylodes and astragalus for supplementing defensive qi by strengthening the Spleen and fang feng for expelling wind.
The simplicity of this formulas belies its sometimes-striking efficacy. When used preventatively, particularly for those individuals who frequently catch colds, it can be taken safely for weeks or even months during a flu season. It is not uncommon for a person who typically sees several nasty upper respiratory infections each winter to see a dramatic reduction in these events when used this way.
However, it is important to point out that while Dao’s Immune Defense can augment the immune system to prevent colds and upper respiratory tract infections, it is not a treatment for these illnesses. Once a pathogen has taken hold, other techniques are required to dislodge it.
Dao Immunity Support can be used somewhat differently for allergies. In addition to being taken preventatively on a daily basis during one’s peak allergy season to reduce the severity of attacks, it can also be helpful for immediate relief during an attack. Readers should be aware that allergies are complex and can be the result of deficiencies that are deeper and considerably more complex than a defensive qi deficiency. But for those who find themselves run down and suddenly vulnerable to allergy attacks, Dao Immunity Support may offer fast and effective relief.