The days are getting shorter and the air is getting cooler (at least in the evenings, that is!)  I like to turn to Chinese medicine during seasonal transitions to glean some ancient lessons that might help for a healthy seasonal change.

Many people find themselves susceptible to common colds at this time of year. The changing weather and falling temperatures put some stress on the immune system. Here are several strategies, many based on theories from Chinese Medicine, which can increase your immunity and prevent or treat illness.
 Dress in Layers:
Dressing with warm layers and wearing a scarf to keep the back of your neck covered is a good idea since it keeps the body comfortable and stable, preventing chills and the stress of cold air on the body. In Chinese medical theory it is said that exposure of the back of the neck to cold air can make one more susceptible to a common cold. Getting enough rest, moderate exercise and a healthy, balanced diet (don’t overdo it on the Halloween candy!) facilitates good energy, optimal immunity and lowered stress levels.

Acupuncture can be used to boost your immunity; a series of treatments for a general health and immunity boost is beneficial. If you feel yourself starting to come down with symptoms such as a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, acupuncture can be helpful.  I’ve been seeing Lindsey at White Cypress Natural Health and would gladly refer any of my clients to her. She can be reached at 208.666.4666  or

Chinese Herbal Medicines:
An herbal supplement called Yin Chiao that contains Honeysuckle, Burdock Root, Licorice Root, Peppermint and more can be useful at the onset of a cold with a sore throat; when taken at the first sign of a sore throat, it can help stop the cold from progressing within 1-2 days. 

For a feeling of illness that begins with chills and perhaps a runny nose, you can try to “sweat it out” by drinking some hot soup or tea (perhaps with some spicy warming herbs like ginger or scallions) and wrapping yourself in blankets until a light sweat occurs. Sometimes that’s all you need in order to feel better. Home remedies can be great for those who know herbals can help their health and well being.  This warming tea blend from would be a great option. 

Local Herbal Remedies:
As I’ve mentioned before, taking an elderberry supplement, gummy or syrup daily can be a good idea this time of year.  I harvested a lot of calendula this year that I will also start to use in a lung tea regularly.  Feel free to email me at if you want the recipe!