The department of public health of Shenzhen (深圳), China recently announced the herbal formulas which can prevent swine flu (H1N1). Shenzhen is a city located in southern China's Guangdong province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong.
Two simple formulas were introduced. The first one is for individuals with a strong constitution, while the second one is for those with a weak constitution. In general we can say that children and the elderly person belong to the latter category, though if a young adult has a weak constitution, you can use the second formula for them as well.
They recommend that the patient should drink the decoction as a tea, at a cool temperature, twice a day for at least three consecutive days. If a person gets the flu during the course of taking the formula, it should be changed or modified.
According to the CDC, like seasonal flu, symptoms of swine flu infection can include: fever, which is usually high, but unlike seasonal flu is sometimes absent, cough, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue or tiredness, which can be extreme, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting, though they are more commonly seen in swine flu than with the seasonal flu. For a few people, it can be serious and urgent medical attention should be indicated.
1. Strong constitution
15g Ge Gen (Rx. Puerariae)
10g Huang Qin (Rx. Scutellariae)
10g Huo Xiang (Hb. Agastache)
10g Yi Yi Ren (Sm. Coicis)
5g Gan Cao (Rx. Glycyrrhizae)
Each herb has a mild or strong antipyretic function, although Huang Qin is the best for that. Ge Gen and Gan Cao can increase phagocytosis in macrophages. Ge Gen and Yi Yi Ren can reduce pain in the muscle layer. Ge Gen and Huo Xiang each have an anti-diarrheal function. Gan Cao also increases the number of immune memory cells to help the immune system activate much faster when an intruder tries to invade the body next time.
2. Weak constitution
20g Huang Qi (Rx. Astragali)
10g Fang Feng (Rx. Saposhnikoviae)
10g Bai Zhu (Rz. Atractylodis Macrocephalae)
10g Jin Yin Hua (Fl. Lonicerae)
5g Gan Cao (Rx. Glycyrrhizae)
As you see, this formula contains the famous formula Yu Ping Feng San (Jade Windscreen Powder) + Jing Yin Hua and Gan Cao are added. Yu Ping Feng San is well known for tonifying defensive Qi at the exterior, so it can defend the body from pathogenic factors. From a biomedical perspective, Yu Ping Feng San is an immunostimulant and has antiviral actions. Both Jin Yin Hua and Gan Cao have an antipyretic action and Jin Yin Hua also works as a antiviral by inhibiting replication of the influenza virus. Gan Cao can relieve pain, stop cough, and benefit the throat in addition to its harmonizing action.
As you can see, the rationale of the formulas is as a preventative not only for swine flu but also for seasonal flu. Both formulas should be useful during the flu season. Since the formulas are used more for preventative effects rather than treatment, more water can be added to make the decoction mild like a tea.
ST36 has numerous fuctions. One of the interesting actions of ST36 is to prevent disease. For this particular action, moxa technique is used. ST36 & GB39 moxa are used for prevent stroke for people who are in an at risk group. To prevent seasonal or swine flu, or even common cold, moxa on ST36 & UB12 are used. UB12 is "Wind Gate" and can strengthen the defensive Qi of the body.