From the category archives:

colds and flus

Yoga Practice May Help Ward off Cold and Flu

by Ed

A recent story on NPR sheds some light on evidence that may help keep you from one thing that everyone dreads- catching a cold or flu this season. The British Journal of Sports Medicine study cited found that people who exercised 5 days a week got sick for 40% fewer days than those who did so one day or less. While the exact reason why this is the case is still only speculation in the scientific community, there seems to be a clear correlation here. A similar study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found results that mirror these findings as well.

Dr. David Neiman of Appalachian State University adds another layer to this, saying that after 90 minutes of high exertion- like long distance running- our defenses instead go down, opening us up to sickness for up to 24 hours following exercising. So the key here is not to wear yourself out and inhibit your body’s defenses.

Yoga is a great option for reaping these benefits, since each person practices to his or her own ability so as not to be hard on the body. The meditative aspect of practice serves as a one-two punch by helping to manage stress, which we know only impedes the immune system further. In addition to lowering stress levels, yoga has been lauded for centuries for improving strength, posture, flexibility, concentration, heart and lung health, and so much more.

The implications of the study are that one is exercising for at least 20 minutes on each of those 5 days, so whether you can attend an hour class or practice at home for only a half hour, most of us can certainly find the time. Even 15 minutes at the beginning and end of a busy day is great. Alternating days of yoga and cardio is also a great option to vary your routine, and in return, your fitness benefits.

Where else besides yoga class can you go to stay in shape, flu-free, and sane this holiday season? There’s nowhere better.

In peace and health,

Sasha Britton

Written on behalf of Gym Source, America’s #1 exercise equipment provider. Find treadmills, ellipticals, and all of your workout needs here.

Can Vitamin C Fight Colds?

by Ed

A recent review of research into the effects of vitamin C concludes that it is largely ineffective in preventing colds. See the article in the International Herald Tribune.

But read it carefully. They talk about people taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C. Everybody knows that if you want to fight off a cold you need several grams a day. I’m surprised they found 200 mg to be as useful as they did.

Next in the article they say that lycopene has no effect in preventing cancer. However they do not mention details of the study at all. Who knows what they were looking at.

All this is very interesting, considering the FDA is getting ready to shut down the supplement industry. They are raising safety standards above that of drugs. They even admit that most supplement companies will not be able to stay in business.

Look out America. Your health choices are going away. (And we call this democracy?)

Po Chai Pills

by Ed

Buy Po Chai Pills here

I want to return to Po Chai Pills usage. One reason is that I know that Huo Xiang Cheng Chi Pien is hard to get, and they have very similar uses. Po Chai pills are very effective in relieving acute gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and heartburn. They are great for hangover, motion sickness, traveller’s diarrhea , and stomach flu. Actually, stomach flu is not caused by the flu virus, but one of a number of other viruses. They are generally short lived infections, no more than a few days. You can get similar symptoms from bacteria and parasite infections, but those will last longer and be harder to treat, requiring medical attention. If your symptoms last more than a week, it is important to see a doctor. Also see your doctor if you have any blood in your stool.

One of the things I like about Po Chai is that they come in vials of very small pills like pellets, making them much easier to get down. Great for kids, those of us who have a hard time swallowing pills, and just about anyone who is nauseous. When you have symptoms take one whole vial. After half an hour, if you don’t notice any improvement, you can take another. In general though, it’s best not to take them more than once every couple of hours, or so. Younger kids can take half a vial at a time.

Medicine Cabinet

by Ed

If you live in a city with a Chinatown, check out the herb stores sometime. There are a lot of interesting things there. There are also a few things that you can safely buy for home remedies. In this post I will talk about Chinese pills for acute digestive complaints and colds and flus. There are also many health food stores in North America that are selling these remedies now. And of course, you can find anything online.
All four of the following remedies are only for short term use. They do not boost the immune system or heal underlying digestive disorders.

Po Chai Pills: Used for any acute digestive complaint, such as diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, including “stomach flu”. Many people like to take it travelling, especially to third world countries. Be sure to consult a doctor if the symptoms do not clear up in a few days.

Yin Chiao Pills: These are best atken at the first sign of a cold or flu, especially with a sore throat. If taken soon enough, you can prevent the illness from coming on. In the first day or two, you can take up to double the dosage. In some people this may cause diarrhea, so you should cut back again. Take them for up to a week.

Gan Mao Ling: Similar to Yin Chiao pills, but more for colds with a cough. Can also double the dosage during the first day. The two can also be taken together for a stronger action, in which case do not double the dosage of either.

In my personal experience, these remedies are best for knocking the cold out before it gets a real hold on you. If they haven’t done that after two days, they are not so useful, though many people disagree with me on that. Remember the old saying: “Untreated, a cold lasts a week. Treat it and it only lasts 7 days.”

Huo Hsiang Cheng Chi Pien: Similar to Po Chai pills, but also indicated for catching a cold in the Summer, and symptoms of being out in the heat too long. People who get colds when it is very damp, with heavy head and a feeling of fullness also benefit from these pills.