Healthy, No Matter the Season

Naturally, when you come to a place like China, you’re bombarded with all kinds of mysterious remedies. But do they really work? Give skepticism the brush and drink an herbal tea instead.


For many years in the West, anything associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine was lumped into the same category as voodoo. This was also despite the fact that Western medicine had used leeches to treat diseases, while ancient Chinese healers had already mastered natural herbal remedies.

Overlooking the facts and logic that roots and herbs have been around and used by many ancient cultures, including the natives inhabiting many parts of the West, most “civilized” societies today now opt for various lab-created, and vastly overpriced, pharmaceuticals.

Finding solutions
For my whole life until about eighteen or so years ago, I would get the typical winter cold each winter. It would run its course and go away, but always left me with a nagging cough that would be with me until the weather warmed.

At about that time, I was working as an actor and once again got the cold. After mentioning it to a fellow actor, who had some knowledge of herbal remedies and supplements, he explained a few things to me.

Eucalyptus, by the way, is also a well-regarded anti-viral supplement. Incidentally, I’ve never personally seen a Koala bear with a virus. I’m guessing you haven’t, either.

Most common illnesses are caused by basically two things—a virus or bacteria. Three key herbal supplements used to fight both viruses and bacteria are Echinacea, Goldenseal and Astragalus.

In general, Echinacea boosts the immune system by inhibiting bacteria and viruses from penetrating healthy cells. Goldenseal—according to some sources I’ve read—is one of the most potent natural antibiotics. It is also praised for containing high anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Astragalus technically has no antiviral or antibacterial properties, but is nonetheless called a super herb due to its ability to single out various forms of viruses and bacteria by isolating and then sending specific information about them to our immune system to better eliminate any threat.

In combination, these three supplements are the perfect recipe— according to some herbal remedy advocates—to staying healthy or curing most common, short-term illnesses.

I initially tried using all three things, per the directions of my friend. Although I was still somewhat of a skeptic, my nagging cough that lingered each year was surprisingly gone in a week.

Each year afterward, I’ve done the same thing and gotten the same result. In fact, using my own method of self-diagnosis and prevention, I was even sometimes able to hold off my yearly colds and prevent the cough altogether.

More than eating right
In terms of practical healthcare advice for readers, there are many ways to get these three supplements. I make it a habit to buy them in capsule-form from shops in Hong Kong or America.

You could also try them in tea form. For this, I look for Celestial Seasonings’ Echinacea Complete Care, which is a eucalyptus mint tea that’s infused with Echinacea. Eucalyptus, by the way, is also a well-regarded anti-viral supplement. Incidentally, I’ve never personally seen a Koala bear with a virus. I’m guessing you haven’t, either.

As a side note, ginger root, which is another traditional Chinese herb, is well noted for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Friends in China taught us that anytime you’ve got a cold, you should cut some ginger root and boil it with Coca Cola. My girlfriend does this and swears by its medicinal use.

Since I have Italian roots and love their food, I tend to use a lot of garlic in my food. Garlic is yet another antibacterial herb that may be more effective than penicillin when fighting some types of bacteria. It’s also good for helping keep strangers at a safe distance.

Practice smart-care
Remember, none of what I’ve said here is fully supported medical advice. In addition, most herbal remedies in product form contain various disclaimers about their use. Doctors also advise against long-term use, suggesting short-term use of a week or ten days at a time. Pregnant and lactating women should consult a doctor before use.

I encourage you to do your own research if you are interested in any of these illness remedies. I hope this information helps you to stay healthy or get better when you aren’t feeling well.

Remember that the healthier we are alone, the healthier we’ll be together.