Debra Betts - Acupuncture and Acupressure for Pregnancy and Childbirth

True Cold

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In true cold the body’s yang energy, which is responsible for warming and activating bodily functions, has been overwhelmed by excess cold. Excess cold conditions can happen in several ways, including exposure to excess cold in the environment. Consider not only natural but also man made environments, for example working in refrigerated areas or air conditioning. An additional factor can be the excess consumption of cold food, drink, and raw food, such as ice cream, green salads or iced water in winter.

Cold may also arise in response to an illness where the initial cold pathogen has not been resolved. The cold can then become retained, locked deep in the body. Foods to resolve true internal cold include:

Grains Sweet rice
Vegetables Caper, leek, mustard leaf, onion, scallion, squash, sweet potato, turnip
Fruit Cherry, lychee, peach
Nuts and seeds Chestnut, coconut milk, pine kernels, walnuts
Fish Anchovy, mussel, shrimp, prawn, trout
Meat Chicken, sheep’s kidney
Herbs and spices Basil, black pepper, bay, cayenne, chilli, chive, cinnamon bark, clove, coriander seed, dill seed, fennel seed, garlic, ginger (dry and fresh), juniper, nutmeg, rosemary
Bevrages Ginger tea, jasmine tea, lemon balm tea, spearmint tea, wine
Condiments Barley malt, vinegar

Examples of every day western foods that can be used to eliminate true internal cold include;

  • Chicken soup
  • Potato and leek soup with bay leaves and black pepper
  • Roasted winter vegetables with rosemary
  • Mussels marinated and served hot with a chilli and garlic sauce
  • Slowly cooked winter vegetable and or chicken casseroles with bay leaves, wine and warming spices as above
  • Rice porridge with cinnamon and nutmeg

To assist the body in dealing with excess internal cold you need to maintain regular physical activity, dress warmly and use warmth on any painful areas that find warmth beneficial. It is important to avoid consuming large quantities of raw fruit, juices, green salads, raw foods and chilled liquids. When using food to treat cold conditions you need to support your body by using both warming methods of food preparation and consuming warming foods.

In the acute stages of a pathogenic cold invasion (for example a common cold with more chills than fever), you may use warming and spicy foods to drive out cold, even to the extent of inducing sweating. Note; Chicken is recommended in the recovery period but not the early stages of a cold or flu like illness in traditional Chinese medicine.

A useful home remedy for the start of a cold:

Take a thumb nail size slice of fresh ginger and the white section of two spring onion stalks. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drink as a tea