Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have developed an even more large concern regards to our health. Common cold symptoms can often be confused with COVID. While they are both respiratory tract infections, common cold OR influenza is more superiorly located (in the pharynx aka nose instead of trachea).

History has recorded that Chinese medicine was used to treat pandemics and common colds as far as 3000 years ago. Ancient Chinese medical texts have theorized that there are different types of common cold and flu. Being able to distinguish the difference between the two determined whether or not the patient could successfully resolve the condition. In ancient times, there was low supply of food, water, cleanliness, and access to health care. Administering the wrong treatment method could have ended in death. Fortunately, we are modernized now and most often adequately supplied with food and water and access to health care.

Regardless, it is still a hassle to catch a cold and not be able to resolve for days, weeks, or sometimes even months!

To keep it simple for the layperson, there are two basic types of commonc cold : “hot” and “cold.” Here are simple ways to distinguish between the two, so that you might be able to successfully treat yourself next time!

General Signs of Common Cold

First of all, you need to determine whether or not you caught something. Common cold should trigger your immune system to react, resulting in fever and chills. If the respiratory tract is affected, there is usually nasal congestion, coughing, and sneezing. The hard part is distinguishing the difference between “hot” and “cold.”

fever, chills, nasal congestion, cough, sneezing, spontaneous bodyache and headache

“Hot” influenza

“Hot” flus are caused by heat pathogen. They have the same symptoms, but the fever is more strong than the chills. The feeling of chills is generally only noticeable in the beginning onset of the common cold. Heat also evaporates fluids from mucosa, so there is sore throat and slight thirst. Here are the main distinguishing characteristics.

sore throat, slight thirst, more prevalent fever, only slight chills in the beginning.

These are generally treated by clearing and releasing the hot disease factors. We recommend using a combination of Chrysanthemum flower and Peppermint leaf tea.

“Cold” flu

“Cold” flus are caused by cold pathogen. They have the same symptoms as typical common colds, but they fever and chills are at the same level. Sometimes the chills can be more prominent and tend to persist throughout the duration of the illness.

Cold vs hot comparison

In “cold” flus, there isn’t sore throat nor slight thirst. This is because there isn’t a high enough level of heat to evaporate fluids and inflame the mucosa. Furthermore, cold is slower and constricting, so more than likely, there won’t be as much sweating. However, we recommend using caution and just seeking proffesional advice when intepreting level of sweating.

More chills or equal amount of fever and chills; no sore throat; no thirst.

These are treated by warming and dispelling the cold disease factors. We recommend using a combination of the bulb of scallion stalks and fresh ginger root tea.

Common cold/flu vs COVID-19

COVID-19 may have symptoms of typical common cold, but there are other notable characteristics of actual lung organ involvement, mainly due to pneumonia.

breathing difficulties, and loss of smell and taste