Introduction: As the leaves begin their annual transformation, painting the landscapes with hues of amber and ruby, the brisk autumn air also brings along an unwelcome guest – the common cold. As we wrap ourselves in cozy sweaters and enjoy the crisp evenings, many of us are also reaching for tissues and nursing sore throats. In the heart of this seasonal shift, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers a holistic approach to not only alleviate the symptoms of the common cold but also to nurture and strengthen the body’s defenses.

The Yin and Yang of it: At the core of TCM is the concept of balancing Yin and Yang – two opposite yet complementary energies that flow through our bodies. Autumn, in TCM, is associated with the element of metal and is a time when Yang begins to decline and Yin energy rises. This shift can sometimes disturb the balance of our internal energies, making us susceptible to illnesses like the common cold.

Ancient Wisdom for Modern Ills: Traditional Chinese medicinal treatments for the common cold often focus on expelling wind and eliminating dampness, both of which are considered external pathological factors contributing to illness. Here are some popular TCM remedies for those looking to combat the pesky autumn cold:

1. Scallion Bulb and Ginger Tea:

A warm cup of ginger tea is more than just a comforting beverage. In TCM, ginger is believed to have properties that expel cold and release the exterior, making it a popular remedy for the early stages of colds. However, the addition of a white bulb of the scallion stalk will further promote diaphoresis. Add a few slices of ginger and 3-4 white bulbs of scallion stalk and flash boil. Drink the decoction warm and cover yourself in blankets to promote sweat, releasing the pathogenic factors that cause the common cold.


This tea is only taken in the early stages of the common cold, in which there are signs and symptoms such as chills, fever, and headache. Do not take consume this tea too many times, because excessive induction of diaphoresis (sweating) will damage the bodily fluids. Once you sweat once, and the chills and fever are reduced, do not continue drinking another serving of this tea.

Conclusion: Traditional Chinese medicine’s philosophy of harmony and balance provides a different lens through which to view and treat the common cold. As the golden autumn leaves fall, and we prepare for the winter ahead, incorporating TCM practices into our daily routines can offer relief from cold symptoms and fortify our bodies against future ailments. Before adopting any new medicinal practices, it’s always advised to consult with a professional to ensure they are safe and suitable for your specific health needs and conditions.