As temperatures drop, it's really beginning to feel like fall, and there are even undertones of the winter in the air today.
In the last weeks, I've seen more patients with bronchitis, colds and flus as the weather changes. An easy and simple way to stave of an illness before it becomes entrenched is a warm cup of miso soup.
The first recipe for miso soup, or Cong Chi Tang, was from a 3rd century Materia Medica (a compendium of herbal formulas) that was all about practical remedies; entitled: Emergency Formulas to Keep Up One's Sleeve.
Signs and symptoms for miso as a remedy can include: "mild fever and slight chills without sweating, headache, and a stuffy nose" (Scheid et al.)
It's best to have the broth as soon as the first symptoms appear, within 4-6 hours. The basic ingredients of miso are prepared soybeans (miso paste) and scallions. The warm spiciness of the scallions induces sweating, boosting the body's natural defense system, and allowing the body to vent pathogenic qi. Prepared soybean also has the ability to help circulate qi in the body and vent pathogens.
After taking the miso, one should rest for at least an hour, with warm blankets, making sure there are no drafts on the head, neck or feet. Wearing a warm beanie/cap to bed is not a bad idea. The goal is to induce sweating and allow the body to clear the illness naturally. After sweating, dry off and change into clean warm clothes and return to bed to rest.
The current Formulas & Strategies Materia Medica states that this is a rather balanced formula, and can be taken by most constitutional types, as it is not too drying. It is
especially useful for those early colds marked by #headache and nasal #congestion.
My colleague's article below has instructions below for making your own miso, which is very simple (Whole Foods or your local health food store will have all the ingredients.) It's important to avoid packaged miso as it often contains other additives and MSG.
Miso soup, following acupuncture treatment designed to support immune qi (called Wei qi in Chinese Medicine) is the perfect way to stay healthy this fall and winter.
The Chinese Herbal Materia Medica is a hidden treasure trove (hidden to most in the West) of time-tested remedies. If you'd like to discuss a formula for a specific health concern, I'd be happy to talk to you about how I can help.
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How to make your own miso:
#acupuncture #chinesemedicine #Philadelphia #MainLine #Narberth