Understanding Traditional Chinese Medicine and The True Meaning of Immune System

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a holistic form of healing that looks at the overall body’s condition internally and externally. Our internal bodies are a key indicator of our health and displays itself through external factors. Which is why we often feel pain and or discomfort. By recognizing the different signs, we can identify which organ is impacted and to what degree, then figure out the next step. It’s not just about which part of your body hurts or is affected, it’s about how and why they happened. And to do so, you must find the source that’s causing symptom.

In order to get healing or care in any form, one must understand what it is and how it helps. I don’t want to be like the Western doctors that diagnose you with something you can’t even pronounce, and then tell you what you need to do without explaining or going into detail. And then we’d follow with their words not knowing what we are putting into our bodies and if there will be any side effects; but you’ll never truly know. The fact is, even the medication they prescribe to you are all chemically made and creates more problems for you in the long run. Sure, they’ll go scientific and tell you what the medication can do and how it’ll work, but nothing synthetically can be made completely compatible with our bodies.

Because it’s simply not natural.

Eastern medicine, one such as traditional Chinese medicine is considered an alternative way of health care, especially in the US. But if you look at the culture and the history behind it, it’s in fact a way of life. Many see it simply as drinking herbal tea or getting acupuncture, or releasing the pressure from the body, but it’s not about that. It’s about maintaining good health and preventing the bad from coming in. There are many remedies for all kinds of different health issues, ranging from something small like the occasional cough or maybe the cold that will come around every change of the season, to the scary illnesses like heart disease or cancer.

The fact is traditional Chinese medicine has been present in our world from since over 4000 years ago. In time, it has evolved to become what it is now; a powerful form of health care that does not only heal you but teaches you on how to live a better life. Its purposes weren’t just a method of healing, but for a longer, healthier life. One major aspect of that is our diet.

We emphasize the importance of ensuring that our diet and day to day activities are beneficial for our health. Food is a huge part of our life, our bodies need food to ensure we have the energy, nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to ensure that we are strong each day. In history, Chinese styled cooking has always been one where it packs all the nutrients you need in a simple but delicious dish. We talk about the ‘balance’ and how too much and or too little can be daunting to our health. This information can sound confusing and will likely not make any sense, but if you try to open yourself up and bring yourself to the table without judgement, you’ll understand why we say and do the things we do.

Strengthening The Immune System - Prevention is The Key

Our bodies are made up intricate pathways that work together to ensure we are healthy and strong. It is vital that our immune systems are strong so that we can still do our day to day activities. The problem is that it is easy to get sick. Every time we get sick, our bodies are telling us several things:

  1. Our immune system WAS weak and not strong enough to overcome the pathogen.
  2. Our immune system IS still weak and will continue to be weak if we don’t do something about it.
  3. We need to make sure we BUILD a strong immune system once we recover from our illness.
  4. If we have a strong immune system, we can overcome anything through PREVENTION

The question is how do we build a strong immune system and what are the best methods to do so? In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we believe that before anything, we must detox the body from foreign pathogens, viruses, and bacteria. Whether we physically feel symptoms or not, we must ensure that we start with a blank slate. To do so, we must change our diet and be aware of what we are intaking into our bodies. The next step is about rebuilding our strength, in a sense, creating a new, stronger foundation. This can be through the method of herbal teas, herbal pills, and or other methods of TCM healthcare. The final step is reinforcing the strength of the body, in this case, we talk about prevention. I cannot reiterate it enough: building a strong immune is the key to prevention as well as healing.

The next question is now in what ways can we build a strong immune system? In TCM, we use a variety of herbal teas and herbal pills as often as daily to ensure that our bodies are strong. IF we do get sick, we are prepared with herbal remedies in order to help us feel better. The best thing you can do is to PREPARE, the longer the better. You may think you can win small battles with short term measures such as antibiotics, medication, and or other remedies prescribed b western doctors, but you do not win the war that way. Be aware of what is going on around you, ensure that what can be done now is done (strong immunity, being aware and knowledgeable, and having herbs ready just in case).

For those with underlying health conditions, including the young and the elderly, we need to make sure they are the most protected and prepared. Their immunity is much easier to be compromised because of their age, medical/health condition, and physical health. For them, it’s much better to have their healthcare conditions individualized with specialized herbs and remedies as their needs are more unique.

Food is huge element of Traditional Chinese Medicine and often is the biggest indicator of our overall health. What we eat makes a difference in our overall condition and energy levels. It’s also the biggest indicator in the potential to get sick. For those who don’t know me or aren’t familiar with my practice at Hen Sen Herbs, we always talk about our diet, what we eat, how much we ate, how was it made, even about what time you ate. The details are very important, and I always make sure that my patients know that for the most effective form of treatment and healing, we start with a change in diet.

I always recommend what is known as the “Bland Diet Suggestion”, you can refer to it on our website: hensenherbs.com. This document contains information about what we should be eating and what we shouldn’t be eating while on taking Traditional Chinese Medicine. Also known as ‘Peasant Food’, it’s considered to be the simplest in fanfare as it gives us just enough of what we should eat without over doing it. Balance is the most essential in our everyday life; we should never eat too much. There’s a reason why a long time ago in China, peasants tended to live long lives, the only sickness truly plaguing them was ‘hunger’. In the US, there is a bountiful amount of food choices, we need to figure out what is right for us as individuals. To do so, we must first figure out our own bodies.

BUT the likelihood of many knowing about how to do so are little in number and can only say so much. How does one know what is right for them? How do we know when something is bad for us? How long does this take? Will I feel better? I’m sure many of these questions have run through your head, whether you’re a current patient or if you were curious about this method of healthcare. In anything we do, what is the purpose? It is for the sake of feeling good about our self, sometimes even to look good while feeling even better. The real question is, do you know what it truly means to feel good? And if so, can you imagine going back?

In the Recommendation section below, we included a list of recommended herbal remedies that I think will help the support the body and immune system, especially when it is weak and or you are sick. It is ordered based off of importance. The question is, when and what is the best time to take it? We talk about how when we are sick, it is already too ‘late’. However, being late doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, it simply means that we were late to prepare something about it prior to being sick. To you, physically being sick means being sick, but there are always little signs and symptoms prior to feeling physical symptom such as coughing, sore throat, congestion, sinus pressure, pain, constipation, bloating, and fever. When you have these symptoms, you are already sick. With the recent pandemic of COVID19, we need to recognize the importance of how sickness can truly incapacitate someone; leaving them bed ridden, weak, and for some incoherent. Fever is a huge red flag, the longer we have a fever running, the more dangerous it is. What's worse than a long running fever is a high fever. Some of the biggest indicators of COVID19 is a sore throat and dry cough, leading to a fever. These are all related to an intense attack on our immune system. IF you are really sick and most of what is mentioned here applies to you or someone you know, don't worry, it will be okay. If you are already sick, we recommend that you take all the herbs mentioned below as their collective strength will allow for both recovery and re-strengthening the body. The sooner you are able to do so, the sooner you will feel better.

Being sick is not something we enjoy, which is why we emphasize the importance of being aware of how we feel. Usually, at the very beginning any sickness, there will always be a time period that you will feel 'different'. Whether that's more fatigue than normal, or you feel 'under the weather', or even if you feel like you should rest and take a nap; these are all signs of an impending sickness. This is the perfect opportunity to stop it at its tracks. We highly recommend numbers 1 (Anti-Viral Tea), 2 (Nebulizer & Ionic Silver), 3 (Colloidal Silver), and 8 (Lymphatic Drainage, Kwan Loong Oil, & Gua Sha Massage - please reach out to Juli if you need the latter as it’s critical you know what you’re doing for the drainage and massage) for these situations. The remaining numbers are great as a preventative measure, especially when you know the risk is much higher (for example, your loved ones are sick, changing of seasons, allergy season, winter cold temperatures, etc.).

We talk about changing our diets, we talk about changing our lifestyles, we talk about changing our day to day normal, but at the end of the day, if we don’t have our health, what do we have? What’s the point of watching behind a window with an IV hooked up to you while you watch your loved ones playing outside when you can be out there joining them? Live longer, live healthier, live happier, but most importantly, live with the knowledge that YOU have control of your health and can actively do something about it.

Recommended Herbs for Blocking and Defeating Coronavirus

When we are sick, it implies that our body is trying to fight off an invading foreign entity such as bacteria and virus, OR due to our own lack of control of our diet and lifestyle resulting in sickness. Sickness can range from mild to severe symptoms, often making it hard to continue doing day to day activities. Many of these symptoms can include coughing, sore throat, headache, migraines, nausea, pain, fatigue, aches, constipation, diarrhea, but most importantly, leading to fever. What we need to do is STAY HOME, BREAK THE FEVER, and REST.

Below is a list of herbal remedies that we recommend you should be taking when you feel sick. Please note, each of these items can pertain to a specific symptom of sickness and or relate to aid a specific condition and or illness. We recommend getting all items on this list as it will help to ease discomforts and pain, especially if you are already affected by sickness and have obvious symptoms. For other products, please refer to our website

1. Antiviral Herbs

Since ancient times, this herbal tea has helped millions of people from the very young to the elderly recover from their sickness. This tea helps to nourish the body and to support what our bodies naturally do best: get better. We believe that the body needs to excrete it out, usually through the method of intense sweating. Once we sweat it out, we know that we’ve overcome the peak of the illness. The best thing to do is to drink a cup every night, for a duration of 5-7 days, enabling our bodies to completely recover. Of course, this is in addition to following the bland diet suggestion. Please refer to the website for detailed information about how to cook this herbal tea. In China, the base for this formula is the same one that was used to treat their ill patients with the COVID19 virus. With Juli’s expertise, she has made it far stronger and more effective to maximize its potential to wipe out any infection and virus that may enter the body.

2. Nebulizer & Ionic Silver

A nebulizer is a great tool to have at home. It’s especially essential during the spring, even more so with the virus running rampant currently. This nebulizer is to be used alongside the ionic silver to clear the lungs of congestion; phlegm, mucus, and or anything that may be a discomfort or painful in the chest area. By breathing through the nose and mouth with a mixture of ionic silver and filtered water, it helps to clear up any sinus congestions. It’s not surprising that you will be coughing, sneezing, and your eyes are tingling; this is what we want to happen as it’s gradually clearing away the impurities away. If you look at what’s coming out, you’ll notice that it’s often darker in color and will gradually become light enough that it will be clear. For best results, it’s best to do this multiple times a day for about 20-30 minutes in duration each time.

Usage of the Ionic silver and Nebulizer is considered one of the quickest ways of absorption to prevent the spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses in the upper respiratory system. The openings of the airways into the body leads to the lungs, which makes it far easier to get sick when are surrounded with others who are sick and or increase the chances of getting sick due to issues with diet and lifestyle choices. The lungs are a huge gateway to the immune system of the whole body. When our lungs are not feeling well, our immune system will easily topple over. In order to have a strong immune system, we need to make sure we are able to breath well. Deep breathing exercises also help to increase the air intake into the lungs, rejuvenating the whole body. This is why it’s so important that our lungs are healthy. By using the ionic silver with the nebulizer, we can strengthen the lungs and in doing so, our immunity.

3. Colloidal Silver

Like the ionic silver, the colloidal silver is another product that has silver properties. The difference is that the colloidal silver is to be taken 1 once orally by mouth each day. This is helpful against bacteria and viruses; especially to promote and strengthen our immune health. Ionic silver is found to be very useful against viruses and bacteria as they tend to not be able to survive in an environment with silver. When using the nebulizer and the ionic silver, it acts as both a way to pull out impurities but also acts as a prevention mechanism to prevent any more harm to the lungs when used regularly. Silver is found to be very useful against viruses and bacteria as they tend to not be able to survive in an environment with silver. When using the nebulizer and the ionic silver, it acts as both a way to pull out impurities but also acts as a prevention mechanism to prevent any more harm to the lungs when used regularly. As a preventative measure, the daily intake of colloidal silver’s is effective is protecting the lungs and immune system for up to 24 hours. For more information about this product, please refer to our website.

4. Thyroid Herbs

The thyroid is an essential part of our health and helps to balance our hormone levels within our body. Our hormones play an important role in the overall health of our body. When we are sick and not feeling well, our hormones are also impacted. To ensure that our thyroid health is strong, thyroid herbs are beneficial to not only help heal thyroid issues, but also increases our immune health. For information on how to make it, please refer to our website.

5. UPR - Upper Respiratory Support & D12 - Enhance Immune System

TheUPR helps to nourish and strengthen the lungs so that blood can circulate more freely. One of the most important jobs of the lungs is to circulate oxygen throughout the body, if it’s not working properly, the rest of the body will also feel affected, weakening the body making it easily susceptible illness. UPR is great to help maintain healthy lungs. The best time to take it is during the season change when the air quality changes as well as during key times of the year where it’s far easier to get sick: late fall, winter, and spring. For best results, take with D12 pills, Lok Wo Cha, and Gum Wall Tea.

The D12 pills serve to help strengthen the immune system. Whereas the UPR helps to strengthening the upper respiratory system, the D12 is to protect the intestinal area. It helps to eliminate the toxins in the digestive tract and assists the body in recovering after sickness as well. The D12 pairs well with UPR, Lok Wo Cha, and Gum Wall Tea. This combination strengthens, nourishes, and supports the whole immune system from top to bottom.

6. Gum Wall Tea & Lok Wo Cha

The Lok Wo Cha and Gum Wall Tea are 2 types of tea that are easily made that helps to prevent the cold and flu. Known as the ‘basic cold and flu’ prevention pack, this herbal tea mixture will strengthen the body so as to prevent foreign invaders (bacteria and viruses) from entering and or doing less damage so that it’s manageable. We talk about the importance of prevention and this is the one of the best methods to do so, especially paired with the D12 and UPR pills. For more information, please refer to our website.

7. Taifu Plus - Digestive Aid-Toxin Elimination & E15 - Extra Strength Detox

Taifu Plus and E15 are herbal digestive aids promote increased internal circulation and cleansing of the digestive tract. The pills are made up of all-natural herbs that help to revive the internal organs, allowing for better nutritional intake along with ridding of toxins and unneeded waste. It is most effective when taken daily after meals along. Please remember to stay hydrated throughout the day with warm, filtered water and or green tea. Our bodies require a lot of liquid hydration to run smoothly.

8. Lymphatic Drain and Gua Sha Massage with Kwan Loong Oil

Gua Sha is a Traditional Chinese practice in which the skin is scraped with a smooth edge coin or jade to produce light bruising, while using a lubricant Kwan Loong Oil, until the skin becomes red. This helps opens the blood scapular and increase blood circulation and healing, basically to scrape the illness away. Even today, I still perform this for my friends and family This folk method is performed throughout Asia, it is used as a prevention or as a first-aid treatment for many common health conditions usually mom or dad or grandparents know how to perform it. Knowledge of the method is passed down the generations by an oral and visual tradition, rather than from book learning.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Sha is produced when the regular flow of qi and blood becomes stagnant or blocked. This can be due to traumatic injury or penetration of adverse climatic factors such as wind or internal pathogenic condition. 傷風 is common cold the exact meaning is injured by the wind. We can try to not catch it, but a cold is the most common infectious disease in humans and accounts for more time lost from work or school than any other disease. It is an acute viral infection that generally causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Gua Sha treatment works on the thermal dynamic principal, which is when heat opens and cold closes. As we catch a cold, the pore closes, but Gua Sha stimulates and increase volume and flow of the blood cells. The heat opens and can move the stagnant blood. Gua Sha is also commonly used to treat pain and such conditions as asthma, bronchitis, cold, flu, fever, heat stroke, fibromyalgia, strains, and muscle spasms. Gua Sha helps restore the body’s natural biological balance. Please refer to our website or give us a call for more information.

Other Herbs & Items That Can Strengthen Overall Immune System

Yunnan Baiyao Capsules

Now these capsules are special. Dubbed with some rare herbal ingredients such as ‘dragons’ blood’, its effectiveness is strong, helping to cleanse, detox, and nourish the blood. These capsules also help to the body overcome toxins in the blood, which in turn help with a variety of ailments that may arise. This is the go-to for any kind of mysterious or known toxins in the body, strengthening it as it heals. For more information, please refer to our website or give us a call about why these capsules are one of the most popular capsules used by our patients.

Yinchiao Tablet - Extra Fast Relief

These herbal pills are great for those who are the on the go, whether due to work, family, and or other personal reasons. They help with a multitude of cold/flu symptoms and can be considered a placeholder when you’re busy during the day but feel like unwell. The important thing to remember is that this is meant to hold you over until you get home to properly rest, take herbs, and sweat. The good thing about this herbal pill is that there is a slight bit of acetaminophen in it, enabling it to work quickly and stronger within your body. If I were you, I would store some in the car, or in your bag just case you may need them.

Zhikebao Pian

Now more than ever, we start paying extra attention to every little cough. The risk is that much higher as it could potentially be a symptom of the deadly disease none of us want. However, it’s not the end of the world, these Zhikebao Pian tablets are herbal tablets made to help those who suffer from coughing; mild or severe. Taken as a “set” from 1-2 weeks’ time, these tablets help to ease coughing and sore throat that may arise due to inflammation of the lungs and esophagus.

Allergy Tea

This extract beneficial for many types of symptoms which is why it’s named what it is. Allergy’s tend be an annual thing, returning each year strong than ever making you feel miserable. Symptoms can be as mild as a runny nose and sneezing yet can be as severe as constant pain and sinus discomfort, sometimes making it impossible to even get through the day. The allergy tea is a cup of tea drank daily to help ease the discomfort of these allergies. It helps to open up the body, strengthening the body’s immune system so that the symptoms are no longer as severe and potentially disappear completely if done so in the right way. Allergy tea can also be drinking prior to an activity that will lead to sweating, helping the body excrete the negative toxins that may be not show itself until it’s too late. I also drink this tea prior to when I go to my hot yoga sessions.

Pi Yen Chin

This bottle of liquid is like that of eye and nose drops. These herbal drops help to relieve sinus pressure in the upper extremities of the face (eyes and nose). You can apply a few drops throughout the day or whenever you feel irritation. During the spring season, these herbal drops are a highly sought-after product as it helps to relieve allergy symptoms rather quickly; it’s always better to be prepared.