Traditional Chinese medicine uses herbs to treat the common cold, the flu, coughs, and allergies. Just as many Americans turn to over-the-counter medications for these ailments, people in China turn to herbal formulas, many of which are based on traditional formulas that have been in use for more than two thousand years.

This article describes traditional Chinese patent medicines that are formulated to relieve cough, cold, flu, and allergy symptoms. Patent medicines are an inexpensive and convenient way to administer Chinese medicinal herbs. Most of the medicines come in the form of easy-to-swallow, tiny round pills (wan) or tablets (pian), but syrups and teas are also used.

The first traditional Chinese medicine we'll discuss treats a condition most of us have experienced: nasal congestion and runny nose due to allergies or the common cold. Continue to the next section for detailed information.

For more about traditional Chinese medicine, treatments, cures, beliefs, and other interesting topics, see: