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Traditional Chinese Medicine for Coughs, Colds, Flu, and Allergies

Traditional Chinese Serious Cold Remedy

Traditional Chinese Serious Cold Remedy provides relief for high fever, the flu, pneumonia, and more by eliminating heat and toxins from the body.

Chinese name: Zhong Gan Ling (jung gahn ling)


Also known as: Serious Cold Remedy


Wind heat flu-like symptoms -- high fever, sore throat


Expels wind heat, clears heat and toxins


Although similar to Gan Mao Ling, Zhong Gan Ling focuses more on heat conditions. It contains gypsum (shi gao), a mineral used to clear high fevers, and Isatis (ban lang gen), a powerful antibacterial and antiviral herb, which has proved effective in treating influenza, pneumonia, meningitis, mumps, and swollen, painful throat.

Another ingredient in the formula is Pueraria root (ge gen), commonly known as kudzu. (This root is often used in Asian cooking as a thickening agent in sauces.) As a component of Zhong Gan Ling, kudzu has the effect of relaxing tight stiff muscles in the neck and shoulders, a common symptom of external conditions. (As a side note, recent research has shown that an extract of kudzu reduces cravings for alcohol, helping alcoholics to reduce their consumption of alcohol by 50 percent.)

It is synergistic with Notopterygium (qiang huo), another ingredient that is effective in relieving pain in the upper body due to colds or flu.

Manufacturer: Plum Flower. It is important to use this brand only; the Meizhou brand contains Western pharmaceuticals.

Dosage: 4 to 6 pills, three times a day

Many of the traditional Chinese medicines described in this article have been used to treat cold and cough symptoms for thousands of years. The next time you suffer from symptoms like cough, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, or congestion, consider one of these time-tested herbal medicinals.

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


Bill Schoenbart is licensed in both herbal medicine and acupuncture and has an M.A. in Chinese medicine. He is editor of The Way of Chinese Herbs and Biomagnetic and Herbal Therapy.

Ellen Shefi is a licensed massage technician, licensed acupuncturist, and registered dietician. She is a member of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the American Herb Association, and the Oregon Acupuncture Association.