Strengthening your immune system is an important foundation for keeping your body healthy and preventing disease. In light of today’s CCP coronavirus pandemic, let’s take a look at some recommendations given by a Chinese medicine physician for improving your body’s immunity. Chen Fumin, a doctor of Chinese medicine, shares some simple ideas that you can start doing today.
First and foremost, Chen advises people not to stay up late at night, and to live a healthy lifestyle in general, as these aid in strengthening your body’s immune system. According to Chen; a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do to keep your body strong and healthy. “From the viewpoint of traditional Chinese medicine, the gallbladder needs to repair itself between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., while the liver meridians repair themselves from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m.
“During this process, your body depends on ‘qi,’ or energy. If qi is not renewed, the detoxification of your body will be disrupted, leading to fatigue and dark circles under your eyes the following day. This is due to your going against the natural flow of the human body, which can result in a weakened immune system. With time, you will develop insomnia and also experience a lot of dreams during sleep, which will gradually impair immunity. Therefore, going against your body’s natural law can easily cause you to have ordinary flu, not to mention be at increased risk for the coronavirus.”
Chen also advises: “Don’t develop bad habits such as smoking and drinking. Smoking can irritate the trachea and lungs, and this can enable the virus to easily invade the body. At the same time, it’s good to increase the amount of exercise, as this can enhance physical fitness and wellness.”
He also pointed out that a healthy diet can improve your body’s ability to balance and detoxify itself, thereby warding off disease. For example: “Honeysuckle is anti-viral, chrysanthemums can improve the liver, tea and radishes can enhance the body’s immunity, and cabbage has the effect of clearing the body of heat. Intake of these various foods can enhance the body’s natural immune system.”
In the view of Chinese medicine, viruses can enter the body when it has too much cold qi inside, therefore ingesting things that are hot or warm are beneficial. Things like ginger, garlic, and hot soups are a few examples of foods that could be helpful.
Chen goes on to say: “Carrot, lotus root, and water chestnuts can help reduce the body’s level of toxins. Pears and white fungus (mushrooms) steamed with rock sugar can benefit the skin, as they are anti-inflammatory and aid in skin repair and protection. And because protein is one of the main components of the human body, eating more mushrooms can help supplement the body and support these needs. If the body’s cells do not take in protein, they will not have the elements for cellular renewal.”
Chen also suggested eating fewer greasy foods, as these can increase the burden on the liver and gallbladder system, and reduce “yang” energy. Therefore, it’s best to eat foods that contain more protein and vitamins, and fewer foods that are fried or greasy. It is said: “If one wants to depend on external help through foods, then the only way is to eat.” Just make sure what you eat is helping support and strengthen the immune system, rather than harm it.
While the right foods offer an external benefit, looking inside at your mind and heart is equally beneficial. Having happy thoughts and keeping your mind worry-free and upbeat has been shown in many studies to exert positive benefits on health. Being kind, showing compassion toward others, and thinking of others before yourself is part of this important process.
Translated by Chua BC and edited by T. Denning