Dizzying wind

In Chinese medicine, Wind is an Adverse Climate that affects the body the way a sudden gust of wind affects the trees, shaking the leaves and branches, wreaking temporary havoc. When a Wind invasion occurs, symptoms of the common cold or flu are present, like dizziness and migratory pains in the joints, muscles, and head. Vertigo or respiratory congestion can happen when Wind obstructs circulation.

This clinical case study features three herbal formulas created by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold. All 60 of their formulas are available from their Chinese Medicine Works herbal pharmacy in San Francisco. (All Chinese Medicine Works herbal remedies are also available to health care providers and their patients through the online prescription service at Kan Herb.)

Chinese herbal medicine helps an upper respiratory infection with vertigo

A 45-year-old woman sought treatment for a lingering cough, dyspepsia with gas and bloating, fatigue, and vertigo. These symptoms had persisted for two months. Because she was used to enjoying robust heath, she wondered if her immune system had been weakened by the illness. She had recently moved back to San Francisco, and the last few months had been rather stressful. She appeared to be a generally happy, vigorous woman, and it seemed that a mild remedy would be adequate.

“Each human being is seen as a world in miniature, a garden in which doctor and patient together strive to cultivate health.” —Chinese Medicine: How It Works

Examination revealed a slightly pale tongue with some red papillae at the front quarter, and a thickened, somewhat damp, yellowish-white coating indicating that the pathogenic factors were still present in the Lung, Stomach and Intestines. Her pulse had slightly pounding and inflated qualities at the Lung position along with tense, pounding, and slippery qualities at the Stomach position. Her condition was a manifestation of a Wind invasion that had penetrated into the Lung and Stomach due to an insufficiency of Qi and Wei, resulting in the accumulation of Dampness and Phlegm. In order to evict the pathogenic factors, it would be necessary to strengthen the Stomach so that she could generate more Qi, which in turn would augment the Wei and strengthen the Lung.


Her initial prescription included the following herbal remedies formulated by Harriet and Efrem:

  • Grow and Thrive     20cc
  • Windbreaker            20cc
  • Chest Relief              20cc

Dosage: 4 squirts every 4 hours until signs of improvement,
then 4 squirts 3 times per day until symptoms resolved
[With the dropper unscrewed and in the bottle, firmly squeeze the bulb, and this equals 1 squirt]

After returning for a follow-up appointment the next week, she reported complete recovery from her symptoms within four days with no recurrence.

GROW and THRIVE rectifies Qi  deficiency, harmonizes the Stomach and Spleen, and augments the Defensive Wei Qi. WINDBREAKER clears Wind, Heat, and Phlegm, relieving sniffles, sore throat, earache, fever, and the signs of cold, flu, ear inflammation, or allergic congestion. Along with subduing cough, CHEST RELIEF soothes the throat and chest, gently dispels Phlegm, aids expectoration, replenishes Moisture, rectifies the Qi of the Lung, purges Wind and Heat, and bolsters the Nutritive Ying and Defensive Wei Qi.

Chinese herbal formulas that clear Heat, dissolve Phlegm and dispel External Wind can aid in the prevention of or recovery from sniffles, sore throat, cough, body ache, chills, earache or fever, the common symptoms of colds and flus. This type of formula lubricates the delicate lining of the respiratory tract, soothing the throat and chest, facilitating expectoration, reversing inflammation, allaying congestion and cough. When herbs are used right away, often colds or flus are nipped in the bud, before they take root.