Despite the severity of the Chinese winter, bronchitis does not have its own name in China, where it would merely be called coughing. The reason why bronchitis is known elsewhere in the world as the English Disease is that the British seem to suffer from it more than other nations. Bronchitis can certainly be treated with Chinese Medicine, usually with success. Different treatments will be applied according to whether the bronchitis is acute of chronic.
In Chinese Medicine, if acute, bronchitis is normally due to external reasons such as wind, cold or heat invasion. Chronic bronchitis, which is what most people suffer from in Britain, is attributed to internal problems: deficiency of the spleen or lungs, or internal phlegm.
Where Western medicine, waits for the attack to occur and then treats it, the aim of a Chinese Medicine practitioner is to prevent the onset of an attack. Sufferers who dread winter because it will inevitably herald the onset of the disease should begin treatment in late summer or early autumn. They should then have fewer or less serious attacks of bronchitis. Treatment with Chinese Medicine can sometimes prevent attacks entirely.
A Chinese Medicine practitioner examining a patient in the summer would assess the severity of the condition, even in the absence of the illness, by means of the tongue, the pulse and the breathing. He or she will then concentrate on improving lung energy, using herbs such as plantain seed, fritillary bulb or balloon flower root, honeysuckle flowers, baical skullcap root, lily turf root, mulberry leaf or gardenia fruit
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