Catching one cold after another
My husband is 57 and catches one cold after the other. He generally is feeling very run down and I notice that he gets quite out of breath and the sweat literally runs off him when we are out for a walk. We have been referred to the hospital by our GP but they say his heart and everything is OK, which we were quite concerned about. Do you think that herbs would be helpful? I have started him on Ginseng to build him up. He also has high blood pressure. What do you think?
The first thing I would say is that I would stop the Ginseng. Ginseng is a good tonic herb and would build him up but it can also raise peoples’ blood pressure, so it is not really suitable for your husband with his blood pressure already raised.
Chinese herbs are interesting in that they are all said to have certain energetic qualities. Ginseng, as we were talking about, raises up the energy so is useful if we feel low, flat or tired as it gives us a lift, but not good with high blood pressure though, and can make some people a bit hot and muzzy.
Although I have not been able to take the full case, which would normally take an hour, you have said a few key symptoms, which point to one of the possible things that may be going on with your husband.
The Chinese believe that we have an outer protective energy that protects us from catching coughs and colds and help us get over them. I would think that in your husband’s case his energy has weakened making him more vulnerable. Each time he gets a cold he will also get a bit weaker. This energy that the Chinese call Wei Qi also has the function of opening and closing the pores, so one often sees this inappropriate sweating with exertion.
One prescription that springs to mind is called the Jade Screen; it has three herbs to help build up this Wei Qi. I would really need to see your husband to see if it was suitable for him. Probably starting him on the prescription and then reviewing it each month would be the routine way of approaching this sort of problem. We would need to make sure that if he caught a cold while on the herbs he stopped taking them, as it is a bit like building up our defences, or castle walls once an invader has already entered, which is not sensible.