H1N1 & Vacuity
by Bob Flaws
Yesterday, I closed out my Facebook quotes for the day with one from the Ling Shu (Spiritual Axis/Pivot): “Wind, rain, cold, heat, [if these] do not obtain vacuity [i.e., meet with vacuity], evils are not able solely/by themselves to damage a person.” I also mentioned that this idea was hugely important in this time of H1N1 epidemic and that this was the rationale behind our Blue Poppy Originals formula Cold Quell. Elsewhere in the classic it says, “[If] the righteous exists internally, evils cannot attack.” Frequently, when reading the explanation section of some Chinese clinical trial, the authors say that “evils have taken advantage of vacuity to enter and assail.” In other quotes I’ve posted on Facebook over the last couple of weeks, Chinese authors have talked about the H1N1 virus (and similar epidemic evils in general) as a species of toxin du 毒. Thus, most Chinese protocols for H1N1 involve some exterior-resolving, heat-clearing, toxin-resolving formula, such as Yin Qiao San or the single Ban Lan Gen. While certainly these types of heat-clearing, toxin-resolving medicinals are correct for attacking and draining the evil qi itself, they do nothing to prevent the invasion of such evil qi due to a righteous qi vacuity.
In the Nei Jing (Inner Classic), where it talks about not supplementing until evil qi has been drained, it goes on to say that one must supplement and drain simultaneously if the righteous qi is vacuous. As the above quotes suggest, if evil qi has invaded a person, their righteous qi must be/have been vacuous and insufficient for the job of securing the exterior. Otherwise the evil qi could not’ve entered. Further, once the evil qi has entered and lodged in the body, it is the righteous qi which must mount a counterattack and drive the evils back out of the body. If the righteous qi was too weak to defend the body in the first place, it stands to reason it might need some help in fighting the evils it has allowed to enter.
This is exactly why Cold Quell contains qi and blood supplements, including Dang Shen, Da Zao, and Gan Cao for the qi and Dang Gui and Bai Shao for the blood. The righteous qi is nothing other than qi and blood. Just ask yourself, when do you tend to catch a cold or flu? Most people’s answer is when they feel run down or fatigued, with fatigue being the subjective experience of qi vacuity. So Cold Quell contains ingredients to supplement and boost the qi and blood.
In addition, where does the righteous qi come from? It’s a by-product of the healthy, coordinated function of the five viscera. If the five viscera are functioning in a healthy way, they make righteous qi. Now ask yourself, what is the single most common chronic disease mechanism in humans across the board, and the answer is a liver-spleen disharmony, i.e., liver depression qi stagnation with concomitant or resultant spleen qi vacuity weakness. The spleen is the latter heaven root of the engenderment and transformation of the qi and blood. So, if we want to make sufficient righteous qi, we also need to regulate and harmonize the liver and spleen. Cold Quell, because it is based on the harmonizing formula Xiao Chai Hu Tang, does exactly this. Xiao Chai Hu Tang disinhibits the upbearing, downbearing, exiting, and entering of the whole body’s qi mechanism, thus allowing the five viscera to function in a smoothly flowing, coordinated way, with the end result being the engenderment and transformation of the righteous qi.
On top of this base, Cold Quell does include heat-clearing, toxin-resolving, specifically anti-viral ingredients, such as Ban Lan Gen, Lian Qiao, Jin Yin Hua, and Xuan Shen. While these medicinals are all cool or cold in nature, because they are combined with warm spleen and stomach fortifying and harmonizing medicinals, they do not damage the middle burner. Hence, they can be taken prophylactically in order to attack and eliminate any evil toxins should they enter the body. This means that Cold Quell can be taken at low doses preventively during times when there is great concern over epidemic contagious respiratory diseases. Then, should you fall ill anyway, you can up the dose at the very first sign of an acute sore throat, especially if accompanied by fever.
I have been prescribing Cold Quell for 25 years, and I and my family all depend upon it ourselves. If I feel I’m coming down with a wind heat cold or flu, I take up to 30 capsules of Cold Quell per day in frequent divided doses to knock the symptoms out as quickly as possible (usually within hours). However, it is my experience that one should continue taking Cold Quell at a reduced dose for another day or so to, as the Chinese say, “secure and consolidate therapeutic effects.”
Now some may ask, won’t supplementation of the righteous “trap the evils inside the body” and worsen a cold or flu? The answer is simply no. Maybe if the formula included Huang Qi and Wu Wei Zi, but it doesn’t, and I have never seen or heard anyone having such an experience when using this formula. That question is good in theory, but fails to take into account the fact that these situations are never really simple repletions. They are always a combination of vacuity and repletion requiring bi 必 supplementation and drainage at the same timetong 同. If, because of this overly simplistic theory (based on only one half of a compound sentence in the Nei Jing), you are still using Yin Qiao San or Gan Mao Ling, you can test what I’m saying for yourself. Next time you are coming down with a cold or flu, take Cold Quell instead and see how much better it works than those beginner’s textbook formulas. Once you try this approach, I feel confident you will be convinced.
Sure, during this epidemic, we should wash our hands regularly and avoid contact as much as possible with people who are sneezing and coughing. But, beyond that, we need to keep our righteous qi well fortified so it will secure the exterior and prevent the entry of evil toxins. Cold Quell can help accomplish these goals. Remember, “[If] the righteous exists internally, evils cannot attack.”
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