Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) categorizes the internal organs into various different categories. The five solid or Zang organs are considered the most important from a functional standpoint. The Zang organs are: Heart; Kidneys; Lungs; Liver; and Spleen. Then there are six hollow or Fu organs and they are closely connected to the aforementioned Zang organs.
Each Zang organ is paired with a Fu organ, the function of one directly affecting the other: Gall bladder; Large intestine; Small intestine; Stomach; and Urinary bladder. There is the sixth Fu which is the Sanjiao (triple energiser) which is a nomenclature for three chambers within the body.
The sanjiao is not specifically an organ in itself, but rather a functional unit consisting of three segments. The upper jiao of the chest contains the heart and lung. The middle jiao of the upper abdomen holds the spleen and stomach. The lower jiao of the lower abdomen has the kidney and bladder. The sanjiao acts as a distributor and circulator of Qi (pronounced Chee) energy and blood as well as regulating the amount of bodily fluids, directing the excess to the bladder to be excreted. The pericardium (the covering of the heart) is also recognized in this system.
In the TCM model, the internal organs play a vital role in the production, maintenance, replenishment, transformation and transport of the Vital Substances: Qi; Blood; Essence; and Body fluids (sweat, saliva, urine, stomach and intestinal secretions, and all of the other fluids in the body).
The Vital Substances are only forms of Qi in differing stages of energy being transmutated into matter. Qi can be termed as energy which forms the basis of the universe. Everything that exists is composed of Qi or energy. TCM holds that neither Qi nor energy can be destroyed, only transformed, in a theory established millennia before the Second Law of Thermodynamics was postulated.
TCM maintains that the flow of Qi energy determines the health of an individual. If there is abundant, smoothly flowing Qi they are in good health. If they are ill, it is because of a blockage or interruption in the Qi flow.
Some of the compounds which have been used for centuries in TCM to fight the effects of colds and flu, (and again without personal recommendation) include:
Gan Mao Ling: This is definitely one of the most widely utilized Chinese patents to treat flu related fatigue, headaches, sore throats, swollen lymph glands, high fever, chills, and back and neck aches.
Yin Chiao: In a very similar fashion to Gan Mao Ling, Yin Chiao is generally prescribed for the same set of flu symptoms.
Zhong Gan Ling: This medicine is indicated for more severe conditions such as sudden, high fevers with sore throats and coughing, swollen lymph nodes, aching limbs and headaches.
Zhong Gan Ling is usually prescribed if Yin Chiao or Gan Mao Ling have been ineffective.
Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Wan: Primarily prescribed for stomach flus with digestive difficulties of diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, flatulence, nausea and for chills, fever and headaches.
Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao Wan: This medicine is intended for headaches resulting from a cold accompanied by chills especially at back of neck or top of the skull, nasal congestion, sinusitis and rhinitis.
Yu Ping Feng San: This medicine is prescribed primarily for insufficient immune system in the presence of frequent colds and flu, sore throat, swollen face, sinus congestion and inflammation, and sinus pain headaches.