A collaboration with our TCM partner, Oriental Remedies Group
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) came under the global spotlight earlier this year when it served a critical role in China’s battle with COVID-19.
As scientists around the world are racing against time to formulate a vaccine, more individuals worldwide are turning to traditional remedies to strengthen their immune system.
In TCM, your body houses a vital energy called Qi which essentially creates a protective shield, protecting you from external pathogens. This is why TCM focuses on nourishing your Qi to strengthen your immune system!
Signs of weak immunity
A simple 👅 test can also indicate the state of your immunity – take a mirror or use your smartphone camera to do a quick check!
A tongue with scallop outline/teeth marks and a greasy coating (middle picture) is a sign of Qi deficiency and weakened immunity.
Other signs of a compromised immune system:
- Frequent colds/ flus/ body aches
- Chronic Fatigue
- Digestive Issues
- Chronic skin conditions, allergies and inflammation
So what can you do to improve your immunity?
1) Eat yellow foods
💡 Did you know?
Nearly 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract? This is why your gut health is so important in maintaining your overall health and immune system.
According to TCM’s 5 element theory, the spleen is responsible for your body’s digestive functions and is linked to the colour yellow. Hence, yellow foods helps to nourish your spleen and improve your gut health.
Best yellow foods for healthy diet:
- Sweet Potato
2) Incorporate Huang Qi (Astragalus) for immunity
Huang Qi (Astragalus) is one of the most commonly used herbs in TCM for Qi nourishment and has been an ancient favourite for more than 2000 years! It also has immunoregulatory, anticancer, antitumor and antioxidant properties, making it a powerful all-rounder. 
Pro-tip: Choose The Right Huang Qi
I always go for premium Huang Qi which is naturally grown and harvested – this means that they are chemicals & pesticides free!
How to tell organic wild Huang Qi from farmed ones?
💛 Colour – Sliced organic Huang Qi’s yellow colour can vary from plant to plant depending on the environment it grows in. Cultivated ones tend to have a stronger yellow colour.
🌿 Fibre Pattern – Fibres on organic Huang Qi slices are not so defined and the pattern also varies from plant to plant.
How to use Huang Qi?
Physician Leong Wei Zhen from Oriental Remedies Group (TCM chain in Singapore) recommends using 1-3g of Huang Qi (with up to 1.5L of water) to brew tea on a daily basis 🍵
*Editor’s note: I’m personally very lazy to concoct my own tea so I usually opt for pre-packed tea bags like Oriental Remedies Group’s Immunity Tea!
3) Massage acupressure points
TCM Physician’s recommendations
Massage each point twice a day using finger massage/palmar massage
Finger Massage: up to 5mins each time
Palmar Massage: 10 – 15mins each time
☝🏽 Finger massage
Press in deep and rotate your fingers, your fingers should be in contact with your abdomen as you massage the points.
✋🏽 Palmar massage
Place both palms facing your abdomen, one palm on top of the other and rotate both palms together in a single direction.
4) Reduce stress and get enough sleep
Chronic stress and sleep deprivation (sleep hrs and quality) can weaken your Qi and immunity. This is very common in busy professionals who lead a stressful life with little time to unwind and rest.
💆🏻 Destress and refresh
Set aside time for relaxation – if you don’t plan to take a break, you plan to not take a break. Prevent missing out on your downtime by creating an event on your work calendar, treat it as a task instead of an indulgence!
🛌 Get enough sleep hours and quality sleep
Adults should aim to get 7 hours of good quality sleep daily. If you find it difficult to fall asleep or wake up feeling lethargic despite enough sleep hours, you could be making these 3 mistakes.
I used to think I could repay my slept debt during the weekends, little did I know that it was affecting my sleep quality! I shared more about tips on how to sleep better in another post – learn more!
5) Improve the air quality of your surroundings
Researchers found that air pollution can suppress the immune system’s natural functions and was linked to causing a greater severity of asthma symptoms and lower lung capacity. 
Prolonged exposure to poor air quality can cause chronic inflammation, asthma is merely one of the resulting conditions due to a malfunctioning immune system.
🌻 Do indoor plants help?
While plants are great additions to spruce up your place, their abilities in purifying the air of pollution has been overstated. They are unable to clean the air quickly enough to improve the air quality. 
🍃 Air Ionisers are more effective in cleaning the air
Air ionisers emit negative ions that eliminate airborne pollutants including dust, bacteria and even viruses. Negative Ions work by attracting positively-charged pollutants in the air by making them heavier and fall to the ground. As a result, the air that we breathe in is now cleaned and safer. 
PS, I invested in a Reltec’s Air Ioniser years ago and it is still going strong. It is a robust machine that is portable and small so you can keep it anywhere and move it to any indoor area as you wish. It’s currently on sale so it’s a great time to get your hands on one – more info here.
As Singapore reopens gradually, there will be a greater need to protect ourselves. Masks and social distancing habits are definitely a must but you can do more by strengthening your immunity naturally, the TCM way!
Thank you Oriental Remedies Group for collaborating with me to come up with this useful piece, especially in times like this!
I would love to learn more about other tips on how to boost my immune system so drop me a comment to share your experience 😊