Our Mother’s wisdom of “wearing a jacket so we don’t catch a cold”, may actually be true after all. Research, recently published online by Nature Chemical Biology, has shown that temperature-sensing proteins within our immune cells have the ability to activate an immune response. This is an interesting discovery, as it shows how “germs” like bacteria and viruses – which we are surrounded by constantly – may only be offensive if our body cannot properly attune to the temperature.
“Catching a cold”, may actually be a process of our bodies immune system not adjusting properly to temperature shifts in the environment. Thus allowing viral and bacterial invaders to creep in and do their nasty work. Think about it, the real enemy when we “catch a cold” may actually be the “cold” environment itself!
This is, of course, no new news to the world of Chinese medicine. For the past few thousand years, right up to our current day, Chinese medical theory has stated that excesses of cold and heat in the body are actual “pathogens”. Herbal medicines were observed with specific actions of “clearing heat”, or “warming cold”.
Cinnamon is actually a very common medicinal herb in Chinese medicine that is used for its ability to warm up the channels of the body. One method used to over come a common cold uses cinnamon tea that is drunk with rice soup. After wards the patient is told to cover up and slightly sweat out the “cold”. Instead of researching Cinnamon’s ability to kill viruses, we would be better off studying its ability to “warm” these “temperature-sensing proteins” in the immune system.
Actually the above mentioned research went on to show that temperature does more than regulate our immune system, it actually influences our skin, brain, skeletal muscle, and even blood platelets ability to form clots – an interesting connection as Cinnamon is not only used for the common cold, it is also used for “cold in the uterus” – as noticed by menstrual pain, clotting, and even infertility.
Dr. Trevor Erikson, May 12, 2011