Source Naturals Wellness Formula for ColdsSource Naturals Wellness Formula for Cold and Flu–The Right and Wrong Way to Use

Source Natural’s Wellness Formula is one of my favorite herbal mixes for certain kinds of cold and for flu. Let’s be clear though–no herb formula is a substitute for staying home in bed. Nursing in the form of rest, staying warm, sleeping a lot, and pushing hot fluids, is vital if you want to get well quickly, and completely.

I have seen so many cases of people who have taken herbs, felt better, and then gone to work and to the gym, and relapsed. Worse is that sometimes these people end up with chronic bronchitis or even walking pneumonia. . Any medicine is part of an overall treatment plan involving lifestyle and diet.


What’s In Wellness Formula

Source Natural Wellness Formula s a blend of

  • Bitter, Cold anti-viral and anti-bacterial herbs from Chinese and Western Herbology, like Radix Isatis and Goldenseal Root
  • Immune boosting herbs, such as Astragalus and Reishi Fungus
  • Vitamins, like Vitamin C
  • Neutraceuticals, like Propolis.

In the Chinese Medical world, we call this a “harmonizing” formula. This is because Wellness Formula combines herbs like Isatis that attack the virus as it spreads in your nasal and pulmonary mucusa, with herbs like Astragalus and Siberian Ginseng, that support your resistance to infection.


Use When Getting Sick and Rundown

Wellness Formula is very appropriate and useful to take at the very first sign of a cold or flu, especially if you were already feeling run down before symptoms began. I highly recommend during cold or flu season to go to bed very early the moment you notice you are feeling run down, even if there are no symptoms. Take a dose of Wellness formula or Blue Poppy brand Cold Quell, which works similarly, drink hot soup or tea, and go to bed. Get away from media. Don’t work. Go to bed. That could be you not getting sick, versus the opposite.

This is because most often, we are susceptible to colds and flus exactly when our immune systems are weakened by fatigue from overwork and stress.


Wellness Formula Can Be Hard on the Gut–Combine with Gut Boosting Teas

Source Naturals Wellness Formula IS a very strong formula packed with hard to digest ingredients.

Because of this is it can be hard on the gut for people prone to diarrhea or indigestion. That’s why at a minimum I recommend taking it with hot or warm fresh ginger tea, or with my Ayurvedic teacher Dr. Wickermasinghe’s tea, which is also a major part of how I nip colds in the bud, or treat them if they come on too quickly to prevent.


Treating Colds with Wellness Formula Alongside Acupunture and Cupping


Hit the Virus Hard, Replenish the Qi

If you fail to prevent your cold or flu, and do get sick, then hit the virus hard and replenish the Qi, by taking large doses of this product for 2-3 days (even more if you have robust digestion), and then stopping. At the same time you can take moxibustion and/or acupuncture treatment with cupping therapy. If you have had a very bad cold or flu, and are clearly on the mend, but not all better, then continue Wellness formula at a lower dose (2tab-2x/day) for a few days. I never recommend this herbal product for more than a week. Play close attention to how your gut feels. If you get diarrhea, discontinue. 

Acupuncture and Moxibustion

This is also an excellent time to get a single Acupuncture and Moxibustion Immune Boosting Treatment.

Acupuncture at Zu San Li and other points with Moxabustion can nip a cold in the bud. And if you are already sick, Acupuncture and Moxabustion can help you get back on your feet sooner, and prevent secondary infections like bronchitis. Cough often develops with colds and flu.  Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs work very well for all the varieties of coughs from dry and non-productive, to heavy amounts of thick yellow or green phlegm..


Cupping is one of the methods we use in Chinese Medicine for colds, flu, and lung infections. Cupping opens up the flow of Qi in the lungs and eliminates “wind.”  But Cupping has to be done at when you can then go home and get in bed. You don’t do cupping and then go out into the cold.


Other Chinese Herbal Formulas to Take With Colds and Flu

Take With Yin Qiao San if Severe Sore Throat

If you have a rapid onset of a severe sore throat, or cough of any kind, then Source Naturals Wellness Formula will not be enough.  I always combine it with some Chinese Herbal formulas that better address those symptoms. Wellness formula is an all purpose formula, but not a specific on.

There are times in which I dont use the Wellness formula at all. The Source Naturals Wellness Formula does NOT address specific tyes of cough. A dry cough might need Xiang Su San.  A cold with a bad sore throat and cough might take Yin Qiao San. The treatment of Cough in Chinese Medicine is a science in and of itself.

What if I take Wellness Formula and Get Sick Anyway?

If you follow the 2 tabs 3x a day for 3 days, do your nursing, and get sick anyway, and you have a cold and not the flu, then you can continue at that high dose for up to a week, while pushing hot fluids and going to sleep early. . 


Should I take Source Naturals Wellness Formula Daily When Not Sick, or as Prevention in Cold Season?

The Simple Answer is NO.

I completely disagree with the directions on the bottle. It  serves the sales mission of the manufacturer, but not the health needs of consumers. Why do I say this?

Bitter Cold Antibacterial Antiviral Herbs Are Hard on The Gut Like Antibiotics Are

Because this formula contains such strong “clear heat and toxins” medicinals, like Echinacea and Goldenseal, which are bitter and cold, and because it contains such high amounts of Vitamin C, which is also cold, long term use of this formula will actually damage the digestive fire or Agni in Ayurveda).

Weakening the Agni is a fast way to weaken our immune system. Now you will actually be more susceptible to colds.

In fact, Echinacea and Goldenseal can have diarrhea as a side effect, which I don’t consider a problem when taken for a couple of days (so long as it is very mild diarrhea and not severe), but is definitely a problem over an extended period.

Vitamin C at high doses can also weaken the colon, and can even cause rectal itch due to its acidity


Dont Abuse Antiviral Herbs like Echinacea

Long term use of Echinacea will create “Echinacea resistent bacteria.”  The Native Americans never used it that way. Over use makes your body insenitive to its benefits, that is, the body adapts to it. 


If You Have a Chronically Weak Immune System, Strengthen It from Spring Thru Autumn

Source Naturals Wellness Formula is not designed to build a weak immune system. There are other herbals like Medicinal Mushrooms, Siberian Ginseng, Black Seed, American Ginseng that we give you when you are not ill, to build you up without antivirals.

There are fabulous Acupuncture and Moxabustion treatments at the Summer solstice, late summer, and early fall that we do to prepare you for winter. In effect we stregnthen your Lung Qi and Wei or Immune Defensive Qi.

If your immune system is weakened, and you get colds, flus, and bronchitis every Winter, and lets say more than 2x a year, this is the wrong product to take.

Get a Professional Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

It is much better to get an accurate diagnosis from a licensed herbalist and to take stronger herbs to build the immune system and at the same time clear the dampness that is most often involved in weakened Wei Qi, which is the term we use in Chinese Medicine for the aspect of the immune system that protects against infectious air borne diseases.

This is absolutely the wrong product to take daily for “wellness maintenance.” Daily use of this product over the long term is not beneficial, in my clinical experience, and in the opinion of both Ayurvedic and Chinese Medical theories.

Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Strategies

There are many different strategies in Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, and Ayurveda for building up the immune system of the frequently ill. What treatment to follow depends on the individual.

In Ayurveda, for example, for growing kids who get sick a lot with lots of clear white nasal discharge, or who get bronchitis a lot, with lots of phlegm, we might recommend Chavanaprash, a delicious paste of herbs and spices, taken daily, by spoon.

Ayurveda will also recommend a specific diet to follow each year in Autumn to prevent colds. Here is more on how Ayurveda views the causes of the  Common Cold and its treatment.

Acupuncture is wonderful for building immune system. We often combine it with moxibustion and there are specific points that we use.


copyright eyton shalom, 2008. san diego California. all rights reserved, use with permission
Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese Medicine in San Diego. San Diego Acupuncturist and Ayurvedic Practitioner https://www.bodymindwellnesscenter.com


  1. Lisa

    Thanks, this is a great article! I’ve tried all sorts of coughing syrups, believe me, but none of them helps. Even though Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa \ does not eliminates the cough I like to stick to this chinese syrup I’ve been taking since I was a kid: Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa. My grandfather is chinese, so I guess my mom got the advice from him. I was really surprised when I found that chinese market selling it here in Belgium. It does have a refreshing, soothing, sweetening effect…as long as it lasts…then back to coughing mode.

  2. Eyton J. Shalom, M.S., L.Ac.

    In Chinese Medicine, as in Western Medicine, cough syrups are just supportive, people should not expect them to cure a cough.

    I recommend lots and lots of hot beverages; I add that cough syrup to hot water as a tea, with ginger or peppermint, depending on if its moist or dry; lots and lots of soups; lots and lots of rest is vital, something Americans tend to overlook; but then the cough has to be diagnosed and an appropriate herbal prescription given that is much stronger than the cough syrups.

    The herbal prescription should match the exact type of cough and the condition of the patient; a dry non-productive cough gets a radically different prescription than a productive one that has copious amounts of yellow-green phlegm, or a difficult hacking cough with scanty sticky phlegm.

    Of course the presence of fever, sinus symtoms, bowel effects, and energy levels have to be factored in, too.

    Qing Fei Tang and Bei Mu Gua Luo San are two of the prescriptions I often start with.

    This is why its good to consult a professional…

    Thanks for your contributions to this thread, Lisa!

  3. Sol

    Hello! Thank you so much for your helpful information.
    I would like to know if Wellness Formula can interfere with antibiotics.
    I was diagnosed with upper respiratory infection (flu from bacteria) and prescribed with Amoxicillin 875mg for 10 days. Can I take Wellness Formula at the same time? Would it be helpful?
    or it could actually affect the effectiveness of the antibiotics?
    Thanks in advance


  4. Eyton J. Shalom, M.S., L.Ac.

    hi sol,
    flu is always a virus. the only way to know if your upper resp infection is bacterial, and not viral, is to culture your sputum.

    either way, i would not take wellness and amox at same time, its too much for your body. choose one, get plenty of rest, eat well.

    moreover, i dont use wellness for a lung infection, i would use a chinese her formula that is more specific. i only use wellness at the first sign of a cold with sore throat. that is all.

    take a probiotic and vitamin b complex if you choose the antibiotic.

    good luck!

  5. Sol

    Thank you Eyton!
    Which Chinese formula would you recommend?
    Another question…Does the Oscillococcinum works the same way as Wellness Formula?

    Thanks again!

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