Source Naturals Wellness Formula for ColdsSource 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, and then gone to work and to the gym, and not  gotten better. Worse is that sometimes these people end up with chronic bronchitis or even walking pneumonia. Don’t blame the medicine. Any medicine is part of an overall treatment plan involving lifestyle and diet.

Correct Way to Use Source Naturals Wellness Formula

What’s In the Formula?

Source Natural Wellness Formula is an excellent medicine when used correctly.

Its a blend of

  • Bitter Cold anti-viral, anti-bacterial herbs from Chinese and Western Herbology, like Isatis and Goldenseal
  • with important immune boosting herbs, such as Astragalus and Reishi Fungus
  • with valuable vitamins, like Vitamin C , and other neutraceuticals, like Propolis.


Use When Getting Sick and Rundown

This makes Wellness Formula very appropriate and useful to take at the very first sign of a cold or flu, especially if there are symptoms of fatigue and feeling run down. 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.

Source Naturals Wellness Formula IS a very strong formula. Because of this is it can be hard on the cut 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.

Hit the Virus Hard, Replenish the Qi

At that point, hitting the virus hard and replenishing the Qi, by taking large doses of this product for 2-3 days (even more if you have robust digestion), and then stopping if it was a cold and you are all better.

Combine with Acupuncture and Moxibustion

This is also an excellent time to get a single Acupuncture and Moxibustion Immune Boosting Treatment. This can be done to nip the cold in the bud, we can also treat symptoms like cough if it develops. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs work very well for all the varieties of coughs you get with colds and flu.


This is also one of times outside of Sports Medicine that we use Cupping. 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.

If you are clearly on the mend, but not all better, then continue at a lower dose (2tab-2x/day) for a few days if you feel close to normal and no longer run down and symptom free is the way I use it.

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, I always combine this with some Chinese Herbal formulas that better address those symptoms, as the Wellness will be specific enough. There are times in which I dont use the Wellness formula at all. That is when the Chinese herbs are much more specific. The Source Naturals Wellness Formula really does barely anything for cough at all. And sore throat is better treated with other formulas like Yin Qiao San or Xiao Chai Hu Tang with Modifications, depending on symptoms

What if I take Wellness Formula and Get Sick Anyway?

If you follow the 2 tabs 3x in 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 or two, while continuing intelligent nursing. If you do, for example, have to go back to work, then dress warmly, continue to push hot fluids. go to sleep early, rest more, eat warming food..

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

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?

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, (Agni in Ayurveda) which in turn causes weakened “Zheng Qi” or righteous qi, which is one of the bases of the immune system.

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.

We know from science that Echinacea does alter the bacteria in the gut, which may explain the above. Perhaps. The other thing about high doses of Vitamin C that I have observed repeatedly, is that do to its acidity, even in ascorbate form, it can damage the digestive fire and cause problems like rectal itching.

I also learned years ago, that long term use of Echinacea renders your body insenitive to its benefits, that is, the body adapts to it. Don’t know if this is actually true, but I learned it from a Native American herbalist, and this is a North American plant I am told. Have not had a chance to verify this last bit.

There is also the issue that some people may experience allergic reactions to echinacea if they are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies. Also, people with asthma may be more likely to have an allergic reaction when taking echinacea.

So, 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.

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.

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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