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Cold Snap - Ingredients

Below is a complete list of the twenty herbs that make up Cold Snap.

  • Phragmites (root)
  • Forsythia (fruit)
  • Japanese honeysuckle (flower)
  • Burdock (fruit)
  • Fermented Soybean
  • Lophatherium (leaves)
  • Balloon flower (root)
  • Chinese thoroughwax (root)
  • Schizonepeta (herb, flower)
  • Pinellia (root)
  • Jujube (fruit)
  • Scullcap (root)
  • Oriental ginseng (root)
  • Chinese mint (leaves)
  • Ginger (root)
  • Licorice (root)
  • Dong quai (root)
  • White peony (root)
  • Sichuan lovage (root)
  • Rehmannia (root)

"Other" ingredients

There is a non-GMO cornstarch excipient that is used to bind the formula together. It is a very, very small amount. The non-GMO gelatin capsules are bovine from the hide of grass-fed cows raised in Brazil. The powder version of this formula is vegetarian. We have certifications for the non-GMO status of our ingredients and will provide them upon request. We third party test our formulas for pesticides, microbes and heavy metals and will also provide those results upon request. Although we cannot certify organic with the USDA, not one single pesticide out of 152 tested for was detected on our formulas. 

The formulas are gluten free (NO wheat [including kamut and spelt], barley, rye, and triticale, as well as the use of gluten as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent).


Licorice is used primarily as a servant ingredient in Cold Snap, Stomach Chi, and OHCO-Motion. As described in Bensky and Gamble's Materia Medica, licorice "moderates and harmonizes the characteristics of other herbs: by virtue of its sweet, neutral and moderating characteristics. This herb moderates hot and cold herbs and makes violent herbs more gentle. Because it is said to enter all twelve Primary Channels, it can lead and conduct other herbs into the Channels."

The licorice root is long and cylindrical (one to two and one-half centimeters in diameter) and usually without branches. Its appearance is reddish or earth brown with pronounced wrinkles or furrows and transverse small pores on the surface. The pieces used in preparing the teas are transverse slices about two millimeters thick. The best quality roots are sweet and rich in starch. People find it a pleasing addition to the odor and taste of the powders. It is non toxic.

Beyond its role as a servant herb in Cold Snap, it is used for either Heat or Cold conditions in the Lungs and is effective for helping to control coughing and wheezing. It has a role in boosting righteous chi. In Stomach Chi, licorice will smooth digestive tract ulcers and aid in fighting food poisoning by fortifying the Stomach and Spleen channels. In OHCO-Motion it acts to relieve pain and reduce contraction.

The ingredients of these formulas have been carefully combined into well-designed harmonious mixes. The herbs are thought of as a family of relationships which together bring about the desired results. Individual herbs are very rarely used on their own. Licorice in extremely high dosages for long periods of time may have a detrimental effect on various hormone secretions in women. This effect is virtually impossible in OHCO's products based on its small amount relative to the other herbs in the formulas and its inherent relationship with the rest of the herbal family. However, if one was to chew on a licorice root for weeks on end, negative effects could occur.


One of the Chinese herbs most familiar to Americans is ginseng. It has a reputation which includes increasing sexual prowess and athletic performance. In some circles, it is considered a strong stimulant and something to be avoided in conditions of anxiety and heart hyperactivity. Because it is a "warm" or even "hot" herb, depending on its grade, the wrong conclusion about its use in Cold Snap and Stomach Chi may be reached. Looking at the list of ingredients, some may say, "No, I can't take this formula. It's way too 'hot' for me. It has ginseng in it, and I'm already a 'hot' person." This somewhat simplistic view of Oriental herbology lacks the insight of the concept of synergy.

The power of the ginseng in Cold Snap and Stomach Chi lies in the synthesis between it and the other ingredients which produce effects that the individual herbs do not produce by themselves. In a balanced formula, any unwanted negatives that the individual herb inherently produces will be reduced. In Cold Snap, for instance, ginseng is not excessively stimulating. It does not have the extreme stimulating action it would have if taken by itself. Balanced with other herbs, it is led to the areas of the body/mind system that need strengthening, and the areas that can be overheated are cooled and guarded against the build-up of toxins. Existing toxins are routed out of the system and are eliminated.

Some of the other herbs involved in the above-mentioned processes are lonicera, forsythia, arctium, platycodon, and schizenopeta. Some are actually downward-moving herbs and others by their action moderate or harmonize the formula thereby creating balance. Ginseng, in this context, will not cause anxiety (upsurging) but usually will produce a strengthening and calming sensation.

The non-toxic root used in Cold Snap and Stomach Chi is white, processed, Chinese ginseng. Undamaged roots with large branches, a long stem base, yellowish skin, and fine but pronounced wrinkles are the best. Processed means that it has been cooked, skimmed, recooked, and then vacuum dried. Its taste is sweet and slightly bitter. 

Dong quai

Dong quai (sometimes called Tang kuei or Chinese angelica sinensis) is one of the individual ingredients in both the Cold Snap and OHCO-Motion formulas. It is an herb that has been severely misunderstood in this country.

Its reputation is for influencing hormonal shifts in women and is generally available on health food store shelves. Used by itself, dong quai is generally too harsh, especially for women of certain constitutions. For example, large doses of the individual herb during the first trimester of pregnancy can cause the loss of the fetus. For this reason and others, dong quai is very seldom given by itself. However, if mixed properly with other "sister" ingredients, it very effectively prevents the fetal loss and is often prescribed for women who habitually abort.

The effect of dong quai in Cold Snap is largely to help transform the tightening and contracting process of a cold into a "softer" reaction. It also works to counteract any negatives some of the herbs might have if they were used by themselves. For example, bupleurum, another ingredient in Cold Snap, can be drying as a single ingredient. It is balanced by several herbs, among them dong quai. In OHCO-Motion, it supplements and harmonizes the Blood, nourishing it and moving it.

Dong quai is a non-toxic root. Its outer surface is middle brown with irregular wrinkles. The flesh is yellow or pale brown. The taste is somewhat acrid and its strong smell a sign of superior quality.

Dong quai is in Cold Snap and OHCO-Motion in appropriate amounts. The outcome to the various systems is strengthening and harmonizing. This effect cannot be attributed to the individual parts but rather to the whole of the synthesis that makes a complete formula. It is balance that makes Cold Snap and OHCO-Motion so extraordinary. The best way to judge them is to try them. Since dong quai does not act as a stimulant, the results are cumulative. You will be able to experience it as an ideal part of a combination of ingredients in balanced proportions for Westerners.

What you won't find in Cold Snap:


The Food and Drug administration has warned the American public to avoid dozens of over-the-counter cold remedies and/or appetite suppressants that contain the ingredient phenylpropanolamine (PPA) which may cause hemorrhagic strokes.

It appears that these side effects are most prevalent in young women. According to a recent AP article, "...The ingredient, called phenylpropanolamine or PPA, is found in products ranging from Dexatrim to Triaminic." The FDA is in the process of formally banning PPA, and has asked manufacturers to stop selling the products that contain PPA voluntarily. "We suggest you stop taking the drug immediately and use an alternative," says an FDA warning issued for consumers.

The OHCO formula Cold Snap is totally herbal and does NOT contain, and has never contained PPA. Cold Snap is based on the idea of strengthening the body's innate strength or "righteous chi." The benefits of this strengthening are quite remarkable. See other articles on this web site for further information.

Ma huang

Ma huang is a Chinese herb that has received a lot of press lately. It is NOT an ingredient in any of OHCO's formulas. The herb requires discussion because its misuse has raised many questions and the implications go beyond health into political and economic considerations. A closer look at ma huang is a good way to understand more about what is being offered in the retail setting in the herbal product category.

Also known as ephedra or, in its extracted pharmaceutical state, ephedrine, ma huang can be abused to achieve an amphetamine-like high. Certain products available in the marketplace are promoted as euphoria inducing and carry names like Herbal Ecstasy, Ultimate Xphoria, Cloud 9, Hextasy, and Legal Weed. They have been banned in several states, voluntarily removed in others, and federal legislation is under consideration. Ma huang has also been touted as a natural alternative for weight control and a substitute for the recalled prescription drug combination commonly know as fen-phen. The FDA has just concluded its comment time on this herb and will soon issue regulations concerning its use. Does this mean ma huang is a "horrible drug?"

Misuse of an herb is a different issue from alluring, youth-trapping labeling. The marketplace is rampant with products that become dangerous if misused. A bottle of aspirin taken all at one time could cause hemorrhaging. Prescription drugs like Valium are abused. This certainly doesn't mean that these should be withdrawn from sale to the public. Products like Primatene Mist and Sudafed which also contain ephedrine are not banned in part because they contain warnings about possible side effects.

Chinese herbs are not meant to be taken singly, but rather in proper amounts in balanced combinations. With responsible use, ma huang can have a proper and beneficial role in a formula. In Oriental medical language, it is used to release the exterior and disperse cold, facilitate the circulation of lung qi, and promote urination and reduce edema. Beneficial for certain types of headaches, nasal congestion, and water retention, it might seem a natural addition to Cold Snap. There are, however, better, safer ways to accomplish decongestion. These are utilized in our formula.

"Wei qi" deals with surface protection. Wind invasions, whether Hot or Cold, usually first appear in this surface layer. In a healthy individual, they do not penetrate deeper than this superficial layer. If the invasion remains Wind Cold for any amount of time, ma huang is appropriate for these rather narrow and potentially rare parameters. Much more problematic are the diseases that get beyond the surface defenses and become guests at various levels. These deeper invasions tend to transform into a pathogenic Heat or Fire. This happens with most Unwanted Guests that come our way. As a result, ma huang becomes less useful and is not included in Cold Snap.

Chinese medicine is at its best when it works at a deep level to restore and nourish the system. Cold Snap can accomplish this without the addition of the controversial herb, ma huang.


Goldenseal is on the endangered species list. (No, it's not a Chinese herb and not in our products!) Now what and how safe is this herb for general use?

Goldenseal can treat almost any disease, although its application requires some caution. For example, Goldenseal can cause an elevation in the white cell count. This is not necessarily a good thing for all people, particularly those with anemia, leukemia, or in pregnancy. Also, it is not good long-term, because this elevated white blood cell count can create misinformation for the immune system. Goldenseal has a laxative quality which again makes it contraindicated for pregnancy. Any induced "downward" movement is not called for until the time of delivery. And, those with a long history of sinus problems, sinus infections, and overuse of antibiotics may find that goldenseal can lead to over-drying of the sinuses.

Goldenseal acts to detoxify the liver, and during an illness is not the best time to be detoxifying. It will weaken you. Burning the candle at both ends is not ever recommended, and healing yourself with herbs requires cooperation on your part. Rest, proper diet, fluids, etc. are all components of successful treatment with herbs. However, it is in this area that Cold Snap excels. If you have to push beyond your limits for, say, an important presentation, concert tickets, or whatever, Cold Snap can get you through. At these times, you may need to take two caps every twenty minutes until you feel your energy kick in, your runny nose come under control, etc. Importantly, you will not do long-term damage to your health and will indeed be continuing the process of strengthening your immune system. With goldenseal, this type of push can further weaken you.

Oriental medical theory speaks of vicious energies that are constantly attacking and attempting to invade the body/mind. The relationship between these energies and the body's righteous chi is infinitely more important than the exact nature of the invading factor. The initial reaction of Americans to an invasion is to produce heat or inflammation. So cold herbs are generally what is wanted in the early stages. If, however, a deeper stage is reached, the action that is desired is strengthening the righteous chi to enable the body to cast out the unwanted guest. Further strong cooling here will actually enable the guest to remain in the body. Goldenseal is too cold and too drying in these later stages. It can cause you to crash.

Although Cold Snap acts as a cooling agent in the early stages of the disease, it tends to "shift gears" in the latter stages and nourishes the righteous chi as needed. As you move through the course of a cold or flu, the action of Cold Snap actually seems to adjust. It clears the symptoms of the cold in the early stages and prevents them from worsening. At the end of the disease, it strengthens as your body recovers. Mild herbs can be taken in large doses, but more potent herbs will cause toxic reactions in large quantities. Goldenseal is on that list. It is also listed as cautionary for those with very high blood pressure, as it is a stimulating herb. Cold Snap is not toxic in large quantities and is strengthening rather than stimulating.