Easy remedy for Colds, Flu & Hayfever:
Combating the Hot and Cold of Spring
I was enjoying some time in the park yesterday as the sun was shining. It was quite warm and mild but as we are still coming out of winter, the breeze was a bit cool. I heard an elderly gentleman close by begin to cough. I couldn’t help but think it was a sign of the colds, coughs, sneezes, flu and hayfever still come to come.
It possibly sounds a bit boring to hear it again, but it is important to still keep warm even as the weather warms up and to protect against the cool winds. We walked back past the cafes and sure enough there were some young women in their singlet tops enjoying some sun, but most of the guys around at least had tshirts or even light jackets protecting them from the wind. It wasn’t that hot.
They may not have realised too much wind can cause sneezes, runny nose, aches and pains. In Chinese medicine we call it wind-cold attack, feng han.
At the onset of a cold have you noticed that your nose is usually runny, you may have aches and pains, cold shivers, aversion to cold, headache and sore throat? At this stage the Chinese medicine practitioner can see the tongue generally has a whitish or creamy light coat and the pulse is easily felt on the superficial touch, with a tight characteristic. These are all symptoms of ‘wind cold attack’ on the body, called a yin type of common cold.
So how is it treated? We need to use herbs and techniques to expel the wind cold and warm the interior. It is natural that you put on more clothes, have hot drinks, go to bed to rest more to recover your energy and to ‘clear the cold’ by warming up. We are more susceptible to colds and flu when the vital energy or ‘Qi’ is run down, that is when our immune system is more compromised. This happens due to chronic illnesses or imbalances, overwork, too many late nights or parties. A bit of fun is always important but not to over do it too often!
DIY Herb tea recipe
Natural Cold/Flu/Hayfever Remedy
A quick easy recipe to clear colds at the early onset, when the nose is runny and the tongue has a light white coating, is to use warming herbs and foods. Here’s our special recipe:
Ingredients: Ginger, Spring Onion, Mint and Water.
1. From your fridge- cut 1-2 slices of fresh root ginger about 10 -20 cent piece size, peel off the skin.
2. Roughly chop the white stalks of two spring onions with roots removed, a little of the green is ok.
3. Bring the ginger and spring onion to boil with two cups water and simmer about 5-6 minutes; in the last minute throw in a handful of fresh mint from your garden or a mint tea bag, to help clear wind and any sore throat.
4.Reboil, then strain and drink warm to hot. Go to bed and keep very warm, you can sweat and help to clear out the cold. Avoid cold foods and drinks. Repeat in the morning and you will generally feel an improvement. If any worsening symptoms of course you should see a qualified health practitioner. Cupping, acupuncture and other herbs can be used.
You can also get more helpful recipes from Prof Lun Wong’s book: Wong L and Knapsey, K, Food For the Seasons. Eat Well and Stay Healthy the Traditional Chinese Way, available at the clinic.
I hope you’re keeping warm and enjoying the lovely spring weather.
With warm regards,