I’ve been seeing a lot of people with bad colds in my clinic this winter.
The one that seems to be around mostly starts with a sore throat and headache and can turn into a chesty cough that lasts for weeks.
In Chinese medicine this would be thought to be due to a few different things. The first would be how windy the weather has been this winter. The wind was historically considered to be the ‘spearhead of disease’ , not only making people vulnerable to catching colds, but also to starting up or worsening existing aches and pains. Old injuries can also be seen to flare up again, with discomfort varying from tooth-achey dull pain, to fixed acute pain. Backs, knees, necks shoulders and hands are particularly vulnerable.
Supporting this, modern research has shown that peoples’ immune systems function poorly in windy conditions.
The mild, wet weather that we’ve had for most of the Winter encourages phlegmy, chesty, achey, tired conditions and there are certainly a lot of these around at the moment!
In Asia Chinese herbs are often used in a way to supplement a persons diet, and many Chinese herbs are also commonly used foods in Asia. We use a lot of Chinese herbs as spices and seasonings in this country and so I thought I’d post a cold cure remedy based on Chinese herbs which uses things that can easily be bought from local shops.
In your biggest mug place the following;
- 1 desert spoon of spiced berry cordial (its the elderberry juice that you want, so check the cordial contains this otherwise it’ll just taste nice and not give you the therapeutic benefit we’re after).
- 4 thumb nail sized slices of raw ginger – no need to peel it but wash well.
- Quarter of a cinnamon stick.
- An eighth of a whole orange, including peel (wash well before cutting).
- 2 brown cardamon pods (or 4 green ones if you can’t find the brown nb. brown are sometimes called black!)
- A quarter of a liquorice stick (bash it well with a rolling pin).
- 2 stars of star anise.
Now just top up with boiling water and leave the mug for a couple of minutes, before you drink it. You can reuse all of the spices once more if you like-just add more cordial and hot water.
Aim to drink 2 mugs daily as soon as you feel the cold symptoms starting.