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Temperatures are changing from cold to warm and during this time our bodies are susceptible to catching a cold, suffering from sore throats, complete with coughing and sneezing. Here are some easy Chinese home remedies for a speedy recovery.
According to Chinese herbal medicine, food is medicine; food cures better than medicine. There is a popular old saying of several thousands years:
“If people have a good habit of eating radishes in winter and ginger in summer, they will not need prescription from doctors.
This folk saying has been proven scientifically. During summer season, gastric and salivary secretion is low thus decreasing the appetite. Ginger plays a counterbalancing role to increase appetite. Different types of bacteria fester during this season and ginger can help in defense as a bacteria killer. Ginger functions beneficially in summer.
During the winter, people are accustomed to replenishing their bodies with more nutritious food, such as a variety of meat to keep warm and partake in fewer daily exercises. This causes a lot of extra “heat” to accumulate in the body. Radishes are a seasonal vegetable and belong to “cold” food according to Chinese herbal medicine. They help decrease the “greasy” feeling, aid digestion, dispel phlegm, quench thirst and reduce cough.
Ginger consists of Gingerol , Zingiberene, and fiber. It helps the body decrease temperature, drain sweat, kill bacteria, strengthen the stomach, soothe the lungs, and stop coughing. After eating ginger, one may feel hot as it helps blood vessels extend and accelerate blood circulation. Heightened body temperature may result in bacteria and humidity subsiding. It is believed in China after getting soaked in rain, drinking a large bowl of hot ginger tea then sweating will prevent catching a cold. When people show earliest symptoms of a cold, such as sore throat or cough, ginger tea can thwart its onset.
- Hot ginger tea — It’s the simplest remedy. Add several pieces of ginger to water and boil for 3 minutes. Drink the tea and eat the ginger, too.
- Ginger, brown sugar and red date tea —
Ingredients: 30 grams brown sugar, 15 grams ginger, 30 grams red dates (each date is cut into 2 halves), and 3 cups water.
Method: Bring all ingredients to a boil for 10 minutes. Drink while hot, when safe enough to drink.
- Ginger, lemon and honey tea — This tea is also a simple remedy.
Ingredients: One 1-inch piece ginger (smacked), juice from one lemon, a tablespoon of honey, and two cups of water.
Method: Boil all ingredients together for at least 10 minutes. It seems many people enjoy ginger, lemon, and Coca Cola as a popular remedy to cure cold and coughing. Actually, cola consists of a lot of Caffeine, Carbonic acid, and sugar giving a lift in mood and energy temporarily. The benefits of the popular cola ginger lemon drink can be given to the ginger and lemon.
(daikon or white radish is most common)
Radishes have 91.7% water and a lot of Vitamin A, Vitamine C, and Calcium. According to Chinese herbal medicine, radishes are a most useful vegetable. It is also called “little ginseng.” Nutritionally, radishes help improve the immune system, digestion, nutrient absorption, and soften blood vessels. It is helpful with cooling blood, stimulating appetite, and eliminating phlegm.
- Eat raw radishes — In north China, the air is dry and there fewer vegetables available. People usually eat white radish to prevent from dry throat. When people feel they have phlegm in their throat, they eat raw white radish to recover.
- White radish and honey salad — Shred radish and toss with honey. Continue eating the salad for several days.
Another simple remedy:
- Stewed sweet pears with rock sugar — Peel 2 pears and slice. Combine drinking water, sliced pears and a tablespoon of rock sugar. Boil for about 30 minutes. Drink while warm.