DIY: Herbal tea recipe for cold and flu season
Updated: Nov 28, 2022
Cold patterns Tips to prevent colds this season Recipe
In Chinese medicine, a healthy immune system comprises sufficient protective or "wei" qi and healthy Lung function. This protective energy is in the superficial layer of the body and is responsible for fighting off pathogenic influences that can invade when the body is weakened. Chinese medicine describes these pathogenic influences in terms of elements in nature, including wind, heat, cold, damp, summer heat, and fire. They can enter the body via the nose, mouth, or skin. These pathogenic influences are synonymous with bacteria and viruses that can make us sick.
Two common patterns of colds are diagnosed in Chinese medicine. Both of these patterns require herbal formulas to induce sweating and release the body's pathogenic factor. These two patterns include (but are not limited to):
Wind-cold: these are disorders marked by fever and chills (predominant), head and body aches, and clear or white secretions from nasal passages.
Wind-heat: these disorders are characterized by fever, sweating, slight chills, headache, sore throat, and thirst. There may be a cough or red or itchy eyes.
Tips to prevent colds this season
Chinese medicine differs from Western medicine because it can be used preventatively. You can get acupuncture to help keep your body healthy and strengthen your body's natural healing abilities. Here are a few tips to keep your immune system healthy this season:
Get adequate, good-quality sleep, and remember not to overwork yourself. This will help keep your body's energy "qi" strong enough to protect you from pathogens.
Take care of your Lungs because they are the first line of defense against pathogens. When they are weak, they will be the first to fall ill. Support your lungs with aerobic exercise, singing, and breathwork, and keep your chest and upper back covered.
Load up on warming soups and stews to nourish your body and keep warm.
Since cold and flu season is upon us, I wanted to share a simple, easy herbal tea recipe you can make at home when you start to feel cold symptoms. These symptoms could be scratchy throat, muscle aches, fatigue, or not feeling like yourself.
3 cups of water
3 scallions cut into 1-inch pieces
3-4 slices of ginger
2 tsp of miso paste
10-12 mint leaves
- Pour 3 cups of water into a pot and turn the heat to high. Whisk in 2 tsp of miso paste and dissolve.
- Then add scallions and ginger slices and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add mint leaves and simmer for another two minutes.
- Strain the solids from the liquids and pour the liquid into a mug. Wrap yourself in warm clothes and blankets and drink the tea until you start sweating. Sweating is a way to vent the pathogen out of your system. Be well!