Fighting a cold with Chinese herbs!

18 Jul

I spent all day in the clinic yesterday, treating patients. I’m always amazed by how patients with similar ailments tend to come in waves. One week I’ll be treating all women with UTI’s, for example, the next week everyone seems to have neck pain. Yesterday almost every patient I saw had insomnia. Chinese medicine treats insomnia very effectively. Often a patient who has not slept well in weeks will immediately fall into a deep sleep when the needles are in. In these cases, I like to stretch out their time on the table so that they get some much needed rest. Ear seeds work wonders for insomnia as well. At home I use these on myself if I ever have trouble falling asleep.

I was feeling pretty beat after my shift, so was not pleased when I arrived at the BART to find a 30 minute BART delay. I decided that I would just listen to my ipod and wait for it to pass, but as I went to press play I remembered that the battery was dead! Blah. Needless to say I was feeling slightly grumpy when I finally arrived at my BART stop. But this was all instantly forgotten when I got to the top of the steps to see Sean waiting for me, with roses! Such a nice way to start the weekend.



I like to divide flowers up into small vases and place them all around the house.

I like to divide flowers up into small vases and place them all around the house.

For dinner, I made fillets of sole with a parsley, garlic and pecan crust. I served these with sweet potatoes that I seasoned with sage and cayenne and a small green salad. It was delicious!


Since leaving school I’d been noticing that my throat was starting to get sore. My neck and shoulders were feeling a little tighter than normal as well. For me, this is always how things start when I’m getting sick. I really, really don’t want to get sick before my graduation, so I decided to treat myself after dinner to prevent a cold from sinking in.

First, I took some Yin Qiao San, a Chinese formula and excellent herbal remedy for colds and flus. It can be used to prevent colds and flus (I use it when I fly on planes, for example), or at the first sign of illness. Last night I immediately took a double dose with a big class of water. I also had some Ban Lan Gen tea. Ban Lan Gen is a Chinese herb with anti-viral properties. Afterwards, I drew up a really hot bath. While I soaked in the tub, I drank a cup of ginger tea. Normally I make a tea using fresh ginger and scallions, I was out of scallions though, so I just used ginger. After getting out of the bath, I put on lots of layers, wrapped up in a warm blanket and let myself sweat! Sounds gross, I know, but this treatment always does the trick if I do it on the first day that I’m getting sick. Sure enough, I woke up this morning and felt much better! I’m still going to lay low today but I think by tonight I’ll be feeling well enough to go for a run.

Scallion Ginger Tea

1 bunch of scallions.
Fresh ginger
3 cups of water

Place 3 cups of water in a pot.
Cut the green parts off the scallions and discard. Throw the white parts, roots included, into the pot of water. Slice 3-4 large pieces of ginger, leaving the skin on, (each about the size of a quarter) and throw them in the pot as well. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until the amount of water is reduced by half. Filter off the solids and drink the remaining 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Ginger and scallions are both Chinese herbs, called Sheng Jiang and Cong Bai, respectively. They are very spicy and bound to make you sweat!

Have a good weekend!


3 Responses to “Fighting a cold with Chinese herbs!”

  1. Steph September 18, 2009 at 10:55 am #


    Do you know if Yin Qiao San formula (the one you would find at Whole Foods) is safe to take while breastfeeding? Will it dry out my milk supply?
    i desperately need to take some Yin Qiao!

    • sunandmoonandstars September 18, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

      Yin qiao is quite drying. There is a lot of mint in it which may dry out your milk. To be on the safe side I would avoid it. Perhaps your doctor or acupuncturist would have a good alternative! Thanks for reading!


  1. Sniffle Sniffle « - December 9, 2010

    […] Ginger Scallion Tea – I’ve talked about this before and you can find the recipe here. This is especially good for the first day of the cold. Or, to prevent yourself from getting sick […]

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