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Apr 15

Ways to Prevent a Cold in Chinese Medicine

It’s Autumn already and that crisp cold bite in the air has appeared and with it, the return of sniffles, headaches and sore throats and if we haven’t been looking after ourselves and our immune system is quite compromised, the body aches and pains with chills and fevers of the flu, which can knock us out for many days and have us feeling quite miserable.

In Chinese Medicine, the main cause of common cold is Wind. The common cold caused by Wind is often associated with abnormal or sudden changes in weather, large variations in temperature, the body being wet by rain or blown by wind after sweating.
A few ways that we can minimise the chances of developing a cold are:
  • putting on warm clothes after sweating;
  • drying off and staying warm after getting wet in the rain;
  • wear a scarf to protect the back of our neck which is vulnerable to Wind;
  • being careful not to overwork and tax the immune system;
  • maintain moderate level of exercise to ensure your energy flows smoothly;
  • staying away from ill people as much as possible;
  • having spring onion, ginger and garlic regularly, or if you tend towards feeling hot, having cooling teas with chrysanthemum and/or honeysuckle, which you can buy from a Chinese grocery store; and
  • having acupuncture and herbal medicine treatment to boost weaknesses in your body so that your immune system is strong.

The best time to act is before you get sick! 

Prevention is the best medicine – we know this, yet we often forget it and when we get a cold and are wallowing in our misery, we’ll be able to think of the things that we should have or shouldn’t have done!

Around 4,500 years ago, the Chinese physician Qi Bo wrote,? To take medicine when you are sick is like digging a well only when you are thirsty ?- is it not already too late??


Jul 27

Just a Simple Flower

Ju Hua, pronounced “joo hwa”, is the Chrysanthemum flower. I love having this as a tea – its flowery flavour has a distinct and soothing taste. In a tea, it is often made with the dried flowers but it is also available as a powdered granule combined with cane sugar – highly delicious but they are made with just a little too much sugar!

In Chinese Medicine, Ju Hua is a herb that “releases the exterior”, which essentially means getting rid of viruses and bacteria that cause colds, flu and other common respiratory infections, but in particular, Ju Hua targets conditions with sore throats, fevers and/or headache. As a child, if I started to get a sore throat, my mother would boil some up (of course with a little bit of sugar to help the medicine go down), and my sore throat would be very mild and I’d be back to playing in the street in no time.

This delightful flower also “calms the Liver” and brightens the eyes, which can roughly translate to de-stressing you and reducing headaches, and if you have red eyes, blurry vision or general eye problems, it’s definitely good for you.

So imagine that you are sitting in the office, typing on the computer in front of you, as you have been doing for the past three hours, and your email inbox is refusing to be emptied and your boss has been hounding you all day for that report, a chrysanthemum tea is your solution to a healthier and happier office you. To top it off, if you combine it with goji berries (Gou Qi Zi), you will further benefit your eyes and maybe even bring a sparkle to them as well as adding a lovely sweetness to your tea.

Chrysanthemum and Goji Berries

Chrysanthemum and Goji Berries

Chrysanthemum and goji berry tea

Ingredients (can be bought at any Asian grocery store)

  • Chrysanthemum flowers (approx. 5)
  • Goji berries (approx. 5)


  • Place chrysanthemum and goji berries into a cup or small teapot
  • Fill with hot water
  • Let tea steep for 2-3 minutes
  • Enjoy
Chrysanthemum and Goji Berry Tea

Chrysanthemum and Goji Berry Tea