March 30, 2020
A Chinese Medicine Guide to Healthy Eating During COVID-19 Pandemic
So, my favourite Chinese herbal tea is Chyrsanthemum (Ju Hua). I grew up on that, both in its highly-sweetened packaged form, which was such a treat for a kid, and in it’s more pure form, boiled by my Mum when we were getting “heaty” and getting mouth ulcers or biting the sides of our mouth or tongue.
My second favourite Chinese herbal tea is Honeysuckle (Jin Yin Hua), which was always used for medicinal purposes in our house. Any time someone in the family started to get a sore throat, my Mum would boil it, with a tiny bit of sugar (to help the medicine go down!) and down our hatch it would go. If the sore throat progressed, it never got to a stage where it felt like razor blades in your throat!
Honeysuckle is my immediate go-to now whenever I feel the inklings of a tickly throat. However, I’m less diligent than my Mum was and I’ll steep the flowers for 5 minutes rather than pull out the saucepan and boil them for 10 – 15 minutes. I would recommend boiling where possible but I find drinking 3 – 4 cups of the steeped tea works for me. So, if you’re as passionate about this herb as I am, read on and find out more, otherwise, just go to the Chinese grocery store and buy yourself a packet or three.
Honeysuckle, has a botanical name “Lonicerae Flos” and a Chinese Pinyin name “Jin Yin Hua”, which translates to “Gold Silver Flower”. When the flower first blossoms, they are silver white and then after a few days, they change to a golden yellow colour.
This herb has sweet and cold properties and it’s functions are to disperse heat, resolve toxicity and cool the blood. When you have a sore throat, maybe together with a headache and fever, consuming something cool feels soothing, so this is great news! With some other herb combinations, it’s helpful with hot, painful sores and swelling, particularly in the breast, throat or eyes. Or it can help with diarrhoea with blood or painful urinary dribbling.
From a Western medicine perspective, Jin Yin Hua is:
It really does have a lot of functions for assisting with imbalances in your body but it doesn’t mean that you can just have this herb and all your health problems are solved. Go and see a Chinese Medicine practitioner for individualised diagnosis of your condition, get treated with some acupuncture and be prescribed some herbs to bring your body back into balance. What can I say? I am biased. But for good reason!