Chinese Remedies

Common Cold & Flu Brew

Chilly weather may bring on some really serious colds and influenza as well as other infections such as bronchitis and coughs. This decoction may be beneficial if taken at the very beginning of a cold or flu attack.

It is not suitable for the weak, elderly or very young children. While taking this it is very important to increase fluids and rest. If symptoms worsen or are prolonged please contact your medical practitioner.


6 spring onions, white parts, coarsely chopped

½ a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger

2 sprigs fresh mint

3 lemons, halved

2 whole garlic bulbs (not cloves), chopped in half

(Honey can be added if desired. This can also be used over steamed vegetables for a few days)

Simmer all the ingredients except the mint in 2 litres of water till reduced by half. Add mint, re-boil briefly and drink 1 cup whilst warm. This should make 3 cups to drink over 24 hours. Have a hot shower, hop into bed, use plenty of blankets and sweat it out. Increase your fluid intake. Change clothing as it becomes saturated. Apply tiger balm on the centre of the chest, bottom of the feet and pulse points to increase the effect. Take Vitamin C every 2-3 hours and a zinc tablet as well as a multi-vitamin and olive leaf extract or elderberry tablets (Check with your practitioner if this is right for you first).

Eat simple food for the next few days, especially steamed greens and carrots; avoiding all dairy, deep fried foods, sugary foods and icy (straight from the fridge) drinks or cold smoothies. Add hot water and a little ginger to non-diary smoothies so that they are easier to digest, but don’t overdo them as they may cause loose stools and bloating. Congee is a traditional rice porridge that can be savoury or sweet and is very easy to digest. It is often eaten while convalescing.

If you do not improve in 48 hours, consider making an appointment for a treatment and to get a tailored herbal decoction or capsules that may reduce the severity and duration of your illness.

Isn’t it worth it to reduce your time feeling sick and not working?

You can also get a sickness certificate from a Chinese medicine practitioner.



Breathing exercises are good to strengthen our defensive Qi (Wei Qi) which is mainly formed by the lung Qi and the nourishment from our digestion. The herb Huang Qi (Astragalus) has been used traditionally to boost the immune system. There are many beautiful formulas used in Traditional Chinese Medicine so please inquire with Bayside Chinese Medicine as to how we may help you.

Dressing warmly is very important as the temperature drops. We are much more susceptible to colds and influenza when there are sudden big temperature changes (like autumn and spring) as our bodies struggle to adapt to this. In cold weather our Qi is closer to our internal organs so that they are kept warm and nourished by our blood which becomes thicker. In hot weather our blood thins and our Qi moves to the surface to allow for cooling by sweating; so the pores are open. Open pores can allow for easier penetration by external pathogens (viruses, bacteria etc). It is therefore considered a risk if you have open pores from sweating and are outside in a cold wind to “catching a cold”.

Chinese medicine practitioners are now able to write a letter for your employer if you require time away from work to recover.