Chinese Remedies

Common Cold & Flu Brew

This chilly weather has brought on some really serious colds and influenza as well as other infections such as bronchitis and coughs. This decoction is 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 as it brings on heavy sweating which helps clear the virus out of the system and they need other methods to fight it. While taking this it is very important to increase fluids and rest.


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 which are then drunk 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 which will increase the effect. Take Vitamin C every 2-3 hours and a zinc tablet as well as a multi-vitamin and olive leaf extract (follow instructions on dosage). Eat simple food for the next few days, especially steamed greens and carrots; avoiding 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.

If you do not improve in 48 hours, please consider making an appointment to get a tailored herbal decoction or capsules that will help reduce the severity and duration of your illness.  Isn’t it worth it to reduce your time feeling sick and not working?



Breathing exercises are good to strengthen our defensive Qi (Wei Qi) which is mainly formed by the lung Qi. The herb Huang Qi (Astragalus), is also very helpful in boosting the immune system. There are many beautiful formulas that resolve chronic sinus and post nasal drip issues as well as reduce phlegm buildup for illnesses like bronchitis or cystic fibrosis.

Acupuncture and cupping can also help move phlegm and reduce coughing, unblock congested sinuses and stabilize the digestion.

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.