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; avoiding dairy, deep fried foods, sugary foods and icy (straight from the fridge) drinks.
Dressing warmly is even more important at the beginning of the season as we are more susceptible to chills than later when our body has adjusted to the colder weather. The extreme cold has actually started a few weeks prior to winter, and the chest infections have rapidly increased from that time.
Chinese medicine practitioners are now able to write a letter for your employer if you require time away from work to recover. 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. Acupuncture and cupping can also help move phlegm and reduce coughing, unblock congested sinuses and stabilize the digestion.