We wish you fabulous health on all of your China travels, but if you do happen to get the sniffles, these are some Chinese medicine-inspired home remedies that your new Chinese friends are likely to insist on.
Got the wintertime chills? Read some traditional Chinese cures for winter months.
Lemon Honey Ginger “Tea”
This is a go-to at the first sign of a sore throat or the sniffles. The lemon gives a boost of Vitamin-C, ginger brings a healthy kick that you’ll feel right away, and the honey sooths the throat. It’s a tasty, healthy drink that is catching on outside of China and is so easy to make. Slice up the ginger (no need to even peel the skin, just rinse it well), place it in cold water and bring to a boil for a few minutes. Pour the ginger water into a mug and then squeeze in some lemon and add a bit of honey to taste.
In Chinese medicine, if you’re coughing, it’s because your constitution has gotten too hot. And pears are a ‘cooling’ food. So a natural cure to a cough in China is pear soup. It’s a simple as could be, chop the pears up, put them in cold water and bring them to a boil.
Zhou (Rice Porridge or Congee)
You can think of zhou as the Chinese version of chicken noodle soup. Zhou is Chinese comfort food enjoyed for breakfast on any given day, but it’s especially soothing if you’re sick. And since white rice is calming on the stomach, zhou is an ideal food to eat when your stomach is feeling upset. Zhou comes in dozens of flavors, both sweet and savory. We suggest you try every one of them!
Tomato Egg Soup
Healthy soups are a cure-all in China. And tomato-egg soup is probably the simplest soup you could possibly make, and it’s tasty. Chop up some garlic and ginger and tomatoes in wedges. Place in cold water and bring to a boil. Add a bit of salt to taste. Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Once the tomatoes have boiled down and started falling apart, it’s time for the trickiest step: Place a big spoon in the pot and stir it quickly, to get the water going in a whirlpool fashion. Immediately turn off the fire and right away pour the egg in a thin stream into the soup. The heat will be enough to cook the egg thoroughly.
You may have noticed a common theme at this point. The core of all of these Chinese home remedies is a pretty simple one: hot water. Complain about an ailment, and the response from your Chinese friend will most likely be – drink some hot water. (In fact, Chinese never drink cold water). So if you want to keep it really simple, just drink some hot water!
We hope these health boosters will keep you feeling your very best, both at home and on your next WildChina journey. For more Chinese remedies, check out this article from the WildChina archives.