Did you know that chicken soup really is medicinal? Studies prove it!Read More
Another reason to keep the ginger coming: Studies show ginger to be an effective pain reliever for sore muscles caused by exercise. Both raw ginger and dried supplements showed "moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain." More commonly recommended for upset stomach, ginger is a proven anti-inflammatory.
When life is interrupted by sudden sneezing or a sore throat, you can easily make the following at home from common pantry items: • For common cold with runny nose, chills, head/neck ache, but no sore throat: Sweat it out with a soup of fresh ginger, scallion, cilantro, cabbage, and cayenne (high in vitamin C). Drink cinnamon stick tea (gui zhi) or fresh ginger tea (sheng jiang) with brown sugar. Avoid cold foods like salad, iced drinks and ice cream (sorry!). This is called "wind-cold" in Chinese medicine and is the most common type of cold.
• For swollen sore throat, bodyache, fever and possibly a cough: Drink tea made from a Chinese herb like peppermint (bo he). Chrysanthemum tea (ju hua) is also great but you might have to make a trip to the Asian market. Keep food intake light, drink lots of fruit and veggie juices, and add honey to your tea. This is called "wind-heat" and can correspond to the flu or tonsillitis in Western parlance.
The use of herbs, whether animal, vegetable or mineral, is an essential part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and generally produces zero side effects. Most often, we combine herbs in a formula of 4-15 ingredients customized to the individual. You might be familiar with many of the following herbs used in TCM. I’ve listed their common uses and pinyin names.1. Cinnamon (gui zhi and rou gui): common cold with chills; arthritis; type 2 diabetes. Daily use has been shown to lower blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol levels just as well as the class of drugs known as statins. (Best to use medicinal extracts, not the powder from the spice rack.)
2. Hawthorn (shan zha): high blood pressure; coronary artery disease; high cholesterol
3. Fresh ginger (sheng jiang): nausea; upset stomach; morning sickness; motion sickness; common cold with chills; cough
4. Mint (bo he): common cold with fever and sore throat; headache; rashes
5. Licorice (gan cao): diarrhea; cough; asthma; ulcers; leg spasms; high cholesterol. (Taken long-term, licorice can cause high blood pressure and/or water retention, so only use under the care of a licensed acupuncturist.)
6. Watermelon (xi gua): summertime colds, when it's hot and humid out
7. Hemp seed (huo ma ren): constipation
8. Jujube (da zao): fatigue; low appetite
9. Barley malt sugar, or maltose (yi tang): low appetite; dry cough
10. Gelatin (e jiao): dizziness; palpitations; chronic bleeding; dry cough
11. Garlic (da suan): diarrhea; flu prevention
12. Ginseng(ren shen):Like caffeine, the famous ginseng, sold in tiny bottled “shots” even at the local convenience store, is a stimulant that increases energy. It has been widely studied and shown to be beneficial to people with diabetes, peptic ulcers, stress, anxiety, fatigue and wheezing. The herb should only be taken in consultation with a TCM practitioner, however, as it can also act as a sedative, increase blood pressure, and cause headache, insomnia and/or palpitations in people for whom it is not indicated (in other words, who don’t have a problem where ginseng would be useful).