Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Way to Fighting a Flu or a Cold is... Your Stomach!

The Way to Fighting a Flu or a Cold is... Your Stomach!
by Dr. Nina La, D.C., L.Ac.
Adjunct Professor, Kaplan University School of Health Sciences
Allied medical staff, Tri-City Regional Medical Center

Not only is the saying "The way to a man's heart is his stomach" is true, but now, we will talk about a way to fighting a flu or a cold, which is also through the stomach! I have been having a lot of patients coming into my office with a flu/common cold lately, and I have also had a cold that I am getting over, so I figure I will share a set of Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal tea and soup here to help you achieve that. (The pictures and recipes are courtesy of EV Herbs.)

Recipe #1: Honey-Chrysanthemum Tea (for Wind-Heat symptoms, aka. Flu)

The Chrysanthemum flower (Chinese jú huā 菊花, Latin flos chrysanthemi morifolii) is a cool, spicy herb that release the exterior. When you have symptoms such as fever, headache, and red, painful, dry eyes (usually resultant of the Santa Ana winds in California, or the Neveda desert winds), this tea is indicated for you. In combination with the multi-purpose of honey, this Honey-Chrysanthemum Tea moistens the lungs' dryness, relieves your cough, and brightens your eyes.

Ingredients include 30 grams (1.1 ounce) of fresh chrysanthemum, with 150 grams (5.3 ounces) of honey, and 1000 cc or mL of water: to make 2 servings. Cooking instructions include a few simple steps: Boil the chrysanthemum and water over high heat (approximately 2 minutes), then strain the tea and stir in honey until dissolved. The tea can be cooled to desired temperature, and the dosage of the honey is dependent on indivual taste. Enjoy!

Recipe #2: Ginseng Chicken Soup (for Wind-Cold symptoms, aka. Common Cold)

Now, if you have common cold symptoms, such as running nose, bodyache, chills more than fever, and a headache, then this soup is perfect for you, especially for those who have decreased appetite as a result. This Ginseng Chicken Soup tonifies your middle abdominal qi while harmonizing your stomach to help you strengthen the Wei defensive qi. Chicken is very nourishing and very warming to your stomach!

Ingredients include 1 whole chicken, with 20 grams (0.71 ounce) of red ginseng or American ginseng, 20 pieces of red jujube, 30 grames (1.1 ounce) of lycium and salt to taste. This soup makes 4 servings, and require both a preparation and a cooking stage. Preparation includes removing the giblets from the cavity of the chicken before washing the chicken thoroughly, then place 10 grams of ginseng, 10 pieces of jujube, and 10 grams of lycium inside the chicken. The cooking stage includes placing the chicken (breast-side up) ina stock pot, adding 1000cc of water, additional 10 grams of ginseng, 10 pieces of jujube and 20 grames of lycium to the stock pot. Cover the lid, bring to a boil then reduce to medium heat. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the chicken softens. Season with salt to taste, then--enjoy! =)

Have a safe and warm weekend!

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door!" - Milton Berle

Dr. Nina La is an allied medical staff specialized in acupuncture at Tri-City Regional Medical Center (Hospital). She is also a chiropractic physician, herbalist, and an adjunct professor at Kaplan University. You can contact her at, or visit her website at


Behty said...

Thanks Nina,great post.

As a Doctor of Oriental Medicine myself, it's wonderful to see these very practical - and easy :) - ways of taking care of ourselves through these winter months.

Keep Warm, everyone!

Behty Harrison. MA. DOM
Chair, BS in Health and Wellness
Chair, BS in Nutrition Science
Director, Center for Health and Wellness
Kalan University

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