By Vicky Chan of NourishU
This winter has been a worse-than-average flu season and many people have been infected. The Western medicine approach of using antibiotics to fight the cold and flu virus is “over-prescribing” because the success rate has only been around 20%. The overuse of antibiotics has caused many experts to project an imminent “antibiotic apocalypse”.
On average, adults can get two to four colds per year and kids can get as many as six to eight. This is why the ailment is called the COMMON cold/flu. Normally by treating it with enough rest and proper dietary care, the body will be able to recover within days if not a week, without having to use drugs. Usually, it is only people in poor health that can develop serious symptoms and complications that can result in death in extreme cases.
Chinese Medicine knows a lot about the common cold/flu. The renowned classic textbook called The Theory of Febrile Disease describes the different stages and manifestations of the illness. It gives a detailed explanation on what and how to use proper dietary care to speed up recovery and to prevent the illness from going deeper into the body. The key to dietary care is to know what not to eat and what to eat, and to stick to it.
For wind-cold type of conformation, it is crucial not to eat cold foods (temperature wise as well as foods that are cold in nature). This includes cold drinks and foods, fresh fruits and raw vegetables, and cooling foods and herbs. Eat only hot and warming foods and drinks. The common condiments found in most kitchens such as ginger, garlic, scallions, vinegar, pepper, chili and onion are all effective in helping the body to raise its internal temperature to drive out coldness and to kill bacteria and viruses. They are tried-and-true remedies and are suitable for most people. We just need to be mindful to not take more than our stomach can handle especially hot spices and vinegar.
For wind-heat type of conformation, using foods that have a cooling nature such as tofu, daikon, Chinese pears, mung beans, water chestnut, chrysanthemum tea and bok-choy are highly recommended.
In all cases, deep-fried foods and hard to digest foods are restricted because they are more work for the body to digest when it needs all its energy to heal. Plain, easy to digest, fluid and semi-fluid foods such as soup and congee are most suitable. Nutrient dense foods, warming and enriching foods and herbs are to be avoided because they can intensify the virus and prolong the suffering.
Here is a recipe which is most suitable for treating influenza and coughing with phlegm. Take it as many times as needed until most symptoms are gone. Please also refer to our website www.nourishu.com for many other related recipes.
Snow-Ear Mushroom, Fritillariae and Pear Soup
Cold and flu with cough, chronic dry cough, weakened lung function with lack of energy and difficulty breathing.
Treats cold/flu with sore throat and headache, nourishes lungs, clears heat in the lungs, clears phlegm, astringes cough and promotes vital fluids.
Fritillariae Cirrhosae (chuan bei mu) 川貝母 – 5 grams
Snow-Ear Mushroom – 20 grams
Chinese Pear – one
Honey – to taste
1. Crush chuan bei into powder.
2. Rinse and soak mushroom for 30 minutes. Cut out bottom brown stem and separate into smaller pieces.
3. Skin pear, cut into halves and hollow out seeds in the centre.
4. Put chuan bei powder in the center of pear and put pear in a casserole.
5. Add mushroom and enough water to cover the pear (about 1.5 cups). Add honey to taste (about 2 spoonfuls) and cover casserole with lid.
6. Use a slightly bigger pot with water and a stand at the bottom to steam the casserole for about an hour. Add hot water regularly to the cooking to prevent drying.
7. Serve warm and be sure to eat it all for full therapeutic effect.
To be taken once a day on an empty stomach. This recipe is suitable for all ages.