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Homemade Chinese herbal medicines to get you through coronavirus lockdown

My practice remains open for acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine despite the coronavirus pandemic. However, I understand that some of my patients are unable or unwilling to venture to Victoria Avenue Wellbeing.

I’m currently offering online consultations to anybody who prefers to continue their treatment from home. Just contact the clinic.

While we’re under lockdown, it is important to do everything we can to strengthen our energy and immunity. Here are a few herbs that you may have at home that can help you, should you feel that you are starting to become ill:

Ginger tea and egg

The traditional use of ginger (Zingiberis rhizoma) in Chinese herbal medicine is to warm interior cold. Ginger is used for the beginning of a cold and is great for mucussy issues like a head cold.

I often sip ginger tea on the colder mornings if I am feeling a little sinussy. To make your own ginger tea, chop a thumbnail-sized slice of fresh ginger and steep it in hot water. Add a lemon slice for flavour and vitamin C. If you have a dry cough or tickly throat, add a little honey and sip sip sip.

For a twist, you may want to try this ginger tea with egg recipe, which will add some Vitamin B, D and Zinc to the mix.

Cinnamon tea

According to the TCM Materia Medica, cinnamon (Cinnamomi ramulus) affects the lung and unblocks the energy in the chest. Again, this is a warming herb, so it is not to be used with fever or sweating. But it is very effective in the beginning stages of a cold. Cinnamon tea should not be taken if you are pregnant as it also increases blood circulation.

You can make a tea by boiling water and adding cinnamon to taste, or by boiling a small saucepan of water with a rolled stick of cinnamon (cinnamon cortex).

I also like this BBC recipe for adding cinnamon to black tea.

Mint tea

You may have a mint plant (Menthae haplocalycis herba) in your garden with fresh leaves that you can pick, or possibly some dried leaves in your spice rack.

Mint is cooling and clearing and we use it in Chinese herbal medicine when there is fever, headache, cough, and heat in the head and eyes. You will have noticed in the clinic that I often infuse a little fresh mint and lemon in water in the summer months.

To use mint medicinally, steep fresh leaves in hot water.

Of course, if you start to develop symptoms of COVID-19, you must contact your GP or nearest hospital

Wishing everybody patience, strength, and calm in this strange time. Stay kind to yourself and others.

Photo by Dominik Martin on Unsplash.