6:23 PM I'm writing this sitting in my beloved train on my way to work. I am sharing this train with a million people — it's full of business people also being on their work and grind hustle. Putting my iPod on mute for a second, I can tell that many of them are coughing or sneezing — the air feels like it's full of sickness and bacteria, haha. 
I wonder why so many people already suffer from the flu or other types of colds... there hasn't been snow yet! 

As soon as the transition season starts, I usually cover myself with lots of citrus fruits and herbal tea, something really simple, but so beneficial! 
To not be heavily sick this season, I gathered all my cures together and asked my Chinese co-workers for extra tips (I'm totally into TCM!). 
They actually agreed on some of my cures and remedies and one girl also suggested me this Chinese herbal syrup that she swears by! 

Let's discover my selection.
Peppermint tea: peppermint has plenty of healing properties! This tea shouldn't be ignored when having a cold! Menthol in peppermint soothes the throat and acts as a decongestant, helping to break down mucus. Drink liters of this tea and you will do something really soothing for your throat. 

Aroma therapy with peppermint, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil: I guess the first things I do as soon as I feel sick is making myself tons of tea (anything soothing and especially warming) and I put some essential oil in my diffuser to clean my air and feel better! Since peppermint tea is so beneficial, I take some extea peppermint oil and let my air smell fresh. The eucalyptus oil is a bit more aggressive to my nose, but I am putting this in my diffuser over night and I put a bit of it on my throat and neck. Take a deep breath....aaaahhhhh. 

Citrus tings: oranges, lemons, and tangerines. Some say that citrus fruits make a cold worse, others say you need a vitamin boost — I go with the vitamin boost! I once showed you my recipe for honey infused with citrus fruits! A good recipe to spice up your honey and you'll get many benefits with just one spoon. So what I do is drinking hot lemon water to get rid of all the toxins, flushing everything out! I also snack plentyyy of tangerines or oranges to get my extra vitamins to boost my immune system. I recently found another recipe to involve more citrus fruits into your cold and flu experience. Both orange and tangerine have the benefit of increasing the flow or saliva, moisten the mouth, benefit the lung...
"Orange in Chinese Medicine has the property of neutral and sweet, so orange adds benefits to the stomach and spleen and nourish Yin of those two organ. It means that orange is good for cough that is dry, and it is also safer for long term use. Tangerine on the other hand, has the property of acid and bitter, and it also has the additional function of moisten the lung, stopping coughing, and reducing phlegm."

Now let's discover the recipe I found on a Chinese health website:
Soak orange or tangerine in salt water for 15 minutes. For 1 cup of water, 1 tea spoon of salt is enough. Cut the top of the orange or tangerine as how it is in the picture above, and add about 1/2 to 1 tea spoon or salt to the opening area. To have better result, some people recommend using fork or chopsticks to poke salts into the orange/tangerine. Place the top of the orange or tangerine back to close the opening. Then put the orange in a bowl without water. Then place this in a steamer for 15 minutes.
Serve when it is warm. Eat this orange or tangerine and drink everything in the bowl while it is still warm. Don’t eat the peels. For kids and baby, use orange first as it is milder. For those who don’t like to eat the orange or tangerine, you can just squeeze the juice out and drink the juice. Enjoy!

Chinese herbal syrup: My sister was crazy sick and her coughing didn't go away. My co-worker said that since she was a baby, her mom gave her this famous Chinese herbal syrup (which actually tastes pretty good). It's made up of a blend of herbal ingredients such as Indian bread, pomelo peel, schisandra seed, bitter apricot kernel, menthol, ginger, and licorice root.
You take up to three tablespoons a day. Slowly tasting and swallowing it down + no drinking afterwards! Let the syrup sit on your throat for a little bit, so the syrup can sooth it a little bit! This syrup is a secret weapon — invest (a bottle is about 5$) and keep this in your pantry! 

Ginger: one thing one always gets to hear when coughing is: drink some hot ginger with lemon or drink ginger tea! While being sick, especially during colds, we feel super cold and we are shaking - the body needs some extra warmth to recover and feel healthy again! In TCM ginger is being categorized as a warm spice which balances cold food, to have the perfect balance — yin and yang. Here's a bonus: try a ginger massage to kick your cold's ass!


  • Spine Rub: Using the ginger juice, gently rub your hand up and down the spine. As circulation increases, the skin will turn pink.
  • Stomach Circles: Rub the stomach with the ginger juice, making gentle circles in a clockwise and then counterclockwise direction. This massage also relieves digestive problems, particularly diarrhea.
  • Forearm Strokes: With the child on his or her back, use the ginger juice to lightly stroke both forearms up and down.
  • Hand and Foot Warmer: Gently warm the child’s hands and feet by rubbing them with the ginger juice. Afterward, keep the hands and feet covered so they can remain warm.


Honey: another classic that we shouldn't ignore. Honey is the best soothing helper for an itchy throat! Mix your tea or hot lemon water with an extra teaspoon of honey and let your cold go away by itself! As soon as you feel like you are getting sick, get some honey fix and drink more that you usually do. Infuse your honey with some herbs or vitamins like citrus - it's more than delicious.

I know being sick can be a pain in the butt, but there's actually a lot we can do! We don't need to take so much crazy medicine - Mother Nature gave us so much to explore and try first. If this is really not helping and we are feeling worse, we can still go and see a doctor.
Also, I believe that we can learn so much from Traditional Chinese Medicine. There's such a lack of info and education here...but we are really missing out!!
Take your time to get used to this, but I don't want you to suffer from season to season!
Maybe you find some inspiration today which will make you feel stronger during winter time!

Time to treat your body, your immune system, and especially, your health vibes.
Let's have a healthy winter season! 


*no, I'm not a doctor.
These are tips and ideas that I liked the past couple of years, plus family traditions my Chinese co-workers shared with me!