Preparing for the cold

With kids going back to school and with the days getting colder, most of us are struggling to stay healthy and to keep from getting sick.

Here are a few remedies to help keep you and your loved ones feeling well throughout the fall and winter months. Remember use food as medicine whenever possible!

Sore throat relief

Local unprocessed honey
Water (you will need enough water to make at least a half a cup after boiling)

Bring water to a boil.
In a mug, combine the following: 1 tablespoon of honey, the juice of a whole lime (additionally, for added benefit, add in some of the lime zest), and about a ½ cup of the boiling water.
Stir it all up and enjoy!

Ginger Tea (use as a home remedy for indigestion, nausea and general upset stomach)

2 cups of water
1-inch piece of fresh ginger root
Optional: Local unprocessed honey and lime slices

Slice the ginger into thin slices.
Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Once the water is boiling, add the ginger. Cover the water and reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
After 15-20 minutes, strain the boiling water and ginger mix. The remaining liquid is the Ginger Tea.
If desired, add honey and lime to taste.

If you are making Ginger Tea during cold and flu season, adding sweeteners is not recommended.
If you have food poisoning, in addition to drinking the Ginger Tea, also chew on slices of fresh ginger.

Scallions for the Common Cold (especially good for a fever)

In Chinese medicine, the white part of a scallion (also known as a green onion) is the best part to use medicinally. Scallion is effective in stimulating sweat, aiding urination, calming the nerves and expelling mucus. In other words, a scallion is good for helping to cure a cold.
10 white stalks of scallion
5 slices of ginger
3 cups of water
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Combine the 3 cups of water, 10 white stalks of scallion, and 5 slices of ginger in a pot.
Simmer the water until it reduces to 1 cup of liquid.
You can discard the ginger pieces or eat them if you choose.
Drinking the broth is the most important part.
Add salt and pepper to the soup to taste.
Pour the soup into a bowl and enjoy!
Additionally, you should cover the patient with a heavy blanket to induce sweating after drinking this soup. Once the patient has sweated out the toxins, have him/her change into some warm clothing.

Remember, during the colder months, you should keep yourself covered up, especially around the neck and chest areas. And, drink plenty of fluids.

Chicken Rice Soup

The following is a recipe for aiding to relieve a headache, a runny nose with clear discharge, neck and shoulder aches, an aversion to being cold, and a white-coated tongue.

8 cups filtered or spring water
1 whole organic, antibiotic free chicken (washed) or chicken parts
1 inch piece of ginger
1 bunch of green onion
1 cup of cooked jasmine rice
4-5 leaves of napa cabbage
5-7 dried shiitake mushrooms (wash and soak in warm water for about 20 minutes)
Salt and Pepper for seasoning

In a stock pot, combine the water, the washed organic chicken or 1 pound of organic chicken parts with bones, the ginger, and the soaked shiitake mushrooms. Cover the water. And, boil for one hour.
While the broth is cooking, cut the napa cabbage into bite size pieces.
Dice the scallions (green onions).

After an hour, uncover the soup and remove the chicken or chicken parts. Set the chicken aside to cool.
Remove the ginger from the soup (you can throw the ginger away).
Salt and pepper the soup to taste.
Add the rice to the soup and allow the soup to simmer as you prepare the next part.

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces.

Add the chicken and the napa cabbage to the soup.
Bring the soup to a boil.
Once the soup is at a boil, turn the heat off and add the scallions to the soup.

Ladle the soup into a bowl. If desired, add some black pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Author's Bio: 

Anh (Ann) Tran is an Illinois Licensed Acupuncturist and is nationally board certified (NCCAOM) in acupuncture. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine with a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine and a Bachelor in Nutrition, along with a three year Intensive Hands-On Internship in a free community clinic in Chicago. Additionally, she completed an internship at Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in China. Anh has also received training in the MeiZen (beautiful person) Cosmetic Acupuncture System. She is originally from Moline, IL and also holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in psychology from Loyola University of Chicago.