09 SEP 2020
It is common knowledge that flu, influenza, and COVID-19 will cause discomfort to the respiratory system. How do we prevent and reduce the risks of contracting these viruses? The most important step is to enhance our immune system to have sufficient antibodies to counter the virus.
How do we improve our immune system? All these factors are equally important:
- Sleep and rise early; maintain good quality and adequate hours of sleep
- Consume more water to maintain sufficient moisture in the respiratory tract
- Maintain positive emotions
- Diet should be light, nutritious, and easy to digest; avoid fried, oily, and strong tasting food
- Consume less fish and meat, which causes phlegm and dampness
- Consumption of meals till 80% degree of fullness would suffice
However, today’s topic is more on personal healthcare, diet, and a teabag for flu prevention.
When tackling different types of flu, medication and diet differ as well.
1) For a cold without a sore throat, runny nose, and thin phlegm
You may consume soup that contains scallion 10g and dan dou chi (semen sojae praeparatum) for 10 – 15 minutes, to complete one treatment cycle, drink once a day for three days.
You may also take Perilla porridge (Cook 100g of Japonica rice till it becomes porridge, add 10g of Perilla and cook for 10 – 15 minutes).
2) Water chestnuts, lotus roots, and reed rhizome are some ingredients that can alleviate heatiness within the lungs.
a) Water chestnuts can be taken without the skin, or boiled with water.
b) Reed rhizome can also be boiled with water as it can be used as a medicine or a food product.
c) As for lotus root, the ingredient is much more flexible and can be used in many different ways.
3) Cook together, 10g each of mulberry leaf and chrysanthemum, half a Luo Han Guo, and 3 bowls of water, for 15 minutes. For initial stages of cold (dry throat, nose, and mouth or cough with the presence of yellow phlegm), this recipe will have a certain degree of benefit.
However, for individuals without a sore throat, afraid of cold, with large amounts of phlegm or weak constitution, this tea will not be suitable.
4) Snow fungus and lily help to nourish and moisturize the lungs. Lung cilia can promote the discharge of impurities and bacteria from the lungs.
However, this is not suitable for individuals with large amounts of phlegm.
5) In the later stages of certain types of flu or pneumonia, illness easily turns into heatiness and dryness, affected individuals with hyperactivity of heart-liver fire will experience a higher degree of damage to the lungs. Hence, individuals can take lotus seed, ripe wheat, and lophatherum leaf as these ingredients are useful in reducing the risk of heart-liver fire in the event of contracting the flu virus.
Boiling 15 – 30g of ripe wheat with water to make a good-tasting tea can disperse heart fire. Lotus seed and lophatherum leaf have similar benefits to ripe wheat as it is also able to disperse heart fire, although the taste is slightly more bitter. With high levels of heart fire, this will negatively affect sleep quality and the immune system. Lotus heart (3g) and common lophatherum (6 – 9g) can be used to make tea, either by itself or with accompanying other tea leaves.
However, for individuals with stomach cold, the dosage of lotus heart should be reduced.
6) Astragalus root (10 – 30g) can help to invigorate, strengthen the immune system and virus prevention. In addition, together with platycodon root (6g), it can disperse phlegm within the respiratory tract. Together with the sweet-tasting oroxylum indicum seed (3g), it can clear the lungs and pharynx and ease respiratory tract inflammation.
7) After cleaning the herbs, cook radix ophiopogon (12g), radix pseudostellariae (15g), five-flavour berry (5g) with three bowls of water for 15 minutes. This helps to alleviate tiredness and lethargy.
In addition, negative emotions may affect the immune system. You may consume some rose or flos albizia tea, which is helpful for individuals who are feeling low.
White-colored food e.g. almond, ginkgo will improve the immune system of the respiratory tract, relieve asthma, and reduce phlegm.
More importantly, avoid crowded places. When out in public, do wear a mask and wash your hands frequently and diligently.