Sore Throat, Fever…the “ugh I’m sick” Tea

Common cold with heat signs

This tea is great for anyone with that throat that feels like you swallowed glass pieces and you could heat the entire house on your own without the furnace. We’d call this the wind heat type of common cold in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

2 tbsp Chrysanthemum flowers (about 10g)

1 tbsp Goji Berries (about 15g)

2 tbsp Mint (about 10g)

1 tsp Green tea (optional)

3 cups water

Option: Kudzu root 1-2 large pieces of kudzu cut into smaller pieces

Bring water to boil add goji berries (and kudzu if desired) to simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Put mint, chrysanthemum and green tea in tea pot and pour water over. Allow to steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and enjoy

The medicine in your cup:

Chrysanthemum flowers are considered sweet and bitter in property and cooling in nature. This makes them for heat type conditions. They are also great for soothing the eyes and heat in the liver system in general in Chinese Medicine which makes them good for hypertension, dizziness, irritability or conditions when you’re feeling ‘hot and bothered’.

Goji Berries – often used to strengthen the kidney yin, build the blood and nourish the eyes in TCM, goji berries are also high in vitamin c, antioxidants, and other nutrients making it a super powerful food to help keep you strong and boost the immune system. It is considered neutral in property, which makes it great for either a wind cold (chills) or wind heat (fever) type of cold.

Peppermint. Not only a soother for mind and stomach, peppermint has naturally cooling properties and work on the superficial conditions in the body which makes it great for the common cold that has heat signs (or as we like to say in TCM lingo – “wind-heat attack” which has a nice dramatic ring to it which is fitting when you’re on the couch feeling like you were just attacked by energy sucking bandits!). Fever, headache, sore throat and cough are some of the prime signs for using peppermint.

Green tea has many wonderful properties and many healing benefits. It is rich in hundreds of vitamins and minerals and touts many antioxidant, anticancer properties in addition to helping with cholesterol and digestion of fatty foods. In property it is more cooling than black tea and it is this cooling property that makes it a great addition to this cooling tea to help clear some of those heat signs. It’s also helpful to give a little boost of energy when you’re feeling beat up from a cold. If you’re having this tea later in the evening, you might want to skip the green tea if you’re sensitive to caffeine.

Kudzu root – Often used as a thickening agent in Japanese cooking, kudzu looks like a chalky rock or stone but can be crushed to powder easily. It is found easily in many Asian stores or natural food markets.

In TCM we classify it as a cool sweet and pungent root and it is excellent for the stiffness and aches associated with a cold or flu. We say it releases muscles, clears heat, releases wind (think sneezing) and helps to generate fluids (which is helpful for all the fluid escaping through your nose!) Kudzu can be mixed with warm water on it’s own if you’re particularly achy, or added in to any tea.