So the weather changed again from hot and sunny to cold and rainy. It’s not even going to hit 60 degrees today. Did I mention it’s wet out. In short, gross. Not so coincidentally, I’ve heard quite a few reports of people suddenly catching colds… myself included.
In Chinese medicine, we blame wind. We blame wind on a lot of things, but especially when it comes to allowing things like cold and dampness to permeate past your protective skin layer. Wind blocks the pores, and you start to feel cold and achy and sore and headachy. If you’re really lucky, your nose starts to run too. The obvious remedy, then, is to sweat it out. Short of cranking the heat and hopping on the treadmill, if you’re in the initial stages of woofleyness, here’s a little kitchen remedy to help open your pores, promote sweating and kick that cold back outside where it may or may not belong.
Wind-Cold Evicting Tea
This potion uses ginger (sheng jiang) and scallions (tsong bai), two classic chinese herbs used to “release the exterior” and promote sweating. In western terms, they also contain fairly potent antimicrobial properties, so they help your body fight the virus, whether or not you’re worried about this wind thing I mentioned. Miso is a fermented paste made from soybeans or, more recently, things like chickpeas and barley. It is a great all around health improver and a wonderful alternative to adding extra salt. Because it is a live food, however, I recommend adding it after boiling, right before drinking.
- 1 bunch scallions (6-8), roots, bulbs and most of the greens, sliced
- 1.5 inches fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 4 cups water
- 1tsp-1Tb dark miso
Heat the water with the scallions and ginger. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes until sip-able, pour into a mug and add a little spoonful of miso, to taste. Drink and repeat until you start to feel hot.
My unofficial recommendation would be to follow your drink up with a nap in a warm room covered with lots of blankets to continue sweating. People tell me they don’t have time for that, but, do you really have time to be sick either? Speaking of that, I have some ginger and scallion tea to drink.