Winter Warmers: Herbal Cold Remedies

cold and flu

Whether we like it not, winter is here and that means cold and flu season is coming. Most of us are too busy to spend days cooped up in bed, so we’ve gathered some preventative measures which we can all implement easily simple ingredients.

TCM focuses on expelling pathogens by having broth-based soups, warm liquids and nutritional supplements to prevent cold and flu from ruining your winter.

We have come up with our Natural Cold & Flu Remedies to try yourself or share with your patients to beat the winter blues and have you feeling right as rain as soon as possible.

Superb Soups

In TCM, Qi is the vital energy that circulates through the body at all times. Qi deficiency can cause an imbalance in your body which can lead to fatigue and low energy which usually results in illness. If your patient is suffering from cold or flu, they are most likely also suffering from a Qi deficiency. To rebalance Qi, improve fatigue and fight the illness, we recommend warming winter soups!

Qi Deficient Soup: This broth-based mix of Shan Yao and Gan Cao (Liquorice) is used in China to restore Qi. Shan Yao, or Chinese Yam, is favoured in TCM for its ability to tonify Qi, nourish Yin and improve Kidney, Lung and Spleen health. Similarly to Shan Yao, Gan Cao is used for its tonifying and warming properties. It is especially popular for its ability to tonify the spleen and augment Qi – perfect for cold and flu season.

Qi Tonic Soup: Combining chicken, Gou Qi Zi and Hong Zao makes for a great winter warmer. Hong Zao, also known as Jujube Dates, are low in calories but rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are very sweet and warming herbs used to tonify Qi. Adding Gou Qi Zi (Goji Berry) to your soup makes for a sweeter taste but also helps to tonify blood and Yin. Boil the herbs with a whole chicken and broth to create a delicious and nutritious soup!

Don’t be frightened to add additional herbs to your soups! Dang Shen, Huang Qi and Dang Gui all work great in traditional Chinese broths, as does lotus root, mushrooms and any other vegetables.

Magic Mushrooms

As we know, mushrooms are prized for their health-boosting benefits. Mushrooms are used to strengthen immune function and regular consumption can have a remarkable effect on your ability to fend off sickness. Shiitake Mushroom, or Hua Gu/Dong Gu, are loaded with the antiviral compounds, beta-glucans which have been shown to enhance immune function. Consuming shiitake mushrooms may improve your immunity, as well as reduce inflammation. We offer a range of culinary mushrooms, all of which work well in soups and stir-fries and may be able to improve your immune system.

As well as culinary mushrooms, we also have a range of mushroom supplements including:

Maitake mushrooms are favoured for boosting immunity due to their high level of beta-glucans. They are also rich in minerals, amino acids and vitamins, which are essential for warding off intrusive germs.

Cordyceps are considered to be a tonic herb, perfect for fighting cold and flu. Its antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects help to prevent infections and illnesses.

Reishi mushroom may have the ability to nourish heart Qi and promote longevity. Many studies have proven that reishi can help train the immune system to better respond to threats and boost immune cells that attack viruses, as well as boosting the toxicity of natural killer cells.

Tantalising Teas

Warming teas are perfect for making you feel warm and cosy this winter. One of our favourites is a blend of Hong Zao, Gou Qi Zi and Long Yan Rou. Da Hong Zao contains 20 times more vitamin C than any citrus fruit, which can help to strengthen the immune system and fight infection. Just half a cup of jujube dates is 100% of your daily vitamin C requirement. They are also loaded with 18 of the most important amino acids which helps with the healing process to make you feel better, quicker.

Long Yan Rou is a sweet and warming herb that is used to tonify the blood. They can augment the Heart and Spleen and calm the spirit to help your patient feel better. Long Yan fruit also contains a lot of vitamin C which improves your defence mechanism and is essential for improving skin health – making you healthy on the inside and out.

Combine Long Yan, dates and water in a medium pot on the stove. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Add the goji and stir. To serve, scoop some long yan, goji berries and dates into a cup and pour in the liquid. Once you have drunk the tea, you can also eat the soaked fruit for extra goodness!

So why not try our winter warmers now and try to beat the blues this season? All products mentioned are available in our online shop. Please contact if you need any more information.

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