By Helen Fielding

As the season for coughs, colds and fluey virus’ is now with us, this is a tried and tested recipe for treating those all too familiar symptoms.

  • 1 oz fresh Root Ginger–cut into slices
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick – broken into pieces
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
  • A generous slice of Lemon
  • 1 pint of Water

To extract the flavour of the herbs, place the ingredients in a pan bringing to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Drink the decoction hot, a small teacup every 2 hours. Add more lemon juice and organic honey to taste, especially if you have a sore throat.

This is a very useful ‘kitchen herb’ formula as most of the ingredients can be found in any cook’s home. The cinnamon and ginger are the most important herbs in the Chinese medicine to treat respiratory tract infections; they are warming without being too hot for a fluey cold and the ginger encourages sweating. The beauty is that anyone can use this safely. If taken at the first shiver or sneeze the decoction can prevent the cold coming. If the cold is determined to come, it treats the symptoms to keep you more comfortable whilst the body is doing battle with the viral invader. Keeping warm and quiet with plenty of fluids is essential for a rapid recovery.

ColdAnyone who suffers frequent or recurring respiratory tract infection would be advised to take a course of more specific herbal remedies to build up their vitality in order to prevent the colds in the first place.

Part of the elegance of Chinese Herbalism is the ability to change one or two ingredients of a formula to treat a different symptom pattern. With the cold cure, if you change the coriander seeds for a little brown sugar and the water for red wine you get a very nice seasonal recipe for beating the winter blues.


Dr Jeckyll’s Honey and Lemon Drink

  • Juice of ½ a Lemon
  • Dessert spoon of Manuka Honey
  • 10 drops Echinacea Tincture
  • 1 gm fizzing Vitamin C tablet
  • Add to ½ pint of Hot Water or Tea

Make up the tea with lemon, honey and Echinacea; then pop in the vitamin C tablet and enjoy the effect.


Sore Throat

Gargle with sage, cider vinegar and honey: infuse a teaspoon of sage in half a pint of water then add a teaspoon each of cider vinegar and honey.



Onions in honey: Slice two organic onions and cover them with three to four tablespoons of organic honey – manuka for an extra zing. Leave for at least eight hours or overnight in a covered bowl. Then take a teaspoon of the resulting liquor as a cough medicine or a throat soother. This also makes a delicious vinaigrette mixed with a little olive oil and cider vinegar.