Monday, February 23, 2009
These days the weather temperature had gone up quite significantly. It is indeed nearly summer! (Summer in this country starts mid-March to May). However, with the changes in the weather, many children are getting sick - cough, colds and fever or flu.
My son has terrible cough and colds. He has enough thick mucus that blocks his nasal passageway. He has trouble sleeping at night and difficulty concentrating in school. And the syrups seem not to have any effect. What to do? I turn to the age-old remedy of Chinese medicine. Actually, I forgot all about this until mother-in-law reminded me. :)
Chrysanthemum flower tea is one very common type of Chinese tea. Drunk with meals it helps to aid digestion, especially of greasy foods. It is also commonly taken to help strengthen the lungs and relieve head congestion. It has cooling effect that is very appropriately taken during hot weather. According to my mother-in-law, it can help in the early stages of feverish type of flu. It may also help relieve certain types of headaches, blurred vision and dizziness. (But the effect on those symptoms will vary dependent on the underlying cause, of course.)
This tea is very easy to prepare. Take fresh yellow chrysanthemum flowers. Clean them well, and brew with hot boiling water. Since fresh flowers are not available here, what we have on hand are dried flowers. We usually have a supply since we really stock up on this flower tea when somebody goes to China. We can also brew the dried flowers. Boil a tablespoon or two of dried flowers for every cup of water, strain and drink. (In my photo above, I deliberately did not strain eveything so that you can see what the chrysanthemum flowers look like.) The resulting tea is yellowish in color with the fragrance of chrysanthemum flowers. This tea is very mild and safe, with no side effects, this can be taken regularly.
But for my son's aggravated condition, mother-in-law recommends the salt-infused chrysanthemum tea (Kiam Kak Hue in Fookien.) We also have this on hand, anytime in the refrigerator. When a batch of dried chrysanthemum flowers arrive from China, my mother-in-law would personally make the salt-infused chrysanthemum. She would take a lot of flowers, and sprinkle a handful of coarse sea salt. (Sorry, she also do not have accurate measurements. She simply says, the more salt, the better it would be.) Then she would fill up and pack a sterilized glass jar with this salted dried chysanthemum flowers. We keep this in the refrigerator and use it when needed. Like today.
This traditional Chinese tea should be brewed fresh everyday, and we should expect a relief from the colds symptoms in a few days. I certainly hope my son gets better soon. It is exams week next week!
Sharing this Chinese herbal flower tea with the Weekend Herb Blogging community, now headed by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything at Least Once. This week, the event is hosted by Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska.