Health + Wellness

Five TCM Tips To Beat The Haze

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In view of the current hazy situation, Physician Chin Chew Seng of Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic offers five Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) tips to protect yourself from the haze.

With the haze making its return to Singapore, Physician Chin Chew Seng of Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic (Bedok/Toa Payoh) rounds up five TCM tips to help prevent and relieve symptoms such as excessive thirst, sore throat, and eye irritation.

  1. Take lighter meals

congee

Avoid taking spicy, fried, and greasy foods which may aggravate the throat. Opt for lighter options instead such as porridge, or soupy and steamed dishes. Without a doubt, avoiding the outdoors and drinking plenty of water is key during this hazy season.

 

  1. Drink green bean soup
Image Credit: Foodelicacy.com

Image Credit: Foodelicacy.com

With toxic particles floating in the air, some of us with pre-existing skin allergies or eczema may be especially susceptible to flare-ups or even acne breakouts due to the haze. Taking green bean soup can help reduce heat and expel toxic substances that may cause skin irritation. Studies have also shown that green beans contain anti-inflammatory properties and have long been used in Asia to treat irritability, thirst from heat stroke, toxic poisoning and fever.

Here’s an easy Green Bean Soup recipe:

  • Rinse about 1 cup of green beans and soak in cool water for about 4 hours
  • Boil green beans in about 8 cups of water for around 30 minutes until beans are softened and cracked
  • Add rock sugar to taste

 

  1. Make soothing herbal teas

wolfberry-tea-946820_960_720

Having a combination of beneficial herbs in your tea can work to combat any external stressors caused by the haze. Physician Chin recommends making this homemade soothing herbal tea for those suffering from sore throat and eye irritation:

  • Add equal portions of Prunella Spike (Xiakucao), Mulberry Leaf (Sangye) and Chrysanthemum (Juhua) into a pot
  • Boil for about 20 minutes and consume

According to Chinese Herbology, Chrysanthemum is usually combined with Mulberry Leaf to help clear heat, detoxify, and relieve cough and upper respiratory infections. As for Prunella Spike, The Institute of Traditional Medicine states that it can help to treat redness and inflammation of the eyes, as well as skin infections.

  1. Cook ‘cooling’ and nutritious soups

Physician Chin recommends cooking specific types of soups during this hazy period, and this includes Cucumber Soup (Laohuanggua tang), Sweet Corn Soup (Yumi tang), and Radish Soup (Bailuobuo tang).

As the cucumber is known in TCM as a ‘cooling’ (Yin) food, consuming cucumber soup could be especially beneficial to combat the haze as it helps to eliminate body heat.

Image Credit: Souperdiaries

Image Credit: Souperdiaries.com

Here’s an easy recipe for Cucumber Soup:

  • Scrub, de-seed and cut up the old cucumber into smaller chunks
  • Blanch 200 grams of pork ribs into boiling water for a few minutes, drain and set aside
  • Add the old cucumber chunks, blanched pork, 10 red dates, 6 dried scallops, one cut sweet corn and 1 cut medium carrot into a soup pot and bring to a boil
  • Lower heat and let simmer for 40 minutes
  • Season with salt to taste

 

According to a study by researchers from Cornell University, cooked sweet corn releases a significant amount of ferulic acid, which is an anti-oxidant that helps battle against cancer.

Image Credit: Home-madechinesesoups

Image Credit: Homemade-chinese-soups.com

Here’s an easy recipe for Sweet Corn Soup:

  • Cut two corn cobs and two carrots, rinse and drain
  • Clean two chicken thighs, trimming the excess fat
  • Parboil the chicken pieces
  • Boil about 1.5 to 2 litres of water in a pot
  • Add corn, carrots, chicken pieces and ginger into the pot and bring back to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes
  • Lower heat and let simmer for about 2 hours
  • Bring to a boil again and add salt to taste

 

In TCM, the Chinese white radish is known to help clear phlegm accumulated in the lungs as well as improve bowel movements.

Image Credit: Huangkitchen

Image Credit: Huangkitchen.com

Here’s an easy recipe for Radish Soup:

  • Cut 1 white radish into large pieces
  • Wash and cut 300 grams of chicken, trimming the excess fat
  • Blanch chicken pieces into pot of boiling water and set aside
  • Boil about 2 to 3 bowls of water and add radish chunks, chicken pieces, 8 red dates, and 1 tablespoon of lightly crushed white peppercorns
  • Lower heat and let simmer for 1 hour
  • Add 1 tablespoon of Chinese wolfberries and continue to let simmer for another 1 hour
  • Season with salt to taste and serve

 

  1. Take Teas and Herbal Jelly

Flowering-tea-1

Physician Chin recommends drinking Five-flower Tea (Wuhua cha) and Eight-Treasure Tea (Babao cha) for overall wellness.

In TCM, the Five-flower Tea consists of honeysuckle, chrysanthemum, silk cotton, Plumeria rubra and Pueraria lobate. The beverage is anti-inflammatory and helps to clear heat as well as alleviate symptoms such as sore throat, indigestion and urinary difficulty. The Eight-Treasure Tea helps to clear heat and improve urination, and typically contains ingredients such as jasmine green tea, chrysanthemum, chinese red dates, longan, American ginseng, dried fruit, licorice root and rock sugar.

Guilinggao

Apart from these teas, Physician Chin also recommends taking Herbal Jelly (Guilinggao) which is not only nutritious, but also helps to reduce heatiness.

Eu Yan Sang also offers several TCM products that can help relieve the symptoms associated with the haze. This includes:

Manuka Mg100+

  • Manuka Honey MG 100+ Basic – add into teas for an immunity boost
  • Herbal Soothies Loquat – helps to moisten the throat
  • Loquat Compound With Cordyceps Sinensis – to reduce phlegm, cough, throat irritations and body heatiness

For more information on Eu Yan Sang’s products, visit euyansang.com.sg.

 

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