Monday, June 13, 2016

A New View Of Eastern Medicine

Originally posted on July 21, 2015

What would be a trip to China without some first hand experience with Chinese medicine?!  This past week four of the seven SABEH members in Hangzhou caught a cold… of those four was me.  Being in China, this worried me a little a first, but within a few hours I immediately started to recognize my symptoms.  They mirrored exactly the symptoms I get from colds back in the States…..sore throat….cough….muscle aches…..I knew this was something I could handle!  I loaded myself on my usual cold meds, which I brought with me from back home.  The problem with these meds, though, is that they were designed to mask symptoms, not help heal.  I love DayQuil, probably more than most people, but it really does not help me get better!  Lucky for me, our Chinese hosts were intent on helping me regain health.  I was taken to the campus clinic to see the doctor.  She was a very confident older woman wearing a white doctor coat, just as doctors back home wear.  Her methodology, however, was drastically different.  Her diagnosis was formed by simply looking at my tongue and throat.  She was able to pinpoint the exact meds I needed from that short exercise.  By the way the meds are not at all what we are used to.  Everything was herbal and rooted in a thousand years of history.  I was given two items.
The first was the most delicious cough syrup I have ever taken.  It is honey based and contains many different types of roots, flowers, and seeds.

Besides tasting delicious, I really believe the syrup helped me contain my cough.  I felt the cough going into my chest, which was obviously not ideal.  As soon as I started taking the syrup the cough seemed to stop moving….but was still present.
The other med I received was a ground up root.  It is what many Chinese people take at the first sign of a cold.  You empty a packet of the root into a cup, mix in hot water, and drink it as a tea.  It has a sweet taste and immediately soothed my throat and cough.  I have been drinking this tea 3 times a day and my cough has been very much contained.
Typically it takes me about a week to get back to a functional state after a cold.  With this Chinese medicine, though, I was up an running two days after my first signs!  You can bet I will be scouring Chinatown when I get home to keep a supply of these all natural meds on hand!

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