Being Sick In China...Again!!!

If you have an awesome memory, you might vaguely remember my last post about being sick in China when I spend Chinese New Year with my fish and his family. If you're like me and don't remember, just check out the link. I'm currently battling yet another cold and I can assure you it isn't fun. I had to take a sick day on Saturday because I couldn't talk and while I was okay on Sunday, yesterday was torture and I almost lost my voice, that's what you get when you have to teach two social classes in one day. They are usually fun but not so much when you have a cold and a very sore throat.

This time my cold doesn't feel as bad as the one I caught during the Spring Festival so I didn't go to the hospital but I did spend most of Friday in bed, trying to sleep my cold of. Delightful thing to do on your day off but it at least helped me to feel better.

The fish has also been extremely helpful and supplied me with a lot of Chinese medicine to make me feel better. When my cold first hit, he thought I was just feeling a little under the weather so he suggested I take some 板蓝根 (Ban Lan Gen) to pep me back up.

板蓝根 (Isatis Root)

Ban Lan Gen is a natural cold remedy wildly in use in China. It falls into the category of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which I don't know much about but am very interested it. So far anything herbal my fish suggested has always worked for me and the results were far better than your average painkiller or other Western medicine. I'm not going to argue that Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM for short, is better than Western medicine or that Western medicine is better than TCM but if TCM works, why bother with something else?

For me Ban Lan Gen worked a treat. I had three cups of it on Friday, after I finally found the energy to walk the roughly 200 metres to the nearest TCM pharmacy. The brew is a little bit sweet but not overly so and it gave me some more energy and generally just cleared my head and let me feel better. On Friday evening/Saturday morning I however took a turn for the worse with a very sore throat so my fish suggested some more medicine.

A mix of paracetamol and amantadine hydrochloride, yes a nice mouth full, isn't it?

With instructions from my fish I went back to the pharmacy to get some 感康复方氨酚烷胺胶囊 which I suppose is Western medicine of some sort or other. I enjoyed some of it on Saturday, Sunday as well as yesterday to pep me up but I also kept drinking loads of Ban Lan Gen.

We have now added yet another drink to the mix: 决明子 (Jue Ming Zi)。

决明子 (Foetid Cassia Seeds)

This traditional Chinese herb isn't really associated with colds as such but it helps your eyes and does a bunch of other helpful things. Among those things it dispels fire in the body. A sore throat has to mean that there is too much fire inside of me so cheers! Jokes aside, this is actually a tasty drink and it it's also called Chinese Coffee even though it really has nothing to do with coffee. It's a little sweet and a little bitter but generally tasty. I think the taste is similar to Pu'er Tea but I'm not very good at describing the flavour of this drink. What I do know is that it soothes my throat. About 15g of the seeds inside my half litre water bottle lasts me all day. It's good for about two litres of water, give or take, before the taste wears off. That's when you know you should get rid of the old seeds and add some fresh ones.

My student, who studies music in university, thinks I should take some Chinese herbs for my throat since I have to talk a lot and she's given me a list of what I should ask for. I'm going to give it a try, it's better than lozenges which usually contain sugar.

A cold wouldn't be a proper cold if it didn't come with an annoying cough though. I only partly blame my cold for this, the pollution definitely is to blame. Wuhan has been fairly dirty these last few days and I'm sure that it hasn't helped my cold. PM2.5 is a royal pain in the throat/chest. I have already ordered some new face masks though so that should help.

Apart from that I have a fish, who once again came to the rescue with a bottle of 川贝枇杷糖浆 (Sichuan Fritillaria Loquat Medicinal Syrup).

Loquat Fruit
I have to say this cough syrup utterly surprised me. I do believe in Chinese Traditional Medicine but I don't really believe in cough syrups. They never work. None of the ones I ever took or got prescribed really worked. One syrup with codeine in it worked a little bit but then again codeine isn't exactly healthy. This syrup is completely natural and actually works. To say I'm impressed would be an understatement of the century. One tablespoon already had me feeling so much better last night. My throat didn't feel so sore any more and my chest stopped being super painful. I got a good night's sleep with only a little coughing. In another two or three days my cough will be gone and I didn't have to stuff myself with chemicals to achieve that result.

Four undeniable facts to get a Chinese boyfriend. He knows what's good for you when you're not well without filling you up with tons of chemicals. Here's to a better and healthier me, thanks to actually listening to the advice my fish gives me.