Soup and porridge for a cold

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Certain types of soup and porridge are important in Oriental medicine for treating chronic ailments. They help the sick recuperate and improve the effectiveness of medical treatment. More generally, they ward off disease, improve longevity and alleviate coughing and fever in sick children.

Here are some recipes for soup and porridge remedies that ease the coughs, sniffles and other annoying symptoms of the common cold.

Onion and brown rice porridge: Wash 60g brown rice and cover with water to cook over a high flame until it turns into porridge. Add 20 sliced onions, cook for five more minutes and turn off the stove. The porridge, which should be eaten one bowl at a time several times a day, eases fever, coughing, sniffles, headaches and stomach aches.

Ginger and spring onion porridge: Wash 60g rice and six spring onions. Pour water into a pot and cook the rice over the high flame until it becomes porridge. Then add five pieces of peeled and sliced ginger and sliced spring onions to the pot, and cook for five more minutes. Add sugar to taste and eat one bowl a day. The porridge is good for coughing, chills and a runny nose.

Balm mint and brown rice porridge: Wash 12g tía tô (balm mint) and put the leaves in a pot. Add 200ml water and cook until the water is reduced by half. Discard the mint residue and keep the stock. Now, wash 100g brown rice and put it in the pot along with the concentrated mint stock and another 500ml of water. Cook the rice until it turns into porridge. One bowl in the morning and another in the evening should ease the coughing and fever of a cold.

Malt sugar porridge: Wash 60g rice and put it into a pot. Peel and slice 25g ginger and add to the pot. Pour in one liter of water and cook the rice until it becomes porridge. Add 150g malt sugar. Eat the porridge twice daily, one bowl at a time, to treat a chill or cough.

Bách hợp (lily) and banana soup: Crush 12g bách hợp until it becomes powder. Peel and cut two bananas into small pieces. Place the bách hợp and bananas in a pot and add enough water to cook over a high flame for 10 minutes. Then lower the flame and simmer until the soup thickens. Add a pinch of crushed rock sugar before eating the soup, one bowl at a time, twice daily for seven days.

Red jujube and pumpkin soup: Wash, peel and dice a 500g pumpkin and wash 500g red jujubes. Put the pumpkin and red jujubes in a pot, cover them with water and add 200g red sugar. Stir while cooking until the pieces are soft. Eat one bowl a day to treat a cough. This soup is ideal for children who have been coughing for a long time, and for treating allergies.

White jelly ear and mandarin orange soup: Wash 100g edible white jelly ear and cut out the peduncle. Place the jelly ear in a pot, add water, and cook over a low flame until the jelly ear is soft. Add 200g mandarin orange juice, gently bring the pot to the boil, and turn off the heat. This dish should be eaten for breakfast to fortify the kidneys, release mucus, and overcome coughing, especially in children.

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