This soups for colds article argues that Chinese soups are great natural cold remedies. I tell my story about my flu and how drinking one of my favourite soups made me feel better.
i hate flu medications. They make me groggy and weak all over. At first, I thought it was the cold or flu that was making me weak. Once I forgot to take my medications and subsequently felt more alert. When I took the pills, I knocked out. When I do wake up, I felt all weak and lethargic.
Then, I noticed this phrase on the label of the cough syrup bottle, "Will cause drowsiness. Do not operate machinery". That's when it struck me that that's what drowsiness mean. Dense huh?
I asked the doctors why there are such side-effects and they said that this is so I can rest. I suspect it is side-effects rather than purposeful pharmaceutical engineering.
Drowsiness is a mild case I guess. Have you been prescribed a certain medication that has to be accompanied by antacid? The medication is so strong it causes increased stomach acidity which requires antacids to counter-balance.
I used to accept this kind of explanation; that there are no alternatives. But not anymore. Medications which are supposed to cure me cause another health problem?!
So, what does this have to do with soups for colds?
A severely blocked nose, a thudding headache, a dry cough. I was miserable, I was in a foul mood. I was sick. I hate being sick, I hate having a nose sore from all the sneezing and wiping. I hate the thudding and thumping going on in my head. I hate the lethargy. I wish they would just go away and leave me alone.
Wordlessly, my grandmother placed a big bowl of soup in front of me. It was a simple clear chinese soup made with potatoes, carrots and pork ribs.
Here, drink this, granny said simply in Teochew.
I was in no mood to eat. I wasn't hungry. I have no appetite. I just wanted to sulk! Pieces of cheery orange colour peeked out from the soup and beckoned to me. Oh, okay, I will have a little sip, just to please granny. I thought to myself. That little sip brought a comforting warmth that travels from my sore throat all the way to the stomach.
How wonderful a warm stomach feels.
I went for the carrot and potato next. They were tender but not mushy, the potato melted in my mouth. To my delight, I found sweet plump chinese wolfberries (goji berries) lurking in the depth of the soup. I finished the entire bowl of soup in no time.
Aahhh... a wave of contentment washed over me. It was the best soup in the world...lovingly prepared by my granny. And...
... a little miracle happened.
My blocked nose eased, my headache subsided, the sun came out and so did my smile... a contented happy little smile. Psychological effect? Maybe, but I definitely felt better.
I am not against pills and medications. I just prefer natural cold remedies that work TOGETHER with my body's own immune system to fight illnesses, not take over the fight. Isn't drinking a nice hot bowl of chinese soup a more enjoyable way to ease flu symptoms than popping pills made with chemicals that cannot even be pronounced.
Now I try to learn more about my own body and how it functions before buying any kind of medications or pills. What works for someone else may not work for me. But I believe soups for colds are good for everyone.