Chinese Medicine Herbal Tea Formulas to Boost Immunity Against Flu, Coronavirus

by Dr. Grace Yu

Do you want to stay safe from viruses such as the coronavirus?
Keep a healthy diet, sleep properly, exercise regularly, and maintain a positive outlook are the key points to help improve immunity.

Here are three recommended Traditional Chinese medicine recipes that help combat the flu and other viruses.

1. Yupingfeng San (for person with Qi Deficiency)

Scutellaria baicalensis 10g
Saposhnikovia divaricata 10g
Atractylodes 6g

Mix ingredients with 1000cc water until it boils and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

This tones the spleen and stomach, strengthens the external qi, and enhances one’s immune system.

2. Clearing Heat and Detoxifying Formula (for Heat-trapped person)

Honeysuckle 6g
Forsythia 6g
Raw licorice 3g

Mix the ingredients with 1000cc water until it boils and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

This recipe clears heat and detoxifies to prevent virus invasion.

3. Asian Pear Lungs Nourishing Soup

Scutellaria baicalensis 10g
2 dried monk fruits (Luo Han Guo)
2 Asian pears
800cc water

Wash the pears, peel and slice them. Peel the dried monk fruits.

Add water to the pot, boil over high heat.

Add Scutellaria baicalensis, Luo Han Guo, and pears. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, and turn over low heat for 10 minutes.

The first soup is to enhance resistance. If infection occurs, the second soup can be used to clear the heat and detoxify to prevent virus invasion. It is always recommended to consult a professional first.

Traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes the individuality of medicinal materials according to individual symptoms. If there are no symptoms, it is not recommended to use them arbitrarily.

Please consult a Chinese medicine practitioner based on your symptoms.

For health concerns and TCM inquiries, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Grace Yu at 2530 3315 or appt@balancehealth.com.hk.
Remote consultations also available.

Integrative Cancer Treatment: The Multi-Pathway Approach

In a recent interview with Oriental Balance, distinguished Professor Dong Qi-Han from the University of Western Sydney in Australia reveals how a traditional Western medicine researcher recognized the value of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the treatment of cancer.

Professor Dong Qi-Han highlights the significance of TCM’s holistic multi-pathway approach in order to combat cancer cells that can grow accustomed to the Western medicine approach of single pathway treatment. He is currently researching Tcm in curing and preventing cancers.

Professor Dong Qi-Han applauds TCM for its effectiveness, low cost and low toxicity levels that may be used to complement western medicine in order to contribute to a more healthy society in the future.


Are you an Optimist or Pessimist? Science has the answer!

We know that life events can have a dramatic effect on our outlook and attitude, however a study by Professor Tim Spector on two twins identified nuances in their genetic makeup that define whether they tend towards optimism or pessimism (BBC News, 2013).

It turns out our personality is influenced by our genes, but interestingly that these genes themselves may be influenced by external factors. They are constantly being dialed up and down throughout our lives, as we deal with our difficulties and celebrate our successes. The good news is that it is possible to intervene: If you tend to e pessimistic and want to be more optimistic, mindful meditation or specialist treatments such as CBM (cognitive bias modification) can help.

In Chinese medicine the concepts identified by Professor Tim Spector are well understood. People with a Blue Discomfort Body Constitution tend to feel blue because their vital energy is not circulating well which can have a genetic cause that is either inherited from the parents or shaped by life.

Along with the aforementioned practices such as meditation Chinese medicine recommends treating negative feelings with Buddha’s Hand herbs, Kumquat and Pistachio that all regulate and strengthen the flow of vital energy Qi.

Leverage the Oriental Balance online diagnosis to understand whether you have a Blue Discomfort body constitution. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety feel free to consult with our doctors online.

[staffbio staffname=”Grace Yu” staffimage=”http://orientalbalance.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/dr-grace-yu.jpg” stafftitle=”Specialist in Chinese Medicine Gynecology” staffemail=”service@orientalbalance.com”]Grace Yu obtained her PhD at the Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Gynecology. Her adviser and mentor is Professor Luo Songping, an internationally renowned gynecologist. Grace also learned Craniosacral Resonance therapy from an internationally renowned teacher. Read more.[/staffbio]

What to eat in Summer

After my introduction to summer from a Chinese Medicine perspective (see here) you should now have a basic understanding of the character of this season and with our action plan you should be able to leverage its force and minimize imbalances.
This time I’d like to take a special look at the diet during the summer season: which foods are best consumed or avoided in order to maximise your health and get the most out of those precious summer months?

The Bitter Truth
Summer is a time for happiness and bitterness, at least as far as food is concerned. From an Yin-Yang perspective bitterness is yin, cooling, descending and contracting. It reduces excess heat, and dries and drains inner humidity – perfect against summer heat.
For our physical body bitter flavors ease inflammation and infections; they reduce swelling and encourage bowel movement, which is good news for people trying to lose weight. For the Heart bitterness clears heat and helps to lower the blood pressure. However, the descending and cooling nature of bitterness means it shouldn’t be overdone in summer, unless you have a lot of fire.

So, what are some of these good foods that beat the heat during summer?

Grains | Barley Millet Quinoa Wheat
Vegetables | Asparagus Aubergine Cabbage Celery Cucumber Lettuce Lotus root Lily root Potato Seaweed Turnip Bitter melon Rhubarb
Fruit | Apple Avocado Banana Blueberry Cranberry Fig Grapefruit Lemon Lime Mango Melon Pear Papaya Plum Watermelon
Beans | Kidney Mung-bean Yellow soy Tofu
Fish | Abalone Crab Fresh and salt water clam Octopus
Herbs and Spices | Fuling (China root) Goji(Wolfberry) Liquorice Purslane Tamarind
Beverages | China Pearl tea Chrysanthemum tea Dandelion root Elderflower tea Peppermint tea

Sounds like time to eat salad?
There’s nothing better than a cooling salad when the weather is scorching hot – if you’re lucky enough to be living in such a place. However, did you know that eating salads can be quite a drain on your energy level? You should consider whether you have the energy to spare since salads must be well chewed and your digestive system takes more effort to break down raw foods.

If you exercise a lot or are of a strong build this is less of an issue, as your digestive system will have more heat which should make tackling a salad easier. However, if you are weak, have a little extra around the midriff or on the contrary are very thin or with a weak digestive system, it’s best to avoid raw or cold vegetables in your salad because they drain energy and can cause cold and humidity within the body. A more suitable choice for you would be to lightly stir-fry some vegetables before eating them.

Taking your body constitution into consideration
Not only the season but also your Body Constitution matter when it comes to your ideal diet. If you have already completed our free online diagnosis (check it out) and read your Body Constitution report, you will have a better understanding of your needs.
In general people who are of a naturally strong build, physically active, and show signs of heat and excess (particularly those with a Hot & Humid or Dry fire Body Constitution) might do well to cut down on red meat during summer. An increase in the amount of fruits and cooked vegetables as suggested above will help you to deal with heat and will nourish your heart and spleen.
People who are of a weaker build and who are more sensitive to the cold (such as those with a Cold & Pale or Weak Energy Body Constitution) can use summer to build up more energy and replenish Yang in the body. Eating warming foods such as small amounts of beef can give a boost to the system. Ginger should be a great friend to those than need to grow yang energy in the summer. Bitter and cooling foods as suggested above are still beneficial but can be eaten more moderately.

[staffbio staffname=”Grace Yu” staffimage=”http://orientalbalance.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/dr-grace-yu.jpg” stafftitle=”Specialist in Chinese Medicine Gynecology” staffemail=”service@orientalbalance.com”]Grace Yu obtained her PhD at the Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Gynecology. Her adviser and mentor is Professor Luo Songping, an internationally renowned gynecologist. Grace also learned Craniosacral Resonance therapy from an internationally renowned teacher. Read more.[/staffbio]

Gentlemen, listen up: Walnuts Improve Sperm Health

We often talk about the body and health from a holistic perspective, but there are simple steps you can take to target specific organs, and what could be more important than the reproductive organs?

Gentlemen, it is time to get some nuts. walnuts
BBC news did a feature on the benefits of walnuts on sperm health. According to a study in the journal “Biology of Reproduction” it was found that the regular consumption of walnuts can improve sperm count, morphology and vitality among other things.

This study involving 112 men came to the conclusion that sperm shape, movement and vitality improved in men who added walnuts to their diet over 12 weeks. Take a look here to read more details on BBC.



In Chinese herbal medicine, walnuts are ascribed the function of tonifying and strengthening the Kidneys which, among other things, govern sexual function and fertility. So, for those who plan on being fathers soon, try fitting two cups of walnuts a day into your diet. Take a look here at some more herbs commonly used for infertility treatment.

[staffbio staffname=”Grace Yu” staffimage=”http://orientalbalance.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/dr-grace-yu.jpg” stafftitle=”Specialist in Chinese Medicine Gynecology” staffemail=”service@orientalbalance.com”]Grace Yu obtained her PhD at the Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Gynecology. Her adviser and mentor is Professor Luo Songping, an internationally renowned gynecologist. Grace also learned Craniosacral Resonance therapy from an internationally renowned teacher. Read more.[/staffbio]

Better Health Care with Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine

Many people in urban cities often feel uncomfortable in their body, dull and exhausted due to their busy and stressful lifestyles. What’s more, they may have a poor quality of sleep, poor appetite, patchiness on their faces and even constipation.

Under such circumstances, the difference between Chinese and western medicine becomes evidently clear: A health report based on western medicine could conceivably consider these people healthy, as it is what the data shows; Chinese medicine on the other hand would very likely diagnose these people as having a suboptimal health. That is, a state of health which renders the human body on the verge of being sick. More specifically, a western diagnosis fails to address the obvious loss of balance inside the body. In all likeliness these people are lacking in both Qi and Yin energy; to shift from a sub-healthy to a healthy state, they have to replenish this energy inside their bodies.

Natural Balance
This difference in the respective outcomes of western and Chinese diagnostic approaches results from how Chinese medicine understands the human body. Chinese medicine believes that there is a certain balance that exists between a human body and its environment. There are always explicit causes behind the loss of this balance that result in a person getting sick. The balance can be distorted through excess or through suppression of a number of body attributes. The key to regaining balance according to Chinese medicine is to “replenish what is lacking; reduce what is too much”.

The respective Strengths of Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine
Whereas Chinese medicine focuses on “macro—holistic diagnosis”, western medicine focuses on “micro diagnosis” at the level of a particular body part. The objectives of both Chinese and western approaches are to research and explore the (1) objective of regulating human life activities and (2) the methodology of prevention and treatment. Both approaches target the human being and disease. They each have their own medicinal systems due to their respective social, historical and philosophical differences.

The strength of western medicine lies in the accuracy of treatment. For example, after a conclusive diagnosis western medicine can offer effective treatment with a particular drug to address a specific disease. Western surgery is able to target a specific body part. This being said, western medicine is not able to deal with some diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, psoriasis, and colitis amongst others, even though said diseases may be accurately diagnosed. In addition, western medicines are not particularly effective for dealing with menstrual disorder, menstrual pain, functionality pothalamic amenorrhea and postpartum hypogalactia, whilst Chinese medicine offers good solutions through dealing with the root of their respective causes. Treatments in western medicine involving surgery, Chemotherapy, radiation treatment and targeted therapy have their own indications and contraindications. Take radiation treatment and Chemotherapy as examples. Although they effectively kill cancer cells, they also induce toxic side effects.

Chinese medicine, in contrast, is holistic, immunity-strengthening, causing fewer side effects, and has long-term applications. Leveraged correctly these benefits of Chinese medicine can compensate for the weaknesses of western medicine. Arguably, the integration of Chinese and western medicine could offer better long-term healthcare and disease prevention.

Prevention through a healthy Lifestyle
As the old Chinese saying goes: “a good effort on preventing a disease prevents the need to treat the disease”. This saying grasps the spirit of Chinese medicine: having a healthy lifestyle is the best way to avoid getting a disease. With a focus on prevention, Chinese Medicine has developed different ways to improve health; by moderating one’s diet, through body constitution diagnosis, through acupuncture, massage, moxibustion, through Qi Gong exercise, through leveraging the seasonal natural powers, and so on. On the other hand, if a person lives unhealthily, his or her will to be healthy will be nothing but an impossible dream.

But how exactly can one leverage Chinese Medicine to avoid getting diseases or to treat disease more effectively? Stay tuned for our next blog!

[staffbio staffname=”Dr Yue-Feng Guo” staffimage=”http://orientalbalance.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/dr-guo-yue-feng.jpg” stafftitle=”Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner
PhD Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine
M.D. Chinese Medicine Gynecology, B.D. Chinese Medicine” staffemail=”service@orientalbalance.com”]Dr. Guo Yue-Feng has more than 30 years of clinical experience, including working as a researcher, a Chinese Medicine physician, a professor, and as a lecturer across multiple institutions in China. Most recently he practiced as a senior Chinese Medicine physician at the Hong Kong Baptist University. Read more.[/staffbio]

Integrative Cancer Treatment: Leveraging Chinese Medicine

Interview with Dr. Dong Qi-han MD

In a recent interview with Oriental Balance, distinguished Professor Dong Qi-han from the University of Western Sydney in Australia reveals how a traditional Western medicine researcher recognized the value of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the treatment of cancer.




Professor Dong Qi-han highlights the significance of TCM’s holistic multi-pathway approach in order to combat cancer cells that can grown accustomed to the Western medicine approach of single pathway treatment. He is currently researching TCM in curing and preventing cancers.

Prof Dong Qi-han applauds TCM for its effectiveness, low cost and low toxicity levels that may be used to complement western medicine in order to contribute to a more healthy society in the future.

Integrative Medicine: Using TCM for famous rock stars

Scotland and Harvard-trained, Dr Jamieson is Hong Kong’s most experienced ex-pat family doctor, with 25 years experience in Hong Kong and a wealth of knowledge in the areas commonly affecting busy expat lives, especially in the area of stress.

Dr Jamieson is also a specialist in integrative health, founding Dr Susan Jamieson & Holistic Central Medical Practice to combine the very best of Western and Eastern therapies. Dr Jamieson is most well-known as the doctor to the world’s most famous rock stars such as Elton John or Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones, to name a few.

Exercises to Stay Healthy during Autumn
Dr Jamieson also kindly shared a few simple exercises to stay healthy during autumn and winter. Practice these for 5 minutes every day and your health will blossom.