TCM Tips: 3 'cooling' drinks to soothe your sore throat after a durian feast

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According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the durian is considered a heaty fruit because it can cause symptoms like sore throat, ulcer, phlegm, body rashes, and hardened or sticky stools if you eat too much of it. If you’ve been over-indulging in durians this season, here are the top three cooling drinks recommended by TCM physicians that can help dispel heatiness from your body. Take them at room temperature or warm as cold drinks can result in indigestion.

CHRYSANTHEMUM AND HONEYSUCKLE FLOWER TEA

Both the chrysanthemum and honeysuckle flower (jin yin hua) have ‘cooling’ properties that can help expel heat from the body, says Tjioe Yan Yin, Chinese medicine physician at NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic. Both are commonly used to treat sore throat and headaches caused by heatiness. When combined, they can help to lower high blood pressure.

Make it: Add 1 litre hot water to a teapot filled with 15g of chrysanthemum flowers and 3g of honeysuckle flowers. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.

How much to take: One to two cups a day.

LUO HAN GUO TEA

This sweet fruit, also know as monk fruit, when brewed into a drink, can calm sore throats and clear coughs and heatiness in the lungs, says Yan Yin.

Make it: Crack open 1 luo han gup in half and then add it to 1 litre of water. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes.

How much to take: One to two cups a day.

BOWEL DETOX TEA

A blend of 15 herbs including honeysuckle flowers, chrysanthemum, and lian qiao (dried forsythia fruit), this is an over-the-counter brew concocted by Chong Hoe Health Products Chinese Medical Store. It can repel intestinal heat and can be taken as a preventive measure even when heaty symptoms have yet to appear after consuming durians, says James Chan, TCM physician at Chong Hoe. Dark and smelly stools after consuming the drink is a sign that the heat is being expelled, he explains. However, this drink is very cooling and should not be taken if you did not consume any heaty foods as it might cause a stomach upset.

Buy it: $4 per bottle (500ml), from Chong Hoe Health Products Chinese Medical Store (71 Serangoon Garden Way, tel: 6283-3680).

How much to take: A bottle per day.