How to Cure a Cold

This past week I’ve been sick with a cold. It’s the season, I suppose. Everybody has been sniffling and coughing away for weeks now; it was only a matter of time before the fiendish virus latched its filthy paws on me. Since I’ve caught it everybody has been giving me suggestions on how to get better. It happens anywhere I suppose, but Chinese medicine is so far apart from the western perspective that I’m accustomed to that the suggestions are wildly different. In the UK if I were to catch a cold, most peoples reaction would be “rest up, drink plenty of water” and that would be that. I mean, after all, it’s only a cold, right?

But when I told one friend here about my cold she said that I should go to the hospital for an intravenous drip (it’s so common here that they have rooms here solely for the purpose of taking drips).

drip room

A second friend told me that I have to avoid duck, pork, lamb, dog (no worries there), crab, clam, vinegar and tomatoes until I was better. My head is so befuddled by this cold that I’d have to keep a list just to remember all the things I couldn’t eat, and I’d probably end up forgetting anyhow…

The third friend told me I should go and do 拔罐 (cupping), a process that I’ve not quite mustered up the courage to do as it looks like actual torture! Cupping is the process of using heat to create vacuum suction, usually on your back. It is done in the belief that all of the negative energy causing sickness will be sucked out of your body.


Those fellas stick around for about 4 or 5 days. Maybe you can understand why I’m not so keen to do it…

After numerous other people giving me their ten cents on how to get better I’ve decided it’s time to stop talking about my cold. I know people mean well, but unsolicited advice really bugs me, especially if I have to feign gratitude afterwards. Plus this cold is turning me into a bit of a grouch (if you couldn’t tell)…


About Greg

A simpleton from West Yorkshire, England living in Beijing. I try to document the oddities, frustrations and funnies that happen to me whilst out here. Hopefully you enjoy reading these little episodes as much as I enjoy writing them.
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6 Responses to How to Cure a Cold

  1. Elyse says:

    Those marks look way more like burns than healthybhealing. Ouch!

  2. maesprose says:

    I’ll take lemon water over cupping any day. Just because someone says it doesn’t hurt doesn’t mean it doesn’t.

    • gregschina says:

      Haha, I think we take the same approach as far as cold curing goes. I had an IV drip when I had Tonsillitis and I have to say, it did some good, I just think it’s a bit over the top for a cold…

  3. Sharry says:

    Haha, having lots of asian friends, I know that when a cold comes around, parents start boiling these awful tasting medicinal soups out of the most extraordinary ingredients!

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