Learn how to choose which herbal tea is suitable for you

In Singapore, there are many types of herbal tea and do you know how to choose which one to drink? In this post, I will share some common types of herbal drink you can find in Singapore and their properties so you can make the right choice for your health!

1- Chrysanthemum (菊花) Tea / Drink

Chrysanthemum is the most common herbal tea or drink you can find in most herbal stalls or shops in shopping mall.

The main property of Chrysanthemum is cooling (beneficial for lungs and liver). It can help to reduce body heatiness, headache and dizziness, and swollen / painful eye area due to liver heatiness.

Thus, you should choose Chrysanthemum tea / drink if you experience some headache, dizziness especially due to lack of sleep these few days or just starting to have some flu (heaty type) symptoms such as sore throat and keep feeling your mouth is dry.

2- American Ginseng (洋参) Tea / Drink

Good american ginseng is expensive and helps in strengthening qi (补气) but the type that you find in common herbal tea / drink normally do not have such strong potency.

The main property of american ginseng is strengthening qi (beneficial for heart, lung and kidney) and cooling effect. For the purpose of this blog post, american ginseng tea / drink has the effect of cooling and small effect of boosting your qi (energy).

Thus, you should choose american ginseng tea / drink if you often experience tiredness, and mouth dry. You can also choose american ginseng tea / drink if you feel that your palm and feet often feels hot.

3- Monk Fruit (罗汉果) Tea / Drink

Monk fruit also known as Siraitia grosvenorii or more commonly Luo Han Guo (罗汉果) in Singapore. It can help to reduce heatiness in lungs and improvement bowel movements (beneficial for lung and big intestine).

The main property of Luo Han Guo is to soothe throat and moisturize lungs. It also helps to ease constipation.

Thus, you should choose Luo Han Guo tea / drink if you have sore throat or feels that you have symptoms of sore throat coming. Also choose this drink if you have minor constipation these few days. Lastly, it will also help in dry cough (very hard to spit out the phlegm).

NOTE: Do visit a TCM physician if you have coughed for more than 2 weeks, because herbal tea will not cure the root issue of the cough.

4- Chinese Barley (中国薏米) Tea / Drink

Chinese barley is another very common type of herbal tea / drink in Singapore. In fact, I highly recommend most people to drink Chinese Barley because of our Tropical climate here. Chinese Barley can help to reduce water retention and strengthen spleen. Out of all the herbal tea / drink, Chinese Barley is the only one that can strengthen one’s spleen.

The main property of Chinese Barley is to help you get rid of excessive water in your body especially in spleen and lower part of your body. This is why Chinese Barley is a common herb to use to treat swollen angle, feet and lower part of the leg due to water retention.

Thus, you should choose Chinese Barley tea / drink if you have water retention in the lower part of your leg or generally you have weak spleen (have stomachache after cold drinks and oily food). Chinese Barley can also helps in weigh loss but you must make it a habit to drink it consistently to see results.

Caution: Women who are pregnant please consult a TCM physician before you make Chinese Barley a regular drink.

Note: There are two type of barley, one is Holland Barley which main property is cooling and the other one is Chinese Barley, which we mention in this blog post. make sure to choose the right one when you buy.

5- Honeysuckle (金银花) Tea / Drink

Honeysuckle is also a common type of herbal tea / drink in Singapore. Out of all herbal tea / drinks, Honeysuckle has most cooling effect and is highly recommended for people who are very heaty!

The main property of Honeysuckle is cooling and detox (beneficial for lungs, heart and stomach).

Thus, you should choose Honeysuckle tea / drink if you have bad breath, sudden rush of acne or feeling very heaty (symptoms of sore throat, mouth dry and keep wanting to drink water and urine appears very yellowish and feels hot)

Caution: Honeysuckle is extremely cooling hence it is not suitable for people with weak spleen. If you often have diarrhea after drinking cold stuff or oily food, then I would say Honeysuckle is not suitable for you.

A Note About Mixed Herbal Tea / Drink

It is now very common for you to see mixed herbal tea / drink such as
Chrysanthemum with Luo Han Guo or
Chrysanthemum with American Ginseng. For such herbal tea, you can refer to their each effects above but I strongly encourage to go for the individual herbal tea if you need relive in a particular symptom, for example, if you are only having a sore throat, then I would suggest you choose Luo Han Guo rather than
Chrysanthemum with Luo Han Guo.

I hope these information helps! If you like a particular herbal tea / drink but didn’t see it listed here, you can comment below and I will consider adding it to the list!

TCM Food / Dessert for Constipation

tcm food dessert for constipation
tcm food for constipation

In this post, I will share a very simple-to-prepare dessert that everyone can try at home to relief constipation.

That is – Papaya Aloe Vera dessert.

Both aloe vera and papaya have the effects of increasing bowel movement. In fact, aloe Vera is classified as 泻下药 in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).

Both papaya and aloe vera can also help to improve liver functions. Papaya helps in liver detox while aloe helps in decreasing heatiness in liver.

This dessert is suitable for people who has constipation or heatiness in liver (symptoms such as redness in the eye or feeling giddiness).

If your stomach can’t take cold stuff (always have diarrhea after taking cold stuff) , then you can add some longan (龙眼) in this dessert.

I have been using Del Monte Aloe Vera and I find that their aloe vera has good effects. You can purchase this brand of aloe vera in the local supermarkets (I bought mine in AMK NTUC).

tcm dessert for constipation

I hope these information helps someone out there!

Balanced Type – Food and Herbs Recommendation

Congratulations if you are a balanced type! Balanced type (平和体质) is the most healthy body constitutions out of all the nine types. In TCM, we believe a person is healthy when Yin and Yang is balanced. On the other hand, a person will start to have diseases if Yin and Yang is out of balance.

If you are balanced type, it means you are generally healthy compared to others. But do not let your guard down because of this. There are several tips below to help you keep your body type as balanced:

Eat all food in moderation – No matter how super powerful is a food or fruit, always bear in mind even Vitamin C will become harmful to your body when consumed too much.
 Fall asleep before 11pm – Sleeping is the best repair service that you can do for your body. Sleeping late will cause ‘heat’ to build up in your body.
Stop eating processed food – Processed food is the major reason why people are falling sick nowadays. If you want something for a quick snack, choose things like nuts, fruits, soy milk or other whole food.
As our body type will change over time due to aging, diet, activities and lifestyle habits, do revisit the body type calculator one year later and see if your body type changes.

Sensitive Type – Food and Herbs Recommendation

A Sensitive type (特禀体质) person is someone who is allergic to certain food or environment. Once contacted, you will experience sore throat, running / blocked nose, itchy skin etc. As this is based on case by case basis, it is not possible to suggest a list of food without knowing the exact condition.

In general, some food / herbs that a sensitive type person can consume more are:

  1. Rice (from China, known as 大米, not from Thailand)
  2. Chinese yam (山药)
  3. Carrot

Food / herbs to avoid or consume less are:

  1. Spicy food
  2. Seafood
  3. Cold food

Additional Tips for Sensitive Type Person:

The best way to stay healthy is to keep away from the allergic source so that you won’t experience the symptoms. In TCM, itchy skin is commonly due to bad wind. So keep yourself protected and don’t exposed to windy environment if possible (especially when you are sleeping).