Traditional Method of Relieving Flu and Chills

Cold-Flu-Chill-Fever, Complementary Healing

Is it just me or do you also notice that a number of people around you seemed to be down with flu, fever, cough or sore throat? Perhaps someone you know had just caught a chill and is down and out for about a week.

You may resort to taking a course of antibiotics or popping some aspirin and getting some good sleep. What happens in this fast paced world where we cannot afford to slow down and to be missing in action? And the quick kills of taking antibiotics and pill popping does not seems to work?

There is a traditional housewife remedy that is known to be especially useful to relieve chills. But first, before you try it, get yourself checked to rule out H1N1 virus, or dengue fever, okie?


Letting the steam from a pot of  boiled herbs permeates your entire body- with yourself fully covered up in a blanket. The principal behind it is for your to inhale the steam from the ingredients that will help you to clear up your lungs and sinus block. And also to make you sweat to cool down your body and get the toxins out.

How to do it:

1. Boil the following in a pot of water under slow fire for about an hour:

  • lemongrass (in Malay it is called ‘daun serai’)
  • old ginger (smash it up so that the juices flow out). But if you cannot get old ginger, any ginger will do
  • smashed small onions

The pot should be almost covered- leave a small little tiny gap to make sure the pressure does not get that bad that everything overflows.

If you have access to Chinese medical centers, inquire on what you can buy to be used as a steam bath to relieve chills. Else, you can settle what whatever above that you can get.

2. Placed the solution on the floor. Sit on a stool or something and bend over so that you can inhale the steam coming out. Have a face towel with you to cover the rest of your face from the nose up as the steam can get really hot. Try to sit comfortably as you will need to remain there for about 1/2 hour or more. And wear a pair of shoes or socks- don’t have your bare feet touching the floor.

3. Now, take a large blanket to cover up both you and pot so that the steam have no place to escape but directly into your mouth and nose through breathing. If you cannot picture how it looks like, it’s like this: remember when you were young and you covered yourself with a blanket while you were staying up on the bed, sitting down and playing Gameboy without your parent’s knowledge? It’s something like that except that instead of Gameboy, you have some hot solution steaming to your face and chest. Try to insulate the pot so that your legs or hands will not accidentally touch it and scale your skin.

4. Inhale the steam, dress in comfortable but not thick clothing and if you are sweating profusely by now, it is a good sign.  Do that till no more steam comes out- you will be surprised- it may take even up to an hour or more because herbs hold a high potential energy that remains hot long after it left the fire.

5. The moment you remove the blanket, in order not to catch any further chill (bear in mind your pores are now opened),

  • ensure you turn off the air con or the fan. You do not want to be catching another chill
  • immediately wipe off your sweat and water from your body, and change your wet clothes.
  • after changing, you can choose to soak your cold feet (if you have a chill, your feet will feel very cold) into the solution till the water is no longer warm. After that, wipe your feet and put on socks. Do not walk barefoot around.

You should be feeling better after this. And for the rest of the day, I know you hate this, but don’t take a bath. If you must, ensure you do not take bath within an hour of steaming so that your opened skin pores have time to close up.

Why this is different from sauna

You may ask why not go to a sauna then?  The reasons:

  • sauna are normally in air con places- when you come out from the sauna room and go straight into the air-con, the opened pores is suddenly overwhelmed by the chilly air.
  • public places have lots of bacteria- which spells bad news for your already compromised immune system
  • you notice that the sauna does not gives up hot steam all the time- it has a timer and it may cool off for a while. Do not notice that you sometimes sneeze when the room is cooled down while waiting for the next steam to come along?

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