Dry Cough Remedy

Pears & Honey

Winter, while not considered the driest season in Chinese Medicine (that designation belongs to Fall), tends to promote dryness from the cold winds we are exposed to, and the dry heat from fireplaces, radiators, and forced hot air heat. Many people come to me at this time of the year with stubborn dry hacking coughs that are often worse in the evenings while trying to sleep. Additionally, upper respiratory infections including common colds, and viral and bacterial bronchitis and pneumonia, often end up with a dry cough at the tail end, which lingers. Most upper respiratory infections, especially if they involve fevers, end up depleting fluids and “yin” the nourishing moistening influence in the body.

So, one great way to help improve this irritated, agitated, dry, yin deficient condition happens to be a wonderfully delicious tasting concoction. Both pears and honey have a long history of use as both food sources and healing foods. It is certainly not uncommon to use honey in tea when sick as a soothing aid, and much study has been done on the antibacterial properties of raw honey, especially manuka honey. Pears in Chinese Medicine are useful in restoring moisture and yin in the lungs and the throat. The following is one of the ways in which you can help to manage a dry hacking cough in your own kitchen from common ingredients.

Here’s How to Prepare

  • Select the ripest juiciest pears that you can find preferably organic – about 6-8
  • Raw wild and local honey is the best – use about 3-4 tablespoons
  • Cut up pears in small pieces leaving the skins intact but removing the seeds and pithy core
  • Place cut pears in a non-aluminum pot with a small amount of water on the bottom – 1″ or so
  • Simmer for about 10 minutes with a cover until pears are slightly poached and remove from heat
  • While still warm stir in honey and have a small serving two to three times a day at room temperature or warmed.
  • Store in fridge in between

This should help a lot within two days but if the cough continues you might try acupuncture with a skilled practitioner (who may also utilize Chinese Herbs), momordica (luo han kuo) tea (found in Chinese markets), or honey loquat syrup (found in health food stores).

May your New Year be blessed with health and happiness!