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Herbal way to keep H1N1 at bay

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Herbal way to keep H1N1 at bay

JOHOR BARU, MALAYSIA: Dried herbs, including chrysanthemum flowers, barley and lohon koh (dried persimmons), are selling like hot cakes here as most housewives take the trouble to brew them as cooling beverages for their family members in view of the global influenza A (H1N1) scare.
The top two sellers are still Jinyinhua (Lonicera japonica Thunb) and Banlangen (Isatis tinctoria L.) because of their anti-viral properties.
The herbs were sold out in most Chinese medical shops during the severe acute respiratory syndrome pandemic a few years ago.
Checks at most Chinese medical shops showed that consumers are more inclined to subscribe to herbal remedies these days as a preventive measure.
Chinese physician Lim Boon Hime said some Chinese medical shops had prepared ready-packed herbal mixes which were boiled and consumed.
"Generally, these herbal mixes and popular herbal beverages such as chrysanthemum tea, barley and lohan drinks are recommended as they dispel heat. They have mild cooling properties, too.
"However, consumers have to be cautious and are advised to consult Chinese physicians when consuming the jinyinhua and banlangan beverages. These herbal preparations are too potent in their cooling effect.
"Those who consume the herbs despite their yin (cool) body condition will further increase the yin-yang imbalance and this could be exhaustive and dangerous for the body."
Normally, a pack of herbal mix comprises gegen, lugen, xiakucao, donzhuye, zicao, baimaogen, tongcao, gancao, heye and mu hu die, which are imported from China.
Another Chinese physician, Tey Wei Piau said the best preventive measure was still drinking enough water and sufficient rest as these would enhance the immune system.
He said dried herbs with mild cooling properties were recommended but one had to moderate the amount of sugar in the drink.
"Jinyinhua and banlangan are recognised worldwide as a herbal remedy for those suffering from a viral attack.
"However, those with chronic diseases like heart problem, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol should seek medical advice before consumption," he said.
It was reported most Chinese medical shops in Singapore are running out of the two herbs.

The New Straits Times

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