How to cure a cough in Taiwan

March 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Posted in miscellaneous, Taiwan | Leave a comment
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I’ve had a cough since the 16th January. I don’t know if it’s the same cough that keeps coming and going, or a series of successive coughs. A lot of people at work have the same problem. It’s more irritating than debilitating and we’ve all been trying various remedies to try and stop coughing. Here’s my list in the order I tried them.

1. Baked oranges with salt

Lilly, our Girl Friday at work, gave me these to eat. It sounds weird, but they taste ok. The flesh is softer and easy to swallow, and the warmness brings out the juices more. Sort of like a lemsip drink. I guess the salt is to fight infection. They did soothe my throat somewhat, but perhaps would be better for a sore throat than a cough.

2. Going on holiday

Initially, my cough was on the mend when I went to Thailand, and within a day of arriving it had disappeared. I think the 30% humidity (as opposed to Taiwan’s 90%) had something to do with it.

3. The doctor

My experience of doctors in Asia is that they always over-prescribe. But, convinced by all my Taiwanese co-workers, I went to the doctor (father of one of my students, who kindly found two minutes to fit me into his busy appointment list). I was given 3 days of medicine which amounted to 21 pills a day. They had absolutely no effect on my cough.

4. Chinese medicice

No, not powdered animal parts. Think more along the lines of herbal remedies. Herbs and honey. It tastes like cough syrup and honey, which I guess is what it is. A spoonful slowly coats and soothes the throat, or mixed with hot water it makes a nice warming drink. It’s tasty and it works.

5. Vinegar

My adult student made this fruit vinegar for me. Mixed with hot water and to be drunk for a few weeks, it actually seems to work. Yes it tastes strange, but I’ve grown oddly accustomed to it and actually enjoy drinking it now. It seems to be the best remedy so far.

6. Mixed yellow fruit tea

Another present from students, this concentrated syrup makes a sweet fruity tea which is supposed to be good for the throat. I think there are loquats and maybe quinces in here. It tastes ok, but doesn’t seem to be as effective as the vinegar.

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