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I Like Black Tea.


Elizabeth was a three-year old girl with a flowing blonde hair. She reminded me of those beautiful russian dolls with eyes I used to marvel at when I was a child. Her mother brought Elizabeth because of a constant problem with her runny nose. Elizabeth would spend most of the year from congestion and runny nose. By the time she got up in the morning, her beautiful locks would be covered in mucus. The western doctors had prescribed antibiotics every time and the mother wanted to find an alternative. The mother was curious whether Elizabeth was suffering from a cold or from an allergy and if herbal medicine could help the situation. I briefly explained the fundamentals of korean traditional medical science; from yin and yang, functions of each organs, and the theory behind pulse diagnosis. Elizabeth had a weak lung chi energy and this meant her respiratory immune system was not at a tip-top shape. It often exposed her to cold or flu virus and atmospheric changes which would often result in a build-up of mucus by the immune system to combat those ‘invasions’. I suggested that we work on strengthening Elizabeth’s lung energy and focus on the origin of the problem.

  1. Diagnosis: Chronic Allergy-induced rhinitis.
  2. Common Causes:
    1. External Causes are manifolds for rhinitis. It ranges from dander, dust, mites, pollen, pollution, food, to even atmospheric or temperature changes.
    2. Internally, our body gets weakened from constant allergic reactions. It builds stress in both our mental and physical health. This affects the nervous system and the immune system which disrupts the overall homeostasis of the body. Which leads to a somewhat of an ill cycle. In Korean traditional medical science, we often see that chi-deficiencies in the lungs, kidneys, and the spleen attribute the most to such cases. The excess heat built from the body’s lack of homeostasis puts pressure on the organs, especially the respiratory ones that act as a cooling system for our body, induces such reactions.
  3. Recommended food and beverage:
    1. Dates Tea
    2. Dried Persimmon Porridge with brown rice
    3. Ginger Tea

I was very worried on whether Elizabeth would be able to consume the herbal tonics that even East-Asian children, who were often already exposed to the medicine, didn’t enjoy. So I recommended that she first tries 30 cc of dosage and see where it goes from there. Much to my surprise, she was enjoying the tonic. “I like black tea. Please, give me some more black tea.” Thankfully, after just two months, her rhinitis problem was solved and Elizabeth could enjoy her golden locks without worries. She was one of the first non-asian patients at our clinic, and thanks to her and her parents, we were able to meet and help many others. Whenever east-asian parents worry about whether their child would drink the herbal tonic, I tell them the story of Elizabeth. “If a three-year old foreign girl yells out “I like black tea”, I am sure our kids can handle it.”