Store cupboard tea for immunity

Store cupboard tea for immunity

Always make sure to have these two store cupboard ingredients that will always help to keep you healthy. I also share a recipe that puts them all together in the best flu-busting, immune-supporting, inflammation-reducing, spirit-lifting, tasty tea, I know.

The first ingredient is ginger. Traditionally the rhizome (root) is used in complementary medicine all over the world but the flowering plant originated in China and is closely related to turmeric and galangal.  Ginger has been used for over 1000’s of years in Chinese Medicine to treat nausea, chest infections, digestive conditions, colds and flu.  At the moment in the treatment of COVID-19 wild ginger (Xi Xin) is part of a compound which has been very useful when treating the virus.*1  Wild ginger can only be prescribed by a Chinese Medicine physician as it can be toxic if not used properly.  However, there are no such worries with regular ginger.  We can all use it in large doses to strengthen the immune system and keep the mucus from settling on the chest.
The pungent flavour in Traditional Chinese medicine supports the immune system with foods such as garlic, ginger, and any of the onion family such as scallions, leeks and regular onions.  These ingredients in Chinese medicine disperse phlegm that builds up in the lungs and helps to strengthen the immune system.   Which includes our next ingredient turmeric.

In Chinese Medicine, turmeric stops blood stagnating and coagulating thereby reducing pain, swelling and stiffness all over the body. It helps the gallbladder produce bile, aiding the liver’s detoxifying powers, invigorating blood and moving Chi in all areas of the body. In the abdomen, it reduces cramps and the pain of slow-moving menstruation blood and in the lung, it keeps passageways open aiding breathing.

Cinnamon is another fantastic ingredient. With its gentle Christmas spice flavour it warms the lungs and allows flow. With its sweet flavour it also supports the spleen, which according to the simple 5-element theory is the mother of the lung.  Out of balance, too much sugar creates internal dampness, which clogs the lungs, making conditions such as pneumonia even more difficult to treat.
So whilst the maple syrup in the tea is a good alternative to refined sugar as it contains minerals and antioxidants it is still a sugar and will cause problems if taken in large amounts.

Immune Boosting, Anti Inflammatory Tea

Page 309 – Good Food, Better Sex



•750ml water
•1⁄2 a lemon, sliced or rough chopped rind included
•2-inch ginger root, roughly chopped
•1 tsp. freshly grated turmeric
•1 stick cinnamon
•1 tbsp. maple syrup (more or less to taste)
Put all ingredients into a large saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-20 minutes. Strain and serve. Once strained I like to keep this in the fridge, filling half a mug and topping up with boiling water when I want a hot cup. It’s a very pleasant drink to take warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Feel free to change quantities of ingredients depending on your taste or illness.
Ginger and Turmeric can be kept in the fridge or freezer to be grated or chopped when needed.
I hope this insight into how you can use Chinese Medicine to complement your health by using simple food as medicine.


Why not  Buy the books which are full of food medicine recipes, acupressure points and energy exercise to help us stay young and healthy.  Find Chinese Medicine in your kitchen for lowering cholesterol, balancing hormones, building blood, strengthening bones, calming anxiety, reducing hot sweats, strengthening bladder, prostrate, nails, hair and much much more.

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I’m showering – How about you?

I’m showering – How about you?

I’m in West Cork.  I came down six days ago after I shut my clinic, rescheduled my clients and did a big supermarket shop.  Since then I haven’t seen anyone.  I have my virtual connection with the world at 8.30 am on Facebook live as I share my morning chi gong energy movement and of course I have my partner and kids here with me.  But apart from that, everything is quiet.  Lots of looking out of the window at mountains and sheep, listening to peaceful music and watching the clouds.

Social distancing however I have noticed is having an unexpected effect.  My partner and I are both a bit smellier than normal.  Nothing to get dressed for.  No shower in the morning before the day begins.  No outside contact has meant never-ending duvet days where I wear only comfortable clothes and elasticated waists.  I wonder if I will ever want to wear jeans plus belt again and wonder why I ever did.  

My shower was part of the structure of the day. It went like this; Morning chi gong, a 2k run, shower, clients.  That was my morning routine before meeting clients.  Communicating to them that I am clean and fresh and that the Shiatsu treatment is a blank Hygenic canvas where they could lay their emotional and physical body with aches, pains, hurts and heartache to be cleansed and refreshed.  

But now with the outside world receding, I’m talking to myself, asking myself, what do I need?  How do I want to spend my time today now that the structure has disappeared?  Who do I want to be?  My answer so far is that I need a shower.  I have noticed that without washing, I hug and touch my family less.  With soft cozy socks and sweatshirts, I am dissolving, into a warm safe fug of my own microcosmic isolation.  

Isolation can become pleasurable as we escape the world around us.  We make believe that we are safe and untouchable by the virus that is infecting the world, separate from each other, responsible only for ourselves.  But that is never true.    The food that I eat is grown and transported by others.  The coal on my fire is mined by others.  The electricity powering my computer is generated and managed by other people.  We are a world, an ecosystem, connected by need and support.  We give and receive to ensure that we remain whole.

So what have I to give now that my business is closed and my identity recedes into soft complacency?  Everything, I still have everything to give.  This time is what my morning routine, cooking of soups, guided meditations, journaling, courses given, teachings received, intermittent fasting, yoga, massages, eating seaweed and giving shiatsu has been for.  

Even though I’m not on the front line, stacking the shelves or in the hospitals administering the oxygen.  I have everything to give.  I have a responsibility to show up, showered with my best possible sparkly self, ready for the day ahead.   To lead, in the way I think the human race can respond to this COVID19 virus, stay calm, stay at safe distance, not buy all the toilet roll, to love, to be kind to one another and that includes myself.  At a very practical level, this means crying when I need, laughing when necessary and not losing the plot when my son thinks water balloon fights and Harry Potter on audio all day is homeschooling.  

So today I will shower, wash my hair, put on clean leggings, and do what I do in my Shiatsu practice.  I will connect.  My self-care is at the root of your care. 

I will share my chi gong routine at 8.30 am every morning and every evening I will send love and attention to any part of the human race that is unwell and suffering from disease. 

I will keep my faith that what we think creates the world and that we will come out of this with many positive changes.  I will practice what I have preached for years.  Now is the time to make beliefs real.  There are tears to shed and I grieve for what we have lost but there are some amazing stories and creative funny videos out there at the moment that remind me how much I love being human and how fantastic we all are when we care for each other. 

We have a responsibility to be the best possible we can be for each other.  Mine includes a shower, what’s yours?

I will share this post on my Facebook – please share what you are doing during this time to keep spirits up and your crazy down.    It may help or inspire someone who is struggling today.

Many people have been so wonderful offering to pay for Shiatsu treatments without receiving them or even to give donations for the Facebook live.  All absolutely real heart-warming gestures but at the moment I’m doing ok despite having sunk my savings into the self-publishing and launch of the new book.

So, if you have been meaning to buy the new book but just haven’t got around to it – NOW would be a good time 🙂 sent straight to your door, what could be better.  CLICK HERE


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A Wake up for the Liver for Spring

A Wake up for the Liver for Spring

As Spring light grows brighter, it shows the dusty corners and the cobwebs that have gathered over winter it’s time to spring clean.  So why not treat your body just like your house and clear out a sluggish liver. In Western and Chinese Medicine the Liver is the organ and meridian system for detox and regeneration, clearing out and metabolise fats that have been stored during the winter and the liver is the organ to do this.
With its detoxifying abilities, it’s important that we make sure this organ wakes up with Spring so that we don’t suffer from stiff joints, high cholesterol, painful periods and even erectile dysfunction.
Blood has to flow smoothly through the body and if the liver can’t get rid of waste efficiently, the body will become painful and toxic. Emotionally, in Chinese Medicine, this leads to anger and frustration rather than flexible, clear-headed problem-solving.
It’s easy to fix though.  Here are a few tips:
  1. Try not to eat after 6 pm or before 9 am.  After all, breakfast means breaking of a fast so try not to have snacks after dinner or grazing between meals.
  2. Cutting out milk, cheese, ice-cream and buttery spreads, replacing with olive oil or coconut milk in stews and curries, will ease the congestion on the liver.
  3. As the variety of fresh fruit and vegetable increase, try more salads and raw foods at the table.  Thinly slice courgettes, grate carrots and toss through with lemon juice, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt as an alternative to the hot, cooked dishes that got us through the winter.  These sour flavour dishes stimulate the liver and the raw element helps with the production of enzymes to digest and metabolize foods with ease.
A favourite recipe of mine from my Good Food: Better Sex Cookbook, replaces heavy, refined carbohydrate pasta with light luscious courgettes.  You don’t have to have a spiraliser for this recipe you can use a potato peeler to shave thin slices then roughly chop lengthways.  Green is the colour for the liver in Chinese Medicine, it helps stimulate the gall bladder to produce bile to further help the liver break down a fatty rich diet.  So keep it clean, keep it green.
Black Olive and Lemon Courgetti (serves 2)
  • 2 Spiralized Courgettes


  • 100g Black Olives
  • 80g Basil Leaves
  • 80-120g Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 Lemon


Spiralize the courgettes whilst popping all the other ingredients into a blender and blitzing for 30 seconds so that the olives are still chunky.  When ready toss the tangy, zesty dressing through the courgetti with a fork.

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Now is the time to make the change you’ve been wanting to.  I’ve been supporting people and groups for over 20 years to make the changes they want to see in their life, so now it’s time for you.  Together we can work on a diet plan and lifestyle changes that help you create the life you want.

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