May 17, 2019

Using Chinese Medicine for Colds

Using Chinese Medicine for Colds photo

Along the same lines as Kakkontou this is a Chinese medicine recommended by the pharmacist working in our local drugstore.

Shousei ryutou means something like 'little blue dragon tea' maybe. Found in the Chinese medicine (Kanpo Yaku or 漢方薬) section. I recommend looking up your symptoms in Japanese if you don't know them, which will help tremendously in asking for help or finding what you need.

My second cold this spring!

"I might as well try some medicine, because it might help me feel better." I thought to myself... stupid getting sick.

I suddenly got allergy-like symptoms after dinner the other night, sneezing and needing a box of tissues nearby at all times. There wasn't an obvious reason for it - house dust, late spring pollen, and food allergies weren't probable. 

I did some reading on the subject of Chinese medicine and the way of thinking for getting over colds - which I've done numerous times but am still fuzzy on. I found the 'type of cold' I was suffering from and foods which would be beneficial to me and set out to buy them. (In this case, my cold is considered 'cold-wind' type so I need warming foods.)

How much?

The store had no ginger (it is the last weekend of the Super Golden Week). In the Kanpo Yaku section, I mentioned my symptoms and was recommended the box pictured above - 30 packets for around 900 yen. (I'm thankful for pharmacists when I don't feel like trying to find what I need.)

Now that I think about it, this is a lot cheaper than the western allergy medicine in Japan.


The brand (Raferusa?) has at least ten different Kanpo Yaku products for different types of symptoms. It reminded me of the homeopathic medicine back home - one for insomnia, one for stomach ache, one for sore throat, etc.

This type says it's specifically for allergies, hay fever, congestion, and the common cold, in addition to bronchitis and asthma.

Great, it will work if it's allergies or a cold, perfect!

Three dosages a day are recommended, before or between meals. You take it by ingesting the powder and then washing it down with water - hot or cold. It doesn't taste good or especially gross, but like medicine.

What's inside?

Pinellia tuber, licorice root, cinnamon bark, schisandra fruit, asiasarum root, peony root, ephedra, and ginger.

How does it work?

At first I didn't especially notice anything. Second dosage took around three hours to kick in but I felt dry enough to sleep a little with my mouth closed - win! I feel like with the actual dosage recommended rather than once a day which is what I would normally do (lazy), it dried up my congestion and helped me to feel better. I took a short break after a couple days because I was feeling better, but the symptoms came back. I'm not convinced this product is making me better any faster, but it is at least easing up my symptoms until the cold runs its course.

Plus, I finally got that ginger and felt nicer after having some warm ginger tea!

Ready to go back to work after Golden Week? Umm... maybe.



What if whales don't communicate with whale calls & they're just farting?