Winter Remedies and a Recipe for Hot Coke

Forget your antibiotics and Western medicine – I’m all about natural Chinese remedies! Now that’s not entirely true, I am a fan of the Pill, vaccines, etc. For the most part however, I prefer to let nature take its course when it comes to viruses or the common cold, resorting only to natural remedies.

One such remedy is Pei Pa Koa, which I grew up with as a child. From having a teaspoon diluted in hot water as a toddler to having a tablespoon neat out of the bottle, my mother dosed me with Pei Pa Koa every time I had a cough, cold, or sniffly nose. In turn, I have introduced K to this remedy, and dose him up every time he looks like he’s coming down with something.


I combine this with the traditional Hong Kong ‘remedy’ of hot Coke. I add lemon and mandarin peel to mine, however others prefer to use ginger instead because of its healing qualities. It’s a very counter-intuitive sore throat remedy (sugar and acid?), but the hot Coke really works – either as a placebo or an actual remedy! Perhaps its effectiveness is a throwback to its early days when Coca-Cola was invented as an alcoholic medicine?

I certainly don’t recommend drinking this regularly, but on cold winter nights when you fancy yourself to be coming down with the flu, it’s lovely to curl up on the couch with a mug of hot Coke warming your hands!


Recipe: Hot Coke with Lemon and Mandarin Peel (or Ginger) – serves two


Two cups of Coca-Cola, half a lemon (sliced), peel from one small mandarin


  1. Put the lemon slices and the mandarin peel into a small saucepan
  2. Pour the Coca-Cola into the saucepan, and turn the stove onto Low
  3. Let the contents slowly simmer on a low heat until all the carbonation is gone from the drink (approximately half an hour)
  4. Strain the lemon and peel, and serve in a large mug

What do you do when you start coming down with a winter cold?

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