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Jade Windscreen Tea: Prevention In a Cup

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM

When a flu bug is shared in family, there are a few usual suspects that are blamed for the epidemic. The most common culprit is the child who picked it up from the kids at school. Of course, there’s a good chance this is true. Schools are public areas where colds and flu bugs spread with ease, particularly since children often forget to wash their hands.

The Chinese often have a traditional remedy on hand to help. Jade windscreen tea can be found in elementary schools in China, where a hot pot is often kept at the front of the classroom to prevent such outbreaks.

Jade windscreen tea is an immune system tonic made up of three herbs that enhance the immune system during the change in seasons. This herbal combination is thought to improve resistance to colds and flu, strengthen the lungs, and help to balance the body during periods of stress. One cup twice a day through the cold and flu season is recommended.

The tea has a slightly bitter taste. We suggest watering down the tea or adding a natural sweetener such as honey if you find the taste disagreeable.

To make Jade Windscreen Tea, you will need equal parts (2–3 oz. each) of the herbs listed below. (Chinese herbal shops usually sell the herbs pre-packaged for convenience.  A jade windscreen is also available as a powder for your convenience.)

Huang Qi (Astragalus root)
Bai Zhu (Atractylodes)
Fang Feng (Ledebouriella Root)


Boil and Simmer. Place one part herbs and four parts water in a large stockpot. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover. Do not lift the lid to look at the herbs too often, as this will diminish the “flavor” and allow the volatile oils to evaporate out of the tea very easily. Cook the herbs for 30 to 45 minutes.

Strain the Tea and Drink. Using a slotted spoon, remove the herbs from the pot and allow the soup to cool. Pour the tea into a mug or thermos and sip it throughout the day. Two cups a day, taken with a slice of fresh ginger, is recommended through the cold and flu season.


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