青Ching - green
茶cha- teaTaiwan is an island with all four seasons: hot and humid summers, nice windy autumns, cold winters, and warm and flourishing springs. Having all four seasons is wonderful to girls like me, because it means we have occasions to bring out all kinds of clothing, from the teeny tiny bikini to the luxurious faux-fur coat.
But as the transition between seasons is not clear cut, it can bring headaches, literally. For example, it's October now and should be fall, but we are having 25 degree Celsious chilly days and 30something degree hot days following. The sudden change in temperature can make one unwell and have heat strokes, with symptoms such as headache, lost of appetite, and sick stomach.
To combat heat strokes, traditionally the Taiwanese drink 青草茶, which literally means green grass tea in Mandarin. usually 青草茶 refers to local "herbs" that may or may not be recognized as an Chinese medicine herb, but is believed to have healing qualities.
Because this herbal tea has the "cold" quality in traditional medicine , it is believed that it can help chase out the "hot" quality in your body that causes heat strokes. Unlike most Chinese medicine that are bitter to the taste, this tea is brewed from mostly green plants, so it has a grassy flavour with some minty accents, making it a good summer drink even if you don't suffer from any illness. But don't drink too much, or you might accumulate too much "cold" and fall sick!
This is Lenny, reporting from Taiwan!
What do you do when you have a heat stroke? Is there a family secret or a cultural tradition?