iCook · iTravel · personal views

Chinese herbal tea (涼茶), Xia Sang Giu (夏桑菊)

Chinese Medicine & Herbal Tea Shop in Central, Hong Kong

Don’t know why after dinner last night, I had a headache all of a sudden, so I went to bed a bit earlier than usual. Fell asleep but woke up a few times in the middle of the night and the headache was still there, I tried not to taking any pain-killers, hoping a good rest will make it go away but it did not. So at 6am, I crawled out of my warm bed and took a Panadol. Funny enough, being worked in the pharmaceutical industry for so many years and got a degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology, I resist to take any medication for as much as possible unless I really need to, ironic, isn’t it???

In Basel, there are so many people I know got sick this week and I don’t want to get sick as we are leaving for 5 days skiing this Friday, so now I am trying every possible ways to avoid it.

As a matter of fact, not sure if it was because if I have had too much coffee and oven food recently, my lower jaw teeth gum is a little swollen. In the Chinese terms, I have got “Hot Air 熱氣“, and it means I have to pay attention to these little changes in my body. It’s very important to cure the root cause before it becomes something more serious.

If I am in Hong Kong, I will go to a Chinese Medicine doctor to get some herbal medicine, but since I am now in Switzerland, I have to rely on these simple chinese herbal drinks. To me this is very normal to me but I thought it will be interesting to share with my readers of what do I take in my normal life. Being a Chinese, despite being somewhat Westernized, my mentality and believes are still very Chinese.

Although the Panadol has been able to stop the headache but this moment after hours, I can feel it’s slowly creeping back. And now while I am writing I am drinking this brown tea called Xia Sang Giu. It tastes sweet, with a tint of bitterness but very easy to drink.

 Xia San Giu (chinese herbal drink)

Xia Sang Giu is one of the most common Herbal Tea in the Guangdong region in China. It has a long history for over 200 years since the Qing Dynasty. This herbal tea is useful for removing heat inside your body, improving eyesight, headache, swollen and sore throat.

Xia Sang Giu is considered to be a health drink which is very neutral and is even suitable for daily intake. However, with living in Basel, a lot of time, I slowly forget about these goodies I have at home. Nevertheless, one thing I don’t quite understand is why the Causacians do not seem to have such”hot air” things, they can drink a lot of cold drinks, eat a lot of fried food, etc.

Since I was little, my mom also stopped me and my brother from drinking soft drinks and eating sweets and crisps. She said we got sick and cough so easily whether we took these food and only occasionally we would get as a reward when we get high marks in our school tests or examinations.

And now I believe my mom is doing for our own good as I have observed our kid at home that many times when he goes on holidays, he will drink more frequently cold soft drinks and by end of the holiday, he will get a cough anf sometimes even sick. And last week, I tried to persuade him to try stop drinking soft drinks for a few days to see if there would be any difference, and the outcome? Even the little boy could feel the significant improvement. I am glad that he would not think I am the bad guy. I completely understand how hard it is to stop kids from drinking soft drinks or eating crisps, in the past I did not like my mom stopping me eating this or that at all.

Anyway, I think I am going a bit too far and now back to the Xia Sang Giu I am having here this morning, I would like to review the ingredients to you which are  as described in the pack. And maybe you are curious to try one day?

Xia Sang Giu (夏桑菊) Herbal Drink:



  • Dissolve the content in a cup of hot water, 1 sachet each time.

 Chinese Herbal Tea Shop

Normally, people can buy the real chinese herbs and boil this at home, but nowadays we all have a busy life and these granules are certainly very convenient indeed. Meanwhile when I was in Hong Kong, I like visiting one of these Chinese Herbal Tea Shops which I can just buy one that is freshly cooked, you can just stand there quickly have one, pay and then leave. This is part of the busy lifestyle in Hong Kong. Below is a picture of one of  the famous Herbal Tea and Chinese Medicine Shops in Hong Kong, located in Central, you can also go there for Chinese Medicine consultation. (the two pictures were taken when I was there in Oct 2008)

When I was working in the office in Hong Kong, our pantry always have Xia Sang Giu stocked there free for us to consume, thanks to “Ching Tse 清姐”!!!. I saw my colleagues drink them from time to time, so at that time I followed too. And this morning, I took some out from the shelf and have a cup this morning, hope my headache and teeth gum will gradually diminish.


I would like to thank you the author of the following link for the useful information which has helped me to make this post more insightful. http://library.thinkquest.org/06aug/01423/xia_sang_ju.htm


13 thoughts on “Chinese herbal tea (涼茶), Xia Sang Giu (夏桑菊)

  1. Hope your headaches go away. Maybe you aren’t drinking enough water. U can get headaches if you are too dehydrated.

    U don’t take painkillers because u know what are in those. hahaha

    French people pop lots of pills. :p

    In Singapore, besides herbal tea to cool down, we also make green or red bean soup or barley to cool down. 🙂

  2. Thanks Pamela, I have not had green or red bean soup for a long long time! Maybe time to make one. My mom used to make them when I was small but when we grew up, we like more the modern desserts and neglected the traditional ones. We add dried tangerine skin and water lily and lotus seeds to the red bean soup and some kind of “stingy grass” to the green bean soup. You do that too in Singapore?
    I will take your advice and drink lots and lots of water! My mom used to remind me and now no one do this and nice to have you reminding me from France : )

  3. I am just like you. I avoid taking any pain killers unless I can’t stand the pain any more. Thanks very much for the interesting post.

  4. Wow Janet, how interesting!!! I remember my grandmother would always give us some herbs when we didn’t feel right, not Chinese ones, just a mixture of Spanish dry herbs. No matter what it hurted us, the remedy was always the same 😀

  5. Hi Nuria, do you know exactly what kind of herbs are they? I guess each country has their special remedies that are passes on from generations to generations.

  6. Thanks Wiffy, somehow the headache is coming and going but I don’t have a fever. I will continue to eat plain and drink lots of fluid today!

  7. Is “re qi” (mandarin: hot air) the same as being “yang”? In Fukien we call it “dyet”. Anyway, I am too dyet… and to counter that, I need to eat “cold”/cooling (yin) foods. But I love all the YANG foods! Garlic, onions, chile peppers, etc etc etc. So I guess I should drink this, eh? Hmm, maybe I’ll look for this next time we’re at the supermarket (our regular Chinese/Asian supermarket, of course).

  8. I am not sure the term ‘Yang’, we never used it this way in Cantonese and colloquial way but I suppose they are related to each other?

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