Foods for Health: Combating cough with simple recipes

Fall is almost here and with it comes a frequency of coughs and colds. That mixed with the dryness of the season our Lungs can easily become weakened leading to heightened symptoms. While we may find it easy to grab an over-the-counter remedy, simply using food as medicine can give us the relief we need and without the side effects.

The first recipe using Daikon Radish (Japanese white carrot) is particularly good for moistening the lungs AND resolving mucous. It can benefit conditions such as bronchitis, sore throat, dry cough, but also excess of mucous, really any kind of acute lung issue!  This is also a safe and easy tasty syrup for children over the age of 1 year old. (Never give honey to children 12 months of age or younger.)


  • Daikon (Japanese white radish) – Chopped
  • Honey
  • Warm water


  1. In a small bowl or jar cover daikon completely with honey 
  2. Leave for 2 hours. The daikon will melt into the honey mixture.
  3. Take a couple of teaspoons of the daikon and honey mixture and mix with warm water. 
  4. Drink while still warm. Can be taken as many times as you like daily to relieve cough.

 Note: Remaining daikon + honey can be left in the fridge.

Another great recipe uses Asian Pear which can also regenerate body fluids and lubricate the throat. Asian pear can be eaten throughout the Autumn season to prevent lung dryness or as a remedy for cough and dry or hoarse throat.


  • Large Asian Pear – washed, peeled, and steam removed
  • Honey
  • 3-5 Pieces of Sliced Ginger
  • Water


  1. Cut the bottom of the pear so it can sit flat inside a bowl.
  2. Cut the top of the pear and make lid. Core out the middle.
  3. Insert ginger slices into the middle of the pear.
  4. Pour honey on top of the ginger slices to fill the hole and return the “lid” to the top of the pear.
  5. Cover the hole where the stem was with a ginger slice.
  6. Place the bowl in a pot of water on top of a steamer. Fill the bottom of the steamer with enough water to steam the fruit and steam until pear is soft. If the fruit is large, it may take up to 20 minutes on high heat. Check periodically to make sure there is water in the pot. When the pear is done, it will be pierced easily with a fork. 
  7. Eat the fruit and drink the juice from the bowl.  

For more ways to use food as medicine, check out The Tao of Nutrition by Maoshing Ni and Kathy McNease.

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