Growing up, there are a number of interesting things that you’re inflicted with when you’re sick (or about to get sick) to speed away the ill. Being Asian, some of these things for me were Chinese herbal chicken soups, Scott’s Emulsion and Brands Chicken Essence. Garlic and echinacea, and the usual honey and lemon featured as well, but these were the boosters, and regardless of whether it actually works, they’re still things that make me feel like they take the edge off when I’m unwell.
Oddly, mum can’t stand Scott’s Emulsion, but myself and my siblings like it fine. Except the orange flavour. Whoever thought that was a great idea was clearly unwell in other ways.
But once I became pregnant, most of my regular remedies were vetoed. There hasn’t been enough substantial research for contraindications, so Chinese and western herbs for medicinal purposes, including vitamin supplements, are a no-no. Scott’s Emulsion is cod liver oil, so no because of bad Vitamin A. Overly cooling foods are also inadvisable because they can trigger contractions, so I can’t even drink chrysanthemum tea which I take when I feel heaty from being sick.
That really just leaves me with rest, plenty of fluids, and gallons of honey and lemon. Meh. Tired of those as my only options, I got my OB’s approval to take Brands Chicken Essence. She just shrugged at me and said ‘sure, why not’.
My personal preference is to drink it straight from the bottle, lightly warmed with a pinch of white pepper. But if you find that’s a bit too strong for you, you can incorporate it into dinner. I’ve had to omit the Chinese herbal components for now, but they do add a little bit of extra sweetness and flavour to the dish. And make sure you use skin on chicken because otherwise, what’s the point.