Coughing – Mandarin Peel (陳皮)


My family uses a lot of dry mandarin peel either as medicine or in cooking recipe. There are many benefits in this food that is really worth to talk about.

Some great benefits[1]  are: (1) Reduce phlegm (2) Relief in coughing (3) reduce nausea (4) enhance digestion.

Taste: Little bitter and acrid

How I use it: make tea, minced them on put on top of my chinese steam pork patties, add in my congee recipes

Here I am sharing an Herbal tea recipe that I made this week for my son and husband. They just started to cough, I usually make this herbal tea as soon as I hear them starting coughing. This drink is more effective to use as soon as the cough starts.


  • Mandarin peel 1-2 full pieces
  • Water 5 cups
  • Apple 2-3 (for better taste)
  • Chinese almonds (optional)


1-Put Dry mandarin peel in water to hydrate them, leave for 10 min

2-Clean wash dry mandarin peel; scratch the inside of the peel to remove some skin off. I found by doing so it lighten the bitter taste, kids like it better with reduced bitter taste.

3-Cut apple in half, keep the apple peels on

4-Boil hot water

5-Put all ingredient to boil medium heat for 30-35 min

6-Ready to serve

2.20151104_1512063.20151104_1514425. 20151104_151952

  1. If you have young baby under one year old; like my daughter, I just give her the apple sauce from the apples I cook from the drink. It is totally natural and she is not intaking the mandarin peel directly. But yet, the nutriant of mandarin peel water is infused in the apple would relief in her coughing. I prefer this method rather than feeding her the coughing syrup. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, coughing syrup don’t work on young children and may even post risk. [4] I have been using this drink on my daughter and it really had relieved her coughing.

2.For older kids, they could take this drink as juice and it will relief or prevent coughing.

3.Possible to serve this recipe with a little honey if you prefer to add some sweetness. Honey is excellent in soothing throat during coughing moments. Please be very careful not to feed honey to baby under 12 months. Consult with your family doctor.

4.The above recipe is preferably avoided by pregnant woman. Large amount of dry mandarin peel could increase uterus and intestinal wall contraction. This increases the risk of miscarriage.[3]

5.Dry mandarin peel could possibly reduce milk production for breastfeeding mummies, is to avoid if you plan to continue breastfeeding your baby[2].

References (for further readings): 






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