Dried tangerine peel, or “chen pi” as it’s known in Chinese medicine, is one of the greatest herbs around. It is good for so many things that ail us. Feeling some abdominal discomfort, distention, fullness, bloating, belching, or nausea? Go for the chen pi.
Have a cough with a heavy or stuffy chest? Tons of phlegm? Again, go for the chen pi. The only kind of coughs it’s really not good for is a dry cough with no phlegm or a cough with blood-tinged sputum.
It’s readily accessible and requires very little preparation.
You can use tangerine, clementine, mandarin, or orange skin. Simply peel your fruit, put the rind in the windowsill for a day so that it dries out, and then it’s ready to go. The longer you age the rind, the better. Traditionally, the peels are dried in the sun, but during this season, I make do with a windowsill.
The above rind sat in my kitchen window for a few days. When it’s dry and stiff, I take the rinds, and put them in a bowl on the counter.
Then, whenever I feel the need, I make tea. Just take one rind, pour boiling water over it, and let it steep. I like to drink the hot liquid with the rind in it. I just keep filling up the cup and drinking it during the day.
Sometimes I will drink tea with just chen pi. Other times, I will mix it with other herbs. A mixture of chen pi and dried mint (bo he) is especially good for cold and flu season. This cup has some fresh ginger (sheng jiang) in it too. Ginger is another herb that is great for nausea and also for phlegm. Oftentimes, when people know I am making a tea for them, I see them cringe because they are afraid I will use herbs that don’t taste great. I will admit, depending on what’s going on in the body, this is sometimes the case. But this tea tastes good. Anyone can drink it.
So, instead of grabbing a tea bag or a plain glass of water, have some fresh herbal tea. It’s good for what ails you.