Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

For the past year my friends and family have told me I should pay a visit to the Chinese Doctor to get my hormones balanced out.

I’d dragged my feet for 12 months because I knew I would get a stinky mixture of herbs and insects, but I eventually went.

The Chinese doctor I went to see has treated several family members for years and splits his life between the USA and Hong Kong.

He was a cute and talkative 70 year old grandpa with partial English and he spent most of the time chatting about how much he loves the USA (I discovered his daughter lives very close to my grandma).

TCM says people and foods have different natures: hot, cold, dry, wet and various combinations of these.

I was told my body is very “yeet hei”, full of hot air. Being too hot causes the body to store toxin, hormone imbalance, breakouts, excessive sweat and others.

To help my body get rid of the excess heat, I was given Chinese traditional medicine composed of various herbs and big ass bees (yes you read well).

I was also recommended to sleep earlier and practice relaxation (to get rid of stress), workout (to get rid of toxin), eat “leung” (cold) foods and avoid “yeet” (hot) foods.

When Chinese doctors talk about hot cold/hot foods, they are not referring to the temperature of the foods but to their nature.

For instance, I need to drink/eat chrysanthemum tea, green tea, beer, kiwis, citrus….

But must avoid oily/fried food, high sugar and high sodium foods, grapes, cherries….


Many foreigners do not believe in this concept at all, but long before moving to Hong Kong I had noticed the effect of certain foods and my Iranian grandma always told me to drink beer for my skin.


Anyway, once I got home I was taught how to brew the medicine, which takes about 1 hour and can be a bit of a hassle.

I then had to drink the smelly thing and oh my, was it bitter…thankfully they give you a plum candy to suck on immediately after.

Doctors nowadays can brew the medicine for you or even provide it in pills – so you aren’t aware of any insects in the mixture and don’t have to deal with the bitter taste.


Let’s see how the TCM performs over time…

the herbs and errr bees


the result






6 thoughts on “Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

  1. hi saz, great little blog you have here, stumbled across your interview on expat blogs and thought i’d check it out.
    Recently moved to HK from London with my partner after her company offered her a great position over here and after a bit of disheartening chat with a recruiter would like to ask you if you have any tips or tricks for securing work? I was an assistant project manager/coordinator over in London and am trying to match something up in a similar field
    all the best

    1. Hi James,

      Thanks for the compliment and getting in touch.
      I’m glad my blog was helpful to one person!
      I have a few questions first:
      •How many years’ work experience do you have?
      •Did you manage projects in a specific industry?
      •Do you speak any other language than English?
      •Do you have a (dependent) visa?

      Here are a few things I’ve learnt:
      •Meet with as many recruitment agencies as possible. Online job boards will get you ABSOLUTELY nowhere.
      •Network! Network! Network! I haven’t done that yet, but all the expats I know who have found jobs here, have mainly done it this way.
      Look into the meet-up website and join events that aren’t only work related; you never know who you will meet. Join expat associations; go to the events with the aim of making friends. Expats will employ people they know. So the key is to have many expat friends.
      •Look at the British Consulate & international schools job sections, they often employ British people.
      •If you are in need of cash, become a playgroup teacher. I know it’s not in your career path, but tutoring schools are always employing native speakers for part-time jobs. This is a good way to get some income.
      •If you have the time, spare money and want to stay here a while learn Chinese – properly.
      •Consider taking a job which isn’t exactly in the same field as your previous one.
      •Be patient it can take a long time (6 months, 1 year, more…) to secure a job here…

      I hope this helps and if you have any other questions, feel free to drop me an email or another comment, I am more than happy to help.

      1. Thanks Saz, some really great advice there (some answered questions below) networking seems to be key, hoping to get some work orientated networking underway soon and hopefully some of the hiking, trail running & other hobbies will have some work use too.

        Certainly happy to work in a different field if an interesting opportunity presents itself, always worked with transferable skills in London but recruiters here have been adamant you have to be very skill specific for a company to consider you.

        •How many years’ work experience do you have? 6 years or so but in different industries
        •Did you manage projects in a specific industry? Primarily in local government, events & European Union grant funded initiatives
        •Do you speak any other language than English? Sadly not, although i’m learning Spanish & hoping to start some Chinese courses soon
        •Do you have a (dependent) visa? Not at the moment, my visa is good until the end of February, renting a flat with my partner at the moment



      2. In this case you should really check out the British consulate and any kind of foreign/local government affiliates for jobs.

        When your tourist visa is about to expire, you can just go to Macau (and take the opportunity to explore for a weekend) and come back. This will give you a fresh tourist visa!

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