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Year Two, Day 317: "Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa"

My allergy symptoms seem to be improving.  The apples are helping my tummy. My nose is less plugged.  But I have this persistent scratchy, itchy throat.  It makes teaching awkward, because I talk a lot when I teach!

But I had an "aha" moment today.  The church I teach at on Saturdays is situated next door to a Chinese grocery store. On my break, I ran next door to get some Fuji apples. I was also thinking about getting some ginger tea. I remembered I had gotten some good cough drops there in the past. So I asked the cashier if she had anything for a cough. She pointed to a large bottle.  

And all of a sudden, I remembered!  

My brother's ex wife's brother is married to a lovely lady from China. She is studying Chinese medicine. Her daughter studied piano with me for about a year, a few years back. And during that time I had a similar nagging, itchy, scratchy cough.  

She excused herself, went next door to the Chinese grocery store and brought me back a bottle of "Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa". She said it was an ancient Chinese remedy. Best thing she knew of for my kind of cough.

Ok. If you have ever watched Seinfeld, this is the cough Kramer had. The dry cough.  And if you remember that episode, a dog had the same cough! (I was a Seinfeld junky back in the day!)

Well this ancient Chinese remedy worked back then, so I have high hopes for it now! I bought a big bottle. Took a swig before munching my Fuji apple and drinking lemon ginger tea.

I am a determined woman!

When I got home, I googled "Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa".  Interesting stuff:

Apparently it really is an ancient remedy, one source says it has been around for about 400 years and was named after a "son's love for his mother" (

It has an impressive list of ingredients (all herbal):

Pei pa koa is made up of a blend of herbal ingredients[6] including the fritillary bulb (Bulbus fritillariae cirrhosae, 川貝母), loquat leaf (Eriobotrya japonica, 枇鈀葉), ladybell root (Adenophora stricta, 南沙參), Indian bread (Wolfiporia extensa, 茯苓), pomelo peel (Citrus maxima, 化橘紅), chinese bellflower root (Platycodon grandiflorum, 桔梗), pinellia rhizome (Pinellia ternata, 半夏), Schisandra seed (Schisandra chinensis, 五味子), Trichosanthes seed (Trichosanthes cucumerina, 瓜蔞子), coltsfoot flower (Tussilago farfara, 款冬花), thinleaf milkwort root (Polygala tenuifolia, 遠志), bitter apri)cot kernel (Prunus armeniaca, 苦杏仁), fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale, 生薑), licorice root (Glycyrrhiza uralensis, 甘草),[7] and menthol in a syrup and honey base.

And you know what? I really like the taste!

So, bottoms up, "Ganbei!" (Cheers in Chinese, or more precisely 干杯)

Today, my fruit of the spirit was "joy" (from Galatians 5:22-23).  

It took me all day to get there, but I had a breakthrough after teaching all day.  I was reading my new wonderful, incredible book on contemplative prayer by Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart over a nice bowl of pho.  

I read the following line:  "The more one let's go, the stronger the presence of the Spirit becomes".

I put my book down.  Took a sip of my tea and gazed out the window.  It was still light out, but cloudy. I inhaled. And let my mind grow quiet. And I felt peaceful.  
As I paid for my meal, the server asked me about my piano lessons. Funny, I had chosen this pho restaurant today, one of my regular places, because the staff was quiet and reserved. I felt the need for solitude.  To read and ponder. Over some hot pho. But I was flattered. I didn't remember telling her I was a teacher. It felt good to be acknowledged.  

My inner peace grew. And so did my joy.  When I got home, I visited with my housemates.  My joy grew even more.

I had a good piano practice session, which not only made me joyful, but eased my nagging, guilty conscience, since I have some performances coming up. But instead of worrying and letting negative thoughts creep in, I just DID.  I practiced. 

And now, I am going to bed early with my book.  Happy Saturday!

May you experience much peace and joy!

Talk to you tomorrow!


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