Chinese “Lemon” Leaves Drink For Lung Cleansing, Detoxification & Coughs

A bunch of “lemon” leaves, compared to a teaspoon for measure

A cup of healthy “lemon” leaves drink

Good morning, dear friends πŸ˜€

When I was a kid, my mom used to brew this drink and make everyone have a glass of it. Being young at that time, I never asked what exactly the drinkΒ does forΒ health as my mom just said it was good for me.Β Β We had these plants in a little pot asΒ they grew easily with minimal care.

It was about 30 years later when a few weeks ago, my massage/healer friend gave me some of this to drink and it brought back fond memories of my childhood health drinks. I just collected the stems discarded by my friend and poked them into some soil in a pot behind my house. They grew very fast and in 2months’ time, I had enough of my very own “lemon” plants for harvesting.

I am sure these are not the leaves from the actual lemon fruit tree but its name in the Cantonese dialect is “Leng Mong Yip” or “Lemon Leaves”, literally. When you crush the leaves, there is a minty and lemony smell…hence, its name. The taste is quite refreshing and not at all difficult to drink.Β  I think I willΒ add in the word “Chinese” to differentiate these leaves from the actual lemon tree leaves. πŸ’‘

The health benefits of these lemon leaves are –

1) to cleanse our lungs of toxins, i.e. it is a detoxifying drink. In Cantonese, it helps to “ching fai” or in English, “clear the lungs.”

2) this drink is a remedy for coughs, both phlegmy and dry coughs.

However, please note that this drink heaty or “yang” energy in nature and if we have an accompanying sore throat with a cough, it is best not to take it. I decided to brew this drink with some honey dates (which are “yin” in nature) to balance out and make this drink “safer” to consume. πŸ˜‰

For me,Β  I like to make health drinks or cook some nutritious soups for my family as a preventive measure for health maintenance, so that the frequency of any of us falling ill is much reduced. So, last week, I made a small pot of lemon leaves drink and everyone got a cup of it to drink. For my husband who is a heavy smoker, I made him drink 2 cups. πŸ˜†

Chinese “Lemon” Leaves Drink

Method –

1) Have enough lemon leaves and stems (cleaned)Β to fill up 2/3s of a medium pot.

2) Fill up half the pot with water.

3) Add in 8 large honey dates or “mutt joe”.

4) Cover pot and bring to a boil.

5) Reduce heat to small and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

6) Refrigerate any leftover drink for consumption the next day.

Consumption –

1) Drink one cup per person per dayΒ for health maintenance purposes.

2) For someone who is having a cough, drink 2 cups daily of this for 2 to 3 days.

Here’s to good health always! Cheers!

choesf πŸ˜€


27 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Louise said,

    I love the idea of a “lemon” drink but I’m not quite sure what plant that might be. I’m thinking it may be be lemon mint or perhaps, lemon verbena. I’ve certainly heard of chicken soup as a “remedy.” When the cold season hits, I guess I’ll try both leaves using your method and se what happens. Hey, it can’t hurt! Thanks for sharing…


  2. 2

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    You are welcome, Louise! I think I have to see some herbalist that speaks English to know the English names of those plants! πŸ˜†

    Have a great weekend. πŸ˜€


  3. 3

    robert said,

    correct,it is lemon balm..same family as perppermint,mint leaves.


    • 4

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Thank you, dear Robert. Ah, I finally know the English name of this plant. πŸ˜‰

      With peace and harmony,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  4. 5

    joechia said,

    Dear Happyhomemaker88,

    May I know where I can get this plant ?.

    I am from Besut, Terengganu. No one here seems to have heard of this plant. Not even the plant nursery operators.




    • 6

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Joechia πŸ˜€

      This plant grows easily from cut branches…I got mine from my neighbour and friends. I think plant nurseries don’t sell them but you can try looking for them at wet markets. Ask those old ladies or makciks that sell vegetables, they may be able to get some for you. πŸ˜‰

      With best wishes for good health,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  5. 7

    joechia said,

    Dear Happyhomemaker88,

    I finally manage to get the lemon balm from Marditech, Cameron Highlands, however I notice that from your picture, your Lemon Balm seem to have thicker leaves.

    I am just wondering if the lemon balm I have is of a different variety. also the colour of the leaves is of darker green.




  6. 8

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Good morning, dear Joechia πŸ˜€

    I’m glad you got the lemon balm from Cameron Highlands. I’m guessing that yours are greener because they were healthily grown and cultivated in the cool place there..whereas, my lemon balm or “leng mong yip” grows wild with no fertiliser behind my house. 😳 πŸ˜†

    Did you tell them the Cantonese name – “Leng Mong Yip” when you were at the plant nursery? The leaf is indeed thick and a little hairy to the feel. πŸ˜‰

    If you are looking for home, natural remedies for soothing coughs, you may like to check out some of my posts here –

    Do have a nice day!

    With best wishes,

    choesf πŸ˜€


  7. 9

    joechia said,

    Hi again,

    From your descriptiion, looks like my Lemon Balm is of a different variety. The leaf does not feel thick nor hairy. However the leaf when crushed has a lemon smell.

    The Mardi Agrotek manager is a Malay man so I just mentioned Lemon Balm to him. In fact he was doubtful that it will survive in Terengganu as the weather is not cool.

    In fact he posted a small bunch of it by Pos laju to me by putting it in a plastic bag and keeping it wet. When it came the leaves were very small and I had it broken up into several clumps and planted it in a few pots. Some died but the few that survived are growing well at present.

    Look like the variety you mentioned is more hardy as it grows easily.

    In fact I asked around the local nurserys but non of them have heard of it.



    • 10

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there, dear joechia πŸ˜€

      From your further description, I think you may be having some basil plants. This plants is well known among the Chinese and Indians who use it as a remedy for coughs. You may like to ask around the ladies selling kampung vegetables and herbs at the markets/pasars…they may have some growing at home. Alternatively, you may like to keep an eye out when you are travelling and see if you can spot some people growing these plants outside their house and ask them to give you a plant. The Lemon Balm is very hardy like you said, and grows wild and easily in hot weather. πŸ˜‰

      Do have a lovely weekend!

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  8. 11

    joechia said,

    Dear Happyhomemaker88,

    Could you please go to the site above and have a look at the plant listed under the name Bangun bangun ?. Does this look like the “lemon balm you have?.

    Kindly let me know.




    • 12

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear joechia πŸ˜€

      I had a look at the Bangun plant and it looks very similar to the Lemon Balm. However, its use mentioned was different and so, I dare not confirm that the plants are the same. The Lemon Balm has traditionally been known to be good for coughs only. 😳

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  9. 13

    joechia said,

    Hi, again,

    Below is what is stated on the use of bangun bangun plant.

    Bangun-bangun terkenal dalam perubatan melayu dan cina terutamanya untuk menjadi penawar kepada batuk,mual-mual , sakit kepala dan masalah pencernaan. Caranya sehelai daun bangun-bangun diseduh dengan air panas dan dimasukkan sedikit gula batu sebelum di minum.Jusnya pula boleh dijadikan ubat untuk asma, batuk dan bronkitis.Daunnya yang dilumatkan dapat menjadi penawr gigitan serangga bisa dan kulit melecur dengan cara menampal daun lumat yang telah menjadi seperti pes pada bahagian yang terlibat.



    • 14

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi again, dear joechia πŸ˜€

      Ah, at least now the applications of the Bangun plant are mentioned for coughs/bronchitis/asthma, as well as for headaches and nausea. So, can we safely say now that you have found the Malay name for the Lemon Balm? πŸ˜‰

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  10. 15

    taney said,

    This looks like a great alternative to the typical tea. It’s simple and naturally flavored. I just need to find out where to get this kind of leaves from. Thanks for sharing once again! (=


    • 16

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear taney πŸ˜€

      You are very welcome to this recipe. This tea has a refreshing taste. It will be good to drink this during flu season. πŸ˜‰

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  11. 17

    MOHAMMED said,



  12. 19

    Melinda Lee said,

    Hi there,
    This Chinese Lemon Leaves looks lots like Mint leaves (“Por Hor Yip”). Is it the same?


    • 20

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there and welcome, dear Melinda πŸ˜€

      These “Leng Moong Yip” or Lemon Balm Leaves are much larger and thicker than Mint Leaves. The size of the leaves is about 3 inches in length and 2 inches in width and have some “fuzz” on top. πŸ˜‰

      Do have a wonderful day!

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  13. 21

    Shirley said,

    This is coleus aromaticus. Used frequently in India.


    • 22

      Hi there, dear Shirley πŸ˜€

      Thank you so much for providing this plant’s name here. I went to Google its name and yes, that’s the one here. I recently bought a pot of lemon balm and made tea with it – they taste different. πŸ˜‰

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D:


  14. 23

    maryam said,

    hy am maryam….. this website really v gd….i learnt many plants name by this website thnks very much…………………..
    GOD Bless you……………


  15. 25

    Hi there, dear friends πŸ˜€

    I just found out that this plant is actually called Indian Borage πŸ’‘ ===>

    With best wishes,

    choesf πŸ˜€


  16. 26

    Delighted said,

    Hi, this plant is called Panikoorka in the Malayalam language of the Indian state of Kerala. It is also known as Indian Borage, Mexican Mint.

    In Kerala, it is traditionally used to make a coffee called “chukku kaapi” literally “dry ginger coffee” – an infusion of Panikoorka leaves, thulasi (holy basil) leaves, chukku (dry ginger powder), palm sugar, black pepper powder, and a dash of coffee powder. This drink is very helpful in treating fever, cold and cough; but it can also be taken as a refreshing hot drink.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 27

      Hi there, Delighted πŸ˜€

      Thank you so much for sharing your helpful information on this plant. I must try out the Chukku Kaapi, I also have thulasi leaves.

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


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