Chinese ‘A’ Lettuce – Packs a Punch of Nutrients

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Lettuce is one of the most common leaf vegetables for salads. There are many different types of lettuce and they are characterized by large, tender leaves, and are usually light green in color.

Lettuce is low in calories and is approximately 90% water. It has little fiber but has some minerals including potassium, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium; anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and E, vitamin K, folate as well as many vitamins of the B complex. The milky latex, found mainly in the stems contains a mixture of active principles which have been used for centuries for its medicinal virtues. It has extraordinary “sedative” and “painkilling” properties. Unfortunately lettuce stems are usually unused in western cuisine.

Asparagus Lettuce Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Therefore the healthy properties of lettuce are: anti-anemic with high amounts of chlorophyll and iron for the synthesis of hemoglobin in red blood cells; anti-oxidant and prevents premature aging with beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E; promotes bone health with vitamin K and calcium; relieves constipation by stimulating the function and motility of the intestinal tract; relieves cough and asthma with anti-cough agents; hydration with high water content; sedation and treats sleep disorder with high B vitamins content.

Taiwan has been exporting a special kind of lettuce known as ‘A’ lettuce for years and it has been very popular among Asian cuisines. The ‘A’ is in short form for asparagus. The plant is much taller than other types of lettuce. It has very a long stem and long sword like leaves that are light green in color. The leaves grow on top of the stem and are cut off at the base and sold separately from the stem. They can be easily found in most Chinese grocery stores now. The leaves and the stems are used lightly cooked but the stems can also be eaten raw with salads. The stems are known to offer a lot more nutrients than the leaves.

Asparagus Lettuce Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

The following is a recipe to inspire you to eat more of the ‘A’ lettuce stems. You can add more ingredients to the stir-fry such as meat or seafood to make the dish more interesting. The stems are very crispy even after cooked and are mild in taste and very refreshing for summer dishes.

Stir-fried Chinese Asparagus Lettuce Stems with King Mushrooms

Asparagus Lettuce Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

INGREDIENTS

(2 to 3 servings)

  • ‘A’ lettuce stems – one or two
  • King mushrooms – a few
  • Carrot - half (optional for color and additional health benefits)
  • Minced ginger – one spoonful
  • Minced garlic – one spoonful
  • Oyster sauce – one spoonful (optional)
  • Potato starch – one tea spoonful (optional)
  • Sesame oil – one spoonful (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut out skin of stems lengthwise, rinse and slice into thin slices.
  • Rinse mushrooms and cut into slices.
  • Cut carrot into thin slices.
  • Put carrot in a stir-fry pan with a little water to pre-cook for about 4 minutes or to desire softness, remove and keep aside.
  • Heat pan with a little oil and add half of the minced ginger and garlic. Stir and add the mushroom slices to cook for a few minutes on both sides. Sprinkle in a little salt and black pepper to taste and put aside.
  • Heat pan again with a little oil and put in the remaining ginger and garlic. Add stem slices and carrot and stir for a couple of minutes. Add a few spoonful of water to cook stem slightly to water is mostly evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in mushroom and oyster sauce. Mix starch with two spoonful of water and sesame oil and stir-in for a minute to combine the flavors and then put everything to plate.

Asparagus Lettuce Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

USAGE

No restrictions

**MORE INFO

Check out this article about the amazing health benefits of asparagus from well-being secrets! - 31 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Asparagus


Job’s Tears and Red Beans For Longevity

By Vicky Chan of NourishU 

Job’s tears are commonly known as Chinese pearl barley or coix. They are the seed of a grass, grown mostly in Asia and are well known for their many health benefits.

Chinese Medicine classifies the nature of Job’s tears as slightly cold and sweet and they are attributive to spleen, stomach, lungs, liver, and large intestine. They are known to promote diuresis and invigorate the spleen; relieve dampness obstruction and eliminate phlegm. They can also clear away heat and drain pus. Job's tears are a superior herb, proven and safe and commonly used for treating babies with heat rashes, children with smallpox and skin allergies and adults with arthritis, high cholesterol, obesity, scanty urine, swelling and pain in joints and sinews, rheumatism, lung infections, cough with blood in sputum and dry scaly skin. They are almost like an all-encompassing herb which can do so much good for our health.

Modern scientific research has confirmed the anti-allergic effect and cholesterol lowering properties of Job’s tears. Some research suggests that the chemicals in Job's tears might interfere with cancer cell growth, has antioxidant effects and might also decrease the growth of bacteria and parasites. Other research has found that the fiber contained in Job's tears might decrease how much fat and cholesterol the body absorbs.

In order to get the best results from Job’s tears, it is recommended to eat them regularly. There are many ways and recipes incorporating Job`s tears in our everyday diet. They can be made into tea, soups, desserts or stews. Please search our website (www.nourishu.com) to see many recipes using Job’s tears to cure many different health problems.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Cabinet - Burlap : Chinese Medicine LivingNatural Laundry Soap : Chinese Medicine LivingSilver Bodhisattva Earrings : Chinese Medicine Living

With many middle age people nowadays suffering from high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease, one common root cause of their problems is internal dampness or water logging in cells. The following recipe of using Job’s tears and red bean is the best natural cure to solve their health woes. In many Chinese Medicine literatures, this recipe is highly praised as the one thing to take daily for health and longevity. The basic recipe can be extended depending on one`s needs by adding one or two extra ingredients to give added benefits. This is the healthiest breakfast replacement to the unhealthy food that most people are eating daily such as milk and cereals, instant oatmeal, bread and baked goods.

And it is very easy to make. You just need to put the ingredients in a slow cooker and start the cooking before you go to bed and then you have this healthy hot breakfast waiting for you when you get up in the morning. It is especially comforting during winter time to have a hot breakfast before heading out into the cold. You can make it as thick or as watery as you like. You may drink the liquid as a beverage and strain the grains to eat separately at lunch by adding them to a salad or eat them together as a hot thick cereal. You can make a batch good enough for up to two to three days if it is easier for you. Please note: never add rice to this recipe because it will defeat the purpose of using it as a diuretic because rice is bonding and will do the opposite!

Job’s Tears and Red Beans Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

 

Job’s Tears and Red Bean Soup

Symptoms

Overweight, water retention, poor digestive health.

Therapeutic Effects

Releases water retention, promotes energy circulation and reduces body fat and overall body weight.

Ingredients (for 2 to 3 servings)

  • Job’s tears (yi yi ren) 意米 – half cup
  • Red beans – half cup

 

Optional Ingredients

  • add  pumpkin – to treat diabetes, stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea
  • add yam – to treat underweight and lack of appetite
  • add fox nut – to treat weak constitution, weak kidney functions and frequent urination
  • add ginger – to treat cold stomach syndrome with cold hands and feet
  • add black bean – to strengthen kidney
  • add soy bean – to treat water retention in lower legs and feet
  • add pear – to treat cough
  • add longan fruit – to treat lack of energy and over sleeping
  • add lily bulb and lotus seed – to treat insomnia

Job’s Tears and Red Beans Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Directions

  • Rinse all ingredients and put in a pot with adequate water. If using a slow heat cooker, start off the cooking with hot boiling water.
  • Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium and cook for one hour or to desire softness.
  • When ready to eat, add honey or organic sugar to taste if preferred.

Job’s Tears and Red Beans Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Usage

No limitations and suitable for all ages.


Living with the Seasons According to Chinese Medicine - Autumn / Fall

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP

Living in Harmony with Autumn/Fall with Chinese Medicine

Autumn is the season where the hot summer days gradually become shorter, and the leaves begin to change, presenting us with their beautiful colours before they fall off the trees to prepare for the coming winter. There is a chill in the air that signals us to start putting away our summer clothes and get out warmer clothing for the coming cold weather. We also begin to harvest and gather the brightly coloured foods that grow at this time of year like pumpkins and squashes, so they can be put away for winter. It is the time of year that we go from the relaxed and carefree attitudes of summer to the more serious and introspective energies associated with autumn.

fall in Chinese medicine

In Chinese medicine, autumn is associated with metal and the lungs. This season governs organization, setting limits and protecting boundaries. In autumn we move from the external, expansive nature of summer to the internal, contractive nature of autumn. It is a good idea to finish up any projects you started in spring or summer and enjoy the results of all your hard work. It is also a good time to begin new projects that focus more on the internal – cultivating body and mind and becoming more introspective. The energy of the lungs is “letting go”, so autumn is a good time to be mindful to let go of anything we may be holding on to so we can make room for new experiences that will help us to learn and grow.

Autumn Associations in Chinese Medicine

Element - Metal
Yin Organ - Lungs
Yang Organ - Large Intestine
Emotion – Grief / Sadness
Climate - Dryness
Stage of Development - Harvest
Flavour – Pungent
Colour – White
Sense Organs - Nose
Tissues - Skin
Sound - Crying
Healing Sound – sssssssssss

eye

Grief, the Emotion of the Lung

In Chinese medicine, every organ is associated with an emotion, and the emotion of the lungs is sadness and grief. The lungs are associated with clear thinking and communication, openness to new ideas, positive self-image, and the ability to relax, let go and be happy. When the lungs are out of balance or you are dealing with excessive grief, you will have difficulty coping with loss and change, a sense of alienation, and experience a prolonged sense of sadness that does not dissipate. The lungs are also associated with attachment, so if you have a hard time letting go of people, objects, experiences or spend a lot of time reliving the past, this can point to a deficiency of the lungs. If the energy (or qi) of the lungs is weak, you may experience an overwhelming, constant state of grief that does not ease. This deficiency, if prolonged, can lead to depression and other issues.

In contrast, grief that is expressed fully and resolved is strengthening both physically and psychologically. Therefore it is not avoiding grief, but rather dealing with it in a healthy way that is the key to being happy and maintaining balance in all aspects of life. For a more detailed description of how sadness and grief effects the lungs, you can read - Grief - A Chinese Medicine Perspective.

The Lung and its Partner - The Large Intestine

Every organ in TCM has a partner - one is yin, the other yang. The lung is yin, and the large intestine is yang, and they work together to keep balance in the body. The lung is responsible for taking in the new. This manifests physically as breathing in the clean, crisp fall air, filling us with the oxygen we need to think clearly, and our bodies to function optimally. The large intestine is responsible for letting go of the waste. It is the last stage in digestion, and takes everything the body doesn’t need, and releases it, only keeping what is vital and important for us to function. Emotionally, this is why fall is a good time to look at things we might be hanging on to, and working through them so that we can let them go for good. Often, people with elimination problems like chronic constipation can have problems letting go, and an acupuncturist would look at the emotional aspect of each of these symptoms. Because the lungs are associated with sadness and grief, they can be damaged by these emotions is they are in excess, conversely, a prolonged lung deficiency can lead to feelings of sadness.

Here are some things that you can do to keep your lungs and large intestine in tip top shape this fall and for the year to come.

living with the seasons in Chinese Medicine - Fall

Breathe Deeply

One of the best ways to strengthen the lungs is to breathe deeply. It sounds so simple, but most of us don't breathe deeply at all and this affects things like our memory, energy level, and immune system. When we breathe deeply and with intention, we are flooding our cells and brains with much-needed oxygen that is vital to all the body's processes. We are also taking in vital qi from the air that the lungs use to perform many functions that keep us healthy. The best thing to do is to go for a walk outside in the crisp, clean autumn air, and fill your lungs with all that good qi. Below is a simple exercise to help you get started.

Breathing Exercise - Deep Breathing

Breathe in through your nose, and think of breathing in all the way to your belly, taking is as much air as possible. Once the lungs are completely full, hold the lungs full for a count of five. Once you have counted to five, exhale through your mouth from the very bottom of your Lungs until they are completely empty. Do this three times. This exercise should be done three times daily.

Let Go of Negativity in Your Life

Of course, letting go of negativity is always a good idea, but it is particularly important in autumn when Lung energy is at its peak. We can often feel like many of the negative things is our lives are beyond our control, but if we become aware of negative things, we can make small changes to avoid them as much as possible. Negativity can be an extremely destructive force both physically and psychologically, so working towards keeping as much of it as possible out of our lives is a good goal. Sometimes, it is just the awareness that can really help make the changes necessary to keep as much positivity and light in our lives, because that is the energy that feeds us on every level and helps us be happy healthy beings.

Living with the Seasons - Autumn / Fall

Walk Outside

One of the best things we can do to strengthen the lungs is to walk outside, soak up the beautiful fall colours and breathe in the clean, cool air. There is nothing more healing to us that connecting with nature, and autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year to do it.

Reorganize, Clean & Donate

Autumn is the perfect time to take stock of things in your life, organize and let go of the old, to make room for the new. This is a good practice in the fall in the physical world, as well as the emotional one. Go through your closet and take out all those old clothes that you haven’t worn in ages - donate them to a local charity so that they can be new for someone else. Clean out your computer deleting anything you no longer need. Organize your cupboards. All of these activities can be incredibly liberating and are in harmony with the autumn season and strengthening to the lungs function of letting go.

 

This beautiful illustration by Morgan Davidson

Wear a Scarf

Because fall is a season also associated with wind - in Chinese medicine considered the cause of 100 diseases - a simple thing like wearing a scarf can ward off cold which is said to enter most easily at the neck. It’s an easy way to stay warm, portable and very stylish!

Keeping the lungs strong and healthy is important in autumn. In Chinese medicine, the lungs are considered a “delicate organ” because of their close relationship with the outside of the body. The lungs are the only yin organ with a direct connection to the outside of the body - so we must be extra careful to keep them strong, especially in the fall.

fall foods in Chinese medicine

Beneficial Foods in Fall

Because the weather begins to cool off in autumn, its a good idea to eat less cooling foods, like salads and raw foods at this time of year. Longer cooking times and heartier ingredients are used in autumn to help nourish the body and support the immune system throughout the winter months. To support the digestive system, soups and stews are eaten as their long cooking times are warming and the foods are easier to digest. And because the autumn is a season associated with wind and dryness, it is important to eat moisturizing yin foods like the snow-ear mushroom. Here is an excellent recipe using snow-ear mushroom, perfect for fall - Snow-Ear Mushroom, Apple & Pork Soup. Foods that nourish the lungs are eaten in fall. Below is a list of beneficial foods to eat in the fall season.

  • Garlic
  • Sweet potato
  • Ginger
  • Onion
  • Cabbage
  • Pears
  • Walnuts
  • Black pepper
  • Radish
  • Rice
  • Chili
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Leeks
  • Miso
  • Navy Beans
  • Soy Beans
  • Almonds
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Mustard Greens
  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Eggs
  • Sourdough Bread
  • Sauerkraut
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Yoghurt
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Plums
  • Grapes

The best way to stay healthy according to Chinese medicine is learning about the nature of each season and living in harmony with its spirit. If we are living in harmony with the world around us, we see that nature is slowing down and contracting, preparing to rest so it is good for us to do the same. Sleeping a little longer, eating warming, nourishing foods, and moving inward - paying extra attention to our internal lives. Because the metal element within us gives us our sense of self-worth, this is the season to give ourselves some extra attention and self-love so that instead of seeking value outside, like chasing status, money, and power, we can be content inside and know that we have (and always have had) everything we will ever need and are all perfect, complete beings.

 

The beautiful featured image photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

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If you would like a downloadable information sheet that will tell you all about how to live in harmony with the Fall Season in Chinese Medicine, you can find it here - The Fall Season in Chinese Medicine. If you are a practitioner and would like this sheet to share with patients, find it here - Fall Season - Professional.


Chicken and Corn Congee

Congee is known by a few names -  hsi-fan (translated to rice water), or jook. It is traditionally eaten in China, and is especially nourishing to the spleen and stomach, so is often recommended in situations where there is spleen deficiency. Congee is especially good for us in fall and winter as it is warming and you may add many different ingredients to the congee depending on healing properties and your personal taste. Congees are also recommended for when there is cold or flu, as they are very nourishing to the body and easy to digest.

Congee consists of rice with between six to ten times the amount of water cooked very slowly until it becomes a sort of porridge. The cooking time should be between four and six hours. It is thought that the longer the congee cooks, the more powerful it is. Congee is used as the base and the other ingredients are added at the end. There are a multitude of choices when it comes to congee, so it is good to experiment and see what delicious flavours you can come up with.

Although rice is the most common grain used, other grains may also be used, such as millet or spelt.

Natural Laundry Soap : Chinese Medicine LivingSilver Lotus Earrings : Chinese Medicine Living9000 Needles : Chinese Medicine Living

Chicken and Corn Congee

Ingredients

2 Chicken Legs (or breasts if you like)
1 cup white rice
8 cups water
1 can corn (fresh corn is always better if you can manage it)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 small leeks, chopped (only the whites)
1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce

Directions

Put rice in a bowl, cover with water and let soak for 1 hour, then rinse until the water runs clear. Drain.

In a large soup pot combine chicken, green onions, leeks, garlic, cilantro and 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the chicken is fall-from-the-bone-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.

Add rice to pot along with 2 cups of water (you want approx. 8 cups total). Bring to a boil and simmer stirring often until a porridge consistency. Add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar during cooking to taste. Shred chicken into bite sized pieces and discard skin and bones. Add 1 can corn and chicken to pot after 1 hour and simmer on low heat for another 30 mins, stirring constantly so the rice doesn't burn. Serve and garnish with some chopped green onions & cilantro. Add a few drops of soy sauce to taste.

chicken and corn congee


Mung Beans Are Good for Your Health

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Mung Beans

Mung beans are grown in many countries in the southern hemisphere, therefore are common in many cuisines for making both savoury and sweet dishes.

In Chinese medicine, mung beans are cool in nature and sweet in taste. They act on the heart and stomach and have many healing properties. Mung beans can clear heat, promote urination, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, treat pesticide poisoning and lead poisoning, treat burns, alcoholism and food poisoning.

In Chinese cuisine, whole mung beans are used to make dessert, which is served either warm or chilled. Shelled mung beans and mung bean paste are made into ice cream or frozen ice pops (great ways to entice children to eat them). Mung bean paste is used as a common filling for Chinese mooncakes in East China and Taiwan. Also in China, the boiled and shelled beans are used as filling in glutinous rice dumplings eaten during the dragon boat festival. The beans may also cooked until soft, blended into a liquid, sweetened, and served as a beverage, popular in many parts of China.

Mung beans are especially good for summer because they clear internal heat and toxins for people who eat too much BBQ food and heat causing snacks such as chips. The symptoms for excess heat are skin problems, indigestion, bad breath, constipation and sore throat. With many people nowadays having high blood pressure and cholesterol, mung beans can certainly help them without having to rely on drugs. The added bonus is that they are very inexpensive and easy to cook. Mung beans are good for your health.

The following recipe is a common one and is excellent for detoxification. It is good for the whole family and all ages. Please explore our website www.nourishu.com for many more recipes using mung beans to treat various health problems.

Mung Bean and Kelp Dessert

Mung Bean and Kelp Desert : Chinese Medicine Living

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

  • Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
  • Detoxifies and Prevent Stoke
  • Treats pesticide and Lead Poisoning
  • Clear Heat
  • Promote Urination
  • Treat Burns, Alcoholism and Food Poisoning

INGREDIENTS

  • Mung beans 綠豆 – one cup
  • Mandarin Orange /  citrus Peel (chen-pi) 陳皮 – one piece (pre-soaked and with white tissue removed)
  • Dried kelp – 15gm
  • Brown sugar – to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak beans and kelp for about 10 minutes. Cut kelp into thin strips.
  2. Rinse and put together with orange peel in a pot with about 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium boil for about 30 minutes. Leave pot only half covered to prevent boiling over. Add more water if necessary to beans becoming mushy and soft.
  3. Add sugar to taste. Serve warm or cold.

Mung Bean and Kelp Desert : Chinese Medicine Living

Deliciousness!!

USAGE

Pregnant women or people with a cold constitution should eat mung beans sparingly.


Goji Berries For Health and Longevity

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Gougicai / Goji Berry

Gougi / Goji berry is one of the most popular Chinese herbs used in Western countries since the beginning of the 21st century. It is commonly known as wolfberry. Goji is the modern name, the direct translation from the Chinese name枸杞.

The gougi plant is a perennial scrub which can produce large amount of berries after a couple of years and can grow to as tall as two meters. The health benefits of the berries are well known to the West, but not so much for the leaves of the young plant and the root of the very old plant.

The gougi leaves are called gougicai which means gougi vegetable in Chinese. They are cool in nature and bitter in taste. They can strengthen the body's constitution, promote essence (Jing in Chinese medicine), clear internal heat and wind, improve vision, and promote liver, lung and kidney health. It is a very popular summer vegetable in the southern provinces of China.

goji berry leaves

Gougicai can be easily grown in a backyard or container garden. You can start from transplanting some strong stems by just sticking them into the soil. By keeping the soil moist for the first 10 to 15 days, new roots will come out and give life to the plant. When the plant grows to about 1.5 feet tall, you can harvest it by cutting the stem, leaving 3 to 4 inches above ground and it will grow back again. In time, the root will spread out to give life to more new plants. The best thing is that once you have started growing them, they will come back year after year.

Gougicai is commonly used in making soup. It only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to cook. The vegetable is slightly bitter in taste so using a meat broth or adding thinly sliced meat to the soup can offset the bitterness and make it more delicious.

The following is my favourite gougicai soup recipe. It is best for the whole family, for young children and for people recovering from illness.

Goji Berry Soup Recipe Ingredients

Gougicai and Pork Liver Soup

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

Promotes liver health, improves vision, reduces liver heat, promotes blood and improves overall health.

INGREDIENTS

(3 to 4 servings)
• Gougicai 枸杞葉 - 320gm
• Pork liver豬肝 – 160gm
• Pork豬肉 – 80gm
• Gogi berries – one handful
• Egg- 2
• Ginger – 3 slices

Goji berry soup recipe

DIRECTIONS

1. Remove leaves by holding the top of each stem with one hand and put it between the thumb and the index finger of the other and then push leaves downward from top to bottom. The leaves will fall off easily. But be careful to avoid the small spikes on the stem when doing it. You can protect your hand by wearing a glove. Rinse the stems and leaves separately.

2. Put the stem to boil with about 6 to 8 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes, remove stems and discard.

3. Rinse pork and liver and cut into thin slices. Soak and rinse goji berries.

4. Bring the water to boil again. Add ginger, liver and pork to cook for about 5 minutes.

5. Add gogi berries and leaves and bring to boil for another 5 to 10 minutes.

6. Beat eggs, turn off heat and add eggs to the soup and stir slowly. Add salt to taste and serve.

Goji berry Soup Recipe

USAGE

No limitation. But avoid consuming dairy products at the same time because dairy hinders the effects of goujicai.

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Chinese Water Chestnut

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

When I was growing up, Chinese water chestnut was one of the most popular street foods sold by food vendors. They are white in colour after the skin is peeled and sold strung together on a long stick. Most people and children like water chestnut during the hot summer because they are juicy, crunchy and very refreshing to eat and they have a delicate flavour and are mildly sweet in taste. It is best to eat them after being peeled and chilled in water (to prevent turning brown) in the fridge. It is definitely a much healthier alternative than other snacks such as lollypops or ice cream cones.

water chestnut healing properties

Chinese water chestnut is widely used in oriental cuisines. They can be sliced thinly to add to salads, stir-frys, vegetarian/meat stews or desserts. They can also be finely chopped and added to meat balls or stuffing to give it a softer texture and some crunchiness. Water chestnuts are ground into powder to make pudding, a popular dessert for dim sum lunch. The powder can also be used as thickener to add to soups, desserts, and sauces and glazes to give them a transparent look.

The healthful effects of water chestnut known to Chinese medicine are that they are cold in nature, sweet in taste and act on lungs and stomach. Water chestnuts can clear heat, relieve indigestion, promote urination, relieve hypertension, cure sore throat and hemorrhoids, stop coughing and clear phlegm. They are also effective in helping children to relieve skin rashes when having measles. Nowadays, water chestnut is found to be good for people wishing to lose weight because it has almost zero fat, releases water retention and is high in potassium. It is also used as a beauty food to promote better skin.

The following recipe is a common spring/summer drink for households with children. Modern children are eating too many highly processed foods such as chips, French fries, biscuits and baked goods which are causing their internal body systems to have too much heat. The symptoms of overheating are indigestion, lack of appetite, constipation or difficulties in passing stools, skin rashes or acne eruptions. Together with the immense summer heat, foods with cooling properties are necessary to balance out the system and not become sick. This recipe can help to soothe and rebalance the internal condition and can be taken regularly without restrictions. For parents who want their children to maintain good health throughout the summer, keeping the drink handy in the fridge instead of soft drinks is the best approach. And children will love it too because it is sweet in taste and very refreshing, and they will feel good after drinking it.

water chestnut recipe

You can easily find sugar cane already cut into short sections and conveniently packaged with the fresh Imperatae root available for sale in the vegetable section of most Chinese super markets. If the fresh root is not available, you can just do without it. The root is for getting extra cooling and detoxifying effects.

Please search our website www.nourishu.com for other delicious recipes using water chestnut.

Sugar Cane & Water Chestnut Drink

SYMPTOMS:

Skin rashes or measles.

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

This recipe is for reducing internal heat and can help to alleviate pain during a measles outbreak. It can also be used regularly to detoxify the spleen, prevent rashes and for clearing internal heat during the spring and summer seasons.

INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh/Dried Rhizoma Imperatae 鮮茅根 – 60 gram (optional)
  • Carrot – 450 gram
  • Water chestnut – 300 gram
  • Sugar cane  – 500 gram

1.   Chop sugar cane into smaller pieces. Cut carrots into thin slices. Wash water chestnuts.  You can either keep or remove the skin as you wish and crush them open with the back of a knife. Rinse the fresh root.

2.   Put all ingredients in a big soup pot half full of water (about 3 liters) and cook over medium heat for one and a half hours until about 6 cups of water are left.

3.   Strain and drink tea. The water chestnut can also be eaten if desired.

water chestnut and sugar cane drink

USAGE

Can be drunk regularly for the whole family.

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Burdock for Liver Health

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

It is spring again and is a crucial time to pay attention to our liver health according to Chinese Medicine because the liver is most active in spring.

Liver is the detox engine of our body. It is a part of the digestive system for making cholesterol to digest fatty foods and to dispose of waste products from our blood stream. The liver is also responsible for maintaining the equilibrium of our overall health and should be well taken care of to avoid life-threatening diseases.

The most damaging things to liver health are alcohol, medicine and sorrow. Alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs and supplements are all chemicals which can have unhealthy results to the liver. Mixing them can create toxins and can be poisonous. If you have to take drugs, it is best to take them with at least a one hour interval between each one. Toxins cause our liver to overwork and they can also scar and harden liver tissue. Sorrow, sadness and depression can cause stagnation of liver energy which can inhibit proper liver function.

We should also be careful of what we breathe in. When cleaning with aerosol sprays or cleaners, or any other form of spray such as paint or air fresheners or cosmetic products, we must make sure that the room is ventilated and cover our nose with a mask to prevent breathing in toxic chemicals. When using insecticides, make sure the skin is covered because the chemicals can get into the body through our skin. All toxins require the liver to filter them out therefore over-working this important organ.

The liver does not complain until it is too late. We should be aware of symptoms of problems and check our liver through blood tests regularly.  The symptoms include lack of energy, lack of appetite, indigestion, acid reflux, milky eyes, dark yellow urine, flaky rash, itchy skin, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and fluid retention. Poor digestion leading to leaky gut syndrome will cause toxins to get into the blood stream, making the liver work harder.

Burdock for Liver Health

The purpose of a liver supporting diet is first ‘to do no harm’. Avoid alcohol and toxins including drugs. Secondly, eat food made from scratch with good oil and not too much seasoning and sauces and with little and simple cooking so that the food can be easily digested and absorbed. Eat small amounts of high quality protein and increase the intake of green vegetables for fibre and essential minerals.  Drinking good clean water will also help the body to flush out toxins and keep the liver healthy.

The following is a soup recipe that is best for our liver in spring, when liver energies are at their peak.

Burdock

Burdock contains a number of nutrients important to liver function. They include vitamins B1, B6 and B12 which are essential for the function of phase 1 liver detoxification's pathways, vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant and sulphur which is essential for a number of important phase 2 liver detoxification pathways in which potent toxins created by phase 1 detoxification are neutralized. Burdock also contains other substances such as arctiin which act to improve liver and gallbladder function.

Burdock has many other health benefits and is believed to be the main reason why the Japanese hold the world record for longevity because burdock is a staple in their diet. Please visit our website www.nourishu.com to find out more information and recipes using burdock.

Burdock, Carrot and Pork Soup

Burdock for Liver Health

SYMPTOMS

High cholesterol

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lower blood lipids
  • Detoxifies
  • Promotes liver health

INGREDIENTS

(4 to 6 servings)

  • Fresh burdock 新鮮牛蒡 -  one piece (about 500gm)
  • Carrot 紅蘿蔔 – 2 to 3 (250gm)
  • Green radish青蘿蔔 – one large (250gm)
  • Honey dates 蜜棗 or dried figs - 3
  • Apricot kernel 南北杏 – one handful (about 15gm)
  • Citrus Peel (chen-pi) 陳皮 – one piece (pre-soaked and with white tissue removed)
  • Pork shoulder cut with bone  or bone-in chicken breast – 300gm (pre-cut into large pieces)
  • Ginger – 2 slices

1.   Wash pork, put in boiling water to cook for a few minutes, remove and rinse.

2.   Peel carrot and radish and cut by rolling cut into pieces.

3.   Peel burdock and cut into thin slices.

4.   Rinse other ingredients and put all into a soup pot with about 3 liters of water. Bring to a rolling boil, remove foam and reduce heat to medium low and let it simmers for about 3 hours to about 6 cups of broth left. Add more water (boiling hot) to the cooking if necessary.

5.   When done, add salt to taste and serve soup with some meat, burdock and carrot. Burdock is a good source of fibre.

Burdock for Liver Health

USAGE

No restrictions and suitable for all ages.

 


Chinese Herbs Never Looked So Good.

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP

Yes, I said Chinese herbs. Yes!

I have been taking the superfood tonic Ancient Wisdom for many months now and am amazed at how it makes me feel. I am also impressed by its beautiful packaging (it really is gorgeous), and the company's modern approach. The other thing that is still amazing to me is that this is really the new face of Chinese herbs.

As a kid I was used to coming home from the acupuncturists' with many tidy paper packages filled with raw herbs to be cooked up and consumed to help me heal and keep me healthy. Every time I was sure I was going to throw up as the taste (and smell) was so bad I thought I wasn't going to be able to get it down. But, every time, I did get it down, there was no throwing up, and I felt almost instantly the effects of these powerful plants and organic bits.

Now, the herbs I take come in a beautiful glass jar with a polite scoop and can be made into delicious recipes that look like this. Can I get a hallelujah? This makes me happy from the inside out. They have really come a long way.

Imperial tonics - ancient wisdom

There are certainly still times that I like to kick it old school and cook up some herbs for something specific that is going on, but for my hectic life, a scoop of this in my smoothie or a tonic bar or two in my lunch makes a big difference.

Here is the recipe for these delicious tonic bars if you would like to try to make them. I swear its Chinese herbs. For real. :)

Tonic Bars

Rich, Chocolate Bars for On-The-Go Tonics.

Infuse your tonics into a base of maca and cacao for a superfood alchemy ready to go anywhere. An excellent snack, you will find these bars rich and packed with the energy and power you need to get through your day.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Cacao powder
  • 1 cup of Cacao butter
  • 1 cup of Maca
  • 1 cup of Agave
  • ¼ cup of Hemp seeds or nuts (optional)
  • ¼ tsp of Sea Salt
  • 6 scoops of Ancient Wisdom

Directions

  1. Melt cacao butter in a dehydrator along with agave syrup.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Stir-in melted cacao butter and agave.
  3. Spread onto a flat baking pan, smooth and slice into rectangular bars. Let harden in the fridge.

 

Imperial Tonics formulated Tonic Bars are the perfect medium to infuse your daily superfoods into. Add tinctures, break open capsules and mix-up various powders to create a personalized chocolate bar.

Recommended

Tonic Herbs: Ancient Wisdom, Cordyceps, Deer Antler, Gynostemma, Eucommia & Ginseng

Superfoods: Tococtrienols, Bee Pollen, Cacao Butter, Lucuma, Matcha & Hemp Seeds

Herbs: Holy Basil, Chaga, Ashwagandha and Cat's Claw.

Get creative, empower your health!

Tonic Bars - Ancient Wisdom

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Ancient Wisdom is a Tonic Superfood that combines the Royal Family of Chinese Tonic Herbalism: Duanwood Reishi Spores, Astragalus IV, Goji LBP-40, Schizandra & He Shou Wu in a standardized and concentrated form. Ancient Wisdom is designed to increase assimilation, effectiveness & efficiency of these superior tonics to aid in tonifying the energies of one's life. Ancient Wisdom comes as a one-month supply, 60 servings of standardized extract in powdered form, formulated to be taken twice daily and guaranteed to produce a noticeable impact on your health, well-being and life.


Taro Root for Immune Health

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Taro is a widely cultivated tropical Asian plant with edible broad peltate leaves and a large starchy tuber. It is also widely grown in the Pacific islands, West Africa and Amazonian regions of South America.

Taro root is high in calories, low in fats and protein, free from gluten, high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. It contains B-complex vitamins such as B-6, folates, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. It provides healthy amounts of  important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. In addition, the root has high amounts of potassium, an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Taro is very starchy but it has slow digesting complex carbohydrates therefore can help gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Cooked taro is also high in vitamin E, which can protect cells from oxidation by free radicals, protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Taro Root - Immune System Recipe

Raw taro is slightly toxic. When cutting the root, the white starch can cause skin irritation and itchiness to some people. Therefore, it is recommended to handle taro wearing gloves and never eat taro raw. When selecting taro root, pick the ones lighter in weight because they are starchier, cook faster and melt easily which is ideal for certain dishes such as stuffings and desserts.

Chinese medicine regards taro as neutral in nature, sweet and pungent in taste and it acts on stomach and large intestine. Its health benefits include improving the immune system, reducing signs of aging, improving lung health and reducing abnormal cell growth. Therefore, it is commonly used for preventing and treating tumor growth. It is also highly recommended for people going through chemo therapy or radio-therapy to help in detoxification and recovery.

Taro root is very common in Asian cuisine and can be found in most Asian grocery stores. It is used in making chips, fries, taro net, bread, desserts, stews, soups, fried rice, stuffing and even ice cream. The best way to prepare taro is to cut it into the size and shape according to your recipe and then put it on a plate to steam or just cook. You can then add taro to mix in with the rest of the recipe towards the end and the taro will turn out perfectly. The following is a recipe to show you how to prepare a quick and delicious dish, that also happens to be great for your health.

Taro Root Recipe - Nutritional Therapy in TCM

Taro Chicken in Coconut Cream

Therapeutic effects

Detoxifies, improves complexion, boosts the immune system, improves overall health.

Ingredients:  (3 to 4 servings)

  • Taro root – 600 gm

  • Boneless and skinless chicken thigh – 2 pieces

  • Coconut cream – one cup

  • Minced ginger – one spoonful

  • Minced garlic – one spoonful

  • Green onion – 2 (chopped)

  • Cooking wine – 2 spoonfuls

Instructions

1.  Wash chicken, cut into bite size pieces, rinse and drain. Mix chicken with salt, pepper, one spoonful of cooking wine, a pinch of potato starch and one spoonful of oil.

2.  Cut off taro skin, rinse and cut into match-box size pieces. Put taro on a plate and steam over high heat for about 10 minutes to taro is cooked. You can test by sticking a chop stick or a fork through a few pieces. If it can get through easily, it is cooked. Remove from heat and put aside.

3.  Warm 2 to 3 spoonfuls of oil in a non-stick skillet. Add ginger and garlic and stir until golden brown. Remove skillet from heat, discard the brown ginger and garlic and keep the oil. Reheat skillet with oil and add in chicken pieces to slightly brown on both sides. Then add one spoonful of cooking wine and half a cup of water. Cover with lid and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

4.  Mix in coconut cream and taro and let it cook for a few more minutes to mix well.

5.  Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle in green onion to serve.

Taro Root Chinese Medicine Recipe

Usage

For people with weak digestive systems, eat taro sparingly because it takes longer to digest.