Black Bean & Licorice – Best Detox Combination

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Nowadays, detoxification is the centre of attention when it comes to sickness prevention, health promotion and treatment of all kinds of illnesses including cancer. It is not hard to understand why we all need to detoxify for better health because we are living in such a toxic world with the air, food and water being highly polluted. Together with the industrialization of food and the modern healthcare approach of overusing toxic pharmaceutical drugs, our body is constantly bombarded by toxins. It is only a matter of when our body succumbs to the toxic effects and fails to function properly. Cancer is a typical example and is happening far too often to too many people now. I agree with the doctor who said `` if you breathe, you need to detox``.

If we understand the importance of detoxification, we will also understand that detoxification is not just a spring time event or a once a year exercise. It is necessary to flush out toxins from our body on a continuous and regular basis. This means that rather than taking a drastic detox program in a short period of time, it is better to take a more regular and gentler approach. The effect will be far better and easier for the body to handle.

Chinese medicine is big on detoxification. Making detox teas regularly for the whole family is a common approach towards sickness prevention and cure. It is especially important for young children and teenagers throughout their various development stages. The results are they have better digestive function, much more balance internally and therefore become calm and less agitated. They have less skin related problems therefore feel more confident and with better self-esteem. Besides homemade detox tea, it is also very common to find tea houses, herbal shops and retail stores selling all kinds of detox teas rather than coffee or unhealthy drinks. The most popular ones are the five flowers tea and cooling herbal tea. The homemade detox teas have more variety, milder in taste and nature, and are using more food ingredients such as beans, sugar cane, water chestnut, carrot, winter melon, lotus leave, etc., therefore are more delicious and easier for children to take regularly.

Black bean and licorice tea is one detox formula that I recently found in TCM literature which has very high rating and with lots of documentation to back up its efficacy. It is praised as the best detox tea for taking out almost all toxins from our body from all sources including toxins from pharmaceutical drugs and herbs. The only toxin that it cannot remove is cortisone. That is why we have to be very weary when taking cortisone injection. My understanding is that our body can only tolerate up to two cortisone injections in one life time. Any more than that will cause a lot of havoc to our body.

Black Bean & Licorice Detox Tea : Chinese Medicine Living

Black bean is known to be the worlds healthiest food. It is high in protein and calcium and good for promoting bone health. It is low in calories and sugar and is good for managing diabetes. Black bean can lower blood pressure and blood lipid and can prevent heart disease. It can also soften blood vessels, lubricate skin and prevent aging. Black bean provides special support for digestive tract health and promotes a healthy colon. Black bean is also high in selenium which plays a role in liver enzyme function and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body, reduces inflammation and decreases tumor growth.

Black Bean & Licorice Detox Tea : Chinese Medicine Living

Licorice has been used in food and as medicine for thousands of years. It is also known as "sweet root," and has been used in both Eastern and Western medicine to treat a variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold to liver disease. It acts as a demulcent, a soothing, coating agent, and as an expectorant, meaning it helps get rid of phlegm.

Black Bean & Licorice Detox Tea : Chinese Medicine Living

In TCM, licorice is neutral in nature, sweet in taste and attributes to all twelve organs. It is a general drug, one of the most ancient herbs and is highly praised and frequently used for enhancing the overall immune response throughout the body. It improves the taste of other herbs, harmonizes and prolongs their effects in formulas and benefits all of the vital organs and their meridians. It invigorates vital energy, clears heat and toxins for skin infection, sore throat and food poisoning. It eliminates phlegm, relieves cough, relieves spasm, alleviates pain and moderates the potency of drugs. That’s why licorice is often found in many herbal remedy formulas. However over consumption can also result in adverse effects.

The following is a simple formula putting black bean and licorice together to make a great detox tea for regular detoxification. It is slightly sweet in taste and is easy to take. It is highly recommended for people of all ages.

Black Bean and Licorice Detox Tea

Black Bean & Licorice Detox Tea : Chinese Medicine Living

Ingredients (for about 6 servings)

  • Licorice – 65gm
  • Black bean – 300 gm
  • Water – 2000 cc

Directions

1. Rinse beans and soak for over 4 hours or overnight (keep inside a fridge).

2. Bring water to a boil in a big soup pot (to prevent boiling over). Add beans and soaking water in and bring to a boil again. Lower heat to medium and let it cook for about 15 minutes.

3. Rinse licorice briefly and add to the cooking. Lower heat and cook until beans are soft (about another 30 minutes).

4. You can take the tea only or eat beans with tea or you can discard the licorice and put beans and tea in a blender to mix into a smoothie.

Black Bean & Licorice Detox Tea : Chinese Medicine Living

Usage

You can take one to two servings per day and keep the rest in the fridge.

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Chinese Silk Pulse Cushions : Chinese Medicine Living


Cloud-Ear Mushroom - For Spring Detox

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Spring is in the air and it is time for many households to start their spring cleaning projects around their homes and gardens. Our body, after a whole winter of inactivity and over indulgence in greasy and highly dense food, should also be in great need for a good spring cleaning.

On the subject of cleansing and detoxifying our body, you may find yourself being overwhelmed by too many product advertisements in health magazines, newspapers, online newsletters and blogs and you may find it hard to decide where to start and what product to use. I think the best approach is to have a good assessment of your body condition first and then use it as a guideline to help determine your right course of action. This, together with your honest answers to how much time, money and effort that you would like to put into the exercise, are the determining factors on how successful you can be. I think it is only sensible to take a longer time and more moderate approach rather than going through some drastic regimens of extreme and punishing diets which can only kill your will power and good intension. May I suggest just changing your food choices to more healthful ones as a start which may take longer to see the effects but at least more doable and enjoyable?

Cloud Ear Mushroom Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Overall, if you can manage to feed yourself with more good clean and nutritional fluids such as good clean water, freshly squeezed fruits and vegetables juice and homemade broth, cut down on meat consumption, eat a little bit less and do sweat inducing exercises daily for about 45 minutes, you are on the right path to spring clean your body for better health.

On healthy food choices for detoxification, vegetables with high fiber content would be the best choice. Chive, garlic stem, daikon, bok-choy, watercress, yu-choy, collard green, kelp and seaweed are good in cleansing our stomach and digestive tract. Mushroom, beans and seeds are other good detox agents. Most mushrooms have anti-oxidant properties and are effective in fighting tumors and abnormal cell development. Beans and seeds are effective in helping the body to eliminate abnormal retention of water and waste products.

Mushrooms have a good reputation for delivering great health benefits. Most western people know about Asian shiitake mushroom and consume it regularly but they may not know about another black mushroom called cloud-ear mushroom.

Cloud-ear mushroom is smaller in size, thinner, more fragile and very different than shiitake. It is more a fungus than mushroom and the shape is like human ear. They are grown on wet tree trunks and cluster together like a stack of clouds. They are known to be very effective in cleaning the lungs, reducing plague and cholesterol. They are commonly used in Chinese home cooking because they are easily available and affordable. They are mostly sold dried therefore can be kept for a long time. They can be fully rehydrated after soaking for about 15 minutes and a little can turn into a lot so very easy and economical to use.

The mushroom itself is almost tasteless, just needs a few minutes to cook but its slippery and crunchy texture makes it a very unique culinary ingredient. Even with longer time cooking will not change its texture. Therefore, cloud-ear mushroom is best for putting in a stir-fry, quick soup recipes and vegetarian stew. You can also put it in salad or some appetizer dishes after quick cooking in hot water.

Last week, I was so pleasantly surprised when I found fresh cloud-ear mushroom for sale in Chinese supermarkets in the Greater Toronto area. They are now being farmed in some Ontario mushroom farms together with many other exotic species. I am so happy to be able to use them fresh in many recipes now.

Whenever I buy cloud-ear mushroom, my 95 year old mom (living with me) will tell her story again on how her father made them all eat a bowl first thing in the morning before breakfast when they were young and how much he loved and cared for them. They were using the dried ones then and have them soaked in an open pot overnight on the roof-top terrace to get some morning dews before cooking with a little sugar to make it tasty for children. This is the kind of breakfast that will make so much difference to our heath compared to eating a bowl of sweet cereal. However, I think this is a hard act to follow and I truly admire the grandfather whom I had never met.

The following is an easy stir-fry recipe which I have put together just for demonstration. I used ingredients I have on hand. Crunchy and easy to cook ingredients such as onion, zucchini, cucumber and sweet peppers go well together with this mushroom. You just vary them according to your liking.  Sometimes I put the mushroom in vegetable soups and finish the soup with egg wash to make it a little bit fancier. I have also come to notice some Chinese dim-sum restaurants are using cloud-ear mushroom in their appetizers other than just in their usual steamed chicken.

Cloud-Ear Mushroom with Chicken Stir-Fry

Cloud Ear Mushroom Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Ingredients

  • Cloud-ear mushroom
  • Asparagus
  • Red onion
  • King mushroom
  • Chicken breast
  • Minced ginger and garlic

Cloud Ear Mushroom Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Directions

  • Rinse and cut ingredients to desire thickness and length.
  • Rinse and slice chicken breast thinly. Season with salt, pepper, cooking oil, soy sauce, potato starch and sesame oil.
  • Heat wok, add mined ginger and garlic and stir briefly. Add onion and other vegetables to cook for a couple of minutes. Then add mushrooms and mix in seasoning to taste. When the cloud-ear mushrooms starting to make popping sound, sprinkle in a little cooking wine and a little water. Mix and cover with lid to cook for a few minutes.  Then put everything aside.
  • Heat wok with a little oil and add minced ginger and garlic to stir-fry chicken slices. When about 70 % cooked, sprinkle in cooking wine and return mushrooms & vegetable to the cooking to mix the ingredients. Put everything to plate when chicken is completely cooked.

Cloud-Ear Mushroom - For Spring Detox : Chinese Medicine Living

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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 Spring Season in Chinese Medicine, you can find it here - The Spring Season in Chinese Medicine.

 


Sang Ji Sheng – with Many Health Benefits

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Sang Ji Sheng (桑寄生) or Taxilli twig is also known as mulberry mistletoe. It has long been characterized by increasing lifespan and preserving health in many medical classics. The health benefits include lowering blood pressure, treating an abnormal heart rhythm, increasing coronary blood flow, improving coronary circulation, enhancing cardiac contractility, reducing myocardial oxygen consumption, inhibiting platelet aggregation, preventing thrombosis, promoting microcirculation, suppressing tumor growth, curing hepatitis, and so on.

TCM classifies Sang Ji Sheng as bitter and sweet in taste and neutral in nature. Medicinally, only the dried aerial parts of the plant are used. They are usually collected in winter and spring with the big stems removed and the smaller parts cut into sections and dried. Sang Ji Sheng is used in TCM remedies for nourishing liver and kidney, building strong bones and muscles, expelling wind-dampness and preventing abortion. It is also used in resolving health problems such as aching lumbus and knees, weak physique, hemiplegia, rheumatic pain, light headedness, threatened abortion, uterine bleeding, and blood in stool.
Sang Ji Sheng with its neutral nature is commonly used with few restrictions. Since it is a parasitic plant and lives on other woody trees, there can be slight toxicity derived from the host plant. Therefore, the recommended dosage is from 20 to 25 grams in making a decoction. When slight symptoms of adverse effects are found such as dizziness, headache or upset stomach, the whole batch of herb should be discarded. However, adverse effects are not commonly known because Sheng Ji Sheng tea is a very common street food found in many corner stores in China. The Sang Ji Sheng tea with egg dessert is an all-time favourite snack for many.

Sang Ji Sheng Recipe : Chinese Medicine Livingthis lovely image by Vicky Chan

The easiest way to get the health benefits of Sang Ji Sheng is to cook it into a tea. It is a very inexpensive herb and you can buy it in most Chinese herbal shops. You can get 500 gm in a box for less than the price of a small box of tea bags. Make sure you rinse the herb thoroughly first (or even a quick blanching) before boiling it for 45 minutes to make tea. You can add milk and sugar to serve just like making English tea and it is very delicious. I will highly recommend you to try this and treat you guests with this new healthy tea for a change.

The following recipe, Sang Ji Sheng tea with egg dessert, is not only a healthy snack, it is also good for improving complexion and promoting better skin because Sang Ji Sheng is anti-inflammatory and promotes blood circulation. You will be healthier and prettier eating this on a regular basis.

Sang Ji Sheng Recipe : Chinese Medicine Livingthis lovely image by Vicky Chan

Sang Ji Sheng Tea and Egg Dessert

Ingredients (2 servings)

•    Sang Ji Sheng – 50 gm
•    Egg – two
•    Red dates – 10
•    Lotus seeds – (optional) a handful
•    Organic cane sugar – to taste

Directions

1.  Bring 5 cups of water in a pot to a boil and put herb (sang ji sheng) in to cook for half a minute. Remove from heat, discard the water and rinse the herb for a few times to get rid of dirt.

2.  Put herb back into the pot with 5 to 6 cups of fresh water. If lotus seed is used, the herb should be put in a soup bag so that it is easier to discard it at the end.

3.  Rinse eggs, red dates and add to the pot. Bring water to a medium boil for 10 minutes. Remove eggs, put in cold water bath to remove the shell and put eggs back into the cooking. Continue cooking for another 35 minutes to about 2 cups of tea left.

4.  Pick out dates and eggs and add to serving bowls.  Filter tea and add to the bowls. Add sugar to taste and serve.

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Sang Ji Sheng – with Many Health Benefits : Chinese Medicine Living


Fuzzy Melon - A Diuretic to Expel Toxins

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Fuzzy melon, also known as fuzzy squash or mo gwa (hairy melon) is named for the fine-textured fuzz or hairs that cover the outer thick skin. It is a very common and easy to grow vegetable in backyard home gardens during summer.

This mild, sweet-flavored squash, which is common to Asian cooking, is low in calories and high in fiber. Chinese Medicine regards mo qwa as nutrient rich, sweet in taste, neutral in nature and a diuretic which helps to increase urine output to eliminate toxins from the body. It is suitable for people of all ages, even for the very sick and weak.

The melon is easy to prepare and is incorporated into a variety of cooked dishes such as stir-fry's, soup and stew. When selecting the melon, the more hairy ones the better and the smaller ones (around one pound) are tenderer than the bigger ones. When preparing the squash, peel the skin away first and then cut the squash into cubes for stew and soup or Julian cut them into match sticks for stir-fry. Since the squash itself is very mild in favour, it is usually cooked with ingredients such as dried shrimps, dried scallops or dried mushrooms to give it the sweet and salty tastes

The following is a very common household mo qua stir-fry recipe which we all grew up with. You can always add more ingredients to the dish such as meat or fresh mushrooms to increase the tastes and nutritional values.

Stir-Fried Fuzzy Melon with Dried Shrimps and Vermicelli

Chinese Medicine Fuzzy Melon Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Therapeutic Effects

Diuretic, increases urine output to flush out toxins from the body, benefits stomach and spleen.

Ingredients

  • Fuzzy melon - one
  • Vermicelli – one bunch
  • Dried shrimps – about 2 tablespoons
  • Minced ginger – one teaspoon
  • Minced garlic – one teaspoon
  • Oyster sauce – two tablespoons
  • Cooking wine – one tablespoon
  • Sesame oil – one tablespoon

Directions

1.   Soak vermicelli with warm water for about half an hour and rinse.

2.   Peel skin of fuzzy melon and trim off both ends. Rinse and Julian cut into match sticks.

3.   Rinse dried shrimps slightly and drain.

4.   Heat pan over medium heat with two spoonful of cooking oil. Add ginger and garlic to stir briefly. Then add dried shrimps and stir until slightly brown.

5.   Turn up heat and add melon to stir for a few minutes. Add salt and a little pepper to taste. Sprinkle in cooking wine and add water to just cover the melon (about one cup). Cover with lid and let it cook for about 5 to 6 minutes to melon become soften but still firm and with about one-third of water left. Add vermicelli and mix in. Add oyster sauce and sesame oil and cook until most of the liquid is being absorbed and serve.

Chinese Medicine Fuzzy Melon Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Usage

No limitations

Acupuncture Mug : Chinese Medicine Living

Fuzzy Melon - A Diuretic to Expel Toxins


Lo-han Fruit for Soothing Throat and Cough

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Luo Han Guo or Lo-han fruit is a fruit which has been used as a medicinal herb for treating cough and sore throat for centuries in China and is popularly considered to be a longevity aid.

The fruit is collected as a round green fruit that turns brown upon drying. The outer surface of the dried fruit is round and smooth, dusty yellow-brown or dusty green-brown. It is covered with fine, soft hair. The fruit is covered by a hard but thin shell. Inside is a partly dry, flexible substance containing the juice, as well as a large number of seeds. The skin, juicy part, and seeds all have a good sweet flavor. Its nature is cool, and it has no poison.

The sweet taste of Lo-han fruit primarily from mixed mogrosides and are estimated to be about 300 times as sweet as sugar by weight, so that the 80% extracts are nearly 250 times sweeter than sugar. It has more recently been developed into a non-caloric sweetener to compete with other herbal sweeteners in relation to diabetes and obesity, because it can substitute for caloric sugars normally consumed in the diet.

The dried Lo-han fruit is very inexpensive and each one is about the cost of a fresh lemon but has many medicinal benefits. It is known to help relieve sunstroke, moistens the lungs, eliminates phlegm, stops cough, and promotes bowel movements.

Lo Han Green Tea Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Applications:

1. Heat stroke with thirst: Take one fruit, break it open and stir into boiled water. Drink the liquid in place of tea.

2. Acute or chronic throat inflammation:  Take half a fruit and 3-5 seeds. Cover with hot water and simmer for 20 minutes, then swallow the tea very slowly.

3. Chronic cough:  Take 1 piece of fruit, cover with water, simmer, and drink the liquid. Do this twice each day.

4. Constipation in the aged:  Take 2 pieces of fruit, obtain the juicy part and the seed (put the shell aside for other uses), break apart, cover with water, and simmer. Drink before going to bed.

5. Diabetes:  Take an appropriate measure of the fruit and crush it or simmer it into a thick juice and add to food being prepared, using it as a substitute for sugar.

The following is a very easy recipe for general detox or soothing throat infection with phlegm. It can be consumed regularly especially in late fall and early winter months. Please explore other recipes on our website (www.nourishu.com) using the fruit to cook as tea or soup.

Lo Han Green Tea Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Lo-han Quo Green Tea

Symptoms

Throat infection with phlegm.

Therapeutic Effects

Clear phlegm and toxic materials in the lungs. This recipe is good for prevention too.

Ingredients

  • Lo-han quo  羅漢果 – half
  • Green tea - adequate

1.   Put both ingredients in a teapot and pore in adequate boiling water, cover lid and brew for 5 minutes. Serve as tea.

Usage

Drink throughout the day with no restrictions.

Lo Han Green Tea Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Lo-Han Fruit for Soothing Throat & Cough : Chinese Medicine Living

Buddha Bracelet : Chinese Medicine Living


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.


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.



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Chinese Cabbage – The King of All Vegetables

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Chinese cabbage is similar is size and shape to a football. There are a few outside leaves that are pale green, but most of the inside leaves are pale yellow with white stalks, thus it is commonly known as “wong bok” (yellow white). Chinese cabbage is a night shade vegetable grown mainly in the northern parts of China in colder temperatures. It is readily available, very inexpensive and keeps a long time, and therefore was a common staple for the peasants. Chinese cabbage is also popular and grown in Japan and Korea where it is known as nappa cabbage and is mostly used in making hot pot and kimchee.

Chinese Cabbage Recipe

Chinese cabbage is sweet in taste, neutral in nature and has a high nutritional content. For each 100g of cabbage, it has 37mg of vitamin C, 140mg of calcium and 50mg of potassium. It also contains vitamin A and K, and many trace minerals including selenium. Each cup of cabbage juice has as much calcium as a cup of milk and its calcium to potassium ratio is ideal for easy absorption. The vegetable is high in fiber so is good for promoting digestion and can prevent constipation. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can lower internal heat, clear phlegm and cough, is a diuretic, detoxifies and prevents cancer growth. The vegetable is filling but low in calories; therefore is good for people wanting to lose weight. It can also lower blood pressure to prevent heart diseases and muscular degeneration. It is also known for helping to treat skin disorders, eczema and jaundice by using the juice on the affected areas.

The story of how Chinese cabbage became famous is quite incredible. It was said that the Empress Dowager Cixi of the Qing Dynasty at around 1900 became very ill in her old age and was having respiratory failure, high fever, lack of energy and was unable to eat or drink, urinate or move her bowels. No doctor or medicine was able to help her. Upon the advice of a monk she was fed only Chinese cabbage juice and soup which saved her life. She was nursed back to health by eating mostly food made with Chinese cabbage to replace her usual diet of delicate, expensive, highly refined, meaty and rich foods. After her recovery, she praised Chinese cabbage as the king of all vegetables.

Chinese Cabbage Recipe

The lesson learned was that eating only the “good” food can be deadly and a healthy diet should be balanced with less meat and more vegetables, and a lot of roughage to keep things moving through the body. The value of food cannot be determined just by the price alone because the cheapest food can be so good for our health. In today’s world where many people are being overfed and under nourished, Chinese cabbage is an excellent option. It is also tasty, cheap, and quick and easy to prepare.

There are many ways of preparing Chinese cabbage. You can make it into a soup in less than 15 minutes with thin slices of meat or mushrooms or both. You can add it to a stir-fry, serve it as a side dish, add it to a stew, put it inside a dumpling or make into cabbage rolls. The possibilities are endless.

Chinese Mushrooms Cabbage Recipe

To make it as a side vegetable dish, you will only need to stir-fry it with some minced ginger and garlic and season it with salt and pepper. If you want to top up the tastes a bit, you can add some cooking wine, sesame oil and oyster sauce. The following recipe is a grand version to demonstrate what else you can add to the vegetable to make it an outstanding dish with additional tastes and health benefits. All the ingredients are optional and the quantity of each ingredient can vary according to availability and your preference. This recipe is also perfect for turning it into a soup by boiling everything in water for about 20 minutes. You do not need to add oyster sauce and potato starch to the soup to keep the soup natural tasting and clear.

Chinese Cabbage Recipe

Mushroom & Chinese Cabbage Stir-fry

Ingredients (for 4 to 5 servings)

  • Chinese cabbage – half (or one small one)
  • Dried small shrimp – 1 to 2 spoonfulls
  • Goji-berries – 2 spoonfuls
  • Ginger – 3 slices (minced)
  • Garlic – 3 cloves (minced)
  • King oyster mushrooms – 3 to 4
  • Shiitake mushrooms – 3 to 4
  • cooking wine – 2 spoonfuls
  • sesame oil – one spoonful
  • oyster sauce – two spoonfuls

Chinese Cabbage and Mushrooms Recipe

Directions

  1. Cut cabbage into halves lengthwise and then cut the half into sections. Rinse a couple of times and strain.
  2. Rinse dried shrimp quickly, strain and put aside. Soak goji-berries for 15 minutes, rinse a few times and put aside.
  3. Remove stems from mushrooms, rinse and cut them into slices.
  4. Warm 2 spoonfuls of oil in a stirring pan or wok, add ginger and dried shrimp to stir for a couple of minutes until the aroma of shrimp comes out.
  5. Turn up heat, add cabbage and stir to cook until the leaves are withered (about 5 to 6 minutes). No need to add water because the cabbage will release a lot of juice. Add salt and white pepper to taste and mix well. Put cabbage aside and keep the juice separate in another container.
  6. Warm 2 spoonfuls of oil in the pan and add garlic to stir for a few moments. Add mushrooms to stir-fry for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add goji-berries, cooking wine, sesame oil, oyster sauce and about 3 spoonfuls of the cabbage juice to the cooking and stir to mix. Use another 2 spoonfuls of the cabbage juice to mix with one spoonful of potato starch and add it to the cooking and stir.
  8. Return the cabbage to mix into the mushrooms and put everything on a plate to serve.

Chinese Cabbage Mushroom Recipe

Usage

Chinese cabbage belongs to the cruciferous vegetable group so people with hypothyroid (under active) should not eat too much of this vegetable.


Eight Treasures Dessert - The Nutrient Powerhouse

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Warming & Nourishing Dessert

In winter months, we all tend to eat more to keep warm and exercise less, therefore it is hard to avoid packing on extra pounds. Especially with all the festivities and celebrations happening at the same time, surely we will be tempted to indulge in more heavy, greasy and high calorie foods. The worst culprit are desserts, such as Christmas puddings and cakes. They are packed with sugar, butter, dried fruits, chocolate, cheese, cream and alcohol which inevitably can quickly add pounds to our bodies and create an extra burden to our health.

If you are health conscious but do not want to give up on desserts completely and are hoping to find healthier alternatives, here is a perfect recipe for you. It is quick and easy to make, very soothing and warming to the body, not heavy and is easy to digest. It can even give your family and friends a new surprise. Each ingredient chosen is a powerhouse of nutrients by itself with so many health benefits to offer. (You can search our website www.noruishu.com to see the therapeutic effects of each ingredient.) The best part of this recipe is you can vary the quantity of each ingredient according to your own likings. You can even skip one or two ingredients if they are not conveniently availability to you. No matter what you do, it will just come out perfectly.

Eight Treasures Dessert

SYMPTOMS

Dry skin, dry throat and/or with occasional dry cough.

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

Promotes vital fluids, lowers internal heat and moisturizes skin.

Eight Treasures Dessert : TCM Recipe

INGREDIENTS (3 to 4 Servings)

  • snow-ear mushroom – one

  • honey dates – four

  • gingko seeds – 20

  • apple – one

  • banana – one

  • fresh lily bulb – 50gm

  • egg – one

  • tapioca pearls / sagu – 25gm

  • sugar – to taste

    INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak snow-ear mushroom with plenty of water for around 30 minutes. Cut out the brown base and separate mushroom into smaller pieces. Rinse a few times.
  2. Rinse honey dates and gingko, and put together with mushroom in a pot with about 8 cups of water. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove skin and core of apple, cut into small cubes and add to the cooking.
  4. Add sagu and stir until they become transparent (about 3 to 4 minutes) to act as healthy thickener.
  5. Add sugar to taste. Add more water if necessary.
  6. Separate lily bulbs and rinse clean. Cut banana into small cubes. Add the two to the cooking for just another 2 minutes more.
  7. Beat egg, pour and stir into the cooking and turn off heat. Serve warm.

USAGE

No restrictions and is suitable for all ages.

Remarks

Fresh gingko seeds and fresh lily bulbs can be found in most Chinese supermarkets in the refrigerated fresh produce section.