Monday, January 31, 2011

Cure Recipe for Insomnia by Dr. Zhang, Zhongjing (张仲景)

If you often feel absent-minded and restless, yawning all the time and suffering from insomnia, you should try out the following recipe. It is suggested by Dr. Zhang, Zhongjing, who is considered as the saint of Chinese Medicine (150AD-219AD).

It's so simple and effective that you must give it a try if you suffer from insomnia. Even if it doesn't work out for you, you have a bowl of tasty tea without worrying about any side-effects.


licorice 5g

whole wheat 30g

jujube dates 5

water 2 cups

Put everything into a pot. Heat up till boiling. Simmer for 30 minutes. Drain. Drink the tea warm before going to bed. Keep the remained ingredients.

The next morning, add 2 more cups of water and boil the strained licorice, whole wheat and dates. Simmer till the wheat is done and open. Eat up everything.

Testimonial from Mr. Wang:

I have suffered from restlessness and insomnia for more than ten years. I was diagnosed as intractable neurasthenia by many doctors. I could not fall asleep easily at night, and dreamed a lot when sleeping. I used to wake up after a couple of hours' sleep. I felt restless after waking up. I had taken both western medicine and Chinese medicine for years. After I started to take Dr. Zhang's licorice barley tea, the effect was obvious. Two weeks later, my insomnia is gone. Now I can fall asleep easily and have deep sleep.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Medicinal Recipe: Jujube Porridge

Different kinds of porridge plays an important role in Chinese Medicinal food.
We have a saying: "Taking three jujubes a day , you stay young at the age of one hundred." Chinese red jujubes are not only tasty, but also very nutritious. It has the function of nurturing stomach, promoting energy flow, and is especially helpful to the digestion system and a rosy complexion.
Modern medical research also shows that red jujubes have therapeutic functions in treating high blood pressure, liver and stomach problems.

Chinese red jujubes(dried): 1/2 cup
millet: 1 cup
peanuts: a handful, or 1/4 cup
sugar/honey: optional, add the amount you like.
water: 6 cups

Put everything in a pot or a slow cooker. When the water starts to boil, turn down the heat.
Simmer for one hour.
Add sugar to taste.

1. Substitute millet with brown rice, wild rice, adzuki beans or mung beans for variations.
2. Refrigerate any leftover.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Medicinal Food Recipe: Wood Ears Stir-fried with Shredded Pork

This is one of the classical Chinese dishes that I love,similar to Mooshu Pork, but in a simplified version. Black wood ears nourish the blood and fight against tumors and cancers.

lean pork: 1/2 lb
dry wood ears: 3/4 cup
ginger roots: 2T
minced garlic: 1T (optional)
salt: 2 t
cooking wine: 2 T
soy sauce: 1T
corn starch: 1T
vegetable oil: 3 T
water: 1/2cup
MSG 1/8t (optional)

1. Soak the wood ears in a big bowl for 3 -4 hours till soft. Rinse clean.
2. Shred the pork(finger size) and ginger roots(thinner)
3. Mix pork with 1t of salt, soy sauce, wine, and corn starch. Marinate for half an hour.
4. Heat the oil at high. Saute ginger and garlic.
5. Add pork, stir-fry for about one minute till the pork turns white. Add wood ears and continue to sir-fry for 1 minute. Add water. Cover.
6. When you see a lot of steam comes out of the cover, turn down the heat. Let simmer for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
7. Mix in the rest of the salt, and a little bit of MSG. Serve hot with rice.

Medicinal Food Recipe: Shiitake Mushrooms Stir-fried with Chinese Greens

This is a regular dish on our dinner table. It's also my kids' favorite. The Chinese greens are fresh from our garden. They are also available in most of the Asian grocery stores.

Chinese greens: 1 lb
shiitake mushrooms: 6-7
vegetable oil: 1 T
salt: 1 t
garlic minced 1t (optional)
MSG: 1/8t (optional)

1. Soak the mushrooms in a bowl till soft. It takes about 3 hours. Use hot water if in a hurry.
2. Cut off the hard part near the root. Separate the leaves of the Chinese greens.  Rinse them clean. Cut them into chunks.
3. Heat the oil in the wok on high heat. Saute the garlic.(if you like garlic)
4.Add the Chinese greens and mushrooms. Stir-fry and cover.
5. When you see a lot of steam coming out from the cover, turn off the heat.
6. Add salt and MSG. Mix them in. Serve hot.

1. Add some minced ginger roots into the heated oil if you like it spicy.
2. Add 2T oil instead of 1T to make it tastier.
3. Substitute the Chinese greens with mustard greens or any kind of greens.

a collection of traditional Chinese medicinal food

In this posting, I'm going to introduce to you a collection of traditional Chinese medicinal food, which originally come in the form of a chant. More tasty recipes will be posted soon.

Eat these things regularly and prevent a lot of health problems.
Enjoy your meals!

Pears are helpful to reduce phlegm and relieve asthma and coughing.
Chinese black mushrooms (shiitake mushrooms) and wood ears are great to nurture blood and fight against tumors and cancers.

Purple eggplants are good for clearing meridians.
Kelp is effective to disperse blood stasis and activate blood circulation.

Mung beans are good to detoxicate the body.
Honey can nourishing Yin and lungs.

Celery is helpful to lower the blood pressure.
Daikon can help reducing bloating.

Garlic chives are good to kidneys.
Walnuts are good to the brain an hair.

Tomatoes and red Chinese dates can nourish the blood.
Peanuts can help lower cholesterol.

Soybeans are anti-aging food and good for diabetes.
Cucumbers can help you to lose weight.

Above all, garlic is effective in eliminating all kinds of inflammations and ginger roots are used for cold.

fresh shiitake mushrooms

dried shiitake mushrooms

soaked shiitake mushrooms

fresh wild wood ears

dried wood ears
mung beans

garlic chives
 jujube dates

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to Raise Your Body Energy Level-- Strike the Gall Bladder Meridian

This gem of self-treatment is shared by Mr. Qingzhong Wu in his best-selling book  --  The User's Manual for Human Body, and is being tried out by millions of Chinese people nowadays. It is very easy to follow and has received a surprisingly high positive feedback.
 It doesn't cost you any money to purchase special equipment, nor does it demand special diet. You don't have to do a lot of exercise, either. It is so simple to do that it almost seems primitive. However,  if you keep doing it everyday, your body energy level will rise

How Healthy You Are in TCM Model

According to TCM, our body energy is consisted of two elements: blood and Qi (XueQi). We need sufficient body energy to keep the body functioning appropriately. Therefore, without doing any tests, doctors of Chinese medicine can determine a person's general health condition by looking at the patient’s appearance, hair color and thickness, skin tone, color of the teeth and gum, tongue color, and etc. because these are the indicators of the level of XueQi or body energy.

Chinese medicine categorizes body energy into 5 levels, using the concepts of Yin and Yang. You can try to match your own body condition to see which level represents your body.

Level 1 - Healthy Level

At this level, the person has a balance of Yin and Yang. The people that are at this energy level have a fit figure, healthy facial complexion, mild temper, and a regular sleeping pattern. Only a few people can achieve this level. The person seldom gets sick. This is the ideal state of our body.

Level 2 - Weak Yang Level

The body’s Xue Chi level is lower than healthy level. The body energy is still strong enough to combat illness, as a result, the person will experience various symptoms of discomfort. These symptoms can be frequent colds, fevers, and etc.

Level 3 - Weak Yin Level

The body’s Xue Chi level is even lower than weak yang level. Strangely, people at this energy level seem healthy and are rarely sick. In fact, their body energy is only enough to defend the body but not enough to remove illness from the body. The body has to use the limited energy to maintain the major body functions and ignore the minor illness unless the illness is life threatening. In other words, these people's energy level is too low to even get sick. Without any obvious symptoms, this group of people continue with their unhealthy life style, such as staying up late over midnight, little exercise, smoking, over working, etc. However, a lot of them find it hard to fall asleep at this stage. How long the person can maintain this level of energy depends on how much energy is stored in his previous life, say in the childhood. After all the backup energy is used up, the person reaches the next weaker level of energy.

Level 4 – Weak Yin and Yang Level
At this stage, the person will feel constant fatigue during the day as his Xue Chi decreases to the minimum, and the body will try to obtain energy from the muscle and other areas of the body. The person is having serious health problems at this point, not one problem but several problems at the same time, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, insomnia, etc. These problems will in turn use up more body energy in stock.

Level 5 – Xue Chi Exhaustion Level
At this stage the body will attempt to extract energy in anyway they could as the body approaches total collapse. The patients of this Xue Chi level will develop diseases such as various cancers, kidney failure, stroke, etc.

1. Various health problems are only individual manifestations of lack of XueQi in the body. As a result, the most direct way to keep or regain health is to increase your level of body energy. As to how to do this, I will introduce it in another post of writing.

2. Unfortunately, many of us are at Level 3 due to a lot of pressure from work and busy schedule. We need to realize the urgency of the situation and do something right now instead of waiting out till we reach Level 4.

3. When your body is at Level 4, you have a lot of levels to catch up. Don't expect any miracle drug or approach to bring you to Level 1 in a short time. In other words, it requires your perseverance and a commitment to change your life style.

Wish You Healthy Everyday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chinese therapeutic diet Recipe 1( cold)

Cold is the most common illness that attacks you year-round, no matter who you are.  The west medicine aims to get rid of the symptoms only, while Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) aims to boost your whole immune system. Food therapy is very effective at the very beginning phase of cold.  The following is a very old remedy that is applied most frequently in China.
1. For cold type of cold (with symptoms of running nose, sneezing, pale complexion):
fresh ginger roots chopped 1 tablespoons
brown sugar 1 tablespoon
perilla leaves chopped 1 tablespoon (optional if unavailable)
1 cup of boiling water

Drink the ginger tea once in the morning and once in the afternoon. You should feel sweating a little after the tea.
As a preventive measure during the flu season, take the tea every morning for 3-4 days.

2. For hot type of cold ( with symptoms of sore throat, headache, fever, red complexion)
mulberry leaves  1 tablespoon
white chrysanthemum 4-5
bamboo leaves  2 tablespoons
1 cup of boiling tea
Drink the mum tea 3 times a day, for 3 days.

1.Take the tea at the first sign of your cold.
2. More effective if coordinated with acupressure.
3. Avoid oily foods.