Nutrition in Chinese Medicine: herbal home-made tea

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Fresh Ginger - Sheng Jiang (生姜)

Nature & Flavor:

Acrid, slightly warm

Channels entered:

Lung, Spleen, Stomach

Actions:

Dispersing in Nature, it will benefit the Stomach, transform phlegm, induce perspiration, disperse Cold, warm the Center, stop nausea and vomiting, warm the Lungs, stops coughing, reduce the toxicity of other herbs and seafood. It will also invigorate the circulation of Qi, Phlegm and Blood. When cooked with fish, it eliminates fish toxins. Think to use it in case of morning sickness, common cold, or Stomach discomfort.

Cautions:

Do not use if there is spontaneous sweating from Deficiency, or if there is internal Heat.

How to use:

Every morning, simply cut 3 slices of fresh organic ginger and let it infuse 20 - 30 minutes in boiling water. Drink once a day. When sick or suffering from internal Coldness, you can infuse the same slices several times a day by simply adding additional boiled water. If you feel too warm, reduce the intake.

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Fresh Mint - Bo He (薄荷)

Nature & Flavor:

Acrid, aromatic, cooling

Channels entered:

Lung, Liver

Actions:

Facilitates the expulsion of Wind-Heat, cools and clears the eyes and head, soothes the throat, facilitates the flow of Liver Qi, expels turbid filth, helps to recover from early stage skin rashes, reduces pressure in the flanks, calms emotional instability, expels summer-heat, alleviates pain and sore throat. Think to use it when fever, cough, headache, red eyes, restlessness, overall sensation of overheating.

Cautions:

Do not use if there is Qi Deficiency with profuse sweating, or if the Liver Yang is rising.

How to use:

Let it infuse 10 - 15 minutes in boiling water, cover the cup with a small plate to keep the Essence inside (easily evaporates). When sick or suffering from Wind-Heat (ex: flu), you can infuse the leaves with some Ginger and Honey. If you feel too cold, reduce the intake. 

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Cinnamon bark - Rou Gui (肉桂)

Nature & Flavor:

Acrid, sweet, hot

Channels entered:

Heart, Kidney, Liver, Spleen

Actions:

Warms and tonifies the Yang, disperses Cold, promotes the movement of Blood, fortifies the Kidney and Spleen Yang, warms the Heart Yang, alleviates pain from Cold, encourages the generation of Qi and Blood, unblocks Cold obstructions, strengthen Ming Men Fire and leads the Fire back to its source. Think to use it when weak or painful back, cold limbs, impotence, diarrhea, feeling cold, exhausted, nocturia, or cold pain.

Cautions:

Do not use during pregnancy, or if there is excessive internal Heat, or blazing Fire from Yin deficiency.

How to use:

At the end of any herbal infusion, scratch around 1 gram from the bark and put it directly into it. Rou Gui is very volatile so better not boil it. You can also scratch it directly over your porridge, or use it directly into your food. Always add it at the end of the cooking process. If you feel too warm, reduce the intake.

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Honey - Feng Mi (蜂蜜)

Nature & Flavor:

Sweet, neutral

Channels entered:

Large Intestine, Lung, Spleen, Stomach

Actions:

Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach, restores Qi, and prevents dryness, moistens the Intestines, nourishes the Lungs and stops coughing, nourishes the Spleen and Stomach, relieves pain, and eliminates toxins. Think to use it when dry stools or constipation, dry cough, painful throat, digestive issues, stomach pain, also used externally for dry skin, burns, or on various sores and lesions.

Cautions:

Avoid use if there is interior Phlegm or Dampness, or if there is abdominal fullness, diarrhea, or bloating.

How to use:

At the end of any herbal infusion, take a small amount (1 teaspoon) and put it directly into it. You can also add it directly into your porridge, or use it directly with your food. If you have a sore throat, take a teaspoon of honey and keep it in your mouth, let the honey slowly go down your throat.

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Go Ji Berries - Gou Qi Zi (枸杞子)

Nature & Flavor:

Sweet, neutral

Channels entered:

Liver, Lung, Kidney

Actions:

Enriches the Yin of the Kidneys and Lungs, nourishes the Liver Blood, benefits the Essence (Jing), gently tonifies the Kidney Yang, brightens the eyes, moistens the Lungs, regulate wasting and thirsting disorders. Think to use it with nocturnal emissions, back pain, sore legs, thirst disorders, dizziness, blurred vision, diminished visual activity, dry mouth and throat, Kidney or Lungs deficiency.

Cautions:

Avoid use if there is diarrhea because of Spleen deficiency and Dampness.

How to use:

Every morning, roughly put 10 grams of organic Gou Qi Zi to infuse 20 - 30 minutes in boiling water. Drink once a day. When sick, you can infuse the same pieces several times a day by simply adding additional boiled water. You can also add it directly into your porridge, or use it directly with your food. 

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Shiitake - Xiang Gu (香菇)

Nature & Flavor:

Sweet, neutral

Channels entered:

Spleen, Stomach, Lungs

Actions:

Tonifies the Qi, nourishes the Blood, dries Dampness, tonifies Wei Qi, strengthens the Spleen, stimulates the appetite, expels Wind and promotes eruptions, resolves Phlegm and regulates the flow of Qi, removes toxicity and is well known as an anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, antimicrobial. Think to use it when weakness, fatigue, indigestion, edema, anemia, night sweat, tumors, cardiovascular disease.

Cautions:

Considered safe, a very few people may develop a skin rash.

How to use:

Add it directly into your porridge, or use it directly with your food. Very good to put some shiitake mushrooms in all of your soups, stews, broths, etc. You can also add it in your cooked vegetables or mushroom sauce. The delicious flavor will enhance all dishes.

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Chrysanthemum - Ju Hua (菊花)

Nature & Flavor:

Sweet, bitter, slightly cold

Channels entered:

Liver, Lung

Actions:

Disperses Wind and clears Heat, calms the Liver, resolves toxicity (purifies Blood), clears the eyes, calms Liver Yang and extinguishes Wind, promotes the movement of Heart Qi and Blood, stimulates Blood circulation. Think to use it when common cold, fever, headache, dizziness, systemic hypertension and coronary disease, blurry vision, considered as a flower of longevity (Daoists).

Cautions:

Avoid use if there is Qi deficiency, Stomach cold, or diarrhea.

How to use:

Every morning or when there is a headache, roughly put 5 grams of organic Ju Hua to infuse 15 - 20 minutes in boiling water, cover the cup with a small plate to keep the Essence inside (easily evaporates). Drink once a day. If your work strains your eyes, combine Ju Hua with Gou Qi Zi (ideal everyday drink).

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Tangerine Peel - Chen Pi (陳皮)

Nature & Flavor:

Acrid, bitter, warm, aromatic

Channels entered:

Lung, Spleen, Stomach

Actions:

Regulates and promotes the flow of Qi, adjusts the Middle and relieves the diaphragm, dries Dampness and transforms Phlegm, strengthens the Spleen, helps prevent stagnation from tonic herbs, descends Qi (Qi-Ni). Think to use it when heartburn, abdominal distention and bloating, nausea, vomiting, copious and viscous sputum, fatigue, poor digestion, stiff sensation in the chest, restlessness.

Cautions:

Avoid use if there is Heat from excess or Qi deficiency. Long-term use can injure the primal Qi.

How to use:

After eating the mandarin, put the organic peel on a tissue paper and make them dry under the sun. Once they are dry (1-2 weeks behind a window with sun / easily break between fingers), make sure there is no moisture, slice in bands and stock in a closed and dry container. Once every other day, throw a few slices in your tea (infuse 10 mins).

Chinese date, Jujube - Da Zao (大棗)

Nature & Flavor:

Sweet, warm

Channels entered:

Spleen, Stomach

Actions:

Also called Hong Zao (紅棗). Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach, tonifies the Qi, nourishes the Blood, calms the Spirit, generates Fluids, harmonizes the Spleen, moderates the toxic effects of other herbs, harmonizes the harsh properties of other herbs. Think to use it for weakness, shortness of breath, lassitude, reduced appetite, loose stools, irritability, restless organ disorders. 

Cautions:

Do not use if excessive Heat, Damp-Heat, or Phlegm-Heat. Caution if abundant Dampness or Qi Stagnation.

How to use:

Every morning, put 3 to 12 dates of organic Da Zao to infuse 20 - 30 minutes in boiling water. They firstly need to be cut open. Drink once a day. When sick, you can infuse the same pieces several times a day by simply adding additional boiled water. You can also add it directly with your food (soup, stew, broth, etc). 

Licorice Root - Gan Cao (甘草)

Nature & Flavor:

Sweet, neutral

Channels entered:

Heart, Lung, Spleen, Stomach

Actions:

Tonifies the Spleen and augments Qi, moistens the Lungs, resolves Phlegm and stops coughing, moderates spasms and alleviates pain, clears Heat and relieves Fire toxicity, moderates urgency and toxicity, drains Fire, antidote for many toxic substances (internal and topical). Think to use it if lassitude, coughing, painful spasms of the abdomen or legs, carbuncles or sores, sore throat, or tiredness.

Cautions:

Do not use if overabundant Dampness, hypertension, hypokalemia or congestive heart failure.

How to use:

Every morning, put 3 to 4 grams of organic Gan Cao to infuse 20 - 30 minutes in boiling water. Drink once a day. It is best to break the sticks into pieces. When sick, you can infuse the same pieces several times a day by simply adding additional boiled water. 

Lemon - Ning Meng (檸檬)

Nature & Flavor:

Very sour, slightly sweet, astringent, cooling

Channels entered:

Liver, Gall Bladder, Stomach, Lung

Actions:

Promotes the secretion of saliva, relieves thirst, harmonizes the stomach, facilitates digestion, promotes Qi circulation, regulates blood circulation, clears heat, eliminates toxins, and resolves phlegm. Excellent source of vitamin C (antioxidants), boost health and well-being, boost the immune system. Think to use it if poor appetite, stomach heat, sunstroke, vomiting during pregnancy, cough, abdominal distension.

Cautions:

Considered very safe. Avoid long term daily consumption.

How to use:

Every morning, squeeze out the juice of half an organic lemon into warm water. Drink once a day. It is best to do this in spring, for 3 weeks, then take a break of 3 weeks. Repeat again a few cycles of 3 weeks intake, 3 weeks pause. When sick, you can drink lemon juice several times a day.

Turmeric - Jiang Huang (姜黄)

Nature & Flavor:

Acrid, bitter, warm

Channels entered:

Spleen, Stomach, Liver

Actions:

Invigorates the Blood, breaks up Blood stasis, drives Qi downward, treats Wind-Damp painful obstruction, unblocks menstruation, promotes the movement of Qi and alleviates pain, expels Wind and promotes the movement of Blood. Think to use it when pain and swelling due to traumatic injury, pain in the arms, shoulder pain, abdominal pain caused by excessive cold, or menstrual pain.

Cautions:

Do not use during pregnancy, if there is Blood Deficiency or no stagnant Qi or Blood.

How to use:

At the end of an herbal infusion, scratch around half a tea spoon from the rhizome and put it directly into it. Jiang Huang is very volatile so better not boil it. You can also use it directly into your food. Always add it at the end of the cooking process. If you feel too warm, reduce the intake.

Crataegus fruit - Shan Zha (山楂)

Nature & Flavor:

Sour, sweet, slightly warm

Channels entered:

Liver, Spleen, Stomach

Actions:

Reduces food stagnation and transforms accumulations, especially from meat and greasy foods, alleviates diarrhea and dysentery, transforms Blood stasis, invigorates Blood circulation and dissipates clumps, awakens the Spleen, unbinds the Stomach, assist digestion. Think to use it when diarrhea, hypertension, elevated serum cholesterol, coronary artery disease, lack of appetite, epigastric and abdominal distention.

Cautions:

Use with caution if Spleen or Stomach deficiency. Contraindicated during pregnancy.

How to use:

Every morning, put 5 to 12 pieces of organic Shan Zha to infuse 20 - 30 minutes in boiling water. They firstly need to be rinsed. Drink once a day. When sick, you can infuse the same pieces several times a day by simply adding additional boiled water. You can also add it directly with your food (soup, broth, etc).

Barley sprouts, malt - Mai Ya (麥芽)

Nature & Flavor:

Sweet, neutral

Channels entered:

Liver, Spleen, Stomach

Actions:

Reduces food stagnation, especially from starches and fruits, softens areas of hardness, improves the appetite, improves digestion and strengthens the Stomach, raises and stimulates the Qi of the Stomach, inhibits lactation, facilitates the smooth flow of Liver Qi. Think to use it with infants who have difficulty to digest milk, breast distention and pain, borborygmus, sensation of fullness in the stomach, low appetite.

Cautions:

Contraindicated in women during lactation. Avoid long periods of use if there is no food accumulation.

How to use:

Every morning, roughly put 10 grams of organic Mai Ya to infuse 20 - 30 minutes in boiling water. Drink once a day. When sick, you can infuse the same pieces several times a day by simply adding additional boiled water. You can also add it directly into your porridge, or use it directly with your food.

Reishi mushroom - Ling Zhi (灵芝)

Nature & Flavor:

Sweet, neutral

Channels entered:

Heart, Liver, Lung

Actions:

Calms the mind while augmenting the Qi and nourishing the Blood, nourishes the Heart, tonifies the Lung Qi, transforms Phlegm, stops cough and wheezing, it generates long-term immune enhancement and immediate immune stimulation. Think to use it if insomnia, fright and palpitations, forgetfulness, deficiency consumption, cough, wheezing, and hypersensitivity disorders types I-V.

Cautions:

Use with caution with excessive conditions.

How to use:

Every morning, roughly put 10g (if mushroom) or 2 grams (if powder) into warm water and drink once a day. When sick, you can infuse the same pieces of mushrooms several times a day by simply adding additional boiled water. You can also add it directly into your porridge, or use it directly with your food.

Sea weed - Hai Zao (海藻)

Nature & Flavor:

Bitter, salty, cold

Channels entered:

Kidney, Liver, Lung, Stomach

Actions:

Clears Heat, tonifies Yin, strengthens the Spleen, tonifies Stomach Qi, dissolves Phlegm, promotes urination, reduces swelling and softens areas of hardness, strengthens joints, and eliminates Toxins. Think to use it if edema, abdominal masse, nodules in the neck, goiter, feelings of heaviness or obstruction in the chest, hernia pain, high blood pressure, joint pain.

Cautions:

Use with caution during pregnancy. Overeating can disrupt thyroid function.

How to use:

Add it directly into your porridge, or use it directly with your food. Very good to put some sea weeds in all of your soups, stews, broths, etc. You can also add it in your cooked vegetables or prepare it as a side dish. Miso soup is a very famous and healthy dish using sea weed.

Written by Cedric Mallants / Acupunctuur en Traditionele Chinese Geneeskunde therapist in Eindhoven.

 

Source

  • Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica (Bensky, Clavey, Stoger)