What to Eat during Seasons According To Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine – Eating With the Season 

eating the season

Eating according to the prevailing season is a system which came into existence thousands of years ago, and is still used throughout the world. Chinese medicine is more comprehensive than a simple list of medicines and their recipes use herbs and naturally found elements. Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on prevention more than cure. This is why tips for food intake are a prominent part of the system. Finding the correct foods which correlate with the season is important.

Which seasons does Traditional Chinese Medicine have?

Like contemporary times, the primary focus of Traditional Chinese Medicine is on the four common seasons namely summer, autumn, winter and fall. Different elements are associated with each of the seasons in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Additionally, tips for reaping the most benefits of each season can also be derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine.

 

The ancient system of medicine proposed by the Chinese is constantly changing to better suit the modern times. For this reason, it is seen that food from endangered species is often substituted with other naturally found substances which can provide the same results. Traditional Chinese Medicine even describes which emotions are associated with every season and which foods should be eaten in each season.

Summer

Plants are a major part of the proposed summer season diet according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is believed that excessive sweating can decrease heart-qi, which results in irritability and even insomnia. This is why naturally sour and salty flavours are suggested in the summer. Foods to keep the body cool and balanced are recommended including tomatoes, water melons, wax gourd, lotus roots and even strawberries.

Spring

Spring is the season of rejuvenation in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Health problems, however, are a valid concern in spring. Traditional Chinese Medicine, there, recommends the intake of foods which can replenish qi including wheat, dates, spinach, bamboo shoots and Chinese yam.

Winter

Since winter is associated with energy conservation and hibernation, Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends the intake of foods which are high in fat and protein in the winter season. This includes meats like mutton, beef and duck meat. Mushrooms, leeks, yams and dates are also recommended because these are all foods rich in energy.

Autumn

Traditional Chinese Medicine recognises that the body needs to prepare to adjust to the changing season. Since autumn is generally associated with dry weather, Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends the intake of foods which can help produce lubricating effects. These include pears, lily bulbs, pineapples and lemon.

It is also suggested that the intake of pungent flavours like ginger and onion is minimised as they can have adverse effects in autumn.

To learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine in Sydney, contact Rodd Sanchez Acupuncture Sydney

 

DISCLAIMER

The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email info@roddsanchez.com.au or 02 8213 2888. 

Rodd Sanchez Sydney acupuncture and Chinese medicine 

 

Suan Mei Tang : Sour Drink : Sydney Chinese Herbal

Suan Mei Tang 酸梅汤 – Sour plum drink

If you have been in the clinic in the past month or so, you may have tried the sour drink, which we have been cooking recently. Not only is it tasty but it is fabulous to stimulate your digestive juices. This sour plum drink (Suan Mei Tang)  is great for breaking down fats, lowering cholesterol and enjoying with any meal .

 

Below is the simple ingredients and process to make your own at home. The herbs can be purchased from the Sydney Acupuncture clinic

Ingredients for Suan Mei Tang 

3 or 4 sour dried black plums (wumei)

Small handful sliced dried hawthorn fruits (shanzha)

Small handful sliced dried licorice root (gancao)

4 cups filtered water

2 hunks of rock sugar (the size of walnuts)

2 tablespoons dried osmanthus blossoms (guihua)

 

  1. Place the plums, hawthorn fruits, licorice root, in a sieve and rinse them well under running water. Shake them dry and place them in a clay pot. Pour 4 cups filtered water over the dry ingredients and let them soak for at least an hour to plump them up.

 

  1. Bring the pot to a full boil, and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer for about 1 hour. Add the rock sugar and optional salt, and simmer the infusion until the sugar melts; taste and add more if you want. Add either the osmanthus blossoms then let the infusion come to room temperature.

 

  1. Chill it overnight to allow the flavours to develop. Strain and add enough ice water to make 4 cups, or to taste. Serve icy cold without any ice.

 

Individual Herb Property and Action

Wu Mei : Property> Sour, astringent, neutral; liver, spleen, lung, and large intestine meridians entered.  

Actions> Astringe intestines to check diarrhea, astringe lung to check cough, promote the generation of fluid.

Shan Zha : Property> Sour, sweet, slightly warm; spleen, stomach and liver meridian entered.

Actions>Promote digestion and dissipate food stagnation, activate blood and resolve stasis.

Gan Cao: Property> Sweet, slightly cold; heart, lung and spleen meridians entered.

Actions> Tonify qi of heart and spleen, dispel phlegm, relieve cough and dyspnoea, relieve spasm and pain, clear heat and relieve toxicity, and harmonize property of medicine.

 

 

DISCLAIMER

The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email info@roddsanchez.com.au or 02 8213 2888. 

Rodd Sanchez Sydney acupuncture and Chinese medicine 

Gan Mai Da Zao Tang

GAN MAI DA ZAO TANGgan mai da zao tang

English name for this formula : Licorice, Wheat, and Jujube Decoction; Glycyrrhiza-Triticum-Ziziphus Decoction.

Gan Mai Da Zao Tang formulation comes from Jin Gui Yao Lue (Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Coffer) text. written by Zhang Zhongjing (150-219) at the end of the Eastern Han dynasty and was first published in the Northern Song dynasty.

This formulation is now available in clinic in both cooked fresh daily or in dry form so you can make your own at home

PATTERN

Malnourishment of the heart spirit (due to an underlying liver-spleen disharmony)

Actions:

The functions of this Chinese medicine formula are to nourish the heart and calm the spirit while harmonizing the middle jiao. This Traditional Chinese Medicine  Herbal formula is best suited for conditions of excessive worry, anxiety or pensiveness injuring heart yin and disturbing normal liver Qi flow. Due to the liver Qi being affected there is commonly spleen disorders present in this pattern of disease.

 

 

INDICATIONS

1) neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as general anxiety disorder, hysteria, epilepsy, paediatric night terrors, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, sleep-walking, and migraine headaches;

2) spasmodic disorders, such as spasmodic cough, Parkinson’s disease, gastric spasms, and spasms of the extremities

3) disorders of the electrical system of the heart, including sinus tachycardia and ectopic heartbeats

 

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF MALNOURISHMENT OF THE HEART INCLUDE

 

* Insomnia

* Possible night sweats

* Anxiety

* Restlessness

* Heart palpitations

* Sighing

* Depression and melancholy

 

fu xiao mai

FORMULA EXPLANATION

Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis, Licorice Root) -nourish heart, harmonize middle jiao

Fu Xiao Mai (Semen Tritici Aestivi Levis, Light Wheat Grain (unripe Wheat)) -tonify Qi, nourish yin, regulates heart

Da Zao (Fructus Ziziphi Jujubae, Chinese Date, Jujube) -tonify Qi, nourish fluids

Other modifications

We can also add YU JIN – Radix Curcumae, YUAN ZHI – Radix Polygalae Tenuifoliae, SHI CHANG PU – Rhizoma Acori

Calm & Ease Decoction / Gan Mai Da Zao Wan(Tang)Gan Mai Da Zao Tang ( Calm & Ease Decoction ) is a classical formula…

Posted by Sydney Acupuncturist Rodd Sanchez on Monday, 10 April 2017

DISCLAIMER

The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email info@roddsanchez.com.au or 02 8213 2888. 

Rodd Sanchez Sydney acupuncture and Chinese medicine 

Mushroom and Yi Yi Ren Soup

Mushroom and Yi Yi Ren Soup

Following from our last newsletter I wanted to share one of my fav mushroom and yi yi ren soup. Pick this up from a site many years ago and have made it many time with loads of modifications. Yi Yi Ren (also known as coix or Job’s tears or Chinese pearl barley) is also part of the soup. Some research has found that this is a gluten free ingredient even though one of the names for it is barley. It is one of the allowed foods by the NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases).  The Chinese herbal medicinal use of Yi YI Ren is to reduce swelling, however the elders do not recommend eating large amounts of yi yi ren when pregnant. It is best for any other time when you want to retain less water.

Mushrooms are key to making that umami taste (rich, savory, and earthy), thus three types of mushroom – king trumpet, shiitake, and miyatake (button mushrooms) but of course you can use any type of mushroom.

Ingredients

Stock

1kg of carrots, washed, trimmed and rough chopped

1kg onion, chopped

125g. of ginger, washed, sliced, or crushed

500g. dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and rinsedmushroom

500g of napa cabbage (wombok), washed and rough chopped

125g. of dried bok choy, rehydrated and rinsed three times

7.5 l of water

1 honey date, rinsed

 Soup

1kg king oyster mushrooms

500g  fresh shiitake mushrooms

500g  brown beech or oyster mushrooms

180g. dried yiyiren, rinsed 3 times and soaked for at least 4 hours

90g  lotus nut rinsed and soaked

Directionsyi yi yren

Soak the barley and lotus seed for 4 hours. They can be soaked together. Drain.

Meanwhile, combine stock ingredients in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 hours then strain all the stock ingredients out of the soup. Use a fine mesh strainer to get clear stock.

Add barley and lotus to the stock and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, dice all the mushrooms into small pieces. Toss the mushrooms with some oil. Saute the mushrooms and deglaze with rice wine. Or, broil the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the soup and simmer for another 20 minutes.

The soup is done when the stock looks cloudy and the pearl barley are soft.

 

Health Benefits of Gui Zhi (Cinnamon)

Health Benefits of Gui Zhi (Cinnamon)cinnamon

Cinnamon (Gui Zhi- Rou Gui) Ramulus Cinnamomi Cassiae, can go by many names in Chinese herbology depending on type and locations. Cinnamon is a powerful herb and spice that has been utilized medicinally around the world for thousands of years. It is still use daily in many cultures because of its wide-spread health benefits, not to mention its distinctly sweet, warming taste and ease of use in recipes.

The unique smell, color, and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part of the tree that it grows from. The health benefits of cinnamon come from the bark of the Cinnamon tree. This bark contains several special compounds which are responsible for its many health promoting properties- including cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate. In Chinese herbology Cinnamon is considered warm, spicy herbs that release the exterior.

 

The main health benefits include

High Source of Antioxidants

Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties

Protects Heart Health

Anti-diabetic effect

Fights Infections & Viruses

Freshens Breath Naturally

Prevent or Cure Candida

Natural Food Preservative

 

Health advantage of cinnamon can be obtained in the form of its pure bark, essential oils, in ground spice form (which is bark powder), or in extract form when its special phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and antioxidants are isolated. These compounds make cinnamon one of the most beneficial spices on earth, giving it antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, immunity-boosting, cancer and heart disease-protecting abilities.

 

suggestion for cinnamon apple treat 

INGREDIENTS

  •  4 large sundowner apples
  •  1/2 cup (60g) walnuts, finely chopped
  •  1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  3/4 cup (85g) almond meal
  •  1 egg white, lightly whisked
  •  10g butter, cubed
  •  Custard, to serve

METHOD

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 190°C. Using an apple corer, core the apples to make a 3-4cm opening at the top. Place the apples in a small baking dish.
  • Step 2: Combine walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and almonds in a bowl. Stir in egg white. Spoon mixture evenly among centre of the apples. Place butter over the top of the apples. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the apple is just tender.
  • Step 3: Place the apples in serving bowls and serve with the custard.

Ginger and cinnomen tea 

INGREDIENTS

  •  4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced
  •  2 cinnamon sticks
  •  2 tablespoons honey

METHOD

  • Step 1: Place ginger, cinnamon and 4 cups cold water in a saucepan over high heat. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes for flavours to develop.
  • Step 2: Strain mixture into a heatproof jug. Add honey. Stir to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes or until slightly cooled. Serve.

 

DISCLAIMER

The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email info@roddsanchez.com.au or 02 8213 2888. 

Rodd Sanchez Sydney Acupuncture and Chinese medicine 

Chen Pi “the old skin”

Chen Pichenpi

Chen Pi or mature mandarin skin is a common ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Best quality Chen Pi should be large, with deep-red scarfskin and white interior, the flesh is to be heavy in oils, it should have a dense fragrance and pungency. In general, old-aged Chen Pi is in a higher quality, with the aging process being 20 -65 years. It is also the reason why Chen Pi is called literally “the old peels”.  In Chinese medicine, the dried peels of fruits are used in the regulation of qi, strengthening of the Spleen, elimination of dampness. Chen Pi is used to treat abdominal distension, enhance digestion, and to reduce phlegm. It solves digestion problem by relieving intestinal gas and bloating. Chen Pi can improve problems of pain, poor appetite, vomiting and hiccups.

Herb Actions

 

Regulates Qi and Harmonizes the Middle Jiao (Spleen and Stomach)chen pi

Assisting with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting due to rebellious Stomach Qi, fullness, distention, or bloating in the abdominal or epigastric region, stomach ache, belching, and poor appetite.

Dries Dampness and Dissolves Phlegm

Dampness symptoms such as fatigue, low appetite, loose stool, diarrhea, abdominal fullness, chest oppression, and a greasy think tongue coating.

Dissolves Phlegm and Stops Cough

Weak Lungs with symptoms such as cough with profuse phlegm, wheezing, dyspnea, and stifling sensation in the chest.

 

 

Constituents:2017-03-17 13.38.57

Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Choline, Folic Acid, over 60 known flavonoids, d-limonene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, aldehydes, numerous minerals and vitamins.

Chen Pi high vitamin C content (and A) makes it a wonderful supplement to build immunity and combat invasive infection, colds, flu and many other ailments.

Chen Pi Fibre helps you increase your bowel movement, lowers cholesterol, and controls your blood sugar levels. Also, it is said that fibre prevents heart disease and colon cancer.

Hesperidin is present in high quantities in Chen Pi specially in the inner part of the skin (peel). It is said that hesperidin has antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory effects on cells and tissues.