1.利水渗湿之最——茯苓 Tuckahoe, the best of removing dampness and promoting urination.
Tuckahoe has been regarded as one of the “Eight Treasures of Traditional Chinese Medicine” since ancient times. When it is compatible with various medicines, it can exert unique effects together, so it has the reputation of “the magical medicine of four seasons”.
Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner believes that Tuckahoe has significant effects of removing dampness and promoting urination and has a mild medicinal property. It can be used as medicine as is also edible. It is a rare medicine for strengthening the spleen and removing dampness. Modern studies have shown that the polysaccharides contained in Tuckahoe have the functions of invigorating spleen, replenishing qi, and enhancing immunity.
The well-known Tuckahoe diets include Tuckahoe yam steamed bun, Tuckahoe rice ball, Tuckahoe pastry and so on. Consuming porridge in autumn and winter is a therapeutic method that warms the stomach and helps digestion. In the morning, a bowl of Tuckahoe yam porridge can invigorate the spleen and warm the stomach. You can also add Tuckahoe, pearl barley, dried ginger, etc. Tuckahoe and pearl barley have the effects of invigorating the spleen and dampness and warming the stomach, while ginger can help dispel cold.
2. 生津之最——石斛 Dendrobium, the best of producing body fluid.
Dendrobium was first published in Shennong Ben Cao Jing, and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner believes that its taste is sweet and slightly cold. It has the effects of nourishing body fluid, nourishing yin, and clearing away heat, nourishing lungs and kidneys, improving eyesight, and strengthening waist. When your mouth is dry, chew a piece of fresh Dendrobium, it will help promote the secretion of saliva.
When the weather gets colder, consuming too much hot pot could cause oral ulcers. Here is the remedy, boil a pot of Dendrobium, tangerine peel, ginger, and teal soup, which will have the effects of reducing the internal fire within the body.
Ingredients: 250 grams of teal, 15-20 grams of Dendrobium, 5 slices of ginger, and a flap of tangerine peel.
Cooking Instruction: Put the Dendrobium, teal, ginger, and tangerine peel into the pot, pour warm water, bring to boil on high heat, and simmer on low heat for 1.5 hours, season with salt and ready to serve.
Dendrobium is slightly cold in nature and sweet in flavor. The taste of Dendrobium in soup is not very strong, and it will have a slightly sweet aftertaste. Teal is rich in nutrients, can cool and reduce dryness, and is suitable for cooling tonic. This diet is especially suitable for people who are prone to oral ulcers, dry stools, and dry mouth.
Due to Dendrobium is cold in nature and is easy to damage the yang qi, it is most suitable for people with yin deficiency and heat.
3. 止血之最——三七 San Qi, the best of staunch bleeding.
San Qi has been recorded in the Materia Medica for more than 400 years. For example, when the Ming Dynasty medicine king Li Shizhen included it in the Compendium of Materia Medica, he recorded: “This medicine has only been released, and it has been used in the southern army as an important medicine for metal-inflicted wound.”
中医学认为，三七性温味甘微苦，入肝、胃、大肠经，是治疗“血证”的要药。三七具有“通” “止” 两大特点，即血瘀不通畅时可以活血散血；当机体有出血倾向时它又能止血。
Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner believes that San Qi is warm in nature, sweet, and slightly bitter, and enters the liver, stomach, and large intestine internal channel. It is an essential medicine for the treatment of blood syndrome. San Qi has the two major characteristics of “invigorating” and “stopping”, that is, it can invigorate and disperse blood when blood stasis is not smooth; it can stop bleeding when the body has a bleeding tendency.
Modern pharmacological research results show that San Qi is rich in notoginsenosides, notoginseng polysaccharides, notoginseng elements, flavonoids, and other substances, which can stop bleeding, promote blood circulation, remove blood stasis, reduce swelling, relieve pain, anti-fatigue, anti-aging, and resist hypoxia, lowering blood lipids, lowering blood sugar, dilating blood vessels, dissolving thrombus, improving microcirculation, improving immune function, etc.
需要注意的是，孕妇禁用三七。Please pay special attention that San Qi is forbidden for pregnant women.
4. 活血之最——丹参 Danshen (Red Sage), the best of promoting blood circulation.
Danshen is bitter, slightly cold in nature, and non-toxic. The root is used as medicine to promote blood circulation, remove blood stasis, and regulate menstruation. It is recorded in the Ben Cao Bian Du of the Qing Dynasty records: “Danshen has the same functions as the “four elements”, it can dispel blood stasis to produce new, good treatment of wind and disperse congestion, peace of nature and blood, etc.”
Although Danshen has the name of ginseng in Chinese, it has insufficient power to replenish blood but it has excess power to invigorate blood. It is the preferred medicine for blood conditioning. Therefore, Danshen is a commonly used medicine for promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis in Traditional Chinese Medicine prescriptions, especially for chest tightness and chest pain, which can effectively alleviate chest blood stasis.
Wash 15 grams of Danshen and 15 grams of Hawthorn, let dry, then grind into coarse powder, and mix well. Brew mixed powder with boiling water, cover for 15 minutes and then filter the residue for drinking. This combination helps lower blood lipids and protects the cardiovascular system.
5. 清痰之最——贝母 Chuan Bei Mu (Fritillaria Cirrhose), the best of clearing phlegm.
Chuan Bei Mu, was first published in the Shennong Ben Cao Jing. Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner believes that Chuan Bei Mu acts on the second meridian of the heart and lungs and has the effects of clearing heat, resolving phlegm, and relieving cough. It is a Chinese Medicine favored by the public.
Steamed Pear with Bei Mu is a well-known dish. Generally, the Bei Mu is soaked until it becomes soft. The pear is not peeled. Cut the pear in half from the middle, remove the core, and put the Bei Mu in the middle of the pear, then close the pear and tie them with a rope, lastly, steam for half and hour. Bei Mu is hard, so it is recommended to soak in advance than to cook Bei Mu for a long time for it to become soft. The medicinal properties of Bei Mu will be weakened if cooked for a long time.
It is not suitable to consume Steamed Pear with Bei Mu in the early stages of coughing during a cold because Bei Mu has astringent properties. For colds and coughs, the conditioning should be focused on dispelling exogenous pathogens rather than converging. If you rely on Bei Mu to treat coughs in the early stages of a cold, it may be counterproductive. Only when a chronic cough persists in the middle and late stages of a cold, the consumption of steamed pears with Bei Mu is effective.
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