Oriental Medicine played a huge role in my healing. When I first met my second Chinese practitioner, he noticed how weak I was and offered me this wonderful soup to fortify my weaken constitution, which it did... I'm forever grateful.
As D.O.M. today I do the same...gi
Congee or rice soup is an excellent source of nutrition when illness strikes.
Traditionally known as hsi-fan or rice water, congee is eaten throughout China as a breakfast food. It is thin porridge or gruel consisting of a handful of rice simmered in five to six times the amount of water. Although rice is the most common grain for congees, millet, spelt, or other grains are sometimes used.
Cook the rice and water in a covered pot for 4-6 hours on warm, or use a crockpot. It is better to use too much water than too little, (3x as much water as regular rice cooking recipes, it must be very soupy) and it is said the longer congee cooks, the more powerful it becomes.
This simple rice soup is easily digested and assimilated, tonifies the blood and the qi energy, harmonizes the digestion, and is demulcent, cooling, and nourishing. Since the chronically ill person often has weak blood and low energy, and easily develops inflammations and other heat symptoms from deficiency of yin fluids, the cooling, demulcent and tonifying properties of congee are particularly welcome. it is useful for increasing a nursing mother's supply of milk. The liquid can be strained from the porridge to drink as a supplement for infants and for serious conditions.
Other therapeutic properties may be added to the congee by cooking appropriate vegetables, grains, herbs, or meats in with the rice water. Since the rice itself strengthens the spleen-pancreas digestive center, other foods added to a rice congee become more completely assimilated, and their properties are therefore enhanced. Listed below are some of the more common rice-based congees and their specific effects.
Aduki Bean - Diuretic: curative for edema and gout.
Apricot Kernel - Recommended for coughs and asthma, expels sputum and intestinal gas.
Carrot - Digestive aid, eliminates flatulence.
Celery - Cooling in summer, benefits large intestine.
Chestnut - Tonifies kidneys, strengthens knees and loin, useful in treating anal hemorrhages.
Water Chestnut - Cooling to the viscera, benefits digestive organs.
Chicken or Mutton Broth - Recommended for wasting illnesses and injuries.
Duck or Carp Broth - Reduces edema and swelling.
Fennel - Harmonizes stomach, expels gas, cures hernia.
Ginger - Warming and antiseptic to viscera, used for deficient cold digestive weakness, diarrhea, anorexia, vomiting and indigestion.
Kidney from Pig, Sheep or Deer - Strengthens kidneys, benefits knees and lower back, treats impotence.(use organic kidney)
Leek - Warming to viscera, good for chronic diarrhea.
Liver from Sheep or Chicken - Benefits diseases of the liver, very powerful.
Mallow - Moistening for feverishness, aids digestion.
Mung Bean - Cooling, especially for summer heat, reduces fevers, thirst relieving.
Mustard - Expels phlegm, clears stomach congestion.
Salted Onion - Diaphoretic, lubricating to muscles.
Black Pepper - Expels gas, recommended for pain in bowels.
Red Pepper - Prevents malaria and cold conditions.
Pine Nut Kernel - Moistening to heart and lungs, harmonizes large intestine, useful in wind diseases and constipation.
Poppy Seed - Relieves vomiting and benefits large intestine.
Purslane - Detoxifies, recommended for rheumatism and swellings.
Radish - Digestant, benefits the diaphragm.
Pickled Radish (salt) - Benefits digestion and blood.
Brown Rice - Diuretic, thirst quenching, nourishing, good for nursing mothers.
Sweet Rice - Demulcent, used for diarrhea, vomiting and indigestion.
Scallion Bulb - Cures cold diarrhea in the aged.
Sesame Seed - Moistening to the intestines, treats rheumatism.
Shepherd's Purse - Brightens the eyes and benefits the liver.
Spinach - Harmonizes and moistening the viscera, sedative.
Taro Root - Nutritious, aids the stomach, builds blood.
Wheat - Cooling, used with fevers, clears digestive tract, also calming and sedating due to wheat's nourishing effect on the heart.
Yogurt and Honey - Beneficial to heart and lungs.
Healing Properties of other grains you may wish to try.
Amaranth - Cooling thermal nature, dries dampness, benefits the lungs, high in protein (15-18%), fiber, amino acids (lysine and methionine), vitamin C, and calcium. It contains more calcium and the supporting calcium cofactors (magnesium and silicon) than milk.
Barley - Cooling thermal nature, sweet and salty flavour, strengthens the spleen-pancrea, regulates the stomach, and fortifies the intestines. Builds the blood and yin fluids and moistens dryness, promotes diuresis, benefits the gallbladder and nerves, very easily digested. A decoction of 2 oz. pearl barley or roasted whole barley toa quart of water is traditionally used for convelscents and invalids, treats diarrhea, soothes inflamed membranes, alleviates painful and difficult urination, quells fever, helps reduce tumors, swellings, and watery accumulations such as edema.
Buckwheat - Neutral thermal nature, sweet flavor, cleans and strengthens the intestines and improves appetite. Is effective for treating dysentery and chronic diarrhea. Rutin, a bioflavonoid found in buckwheat, strengthens capillaries and blood vessels, inhibits hemorrhages, reduces blood pressure, and increases circulation to the hands and feet. Rutin is also an antidote against x-rays and other forms of radiation.
Corn - Neutral thermal nature, sweet flavor, diuretic, nourishes the physical heart, influences the stomach, improves appetite, and hleps regulate digestion, promotes healthy teeth and gums, tonifies the kidneys and helps overcome sexual weakness. Drink a tea decoction made from whole dried kernels to treat kidney disease.
Millet - Cooling themal nature, sweet and salty flavor, diuretic, strengthens the kidneys, beneficial to stomach and spleen-pancreas, builds the yin fluids, moistens dryness, alkalizing, balances over-acid conditions, sweetens breath by retarding bacteria growth in mouth, high amino acid profile and rich silicon content, helps prevent miscarriage, anti-fungal, one of the best grains for those with Candida albicans overgrowth. Also useful for diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, and diabetes. Soothes morning sickness.
Oats - Warming thermal nature, sweet and slightly bitter flavor, soothing, restores nervous and reproductive systems, strengthens spleen-pancreas, builds and regulates qi energy, removes cholesterol from the digestive tract and arteries, strengthens cardiac muscles. Can be used in cases of dysentery, diabetes, hepatitis, nervous and sexual debility, indigestion and swelling including abdominal bloating. One of the richest silicon foods, oats help renew the bones and all connective tissues. oats also contain phosphurus, required for brain and nerve formulation during youth.
Quinoa - Warming thermal nature, sweet and sour flavor, generally strengthening for the whole body, specifically tonifies the kidney yang(warming and energizing function of the body) and the pericardium functions. Compared wit other grains, it has the highest protein content. Contains more calcium than milk and is higher in fat content than any grain. A very good source of iron, phoshorous, B vitamins, and vitamin E.
Wild Rice - Cooling thermal nature, sweet and bitter flavor, diuretic, benefits the kidneys and bladder. Has more protein than other rice. It is rich in minerals and B vitamins and is a hardy food for cold climates, it cools the superficial tissues and concentrates warmth in the interior and lower body areas.