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Home > Diet & Nutrition > Book of Jook

Medicine & Meals from the Book of Jook

Translated by Bob Flaws

TCM DIet & NutritionLife-lengthening to 100 Years

Enriching and Supplementing Formulas

Medicinal porridges are some of the healthiest meals a person can eat. They are designed to support both the prenatal root of qi and blood, the kidneys, and the post natal production of qi and blood by supplementing the spleen and stomach. According to the writings of many Chinese doctors, this is the basis for prevention of disease and promotion of good health. In fact, the health of the spleen and stomach are so important in human physiology that volumes have been written on this subject. In the words of Tin Zi-jiu, a great doctor of the 19th century,

The hundreds of diseases of the four seasons all originate in the stomach. As the stomach gets grain, improvement comes. Therefore, if the diet is improved one inch, the disease pathogen is forced back one inch.

From this statement, we can see the preeminent importance of proper diet both for the purposes of treatment and prevention of disease according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The formulas in this article have been compiled from a number of Chinese language sources. These include Zhong Hua Shi Wu Liao Fa Da Quan (A Great Collection of Foodstuff Treatments in China) published by the Tiangsu Science & Technology Press, Yin Shi Liao Fa (Food & Drink Therapy) published by the Guandong Technical Press, Da Zhong Yao Shan (Medicinal Meals of the Masses) published by the Sichuan Science & Technology Press, Qian Jin Shi Zhi (Food Treafments [from the Prescriptions Worth a] Thousand [Pieces of] Gold) and Shi Liao Fang (Food Treatment Formulas) both published by Commercial Press of China, Pian Fang Da Quan (A Great Collection of Folk Formulas) published by the Beijing Science & Technology Press, and Zhong Guo Yao Shan (Medicinal Meals of China) published by the Shanghai College of TCM Press.

YIN-SUPPLEMENTING FORMULAS (BU YIN FANG)

Achyranthes Congee (Niu Xi Zhou)

Functions: Clears heat and eliminates vexation
Indications: The sequelae of febrile diseases, vacuity taxation, emaciation, vexatious aching of the four limbs, dry mouth, strong fever
Ingredients: Tender, new Folium Achyranthis Bidentatae (Niu Xi Miao Ye), Folium Solani Nigri (Long Gui Ye), Radix Rehmanniae (Sheng Di Huang), 10g each, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Jing Mi), 100g
Method of preparation & administration: First decoct the first 3 medicinals, remove the dregs, and reserve the liquid. Use this liquid to make porridge out of the rice. Eat on an empty stomach.

Dendrobium Congee (Shi Hu Zhou)

Functions: Nourishes the stomach and engenders fluids, nourishes yin and clears heat
Indications: Damaged fluids due to a febrile disease, heart vexation, oral thirst, unhealthy yin vacuity, stomach vacuity cramping pain, dry heaves, a scant tongue coating
Ingredients: Herba Dendrobii (Shi Hu), 15g, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Da Mi), 50g, Granulated Sugar (Bing Tang), a suitable amount
Method of preparation & administration: First decoct the Dendrobium in water, remove the dregs, and reserve 100ml of liquid. Add this and more water to the rice and sugar and cook into porridge. Eat warm 2 times per day.

Mulberry Congee (Sang Shen Zhou)

Functions: Supplements the liver and boosts the kidneys, enriches yin and supplements the blood, moistens the intestines, and brightens the eyes
Indications: Yin and blood insufficiency, dizziness, vertigo, insomnia, tinnitus, diminished visual acuity, premature greying of the hair, blood vacuity constipation, neurasthenia, anemia, yin vacuity high blood pressure, etc.
Ingredients: Fresh Fructus Mori Albi (i.e., Mulberries, Sang Shen), 30g (or dry, 20g), Semen Oryzae Glutinosae (i.e., Glutinous Rice, Nuo Mi), 50g, Granulated Sugar (Bing Tang), a suitable amount
Method of preparation & administration: Cook into porridge in 400ml of water. Eat warm each morning on an empty stomach.

YANG-SUPPLEMENTING FORMULAS (BU YANG FANG)

Chinese Chive Congee (Jiu Cai Zhou)

Functions: Supplements the kidneys and invigorates yang, fortifies the spleen and warms the stomach
Indications: Chilly pain in the abdomen, loose stool or constipationl en during dysentery due to vacuity cold, impotence, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhea, polyuria, urinary incontinence, abnormal vaginal discharge, low back and knee soreness and weakness, dysmenorrhea, metrorrhagia, and other such conditions due to kidney/spleen yang vacuity
Ingredients: Herba Allii Tuberosi (i.e., Chinese Chives, liu Cai), 60g, Se men Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Äing n/Ii), 60g, Salt (Yan), a small amount
Method of preparation & administration: Cut the chives into small pieces. Make the rice into porridge as usual and put in the chives. Salt to taste and continue cooking a few minutes more. Eat 2 times per day in the morning and evening.

Cistanches & Lamb Congee (Cong Rong Yang Rou Zhou)

Functions: Supplements the kidneys and invigorates yang, fortifies the spleen and frees the stool
Indications: Kidney yang vacuity imgotence, spermatorrhea, premature ejaculation, infertility in women, chilly pain in the low back and knees, polyuria, nocturia, bodily vacuity weakness, internal damage due to overtaxation, aversion to cold, cold limbs, constipation due to insufficiency of yang in the elderly
Ingredients: Herba Cistanchis (Rou Cong Rong), 15g, Lamb (Yang Rou), 60g, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Jing Mi), 60g, Salt (Yan), a small amount, Bulbus Allii Fistulosi (i.e., Scallions, Cong Bai), 2 pieces, fresh Rhizoma Zingiberis (i.e., Fresh Ginger, Sheng liang), 3 slices
Method of preparation & administration: First decoct the Cistanches, re move the dregs, and reserve the liquid. Use this liquid to make porridge from the rice and lamb. Add salt, scallions, and ginger to taste. Eat 2 times per day in the morning and evening.

Sparrow Medicinal Congee (Que Er Yao Zhou)

Functions: Strengthens yang qi, supplements essence and blood, boosts the liver and kidneys.
Indications: Kidney qi insufficiency causing impotence, spermatorrhea, daybreak diarrhea, dizziness, blurred vision, unclear speech, deafness, tinnitus, urinary incontinence, abnormal vaginal discharge, etc.
Ingredients: Passer Montanus Saturatus (i.e., Sparrow, Que Er), 5 whole ones, Semen Cuscutae (Tu Si Zi), 45g, Fructus Rubi (Fu Pen Zi), 15g, Fructus Lycii Chinensis (Gou Qi Zi), 30g, Semen Oryzae Sativae Uing Mi), 60g, Salt (Yan), a small amount, Bulbus Allii Fistulosi (i.e., Scallion), 2 stalks, fresh Rhizoma Zingiberis (i.e., fresh Ginger, Sheng liang), 3 slices.
Method of preparation & administration: First decoct the Cuscuta, Rubus, and Lycium, remove the dregs, and reserve the liquid. Skin and gut the sparrows, wash and stir-fry in wine. Then cook the rice, sparrows, and medicinal decoction with a suitable amount of water to make porridge. Just before it is finished, add salt, scallions, and ginger and continue cooking a few minutes more. Eat 2 times per day on an empty stomach, once in the morning and once in the evening. Three to 5 days equal 1 course of treat ment.
Contraindications: Those with hyperactive sex drive or fever should not use this congee. It should also only be eaten in the winter.

QI-SUPPLEMENTING FORMULAS (BU QI FANG)

Ginseng Congee (Ren Shen Zhou)

Functions: Boosts the original qi and vitalizes the essence spirit, supple ments the spleen, lung, and heart qi
Indications: Spleen vacuity symptoms such as emaciation due to pro longed disease, lack of appetite, and loose stools, lack of strength, fatigued spirit, and physical exhaustion; lung vacuity symptoms such as shortness of the breath and vacuity panting (i.e., asthma); and heart vacuity symp toms such as palpitations, insomnia, and poor memory
Ingredients: Powdered Radix Panacis Ginseng (Ren Shen Fen), 3g, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Jing Mi), 100g, Granulated Sugar (Bing Tang), a suitable amount
Method of preparation & administration: Cook the powdered Ginseng into porridge with the rice and add the sugar at the end. Eat on a regular basis.

Ginseng & Poria Congee (Shen Ling Zhou)

Functions: Fortifies the spleen and boosts the qi
Indications: Qi vacuity, bodily weakness, fatigue, pale facial color, poor appetite, loose stool, and other such symptoms
Ingredients: Radix Panacis Cinseng (Ren Shen), 5g, Sclerotium Poriae Co cos (Fu Ling), 20g, fresh Rhizoma Zingiberis (i.e., Fresh Ginger, Sheng Jiang), 5g, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Jing Mi), 60g
Method of preparation & administration: Cut the Ginseng into thin slices and pound the Poria into pieces. Soak these 2 ingredients for 1/2 hour. Then decoct them in water for 30 minutes. Pour off the liqluid, reserve, and decoct again. Again pour off the liquid and add to the first decoction. Add this liquid to the rice and cook into porridge as usual.

Ginseng & Chicken Congee (Ren Shen Ji Zhou)

Functions: Enriches and supplements the five viscera, strengthens the body, supplements and boosts the qi and blood
Indications: Bodily vacuity and weakness in the elderly or those with chronic disease
Ingredients: Radix Panacis Cinseng (Ren Shen), 3g, Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae (Shan Yao), 6g, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Da Mi), 50g, Chicken Ui), 1 whole one, Chicken Livers Ui Gan), 150g
Method of preparation & administration: First cook the chicken and chicken livers in 15 bowlsful of water into soup. Slice the Ginseng, Chinese yam, and the chicken soup to the rice and cook into porridge. Add salt to taste and eat.

Codonopsis Congee (Dang Shen Zhou)

Functions: Supplements the middle and boosts the qi
Indications: Qi vacuity and insufficiency, chronic cough, poor appetite, abdominal distention, loose stools, and other such spleen/lung qi vacuity conditions
Ingredients: Radix Codonopsis Pilosulae (Dang Shen), 30g, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Da Mi), 50g, White Sugar (Bai Tang), a small amount
Method of preparation & administration: Cook the rice and Codonopsis in water into porridge as usual and add the sugar at the end to taste. Eat warm.

Pseudostellaria Congee (Tai Zi Shen Zhou)

Functions: Supplements the qi and engenders fluids
Indications: Bodily vacuity in the aftermath of disease, yin vacuity/lung dryness chronic cough with scant phlegm, insomnia, excessive dreams Ingredients: Radix Pseudostellariae Heterophyllae (Tai Zi Shen), 50g, Se men Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Da Mi), 50g
Method of preparation & administration: First decoct the Pseudostellaria, remove the dregs, and reserve the liquid. Add this to the rice and cook into porridge. Eat warm in the morning and evening.

Astragalus Congee (Huang Qi Zhou)

Functions: Strengthens and boosts the qi and fortifies the spleen
Indications: Qi vacuity bodily weakness, fatigue, lack of strength, dimin ished appetite, loose stools, anal prolapse, spontaneous sweating, night sweats, superficial edema of the face and eyes, inhibited urination, short ness of breath, heart palpitations, etc.
Ingredients: Radix Astragali Membranacei (Huang Qi), 20g, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Jing Mi), 50g
Method of preparation & administration: Add the Astragalus to 200ml of water and decoct down to 100ml. Remove the dregs and reserve the liquid. Add this to the rice plus another 300ml of water and cook into porridge. Eat warm in the morning and evening. Seven to 10 days equal 1 course of treatment. It is ok to add a little Red Sugar (i.e., Brown Sugar, Hong Tang) to taste.

Supplement Righteous Qi Vacuity Congee (Bu Xu Zheng Qi Zhou)

Functions: Supplements the righteous qi
Indications: Vacuity detriment, taxation fatigue internal damage, vacuity debility of the five viscera, bodily weakness in the elderly, emaciation due to prolonged disease, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, spontaneous sweating, chronic diarrhea, devitalized appetite, qi vacuity superficial edema, etc.
Ingredients: Radix Astragali Membranacei (Huang Qi), 60g, Radix Panacis Ginseng (Ren Shen), 10g, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Jing Mi), 90g, White Sugar (Bai Tang), a small amount
Method of preparation & administration: First slowly decoct the Astragalus and Ginseng 2 times, then remove the dregs, and reserve the liquid. Divide this liquid into 2 portions. Each day, use 1 portion to cook the rice into porridge. Add a little sugar to taste after cooking. Eat each morning and evening on an empty stomach. Five days equal 1 course of treatment.
Contraindications: Do not use this congee if one is suffering from a hot pathocondition. Do not eat radishes or drink tea while taking this congee.

Atractylodes & Pork Tripe Congee (Bai Zhu Zhu Du Zhou)

Functions: Supplements the middle and boosts the qi, fortifies the spleen and harmonizes the stomach
Indications: Spleen qi vacuity, fatigue, shortness of breath, loose stool, poor appetite, indigestion, abdominal distention, and other such symptoms Ingredients: Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae (Bai Zhu), 30g, Semen Arecae Catechu (Bing Lang), 10g, Pork Tripe (Zhu Du), 1 piece, fresh Rhizoma Zingiberis (Sheng Jiang), a small amount, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Jing Mi), 60g

Method of preparation & administration: Cut the pork tripe into small pieces and decoct together with the Atractylodes, Areca, and ginger. Re move the dregs and reserve the liquid. Use this liquid to cook the rice into porridge. Take 2 times per day in the morning and evening. Eat the trig with sesame oil (Xiang You) and soy sauce Cliang You). Eat for 3-5 days. Wait for 3 days, and take again. Stop taking as soon as the symptoms are relieved.

BLOOD-SUPPLEMENTING FORMULAS (BU XUE FANG)

Barley Congee (Da Mai Zhou)

Functions: Nourishes the blood and constructs the body
Indications: Prolonged eating strengthens the physical body, prevents the hair from turning white, loosens the stomach and stops distention
Ingredients: Fructus Hordei Vulgaris (i.e., Barley, Da Mai), 100g
Method of preparation & administration: Make into porridge as usual and eat 2 times per day.

Black Sesame Congee (Hei Zhi Ma Zhou)

Functions: Supplements the liver and kidneys, moistens the five viscera
Indications: Bodily debility in the elderly, dizziness and vertigo, emacia tion, dry stools, premature greying of the hair, postpartum scanty lactation
Ingredients: Black Semen Sesami Indici (i.e., Black Sesame Seeds, Hei Zhi Ma), 25g, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, Da Mi), 50g
Method of preparation & administration: First grind the sesame seeds. Then wash the rice. Next, make into porridge as usual and eat.

Spinach Congee (Bo Cai Zhou)

Functions: Nourishes the blood and moistens dryness
Indications: Anemia, constipation, high blood pressure
Ingredients: Spinach (Bo Cai), 250g, Semen Oryzae Sativae (i.e., Polished Rice, ling Mi), 100g, Salt (Yan), a suitable amount
Method of preparation & administration: Wash the spinach and cut into small pieces. Cook with the rice in water to make porridge. Eat on a regular basis.
Note: A similar blood-nourishing congee can be made from beet tops, Swiss chard, kale, collards, or other such greens.

Excerpted from The Book of Jook, Chinese Medical Porridges:
A Healthy Alternative to the Typical Western Breakfast
by Bob Flaws Published by
Blue Poppy Press,
1775 Linden Ave Boulder, CO 80304

 
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