Ying Yang Xue

"If something is cold, heat it. If something is hot, cool it." –Huangdi Neijing

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Watermelon to the Rescue

To finish off the semester, RT made us a colorful watermelon salad that combats damp-heat.  We have readers from all over the globe (hello, Albania!);  here in Florida, though, it’s getting hotter and more humid by the day, making this a very timely dish.  I’m a big fan of all the ingredients in this streamlined recipe, so I went back for seconds (and fourths, and sixths…).

TCM DOS: Damp-heat

Signs & symptoms may include: mucous and bloody dysentery or constipation, turbid urine, leucorrhea, red/oozing eczema, poor appetite, heaviness of the body and limbs, lassitude, bloating and/or distention of the abdomen, restlessness, insomnia, bitter taste in mouth, possibly fever, nausea. The pulse will tend to be slippery and rapid; while the tongue body may or may not be red with a sticky, yellow coating.

Western Correlation: dysentery, constipation

Foods that help to treat damp-heat:

Vegetables – are generally considered cool so they clear heat, and they drain phlegm/damp

Examples – alfalfa, asparagus, bamboo shoots, bokchoy, broccoli, all cabbage, carrots, celery, corn, eggplant, lettuce, spinach

Fruits – are generally cool to cold so they clear heat, and dissolve phlegm/damp;  however avoid excess consumption because they may add damp

Examples – apples, bananas, cherries (in mod), lemons, limes, mango, oranges, tangerines, dried papaya, pear, persimmon, watermelon

Grains – generally speaking T SP&ST, remove damp

Examples – millet, rice, buckwheat (used sparingly in heat syndromes), barley, amaranth, Job’s tears, rye, spelt

Misc – kidney beans, mung beans, soy beans, adzuki beans, cardamom, olives

Try to utilize cooking methods that add a minimal amount of heat to your food

Examples – steaming, blanching, boiling, salting

Foods to avoid in cases of damp-heat

Examples – meat (especially red meat), dairy, eggs, alcohol, greasy foods, nuts, anise, sugar, molasses, processed foods

Also avoid cooking methods that increase the dampness or heat of foods

Examples – grilling, baking, frying or roasting, cooking with alcohol


Watermelon with Mint and Lime

Serves 6-8


8-10 C of ripe, seedless watermelon cut into bite-size pieces (roughly one 5-6 lb melon)

Sea salt to taste

¼ C fresh lime juice (roughly 2 limes)

½ C mint chiffonade (fancy term for cut leaves)

½ C crumbled feta (optional – use sparingly if dampness is the predominate pathogen)



After cubing the watermelon mix in the sea salt, lime juice, and mint chiffonade.

Chill until a few minutes before serving.

Sprinkle feta on top.

Serve immediately.

I opted for feta on mine ("What a surprise!" said no one at all.)

Clearing damp heat the delicious way

Typically it’s our diet that gets us into trouble with damp heat in the first place (I’m looking straight at you, pizza & beer!) Luckily, we can fight that condition with our diet as well.  AB made us a delightful millet & adzuki bean salad; these are two powerful and delicious foods that are very adept at clearing damp heat, yet they’re severely underutilized and under-appreciated in the typical western diet.  AB showed us how wonderful they can truly be, though, in this yummy grain and bean salad.

TCM DOS: Damp Heat

A condition of dampness and heat combined with symptoms of thick yellow secretions and phlegm.

General Signs & Symptoms: Epigastric and /or abdominal oppression, lack of appetite, heavy body, thirst with little/no desire to drink, abdominal pain, loose stools with strong odor possibly w/burning anus, nausea, vomiting, fever, headache

Tongue: Red with Yellow sticky coat

Pulse: Slippery, rapid

Points that can help: SP 9 – resolve dampness, SP 6 – tonify SP, UB 20 – SP Shu, LI 11 – clear heat, GB 34 – clear damp-heat, nausea and/or vomiting

Western Correlations: Diarrhea, IBS, pancreatitis, hepatitis, jaundice, UTI, eczema.

Helpful foods to eat:rice, rye, millet, wheat, barley,celery, carrots, spinach, Swiss chard, eggplants, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, asparagus, watercress, arugula, lettuce, radish,daikon radish, alfalfa sprouts, shitake mushrooms, chrysanthemum leaves,bamboo shoots, amaranth leaves, purslane, lemon, cranberries, watermelon, persimmons, mung beans, tofu, tempeh, adzuki beans,kelp, green tea, chrysanthemum tea (unsweetened), peppermint tea, water,small amounts of juices (diluted)

Foods to Avoid:alcohol, greasy or oily foods, all deep fried foods, cheese, sugar, highly processed foods,fatty meats, all dairy, eggs, shrimp, peanuts, chilis, cinnamon, garlic, mustard, coffee, excessive amounts of salt, chocolate, frozen foods like ice cream or smoothies, iced drinks including ice water.

Useful herbal teas:  Green Tea, Uva ursi, dandelion leaf, plantain leaf, flax seed, watermelon seed and pipsissewa (pipsissewa is good for chronic bladder infections).

In general it is best for you to have small and simple meals of cooked foods.  Because there is heat involved with this pattern you can have small amounts of raw foods and your choice of protein should be vegetarian. Meals should be 50% vegetables, 20-30% complex carbohydrates like rice millet or barley, and about 20% protein.

Millet and Adzuki Bean Salad

Serves 4-6

Base Ingredients:

1 cup millet

2 cups filtered water

2 cups cooked adzuki beans, rinsed well (or use organic canned)

1/2 cup onion, minced

1 cup frozen corn


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

zest of 1 lime or lemon


Skip steps 1-4 if using canned beans. Cook millet as directed.  Warm the canned beans with the corn and onion and add to cooked millet before adding dressing.

1.  Cover the Aduki Beans with filtered water in a bowl overnight.  I like to cover the entire bowl with a towel to assure nothing falls in it.

2.  Rinse the Aduki Beans well with water.  (Tip pour this water into our house plants to give them nutrients and to not waste the water.)

3.  Place Aduki Beans in a pot covered with just enough water so that you can boil the beans.  Boil for about ten minutes.  Turn off heat and cover with a lid.  Let this set just as it is (off heat) for about thirty minutes. The steam will fully cook the beans.

4.  Rinse the Aduki Beans again with water.

5.  Finally place all the base ingredients into a rice cooker (or on stovetop) and cook as you normally would a batch of brown rice

6.  Once mixture has finished cooking, pour into a large bowl.

7.  In small bowl, place the dressing ingredients and whisk for a few seconds.

8.  Toss the dressing over the base ingredients and there you have an entire dinner ready!  Enjoy!  ☆☆

** Tips: I used a little less onion and made an extra side of the dressing to serve with the dish the next day.


Nutritional Information: (4 Servings)

304.5 calories, 49.3carbs, 8.1g fat, 801.1mg potassium, 1.6g sugar, 11.8g protein

**Recipe from genkikitty@wordpress.com


Damp heat doesn't stand a chance against festive plates & napkins!

Some beautiful damp-draining green tea to top it off.


Tempeh: Liver Blood Booster (and its sidekick, Cookies!)

Rounding out our week of the “Wrath of the Food Gods,” MI made a delicious meal for us–twice.  (The first go-round was sacrificed to the Pavement deities after it decided it wanted to ride on the hood of her car).  Luckily for us, second time was a charm and MI brought it a well-rounded assortment of Liver Blood boosting treats, including dessert!   We also got to try good old fashioned molasses (“on a spoon” style) which seemed to divide our class quite equally (I myself am in the “Yay, Molasses!” camp).  Her array of condiments proved deliciously well-suited and it was the first exposure to tempeh for many in the class.

TCM DOS: Liver Blood Deficiency

with Blood Stasis from Cold

Western Correlation:  Dysmenorrhea and/or Irregular periods with Pain

Tongue: thin body, pale to purple, dry

Pulse: thin, weak; could be wiry or thready


Scanty and Irregular menstrual periods (LV Blood Deficiency) with large dark clots and severe pain (Blood Stasis from Cold)

Floaters, blurred vision, dry eyes, dizziness (LV Blood Deficiency)

Pale, Sallow Complexion, lips, and nails; also dry and brittle hair, skin, and nails (LV Blood Deficiency)

Cold Lower Abdomen with or without palpable cysts, fibroids, or lumps (Blood Stasis from Cold)


1) Liver Blood Deficiency: Chloryphyll-rich foods, microalgae, spirulina, wheat grass, leafy greens and sprouts (the darker and more freshly picked the better–kale, swiss chard, spinach), foods rich in iron and B12 , and cooked  whole  grains:  rice,  oats,  roasted  barley, sweet  rice,  spelt,  millet, pumpkin,  sweet  potatoes,  squash,  carrots,  corn,  parsnips,  yams,  peas,  stewed fruit,  onions,  leeks,  garlic,  turnip,  mushrooms  including  oyster  &  shitake, spinach,  chard,  kale,  chinese  greens,  beets,  parsley, celery, lychee  fruit,  coconut, grapes (esp. raisins),  cherries, blackberries, huckleberries, mulberries, black legumes  in  general,  chick  peas,  black  beans,  kidney  beans,  fava  beans,  tempeh, chicken,  beef,  pork,  Chinese  black  boned  chicken,  quail,  goose,  rabbit,  frog, organic  liver,  pigeon,  eggs,  organic  bone  marrow, mackerel,  tuna,  anchovy,  perch,  eel,  catfish,  oysters,  mussels,  shark,  shrimp, prawns,  clams,  seaweeds, fresh  ginger, black  sesame  seeds, peanut,  molasses,  rice  syrup,  barley  malt,  dates,  figs, sugar  cane, wheat  grass,  miso,  vegemite,  marmite

Foods to Avoid for Liver Blood Deficiency: salads,  raw  fruits,  sprouts,  raw  vegetables, excess  amounts  of  tofu,  dairy  or  nut  butters  and  other  high  oil  foods, overly  sweet  foods,  refined  sugars,  high  doses  of  vitamin  C, stimulants like coffee, tobacco, and chocolate; cold foods  like  ice  cream  or  smoothies, iced  drinks  including  ice  water

2) Blood Stasis from Cold: turmeric,  basil,  nutmeg,  oregano,  rosemary,  white  pepper,  hawthorn  berries, shallots,  leeks,  chives,  garlic,  ginger,  taro  root,  eggplant,  mushrooms  especially wood  ear  mushrooms, aduki  beans,  chestnuts,  kidney  beans, crab,  jellyfish,  mussels,  clams,  sea  cucumber,  abalone, red  wine  (small  amounts),  kelp  and  other  seaweeds,  sugar  cane,  vinegar,  rose water

Foods to Avoid for Blood Stasis from Cold: same as for Liver Blood Deficiency


Helpful Cooking Methods: Avoid Frying and Roasting, Light Steaming is best, Boiling is okay, but provides less nutrition

1) For Liver Blood Deficiency: In  general  it  is  best to  eat  foods that  are  lightly  cooked to  ensure that  nutrients are  preserved  and  are  more  readily  digested  and  absorbed.  General  dietary recommendations  to  prevent  deficiency  include  eating  high  quality  proteins, lightly  cooked  vegetables  and  chewing  meals  thoroughly. Meals  should  emphasize  leafy  green  vegetables,  roughly  30%  to  40  %  of  your  diet and  high  quality  protein  sources,  roughly  20% –  30%  of  you  diet.  The  balance  of the  diet  should  center  around  complex  carbohydrates,  like  whole  grains  and lightly  cooked  vegetables.

2) For Blood Stasis: meals  should  consist  largely  of  lightly  cooked  vegetables,  roughly  40%  to  60%  of your  diet. About  30%  of the  diet  should  be  comprised  of  complex  carbohydrates. Proteins  should  comprise  only  about  10%  of  the  diet,  with  a  focus  on  high  quality sources.  The  diet  should  also  include  plenty  of  fragrant  and  lightly  spiced dishes.  Highly  processed  foods  and  well  as  oily  and  fatty  foods  should  be  avoided.


Tempeh to Keep the Tempo


2  eight ounce packages of Organic Tempeh cut into 16 pieces each or more

1 T. Braggs Liquid Aminos

3-4 T. Red Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar

2-3 T. Olive Oil

1 cubic cm Ginger Root grated

1/2 cup Organic Shitake Mushrooms cut long-ways into thin strips, no stem

1-2 cup Hot Water

1/2 of a Large White Onion chopped

3/4 cup frozen Organic Kale (massage first and chop up if using fresh)

1/2 cup fresh Organic Baby Spinach

1/4 of a head of Organic Red Cabbage chopped (loosely)

1/4 tsp. Garlic powder or 1 clove minced garlic

1/4 cup Toasted Black Sesame Seeds


1) Marinate Tempeh in Olive Oil, Braggs, Vinegar, Ginger and 1/4 c. Shitake Mushrooms Steeped in Hot Water for ~ 5 min. first and added (with the water) for 2 hours or more (overnight would be best)

2)  Pour Tempeh and Marinade in pan, add the Onion, and Sautee over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the Onion is soft, then add the Kale and Spinach.  Sautee for 5 more minutes until the Spinach and Kale are soft, but still vibrant.  Add the Cabbage, remaining mushrooms (not steeped) and garlic to taste, stir, and cover for 15-20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring 3 or 4 times.  Mix in Toasted Sesame Seeds, leaving some to garnish.

3) Serve immediately or store and let the flavors develop further.  Serve alone or with Sauer Kraut and Mustard of your choice, appropriate spices and seasonings.

This sauerkraut packed a delightful punch!

Spirulina, blackstrap molasses, and Bragg's sea kelp delight--the cornerstone accoutrement of anyone deficient in Liver Blood.


Thrice the Benefit Vegan Oatmeal Cookies


3/4 cup Vegan Butter

1/3 cup Organic Raw Sugar (can be replaced by honey or Stevia or try applesauce or bananas, etc.)

3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar (contains molasses)

1 tsp Organic Vanilla

1/2 cup Almond Milk

1 cup Organic Oat Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Ginger Powder

1/4 tsp Cloves

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

3 cups Quick Cooking or Rolled Oatmeal

1/2 c. Organic Raisins

1/4 c. Organic Goji Berries

4-5 Large Organic Medjool Dates pitted and chopped


1) Cream together the Vegan Butter and Sugars until smooth. Add Organic Vanilla and Almond Milk and mix well.

2) Add Organic Oat Flour, Baking Soda and Spices until well mixed, then stir in Oats, Raisins, Goji Berries, and Dates.

3) Spoon 1 1/2 inch balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until done– careful not to let them burn.


Hackett, Jolinda.  “Spiced Vegan Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies.” http://vegetarian.about.com/od/desertrecipes/r/oatcrancookies.htm

Liu, Jilin.  Chinese Dietary Therapy. 1995.

Ni, Maoshing.  Tao of Nutrition.  1993.

Pitchford, Paul.  Healing with Whole Foods.  2003.

Saper, James. Traditional Chinese Dietary Therapy Factsheets. http://www.eastmountain.ca

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: