KH came at Liver Qi Stagnation from two angles: nourishing the liver and calming the shen, and using the sour taste to move liver qi. He absolutely hit it out of the park on both counts! KH attained the ever-elusive perfect amount of sweetness in the cherry date balls (I wasn’t sure with the first one, so I had to have 16 more). His pickled carrots, however, were an unexpected hit. They came with a warning that they would, in fact, move our qi in a big way; I think it’s fair to say that they lived up to that promise in the most delicious, healthy way. They woke up our tastebuds and got that liver qi zingin’.
OH! I almost forgot the best part! Be sure to pay attention to KH’s instruction for the pickled carrots–he instructs us to cut the celery into 1/2 “smiles.” You know your dish is going to be good when “smile” is used as a unit of measurement.
TCM DOS: Liver Qi Stagnation
TCM SS: Chest Distention, Hypochondriac Pain and or Distention, Sighing, Nausea, Vomiting, Poor Appetite, Diarrhea, Depression, Irritability Moodiness, Plum Pit Qi, PMS, Breast Tenderness, Painful and or Irregular Menstruation. Tongue: Light Red with Thin White Coat. Pulse: Wiry
Western Correlations: Amenorrhea, Chest Pain, Chronic Cholecystitis, Depression, Dysmenorrhea, Gastritis, Headache, Hypochondriac Pain, Indigestion, Irregular menstruation, Irritable Bowle Syndrome.
Foods that Help: Onions, Garlic, Celery, Mustard Greens, Turmeric, Basil, Bay Leaf, Cardamom, Cumin, Fennel Marjoram, Dill, Black Pepper, Horse Raddish, Cerry, Rosemary, Pickeled Vegetables, Cabbage, Beets, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots, Plums,
Foods to Avoid: Alcohol, Caffinated Coffee, Fatty or Fried Foods, Highly Processed or Refined Foods, Very Spicy or Hot Foods, Heavy Red Meats, Sweet and Sugary Foods.
Lifestyle: If you feel the symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation: Disengage for a while from the internet, video games and email, including your phone. Light exercise such as walking can help to move your qi and Tai Chi or Yoga can provide both exercise and relaxation. Don’t forget to receive regular acupuncture treatments to be your best.
Helpful Cooking Methods: lightly cooked, steamed or boiled
Easy Peasy Cherry Date Balls
This recipe is a variation of “No Bake Cherry Date Balls” from www.dishbytrish.com
This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan. They will keep in the refrigator for 5-7 days or you can freeze them. This recipe should make about 15 one inch balls.
1/3 cup each of Pine nuts, sunflower seeds and Pumpkin seeds
Pinch of fine sea salt
2/3 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1/3 cup dried cherries, unsweetened
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup flaked coconut, unsweetened
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place seeds and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until fine. Add dates and cherries and pulse until incorporated. Add vanilla and water and pulse for a few seconds or until the mixture is sticky. Shape mixture into 1-inch smooth balls. Mix seeds and coconut together. Dip date balls into coconut flakes. Place on baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. Serve cool.
The dates calm the spirt and have a sedative effect. The cherries nourish the liver. Pine nuts are good for the Liver and treats vertigo and dizziness.
Sunflower seeds subdues the liver and pumkin seeds are green which is the 5E color of the liver.
Zanahorias en escabeche: Pickled Carrots, Mexican Style
1-2 quarts apple cider vinegar
8 large carrots, well scrubbed and sliced into ½ inch pieces
4 celery stalks cut into ½ inch smiles
6 large bay leaves
4 allspice berries
1 Tablespoon cumin seeds ( I had to substituted ¾ Tablespoon ground cumin)
2 tsp sea salt
Place carrots in large steel pot, add the seasonings and cover with vinegar, bring all ingredients to a boil, then turn off heat. Pour into a large glass jar and let cool to room temperture. Add celery smiles and refrigerate over night. Other vegetables such as jicama or cucumbers may be added.
The Vinegar strongly moves liver qi as it is warm, pungent and slightly bitter. The carrots are sweet, neutral and improve liver function. Celery calms the liver as well as reduces hypertension. The bay leaves, allspice and cumin are acrid and move qi and promote digestion.