Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “liver”

Cake to Soothe the Savage (Liver) Beast

N. took the treatment of liver qi stagnation to another level–the CAKE level!  This delicious creation was just sweet enough, with a delicious punch of kumquat and sesame seeds.  She focused her liver qi stagnation recipe  on the manifestation of depression, including lots of ingredients to move qi and calm the shen.  I know that *I* was in a better mood after eating this treat!

TCM DOS: Depression due to Liver Qi Stagnation

Western DX: Depression

TCM S/s: emotional disorder, depression, sighing, distension and pain in hypochondrium, stuffiness in the chest, insomnia, loss of appetite, irregular menstruation, PMS, irritability, belching, feeling of difficulty swallowing

Tongue: thin white and with red sides

Pulse: Wiry, slippery

Recommended Foods: Foods that help regulate Qi, relieve depression, transform phlegm, nurture the Liver and Tranquilize the heart such as: longan, litchi, lotus seeds, wheat, mulberry, oyster, oranges, basil, kumquat, plum, sesame seeds, onion/leek.

Foods to Avoid: cheese, eggs, cream, ice cream, red meats, nuts, pizzas, lard, shortening, margarine, deep fried foods, chilies, and excessively hot, spicy meals, beer and excessive intoxicants in general, raw vegetable juices, refined sugars, artificial preservatives, artificial colorings

Helpful cooking Methods: stews, soup, bake or steam instead of Deep fry

Kumquat Cake


10 kumquats

3 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

2 cup water


Cut kumquats into small pieces and take seeds out. Mix wheat flour , water and sugar together and blend it. Add the kumquats. Then blend it again and let it stand out for 30minutes. Sprinkle sesame seeds on over the top.

Place it in the oven at 400F for 30-45 minutes.

Check out the yummy kumquat pieces--that'll get your qi movin'!

Soup to Soothe the Liver

This week we focused on Liver Qi Stagnation, which proved to be very apt since it’s midterm week!  K. made us a special soup that’s not all that it appears: a creamy asparagus soup that’s not overwhelmingly “asparagus-y,” nor did it contain cream!  This vegan delight relies on its spices to pack a yummy punch, not to mention its sunny hue!

TCM DOS: Liver Qi Stagnation 


DOS: Feeling of distension of hypochondrium and chest, hypochondriac pain, sighing, hiccups, melancholy, depression, moodiness, fluctuation of mental state, alternating chills and fever, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, poor appetite, sour regurgitation, belching, feeling of pulsation in epigastrium, churning feeling in the stomach, abdominal distension, borborygmus, diarrhea, unhappiness, lump in throat, feeling of difficulty with swallowing, irregular periods, painful periods, distension of breasts before periods, pre-menstrual tension and irritability. Tongue: body color may be normal or slightly red on the sides, thin white coating Pulse: string taut, wiry (especially on the left side)

Western Correlations: Stress, anxiety, depression, acid reflux, IBS, PMS

Foods you should eat: watercress mustard greens tumeric onion basil bay leaf cardamon marjoram cumin fennel dill ginger black pepper horseradish rosemary any mints lemon balm angelica root prickly ashbark taro root sweet rice beets amasake strawberry cabbage peach turnip root kohlrabi cherry cauliflower broccoli chestnut brussel sprouts pine nuts sprouted grains beans fresh veggies fruits

Most powerful to break up Qi stagnation: lemon lime grapefruit rye romaine lettuce asparagus amaranth quinoa alfalfa radish leaves citrus peel dandelion root bupleurum chaparral milk thistle seeds chamomile licorice root oregon grape root vinegar

Foods to eat less or eliminate/cooking methods: high saturated fats, hydrogenated and poor quality foods, nuts and seeds (exceptions are above, or if they are made easily digestible), chemicals in food and water, prescription drugs, highly processed or refined foods, alcohol, coffee, excessively sour foods or drinks, greasy fatty oily foods, foods that are hard to digest, spicy pungent “hot” foods, over eating in general, heavy red meats

Cream of Asparagus Soup


1 tablespoon of olive oil


1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms (baby bella substituted)

1 bunch of asparagus

4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

2 tablespoons of fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon cumin


salt and pepper

1 cup unsalted cashews

2/3 cup of water

½ lemon juiced

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add 2 sliced leeks, 1 cup of sliced cremini mushrooms, and 1 bunch of chopped asparagus; cook 4 minutes. Add 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper to taste; simmer 20 minutes and puree. In a food processor, mix together 1 cup of unsalted cashews and 2/3 cup of water until smooth. Stir mixture and juice of 1/2 lemon into soup; heat 2 minutes.

Such a vivid color (thanks, turmeric!)

great partner for N's kumquat cake!

Foods to Soothe Liver Qi Stagnation

S.D. took on the task of preparing a dish that would combat Liver Qi Stagnation (click the link to learn more about the signs and symptoms of this particular imbalance).    Quite the cornbread culinary master, S.D. wanted to make something in a similar style, so he chose an orange buckwheat bread.  True to his brave nature, he tackled this despite buckwheat’s reputation as being a fickle ingredient.  Some of us took his creaetion and experimented even further, popping it in the oven and adding honey, which gave it a whole ‘nother healing dimension!
Orange Buckwheat bread

looks like a brownie, but it courses liver qi!

Buckwheat– Sweet flavor, cool nature.  Enters spleen, stomach, and large intestine channel.  Action is to send down counterflow qi, reinforce spleen, remove damp. 
Orange– Sweet and sour in flavor, cool in nature.  Action is to relieve stagnation, send down counterflow qi, harmonize stomach.
Sesame– Sweet in flavor, neutral in nature. Enters liver, kidney, large intestine channels.  Action is to reinforce liver and kidney, replenish essence. 
Other ingredients-  Olive oil, filtered water, yeast.
Preparation–  In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of buckwheat flour with adequate water to mix into dough.  Add two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well.   Add one packet of yeast to dough. mix well.
Peel two oranges, cut out cores.  Dice flesh and pulp of oranges, and put these pieces with the juice into bowl with dough.  Mix well. 
Pour ingredients into an oiled pan, bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.
Baking increases the yang nature of foods, and may decrease the cooling quality of foods. 

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