Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “mint”

Take 2 Banana Puddings & Call me in the Morning

This week we addressed kidney yin deficiency, and AP really thought this one through.  If  your yin is taxed, one of the last things you want to do is stand in the kitchen and make a big deal out of meals.  It’s more of a”grab and go” mentality–and unfortunately, most convenience foods have the potential to drain the kidney yin even more.  Fortunately, AP created this quick, delicious, and most importantly, easy recipe to have on hand.  It’s a vegan “pudding” made with rich, nourishing ingredients, with enough optional ingredients to provide the cooling that most of our kidney yin deficient patients need.  This pudding can serve as dessert, snack, or even breakfast!

TCM DOS: Kidney Yin Deficiency

Kidney yin in Chinese Medicine is thought to be similar to the parasympathetic nervous system, to restore and regenerate. Too much multitasking and stress can deplete this valuable system. It is necessary to get plenty of rest and follow a healthy diet to help correct Kidney yin deficiency.  Lifestyle changes are a vital key in improving ones health.

Remove yourself from the drama of the day. Turn off the television. Walk away from the phone. Try to exercise more such as: nature walks, meditation, tai chi, qi gong, or yoga. Get in touch with what makes you happy or creative through art, reading or writing, etc.  Invest time in yourself! You will surely notice and appreciate the benefits.

To replenish kidney yin with the foods you eat, choose foods with a wide selection of amino acids, carotenes, flavonoids, minerals, vitamins and trace elements.Traditional Chinese medicine recommends foods that are moistening and mildly cooling. Drink plenty of water.

Click here for other lifestyle tips for maintaining KD yin!

Dairy Free Banana Pudding

Oh yeah. This pudding will make you happy, whether you like it or not!

  • 3 large ripe organic bananas
  • 1c vanilla almond milk
  • ½ tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c pitted dates
  • 2 tbs chia seeds soaked 4 tbs water/ 10 min until gelatinous
  • 3tbs raw cashew butter

Place all in blender until thick and creamy. Pour into bowl, refrigerate to form up to 2 hours. Serve with fresh berries: Raspberries benefit the Kidney channel.

Garnish with a sprig of chocolate mint–also cooling.  Enjoy!

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.)

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