Mustard Greens

Categories: Liver Blood Vacuity, Liver Qi Stagnation

Mustard Greens

Ingredients:

  • ½ C thinly sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
  • 2-3 Tbsp chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp dark sesame oil

Instructions:

  1. In a large saute pan, saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.
  2. Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings.

TCM breakdown:

onion: acrid, warm; LU, ST, LI; promotes sweating; resolves phlegm, regulates qi
garlic: acrid, hot; detoxifies meat & seafood; removes stagnant food or blood; warms yang
olive oil: sweet, sour, astringent, neutral; clears heat, detoxifies, promotes body fluids
mustard greens: acrid, warm; LU, LI; strengthens & lubricates intestines, increases appetite
chicken broth: sweet, warm; SP, ST, KD; supplements qi, nourishes xue, boosts wei qi
sesame oil: sweet, neutral; LV, KD, LU, LI; nourishes LV/KD, moistens LI, nourishes jing

This recipe is primarily acrid, sweet, and warm.  According to the Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine, mildly acrid flavor promotes the movement of qi to regulate the LV.  The sweet ingredients in the recipe (primarily the oils) moisten the LI and promote body fluids.  The main ingredient, mustard greens, also strengthens and lubricates intestines.  For these reasons, I would recommend this recipe to patients with IBS due to LV qi stagnation leading to constipation, especially if their bowel movements are dry.