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Natta (Fermented Soy Beans)

Categories: Kidney Jing Vacuity, Liver Blood Stasis, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Natta (Fermented Soy Beans)

Serves 1-2

1 package natta (about 1/3 cup)
1/8 tspn karashi (Japanese mustard)
1/4 tspn soy sauce
1 tbsp scallion (white portion)

Mix together and serve. May be used as a condiment for rice.

Natta: bitter sweet neutral HT SP KI
Actions: invigorates the blood, tonifies KI jing, harmonizes middle jiao, smooths the skin.
Indications: high cholesterol, thrombosis, excessive immune reactions, dysentery, weak bones, osteoporosis, hair loss.

Mustard: acrid warm LU
Actions: penetrates to the yin to restore movement to the yang, regulates qi, transforms cold phlegm, dissipates clumps, unblocks the collaterals, stops pain.

Soy Sauce: salty cold SP ST KI
Actions: harmonizes middle jiao, clears heat, antidote to food poisoning.
Indications: interior heat toxin, fullness secondary to febrile diseases.

Scallion: warm acrid LU ST
Actions: diaphoretic, tonifies and regulates qi, clears heat, promotes circulation of yang qi in the chest, dispels cold, dries damp, diuretic, invigorates blood.

Natta (composite): acrid bitter sweet salty neutral LU SP ST KI
Actions: invigorates the blood, tonifies KI jing, harmonizes middle jiao, regulates qi, smooths the skin.
Indications: high cholesterol, thrombosis, excessive immune reactions, dysentery, weak bones, osteoporosis, hair loss.

Beet Soup

Categories: Liver Blood Stasis, Liver Blood Vacuity, Spleen Damp, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Wood - Blood Stagnation

Beet Soup

This soup can help build blood, and help your blood move freely throughout the body.  It helps break up blood stagnation.  Beets are also beneficial for the eyes. This soup can help strengthen the eyes and improve vision.  The soup is also gentle on your digestive system. It can help drain damp, and strengthen the spleen and stomach.


  • 5-6 carrots
  • 2-3 large beets
  • 2 onions
  • 2-4 stalks celery
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoon miso
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 3-4 cups of water


  1. Cook vegetables with 3-4 cups of water until tender.
  2. Blend vegetables with the cooking liquid.
  3. Add the miso, olive oil, basil, oregano, and plum paste.
  4. Return to flame and simmer for 20 minutes to mix flavors. (The Tao of Nutrition page 171).

Options:  consider adding miso at the end of cooking time so that it’s beneficial organisms aren’t destroyed by heat.  To do so, put the miso in a bowl.  Add a small amount of soup to it.  Stir to make a smooth paste.  Return miso/soup paste to soup.  Stir to incorporate.

Carrots- Sweet, neutral; spleen, liver, lung heart; Strengthens spleen and liver, nourishes and soothes liver, benefits the lung, diuretic drains damp, anti-inflammatory.

Beets- neutral to cool; spleen, stomach, liver, heart; nourishes liver blood, tonify heart, calm spirit, lubricate intestines, cleanse liver, expand chest, clear heat toxin.

Onions- Pungent; lung; clears heat relieves toxicity.

Celery- Sweet, bitter, cold; liver, stomach; clears heat, tonifies kidneys, strengthens spleen/stomach, lowers blood pressure, benefits blood, calms liver and shen, promotes diuresis, drains damp transforms phlegm.

Garlic- Hot, acrid; large, intestine, lung, spleen, stomach: removes stagnate blood or food, reduces abscess, warms yang, dispels cold, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, detoxifies meat and seafood, kills worms.

Miso- Salty, neutral; Spleen, stomach; promotes digestion, strengthens the stomach.

Olive oil- Sweet, cool; liver, gallbladder; moistens, benefits the liver and gallbladder.

Basil- Pungent, warm; stomach, lung; diaphoretic, harmonizes stomach, counteracts seafood poisoning.

Oregano- Pungent, bitter, neutral; heart, small intestine, lung, large intestine; drains damp, fever, vomiting, dysentery, colds, jaundice and diarrhea. It is antiseptic, antimicrobial and antiviral. It has been used to promote menstruation and as a digestive aid.

Curried Eggplant

Categories: Liver Blood Stasis, Lower Jiao Blood Stasis

Curried Eggplant
1 eggplant – Cool, moves blood
1 onion chopped- Warm, moves qi
1 cup of water
½ cup coconut milk – Warm, provides taste and ensures other ingredients are not drying.
1 tsp chopped ginger or .5 tsp. dried ginger -Warm, helps alleviate menstrual cramps.
1 tsp. chopped garlic- Warm, moves qi
.5 tsp. turmeric (or to taste),- Warm, moves blood, excellent herb for menstruation
.5 tsp cumin (or to taste),- Warm, helps move qi
1 tbsp. olive oil or ghee For flavor
1 tsp. salt (or to taste) For Flavor
Warm olive oil or ghee on medium heat in a pot. Add garlic, ginger and onion. Cook for a few minutes or until slightly soft. Add eggplant. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of water, put lid on pot. Cook until eggplant is soft and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes, add more water if necessary. Stir in turmeric, cumin, and salt. Turn off heat. Add coconut milk. Serve with brown rice or quinoa. For 3 servings
In Chinese medicine, eggplant is sweet and cool but it moves blood. Therefore, it is a nice food to eat during menstruation.
This recipe has a blood moving affect and can help to alleviate symptoms of dysmenorrhea. Contraindicated during pregnancy or heavy menstrual bleeding.

Goji Berry and Fish Soup

Categories: Kidney Qi Vacuity, Kidney Yin Vacuity, Liver Blood Stasis, Liver Qi Stagnation, Liver Yang Rising

Goji Berry and Fish Soup
4-6 servings
(Adapted from

1-2 fillets of whitefish (or fish of choice)
½ c goji berries
1 c shiitake mushrooms
1 scallion, chopped
5 thin slices of fresh ginger
5 c low-sodium broth
1-2 T rice wine
Mrs. Dash or other salt substitute
½ t Hoisin or plum sauce

1. Smear fish with 1 T of rice wine and a little Mrs. Dash/salt substitute, set aside.
2. Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan.
3. Place the seasoned fish into the saucepan containing the stock.
4. Add in the goji berries, mushrooms, scallion, ginger and hoisin or plum sauce.
5. Simmer the soup until the fish is done (about 20 minutes).
6. If needed for taste, add another 1 T rice wine and salt substitute before serving.

TCM Analysis:
Whitefish: neutral, sweet; SP, LU, KD. Regulate fluids, strengthen SP.
Goji berries: neutral, sweet; LU, LV, KD. Nourish LV/KD, improve vision, moisten LU.
Shiitake mushrooms: neutral, sweet; ST, KD. Strengthen ST, regulate qi, lower BP, promote healing.
Scallion: acrid, warm; LU, LI. Release exterior, invigorate blood, drain damp.
Ginger: pungent, warm; LU, SP, ST. Disperse cold, stop nausea/vomiting, detoxify, reduce inflammation.
Broth: warm and harmonize MJ.
Rice wine: warm, acrid, sweet. Promote circulation.
Mrs. Dash or other salt substitute
Hoisin or plum sauce: acrid, sweet, salty. Harmonize MJ, strengthen KD.

Overall, this recipe nourishes LV/KD, invigorates blood, promotes circulation, regulates fluids, and harmonizes the MJ. Even though it has several warm ingredients, it can be used in cases of LV yang rising when due to LV/KD yin deficiency as it will nourish the yin to anchor yang.

Date Puree – Bi Syndrome (Cold Damp Bi)

Categories: Bi Syndrome Cold, Liver Blood Stasis, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Spleen Yang Vacuity

Bi Syndrome (Cold Damp Bi)
Date Puree
yield: Makes 4 side-dish servings
active time: 30 min
total time: 1 hr

3 cups pitted dates (14 ounces)
1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine
1 (3- to 4-inch) cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise

Special equipment: parchment paper

*The recipe goes well on Lamb

Bring all ingredients to a simmer, covered directly with a round of parchment paper, in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then reduce heat and simmer until dates are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard spices.
Transfer dates with a slotted spoon to a food processor. If cooking liquid measures more than about 1 cup, boil to reduce. Add to dates and puree until smooth.
Force puree, a few tablespoons at a time, through a fine-mesh sieve with back of a wooden spoon into a small saucepan, discarding skins. Reheat over low heat, stirring occasionally, before serving.

Ingredients analysis:
Dates: Sweet, warm; Sp, St; Tonifies the Spleen and augments the Qi, nourishes the blood and calms the spirit, moderates and harmonizes the harsh properties of other herbs.
Red wine: Pungent, sweet, warm; St, Lv, Ht; Expels cold, invigorates blood, clears toxins, astringent.
Cinnamon stick: Pungent, sweet, warm; Sp, St, UB; Invigorates yang, dispels cold, promotes blood circulation, warms the mingmen fire.
Anise: Pungent, sweet, warm; St, Lv; Stengthens St, rectifies qi, harmonizes and warms MJ.

TCM analysis:
The recipe is warm and has an overall action of dispelling cold and harmonizing the middle jiao. It also assists the yang and qi while invigorating the blood. The wine and cinnamon are specifically indicated for Cold bi syndrome.

Eel with Dried Ginger, Garlic, and Chiles

Categories: Bi Syndrome Cold, Liver Blood Stasis, Spleen Damp, Spleen Damp Cold, Spleen Yang Vacuity, Wind Damp Obstructing Channels

Eel with Dried Ginger, Garlic, and Chiles


  • 2 C basic tomato sauce
  • 1 C dry red wine
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs eel, skinned and gutted by your fishmonger, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 4-inch-long pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. In a large sauce pan, combine the tomato sauce, red wine, dried ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, season the eel with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer in a baking dish.
  4. Pour the sauce over the eel, put the dish in the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, until the eel is cooked through. Transfer to a warmed platter and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve over rice or pasta with a side of steamed mustard greens.
  • Drink a glass of red wine with dinner.

TCM breakdown:

tomato: sweet, sour, cool; SP, ST, UB, KD; promotes fluids, clears heat, promotes urination, supplements KD
wine: acrid, sweet, warm; ST, LV, HRT; expels cold, invigorates blood, stops pain
dried ginger: acrid, hot; LU, SP, ST; warms interior, unblocks channels, transforms cold phlegm
garlic: acrid, hot; dispels cold, warms yang, removes stagnant food or blood, detoxifies seafood
chiles: acrid, hot; ST, LI; warms middle jiao, descends ST qi, expels damp & cold
eel: sweet, neutral; SP, ST; supplements qi & blood, eliminates wind-damp, invigorates blood, unblocks channels

Overall, this recipe is warm and acrid to invigorate blood and eliminate wind-damp-cold. The wine, dried ginger, garlic, and chiles increases the warmth of the tomato sauce, which is cool by nature. (The tomato sauce keeps the eel from drying out while baking.) Both the dried ginger and the eel specifically unblock channels, which makes this recipe suitable for patients with wind, cold, and/or damp in the channels causing obstruction and pain (bi syndrome). The garlic also detoxifies seafood.

Mushroom, Celery and Garlic Soup

Categories: Liver & Gall Bladder Damp Heat, Liver Blood Stasis, Toxic Heat in the Blood

Mushroom, Celery and Garlic Soup

Serves 4
4 ½ cups chopped mushrooms
4 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves
3 tbsp dry sherry or white wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 – 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ – 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
celery leaves, to garnish

Place mushrooms, celery, and garlic in a pan and stir in the sherry or wine. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Add half the stock and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to the pan and ad the remaining stock, the Worcestershire sauce, ands nutmeg.

Bring to a boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with celery leaves.

Celery — sweet, bitter, cold; LV, ST; Clears heat, tonifies KD, strengthens SP/ST, lowers BP, benefits xue, calms LV & shen, promotes diuresis, drains damp, transforms phlegm; treats hypertension, insomnia, edema (swelling), diabetes, cough, ST fire, Lin syndrome.

Mushroom (white) – cool, sweet; clears summer heat, lowers BP, anti-tumor, detoxifies; treats hypertension, summer irritability and other summer heat problems, tumors; CI: white mushrooms should not be used by those with skin problems, allergies or a cold ST.

Garlic – hot, acrid; anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antifungal, detoxifies meat and seafood, kills worms, removes stagnant food or blood, reduces abscesses, warms yang, dispels cold; combats cancer, high blood cholesterol, infections, diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting and coughing of xue.

Dry sherry or white wine — warm, pungent, sweet; promotes circulation, enhances the effect of circulatory herbs; treats arthritis, traumas, bruises, painful conditions.

Chicken (stock) — warm, sweet; tonifies qi, nourishes xue, aids KD xu, benefits SP/ST.

Overall this recipe pretty well-balanced in warming and cooling effects. It looks like it treats conditions in western medicine that, in eastern medicine, we consider having to do with toxic heat and phlegm (cancer, high blood cholesterol, tumors, high blood pressure). So for this reason, I am categorizing this as a WOOD IMBALANCE – LV xue stasis with phlegm and LV/GB damp-heat.

Calm Mover

Categories: Heart Blood Stagnation, Heart Qi Vacuity, Liver Blood Stasis, Liver Qi Stagnation, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Calm Mover

¼ C Longan Fruit (dried)
2 Carrots
1 Bottle Wine

Open the wine bottle.

Cut the carrots lengthwise (just the right size to squeeze through the neck of the wine bottle.

Squeeze the carrot pieces and Longan Fruit into the neck of the wine bottle.

Re-cork and let sit for about 3 months. Shake lightly periodically (every week or so).

Serve for guests or when you need to kick back n’ relax!

TCM Analysis
Longan: Sweet, Warm; HT, SP; Nourish Qi and blood, Calm the shen, Strengthen SP and ST; General xu, HT and SP xu, Yin and fluid xu
Carrot: Sweet, Neutral; SP, LV, LU, HT; Strengthen SP and HT, Nourishes and soothes the LV; Qi and blood xu, Dry skin and poor vision
Wine: Pungent, Sweet, Warm; ST, LV, HT; Expels cold, Invigorates blood, Stops pain; Trauma and injury, Prevents HT disease

Overall Intended Actions
Calm the shen, nourish Qi and blood, stop pain (physical and mental), and warm what is cold. The wine in this recipe is going to be the prime mover followed by the Longan Fruit with its warmth.

Watercress, Beet, and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Categories: Liver Blood Stasis, Liver Blood Vacuity, Liver Qi Stagnation

Watercress, Beet, and Heirloom Tomato Salad

(Serves 4)

2 medium beets
1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed
1 tomato, preferably an heirloom variety, cute into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425* F. Wrap the beets in foil, and roast for 40-60 minutes or until you can pierce them easily with a skewer. Allow the beets to cool a bit, them slip of the skins and slice the beets into quarters from root to stem.
Combine the beets, watercress, and tomato in a salad bowl. Mix the olive oil and lemon juice together, and pour over the salad; mix well. Add a couple pinches of salt and pepper to taste, Toss again and serve.

Beets- Cool and sweet, nourishes blood, tonifies HT, calms the spirit, lubricates the intestines, cleanses the LV
Watercress- Cool and bitter, clears heat, quenches thirst, lubricates lungs, and promotes diuresis
Tomato- Sl. cool, sweet and sour, promotes body fluids, quenches thirst, strengthens ST, aids digestion, cools blood, clears heat, detoxifies, calms the LV, removes food stagnation.
Lemon Juice- Cool and sour, regenerates body fluids, harmonizes ST, regulates qi, quenches thirst, benefits LV

Overall this recipe cleanses, calms, and benefits the LV. It also quenches thirst, and promotes body fluids.

Jiao Wei Mustard Greens

Categories: Bi Syndrome Cold, Liver Blood Stasis, Liver Qi Stagnation, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Wind Damp Obstructing Channels

Jiao Wei Mustard Greens

Alexa Chermak – PCOM Chicago

5 small red potatoes
4 carrots
3 tomatoes
1 can organic tomato paste
1 small yellow onion
28 oz. can mustard greens
1 vegetable bouillon cube
oilive oil
salt and pepper to taste
white wine vinegar

-Coat large pot with olive oil and brown onion
– add chopped potatos
– add chopped carrots
– simmer for 5-10 minutes then add mustard greens
– add white wine vinegar and olive oil (more if needed)
– add bouillion cube, salt and pepper and cumin and tomatoes
– cook over low heat for another 40 minutes or so

serves 4-6 people
total prep time approx. 1 hour

potato – sweet, neutral
spleen stomach
benefits and harmonizes middle jiao

carrot- sweet, neutral
spleen, liver, heart, lung
strengthens spleen and heart, nourishes and soothes liver, benefits lung, drains damp, clears heat

tomato- sweet, sour, cold
spleen, stomach, bladder, kidney
generates fluids, clears heat, supplements kidney, drains damp

onion- pungent, neutral
lung, stomach, large intestine
clears heat, relieves toxicity, transforms damp, kills parasites, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol

mustard greens- acrid, warm
lung, large intestine
expels wind, cold and damp, opens chest, stops cough, warms lung

salt – softens hardness, nourishes kidney
pepper – warming, harmonizing
cumin – warming and invigorating
white wine vinegar – invigoartes blood, courses liver, astringes liver
olive oil – benefits yin

This concoction reminds me of jia wei xioa yao san in that it benefits and courses liver qi and blood, supports the spleen and middle jiao and clears heat.

Also could be beneficial for Wind Cold Bi Syndrome