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Jasmine Infused Pumpkin Soup

Categories: Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Soup, Spleen Damp, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Urinary Bladder Damp Heat, Vegetarian




1 3 lb winter squash (such as acorn, butternut, or kabocha squash), peeled and diced

5 c vegetable stock

Several slices fresh ginger

1 tsp jasmine (or any other) tea

1 c boiling water

Roasted squash/pumpkin seeds

Scallions or chives, sliced

dried cranberries, reconstituted in boiling water and minced

1) Boil pumpkin in stock with ginger, simmer until tender, 30 min or until squash is tender.

Remove ginger slices.

2) Steep tea in boiling water 5 min, strain.

3) Puree soup in batches, add tea until desired consistency, and simmer until warm.

4)  Season with salt and pepper.

5) Ladle soup into bowls and garnish w onions, seeds, and cranberries.


Jason Cox




Winter squash:  cool, sweet; dispels damp

Ginger:  warm, acrid;  LU, SP, ST;  stops nausea

Tea:  cool, bitter; clears head, resolves phlegm, promotes urination

Squash/pumpkin seeds:  cold, sweet; promotes urination, reduces swelling

Scallions:  hot, acrid; induces sweating

Cranberries:  sour, cooling: promotes urination, supports kidney function

This is a nourishing soup that is perfect for Spleen Qi Deficiency with buildup of damp in the body.  The recipe is diuretic in action, but is mild in nature.  Therefore, it would be a good addition to any

treatment protocol treating deficiency (Spleen, Kidney) rather than excess.   The cool nature of the ingredients will also benefit the damp condition if it’s combined with heat.

The recipe may benefit patients with water metabolism problems like edema, ascites, diarrhea, as well as

urinary tract infections due to Damp Heat.  Some of the ingredients also reduce swelling and may be useful

with issues like prostate enlargement and hydrocele with inhibited urination.

CONTRAINDICATIONS:  wouldn’t be good for patients with Yin Deficiency dryness who don’t have enough

fluids to disperse.

Kasha Cereal

Categories: Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Urinary Bladder Damp Heat

Kasha Cereal

1 cup buckwheat groats
4-5 cups boiling water
½ onion, diced (optional)
A few grains sea salt

1. Place all ingredients in a pot with the boiling water. Bring to a boil again.
2. Cover. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 30 min until soft.
3. Place in a bowl.

Serves 2-4

Buckwheat – sweet, cool; SP/ST/UB; drains damp heat, clears heat relieves toxicity, (CC: xu colds/sx)
Onion – pungent & neutral; LU/SP/ST; clears heat relieves toxicity, transforms damp

Simple Winter Melon Soup

Categories: Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Diabetes, Spleen Damp Heat, Urinary Bladder Damp Heat

Simple Winter Melon Soup 2 to 3 servings

6 (5 ounces fresh, 1 ounce dried) fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms
1 (1-pound) wedge winter melon
3 cups chicken, bone, or vegetable stock
1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, slivered into 1/16-inch slices
1/4 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
Salt, soy sauce, or sodium-reduced soy sauce (optional)
1-2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 medium-sized green onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces, roots and tough end discarded

If you are using dried mushrooms, soak them in 1/2 cup of warm water for 20 minutes or until soft. If you are using fresh mushrooms, simply rinse. Cut off and discard the stem if desired, then slice the mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces.

Peel the melon wedge (this will be easier if you peel the skin thickly, as the melon closer to skin is tougher). Scrape off and discard the stringy inner fibers and seeds. Cut the melon into 1/2-inch slices, then cut the slices widthwise into 1-inch pieces.

Place the stock, melon, ginger and mushrooms into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered with lid slightly ajar for about 15 minutes or until the melon becomes slightly transparent and soft.

Add the shrimp and cook for about 5 more minutes.

Add salt or soy sauce to the soup to taste, if desired (if you have edema or high blood pressure, you’ll want to go easy on the salt or use a low-sodium variety soy sauce; also note the broth’s saltiness before salting as it can vary according the stock used).

Remove the ginger pieces, if desired (or just eat around them).

Sprinkle sesame oil and green onions on top and serve.

Vegetarians can omit the shrimp or substitute sliced tofu. For those who prefer the more traditional ham instead of shrimp, use about 1 ounce, sliced and add it to the bowls just prior to serving.

Shiitake Mushrooms-sweet, neutral; SP/LU; supplement qi, boost wei qi, lower cholesterol, prevent cancer
Winter Melon-bland, slightly cold; LU/ST/UB; clear heat, drain damp, resolve phlegm
Chicken Stock-chicken is sweet, warm; SP/ST/KD; supplement qi, nourish blood, consolidate KD, boost wei qi
Ginger-pungent, warm; LU/SP/ST; disperse exterior cold, stop nausea and vomiting, detoxify other herbs, reduce inflammation
Shrimp-sweet, warm; LV/KD/SP; boost KD Yang, promote lactation, discharge pus and mucus
Salt-salty, cold; KD; clear heat, cool blood, ease bowel movements, nourish KD
Soy Sauce-salty, cold; SP/ST/KD; harmonizes MJ, clear heat, antidote to drug and food poisoning
Sesame Oil-cool, sweet; LI/LV/KD; down bearing, moisten intestines, laxative, detoxifies, raise unsaturated fatty acids, lecithin and vitamin E, treats dryness in intestines, constipation, digestive obstructions, blood and qi vacuity of LV and KD, weakness in muscles, skins and bones; CONTRAINDICATED in excess conditions, weakens SP pancreas network, can cause diarrhea
Green Onion-pungent, warm; LU/LI; release exterior wind cold, invigorate blood, drain damp

Clears heat, expels dampness and promotes urination.

Especially good for anyone who wants to reduce swelling and puffiness, for example, from PMS or menopause; who wants to lose weight; who is experiencing prostate problems; or who has high blood pressure. To enhance therapeutic effects of winter melon, leave the peel on and place the seeds in a bag made of cheesecloth or other porous material, simmer with the soup, and remove before serving.

Bindaeddeok (Mung bean pancake)

Categories: Cleanse, Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Spleen Damp, Spleen Damp Heat, Spleen Damp Heat

Bindaeddeok (Mung bean pancake) recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients: 14 oz nok doo (mung beans)

1 medium onion, thin sliced
1/2 carrot, thin julienne
3 green onions, cut in a bias
1/8 lb beef, thin julienne
1/2 cup kimchi, cut into strips*
1/4 cup bean sprout, blanched, roughly chopped
2 tbsp salt
(*You can substitute to blanched napa cabbage)

Wash mung beans and soak in cold water for 3 hours.
Get rid of outer shell by rubbing them with hands.
Wash again.
Put them in a food processor with a little water and grind to fairly fine paste.

In a bowl, mix onion, carrot, green onions, beef, bean sprouts and kimchi.
Add mung bean paste and salt.

In a non-stick pan, add vegetable oil.
Pour a ladle of paste to make 3-4 inches in diameter and cook until brown, turn only once.

Serve with soy sauce (with some chopped green onion).

This recipe contain foods good for relieving toxicity, particularly mung beans and onions. Carrots are diuretics that drain damp and have anti-inflammatory properties and nourish blood. Green onions invigorate the blood and treat viral and bacterial infections and are helpful with heart disease.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Categories: Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Soup, Urinary Bladder Damp Heat


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
2 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1 cup nonfat milk

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Place squash cut side down in prepared dish. Pierce each squash half several times with toothpick or skewer. Bake until squash is tender, about 45 minutes.
Using large spoon, scrape squash into processor; discard peel. Add 1 1/2 cups broth and nutmeg and puree until smooth. Transfer puree to heavy large saucepan. Mix in milk and enough broth to thin to desired consistency. Stir soup over medium heat until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and chives, if desired.

Ingredients analysis:
Butternut squash – Cool, sweet; Channels unknown (Lu, UB possibly); Clears heat, detoxifies, promotes diuresis, quenches thirst, relieves restlessness.
Chicken broth – Sweet, warm; Sp, St, Kd; Supplements qi, nourishes blood, consolidates Kd, boosts wei qi.
Nutmeg – Acrid, warm; LI, Sp, St; Binds up the intestines and stops diarrhea, warms MJ, moves the qi and alleviates pain.
Milk – Sweet, neutral; Sp, St, Lu; Supplements qi, nourishes blood, moistens dryness.

TCM analysis:
Although the main ingredient is cool, the other ingredients even out the temperature making the overall recipe fairly neutral. There is a nice balance between ingredients to regulate bowel movements and supplement qi. However, the main ingredient is the focus, which is indicated for damp heat in the Urinary Bladder.

Cranberry Relish

Categories: Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Side Dishes, Urinary Bladder Damp Heat, Vegan, Vegetarian


Cranberry Relish


20 oz Cranberries
2 cups Walnuts
Rind of 1 Orange
4 stalks Celery
Honey to taste

Place the cranberries, walnuts, orange rind and celery in a blender or food chopper. Chop until ingredients are evenly mixed and diced. Remove from blender and add honey to taste.

The main ingredient, cranberry, is sour, cool and bitter. It drains damp-heat from the Lower Jiao, but its sour taste astringes physiological fluids, too. Cranberries also contain proanthocyanidins, which protect against toxins and poisons in the blood, and also facilitate healing of wounds, strengthen blood vessels and facilitate blood flow. These chemicals are some of the most potent antioxidants available.

Walnuts are sweet and warm, and go to the Kidney and Lung. They tonify the Kidneys, lubricate the Intestines, and astringe jingo In addition, they can reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, possibly because they contain omega-3 oils.

Orange rind stimulates and regulates Middle Jiao qi, aids digestion and resolves dampness. The turpens in the peel have been shown to reduce the incidence of chemically induced cancers.

Celery is sweet, bitter and cool. It tonifies the Middle Jiao, dries dampness and promotes urination, calms the Liver and clears heat.
Honey is sweet and neutral, and enters the Lung, Stomach and Large Intestine. It detoxifies, lubricates dryness and relieves pain.
This is a dish great on Thanksgiving. Given the damp-draining and qi-regulating qualities.

Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Categories: Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Liver & Gall Bladder Damp Heat, Rice and Grains, Spleen Damp Heat


Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

2 ounces fresh shitake mushrooms
½ pound field mushrooms
1 onion
2 carrots
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

1-cup pot barley
3 cups chicken stock
Handful of fresh parsley
½ cup walnuts
Soy sauce
Salt & Pepper

Chop the mushrooms, onions and carrots into strips. Saute the mushrooms in a little of the olive oil and butter and set aside when browned.  Saute the onion and carrots in the rest of the oil and butter for a few minutes, stir in barley then add the stock. Cook for about 45 minutes or until the barley is tender, assign more stock if needed. Turn in the mushrooms and their juice and cook for a few more minutes. Toast the walnuts lightly, sprinkle with Soya sauce and fold in. Chop the parsley and fold that in too. Season with Soya sauce or salt and pepper and serve with some steamed greens.

The overall effect of this dish is to reduce heat, drain water and nourish the blood and yin.

Barley is beneficial for the stomach and intestines and is very easily digested. It strengthens the blood and the yin while at the same time leaching surplus water from the system.
Mushrooms, like the barley, are slightly cooling and they help remove toxins and surplus heat from the body. They also strengthen the stomach and promote healing
Field Mushrooms also improve appetite, stops diarrhea, resolves phlegm as well as the things stated above.
Onions are warming and pungent, and help to resolve phlegm and are a diuretic
Carrots are beneficial to all internal organs, lubricate the intestines and promote digestion. Also helpful in clearing heat and detoxifying
Parsley has a warm and pungent nature that promotes digestion reduces abdominal and stomach fullness regulating the flow of qi
Walnuts are beneficial to constipation by lubricating the intestines. They also aid in erratic and rebellious qi
Soy Sauce aids lots of flavor while harmonizing the middle jiao and clears heat


Open sesame eggplant

Categories: Asian, Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Heart Blood Stagnation, Heart Disease, Large Intestine Damp Heat, Large Intestine Fluid Vacuity, Liver & Gall Bladder Damp Heat, Spleen Damp Heat, Stomach Fire, Toxic Heat in the Blood, Urinary Bladder Damp Heat, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Yin Vacuity

by Catherine Marquis

Other Names: Solanum melongena, aubergine, qie zi
Eggplant is a vegetable of wide international origins, appearing in the cuisines of Europe,
the Middle East, South and East Asia, and North America. China and India are the world’s top
eggplant producers today. It is related to the potato, pepper, and tomato, part of the Solanaceae
(nightshade) family, and grows in climates ranging from tropical to temperate. Eggplants come
in many sizes, colors and shapes, (not only the pear-shaped dark purple variety) ranging from
small and white (literally resembling an egg) to green and round, to long and lavender.
When shopping for eggplant, you should select ones that are relatively heavy for their
size and use immediately if possible. It should be cooked thoroughly until soft and is difficult to
overcook. Eggplant’s texture and bulk can provide balance to a meal that is light or nonexistent
in meat. It is a good source of fiber, potassium, manganese, copper, thiamine, vitamin B6, folate,
magnesium and niacin. Scientific studies suggest that eggplant might be useful in preventing atherosclerosis
and heart disease. From a TCM perspective it addresses swelling, pain, hemorrhoids and breast
inflammation (mastitis) or sores.

  •  Ingredients
    3-4 tbsp dark sesame oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 med-sized eggplant (about 1 lb), cut into 1 inch cubes
    1 cup water
    1 tbsp rice wine
    1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
    1 tbsp sesame seeds

1. Heat oil in a pan, and then add garlic and then eggplant. Cook until eggplant is golden brown
on all sides. (You may want to brown the eggplant in two batches to distribute the oil more
evenly, as the eggplant has a tendency to absorb it.)
2. Add water to the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Cover and cook for about 10 min.,
until soft.
3. Remove lid, and add rice wine and soy sauce. Cook, uncovered for another 3-5 min.
4. In the meantime, toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown,
stirring or shaking frequently, about 5 min. When done, remove the seeds from the hot skillet
so they don’t overcook.
5. Transfer eggplant mixture to a serving dish and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve
warm with a grain such as rice or quinoa if desired.
If preferred, you can boil or steam the eggplant for about 20 min., until soft, then add soy sauce,
sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds to taste.
TCM Ingredient Analysis
Sesame oil – cool, sweet; LI, LV, KD; down bearing, moisten intestines, laxative, detoxifies,
raise unsaturated fatty acids, lecithin and vitamin E, treats dryness in intestines, constipation,
digestive obstructions, blood and qi vacuity of LV and KD, weakness in muscles, skins and
CONTRAINDICATED in excess conditions, weakens SP pancreas network, can cause diarrhea
Garlic – hot, acrid; anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, detoxify meat and seafood, kill worms,
remove stagnant food and blood, reduce abscesses, warm yang, dispel cold;
CONTRAINDICATED in hot or dry eye DOs, mouth sores, tongue ulcers
Eggplant –cool-cold, sweet; SP, ST, LI; clear heat, relieve toxicity, invigorate and cool blood
and break stasis, reduce swelling, relieve and stop pain, move qi and open chest, promote
diuresis; CONTRAINDICATED in cold conditions
Rice Wine –warm; move blood
Soy sauce – cold, salty; SP, ST, KD; harmonize middle jiao, clear heat, antidote to drug and food
poisoning, benefit KD, penetrate deeply
Sesame seeds – slightly warm, sweet; nourish LV & KD, lubricate intestines, blacken gray hair,
tonify body overall, benefit skin; grinding recommended because tough cell wall makes it
undigestable whole
Quinoa – warm, sweet, sour; strengthen entire body, tonify qi, warm yang)
Overall Recipe Analysis
This dish clears heat, moves and cools blood, moistens the intestines, reduces swelling, and eases
pain. It is especially good for anyone concerned about high cholesterol or those who wish to
counteract pain and swelling.
Blood stasis, qi stagnation, cold or damp stagnation, qi and blood deficiency, ST heat, yin
deficiency, SP qi deficiency, KD yang deficiency


Categories: Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Liver & Gall Bladder Damp Heat, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian


4 – 8 baby artichokes
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley, stems removed


  •  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


  •  Trim the artichokes by slicing off half an inch of the top, slicing off any stems and pulling off the tougher outer leaves.


  • Toss the artichokes with the lemon juice and olive oil in an oven-proof dish. Scatter the garlic on top and drizzle with three-fourths cup of water. Cover and bake about 30 minutes, until the artichokes are tender.
  • Transfer the cooking liquid and garlic to a blender and add the parsley. Add the remaining one-fourth cup of water or stock. Puree. Season to taste with salt.


  • Toss the artichokes with the parsley mixture and serve warm or at room temperature.


6 servings

Originally published with FOOD; Parsley Takes