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Hong Dou Tang (Red Bean Soup)

Categories: Shen Calming, Spleen Damp Cold, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Spleen Yang Vacuity, Stomach Rebellious Qi

Hong Dou Tang (Red Bean Soup)
China

Treatment Principle: strengthens SP, regulates qi, dispels Phlegm, drains Damp, promotes urination.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2/3 cup dried azuki beans
1/2 dried tangerine peel (chen pi) torn into pieces
3/4 cup of brown sugar or Chinese hong tang

Soak the azuki beans overnight in 4 cups of water.

Bring to a boil, reduce to medium low, add the tangerine peel, cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes. Add a further 4 cups of water and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 30 minutes.

To test to see if they are ready, press one bean between the fingers. It should crush without any effort. If it is still hard, cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, then check again.
Add half of the sugar to the pan containing the beans and stir gently continuing to add more sugar until it is sweet to your taste. Simmer for a few minutes longer.

Serve hot.

Azuki Beans: sweet sour neutral HT SP SI
Actions: strengthens the SP, promotes urination, and eliminates stagnant Blood.
Indications: SP deficiency edema, Damp and Damp Heat painful urination, diarrhea, leucorrhea, intestinal abscess, hemorrhoids, bleeding from the bowel.

Brown Sugar: sweet warm SP ST LV
Actions: supplements middle jiao, expels cold, invigorates blood, moves LV qi.
Indications: middle jiao deficiency cold, menstrual cramps, post childbirth recovery.

Chen Pi: acrid, bitter, warm, aromatic LU SP ST
Actions: regulates the qi, adjusts the middle, and relieves the diaphragm, dries dampness and transforms phlegm, prevents stagnation.
Indications: epigastric or abdominal distention, fullness, bloating, belching, nausea and vomiting, damp turbidity obstructing the middle with a stifling sensation in the chest, loss of appetite, fatigue, loose stools, thick greasy tongue coat.

Red Bean Soup (composite): aromatic sweet sour warm HT SP ST LV LU SI
Actions: adjusts and supplements middle jiao, promotes urination, invigorates Blood and eliminates stagnant Blood, expels cold, regulates and moves the qi, dries dampness and transforms phlegm.
Indications: SP deficiency edema, middle jiao deficiency cold, epigastric or abdominal distention, fullness, bloating, belching, nausea and vomiting, damp turbidity obstructing the middle with a stifling sensation in the chest, loss of appetite, fatigue, loose stools, thick greasy tongue coat.

Gingery Adzuki Beans with Spinach

Categories: Spleen Damp, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Gingery Adzuki Beans with Spinach
4-6 servings
(Adapted from 3 Bowls)

½ c adzuki beans, sorted, rinsed well, and drained
1 ¾-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1-1 ½ T low-sodium tamari or Mrs. Dash salt substitute

1. Soften the beans by one of the two methods below:
i. Place beans in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by a few inches. Bring to a boil, boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
ii. Soak the beans in water at room temperature for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Rinse the beans.
3. Place the beans, ginger, and 1 c cold water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until beans are tender but not mushy (30-40 minutes).
5. Stir in the spinach, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, until heated through. Add 1 T of the low-sodium tamari or use a salt substitute like Mrs. Dash for flavoring.

TCM Analysis:
Adzuki beans: sweet, sour, neutral; HT, SP, SI. Percolate damp, reduce edema, relieve toxin.
Ginger: pungent, warm; LU, SP, ST. Disperse cold, release exterior, stop nausea/vomiting, detoxify, reduce inflammation.
Spinach: sweet, cold; ST, LI, LV. Clear heat, stop bleeding, nourish blood, stabilize yin, moisten dryness.
Tamari: salty, cold; SP, ST, KD. Harmonize MJ, clear heat, detoxify.

Overall, this recipe is balanced in taste and temperature. With the adzuki beans as the chief, the primary focus is on draining damp in cases of damp or phlegm accumulation. Ginger’s function of release exterior makes it useful in cases of wind-damp as well.