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Quick Szechuan Pickles

Categories: Liver Qi Stagnation, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Quick Szechuan Pickles

Thom Heil – PCOM Chicago

makes enough to fill one large canning jar

• 1 daikon radish
• 1 carrot
• 1 cucumber
• ½ lb. Napa cabbage
• 4 dried chili peppers
• 2 tsp whole Szechuan peppercorn
• 3 Tbsp salt
• 2 cups boiling water
• 2 Tbsp rice wine
• 1 cinnamon stick (2†long)
• 3 slices ginger


1. Put water on stove to boil.
2. Chop daikon, carrot, and cucumber. Do not peel. Tear the cabbage leaves into shreds. Chop the dried peppers into small pieces.
3. Place the peppercorn, salt, and dried peppers in the bottom of a pickling jar. Pour in the boiling water, stirring to dissolve the salt. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
4. Stir in the rice wine. Add the cinnamon stick, ginger, and vegetables. Cover and let sit for at least 2 days before using.

TCM breakdown:

channels entered
acrid, sweet, cool
• clears heat, relieves toxicity
• rectifies middle jiao
• promotes BM
sweet, neutral
• strengthens SP & HRT
• nourishes & soothes LV
• benefits LU
• promotes diuresis
• soothes inflammation
Napa cabbage
sweet, cool
• harmonizes ST
• clears heat, stops cough
• promotes diuresis & BM
sweet, bland, cool
• clears heat, quenches thirst
• relieves irritability
• promotes diuresis
salty, cold
• clears heat, cools xue
• eases BM
• nourishes KD
chili peppers
?? (ST, LI)
?? (acrid, hot)
• ??
• (warms middle jiao)
• (descends ST qi)
• (expels damp & cold)
Szechuan peppercorn
acrid, hot
• warms middle jiao
• disperses cold, stops pain
• kills parasites
• warms mingmen fire
rice wine
acrid, sweet, warm
• expels cold
• invigorates xue
• stops pain
acrid, sweet, warm
• invigorates yang
• dispels cold
• promotes xue circulation
• warms mingmen fire
acrid, warm
• disperses exterior cold
• stops nausea & vomiting
• detoxifies other herbs
• reduces inflammation

The vegetables, sweet and cool by nature, clear heat, harmonize the middle jiao, encourage diuresis, and lubricate the intestines to facilitate bowel movements. The warm nature of the spices warms the middle jiao and expels cold, while their acrid flavor moves qi. The opposing temperatures of the vegetables and the spices make this recipe neutral on the whole. Its site of action is the middle jiao, where it warms the SP and ST while it lightly moves qi and cools heat from stagnation. It also acts on the lower jiao, where it motivates both urination and defecation.

CI: overeating raw veggies could lead to cold in MJ (and then dampness). Spice level can be adjusted to heat level desired.

I would recommend this recipe to patients with a combination of LV qi stagnation and SP/ST qi deficiency. Like Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang, it contains opposing ingredients which act as a whole to combat a multi-faceted pattern.

Spring Roll Recipe with Ginger Peanut Dipping Sauce

Categories: Liver Qi Stagnation

Jennifer Wade

Spring 2010

Eastern Nutrition

March 8, 2010

Spring Roll Recipe with Ginger Peanut Dipping Sauce

10 Rice spring roll wrappers

2.5 cups Rice vermicelli


Bunch of Cilantro

Bunch of Basil

1 Cucumber

1 bunch green onion

20 Medium Shrimp or ½ pound of Tofu


2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. water

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tsp. brown sugar

½ cup peanuts

2 tsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. tapioca starch

1 tsp. xanthum gum

Pinch of stevia

Spring Roll Preparation:

Slice cucumber in a mandolin or manually to create thin strips.

Soak the rice vermicelli to soften

Boil the shrimp or defrost frozen shrimp or slice tofu in 1†x 4†inch slices.

Chop basil and cilantro.

Fill a large pan with water. Immerse the spring roll wrapper in water for a few seconds until fully moistened. Remove. Lay wrapper on a plate. Add a leaf of lettuce in the center. Top with ¼ cup rice vermicelli, small amount of chopped basil and cilantro. Slice of cucumber, and 2 shrimp or slice of tofu. Take the sides of the wrapper and fold them in towards each other. Starting from the back, roll up the rice paper over the ingredients until it is sealed.


In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve as a dipping sauce with the spring rolls. You may have to add additional water or tapioca starch to reach desired consistency.

Spring Roll:

Rice noodles, wrapper: Sweet, Neutral, SP, ST. Supplements spleen and stomach, generates and preserves body fluids.

Cilantro-slightly cool, acrid. Promotes sweat, strengthens digestion, and promotes qi flow.

Cucumber-cool, sweet and bland. Clears heat, quenches thirst, relieves irritability, promotes diuresis, counteracts toxins.

Lettuce-Neutral, bland. Lung, St, UB. Invigorates qi, removes stagnation, reduces swelling, softens hardness.

Basil: Warm, acrid. Induces sweating, harmonizes stomach, antidote for seafood poisoning.

Green onion: Pungent, warm. Lung, LI. Releases exterior wind cold, Invigorates blood, drains damp.

Shrimp: Sweet. Liver. Boosts Kd yang/qi


Tofu: Cool, LU, LI. Moistens dryness, relieves inflammation of the stomach, neutralizes toxins.


Garlic: Pungent, sweet, warm. Warms spleen/St. Improves digestion.

Ginger: Acrid, warm. Lung, SP, ST. Disperses exterior cold, stops nausea/vomit, detoxifies other herbs, reduced inflammation

Soy sauce: Salty and cold. SP, ST, KD. Harmonizes middle jiao, clears heat, antidote to food and drug poisoning.

Lime juice: Cooling, sour astringent, antiseptic. Purges the liver. Promotes weight loss, cleanses blood, treats high blood pressure.

Brown Sugar: Sweet, warm. Sp, St, Lv. Supplements middle jiao, expels cold, invigorates blood, moves liver qi.

Peanuts: Sweet, neutral. Sp, Lu, LI. Strengthens spleen, drains damp, nourishes blood, stops bleeding, promotes lactation.

Overall Properties and Comments:

This recipe will help move qi and would be ideal for a pattern of Liver qi stagnation. With marked spleen qi deficiency, it would be wise to remove the lettuce and cucumber as raw veggies can be harder to digest. Instead you can add steamed veggies such as carrot and zucchini to assist the spleen in digestion. The sauce, being warm, also helps to assist in digesting the cooler veggies. There is also some Lung nourishing aspect to this recipe depending on what veggies are served.

You tube video, how to wrap a spring roll:

Cabbage Cucumber Dill Salad

Categories: Large Intestine Fluid Vacuity, Large Intestine Qi Stagnation

Cabbage Cucumber Dill Salad (serves 2-3)
Ingredients: ½ of a head of green cabbage, ½ of a cucumber, 5 sprigs of dill, 1 TB olive oil, 1 tsp. lemon juice, salt to taste

Preparation: shred cabbage, preferably using a mandolin; chop cucumber into small cubes; chop dill then mix the above ingredients with salt, oil, and lemon juice. Serve chilled.

Analysis of Recipe:
Cabbage: cold, sweet, clears heat, lubricates intestines, promotes urination, diaphoretic
Cucumber: cool, sweet, bland, clears heat, quenches thirst, relieves irritability, promotes diuresis
Dill: neutral, acrid, slightly bitter, stimulates appetite
Olive Oil: neutral, sweet, sour, clears heat, detoxifies, promotes body fluids, quenches thirst, clears lungs, benefits throat
Salt: cold, salty, slightly sweet, harmonizes and promotes digestion, strengthens kidneys, fortifies bones, tendons and teeth, brightens eyes, detoxifies

Day Lily Salad

Categories: Liver Fire Rising, Stomach Fire

Day Lily Salad
4-6 servings

2 cups daylily buds (about 50 buds), sliced
1 cup torn lettuce
1/2 medium cucumber, sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
3 radishes, sliced
Salad dressing of your choice
In a large salad bowl, combine the daylily buds, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, celery, cabbage and radishes. Serve with dressing. Yield: 4-6 servings.
TCM analysis:
Day lily: Sweet, slightly cold. HT, LV. Clears liver and heart heat, cools blood, drains damp, nourishes LV and blood.
Lettuce: Sweet, bitter, cold. SP, ST, LI. Clears heat relieves toxicity, moves blood, breaks stasis, reduces swelling, stops pain, moves qi opens chest.
Cucumber: Cool, sweet, bland. Clears heat, quenches thirst, relieves irritability, promotes diuresis.
Tomato:Sweet, sour, cold. SP, ST, UB, KD. Promotes fluids, clears heat, promotes urination, supplements KD.
Celery: Sweet, Neutral. LV. Clears heat, resolves toxin.
Red cabbage: Sweet, neutral. ST, KD. Harmonizes ST, promotes ulcer healing, nourishes KD jing.
Radishes: Pungent, sweet, cold. LU, LI. Clears heat relives toxicity, rectifies MJ.
Clears heat from LV and HT.

Clear Summer Borscht

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

Clear Summer Borscht
Published: August 6, 2008

This glistening, lemony summer borscht is infused with garlic and utterly refreshing, even thirst-quenching. If you enrich the soup with yogurt, the color will be dark pink. If you don’t, it will be a clear, dark red.
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

2 pounds beets (8 medium, usually 2 bunches), peeled, cut in half and sliced in thin half-moons

7 cups water

2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

6 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 plump garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise, green shoots removed

3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt (optional)

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut in small dice

Chopped fresh dill or chives for garnish

1. Combine the beets, water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a soup pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add the lemon juice, remaining salt, and sugar and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the garlic. Allow to cool, then cover and chill (you can speed this process by transferring the soup to a bowl and placing the bowl in an ice bath). Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove the garlic cloves.

2. Place 2 tablespoons yogurt, if desired, into the center of chilled soup bowls. Ladle in the soup. Garnish with diced cucumber and minced dill or chives.

Advance preparation: This soup can be made a day ahead and will be good for 2 or 3 days.

Yield: Serves 6

Approximate Nutritional Information: 107 calories per serving;7 calories from fat; total fat: 0.8g; saturated fat 0g; cholesterol 2mg; sodium 173mg; total carbohydrates 22.8g; dietary fiber: 3.4g; sugars 17.5g; protein 4.6g

Eggplant with Rice and Side Salad

Categories: Heart Blood Stagnation, Heart Qi Vacuity, Lung Phlegm Cold

Eggplant with Rice and Side Salad

Serving Size for 1 person

Eggplant ½ Eggplant Moves blood and breaks stasis, moves qi and opens chest
Brown Rice ½ Cup Supplements Qi, Drains Dampness
Water 1 Cup
Black Pepper ¼ tablespoon Warms MJ, Invigorates blood, expels damp
Celery ½ cup Subdues Liver Yang and wind, drains damp and transforms phlegm, calms shen
Carrots ½ cup Strengthens Heart, Nourishes and Soothes Liver, Drains Damp
Reishi Mushroom ½ cup Transforms phlegm, tonifies wei qi
Butter 1 tablespoon Invigorates blood
Rice Wine Vinegar 2 tablespoons Invigorates blood, Clears Toxins, Astringent
Olive Oil 2 tablespoons
Ginger 1 teaspoon Transforms phlegm
Lettuce 1/3 head of Romaine lettuce Clears heat and cools blood,
Cucumber ½ cup Clears heat, influences the heart

This recipe is intended for someone with phlegm and dampness in the chest caused by blood stasis and qi stagnation. The bulk of the recipe moves blood in the chest and heart, and the rest transforms dampness and phlegm. There are also some qi tonifications as well.

Cooking Instructions:

Melt butter in a small bowl and put in 1/8 tablespoon of black pepper and one teaspoon of ground ginger and mix well. Take ½ of a peeled eggplant and cut into slices. Brush butter/pepper/ginger mix onto both side of the eggplant slices and put onto a cooking tray and broil for 5 minutes each side.
Mix ½ cup of carrots, celery, and mushrooms together and steam in a small pot with water and cover until softened.
Mix ½ cup brown rice with 1 cup of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cut heat to low and simmer until rice is dry and starts to stick to the pot. Mix Rice with steamed vegetables and place cooked eggplant on top and serve.
Mix 1/8 tablespoon black pepper with 2 tablespoons of both Olive Oil and Rice Wine vinegar. Use this as a dressing for the wedge of lettuce for a side salad.

Cucumber Raita

Categories: Dryness, Heart Fire, Heart Yin Vacuity, Indian, Large Intestine Heat, Liver Yang Rising, Lung Yin Vacuity, Side Dishes, Stomach Fire, Stomach Yin Vacuity, Vacuity Heat, Vegetarian, Yin Vacuity


Cucumber Raita

Prep time: 10 mins
Serves: 4

1-teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cucumbers
1 ½ cups yogurt
¼ teaspoon salt

Dry roast the cumin seeds until they are slightly browned, then crush them with a rolling pin or mortar and pestle. Grate or finely shred the cucumber, combine with the other indigents and let the mixture sit for half an hour or so before serving.

Cucumber is cooling, sweet and cleansing and will relieve heat throughout the body. Its moistening thirst-relieving nature will benefit dryness and it has an uplifting affect on the heart and relieves irritability
Yogurt is also moistening and cooling with special benefits for the intestines.
Cumin slightly moderates the coolness of this dish and counteracts the dampening nature of the yogurt

Primary Actions: Yin, Heat, and Dryness
Primary Influences: Lung, Intestines, Stomach, Spleen, Heart

Contraindicated: Yang xu, Damp, Cold


Categories: Dryness, Salad, Summerheat, Vegan, Vegetarian

2 cucumbers, sliced. 

Lime juice from 3 limes, approximately ½ cup juice. 

Cilantro ½ cup, chopped



Cut up cucumbers into a bowl, pour juice on top, add cilantro and salt and mix together.  This can last for several days in the refrigerator.

Serves 4.


This is a nice recipe for summer heat with dryness and no damp.  It is cooling, moistening, and releases the exterior.  It is contraindicated for more pronounced damp signs or for spleen yang deficiency.