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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

Preparation
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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  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.

Spiced Wine

Categories: Bi Syndrome Cold, Blood Stasis, Heart Blood Stagnation, Heart Qi Vacuity

8 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
½ cup sugar
8 sticks of cinnamon
4 slices of orange
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
12 whole cloves

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

This recipe should not be used in excess, but this would be a very blood invigorating, warming recipe to get stagnancy moving- particularly if the patient is also experiencing cold symptoms.
Wine goes to the heart, stomach and liver. It expels cold, invigorates blood and stops pain. The cloves and cinnamon would add to the warming and circulating properties of this holiday specialty.