The Ancient Chinese Wisdom (II) –Decoction of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Walking on the street, we find many Chinese restaurants or tea shops serve various functional herbal soup or drinks.  It is a Chinese culture that people take herbal products into their dietary as supplementation 食补 (shíbǔ).  No matter they are sick or not, Chinese people are already used to having a plate of soup to nurture themselves or to smooth their qi 气.

Chinese people are familiar with herbs.  They use natural herbs to make medical concoction and treat the body like the harmonious universe.  This cultural wisdom has been handed down for about 4500 years.  It is hard to imagine how ancient Chinese found the secret of the nature long time ago.

Dated back to around 2500 B.C., there was an emperor named Shennong 神农 (Shénnóng), which literally means “divine farmer” or “heavenly husbandman.”  Shennong 神农 (Shénnóng) was also known as a distinguished doctor for his excellent knowledge in herbs.  He had personally tried hundreds of herbs and noted down the feature and the effect of each of them.  His great work then influenced the traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) 中医 (Zhōngyī) and started the fashion of herbal nourishment.

As the Chinese saying goes, 良药苦口 (Liángyào kǔkǒu), good medicine always tastes bitter.  Most people do not like traditional Chinese medicine.  Besides, TCM in a sense is too hard to be figured out so that people nowadays don’t know how it actually functions.  However, Chinese medicine decoction could be tasty and easy to make.

Here we would like to share with you some useful and functional TCM decoction recipes.  You could easily make them at home and take them as drinks.  It is said that boiling the herbs with water as making soup is better than pouring them with hot water as making tea.  You don’t have my guarantee of that nor the functions of the recipes, but you would agree with me that no matter what we do or what we eat, following the middle way is always the path.  More is never better than enough.

1. 养肝明目茶 (Yǎng gān míng mùchá)
Decoction for Nurturing the Liver and Brighten the Eyes

Ingredients 食材 (Shícái):

Chinese wolfberry 枸杞 Gǒuqǐ   枸杞1
chrysanthemum 菊花 Júhuā  菊花2
cassia seed 决明子 Juémíngzǐ  決明子2
養肝明目茶材料

2. 滋阴补气茶 (Zī yīn bǔ qì chá)
Decoction for Nurturing Yin and Supplementing Qi

Ingredients 食材 (Shícái):

western ginseng 西洋参 Xīyángshēn  2013-11-12 22.48.14
astragalus root 黄耆 Huáng qí  2013-11-12 22.49.28
Chinese Date 红枣 Hóngzǎo  2013-11-12 22.50.37
raw liquorice root 生甘草 Shēng gāncǎo

3. 四神汤 (Sì shén tāng)
Decoction of the Four Spirits (four herbs)

Ingredients 食材 (Shícái):

Chinese yam 淮山 Huáishān
euryale seed 芡实 Qiànshí
lotus seeds 莲子 Liánzǐ
poria 茯苓 Fúlíng
coix seed 薏仁 Yìrén
pork intestine 豬腸 Zhū cháng
 四神湯_姍姍-已製
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