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HoloSapiens - the TCM "Food as Medicine" Project

We are saying good bye to the late-summer season with a bowl of congee. Congee is great comfort food that warms up the Spleen, is easily digestible and very nurturing. It is usually made with rice but here we will use millet (Xiao Mi – “small rice”) and seeds of Job’s tears (Yi Mi – “Job’s tears rice). The latter food is widely used in Chinese home cooking and is an herb in traditional Chinese medicine known as Yi Yi Ren – “The Benevolence of Job’s tears”. It can be easily found in the West especially in Chinese food stores or Chinese medicine herbal pharmacies. It is very beneficial in draining dampness from the Spleen by promoting urination and clearing damp-heat (please check the post “Damp-heat in the Spleen - bacterial, viral and yeast infections” to grasp the concept of damp-heat). It strengthens the Spleen and leaches out the turbid fluids that obstruct it.


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There is no need to talk about the benefits of millet. High in protein, easily digestible and alkaline (among many other things) this yellow food is a great Spleen tonic. Millet congee is one of China’s most famous breakfasts.

Now about the pumpkin. A slightly sweet vegetable with gorgeous deep orange color pumpkin tonifies the Spleen and leeches out dampness. We know that pumpkin seeds kill intestinal worms - cooked pumpkin has a similar effect. It’s soft texture makes it easy on the digestion, not to mention how delicious and aromatic cooked pumpkin is.       


Preparing the congee is very easy – mix the millet and Job’s tears together and add water (a proportion of 5:1/6:1). Once cooked, which will not take long, add half small pumpkin cut into pieces.


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Boil for another 10 minutes max and your congee is ready to eat. No need to add anything else to spice it up, eat it as it is. You will instantly feel it’s tonifying and nurturing effect, especially if you have Spleen issues of any kind. Enjoy!


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