Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Cough Cure: American Ginseng and Honey Dates

This recipe is thanks to Erina who saw me having a coughing fit yesterday and recommended that I try her mother-in-law's recipe. She said her son had been coughing too and after drinking this concoction 3 times a week, he had been cured.

For this cough cure, you will need some slices of American Ginseng and 3-4 dried honey dates. These go into a pot with 2 bowls of water. Simmer until only half the water remains. This could probably take 20 minutes or so. Drink warm.

American Ginseng (panax quinquefolius) or Pao Sum (in Mandarin) is one of the milder ginsengs from the ginseng family. It is milder because it is yin or cooling in nature. It was first discovered by the Jesuit priests in Canada around the 18th century. This root herb was shipped in massive quantities to China - it was a valuable export in the 19th century. Hence the name American Ginseng because it really comes from America.

The taste of American Ginseng is sweet and slightly bitter but is highly suitable for the Heart, Lung and Kidney meridians. That's why it is often used for chronic coughs, fatigue and kidney ailments. It is traditionally used to nourish Qi and nurture lung yin.

But it is not suitable for pregnant women or those with cold and damp in the stomach (due to its yin nature).

Dried honey dates are larger than dried red dates. They're sweeter too. Accordingly they come from Anhui province in China.

I suppose like dried red dates, they're used to harmonize the concoction.

Take this concoction 3x a week until your cough improves.
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