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Treasure of the orient

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Treasure of the orient

  1. 2. Chinese culinary art does not only aim at delighting the sense of taste but also provides a preventive treatment against ailments. Traditionally the Chinese classify all food by their innate properties: heaty , that which stimulates the system; cooling , that which soothes the system; and neutral , that which neither stimulates nor soothes. This slide show introduces the better known herbs and ingredients in Chinese cuisines and some of their lesser known therapeutic properties.
  2. 3. Dried Longans, Lotus Seeds & Red Dates Both Lotus seeds and dried longans are good for the heart, spleen and kidneys. Red dates are effective in combating fatigue, anemia, and boosting energy levels. They are therefore a common ingredient in the diet of Chinese women during confinement. Property: Neutral (Lotus Seeds), Heaty (Dried Longans & Red Dates) 1 of 12
  3. 4. Dried Mushroom Rich in minerals, mushrooms are commonly used in herbal cooking to add a definitive flavour and give a delightful aroma to the dish. They also absorb fats and oils. Scientifically, mushrooms are known to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Property: Neutral 2 of 12
  4. 5. Ginger & Garlic Ginger is commonly used with fish and all kinds of seafood to dissipate those fishy odours. Try ginger tea to soothe headaches and a ginger bath to relieve tension, minor aches and pains. Fresh garlic contains compounds that fortify the body immune system against common colds, coughs and other kind of respiratory ailments. In most Chinese cooking, garlic is quintessentially a flavour enhancer. Property: Heaty 3 of 12
  5. 6. Lotus Root Covered with a coat of mud from the lily pond, lotus roots are definitely out of the kids’ choice list when you bring them shopping at the wet market. Do you know that the coat of mud helps to keep the root fresh? Raw lotus roots are believed to “clear” heat while cooked ones can purify blood and stimulate appetite. Property: Cooling 4 of 12
  6. 7. White Fungus White fungus is regarded as one of the most invaluable delicacies in Chinese cuisines. While enjoying its crunchiness, Chinese women love it for the beauty and smoothness it promotes to the skin and complexion. White fungus also benefits the lungs, stomach and kidneys. Property: Cooling 5 of 12
  7. 8. Watercress Its Chinese name, ‘The vegetable from the Western Ocean’, reveals its introduction more than a century ago by Portuguese sailors via Macau. Due to its high vitamin content, watercress is highly regarded for the prevention of ailments and recuperative value. Besides spinach, watercress contains the next highest iron content, which makes it blood-enriching and excellent for the treatment of anemia. Property: Cooling 6 of 12
  8. 9. Medlar Seeds Do you think you would still be able to thread the needle at the age of eighty? You might - if you start adding lots of medlar seeds in your diet now! Medlar seeds are known to add sparkle to the eyes and improve eyesight. Prescribed brews of these seeds help relieve eye strain resulting from long hours of watching the TV and working on the computer. Property: Cooling 7 of 12
  9. 10. Gingko Nuts & Barley In the old days, many grandmothers would prepare gingko nuts & barley soup for their grandchildren. This is because gingko nuts are reputedly good relieving coughs and ‘chesty’ conditions, while barley is a good source of nutrition for those with sore throats or weak stomachs. Property: Cooling 8 of 12
  10. 11. Winter Melon Known for its cooling effects, winter melon is frequently used in soups, sweet desserts and teas to soothe the throat and to help reduce body heat, especially in the hot and humid climate of ours. Always remember mothers’ advice: “Eat more winter melon and your pimples will disappear with the heat in your body. Property: Cooling 9 of 12
  11. 12. Water Chestnut Water chestnut is a good form of roughage to cleanse the intestinal tract of ‘yang’ elements. Its heat-relieving properties make it good for kids who tend to over-indulge in their favourite ‘heaty’ fried snacks. Property: Cooling 10 of 12
  12. 13. Angelica & Astragalus Angelica (dang gui) is the herb for women, while ginseng is the herb for men. This is because angelica contains vitamin B12 which aids blood formation. Astragalus (bei qi) helps promote blood circulation and lowers blood pressure. A favourite remedy too, for general weakness and nervous exhaustion. Property: Heaty 11 of 12
  13. 14. Sesame Seeds Small as they may be, sesame seeds contain an abundance of protein, minerals calcium and polyunsaturated oils. They nourish the lungs, improve blood circulation and increase body energy. White sesame seeds are more often used as food garnish while black sesame seeds are used as medicine for the liver and kidneys, and to darken prematurely grey hair. Property: Heaty 12 of 12
  14. 15. The End

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