Diet, acupuncture, herbs and exercise/meditation are the four therapeutic tools of Chinese medicine. They are used to build, maintain and restore wholeness in mind/body/spirit.
Diet is extremely important because every day what you eat either nourishes or dilutes your Essential Substances.
Doc Misha’s Grammy Ethel’s Chicken Soup
- Place a plump 3-pound chicken in an 8 to 10 quart pot of water.
- Cover, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour.
- Tie 1 parsnip, 1 carrot and 1 onion in an unbleached cheesecloth bag and immerse in broth.*
- Cover and cook for another hour.
- Remove cheesecloth sack and the whole chicken.
- Boiled chicken can be eaten separately or added to the broth when appropriate.
- Place pot of broth, covered, in refrigerator overnight. The next day, skim fat from top of broth.
- Reheat and serve. This nearly fat-free broth can be used alone or as a base for soup or congee. Add rice, vegetables, herbs, even a nice Matzoh ball, if you can eat wheat.
* My aunt Jane’s recipe adds a clove of garlic.
Chinese Ginger Chicken Soup
- Remove skin from a 3-pound whole chicken.
- Place whole in 10 quart pot and cover with water. Bring to boil, the turn down to a simmer.
- Add 5 scallions, sliced lengthwise and into halves, to the pot.
- Cut 1 fresh ginger root in half and slice into slivers about 1/2 inch long and 1/16 inch wide. Add to pot.
- Simmer chicken, scallions, ginger for 1 1/2 hours, covered.
- When finished, remove chicken and debone. Return chicken chunks to pot. (Add salt to taste if you wish.)
The basic method to make congee is as follows:
- Cook one cup of rice in seven to nine cups of filtered water over a period of six to eight hours. This can be done overnight and it is ideal to use a slow cooker, although you may use any cooking pot.
- Herbs and/or meat or vegetables are added as directed by your practitioner for your condition.
- Traditional Chinese families serve congee to the whole family on a weekly basis with such herbs as Ginseng, Dong Guii, Codonopsis, Red Dates, Ginger and Astragalus. Astragalus is good in immune tonic congee.
Soups of various sorts are also highly recommended in Chinese food therapy. Many soups that are Blood and Qi tonics include chicken broth as a base, hence chicken soup is considered very healing by the Chinese.