Food remedies have long been around to help us heal our bodies and boost our immune system. Before there were vitamins, nutritional shakes, food bars and supplements there have always been plants, animals, and foods that were used as medicinals for centuries.
Perhaps you can even think of some food based immunity remedy that was passed down to you that you use at the first sight of a cold or illness. In my family our sick remedy is a traditional Japanese soup called “Jook” which consists of over cooked rice, chicken stock, ginger, and tofu.
I learned many years later in Chinese medical school that my childhood “sick soup” also has another name in Chinese culture called congee. I also learned that each ingredient is intentional and has a medicinal effect to support the immune and digestive system.
Over many years of practice I’ve found that Congee along with bone broth has many more benefits beyond just the common cold or flu. I often recommend using both of these remedies with my pregnant and postpartum moms who come in showing signs of blood deficiency (feelings of overwhelm, crying all the time, fatigue, dry skin, dry lips, headaches).
Sometimes just doing these two food remedies for a couple of months will improve their mood, increase their energy, and benefit their sleep.
You may be familiar with bone broth as its become very popular in the US but this may be the first time you are learning about congee.
Congee is in short rice porridge or over cooked rice. There are many ways to modify and add medicinals to support your specific problem, but eaten alone will still benefit the spleen and thus the production of blood and qi.
To help understand why how congee supports blood production it may be helpful to know a little about chinese medicine theory.
In chinese medicine theory the spleen has the job of breaking down our food and then transforming it into blood and qi (energy). The spleen can break down our food faster and more efficient if the foods we eat are warm, neutral in flavor and cooked. When the spleen does its job well we have good energy, our digestive system is efficient, we have a healthy menstrual cycle, and our emotions feel stable.
Congee has all the elements that the spleen loves: warm, pre-cooked, and neutral in flavor.
If the spleen becomes weak due to over work, improper eating (raw foods, cold foods, smoothies), excessive blood loss (labor, breastfeeding) cold, or stress it will decrease it’s ability to create more blood and qi which leads to blood deficiency signs. (feelings of overwhelm, cold, poor digestion, loose stool, crying all the time)
In the case of fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum you can understand why it becomes essential to replenish our bodies with foods that help support the spleen to build blood because of how hard it is already working.
Below I will share a few recipes that you can try, the modifications are endless so you can always mix things up as well. If you find something you love please hit reply 🙂
If your interested in learning more about how I can help with your fertility, pregnancy and postpartum journey you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the center to schedule a FREE 30 minute consultation.
1 cup rice
6-9 cups water or bone broth ( if you want it thicker use less water)
Modifications: add any of the following
Qi and Blood building: chicken, shiitake mushrooms, spring onion, ginger
Blood building: 25 grams of black sesame seeds
Qi and Blood Tonifying: apricots, black dates, cinnamon
1. Rinse rice until the liquid runs clear
2. Place liquid and rice in crock pot overnight (on low heat)