food, recipe, Traditional Chinese Medicine

How to drain the damp with corn silk tea

corn cobCorn silk, Stigma maydis, has a long history of use in the traditional medicines of China and America. The herb which is the stigmas or pale yellow strands that surround a cob of corn is known as yu mi xu in Traditional Chinese Medicine. There is one strand of silk for each kernel of corn.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) lists it as a neutral temperature and sweet flavoured herb which has influence over the Liver, Gall Bladder and Urinary Bladder. Its main functions are:

  • promotes urination
  • stops bleeding
  • clears damp heat from Liver and Gall Bladder

Corn silk has been traditionally used for oedema and to stop nose and gum bleeds.

The herb has been researched for various pharmacological functions including: antioxidant, diuretic, blood glucose reduction, anti-diabetic, anti-fatigue, anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory. Most of the research has been from animal and ‘test tube’ studies however this herb does have a long history of traditional use .

I often suggest this herb to my patients who may benefit from its diuretic (or damp draining) action. It can be easily (and cheaply) made into a tea and is a great way to use one of the by-products of delicious sweet corn.

How to make corn silk tea

  1. Take corn silk from one ear of corn and rinse.corn silk
  2. Add it to saucepan with 2 cups of water.corn silk pan
  3. Boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Strain liquid into a cup and enjoy.corn silk tea

You may drink several cups per day of this mild, pleasant tasting tea. Other herbs may also be added to the tea for flavour or other functions. If you are taking medications consult with your practitioner before using corn silk tea.

Corn silk also can be purchased dried as a herb tea.

Feeling damp? Here are some more ideas for draining dampness.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

Diet, fertility, food, Traditional Chinese Medicine

The aubergine eggplant: a therapeutic culinary delight

Mediterranean eggplant salad webDo you say eggplant or aubergine? This is one of those topics that can generate a heated dinner party discussion.

I say eggplant. But feel free to substitute aubergine in your head if it makes you happy.

And I do love a good eggplant dish. This weekend I have been enjoying this versatile fruit (yes, it has seeds which classifies it as a fruit) in a variety of tasty ways. There are just so many ways you can cook with it, including:

  • Stuffed
  • Baked
  • Fried, barbecued or grilled (then used as you wish – I love it in this warm salad with preserved lemons – pictured)
  • Stir-fried (one of my favourite dishes when I was studying in China was an eggplant and garlic dish)
  • Steamed
  • In casseroles
  • In curries (one of my favourite curries features pumpkin and eggplant – it is to die for!)
  • To replace toast (eggs on grilled eggplant slices) or lasagne noodles (layer eggplant slices)
  • In dips (as in baba ganoush)

If you’ve never cooked with eggplant before, this is how it can be prepared to reduce bitterness and reduce the amount of oil they soak up in cooking.

The humble eggplant has some fabulous Traditional Chinese Medicine therapeutic uses including:

  • Clears heat from the blood (e.g. red rashes, heavy menstrual bleeding , haemorrhoids or bleeding disorders in general).
  • Moves blood, harmonises the Liver and the Uterus (e.g. painful periods, irregular periods or clotted menstrual blood).
  • Reduces swelling and eases pain (e.g. premenstrual oedema, breast tenderness or mastitis).
  • Regulates and cools the intestines (e.g. constipation or diarrhoea where the stool is smelly and the patient feels hot or experiences burning sensations).
  • May be soothing for someone repressing emotions (e.g. anger, frustration, irritation and resentment).

Just a note, if you do suffer from menstrual or bleeding disorders these should be discussed with your health professional for appropriate investigations and  treatment options.

Have you got a favorite eggplant recipe?

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.