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.

Diet, food, health, herbal medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Eating to be cool, when you’re hot

sunSummer may have taken a little longer to manifest in Queensland this year, but now it’s out in force.  Hot and humid!  And that can play havoc in your body with headaches, lack of appetite or a ravenous appetite, nausea, fatigue, strong thirst, irritability and sweat pimples (here’s my favourite treat for clear skin).  Oh, what joy!

Food is one of the great delights in life, so how can we use it to survive summer heat? Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) classifies foods by their impact on your body according to their temperatures and actions, as opposed to western nutrition which classifies foods by their nutritional content.  Both systems have merit and even often overlap but today I’ve featured some summer eating tips from TCM.

To cool your body down, ditch these:

  • caffeine
  • excessive spicy (hot) and pungent foods
  • excessive sweet foods
  • red meat
  • fried, grilled, roasted and barbequed foods
  • alcohol
  • overeating

To increase ‘coolness’ in your body, increase these:

  • Steamed, boiled, blanched and raw (in moderation if they don’t upset your digestive system) foods and soups.
  • Fresh foods especially cucumber (- cool as a), celery, mung beans, spinach, greens, mint, watermelon, tomato, radish, asparagus, eggplant and bamboo shoots.
  • Bitter foods, eg. lettuce, alfalfa, pawpaw, quinoa and amaranth.
  • Salty foods (in moderation), eg. seaweed, soy sauce, miso and pickles.
  • Sour foods, eg. lemon, lime, grapefruit, vinegar, star fruit, strawberries, apple and raspberry.
  • Proteins such as tofu, tempeh, egg white,  white fish and crab.
  • Herbs and spices such as mint, lemon balm, white peppercorn, coriander and marjoram.
  • Herbal and iced teas made from peppermint, chrysanthemum and rose petals.
  • My old favourite, add a squeeze of fresh lemon to your drinking water and keep those fluids up.

Now, who said cooling foods should be boring?  This food list screams out a chance to enjoy some delicious vietnamese and other south-east asian dishes, not to mention Japanese miso soups and seaweed-based meals.

Is the humidity also bringing you down?  Here’s some tips to feel less ‘damp’.

Enjoy, and stay cool!

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.