Many of you may be aware that in Chinese Medicine food therapy most of the recipes are for cooked meals. The reason for this is that cold and uncooked foods can damage and slow digestion leading to many problems elsewhere in the body.
Summertime is the one exception to this – it is the time when you can really enjoy the cooler styles of foods such as raw tomatoes and cucumbers as the warmer climate supports the body and aids digestion. Summer is a time of heat and expanded energy and as such a good supply of fine quality seasonal fruits and vegetables is the ideal source of quality Qi.
Wheat: benefits the Heart, Kidneys and Spleen and calms the spirit. It is cooling in nature and considered a sweet food. It can relieve anxiety, insomnia and night sweats.
Tomatoes: help to stimulate the appetite, calm the Liver and clear heat. They have both sweet and sour properties – sweet benefits the Spleen and sour benefits the Liver.
Spring Onions: These help to clear damp from the body remove toxins and strengthen the stomach from weakness caused by too much cold. Being bitter and pungent they affect the Heart and Lung and help balance the other ingredients in the recipe.
Lemons: These strengthen the Liver and are sour and astringent in quality. Useful for excess heat conditions or as a general daily Liver tonic – lemon juice squeezed into lukewarm water is a great way to begin the day.
Cucumber: This is another great food to clear heat, toxins and inflammation. It is cool in nature.
Parsley: Is warm, salty, bitter and pungent therefor benefits the Kidney (salty) Heart (bitter) and Lung (pungent).
- 1 1⁄2 cups of cracked wheat (bulgur)
- 1 Lebanese cucumber diced
- 2 handfuls of chopped flat leaved parsley
- 2 handfuls of fresh mint chopped
- The juice of 1 lemon
- 1⁄4 – 1⁄2 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 handful of thinly sliced spring onions
- Ground black pepper
Soak the cracked wheat in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain well to remove any water. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Serve and enjoy!