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Nourish the Brain Soup


This hearty nourishing soup has been eaten for centuries as a health food to nourish the brain and especially memory. It nourishes Qi Deficiency and Essence (Jing) Deficiency. It is packed with nutrients from a Western viewpoint, however we don’t need to know all the long worded names in order to enjoy and gain maximum benefits from this easy to make soup.


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Ingredients: 1 big fish head (Salmon, Carp, etc) transparent noodles (100g), golden mushrooms (200g), scallions and garlic.
Seasoning: 2 star anis seeds (aniseeds), 2 Tablespoons white wine or dry sherry, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon dried chili, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 pinch salt, 4 teaspoon starch.

Preparation:
1. Wash ingredients, dip fish head in starch.
2. Lightly fry the head. Fry aniseeds, chili, scallions and garlic.
3. Make soup with all ingredients, add soy sauce, white wine, sugar and salt.
4. When soup is almost done, add mushrooms and noodles. Cook at gentle heat for 20 minutes.

Eat occasionally.

Function: Reinforces the brain, strengthens memory, fortifies constitution



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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Qi Deficiency



Qi – The Vitality of Life

Chinese philosophers and thinkers of all times, have engaged with the concept of Qi, right from the beginning of Chinese civilisation up to our modern times. It is the vital energy that circulates throughout the universe. It fills the air we breathe, it’s the constituent parts and nutrients contained in the food we eat. It is the life that starts the heart beating and our first breath after leaving our mother’s womb.

It is excellently described in the Chinese symbol for Qi (vapour, steam, & rice), illustrating that Qi can be as rarefied and immaterial as vapour, and as dense and material as rice. It also signifies that Qi is a subtle substance (vapour, steam) deriving from a coarse material (rice) just as steam is produced by cooking rice.

The translation into any other language from Chinese proves a difficult task and many different translations have been proposed, none of which gives even an approximation of the essence of Qi exactly.  It has been translated as “energy”, “vitality”, “ether”, “matter-energy”, “vital force”, “life force”, “vital power” among more.  The reason it is so difficult to translate the word “Qi” correctly, lies  in the particular fluid nature whereby Qi can manifest differently and be different things in different situations.

Disharmony

In traditional Chinese medicine when Qi is out of balance, the clinical manifestations of its four basic disharmonies are many. It is important to note that the clinical manifestations mentioned here are a complete picture of most of the manifestations recorded and that in real life someone may experience only some or more of these manifestation. This short article could never convey a complete description of Qi in medical terms.

The clinical manifestations of a Qi Deficiency may include all or some of the following:

Fatigue, Tiredness, exhaustion, muscle weakness, general weakness, lack of energy, apathy, poor concentration, lack of appetite, profuse perspiration, spontaneous sweating or sweating on light exercise like just walking a short distance, loose stools, lethargy, disillusionment, dislike to speak, and all these manifestations may be made worse on exertion or with exercise. It is not necessary for someone to experience all these manifestations. When diagnosing according to Traditional Chinese Medical theory, it cannot be over emphasised the importance of a holistic clinical picture, which includes all symptoms and signs of disharmony.

Causes of Qi deficiency

This syndrome often results from excess mental work, often in highly organised people.

overwork, excessive exercise, lack of good nutrition usually due to lack of optimum nutritional knowledge. A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to a Qi deficiency.

Treatment of Qi Disharmony

Treating any Qi disharmony requires a complete history taking with analysis to diagnose which disharmony the person is suffering from. If you experience any of the above symptoms over a long period of time, I would recommend seeking out a competent practitioner or you may consult myself online by completing my extensive 350 question consultation form. When a diagnosis is achieved, the next step is to formulate a treatment protocol which usually involves some acupuncture points that can be stimulated by acupressure with herbal and dietary advice.

Foods to Nourish Qi

Where possible, try to eat lightly cooked, fresh, local, seasonal produce. The emphasis is on complex carbohydrates in vegetables and unrefined grains and eating small frequent meals.

The following foods are considered excellent foods to strengthen Qi.

Beans/grains/pulses Chickpeas, lentils, wheat bran, millet, quinoa, rice,
Vegetables Asparagus, Carrot, button mushroom, cabbage, eggplant, peas, potato, pumpkin, shiitake mushroom, squash, sweet potato, tomato, yam, garlic,
Fruit Apple, Coconut, Cherry, Dates, Figs, Grape,
Bean Products Tofu
Nuts and seeds Almond, black sesame seeds, coconut (meat)
Fish Eel, herring, mackerel, mussel, octopus, oyster, sturgeon, tuna, trout
Meat Beef, chicken, chicken liver, duck, goose, ham, lamb, pheasant, quail, venison
Dairy Chicken egg, milk,
Herbs and spices Bay leaves, liquorices
Condiments Barley malt, honey, molasses, rice syrup
Supplements Algae, ginseng (American, Chinese, and Korean), pollen, royal jelly

Recipes:

What to Avoid

  • Avoid or at least moderate use of the microwave and processed foods.
  • Avoid all cold or raw foods (particularly citrus and sprouts)
  • Avoid fried greasy foods
  • Avoid processed sugars, large meals and rich foods.
  • Moderate your dairy intake

Other ways to Nourish Qi

  • Relaxation.
  • Mindfulness Meditation.
  • Moderate exercise.
  • Breathing (deep) fresh clean air.
  • Life-affirming activities.
  • Maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Spending time in nature or natural environment.
  • Tai chi / Qi gong.


James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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Ginger Chicken to Strengthen the Body


This dish is traditionally prepared to strengthen the body and improve lactation, especially for new mums during the Chinese tradition “Zuo Yue Zi”  indicating the first month after giving birth. During this period, Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends eating warming food (Yang) because the body has lost a lot of Yang energy and blood during delivery. We would also recommend that mothers take a gentle yet powerful tonic remedy called Womans Precious which is based on a famous Chinese herbal formula.

This warming dish is also perfect in Autumn/Fall/Winter when we are susceptible to cold.

What you need:

  • vegetable oil
  • ginger cut into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • chicken breast cut into small pieces
  • soy sauce to taste
  • pepper to taste

How to make it:

  • Heat oil in a frying pan (wok).
  • When the oil is hot, add the garlic cloves and ginger strips. Cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly with a pair of chopsticks.
  • When the garlic and ginger become golden brown, add the chicken previously cut into thin pieces.
  • Cook stirring constantly until the chicken is golden.
  • Season with soy sauce to taste.
  • Serve with a bowl of jasmine rice per person.

Vegetarian Choice:

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You can also add carrot cut into strips and cook it together with the ginger stripes. The taste will result sweeter. Furthermore by stir-frying the carrots beta carotene will be preserved.

Caution:

Due to its anti-platelet properties, the use of ginger should be controlled in case of risk of haemorrhage, if you are taking anticoagulant drugs or if you experience blood coagulation disorders. Ask your doctor for more information.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.