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Making congee

As I get busier with my practice, one of the first things to go during the morning rush is breakfast.

And breakfast at home would be replaced with a croissant between patients. Or a biscuit. Or invariably nothing.

In acupuncture, food is a source of Qi (or vitality or energy) and so I cannot be at my very best with my energy if I am not replacing it with nutritious food.

Having advised patients about the benefits of congee, I decided to put my guidance into practice.

So below is my very quick guide to the awesomeness of congee and why I wholeheartedly urge you to give it a go.

I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any questions at all please give me a message. I always love to hear from you.



What is congee?

Congee is a simple porridge meal dating back as far as the Han dynasty, circa 206 B.C. to A.D. 220. It may go back even further, to approximately 1,000 B.C., during the Zhou dynasty with historians not always agreeing on the earliest reference.

Regardless, congee has been around for a very long time and is a meal typically served for breakfast that can consist of rice or grains or legumes with water. The base ingredients can then be supplemented with additional ingredients to change their energetic value.


What are the benefits of congee?

Congee is a meal that is nourishing, easy to digest, filling and apparently simple to make (I think my first attempt may beg to differ, but then I can burn most food items)!

Other benefits are:

  • harmonising digestion

  • good for energy

  • demulcent (relieves inflammation or irritation)

  • cooling

  • can also help the breastfeeding person with their supply of milk

By also adding other components we can also influence the dynamics of congee to help us further. Examples of this are below:

  • Apricot kernel: coughs and asthma

  • Chestnut: tonifies Kidneys, strengthens knees and loins; useful in treating haemorrhoids

  • Fennel: harmonises the stomach, expels gas, helps with hernia

  • Ginger: warming and good for diarrhoea, vomiting and indigestion

  • Yoghurt and honey: beneficial to Heart and Lungs


Further resources

  1. Five Seasons TCM: have a fabulous download all about congee

  2. Paul Pitchford: Healing With Whole Foods. This is just a fabulous book in general as it examines Chinese medicine food energetics

  3. Red House Spice: I love all of Wei's food and recipes.

  4. Instagram accounts: Celestial Peach, Yi Crafts London, #congee

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