Recipe: Harmony Pills
These Harmony Pills are loosely inspired by the ancient Chinese formula Gui Zhi Tang. They are great to have handy whenever you’re having digestive troubles, feel a cold coming on, have a cough, feel nauseous, or when you want to enhance your appetite before a meal.
Made with licorice, dates, cinnamon, candied and fresh ginger, these yummy morsels are sure to get your digestive juices flowing and harmonize your system so you can better overcome what ails you.
1/2 cup of licorice or powdered licorice root
1/2 cup of candied ginger
A small piece of fresh ginger
1/2 cup of dates
3 cinnamon sticks
Licorice (Glycyrrhizae Radix; Gan Cao) is a sweet herbal root, that excels at boosting digestion, detoxing, stopping cough, moderating spasm and alleviating pain. When eaten alone, it feels like your insides are being coated with a soothing syrup, from your throat and down through your mid-line. Some people love the taste, while others dislike it quite a lot. However, if you fall into the latter category, you might still like these pills because they’re mixed with the wonderful spiciness of ginger and freshly ground cinnamon to balance out the sweetness of the licorice and date.
Ginger (Zingiberis Rhizoma recens; Sheng Jiang), used both in cooking and medicinally, is one of the most magical herbs out there. In its fresh form, ginger induces sweating to detoxify the system, alleviates nausea and vomiting, boosts digestion, and stops cough. In addition to a small piece of the fresh rhizome, this recipe calls for half a cup of candied ginger.
Dates are a sweet fruit that can be used as a sugar replacement in many recipes. Traditionally in Chinese medicine, fresh ginger is combined with jujube to strengthen digestion, warm the channels to disperse exterior pathogens, and benefits the qi by alleviating Stomach upset. But since jujube is hard to find in regular grocery stores, this recipe uses dates instead.
Cinnamon is another common herb used in Chinese medicine, though generally the twigs (Gui Zhi) or outer bark (Rou Gui) are used for medicinal purposes. Gui Zhi is often combined with Zhi Gan Cao (prepared licorice) to treat palpitations and shortness of breath. Because Gui Zhi and Rou Gui are also difficult to track down, this recipe uses the inner-bark form, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, that is more common in Western kitchens and grocery stores.
1. In a coffee grinder, blend the cinnamon sticks and licorice together until the consistency is close to that of a fine powder.
3. Chop up the candied ginger and dates until the pieces become fairly indecipherable.
4. Mix all the ingredients together until the mixture is relatively homogenous.
5. Using your thumbs and index fingers, form the mixture into small pills, about 1/2 centimeter in diameter.
Eat a pill or two 1/2 an hour before a meal to boost appetite, after a meal to further aid digestion, and as needed when experiencing nausea, cramping, or a cough.
Avoid over-consumption, and most of all, enjoy!Sign-up for weekly updates and get a FREE interactive health calendar!
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