Among all the Chinese herbs, my favorites are the food herbs. As the name indicates, food herbs are foods that also have medicinal properties. Because they are foods, they are pretty balanced and safe, which means that they can be used long-term without undesirable side effects.
Today I want to share one of my favorite food herbs: Lian Zi or the lotus seed.
The lotus is a treasured flower in the East. It symbolizes purity, love, compassion and wisdom in many cultures.
It’s also a treasured plant in Chinese medicine because every part of the lotus plant is used medicinally. There are eight parts in total, including the lotus seed itself.
The functions of the lotus seed Include the following:
1. Strengthening the digestive system.
The lotus seed is known as the “fruit of the spleen” in China. It is famous for its ability to strengthen the digestive system and is commonly used to treat weak digestion when symptoms such as fatigue, poor appetite, weight loss, sallow complexion, loose stools or chronic diarrhea occur.
2. Strengthening the reproductive system.
The lotus seed is also one of the longevity herbs that can help slow aging and extend life. It strengthens the function of the reproductive system and is used to treat premature ejaculation and spermatorrhea in men, as well as excessive uterine bleeding and clear or white vaginal discharge in women.
3. Strengthening the heart and calming the spirit.
In Chinese medicine, the heart not only governs our cardiovascular system, but it also houses our spirit. The lotus seed is used to nourish the heart, calming irritability and anxiety, and helping with palpitation, dream-disturbed sleep or insomnia.
Even though the lotus seed is a wonderful food herb and is pretty safe, it should not be used if you have abdominal distension, dry stool or constipation.
How to use:
One thing I love about the lotus seed is that you can incorporate it into your cooking fairly easily. Just sprinkle a few seeds into the soup, brown rice, porridge or oatmeal cereal you make.
I use lotus seeds almost on a daily basis to help strength my digestive system. Every morning I make porridge with rice, millet, and 6-9 lotus seeds. Sometimes I add a couple of walnuts or Gogi berries when I need more nourishment.
It’s made a difference for me. I always feel nourished and energized to start my day…
Check it out and let me know how you like it.