Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food. – Hippocrates
Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that food is the best medicine, because the things we eat are natural substance having their own unique Qi (read more) and health properties. If you have trouble sleeping, the following products are highly recommended by Chinese Medicine practitioners. Some of them, like lotus seed or jujube, are not common to the Western diet, but I still recommend you to give a try! (Of course, if you have allergies to any known food types, it is always better to check with your doctor before eating something you’ve never tried before).
If you live in Asia, you will find almost all of these foods in Chinese markets or in natural food stores. In case you live outside of China, you can buy them online in the form of pills or powder.
Lotus root – delicious jelly
Lets start with my favourite product. Lotus has plenty of calcium, iron, and its used in China to clear the heat, build blood and strenghten the lungs. You can stew fresh lotus and mixed with refined honey or buy lotus powder, mix it with water and add few gojiberry. My favourite option is the second one, because it gives you a delicious jelly you can eat as a healthy and light snack after dinner.
The lotus powder has the white flour-like texture and it’s packed into a small plastic bags. First, mix lotus powder with warm water, which changes it into a jelly. The texture of this jelly reminds me of my all time favourite snack back in Poland called ” kisiel”.
Turning lotus powder into jelly might take a while, so you can warm it up on the stove for 30 secs (all the time mixing it with a spoon) so that it changes faster. Later on, add few dried goji berry or fresh blueberries to the jelly just like on the picture below.
It’s ready! Enjoy your healthy jelly as an evening snack!
Contains proteins and vitamines A, B, D. It stimulates cranial nerve to secrete seratonin which can improve sleeping. Drink it unless your doctor recommends you otherwise.
It’s cool, moistening and deliciously sweet, so it not only improves your digestion but also the spirit. Melt it with warm water (30-50 gr) and drink before sleeping. It includes glucose, fructose, proteins, minerals and vitamines. Honey can strenghten and moisten your skin, calm the mind, clear heat and detoxify your body.
Put spoonful of vinegar in cool water and drink. It’s good for sleeping problems caused by jetlag.
A small evening salad with lettuce will calm the mind and prepare your body for sleep. Go ahead and eat it 2 hours before going to sleep.
A glass of celery juice can cool blood and soothe the liver. Perfect with a lettuce salad before heading off to sleep!
Put few of them in the jar wrap with gauze and smell it. No jokes, it works.
Cook the small portion of slightly salted porridge and eat 2-1 hour before going to sleep. You can add few cooked mushroms into your bowl to give it a bit of taste.
It’s good for liver and kidney. Cook 25-50 g of mulberry fruit with water and drink it every night before sleeping.
Here you’ve got some simple and fast to do recipes promoting healthy eating during the time you suffer from sleeping problems:
- Lily Bulb and Lotus Seed Porridge
- Longan Fruit Cooked with Sugar Porridge
- Wheat Porridge
- Spiny Jujube Seed Porridge
Products to use in cooking: pinellia tuber, cratageus fruit, tangerine peel, lotus seed, lily bulb, jujube fruit (see a picture below), lablab seed.
Jujube, known as a Chinese date, also has a sedative effect. It’s full of Vitamin C and B , amino acids, antioxidants, calcium and potassium. Jujubes are tasty, so you’d rather control yourself and try not eating more than 5-8. Their skin is pretty hard, so if you eat too much of them in the evening, your stomach might feel upset with you at night…
Chinese Medicine is fantastic, because it heals your body and mind. It teaches you plenty of beneficial dietary habits, or how to balance work and to rest more efficiently. Come and give it a try! You lose nothing.
Remember, before you use less common fruit and veggies in your evening porridge or as an evening snack, first you might consult your doctor.
This post is also available in: polski