Autumn has arrived and the weather is cooling down. I love driving up to my clinic in the mountains and seeing the trees ablaze in reds and golds. Autumn is the season when we need to be looking after our lungs and supporting our immunity before the winter cold and flu season begins and pears are a staple in Chinese medicine for lung health.
This herbal pear tonic is a deliciously sweet, light, and soothing soup that is just the thing to sooth a chronic cough or a dry throat.
- 4 pears, any variety, peeled, cored and cubed
- 1 cinnamon stick (great when the weather is cold, optional in warm weather)
- 4 thin slices of fresh ginger chopped finely (great when the weather is cold, optional in warm weather)
- 2 tbsp goji berries
- 8 large red dates
- 4 slices of astragalus root (great any time of year, but leave out if you have a cold or flu)
- 4 cups spring water
- Raw honey to taste
- A squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste
- Add the herbs (cinnamon, ginger, goji, red dates, & astragalus) to the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for around 10 min.
- Add the pears and simmer for a further 10 min.
- Take out the cinnamon stick and the astragalus
- Add a little honey and lemon to taste
- Serve warm in individual bowls, giving everyone a few slices of pear, a couple of red dates and some goji berries as well as a generous serving of cooking liquid.
You can store the liquid, fruit and spices in a glass container in the fridge for a few days if it doesn’t all get eaten in first sitting.
I also use the ‘soup’ to make my porridge which is a wonderful way to start the day.
Food as medicine from a Chinese medicine perspective
Pears are considered cooling, sweet and sour, and nourish your lungs and digestion. They can transform phlegm and as part of this lovely liquid dessert they can nourish the yin of the body.
Cinnamon (Rou Gui) is very warming and so a great addition to your autumn and winter cooking. It is considered to warm and nourish not only your digestion but also your Heart, Kidney, and Liver. By warming the body it can improve circulation and relieve pain.
Ginger (Sheng jiang) is also wonderfully warming and another great addition to autumn and winter cooking. It is considered to warm and nourish your lungs and digestion which can help improve digestion and ease coughing.
Goji berries (Gou qi zi) are a wonderful tonic for your yin (that cooling, calming, moistening aspect of the body) and your blood. By nourishing the yin of your lungs they can help ease a dry cough. They are also very nourishing for your liver and kidneys.
Red dates (Da zao) are a great tonic for your qi, your energy. They are sweet and warming for your digestion which will help you to be more energised. They also nourish your blood and help calm your spirit which means you will sleep well after this dessert.
Astragalus (Huang qi) is a great support for your immune system and it is sweet and warming for your lungs and digestion. If you have a cold or flu then leave this out until you are feeling over the worst of it.
Your feedback and questions are always welcome so please leave a comment below.
For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Wholefood counselling). Tania is an AHPRA registered practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine located in Botany and Katoomba, NSW and is a lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Sydney campus.