Dried longans, or longyanrou, are usually found in sweet desserts and sweet and-sour dishes. Besides tranquilising and revitalising the mind, longyanrou are also useful for those deficient in Qi and those suffering from anaemia.
Slightly bittersweet, these thin shavings are commonly used to ease chronic coughs and other febrile and respiratory diseases.
The flowers and leaves of red dates are used in perfumes and potpourri in other countries. But in TCM, the herb aids to tonify (restores the energy of) the Spleen, replenish Qi, nourish Blood and ease the mind. As such, it is good for those suffering from loss of appetite and loose stools due to deficiencies of the Spleen.
With a name that literally means ‘supernatural mushroom’, you can be sure this herb has a bevy of healing properties. The bitter fungus will boost your immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and replenish Qi. It can even be used to improve insomnia.
Also known as huaishan, these pale yellow tubers are one of the most commonly used in TCM. Consuming the herb strengthens the Kidney—a key organ that maintains fluid balance in the body and viewed as the root of all organ functions—and is also beneficial to the Liver.
Use this with caution: apricot kernels contain hydrogen cyanide, a strong toxin. Eating more than 20 pieces may result in death, but the cooking process usually renders it safe. Those suffering from Lung and Large Intestine ailments can take these herbs to alleviate symptoms.
Not only do these berries impart a tantalising bright red hue to the dish it is cooked in, they are packed with medicinal properties. They improve circulation, ameliorate dizziness and tinnitus, and possess wealth of ophthalmologic benefits.