According to the Chinese calendar summer started May 6th this year. Today in Mamaroneck it was actually very warm. Many of the acupuncture clients were complaining about how hot it is outside. So I thought it would be appropriate to write this post since the days are already getting longer and pretty soon it will be hot and muggy in the Northeast. As you have seen in my prior posts drinking cold water is not the best way to cool down in the summer months. Drinking cold water will initially make you feel cooler but it will actually make your body feel hotter because the cold will cause your pores to contract.
One of the best ways to keep cool in the summer is to drink mung bean soup（录豆汤 – lu dou tang). According to Chinese medicine mung beans are sweet and cold in nature. They enter the heart and stomach channels to help drain heat and toxicity from the body. They eliminate a special kind of heat that only occurs in the summer time. This type of heat is called summerheat. Summer heat can manifest as irritability, fever, thirst, sweating, scanty urination among other symptoms. Mung beans are relatively mild in there effect. If you are suffering from heatstroke it is probably not your best choice. Mung bean soup is great to be used as a preventative rather than a cure.
Mung bean soup is the best way to get the medicinal benefits of mung beans. It helps to alleviate thirst and it is a great snack or dessert to have on a hot summer day.
Here is a simple recipe:
2 cups of mung beans
8 cups of water
Chinese rock sugar or brown sugar.
1. Soak the beans in cold water for at least one hour.
2. Discard the soak water and place the beans in a pan with 8 cups of fresh water.
3. Bring to a boil.
4. Once it comes to a boil reduce to a simmer and cook until the beans fall apart. ( about 45 min. to 1 hour)
5. Serve warm(some people like to serve it cold but I am not crazy about it).
6. This recipe makes about 8 servings. Add about one teaspoon of sugar into each bowl served.
7. Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated.
You can play around with the proportions of water to beans. Some people like the soup thicker while others like it thinner.
This should not be sweet like candy. Sometimes you will not be able to taste the sugar from one teaspoon. If you want to you can add a little bit more. The sugar is not only their for taste it balances out the cold properties of the mung beans as well.
To get the benefits of drinking green bean soup it is best to drink it a few times a week during the hot summer months. You will feel cooler and more comfortable if you do. This is not meant to be medical advice. If you are suffering from heat stroke you should consult your doctor. Drinking mung bean soup is a great way to stay cool in the summer and prevent heat stroke . It is to mild to be a cure.
To learn more about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you just give us a call and schedule an appointment at our Rego Park office.
Photo: Dried Mung Beans by Stacey Spensly Courtesy of Creative Commons http://bit.ly/1NQOIdU