Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cooling Herbal Tea

Chinese Wisdom..."When you are calm and stable, careful of attention, the celestial design is always clear,open awareness is unobscured;then you have autonomy in action and can deal with whatever arises."The Book of Balance and Harmony.Cleary, T. (trans.), p.3.

However wise we might be, it was inevitable that i will get what the whole family was experiencing - down under the weather. What i learned from my 'Ah Po' was, when we are not well, our body must not be balanced, and out will come the huge pot to make 'herbal tea'. She would ask me to go to Eu Yan Sang, The chinese medicinal shop to get her the concoction she wanted - i would repeat the names of the herbs again and again and strangely enough, everytime, without fail, as i stood in the counter and the guy ask "Ah Mui, yew mat yeh?" - I would just open my mouth and nothing came out - blank, not a word. Then i would be questioned from left to right, what sickness? how many of us were sick? etc, Watching him collect the herbs from the drawers marvelled me as he had never opened a wrong one at all and there were so many drawers that it was unaccountable when i was at that age. Another fantastic feat was seeing him pack those leafy herbs onto a tiny piece of pink 1 foot square paper - he was like a magician at work, fast and efficient - 'nah' he would say and handed me the nicely wrapped pink packet on a string - '20 cents'. A lot has changed since then, no more 20 cents, it must be at least 2.00RM and it comes in plastic bags.


Pak Chee chao(Xia Ku Cao Prunella vulgaris)
Har Fui Chao(Zi Cao (Gromwell Root or Arnebia or Lithospermum))
Thong Thoong Kua- Candied Melon
Kum Cho - Liquorice


Wash and soak the herbs, remove the herbs from the water and throw away the water, this way you will not disturbed the sand and grit that have sunk to the bottom.
Put washed herbs and the remaining ingredients in a large pot, fill with enough of water - amount does not matter - the more water you have, the tea will only be more diluted.
Bring to the boil and continue to boil for another 10 - 15 minutes. Strain and take this drink for cooling purposes.
Use the herbs again and reboiled with more water, this consumption will not be as cooling as the first pot, anyway you need a lot of liquid when you are well.

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