Back in March one of my Twitter friends posted this recipe, and finally today I spent a glorious morning making it! I think it's worth sharing with you - enjoy!
The original author, Todd Caldecott, lists from an Ayurvedic perspective that this is "an excellent preparation to help build up the blood in anemia, infertility, exhaustion, and immunodeficiency, or when recovering from chronic disease, medical treatments (e.g. chemotherapy) or surgery."
Additionally, from a Chinese medicine point of view I would add someone feeling weak and tired, loud creaky joints, after child birth, pale complexion and feels cold, very dry skin, poor vision, and chronic muscle pains that don't respond to massage.
To explain this very basically, blood is a major resource of our body. It's one of the main substances that helps to re-build or re-generate our physical being. We make blood from the food and drink we ingest, however if our diet isn't sufficient or we're so stressed and exhausted that our system is too tired to build blood we can get too low on our resources.
It's a good idea to also drink lots of water - because our blood is made up of about 83% water. Herbs that build blood will require extra water, and they may even make you more thirsty to ensure you drink some. Please note I did not say drink more liquids, such as tea, soda pop, etc., I said water - pure and simple.
It's also a good idea to add some blood building foods into your diet, such as leafy greens, beets, cherries, blueberries, and strawberries.
Last of all, because this will help you to have more resources, you'll start to feel more energized, get more accomplished, have amazing motivation, and you might want to spontaneously dance or even just walk more outside in nature. Do it!
Disclaimer: It is not recommended to take herbs if you are also taking other herbs or medications, or if you question whether any of the symptoms above apply to you. Please consult a qualified health care provider before consuming this product.
After feedback from people who have tried this recipe, I wanted to make a video demonstration to show some of the nuances that make this really good. I recommend watching the video first, then following the written directions below. Enjoy!
Blood Building Syrup - click on title for the original site this is posted on, Food As Medicine
Step 1: Gather the ingredients. You will probably need to visit a Chinese herbalist (such as The Oriental Healing Arts Center, or your local acupuncturist), and maybe a specialty spice shop (such as Summit Spice & Tea) for a few items, so take some time to get it all together.
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup dried goji berries (Chinese herb: Gou Qi Zi)
1/2 cup dried prunes, also called dried plums
1/2 cup Chinese red dates (Chinese herb: Hong Zao)
1 oz. asparagus root (Chinese herb: Tien Men Dong, Ayurvedic herb: shatavari root)
1 oz. prepared rehmannia (Chinese herb: Shu Di Huang)
1 oz. astragulus root (Chinese herb: Huang Qi)
1 oz. American ginseng (Chinese herb: Xi Yang Shen)
2 quarts water
2-3 tbs ghee (Indian clarified butter)
2 tbsp Long Pepper, ground (Ayurvedic herb: pippali powder)
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp clove powder
1/4 tsp pink salt (Himalayan)
1 cup organic molasses (approximately)
|This is the Long Pepper (Pippali Powder) I was |
lucky enough to find at our local Summit
Spice & Tea. I just ground it to a powder in
a little electric spice grinder. Taste is peppery,
but much milder and a little earthier than
Directions and my notes:
Add the dried fruit and herbs (first 8 ingredients) to a pot along with 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil and simmer until it is reduced to a syrup-like consistency and the fruit and herbs are squishy. (NOTE: the original recipe says this takes about 1 hour, however it took me 2.5 hours - maybe because it's cold in Alaska?)
|After reducing to a syrup|
|Blended & Strained|
|MMM....spices - the large pile on bottom|
left is the ground Long Pepper.
Cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour into a clean, dry glass bottle, seal and store in a cool location. Dose is 1-2 Tbsp twice daily, with warm water.
NOTE: Cooking this smelled herby and delicious! I took a dose when it was finished, and the taste is very spicy but pleasant - not really sweet at all the first day, but developed a really nice sweetness overnight. The energy was warming, went to the center and spread out. Felt very nurturing. I'm really happy with this recipe!
Cynthia McMullen is certified in Taoist Herbology and teaches the 5-Element Nutrition Workshops at Alaska Institute of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture and Massage Therapy. Follow her on Facebook TouchOfTao