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TCM Treasures - Garlic

Simplified Chinese: 大蒜 Pinyin: dà suàn

Garlic, which grows widely in China, already is a seasoning necessity since it was imported in Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220).

It can help reduce a fishy smell while adding flavor. More importantly, it is also beneficial to health and protects people from pathogenic energies.

Garlic helped Zhuge Liang — a wise army counselor — in the Three Kindoms Period  (AD 220-280). Zhuge, of the Shu Kingdom (in today’s Sichuan Province), led troops against an army of the southern region. The southern leader lured the Shu Army to an area filled with poisonous snakes and miasma. With his soldiers hit by disease, the Shu Army faced collapse without even a battle. Feeling ashamed, Zhuge cried and decided to commit suicide. Yet an old man told Zhuge a fairy herb named jiu ye yun xiang could save his men.

When Zhuge returned with a victory, he asked a TCM physician about the fairy herb. It is actually the garlic plant. Since it often has nine leaves per plant, it was called jiu ye, suggesting nine leaves.

TCM considers garlic is a “warm” herb that can help warm digestive system, remove energy stagnation, detoxify and kill parasites. It has traditionally been prescribed for indigestion, bellyache due to pathogenic cold, edema, diarrhea, dysentery, malaria, whooping cough and snake or insect bites. Prescriptions & Usage:

Garlic Congee

• Peel 30g garlic. Boil garlic in water for one minute then filter. Cook congee with the garlic soup and 100g rice.

• Add garlic, simmer for 15 minutes.

Benefits: Helps digestive system, removes energy stagnation, detoxifies and stops diarrhea. Especially recommended for acute bacillary dysentery.

External application

• Chop garlic into two. Rub cut surface gently against itchy skin.

Benefits: Helps relieve itchiness due to insect bites.

• Chop garlic into small pieces. Wrap in gauze. Crush the pieces and spread the garlic juice on itchy skin.

Benefits: Relieves itch from skin problems.


 

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