What's in Season This Month
Asparagus and Rhubarb
Asparagus has a cooling nature with both a sweet and bitter flavor. It helps to clear heat and detoxify the body. It contains the diuretic asparagine and can be used to promote urination and reduce "dampness" in the body. Dampness is a term used in Chinese medicine to describe any overly moist condition in the body. Asparagus is particularly useful in treating lung congestion, spitting up blood, coughing up blood-tinged sputum, chronic bronchitis, as well as, diabetes and tuberculosis. It helps to cleanse the arteries of cholesterol and is useful in vascular problems such as hypertension and arteriosclerosis.
Rhubarb is a vegetable not a fruit. Since it is often used in making pies, many people are confused by this. Rhubarb has a cooling and sour flavor and is used in Chinese medicine for purging the bowels. It clears heat from the intestines and blood, and eliminates toxins. Dried rhubarb root (known as Da Huang) can be used in the treatment of constipation, diarrhea, jaundice, gastro-intestinal hemorrhage, menstrual disorders, conjunctivitis, traumatic injuries, superficial sores and ulcers. It can also be applied externally for thermal burns.
Because of its sour flavor, fresh rhubarb is often combined with a sweetener to make it more palatable. The leaves are poisonous and should not be eaten. Rhubarb is most commonly used in pies, puddings, sauces, and chutneys.
If you have a good, healthy recipe for rhubarb, please email it to me.