Hawaii Acupuncture Association

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Free Information about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Kung Hey Fat Choy - Year of the Yin Metal Ox

HAA Board Member Dr. Soraya Faris-Applegate, DACM, DAc.
shares a few highlights for the year of the Ox in this video



How to Make Turmeric Congee

These days, digestion has become a big topic of conversation. Whether it’s “getting regular”, what fermented foods to eat, or what strain of probiotics are the best, people are talking about their guts and how to get them healthy. For more than three thousand years, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Asian cultures have been using congee, a delicious, digestion-harmonizing dish of porridge. Typically made with rice but also other grains and legumes, congee is pure comfort, especially on cold dreary days. Enjoy a warm bowl of easy-to-digest congee for breakfast! 

can easily be prepared the night before you want to enjoy it or put into a slow cooker overnight. You can even make it with leftover grains by watering them down. This porridge-like dish is warming and nourishing and perfect for those who are feeling dry, depleted, or recovering from being under the weather.

Because congee is so versatile, it can be packed full of beneficial herbs, and topped with savory or sweet toppings. The addition of ground turmeric makes the congee a lovely golden color while also adding the benefits of a supportive herb for joint mobility.* Depending on the season, you can make congee more or less warming just by switching up the toppings and spices you add. Try ginger, chilies, or garlic as herbal toppings in the cooler months and fresh herbs like cilantro, dill, or mint in the warmer months. The sweet option is great for those who need more of the moistening water element, and the savory can be helpful for those needing a warming fire element.

Turmeric Congee Recipe
Makes about 8 cups.


● 1 cup organic basmati, brown, or jasmine rice 
● 6-8 cups water or broth 
● 1/2 Tbsp. organic turmeric powder 


1. Add the rice, water, and turmeric to a medium pot.
2. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a low simmer for about an hour. Add more liquid if needed. 
3. Serve hot in bowls with your favorite toppings.

Congee Toppings


● Toasted nuts or seeds, such as walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds
● Berries and sliced fruits (can be stewed), such as persimmon, apple, or pear
● A drizzle of maple syrup or honey 
● Toasted coconut flakes  
● Ground spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom or ginger 


● Toasted or black sesame seeds
● Protein of choice 
● Tamari or soy sauce
● Organic dulse flakes
● Freshly grated ginger or garlic 
● Seasonal sautéed or steamed greens, such as bok choy, spinach, or swiss chard.

Pro Tips:

● If time permits, consider cooking for 2 to 6 hours, since the longer the congee cooks, the more digestible it becomes. 
● You can prepare congee in your slow cooker by combining the ingredients and cooking at a low setting for 6 to 8 hours.  


tea ingredients

Winter Solstice Nourishing Wine


Prepare in summer or fall so it will be drinkable by winter.

黃耆 Huang Qi, 100g
甘草 Gan Cao, 100g
黨參 Dang Shen, 60g
白朮(土炒) Bai Zhu, earth-stir fried, 50g
白茯苓 Bai Fu Ling, 40g
川芎 Chuan Xiong, 20g
白芍 Bai Shao, 30g
肉桂 Rou Gui, 10g
靈芝 Ling Zhi, 20g
鹿茸 Lu Rong, 10g
天門冬 Tian Men Dong, 20g
地黃 Di Huang, 20g

Place the herbs in a ceramic jar.
submerge the herbs in high proof Chinese clear grain liquor (between 38-56%).
Seal the jar tightly, better with clay, for 3-6 months.

Drink a shot glass per day in the late afternoon or 3 hours before bed.



Five Flowers Tea

Cooling Summer Herbal Teas

Five Flowers Tea, or Wu hua cha 五花茶 is a traditional Chinese folk tea, enjoyed especially during the summer months by Cantonese people in the hot and humid south. Sweet and slightly cold, its’ main TCM functions are to clear heat and toxins, drain dampness, promote urination, cool blood, and alleviate summertime wind-heat.

There is no official version of the recipe in the traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia, but most herbal tea shops in Asia use five kinds of flowers: Honeysuckle, Chrysanthemum, Japanese Pagoda tree, Kapok, and Frangipani. In herbal clinics, the tea is modified for individual prescriptions based on the drinker's constitution. Modifications can include Roses, Magnolia, Dandelion and Self-heal flowers as well as non-flower herbs such as Mulberry leaves, Hedyotis diffusa, and Bamboo leaves.

Try these Summer Tea ingredients:

Honeysuckle / Lonicera japonica / Jin yin hua

Chrysanthemum / Chysanthemum morifolium / Ju hua (white is recommended for lighter taste)

Japanese Pagoda tree / Sophora japonica / Huai hua

Kapok / Gossampinus malabarica / Mu mian hua

Frangipani / Plumeria rubra / Ji dan hua

Roses / Rosa rugosa / Mei gui hua

Magnolia / Magnolia denudata / Xin yi hua

Dandelion / Taraxacum mongolicum / Pu gong ying

Self-heal / Prunella vulgaris / Xia ku cao

Mulberry leaves / Morus alba / Sang ye

Hedyotis diffusa / Bai hua she she cao

Bamboo leaves / Lophatherum gracile / Dan zhu ye

Hawthorne fruit / Crataegus pinnatifida / Shan zha

Goji fruit / Lycium barbarum / Gou qi zi


Brewing Instructions

Summer Tea

Whatever combination of herbs you prefer, simply:

Soak about 2 gram each of the dried flowers for 5-10 minutes in a tea pot or mug

Drain water and pour 8-10 ounces of freshly boiled water over flowers

Cover and let steep for 10-15 minutes

Strain out flowers

Sweeten to taste

Can be enjoyed hot or put in fridge to cool into a refreshing, cold drink.

Forage your own ingredients!

Depending upon the region where you live, some flowers and herbs can be found fresh in your garden or on a hike. You may consider harvesting them for your tea, but be sure that they are an edible species, have not been sprayed with dangerous pesticides, and wash thoroughly before using.

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