Porridge for Post-partum Anemia

Black Chicken Soup is probably the number one recommended dietary therapy recipe recommended by Chinese medicine practitioners to all women after childbirth.

But there is another tasty way to help tonify the blood post-partum. It is even indicated in cases of post-partum anemia. (In Chinese medicine, Blood Deficiency corresponds pretty closely to the Western biomedical symptoms of anemia.)

Bob Flaws calls this Dragon Eye Pudding based on the main ingredient, Longan fruit. Longan fruit is known as Long Yan Rou, or Dragon Eye Flesh. Flaws also calls for canned Longan fruit, but between risks associated with BPA and preservatives used in canning, I urge you to get some of the fresh stuff, which oddly enough is dried but otherwise unprocessed. It is readily available at any Asian supermarket. Longan fruit is Warm and Sweet, and goes to the Heart and Spleen, to key players in the creation of Blood in Chinese medical philosophy.

To make this pudding, you will start with either a super-thick rice congee (1 cup rice to 5 cups water simmered for a few hours) or try 2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of rice flour, as Flaws recommends, cooked for about 15 minutes. Add the Longan fruit early in the cooking if making congee-style or rice flour pudding. If you want a smoother texture from the congee, puree after cooking.

Feel free to sweeten with honey. Freshly ground black sesame seeds will also be a welcomed addition. Flaws recommends a dash of brandy while the porridge is still over the flame. The alcohol will cook off, but its nature will remain to help invigorate the blood a bit as new blood is being made.

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