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November 23, 2011

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Winter skin care with congee

WINTER is dry-skin season and time to take especially good care of the skin. Apart from applying more nourishing creams and moisturizers (don't forget sun block), traditional Chinese medicine recommends food therapy to fight dryness.

Foods and herbs that increase yin ("cold" energy) and nourish the organs are recommended, according to dermatologist Dr Wang Yifei of Yueyang Hospital attached to Shanghai University of TCM.

Foods containing collagen, which keeps skin plump and elastic, include pig's trotters, chicken's feet, fish and animal skins. White fungus and seaweed also contain collagen and nourishes yin.

Other recommended foods that nourish and promote moisture are honey, pears, turnips, lily's root and gouqi (wolfberry).

Congee and soup are typical nourishing dishes that are easily absorbed.

? Honey, milk and sesame drink

Ingredients: Honey (50ml), milk (50ml), sesame powder (25g)

Preparation: Combine honey, sesame powder, milk and some warm water.

Drink once a day on an empty stomach in the morning.

Benefits: Helps reinforce blood, nourish and brighten skin.

? White fungus and jujube congee

Ingredients: White fungus (10g), 5 jujubes (no pits), rock sugar (20g), rice (100g)

Preparations: 1. Soak white fungus for 2 hours and clean it.

2. Cook congee with the ingredients.

3. Eat frequently.

Benefits: Helps nourish yin, relieve coughing and improve complexion.

? Chicken soup with lily's root, monk fruit

Ingredients: Chicken (300g), lily's root (30g), 6 jujubes (no pits), monk fruit (arhat fruit or luohan guo), ginger, green onion, salt as desired

Preparation: 1. Chop the chicken and boil quickly to skim off foam.

2. Boil chicken and other ingredients, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Benefits: Nourishes lungs, strengthens spleen and moisturizes skin.


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