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July 8, 2012

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TCM Treasures - Tuckahoe 茯苓

FULING (tuckahoe) cake is a popular Beijing specialty snack frequently purchased as gifts.

Tuckahoe, the major ingredient, is not only food but also a famously beneficial herb and beauty treatment.

Tuckahoe fungus often grows on pine tree roots. Ancient Chinese believed it came from pine tree essence, associated with longevity.

The legend goes that The Empress Dowager Cixi suffered heart pains and asked help from the Buddhist abbot at Fahai Temple on Xiangshan Mountain.

He gave her a few thin white tuckahoe cakes and in time she was relieved of pain and her white hair grew in black.

Tuckahoe has been used by women since ancient times to nourish and whiten skin and delay aging. Eating a wine-soaked piece daily was common.

Tuckahoe is a neutral herb that works as a diuretic, dispels pathogenic damp, benefits the spleen and stomach, and soothes nerves. It works with other herbs to tackle all kinds of ailments in all seasons. Thus, it's often called a "magic herb in four seasons." Today we know it helps improve immunity, delay aging, prevent cancer and protect the liver.

Tuckahoe and honey mask

Mix 15g tuckahoe powder and 30g honey and stir.

Apply on face before sleep.

Wash off in the morning.

Benefits: Helps nourish skin and fade pigmentation from age and pregnancy.

Whitening tea bag

Mix 150g baishu (bighead atractylodes rhizome) power, 150g baishao (peeled peony root) powder, 150g tuckahoe powder and 75g liquorice powder.

Divide into 30 tea bags.

Make tea with one tea bag daily and drink often. Used tea bag can be applied externally.

Benefits: Improves skin condition, smooths and whitens dark spots.


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