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Summer Herb: Lu Dou (Mung Beans)

It's getting hot out there, and Chinese Medical theories have ideas to cool down! Besides cooling foods like cucumbers, mint and watermelon, I want to let people know of a humble but powerful cooling herb, Lu Dou, often called Mung Bean in English. Mung Beans have been a staple in Chinese medicine and cuisine for centuries, revered for their many health benefits and versatility in food preparation. Mung Beans available online, or in your local Asian grocery market. 


Medicinal Properties


Mung Beans are celebrated for their cooling properties, making them an ideal remedy for what traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) refers to as "summer heat" (暑湿). Summer heat is a condition characterized by excessive heat and humidity, which can lead to symptoms like thirst, irritability, restlessness, fever, and sweating. At its most severe it is similar to the idea of "heat stroke". Mung Beans help to clear heat in the body that can accumulate from the environment on hot days, especially the summer months.


Key Benefits of Mung Beans:


  • Clears Heat and Toxins: Mung Beans help to reduce body heat and eliminate toxins, making them perfect for combating summer heat and heat stroke.

  • Promotes Urination: They can aid in reducing swelling and edema by promoting urination.

  • Aids Digestion: When the whole bean is eaten, it is rich in fiber. Mung Beans support healthy digestion and can help prevent constipation.

  • Nutrient-Rich: Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they boost overall health and immunity.


Using Mung Beans


Mung Beans can be used as a single herb in teas or incorporated into various dishes. Their mild flavor and cooling properties make them a versatile ingredient in both savory and sweet recipes. Here's a link to many when I Googled Recipes with Mung Beans. One of the easiest ways is to make a tea using mint (also cooling) and mung beans.


Mung Bean and Mint Tea Recipe

Delicious serve chilled, room temperature, or warm!


Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dried mung beans

  • 4 cups water

  • 10-15 fresh mint leaves

  • Honey or rock sugar (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Rinse mung beans.

  2. Boil water and add mung beans. Simmer for 30 minutes until soft.

  3. Add mint leaves, cover, and steep for 5-10 minutes.

  4. Strain and sweeten with honey or rock sugar if desired.

  5. Serve warm or chilled over ice.


Enjoy your refreshing Mung Bean and Mint Tea!

Dr. Kim Drolet, DACM, LAc

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