Mung beans

Finally, to close this series on herbs for Summer-Heat and for summer conditions in general, is the humble mung bean, a premier herb for clearing heat in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Mung bean (Vigna radiata, formerly known as Phaseolus munginis) neutralizes acids, clears toxicity, lowers and regulates blood pressure, heals ulcers, and relieves Summer-Heat and Hot-natured dysentery. It also treats fever, irritability, and is used internally plus as a powder externally, for toxic sores and swelling.

Mung bean is traditionally eaten in the summer to prevent Summer-Heat patterns with symptoms of irritability, fever, and thirst. It is also the antidote for aconite poisoning.

It is so effective for clearing heat that it is used to control hypertension. One of my teachers, Miriam Lee, used to tell hypertensive patients to pour a cup of boiling water over 1 or 2 tablespoons of the beans in the morning and drink, repeating this with the left-over beans in both midday and evening. In the evening the beans may be consumed as well.  This is a very simple and effective way to control hypertension.

Kicharee, A Healing Food Made from Mung Beans

Fasting on mung beans is excellent to clear all disease-causing pathogens and toxins. Made into the Ayurvedic dish kicharee, it is a traditional fasting meal that when solely eaten for two weeks, is said to heal all illnesses. This wonderfully balancing food detoxifies yet supports the body. It makes a good fast for all body types, although it may be eaten as a meal any time. Vegetables and more protein may be added or eaten on the side as needed. Vegetarians and O-blood types benefit from cooking the rice and mung beans in meat stock.

To make Kicharee: Separately soak 12-24 hours and cook 1 cup rice and 1/3 cup mung beans. Brown 1 tsp. turmeric powder, 1 tsp. cumin seed and 1/2 tsp. coriander powder in 2 tblsp. ghee (or sesame oil). Mix all together. Add water to make soupier, if desired. Other spices may be added as desired.

Click here for another summer kicharee recipe.


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