Dried Longan Benefits In TCM

If you want to find out about the benefits of dried longan especially in terms of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), then do continue to read further.

In this post, I will share what kind of people are suitable (and also not suitable) to eat dried longan.

The Chinese name of longan is 龙眼. If you direct-translate these two words into English, it means Dragon’s eyes. In this post, we will focus on dried longan (on the left image below), and not those fresh ones (right image below) that you see in fruit stalls.

You can buy dried longan in most TCM shops or supermarket.

In the records of TCM, it refers to dried longan because its tonic effect is much greater than its fresh counterpart.

Dried longan
Fresh longan

There is a saying in ancient times that in the North, they have ginseng and in the South, they have longan. This means that the tonic effect of longan is comparable to that of ginseng.

Dried longan is best known for its blood and qi tonic effect. This means it is very suitable to the following:

  • People feel weak (after illness, surgery or giving birth).
  • People who having difficulty falling asleep.
  • People who tends to be forgetful. 

Dried longan has a warm thermal nature. This means over-consumption will lead to heatiness. It is recommended to only consume 10g of dried longan.

In the record of TCM, dried longan is beneficial to the heart and spleen.  And in respect to TCM, the heart also mean our mind. And dried longan has a claming effect to the mind (heart) and this is why it helps people in falling asleep. 

If you want to be more specific on what types of people can consume dried longan, you can take the TCM body constitution test. And if your body constitution is blood deficiency or qi deficiency, then you are generally ok to take dried longan.

People who are not suitable to take dried longan

In general, if you are having flu symptoms, then it is best to avoid dried longan.

Also avoid eating dried longan if you are having sore throat.

The following body constitution types are not suitable to eat dried longan too:

  • Tropical.
  • Phlegm and dampness.
  • Yin deficiency.

How to prepare a morning porridge with dried longan

The following is a simple recipe for morning porridge that I make from time to time.

Its main benefits is to energize, provide qi and blood boosting to our body. It also has some effect of calming the mind and hence, improving sleep quality.

It is suitable for people who feels lack of energy, can’t sleep well and can help in strengthening the back and legs too.

Ingredients (for 2 pax):

  • Dried longan (10g)
  • Red dates (3 to 5 pcs)
  • Chinese chestnut (100g)
  • Rice – feel free to add some mixed grains too (1 cup).
I use this kind of chinese chestnut. It is like snack which you can just eat it without cooking.


  1. Wash and rinse the dried longan.
  2. Remove the seeds inside the red dates and cut it into small slices.
  3. Wash the rice and bring it to boil. Note: You will need quite a bit of water here because we are cooking porridge. For me, I add as many as up to 6 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.
  4. Once the rice starts to boil, put in dried longan, red dates and chinese chestnut (I use those instant snacks ones so it needs minimum cooking). Wait till it boils again then bring the fire to smallest and let it simmer for 15 to 20 mins. Then it is ready to eat!
  5. As I am using thermal cooker, I only let it simmer for 4min then remove from heat and put inside the thermal pot and let it retain the heat for one hour before eating. I find that using thermal cooker is very gas efficient, instead of having the need to simmer on fire for 15 to 20min, I just need to let it sit inside the thermal pot for an hour. And thermal cooker does not require any electricity or fire to work!
Morning porridge with dried longan, red dates and Chinese chestnut

I hope you find this post useful! Let me know if you have any questions.

Barley Water Benefits In TCM

chinese barley water

Barley drink is very common in Singapore but do you know its benefits and not everyone is suitable to drink it? In this post, you will learn what is the benefits of barley drink and how to cook an effective barley drink for you and your family.

First thing first, its Chinese name is called 薏苡仁 or 薏米。Its English name is called coix seeds but we often called it barley here in Singapore. There are two types of coix seeds, one is Chinese barley (they shape bigger and rounder) and the other type is called the Holland barley. The following is a comparison of these two barley:

For the purpose of its healing effects, we will be using Chinese barley in this post as its benefits are more obvious compared to the one from Holland. 

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Chinese barley has cooling properties, so it can help to reduce heatiness in body. But the main benefits of barley is it helps to reduce water retention, especially in the lower part of your body. Drinking barley water can also helps to lose weigh because it helps to eliminates excess 湿 (dampness) in your body.

Other benefits recorded in TCM for barley is it can also help to relief diarrhea, but this is more of a secondary effect, I don’t suggest to use just barley to treat diarrhea. Barley also has the benefits of detox and prevents cancer cells forming.

In short, it is a wellness drink for most people when the weather is warm or you want an effective and affordable method to lose weigh through eliminating water retention. 

People who are not suitable to drink barley water 

In general, everyone can enjoy the barley water except for women who are pregnant. The reason is because barley also has 滑利 properties (sorry, I can’t find a suitable English translation for this word). 


How to prepare an effective barley drink

The following recipe is for one person (two cups). Do adjust the amount accordingly if you are preparing for more people. The ingredients you need are:

  1. Chinese barley (30g).
  2. Winter melon sticks (15 to 30g), depends on your sweetness preference.
  3. Water (750 to 900g), depends on how much the water vaporised when cooking. At the end of the cooking, you should left with two cups (each about 250ml) of water.

The cooking method is very simple. Wash and rinse the barley and winter melon sticks and put them into the water. Turn on the fire and bring the water to boil. Once the water boils, turn the fire to smallest and let it simmer for 20 to 30min. Turn off the fire and enjoy the barley drink!

Winter melon sticks
Winter melon sticks

Adding winter melon sticks here is to enhance the effect of eliminating water retention in body. Most melons, especially winter melon has the effect of getting rid of excess dampness in body. Two common ways to identify dampness in your body is if you have water retention or loose / sticky stools most of the time.

Do note that you need to drink this water for a period of time if you want to see visible results. I suggest you can start from two to three times per week. Also, avoid (if you can’t do it totally, then reduce) fried, oily and spicy food as they encourages dampness in your body.

Let me know if you have any questions, if not, enjoy your barley drink and its healing effects!

chinese barley water
Chinese barley water (you can add some lemon slices to flavor)

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Best Chinese Herbal Tea for Sore Throat

In this post, I will be recommending a herbal tea drink that will help you cure your sore throat. Keep reading to find out what is the herb and how to prepare this effective drink.

First, you may want to know that most sore throat is caused by inner heat. Hence, if you feel that you have a sore throat coming your way, please stop taking deep fried, processed and spicy food.

The herb you should consume is 罗汉果, Luo Han Guo (it is also know as Monk Fruit). 

Luo Han Guo has good cooling properties that can sooth your throat and reduce your inner heat. It also has properties to relief constipation. Hence, it can be taken regularly for people who often gets heaty and constipation. 

How to prepare an effective Luo Han Guo drink

First, you can buy a dried Luo Han Guo in most TCM shop. For one serving, just one piece of Luo Han Guo will do. Wash the exterior of the dried fruit and smash it open, Take out the core fruit inside and break it further to smaller pieces (5 to 6 smaller pieces etc).

Second, place the Luo Han Guo (with the shell) into a pot of water (approx. 500ml), you can add rock sugar if you want but you may want to try without added sugar because Luo Han Guo itself is sweet. Bring the water to boil then turn the fire to smallest and simmer for 2 to 3 minute. Turn off the fire and let it sit for another few minute before you drink it, you should have about two cups left.

Do take note that this herbal tea is the most effective if you feel a sore throat is coming your way. I also want to advise everyone to pay close attention to your body at all times so that you will be sensitive to such symptoms when it arise. It is easier to cure the sore throat in the first 1 to 2 days instead of letting it develop into cough after that.. Once you are good at listening to your body, you will be amazed that you can stop most illness by taking natural herbs before it further develops.

How long do you need to drink it in order to see results?

If you drink this remedy in the first two days (when you feel the sore throat sensation), you should feel your sore throat relived after drinking it for continuous two to three days. 

What if I am busy and I can’t find time to cook myself?

If you do not have time to prepare the drink yourself, you can choose to purchase the prepared herbal drink from some TCM shops. Ask them for Luo Han Guo herbal tea. It is better to take those that are cooked on the same day rather than taking those canned herbal drink.

Luo Han Guo is very affordable herb and effective for sore throat so make sure you give it a try especially if you start to feel the sore throat sensation. 

I wish you well and hope this information helps you!

Learn how to choose which herbal tea is suitable for you

In Singapore, there are many types of herbal tea and do you know how to choose which one to drink? In this post, I will share some common types of herbal drink you can find in Singapore and their properties so you can make the right choice for your health!

1- Chrysanthemum (菊花) Tea / Drink

Chrysanthemum is the most common herbal tea or drink you can find in most herbal stalls or shops in shopping mall.

The main property of Chrysanthemum is cooling (beneficial for lungs and liver). It can help to reduce body heatiness, headache and dizziness, and swollen / painful eye area due to liver heatiness.

Thus, you should choose Chrysanthemum tea / drink if you experience some headache, dizziness especially due to lack of sleep these few days or just starting to have some flu (heaty type) symptoms such as sore throat and keep feeling your mouth is dry.

2- American Ginseng (洋参) Tea / Drink

Good american ginseng is expensive and helps in strengthening qi (补气) but the type that you find in common herbal tea / drink normally do not have such strong potency.

The main property of american ginseng is strengthening qi (beneficial for heart, lung and kidney) and cooling effect. For the purpose of this blog post, american ginseng tea / drink has the effect of cooling and small effect of boosting your qi (energy).

Thus, you should choose american ginseng tea / drink if you often experience tiredness, and mouth dry. You can also choose american ginseng tea / drink if you feel that your palm and feet often feels hot.

3- Monk Fruit (罗汉果) Tea / Drink

Monk fruit also known as Siraitia grosvenorii or more commonly Luo Han Guo (罗汉果) in Singapore. It can help to reduce heatiness in lungs and improvement bowel movements (beneficial for lung and big intestine).

The main property of Luo Han Guo is to soothe throat and moisturize lungs. It also helps to ease constipation.

Thus, you should choose Luo Han Guo tea / drink if you have sore throat or feels that you have symptoms of sore throat coming. Also choose this drink if you have minor constipation these few days. Lastly, it will also help in dry cough (very hard to spit out the phlegm).

NOTE: Do visit a TCM physician if you have coughed for more than 2 weeks, because herbal tea will not cure the root issue of the cough.

4- Chinese Barley (中国薏米) Tea / Drink

Chinese barley is another very common type of herbal tea / drink in Singapore. In fact, I highly recommend most people to drink Chinese Barley because of our Tropical climate here. Chinese Barley can help to reduce water retention and strengthen spleen. Out of all the herbal tea / drink, Chinese Barley is the only one that can strengthen one’s spleen.

The main property of Chinese Barley is to help you get rid of excessive water in your body especially in spleen and lower part of your body. This is why Chinese Barley is a common herb to use to treat swollen angle, feet and lower part of the leg due to water retention.

Thus, you should choose Chinese Barley tea / drink if you have water retention in the lower part of your leg or generally you have weak spleen (have stomachache after cold drinks and oily food). Chinese Barley can also helps in weigh loss but you must make it a habit to drink it consistently to see results.

Caution: Women who are pregnant please consult a TCM physician before you make Chinese Barley a regular drink.

Note: There are two type of barley, one is Holland Barley which main property is cooling and the other one is Chinese Barley, which we mention in this blog post. make sure to choose the right one when you buy.

5- Honeysuckle (金银花) Tea / Drink

Honeysuckle is also a common type of herbal tea / drink in Singapore. Out of all herbal tea / drinks, Honeysuckle has most cooling effect and is highly recommended for people who are very heaty!

The main property of Honeysuckle is cooling and detox (beneficial for lungs, heart and stomach).

Thus, you should choose Honeysuckle tea / drink if you have bad breath, sudden rush of acne or feeling very heaty (symptoms of sore throat, mouth dry and keep wanting to drink water and urine appears very yellowish and feels hot)

Caution: Honeysuckle is extremely cooling hence it is not suitable for people with weak spleen. If you often have diarrhea after drinking cold stuff or oily food, then I would say Honeysuckle is not suitable for you.

A Note About Mixed Herbal Tea / Drink

It is now very common for you to see mixed herbal tea / drink such as
Chrysanthemum with Luo Han Guo or
Chrysanthemum with American Ginseng. For such herbal tea, you can refer to their each effects above but I strongly encourage to go for the individual herbal tea if you need relive in a particular symptom, for example, if you are only having a sore throat, then I would suggest you choose Luo Han Guo rather than
Chrysanthemum with Luo Han Guo.

I hope these information helps! If you like a particular herbal tea / drink but didn’t see it listed here, you can comment below and I will consider adding it to the list!