Green bean soup (water) benefits in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Green beans (also known as mung beans) (Chinese name: 绿豆) are another typical food that Asian families eat for their cooling effects. But do you know when is the best time to eat green bean and what are the common mistakes people made when consuming green beans?

Read on to find out more!

green beans

The thermal nature of green beans is cooling, hence, it is not recommended to consume green bean soup or water daily.

The two most obvious properties of green beans are their cooling effect and detox effect. Let’s take a look at these properties.

Detox: Green bean water (refer to the following section on how to prepare this drink) excels in detoxing. For example, if you find there is a sudden rash of acne on your face due to the type of foods (some dairy products or foods with a considerable amount of preservatives ) that you eat recently, then green bean water can help you detox your body.

The sudden emergence of acne is a common sign of your body containing toxic (and inflammation) or heatiness. Thus, taking foods and herbs with detox properties will help to relief the acne. Green bean is an excellent choice of food in this case.

Cooling properties: Another powerful property of green beans are their cooling effect. Green bean is very useful in cooling the body due to summer heat. Hence, a lot of people drink green bean soup during summer or in the months of Jun, Jul, and Aug.

If you often find yourself thirsty during very warm days (especially the more cold drinks you drink the more thirsty you get), then try green bean water as it will help to cool your body and quench your thirst. 

Before we move on to how to prepare an effective green bean water drink, do note the following and avoid making these mistakes:

  1. Do not drink chilled green bean water. This means that do not put the green bean water into the fridge then drink it after that because this will do more harm to your body! Every summer, there are a lot of people who need to be attended at hospitals emergency department because they have drank chilled / cold green bean water when their body is very heaty – this is similar to when you pour cold water into a very hot pot! The best is to drink green bean water when it is warm or at room temperature. 
  2. Do not use iron pot/wok to cook green bean water because the green bean will react with the iron and make the water you drink cause you stomach discomfort. I recommend to cook green bean water using stainless steel pot or a claypot-type pot.
  3. Finally, do not drink green bean water everyday as it is very cooling so it will weaken your stomach and spleen if you drink it too often. If you are very heaty. you can drink the green bean water consecutive for three days then stop and see if it relieves your condition. If not, perhaps you need other cooling herbs (to cool other organs as well) rather than keep drinking green bean water.

An easy way to prepare effective green bean water drink

green bean waterThe following is an easy way to prepare effective green bean water. Typically, after drinking it for consecutive two or three days, you will notice a great difference in heatiness or skin (relief of the acute acne).

You would need (for 1pax):

  1. Green beans (30g). If possible, choose those organic ones.
  2. Water (500ml est.)

Pour the green beans into the water in a pot and let it boils for 5 to 7 minutes. Then turn off the fire, and let it sit for a minute. Now an effective green bean water drink is ready to serve! 

Note: You can add some sugar if you find the drink is too bland. The taste is like some tea and personally, I like the taste so I always drink it without any sugar.

Also, do not let the green bean water sit too long after it is boiled because that will make the water becomes cloudy. It is more effective to drink green bean water in its clear state (like the one shown in the image above).

Hope you find this post useful! 

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