Green Bean Soup (Water) Benefits in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Green beans, also known as mung beans (Chinese name: 绿豆), are a common food that Asian families consume for their cooling benefits.

But do you know when is the best time to eat green beans and what are the common mistakes people make when consuming green beans? Read on to find out!

green beans

Benefits of Consuming Green Bean

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

The two most obvious properties of green beans are their cooling and detoxing effects. Let’s take a look at each of these properties:

Detoxing Properties: Green bean water (I will share the steps to prepare this drink in a later section) is great for detoxing. For instance, if you observe a sudden outbreak of acne after consuming certain types of foods (such as dairy products or foods with a considerable amount of preservatives), drinking green bean water can help your body to detox.

The sudden emergence of acne is a sign of toxins (and inflammation) or heatiness in your body. Thus, taking foods and herbs with detoxing properties can help to relieve the acne. Green bean is an excellent food choice in this case.

Cooling Properties: Another powerful property of green bean is its cooling effects. Green bean is very useful for clearing body heatiness that is caused by summer heat. For this reason, a lot of people will drink green bean soup during summer or in the warmer months of June, July, and August.

If you often feel thirsty during warm days (especially if the more cold drinks you consume, the more thirsty you get), you can give green bean water a try as it will help to cool your body and quench your thirst. 

Common Mistakes When Consuming Green Bean

Before we cover the steps to prepare an effective green bean water drink, it is important that you take note to avoid the following common mistakes:

  1. Do NOT drink chilled green bean water.
    Do not put your green bean water in the fridge and 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 treated at the hospital emergency department because they have drank chilled / cold green bean water when their body is very heaty – this is similar to pouring 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 an iron pot/wok to cook green bean water.
    Green bean will react with the iron and drinking this green bean water may cause you stomach discomfort. I recommend that you cook green bean water using pots that are not made of iron, such as stainless steel pots, non-stick pots or claypots.
  3. Do NOT drink green bean water every single day.
    Green bean water is very cooling so it will weaken your stomach and spleen if you drink it too often. If you are very heaty, you can consume green bean water for three consecutive days, then stop and see if it relieves your condition. If it doesn’t, perhaps you need other cooling herbs (to cool other organs as well) rather than just 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 consecutively for two to three days, you will notice a great difference in your body heatiness or skin (relief of acute acne).

You would need (for 1 pax):

  1. Green beans (30g), choose organic ones if possible.
  2. Water (about 500ml)

Put the washed green beans and water in a pot and let it boil for 5 to 7 minutes. Then turn off the fire, and let it sit for one minute. An effective green bean water drink is ready to be served! 

Additional Notes:

  1. Green bean water tastes like tea and personally, I like it that way without any sugar added. If you find that the taste is too bland, you can add some sugar based on your liking.
  2. Do not let the green bean water sit for too long after it is cooked because that will make the water turn 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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