Lily Benefits In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) 

This week, let’s learn more about the lily (Chinese name: 百合).

Lily is cold in thermal nature and is suitable for people who are heaty.

In official records, lily has the properties of 养阴润肺,清心安神. This means it has benefits for the heart and lungs:

For the heart – It calms the mind to improve sleep quality (in TCM the heart includes the health of the mind).

For the lungs – It helps to moisturize the lungs and strengthen Yin energy.

Lily is best used for relieving coughing (due to Yin deficiency) and treating blood in phlegm. It is also used to improve sleep quality and reduce the frequency of dreaming.

Lily is not commonly served at outside eateries and restaurants, but you can purchase fresh lily from the supermarket and cook it at home (stir-fry or in soup). Fresh lily can also be eaten raw.

Alternatively, lily also comes in dried form which is typically sold at TCM retail shops. The dried form is commonly used in desserts and I’ll share a simple recipe with you below.

The daily recommended dosage of lily is 6g to 12g.

White Fungus Dessert Recipe (for 1 Person)

This dessert helps to moisturize the lungs and is very suitable for people who have Yin deficiency body constitution. It is also useful for relieving dry cough.

white fungus lily dessert
Image source:


  • Dried white fungus (3 to 10g)
  • Dried red dates (1 to 2 pcs)
  • Dried lily (百合) (7g)
  • Rock sugar (your preference)


1. Wash and soak white fungus (for 1 to 2 hours). Wash and soak lily (in warm water for 1 hour).

2. Tear the white fungus into smaller pieces so that it is easier to cook till it softens. Some people like to use a blender but you can use your hands too.

3. Cook the white fungus for up to 1.5 hours. If possible, stir the white fungus one or two times while it is cooking.

4. After cooking the white fungus for an hour, add in lily and red dates. For softer red dates, you can use a knife to cut a few slits on each of the red dates before you cook them.

5. During the last 10 to 15 minutes, put in rock sugar to taste.

There you have it! This dessert can be eaten once every month.

Hope you find this post useful and feel free to post any questions below!

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