I had the amazing opportunity to get a Chinese post-partum cooking lesson from my chiropractor's wife. We started talking about Chinese post-partum customs when I went to get my sciatica treated and I told him that we had planned to encapsulate and maybe eat a part of the placenta. He then confided that his wife had eaten her placenta with the birth of their babies. I also asked, traditionally, what Chinese herbalism has to avoid afterpains, since I want to avoid conventional drugs for that purpose. He said that his wife never experienced pains and never took anything. That launched an email conversation that lasted several days, until he probably had enough of my questions and suggested I see the cooking in action.
We cooked two dishes together:
- pork dumplings (the same recipe her mother had used for the placenta dumplings)
- post-partum recovery chicken broth
|Image: Dinnercraft on Flickr|
- one cup of all purpose flour
- pork mince (or placenta minced ;) )
- chives, chopped thinly
- teriyaki sauce
- grated carrots
|boxthorn fruit, FotoosvanRobin|
- One whole organic, free range chicken
- A tablespoon ful of Goji Berries (Wolfberrie or boxthorn fruit). Goji berries in chinese herbalism are a powerful tonic with lots of uses.
- 4 to 5 jujube (red dates). Jujube are filled with vitamins and minerals, they improve stamina and strength, stimulate the immune system and are an excellent tonic.
- Angelica root, half an inch. Angelica root is recommended for women in general, it tones and harmonizes the blood and it is good for abdominal pains.
- Dried longan fruit (guiyuan) is rich in fiber and iron. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed to bring 'heat' to the body and have an effect on relaxation.
- 2 to 3 inches of ginger, remove the skin and slice. Ginger contains a high amount of protein, vitamins, minerals and niacin. Ginger is considered beneficial for fever, headaches. It's also a stimulant for the immune system and it has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Optional: Shi take mushrooms, sliced
My host had this wonderful cooking device with a ceramic cooking bowl, but if you don't have this a regular large cooking pot will do too. Put the pieces of chicken on the bottom of a cook pot and poor hot water over it to cover the chicken entirely. Rinse the herbs and add them to the pot. Add the mushrooms too, if you are using them. Leave this to simmer for at least 3 hours. Enjoy!
Find out more about the use of Goji Berries in Chinese herbalism.
Read more about Jujube
Read about the use of Angelica Root in Chinese medicine.
Ginger as herbal medicine