Updated: Jan 19, 2018
Winter melon / Wax Gourd / Tong Qwa is a common seasonal vegetable used in many Chinese dishes.
It may not be the most popular melon around, but the winter melon - or dong gua in Chinese - has an edge over its peers, such as the watermelon or cucumber. For one thing, it has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), thanks to its slightly cooling properties. The humble winter melon is said to be able to help clear heat and dampness, such as by increasing urination, according to well-referenced TCM textbook Ben Cao Jing Zhi Zu.
This text book mentions that ‘winter-melon‘ works on the lung, urinary bladder and large intestine, and has the function of clearing and removing the heat and increasing urination’. It contains less sugar and has effects by clearing fluid and cholesterol. The skin of the winter melon is a popular Chinese herb used for medicinal purposes to help clear odema and improve metabolism.
Odema is fluid retention which can be stuck in different parts of the body such as swelling of the ankle, legs, knees, wrist and hand, eyelid and face. It can also be endemic or throughout the entire body.
Odema can stay all the time, or it can come and go, depending on the cause. Odema can be both a symptom or disease of the internal organs.
In early stage of odema, many people do not pay much attention to it, and often do not treat it.
Winter-melon and ginger soup for cold winter days:
Ingredients: 1 Handful of chopped winter-melon 1 Pieces of ginger chopped 1 tblsp Spring onion 5 Cups of water
Bring all ingredients to boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste
Effects: Tonify spleen; improve metabolism and help to clear fluid
Winter-melon for hot climates:
Stir fried winter-melon and shrimp
1 Handful of chopped winter-melon 2 tblsp shrimp 1 tblsp Spring onions 1 Piece of chopped ginger 2tsp Olive oil
Stir fry all ingredients with oil. You can add one cup of water to avoid the ingredients from drying out. Stir fry on a low heat for ten minutes. Add salt to taste if needed.
Effects: Tonify kidneys; improve metabolism; clear fluid retention from lower part of the body.
Eca Brady is a fully licensed physician of Chinese Medicine BSc(Ac) MBAcC PGDip(CHM), practicing from Harley Street, London. Make an appointment for an acupuncture treatment and we can discuss how we can help you, to read more about Eca click here.
Excerpts from the original article by Ping Ming.