Chenpi literally meaning “aged peel”, is sun-dried tangerine peel used as a seasoning in Chinese cooking, and also as a medicine. It smells a bit like cinnamon, and has a slightly bitter taste.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, chenpi aids digestion. It counteracts symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, hiccups, reflux, nausea, and vomiting. After a heavy meal, drink a glass of water containing one piece of chenpi to warm the stomach, and feel less full.
In winter, make hot meat bone soup with one or two pieces of chenpi. It smells good and improves digestion.
Clinical Usage and Indications
- Regulates qi and promotes downward movement, improves transportive function of spleen, relieves diaphragm – abdominal distention, fullness, bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting
- Dries dampness and transforms phlegm – coughs with stifling sensation in the chest/diaphragm, and copious viscous sputum
- Prevents stagnation – stops cloying of tonifying herbs.
As well as cleansing the stomach, chenpi also helps relieve coughing by eliminating some of the mucus, so there is no need to spit afterwards.
This recipe combines the benefits of lemon and chenpi to get rid of swelling and reduce excessive body heat and toxins. It also whets the appetite and can cool you down in the heat of summer.
Lemon and Coix Seed Soup
5 teaspoons of coix seeds
Icing sugar to taste
1 piece of chenpi
1. Wash the coix seeds and chenpi, then soak for an hour
2. Boil them together for one hour
3. Peel off lemon skins, and cut the pulp into small squares
4. Add the lemon and icing sugar to the boiled coix seed and chenpi soup. Heat gently for a further 20 minutes.
5. Allow to cool before drinking
With research from Monica Song.