Daikon radish TCM benefits. Acupuncture Nowra

Daikon Radish: Benefits and uses in Chinese medicine

  • Daikon radish is a mild-flavoured root vegetable derived from Asian cuisine, and used for its culinary versatility and potential health benefits.
  • In Chinese medicine, daikon radish is used for various digestive complaints, skin irritation and rashes, and persistent phlegm or mucus.
  • A simple recipe incorporating daikon is included.

What is daikon radish?

Daikon radish is a long, white root vegetable which almost resembles a sweet potato. It has been cultivated and consumed in Asia for thousands of years, and used in a myriad of ways such as pickling to create the famous Japanese dish, “Takuan”. It is often paired with meat, to cut through the heaviness and provide a balance of texture and flavour. In Chinese cuisine, it’s a staple ingredient in soups, stews, and stir-fries. The versatility of daikon radish in Asian cooking has made it a beloved and enduring culinary food.

Daikon radish in TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), daikon radish is believed to be of neutral flavour and slightly cooling, which can be useful in clearing Dampness and addressing certain digestive issues. Due to its cooling and detoxifying nature, daikon radish is also believed to alleviate certain inflammatory and respiratory conditions, especially when mucus and phlegm are involved. Some of the Chinese medicinal uses include:

What are the potential benefits?

  1. Aiding digestion: Daikon radish promotes the digestion of fatty foods and relieve indigestion. This is a staple food to help with bloating and sticky stools. It can also help with reflux when combined with ginger.
  2. Removing excess heat: It is believed to help reduce symptoms of heat-related conditions such as inflammation, skin rashes and urticaria.
  3. Dissolving mucus and phlegm: Daikon radish can be incorporated to reduce respiratory issues and sinus congestion, particularly from stubborn and persistent phlegm and mucus. In Chinese medicine thinking, phlegm and mucus can also lead to brain fog, headaches and fatigue, which makes daikon a great addition if you have these types of symptoms.
  4. Balancing the body’s energy: In TCM, Daikon radish is considered a yin food, which helps balance excessive yang energy in the body. People who are regarded to have excess Yang or heat symptoms, will often have symptoms like frequent thirst, aversion to heat, sweating, hot flushes, irritability and insomnia.

Recipe for daikon side dish:

There are numerous ways to cook and consume daikon radish, but when it comes to cooking, I like simplicity! Here’s a simple and flavourful recipe to prepare daikon radish as a side dish using staple Asian herbs and condiments.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 medium sized daikon radish, cut into 2cm x 2cm cubes
  2. 1-1.5 cups of filtered water or broth
  3. 1 slice of fresh ginger
  4. 1-2 shallots, chopped (green and white)
  5. 1 tbsp of oyster sauce
  6. Few drops of sesame oil
  7. 1/2 tsp of salt
  8. 1/4 tsp of sugar (optional)
  9. Gluten free soy sauce (optional)

Cooking instruction:

  1. To a small pot, add the water, daikon radish, ginger, oyster sauce, salt and sugar.
  2. Bring to a medium-high heat and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the daikon is tender by poking it with a fork. Make sure to stir occasionally when cooking.
  3. Right before serving, add in the shallots, sesame oil and soy sauce. Stir the dish well and serve into a bowl to enjoy as a side dish!

Daikon radish is a remarkable root vegetable that deserves a place on your plate. Try the simple recipe provided, and experience the delightful flavours and health benefits of Daikon radish in your own kitchen.

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