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Congee is a healing rice porridge used as an everyday medicine to heal and sustain your health

Where does this healthy, simple rice porridge come from?

This ancient recipe from Traditional Chinese Medicine heals your gut health and is a real dish for kings. Food is one of the most important pillars of sustaining health and therefore, congee is high up the list! This silky, savoury porridge is an everyday breakfast in China and in some other parts of the world. Congee is also called jook, khao tom moo, and arroz caldo.

What are the health benefits of eating congee?

To be straight with you, you have probably eaten more intense flavoured dishes. However, this simple grain soup is easily digested and assimilated, tonifies the blood and the Qi, harmonizes the digestion and soothes inflammation. It ensures an optimal balance for Yin and Yang which results in good health. If you want to detox your body, cure your intestinal flora, lose some weight or enhance energy circulation, eat this creamy rice porridge on a regular basis.

Which health problems can be addressed with congee?

– red skin rashes like atopic dermatitis, eczema, acne
– water retention (oedema)
– overweight
– food allergies
– digestive problems, especially stomach burning, soft stools, diarrhoea
– hot flashes
– cellulite
– endometriosis
– cysts, fibroids and myomas
– chronic bladder infections and urinary tract infections
– headaches and migraines
– menstruation problems
– recurrent lung infections and respiratory allergies
– congested nose and sinuses

When should you avoid eating congee?

– during pregnancy
– if you are underweight or suffering from anorexia
– if you have chronic ice-cold feet and constant freezing
– if you are experiencing chronic constipation and hard, painful stools
– when feeling very weak and exhausted

How to make congee?

To prepare congee, you simply need to simmer a small amount of rice in a large amount of water for several hours (3-4 hours).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice (around 100g)
  • 1 litre of water

The proportion must be 1: 10. If your digestion is weak, take white rice. Otherwise, I recommend you whole grain rice. Always take organic rice to lower the risk of having arsenic in your rice.

Equipment

Pressure cooker (needs less cooking time, around 1-2 hours) or saucepan with a lid.

How to cook

  • Combine the rice and water in the cooker.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and partially cover.
  • Continue simmering for around 3-4 hours (pressure cooker less). Stir the congee from time to time. If the porridge is getting too stiff, add more water.
  • Serve the congee in a bowl and enjoy with a spoon. No spices, salt and fat are added.

Congee can also be cooked from other grains depending on the therapeutic goals.

How often should I eat congee?

This depends on which issues and goals you have. You can replace one of your regular daily meals with a bowl of congee. Ideally eaten in the morning between 7 – 11 am as this is when the spleen and stomach are most active. The congee warms up the digestive system and sets a good foundation for the body to absorb the nutrients from the rest of the food that you will eat throughout the day.

If you want to do a rice cure, simply eat the congee for 3 to 7 days. At least 3 days are necessary, as it is during this period of time that a person’s gut bacteria changes. To further help the body rinse out the toxins, it is recommended that you drink plenty of hot, boiled water and herbal teas based on your personal demand. If you have slight problems of evacuation of the bowels, soak some chia seeds overnight in water and add them to your congee.

About the author Carina Greweling

Carina is a state-approved naturopath from Germany who studied after her exam Chinese medicine, craniosacrale therapy and Bach flowers and deepened her knowledge of meditation and yoga while she was living in India. She offers in her practice in Paris tailor-made treatments and is specialised in women’s health. In regular workshops and yoga retreats she proposes to gain deeper knowledge and inspiration about a healthy body and mind. She also gives online consultations.