TCM Food Therapy – TCM Food Therapy For Dryness

[TCM Food Therapy]

TCM Food Therapy For Dryness

by Dr. Helen Hu

Skin Dryness and mucosa Dryness may cause many physical and emotional discomforts.  The Dryness can be from using air conditioning and / or frequently using rubbing alcohol on the skin. But, keep in mind, that Dryness can be one of the indicators or a symptom of an underlying internal health problem.

If there is an underlying internal reason that causes Dryness, a simple external lotion cannot ensure an optimal treatment. Both Western medicine and TCM can offer treatment options for the underlying conditions that contribute to the Dryness.

However, TCM food therapy is an option for naturally treating and preventing dryness and to ensure a beautiful skin that most medications are unable to promise.

Factors Causing Dryness

1. Seasonal: The autumn season has characteristics of Dryness especially with the start of the cool down of the temperatures and less humidity.  It is suggested to not eat too much pungent food. Eat foods that will help the body to retain moisture and preserve energy.  Such as sesame seeds, honey, sweet rice, fresh fruits, including pineapple and add more sour tasting food to conserve body energy.  Digestion system problems can be prevalent in the autumn. It is the season to start to take some supplements and herbs to strengthen the body

2. Foods: hot spices, jalapeño pepper, strong alcohol, garlic, onion, ginger and other hot spices.  Certain meats: lamb and deer meat.

3. Age: peri-menopausal and menopause and aging. Irregular menstrual cycle results from various disorders or drugs that disrupt any part of the complex hormonal regulation. It may manifest as excess body hair, headaches, hot flashes, skin dryness and vaginal dryness.

4. Health conditions: endocrine disease and some autoimmune disease:

Sjögren’s syndrome is characterized by excessive dryness of the eyes, mouth, and other mucous membranes. Hypothyroidism, kidney failure

Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) is a rare, chronic disorder characterized by degenerative changes and scarring in the skin, joints, and internal organs and by blood vessel abnormalities   Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye) is dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea.

5. Other conditions include: sunburn, allergies; chemical contact to skin, chronic dermatitis. Dermatitis (eczema) and psoriasis is inflammation of the upper layers of the skin, causing itching, blisters, redness, swelling, and often oozing, scabbing, and scaling.

TCM believes that Dryness syndrome — no matter what is the causes — is classified by Western medicine as: inner dryness syndrome. It is most related to the Liver and Kidney with lack of Blood and Vital Fluid (not simply water).  This leads to an overly imbalanced warmness, in TCM terms: Liver and Kidney yin deficiency.

Prevention of Dryness

Foods that assist in rejuvenating the skin and mucus and adding more vital fluid include porridge, soy bean milk, carrots, water chestnuts, pears, and honey. And some dry but soft food such potato family: sweet potato, yam, taro, potato and roots of some categories, beans and bananas.

Food Therapy for Dryness

For Kidney and Liver yin deficiency:

Black and Silver Mushroom (Tremela Fuciformis Fructifation) Dessert

Black Fungus Mushroom


Silver (White) Fungus Mushroom

Black and silver mushroom, 10 g each soak in water till open and soft

Crystal rocky sugar 20 g

Add all ingredients together in a small bowl with water, steam for at least one hour

Intake: Consume one serving twice a day, every other day.


Black sesame paste

Ground black sesame seed powder: 30g

Spring rice 100g

Cooked in water to make porridge.

Intake: Serve for breakfast and with dinner


Lilly bulb and rice porridge

Lily Bulb


Lily bulb (if using the dried form, soak in water till soft) 50g

Shen Di Huang : (Rehmannia Root, Fresh) 30g Spring rice 100g

Cooking: cook Rehmannia root in water for 30-45 minutes first, use the herb juice only to cook riche and lily bulb to make porridge.

Intake: Serve for breakfast and with dinner

Shen Di Huang



Black Walnut tea

Black walnuts with crystal raw sugar equal amount.

Crush both ingredients to powder.

Intake: use boiling water, pour over it to make drink, drink three times per day.


Ya Li Pear

Pear dessert

One large asian pear (Ya li pear)  (cut into pieces)

Zhi mu(Anemarrhena Rhizome): 10g

Pang da hai(Sterculia (Boat) Seed ): 5 pieces

Crystal rock sugar 30g

Cooking: boil the pear and herbs in water together. After the pear becomes soft, add the sugar, cook till the sugar is solved.

Intake: drink the juice as tea and eat the pear. Once a day, 7 days as a course of treatment.  (better for dry throat, and dry coughing and dry skin)


Duck with sha shen (Glehnia Radix) soup

Shan Shen (Glehnia Radix)


Duck meat: 200g (cut into small pieces)

Sha shen : 50g  (soak in water for 30-45 minutes till open and soft)

Spices desire (not too hot spices)

Fine salt

Put duck meat and sha shen  in pot with water. Bring it to a boil until duck meat becomes very tender, then add spices and salt before serving.

Intake: drink the soup, eat both the duck and sha shen. Once a week for 4 weeks as a course of treatment.

When there is more warmness and feeling of hot in the body, people have low grade fever, losing weight, dry throat without improvement by drinking water, dryness eye, skin, hair and nails. Some might have joint pain, and deformity of joint (like Rheumatoid arthritis) :


Turnip and honey drink  Shan shen ( Glehnia Radix)

white turnip: 500g ( almost 1.25 bls)


instruction: juicing turnip, then add honey 50g together. Add a little warm water and drink as a tea,

Intake: twice a day for 70 days as course of treatment.


Sha shen(Glehnia Radix ) mung bean soup

Mung bean:  200g

Lean pork: 200 g (cut into small pieces)

Sha shen (Glehnia Radix )  :  20g

Bai Mao gen(Wooly Grass Rhizome ): 250g

Xin ren (Apricot Kernel): 10g

Instruction: cook all ingredients together with water in pot, bring to boil. Then cook at low temperature until the mung beans open and the meat falls apart. Then add salt and mild spices before serving.

Intake:  drink the soup and eat the mung beans, pork and apricot kernel.

Once every other day. it can be take for long time.


Restore dry skin drink

Asian pear juice: fresh sugar cane juice: milk: honey = 1:1:1.5:0.2

Mix it together, and bring it boil.


Bai mao gen (Wooly Grass Rhizome )

Bai Mao Gen (Wooly Grass Rhizome)


Intake: one glass, twice a day in the morning and night. It can be take as long as one can.


Silver mushroom skin moisture soup:

Chuan Bei Mu


Silver mushroom: 15 g (soak in water till soft)

Apricot kernel: 15 g

Regular date: 3 pieces

Lean pork meat: cut into thin piece

Cooking: put all ingredients together in a pan with water, bring to a boil first, then cook at a low temperature until the meat falls apart and is tender. Then add mild spices and salt. Serve

Intake:  drink the soup and eat the meat, mushrooms, date and apricot. Intake it along with meal as soup


Mulberry leaf tea

Mulberry leaf: 10g

Apricot kernel 5g

Sha shen(Glehnia Radix ): 15g

Chuang bei mu (Fritillaria (Tendrilled) Bulb): 3g

Peel from Asia pear: 15g

Cooking: cooking all the herbs together with water for 30-45 minutes. The add honey

Intake: drink the tea two glasses per day.


Carrot  and water chestnut soup

Dan Zhu Ye


carrot: 250g

water chestnut 250g

dried licorice : 25g

Dan Shu ye  (Lopatherum Stem and Leaves ): 25g

Fresh sugar cane juice: 500g

Add everything together in a pot and bring it to boil. Then cook at low temperature for 2 hours.

Intake: drink the soup, eat the carrot and water chestnut as part of meal once a day for 7 days as course of treatment.



Dr. Helen Hu

Dr. Hu, originally from Beijing China, has studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since the age of 12. A Cardiologist and Practitioner of integrated medicine for 9 years. She immigrated to the United States in 1991. In 1997 Dr. Hu passed the “United States Licensing Medical Exam” while simultaneously obtaining her Oriental Medical Degree (OMD). Dr. Hu is a specialist in Herbal medicine, nationally licensed in Acupuncture and has a Philosophy of life structured around Oriental traditions. She utilizes her expertise in these treatments along with a passion and wisdom for Longevity to treat a variety of health conditions.  You can find more information.  To find more information about her, go to


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