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Chuan Bei Mu, Pears & Honey

Originally published November 9, 2014

This traditional steamed pear recipe is often prepared in the autumn, the season of dryness, to prevent or treat an occasional dry cough or dry throat. Chuan Bei Mu/Fritillaria cirrhosa bulb is a very effective and versatile herb that both dissolves phlegm and clears heat, while also nourishing and moistening Lung Yin. Pears are also considered to be strongly moistening and tonify the Lung Yin. Traditionally Asian pears are used, and considered to have the strongest medicinal effect to moisten the Lungs, but western pears are more moist and are considered by some western practitioners to actually be better Yin tonics. Raw honey has many health benefits, including moistening and nourishing Lung Yin, as well as tonifiying the Spleen and Stomach to tonify Qi.


  • 2 to 3 pears (Asian or western varieties. I like to have a mix of pear types.)
  • Chuan Bei Mu/Fritillaria cirrhosa bulb – 8-16 tiny raw bulbs (around 1 – 2 grams) per pear (can be purchased from your local herbal dispensary or from our herbal dispensary here at
  • Raw honey to taste.
  • Optional: add a gram or two of Xing ren and Chen pi to strengthen the ability to stop cough.


  1. Wash and core the pears. (Traditionally the pears are cut at the top, cored, filled and then the top is put back on to ensure that none of the liquid escapes while steaming.)
  2. Bring water to a boil in a large pot with a steam-releasing lid. (Traditionally the pears are steamed to increase their Yin-moistening quality, so optimally a double boiler would be used.)
  3. Place the pears in a large ceramic bowl with 1 inch of water in it.
  4. Rinse the Chuan Bei Mu, crush with a spoon, and place into the cored pear.
  5. Add raw honey to taste (a couple of drops up to a teaspoon).
  6. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, place the covered bowl in the large pot, cover with steam-releasing lid and simmer at medium heat for approximately 25-45 minutes, or until tender.
  7. Eat while warm. The liquid from the pears should be drunk as well for maximum benefit.


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