Congee Recipe for Cock's Crow Diarrhea

Yang deficiency is not just about feeling cold constantly. When the Ming Men fire is low, it cannot “cook" the food in the Stomach, resulting in poor absorption. Eventually, the lack of digestive “fire" leads to chronic diarrhea, especially in the elderly. Many older people experience diarrhea daily right before dawn, hence the Chinese medicine term “Fifth Watch Diarrhea" usually taught in the US as “Cock's Crow Diarrhea". In ancient China, nighttime was separated into four time periods, and the night watchmen patrolling the streets would bang a gong at the beginning and end of each period, or watch. The fifth and final gong of the last watch was banged right before dawn. According to TCM, Fifth Watch Diarrhea is due to Yang deficiency of both the Spleen and Kidney.

Qian Shi and Lian Zi congee is an easily prepared, easy-to-digest therapeutic food:

Ingredients:

  • 20g Qian shi/Fox nut barley
  • 20g Lian zi/Lotus seed (with green plumule removed)
  • 50g Glutinous rice
  • Preparation:

    1. Rinse the Qian shi, then soak in water for 5-6 hours or overnight.

    2. Rinse the Lian zi and glutinous rice.

    3. Cook ingredients together with water at a low boil until it reaches the desired consistency.

    4. Eat once a day.

    Or you could make a delicious soup:

    Ingredients:

    • 20g Qian shi/Fox nut barley

    • 20g Lian zi/Lotus seed (with green plumule removed)

    • 1 Chicken, cleaned and cut into pieces

    • Water or bone broth

    • Salt to taste

    Preparation:

    1. Rinse the Qian shi, then soak in water for 5-6 hours or overnight.

    2. Rinse the Lian zi.

    3. Place all ingredients in large double boiler or crock pot with enough water or bone broth to cover.

    4. Double boil for 2-3 hours, or 4-6 hours in a crock pot.

    Qian shi and Lian zi are astringent herbs that “stabilize and bind." The two herbs are often used together because they have similar actions - tonify the Kidney and Spleen, and astringe the intestines. Qian shi and Lian zi are also frequently used to strongly stabilize the branch problem (diarrhea, and other leakage such as spermatorrhea, leukorrhea, and urinary incontinence), but also to nourish and strengthen the underlying root deficiency. Lian zi also has a strong nourishing effect on the Heart and calms the Shen, for irritability and insomnia. Glutinous rice and chicken tonify the central Qi and strengthen the Spleen and Stomach. Bone broth is a nutrient-dense and slightly astringing food useful for diarrhea patients or others with poor nutrient absorption.

To Top