Known for invigorating blood circulation and regulating menstruation, yi mu cao - or motherwort - is a TCM herb popular with many women.
The plant grows in many parts of the country and flowers in summer. The best time to pick it is just before it blooms. Its young tender stalks and leaves are cut and dried and made into medicine.
Yi mu cao is also used to alleviate edema, improve diuresis and treat constipation. Pregnant women should not take the herb as it can cause miscarriages. In ancient China, yi mu cao was used to abort foetuses that had died.
With a slight bitter taste, the herb is a "warm" medicine that can improve blood circulation and help generate new blood.
Science has found that yi mu cao is rich in various elements such as selenium and manganese, a natural "beauty product."
In ancient China, girls would grind dried yi mu cao into powder, blend it with cucumber juice, add sugar and apply it as a face mask at night. This age-old treatment nourishes skin, treats pimples and help fade liverspots in older women.
When yi mu cao is cooked with peach, black soy beans, rice and brown sugar, it is used as a treatment for acne.
Yi mu cao soup
Boil four eggs. Shell and boil them with 30g yi mu cao and 30g sang ji sheng (parasitic loranthus) for 30 minutes. Add sugar.
Remove the yi mo cao and sang ji sheng. Eat the eggs and drink the soup.
Benefits: Nourishes the liver and blood.
Yi mu cao and jujube tea
Soak 20g yi mu cao and 100g jujubes in 650g water separately for 30 minutes.
Heat the yi mu cao in water until it boils. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the yi mu cao and take 200g of liquid.
Put the yi mu cao in 500g water. Repeat previous stage.
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