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Dragon Boat Festival and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

This Friday, the 3rd of June, 2022 is the Dragon Boat Festival - Duan Wu Jie.

During this traditional Chinese festival, our customs include dragon boat racing, eating zongzi and salted duck eggs, hanging wormwood sachets, and wearing colourful threads...

Did you know? Almost every practice has its roots in health. "The ancients entrusted the folk customs of health and fitness, healing and warding off evil spirits on this festival."

The ancients were really wise, and they left a lot of precious traditional Chinese customs for future generations.

Glutinous rice dumplings come to nourish the stomach and clear the heat.

During the Dragon Boat Festival, the climate is characterized by unbearable hot flashes, and people generally have a poor appetite. Eating zongzi in this solar term not only strengthens the spleen and stomach but also clears the floating heat. The traditional main ingredient of zongzi is glutinous rice and jujube. Zongye generally uses reed leaves. In traditional Chinese medicine, glutinous rice is sweet in taste, warm in nature, and enters the spleen, stomach, and lung meridians. The glutinous rice in zongzi is generally cooked very softly. Eating it in moderation has a good effect on strengthening the spleen and nourishing the stomach. The reed leaves and other materials have good medicinal value. The reed leaves have the function of clearing heat and detoxifying. Jujube has the effect of nourishing qi and nourishing blood. If you add some lotus seeds to the zongzi, it can strengthen the spleen and dehumidify; add some adzuki beans to reduce swelling.

Wormwood is linked to fighting disease.

Why do people hang wormwood during the Dragon Boat Festival? Wormwood has been an important medicinal plant as early as ancient China. It has a particular smell, has a good effect on repelling insects, and has acrid and warm properties, which can purify the air and have the effect of fragrance and clearing. Traditional Chinese medicine often uses mugwort leaves or moxa sticks for acupuncture or grass smoke, which can smooth the blood of the whole body, improve immunity, dispel wind and remove dampness, promote blood circulation and remove blood stasis. In addition, soaking hands and feet with dry wormwood can remove dampness and ward off cold.

Salted duck eggs are used to nourish yin and clear lungs

Besides eating zongzi, why do people eat eggs at the Dragon Boat Festival? This is also a diet that conforms to solar terms. In traditional Chinese medicine, egg yolk is a yin-nourishing drug, which has the effect of clearing away heat and detoxifying. In contrast, duck eggs are cool in nature and have a sweet taste, nourishing yin, and clearing the lungs.

Dragon boat racing is to keep blood flowing.

The custom of the Dragon Boat Festival is also related to sports, such as dragon boat racing. During Dragon Boat Festival, the yang energy is at its peak. The weather is hotter, and people are prone to irritability and depression. In summer, in addition to medicine, diet and peace of mind, exercise should also be strengthened simultaneously. Dragon boat rowing can make the whole body qi and blood unblocked, which can increase the function of the heart and lungs, regulate the metabolism of the spleen and stomach, and dissolve depression. When exercising, you can also be distracted and forget your unhappiness. We can use these "happy factors" to make our bodies healthier!



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