Scallions for cold, allergies and digestion
In TICM each food provides a certain essence and internal reaction to the body. Just as we use herbs medicinally, these categories allow us to classify foods and use them for specific purposes, in addition to their taste If you are familiar with Islamic and Chinese traditional cooking, you know that scallions are used consistently from dressings to marinades, soups, pancakes and more. Scallions are perhaps used far more than other aromatic as they are eaten in the same way as vegetables are.
Scallions, also known as Cong Bai in Chinese or green onions, have hollow green leaves like regular onions, but are used before the bulb develops. They are eaten both raw and cooked and can be cut and prepared in many different ways. Their warming essence and fantastic qualities have made them a staple in traditional cooking for thousands of years.
The foods that correspond to spring season are described as green and pungent. These foods support the Liver and Gallbladder systems. A scallion has both a green stem and white bulb. Usually the white part is cooked and the green is eaten raw as garnish. The white bottoms support the Lung with their warm and spicy essence, while the green tops nourish the Liver.
According to TICM, scallions main actions relieve exterior and disperse wind cold through sweating. Scallions vitalise our internal warm energy(Yang Qi) and dissolve cold. They can also remove the toxicity of swollen areas.
Symptoms treated: used to treat the beginning stages of discomfort that affect the upper respiratory tract, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the throat or the skin. These include the common cold, Stomach discomfort, nasal congestion, sores and abscesses. This is why for anyone who is experiencing the first signs of fever or cold, to have a hot bowl of miso soup with extra scallions is a very powerful way to expel it.
Colds and allergies only disrupt the body when our internal environment or immune system is overwhelmed or not strong enough to stand up to the external environment we are in. Warming herbs are used to create sweat to release the pathogens in hopes to stop further invasion.
In our modern world, most people tend to suffer from warm (Yang) deficiency which is lacking internal fire. Our Yang, or our fire, must always be burning for proper digestion and overall function, for our body not to rely on using our reserved energy to perform. If you suffer from cold hands/feet, aversion to cold particularly around the waist and back area, knee pain, fatigue, loose stools, frequent urination at night, pale skin and a puffy tongue with teethmarks at the edge, it would be beneficial to add scallions to your diet.
More benefits with scallions are a rich source of phytochemicals, especially flavonoid compounds such as quercetin and anthocyanins which help prevent cancer by inhibiting xanthine oxidase, an enzyme that produces free radicals that can damage DNA and cellular tissue. They support bone health because of their high levels of vitamins K and C are crucial for the growth, development and maintenance of strong bones. Scallions support eye health because one green onion stalk contains 24 micrograms of vitamin A in the form of provitamin A carotenoid compounds that the body converts to retinol, the active form of the vitamin.