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Water chestnut, bi qi

Water chestnut

Heleocharis tuberosa schultes, BI QI

 

The water chestnut, bi qi, is also known as ma ti (horse hoof). It grows in water and has delicate leaves and stems. The edible part is in the corm, which grows in the mud and is shaped like a flattened ball.


The top of the corm has a pointed sprout on it. The surface of the corm is dusty red or dusty brown and when dry appears to have stripes around it. A light brown thin membrane is attached to these stripes.


Inside the corm the flesh is pale pink, containing a lot of juice, and of sweet flavor. The corms are dug up in the autumn. The fruit's flavour is sweet but insipid and of a cool nature.


The water chestnut can cool a fever, reduce phlegm, promote saliva and help lower blood pressure. It contains starch, protein, fat, calcium, phosphorous, iron, vitamin C, etc.

APPLICATIONS
1. HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. Take 60 grams of water chestnut and 30 grams of fresh orange peel. Add water, steam till cooked and serve. Do this every day two or three times.

2. INFLAMED FEELING IN THE LUNGS, WITH COUGHING; THICK PHLEGM AND DIFFICULTY IN COUGHING. Take one cup of water chestnut juice and 1-5 grams of powdered chuan bei (tendril-leaved fritillary bulb, Bulbus fritillariae cirrhosae). Mix together and serve. Make up the whole quantity 2-3 times a day.

3. MENINGITIS, PREVENTION; PREVENTION OF EPIDEMIC CEREBROSPINAL MENINGITIS. To be taken in advance of an epidemic. Take 16 grams of water chestnut and 30 grams of raw gypsum (Gypsum fibrosum) ointment. Add water and steam till cooked. Serve daily for ten days.

4. PAINFUL THROAT, SORE MOUTH AND TONGUE. Take 60-90 grams of water chestnuts, remove the skins and slowly chew and eat. Do this every day, both morning and evening.

5. FEVER WITH THIRST. Take fresh water chestnuts, mash to a pulp and squeeze out the juice. Drink one cupful three times a day. Alternatively take 250 grams of fresh water chestnut and an appropriate amount of sugar cane, simmer with water and drink in place of tea.

6. URINE RED IN COLOUR; OLIGURIA WITH REDDISH URINE; ASTRINGENT PAIN WHEN URINATING. Take 250 grams of water chestnut and wash but do not discard skin, plus 30 grams of cogongrass rhizone (Imperata cylindrica var. major). Crush and mash together and add 250 grams of cold boiled water. Strain through clean gauze to obtain the juice. Drink this amount of juice every day in the morning and again in the evening.

7. JAUNDICE. Take 15 grams of asiatic plantain (Plantago asiatica), 15 grams of Japanese St. Johns wort (Hypericum japonicum), cover with water and simmer till cooked. Add one cup of the juice of fresh water chestnuts. Take this 3 times daily.

8. MEASLES. Take 90 grams of water chestnut and 15 grams of Chinese tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis), simmer with water and drink in the place of tea.

9. HAEMORRHOIDS, SORE AND BLEEDING. Take 90 grams of water chestnut, discard the skin and eat. Do this daily in the morning and evening.

WARNING
If suffering from a deficiency of spleen-yang avoid eating water chestnuts.

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