Recipes for a happy, healthy uterus

Food is Medicine – recipes for a Happy, healthy uterus

To help ease cramps during your period, in general, look for foods that warm the body, circulate Qi and Blood. You also want to look for foods that are good for the Kidneys, Liver and Spleen – these are the three most important organs that regulate our hormones and reproductive system.

Some examples of foods that are good for the Kidneys are black and purple foods like black sesame, black rice, black beans, dark berries like blackberries and blueberries. Also the Kidneys are associated with the water element, so foods from the sea and naturally salty foods are good for them.

The Liver is associated with the Wood element, the color green and sour flavor. Dark leafy greens such as kale, collards and Swiss chard, as well as sour things like lemons and fermented foods are great for the Liver.

The Spleen is associated with the Earth element, the colors orange and yellow and the sweet flavor. Foods such as apricots, yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and garbanzo beans are good for the Spleen. Remember to choose foods that are naturally sweet, even if you crave lots of sugar during your period. Inflammation and pain conditions are made worse by sugar and white flour.

Healthy muffins for a happy uterus

 happy, healthy uterus muffin

happy, healthy uterus muffin

My friend Tanya Merchant loves to bake and baking is one of the ways she shows love. Whenever a friend is having period problems, recovering from surgery, or trying to get pregnant, she’ll make them healthy uterus muffins, using some of the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). “The important ingredients are oats, walnuts, blackstrap molasses, black sesame, and then a bunch of warming spices: cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, and fresh ginger,” she says. You can add the above combination to any of your favorite baked good recipe. (I am gluten-free so I’m using a coconut-flour based muffin recipe here.)

So before we get to the recipe, let’s break it down TCM-nerd style and see what all of the ingredients are good for. In Helping Ourselves: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics, Daverick Leggett lists foods according to temperature, flavor, what acupuncture channels they affect. Each food also has a specific action on the body, including strengthening Yang, Qi, Yin, counteracting Cold or Heat or Damp, resolving Phlegm, circulating Qi and Blood. Here’s what the ingredients of this recipe look like according to TCM principles.

Apples – cool, sour and sweet, go to the Heart, Lung and Stomach, strengthens Yin, counteracts heat

Black sesame – neutral, sweet, goes to the Kidneys and Liver, strengthens Yin and Blood

Blackstrap molasses – warm and sweet, goes to the Kidney, Liver, Spleen, strengthens Qi and Blood

Cardamom – warm, bitter, pungent, sweet, goes to the Lungs and Spleen, resolves Phlegm and circulates Qi

Cinnamon – hot, bitter, pungent, goes to the Kidneys, Lung and Spleen, Strengthens Yang, counteracts Cold and Damp and circulates Qi

Clove – warm, pungent, goes to Kidneys, Spleen and Stomach, strengthens Yang, counteracts Cold and circulates Qi

Coconut – warm and sweet and goes to the Heart

Ginger – warm, pungent, goes to Lung, Spleen, Stomach, counteracts Cold and Phlegm

Nutmeg – warm, pungent, goes to Large Intestine, Spleen, strengthens Yang, circulates Blood and Qi, counteracts Cold

Pumpkin seeds – neutral, bitter and sweet, go to the Large Intestine and Spleen

Walnuts – warm and sweet, go to the Kidneys and Lungs, helps strengthen Yang, Qi and Yi, counteracts Cold and resolves Phlegm

(variation with Oats – warm and sweet, go to the Kidneys and Spleen, help strengthen Blood and Qi, promotes Qi circulation)

OK, on to the yummy part, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

5 eggs

1 cup minus 1 TBSP applesauce

½ cup coconut flour

Spices: 2-3 TBSP cinnamon, 2 TBSP cardamom, ½ tsp clove, ½ tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger

Nuts and seeds: ½ cup chopped walnuts, ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup black sesame seeds

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup coconut oil

3 TBSP blackstrap molasses

pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil.
  3. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl, adding the nuts and seeds last. If your coconut oil is easy to scoop, it will be easy to blend. If it’s hard, then melt it before mixing in.
  4. Let sit 5 minutes
  5. Scoop into muffin tins
  6. Bake 12-15 minutes until they start to brown
  7. Let cool before eating. Enjoy!

Yield: 2 ½ dozen mini-muffins

You can find some of Tanya Merchant’s recipes in The Ethnomusicologists’ Cookbook, Volume II: Complete Meals from Around the World.

My version of her recipe is modified from “Apple Cinnamon coconut flour muffins” on wellnessmama.com

Denise Cicuto