During the recent haze, I boiled a lot of herbal drinks and soups to ward off coughs and sore throas. This Lo Han Guo and Watercross Herbal Drink is a good remedy for those extremely hot and hazy weather.
Lo Han Guo (or sometimes referred to as monk fruit) is a popular dried fruit that is widely used in Chinese herbal drinks. It is available in Chinese medicinal shops and the dried foods section in most supermarkets.
The fruit contains compounds that make it intensely sweet, yet it has anti-hyperglycemic benefits that makes it suitable for diabetics. Lo Han Guo is particularly helpful in alleviating coughs and sore throats due to its cooling properties.
Paired with watercress - another vegetable that is known for its cooling and nourishing benefits, this herbal drink is suitable for most ages and health condition. I've also added dried almond seeds (sweet and bitter almond) which moisten the lungs and reduce production of phlegm, especially in children.
Lo Han Guo and Watercress Herbal Drink
- 2 small lo han guo, rinsed
- 1 medium size bunch of watercress, rinsed
- 5 medium size dried honey dates, rinsed
- 6 small red dates, rinsed
- Handful of dried almond seeds (sweet and bitter almonds), rinsed
- 1.8 litres of water
1. Fill a deep pot with the water. Crack open the lo hon guo and scrap out the seeds, breaking them apart into smaller clumps. Add into the pot together with all the other ingredients.
2. Bring the water to a boil, turn down to simmer for 1 hour.
3. Using the back of a ladle, press the already softened honey dates against the pot to flatten and release all of the sweetness. Cover and switch off the fire, letting it steep for another half hour. Strain and serve warm.