Congee: Medicinal Properties & Recipe

Shi-fan, or “water rice”, is a thin porridge made primarily from rice and water, typically eaten for breakfast 

Traditional breakfast.Homemade rice porridge on wood

What are the health benefits?

 -Easy to digest and to absorb its nutrients

-Strengthens both Qi and Blood, often used as preventative medicine

-Tones and harmonizes the digestive system, also known as the Middle Burner

-Helps to promote urination

-Can add other ingredients to change/enhance medicinal properties

Medicinal properties of foods that can be added to congee:

Dry Ginger CongeeDeficient and cold digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion
Scallion Bulb Congee Treats Cold Diarrhea in the elderly
Carrot CongeeTreats abdominal digestion with gas, helps to relieve cough
Cinnamon CongeeWarms the interior, promotes Qi circulation
Red Date Congee Nourishes Blood, soothes the nerves, aids in indigestion due to deficiency
Aduki Bean CongeeRemoves Damp; useful for edema, gout, Kidney and Bladder issues
Celery CongeeCooling, lowers blood pressure 
Mung Bean CongeeCooling, treats Summer Heat 
Kidney CongeeNourishes Kidneys, useful in deficiency conditions of impotence, chronic low back pain, weak knees
Black Sesame Seed CongeeMoistens intestines, treats rheumatism
Sweet Rice CongeeVomiting, diarrhea, indigestion


In a lidded pot, mix 1 cup rice with 5-6 cups water (and any additional ingredients) over the lowest flame. Simmer for 4-6 hours. You can also use a crockpot on the lowest setting (use more water). Congee can be reheated.