Congee: The Benefits Of The Ancient, Gut Healthy, Food

Congee: The Benefits Of The Ancient, Gut Healthy, Food

Congee: The Benefits Of The Ancient, Gut Healthy, Food 

In the realm of health foods, rice porridge might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, congee, a traditional Chinese rice porridge, has long been revered as a healing remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Unveiling the Fascinating Journey of Medicine and Congee

China, a timeless civilization renowned for its rich heritage, also boasts some of the most incredible culinary treasures in the world. With a recorded history spanning over 4,000 years, the influence of congee can be traced throughout the annals of Chinese culture.

The earliest written reference to congee can be found in the Book of Zhou, penned during the Tang dynasty, where it is mentioned that the Yellow Emperor crafted congee from grains.

Initially, congee served primarily as a nourishing food, but around 2,500 years ago, its role expanded to encompass medicinal applications.

In the legendary accounts of Bian Que, a revered physician chronicled in Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian, we discover that the celebrated Western Han doctor Chunyu Yi employed congee as a healing remedy for the King of Qi.
Furthermore, in the treatise On Cold Damage penned by the esteemed Eastern Han doctor Zhang Zhongjing, we find the statement, "Consuming cinnamon twig decoction with hot, watery congee enhances the medicinal effect."


This provides yet another example of congee's integration into the realm of medicine. It becomes evident that congee and Chinese medicinal herbs have intertwined throughout history, creating a harmonious alliance that endures to this day.

Not only does it offer comfort and nourishment, but it also provides relief for a troubled or fatigued digestive system.

Best of all, making congee at home requires just a handful of ingredients and a slow simmer on the stovetop, making it a budget-friendly option that can help restore balance and wellness. Say goodbye to complicated juicers and let's dive into the world of homemade congee!

Here are some benefits of incorporating congee into your diet:

  1. Digestive Support: Congee is renowned for its ability to soothe and support the digestive system. Its gentle nature makes it an ideal choice for those with digestive issues, such as an upset stomach, nausea, or a sensitive gut. It provides nourishment while giving your digestive system a break.

  2. Hydration and Nutrient Boost: By cooking rice in a generous amount of liquid, congee becomes a hydrating and nutrient-dense meal. As the rice cooks, it releases starches and nutrients into the liquid, creating a comforting and easily digestible porridge.

  3. Budget-Friendly and Versatile: One of the beauties of congee is its simplicity and adaptability. It can be made with basic pantry staples, and you can customize it with various toppings and additions to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs.

Congee with Chinese Medicine and Herbs


  • Ingredients:

    • 1 cup rice (preferably short-grain)
    • 6 cups water or vegetable broth
    • 1 tablespoon dried goji berries
    • 1 tablespoon dried lotus seeds
    • 1 tablespoon dried astragalus root
    • 1 tablespoon dried red dates
    • 1 tablespoon dried wolfberries (goji berries)
    • 1 teaspoon dried sliced ginger
    • Optional toppings: chopped green onions, sesame oil, tamari sauce, sliced boiled egg


  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, combine the rinsed rice, water (or vegetable broth), dried goji berries, dried lotus seeds, dried astragalus root, dried red dates, dried wolfberries, and dried sliced ginger.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with a lid, leaving a small gap for steam to escape.
  4. Allow the congee to simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and ensuring the rice breaks down into a creamy consistency. If the congee becomes too thick, you can add more water or broth.
  5. After the desired cooking time, remove the pot from heat. Let it cool slightly and adjust the consistency by adding more water or broth if needed.
  6. Serve the congee hot and garnish with optional toppings like chopped green onions, a drizzle of sesame oil, a splash of tamari sauce, or sliced boiled eggs.
  7. Enjoy the nourishing and comforting Congee with Chinese Medicine and Herbs!

Optional Toppings:

  • Sliced green onions
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Soy sauce or tamari
  • Soft-boiled eggs
  • Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, or basil)
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Crispy fried shallots
  • Sriracha or chili sauce (for a spicy kick)

Note: The mentioned Chinese herbs are known for their potential health benefits but should be consumed in moderation. It's always recommended to consult a healthcare professional or a licensed herbalist before incorporating new herbs into your diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

Enjoy the warm and comforting nourishment of homemade congee, and savor the simplicity and healing properties it offers.

In the world of health foods, it's important not to overlook the simple and humble dishes that have stood the test of time. Congee

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