Confinement period – predominantly a Chinese practice refers to the post natal care within the first month after childbirth. Chinese believe that the first month after childbirth is crucial as the new mother needs to be confined for rejuvenation of strength and vitality in order to prevent her from acquiring certain ailments like rheumatism or premature age-ing. During the confinement period, the new mother is provided with specialized food intended to help her recuperate faster as well as to enhance her body for milk production.
Confinement food recipes comprise of ingredients that are regarded by Chinese tradition as beneficial to refurbishing the body of a new mother with energy and nutrients. Get to know the different health benefits found in different ingredients that are present in your confinement food.
Black Vinegar – known for its therapeutic ability as it purifies the blood and cleanses the arteries. Usually used for recipes whose main ingredient is pork like Pork Knuckles in Ginger and Vinegar.
Old Ginger – Believed to dispel “wind” or gas in the body. This wind was acquired by the mother after birth and if not eradicated from the body, it may lead to ailments like aches and pains or rheumatism. It also aid in digestion and overall blood circulation.
Sesame Oil – Rich in vitamin E, iron and calcium that will provide nourishment and replenish the loss of nutrient after childbirth. It helps to improve circulation, overall strength and vitality. This ingredient is also used to suppress the “wind” in the body.”
Black Fungus – Full of rich iron content in it, perfect for cleansing the body and help to expel stale blood. It also helps to nourish the lungs, liver and stomach.
Chinese Wolfberry (Gou Qi) – A very common berry that has extraordinary benefits for woman. Wolfberries are extremely high in antioxidant, beneficial for delaying age-ing, boosting overall energy and improving internal strength. It is also consumed to promote good eyesight.
Dang Gui – (Angelica) A traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for century as a herbal remedy. It is commonly used for enhancing blood circulation and reduce chest pain. Known as a blood tonic that can help to relieve menstrual pain and cramping and regulate menstrual cycle.
Red Dates – The Chinese regard red dates as a superfood as it has a cure-all benefit. Red Dates are renowned for enriching and replenishing blood. It also help to strengthen the stomach, nourish and increase blood circulation, tranquilize the mind and improve overall well-being.
Tumeric (Haldi) – Packed with essential minerals and vitamins such as vitamins B6 and C, fibre, potassium, magnesium and manganese, a great spice that has healing effect and can be used to heal post-natal wounds.
Black Bean – An excellent source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and rich in fibre and folate and boosts blood circulation due to its iron concentration. Its nutritional antioxidants help to restore mother’s overall health.
Lily Flower – Lily is perfect for calming the nerves that were stressed out during birth. The dried petals of lily flowers can help to relieve liver stagnation.
Dried Longan – This ingredient promotes a restful sleep as it reinforces the heart and the spleen for better blood-building functions. It is helpful to reduce stress and improve blood circulation.
Encommiae Bark or Du Zhong – This is a warm and calming effect, great ingredient used in cooking to help to reduces stress and tension. It is a fantastic tonic for strengthening the kidneys which also aids in reliving back aches after childbirth.
Pepper – Naturally endowed with anti-bacterial benefits that cleanse and promote good digestive tract health. Pepper helps to drive out the “wind” trapped in the body after childbirth and promotes regularly bowel movement.
Polygonum (He Shou Wu) – Popular tonic for hair nourishment. It helps to reduces post natal hair loss. It also help to maintain internal strength and vitality.
The Chinese tradition focuses on women’s health as it came out with certain confinement food recipes for the new mother to refurbish her strength and health for a longer journey to parenting.