Monday, April 13, 2020


Right after reading the latest figures on Covid 19 yesterday and updating the counts (see here and here), I fixed myself some tea, simmering black tea, pu erh, and Chinese black dates.

'hak jou'

The fruit and its seeds are used in East Asian traditional medicine. They are said to alleviate stress, and allegedly are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, sedative, immune boosting, and promote rapid healing. Along with a modicum of licorice root (not glycyrrhiza glabra but glycyrrhiza uralensis; 甘草 'gam chou'), it is used in prescriptions to modulate and assist other herbs. It is particularly suitable for the elderly.
Also contains vitamins, calcium, and iron.
Nourishes kidneys and liver.
Good for the blood.

Normally the regular dried (red) ones are utized, which also add a sweetness.
The black variety is the same, but steamed, dried, and smoked.

I totally ignore the supposed healthful properties, and use them because I like their flavour. Which is probably the primary use of the fruit in any case.

'jam jau'

A very nice beverage can be made by filling a bottle one third full of these black dates, then pouring in rye whiskey and letting it steep for a month.
Sort of a home-made 烏棗酒 ('wu jou jau').

As I avoid alcohol nowadays (it interacts badly with some of my medications), I have not done so in a long time.

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