by Stephen Hoog
The daikon radish is a long white root vegetable sometimes up to a foot in length. It can be boiled, steamed, sauteed or pickled. It has pungent taste when raw and sweet taste when cooked. One of its main actions is to disperse animal fats that may have accumulated in and around organs When one eats a meal high in oil or fat it is beneficial to fine grate a daikon then add a few drops of good quality soy sauce or tamari. By eating this simple dish as a condiment the meal is more easily digested. Daikon radish, also, can be obtained in the dried form. Soaked and eaten as a vegetable this form can help dissolve fatty deposits deep in the body such as those found in the prostate ovaries or uterus. Fresh daikon is more helpful in dissolving fats in more superficial parts of the body but can have a general effect.
There are special radish drinks which can be used for other medicinal purposes . One for fever is called Daikon Drink #1. It is made by mixing 3 tbsps. grated radish, 1/4 tsp grated ginger and 2tsps. soy sauce. Then one pours 2-3 cups hot kukicha tea [twig tea] over it. It should be drunk warm–as much as possible. Then one should wrap oneself in a warm blanket or go to sleep. It makes you sweat and lowers body temperature. Some have used it for animal food poisoning and appendicitis. It is best used by strong and active people who get a fever from extreme foods. It shouldn’t be taken more than 3x a day.
Daikon Drink #2 is used to induce urination to relieve swollen feet or ankles. It is prepared by grating a 1/2 cup of radish and squeezing out the juice. Next one takes 2 tbsp of juice and adds 6 tbsp of hot water with a small amount of soy sauce or sea salt. This mix is brought to a boil and simmered for 1 minute, then drunk. It should be used only once a day and no more than three days in a row.
There is also a special carrot-daikon drink which helpful for liver problems and aids in discharging eggs, cheese and animal fats from almost any where in the body . It can dissolve calcified stones in the gall bladder and kidneys. It is being used for dissolving tumors and numerous other conditions. It is made by grating 1/2 cup each of carrots and daikon. This is put in a pan with 2 cups of water and brought to a slow boil. Then 1/3 sheet of nori seaweed and 1/3 of an umeboshi plum should be added. All ingredients are cooked for 3 minutes with a few drops of soy sauce included at the end. Everything then is eaten.
Numerous other daikon drinks can be prepared for varying conditions. Adding foods like shiitake mushrooms, lotus root, cabbage, burdock, or roasted rice to the drink can target a variety of organs and conditions.
Daikon leaves are not to be wasted, They are very valuable, They can be eaten as a vegetable, pickled, made into a tea or used as a compress[for allergies]. Daikon leaves can be boiled and made into a hip bath for warming the lower abdominal area which loosens stagnation in that area. Cysts and tumors are helped by this.
Daikon roots are pickled at old farmhouses by hanging the root up to dry for a few days until they are limp then placing in a crock. They are mixed with rice bran and salt and layered. The following year they are removed. These pickles are high in vitamins and minerals and digestives enzymes. They can be eaten one small slice at a time usually during the colder months.
Some local food stores carry daikon all year. Chinese stores often carry it. Locally grown is usually available in the fall . It is not always easy to grow the early varieties as they get buggy easily. Some farmers actually use daikon to loosen the soil so when they harvest it in the fall there is often an abundance of daikon available at farmers markets.
The list of use for the daikon is much longer than this article can cover..It is a fascinating common food that has marvelous healing properties and it needs no prescription to obtain.
The Macrobiotic Way of Eating involves assessing how one is making balance, both internally and in relationship to the environment then making choices to maintain that balance. It also involves seeing the situation in terms of energy. A formal consultation includes looking at a persons medical history, using oriental diagnosis such as facial clues and pulse reading, discussion of emotional factors and finally muscle testing to clarify what a persons individual needs are. In most cases the result is a recommendation for a plant based diet however some animal may be included if a person so desires as well as herbal supplements if needed. This way of eating is changing constantly throughout the seasons and as ones’ condition improves.