The Best Damp-Removing Porridge | 祛湿红豆粥

So, What is Dampness?

As Acupuncture Today summarizes: “Dampness can be thought of as the condition of “high humidity” inside the body. Symptoms can include a feeling of heaviness, swelling or water retention, distended abdomen, phlegm discharge, nodular masses, loose bowels and turbidity of fluids. Individuals with a dampness condition often have sluggish energy and easily gain weight. 

This recipe is the most classic one in TCM cuisine to help with excessive dampness in the body. Combining Pearl Barley and Azuki Beans together, this porridge benefits the spleen, takes out dampness, and makes you feel lighter in summer without having to go on a juice cleanse!

This recipe uses two of the most damp reducing ingredients: Pearl Barley and Adzuki Beans.


Pearl Barley 薏仁

Job’s Tear, coix seeds, or also called Chinese Barley is a common ingredient in Chinese medicinal cuisine and naturally gluten-free! They are easy to cook and have a pleasant, chewy, satisfying texture. They are sold in their dried form, and can be bought online or at an Asian market.

TCM Quality: sweet, neutral, cooling

Meridian Affiliation: lung, stomach, spleen

Usage: edema, dampness, spleen deficiency, urinary problems


Adzuki Beans 红豆

Widely used in Asian desserts in a sweet paste form, Azuki Beans are also good as a healthy legume to add to savory dishes. They are sold in their dried form. You can buy them online, at Whole Foods, or at an Asian market.

TCM Quality: slightly bitter, neutral, cooling

Meridian Affiliation: liver, spleen

Usage: amenorrhea, invigorate blood, organize Qi, high fiber



Written by Five Seasons TCM


Thank you for all this helpful information you posted.
I am unclear about what you are calling pearled barley. Pearled barley means the equivalent of white flour compared to whole wheat. Hulled barley means barley where the indigestible hull has been removed but the entire grain is still there. Or is this a completely different grain since it also lists Job’s tears as a name?

Janit London on May 04, 2023

How much or how often should I eat this damp reducing porridge to see its benefit?
Thank you

Deb on Mar 10, 2023

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