Usually during month of October and November. Trapa Bicornis (Ling Jiao) can be found in most of the market. The uniform in structure and shape looks like a bull’s horn, black in color, hard-shell and like a bat ~ We called it “Ling Jiao”, because its contour has the “the angle”, in Chinese called as “Jiao”.
What is Trapa bicornis
- Scientific name: Trapa Bicornis ~
- Also known as water caltrop, Jesuit nut, Ram Horn Nut, horned water chestnut,
- in Chinese name: Ling Jiao,
- Cantonese name it as “Ling Kok”,
- in Latin: Trapa bicornis.
Trapa Bicornis, Ram Horn Nut or Ling Jiao is plant grows in water with the leaves float on the water, and the fruits droop in the water. It can be cultivated as floating plants in aquarium, or in ponds. In slightly acidic water and gives full sun. Found in still and slow-moving water systems in warm temperate regions, its centre of origin is china, Taiwan and is used for food and medicinal plant or nut. Ling Jiao is a seasonal food in Taiwan for Mid-Autumn Festival Called “Water Caltrops Festival”.
Taiwan is the largest producer of Ling Jiao ~ water caltrops. The nut harvesting begins in from July and continues through fall, peaking around September and October.
Ling Jiao or Water Caltrop is primary growth in Europe and Asia. It grows in the pond, the river moors in the warm climate wet muddy land. This water plant growing from seeding, blossoms and bears fruit, only needs 90 to 120 days. And the harvest period to recovering time for next harvest is about 10 to 15 days, continuously harvest for 7 – 8 times in a harvest session up to 4 months.
Its Nutrients and healing effect
This raw nut, rich in carbohydrate and fat, protein, glucose, multivitamins, like Vitamin B1, B2, C, Calcium, Phosphorus and Iron. Its nutritional value may with other nuts set-off. The flesh of this nut is thick and rich nutty taste. Nature is cool, commonly use to allaying fever, quenches thirst, sobers up, detoxification and awake the brain, good for spleen, and may prevent and treat the chronic diarrhea. Good dietary foods as it is easily feeling full after ingestion, do not over consumption in order to avoid dyspepsia. It has anti-cancer, antipyretic (fever reducer) and tonic medicinal effect.
How about the taste, it is tasteless and shall be good to chop and add in to dishes to add flavor. Many Asians boil or steam them in the shell as a snack. You can also roast them and taste similar to chestnuts.
They are eaten whole or ground for flour, making into ice cream, soup, dessert, Jelly and healthy snack. We usually eat them as snack. It is famous street side roasted snack in China, Taiwan and Asia countries.
Multiples Medicinal Value in Ling Jiao:
• Bears the hunger, and enlivens
• Strengthen vital energy
• Clear heat and sober up
• Its sterilization, promotion wound healing, alleviation legs and waist physique sore
• Anticancer effect
The other benefits of taking it may increase the abdomen feeling full, and it’s not easy to pile up the fat, suitable in retinitis simplex obesity, losing weight as dietary food to replace the staple food.
In Chinese Herbal therapeutic way, it acts as medicinal herbs to treat cancer and also as anti-toxic food.
Good for the spleen and stomach, invigorate the kidney, and edible for treating lung and stomach cancer, carcinoma esophagi, rectal cancer and carcinoma of urinary bladder and so on has the auxiliary therapeutic healing action.
Ling Jiao Herbal recipe and cooking method:
Cooking Ling Jiao with Barley Soup or Porridge regular intakes is helpful to treat the lung cancer, stomach cancer, carcinoma of uterus, and breast cancer.
Ling Jiao Barley Soup or Porridge
- 200g Ling Jiao (removed hard-shelled),
- 30g of Barley,
- Water 1500cc
Method of cooking:
1. Wash and brush Ling Jiao with running water thoroughly, soak in salt water for ½ hour. Use the Ling Jiao with hard shell to cook with water.
2. After boiling for 20 minutes, remove the hard shell, use only the flesh and add in barley, Cook it for 1 hour. Boil it like soup or porridge. Add in rock sugar (optional).
3. Remove from heat and serve warm.
Benefits: It can strengthen the vision, also has certain inhibitory action to the cancer cell.
Recipe to Treat Excessive blood flows during Menstrual period
Ling Jiao brown sugar soup
- Ling jiao 250g
- Brown sugar 3 tbs.
- 1000cc water
1. Cleans and brush the Ling Jiao thoroughly, soak in salt water for ½ hour.
2. Bring water to boil, after boiling, put in Ling jiao to boil in low heat for 1 hour or till it is soften.
3. Add in brown sugar till dissolve. Remove from heat.
4. Eat the nuts and drink the soup.
Healing effect: Calms the nerves, control excessive flows of Menstruation blood.
Note: The brown sugar is named as “black sugar” and has rich glucose as well as vitamin and mineral substance.
In Chinese medicinal thought that black sugar is temperate, can be blood tonic profits for blood stagnation, and invigorate the spleen, stomach and Qi.
For treating Stomach and Gastric Ulcer
Simply cook the 120g of whole Ling Jiao with hard-shell in 1000cc of water. Boil in water for half hour.
Drink 1 cup of soup 3 times a day after three meals for one month.
To help in sober you up:
Add sugar to this drink, it quenches thirst and ease bothersome thirsty.
Note: Do not throw away the hard shell, as it is good medicine for treating gastric hemorrhage patient. Boil the hard shell with water and take it as tea.
Red Dates Goji Ling Jiao Soup
- Ling Jiao (remove hard-shell) 50g
- Red Dates 10g
- Wolfberry (Goji) 10g
- 2 Lemon slice
- Water 1500 cc
1. Put water in pot to boil, add in all ingredients to boil in low heat for 1 hour.
2. Remove from heat. eat all the ingredients and soup. Sever warm.
- Benefits: This soup has anticancer treatment effect, clear vision, make up the vitality, as the spleen host transports and controls the blood, the main muscle and four limbs, it benefits spleen then nutritious the whole body circulation function.
Ling Jiao Radix Astragali (Wang Qi) Soup
This soup has invigorates the kidney function, may treat the sychnuria and urination disorder, the wet dream, leucorrhea like whitish vaginal discharge.
- Ling Jiao (Water Caltrop) 200g
- Radix Astragali (Wang Qi) 15g
- Water 1500cc
Radix Astragali (Wang Qi) in Chinese medicinal effect is to restores vital energy, improve blood circulation, regular intake can strengthen the curative effect mutually.
In addition the US researchers also pointed out that the Radix Astragali may also treat other immune system disease, especially has the effect to the virulent infection and chronic illness.
1. Wash and Clean Ling Jiao with running water, soak in salt water for 1/2 hour.
2. Bring water to boil, Ling Jiao (Walter Caltrop) with hard shell to cook for 20 minutes.
3. Remove the Ling Jiao from pot, smashed open the hard shell with nut opener.
4. Put the hard shell and flesh back to the pot. Put in Radix Astragali herb and cook for another 1/2 hour.
5. Remove from heat, remove Radix Astragali and hard shell from the pot.
6. Serve warm. Eat the nuts and soup only.
Benefits: This soup has invigorates the kidney function, may treat the sychnuria and urination disorder, the wet dream, leucorrhea like whitish vaginal discharge.
The harmful side effect of taking raw with caution
Ling Jiao or Water Caltrop is nutritious and delicious food, cook them in the shell or peel them first. It needs to steam, boil, roasted or fried them before you can eat them, as it contains harmful toxins and harmful parasite in raw state, which can be vectors for trematodes of significance are intestinal fluke and liver fluke.
When eating them in raw try not to bites open the hard shell with your teeth, make sure you wash it with running water first, it is best to use nut opener or smashed to remove the hard shell and clean thoroughly with water again. Those water vegetables need to be carefully peeled and washed, always clean in running water and brush thoroughly then soak them in salt water to eliminate toxins. For the best is to neutralize it by heat or cooking it.
Ling Jioa or Water Caltrop contains toxins in raw which must be destroyed by boiling to render them safe to eat. Usually after removing the hard shell, make sure the fruit pulp or flesh must also flush again with water thoroughly. Otherwise, it is easy infected by harmful parasite.
Due to it grows in the ponds or contaminated water, like those water plant e.g water chestnut, water lotus, water lily and Water caltrop - Ling jiao as well, may be contaminated with tiny organism parasite, as the outer layer of its hard shell easy affected by numerous trematodes parasites, taking raw with unwashed Ling Jiao - Water Caltrop or any water plants may consumed infective parasite that transmitted to human body, trematodes causes disease to gastrointestinal like intestinal fluke that infection usually asymptomatic with malnutrition, the influence growth become emaciated may cause anemia, or anorexia.
This parasite itself has strong absorptivity attraction which adsorption firmly on human intestines wall, cause intestines mucous membrane inflammation, dropsy even forms ulcer. If one discovered that abdominal pain disgustingly with vomiting and diarrhea, bowel movement with foul-smelling, loose stools, unfortunately you may be affected by the harmful parasite from the hard shell of Ling Jiao or Water Caltrop. Therefore, take precaution when eating raw or unwashed Ling Jiao or Water Caltrop with proper preparation in cleansing and cooking it with hygienic way.
When taking Ling Jiao ~ Water Caltrop what need to remind that is has clearing heat and detoxification effect, in order to avoid causes distension of the abdomen do not over consumption with it.
For diabetic people, it is prohibited to over ingestion due to starch content is high, which may causes the instantaneous blood sugar to elevate and raised rapidly, the diabetic patient should take the right amount ingestion this nut and avoid taking excessively.
Restores vital energy with the traditional Chinese medicine, It is suggested that the “warm and cold” is best balanced in using herbal raw material. For the alternative healing effect and to avoid over reaction as the prescription may not suitable for certain people. Consult your physicians or doctor before taking any alternative healing remedies.
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