Warming Herbal Tea

Does winter chill you to the bone? Warm yourself with ginger and cinnamon,
or make a Chai (instructions in packet available at Freedom Chinese Medicine)

Ginger and cinnamon are very warming. They can be added (in small portions) to slow cooked stews, soups and broths.  According to Chinese medicine, fresh ginger brings the body’s heat to the
skin’s surface. It invigorates the immune system and helps us feel protected from the winter’s chill. Dried ginger produces a much stronger, more intense
heat. Cinnamon warms from within, and is especially helpful for people who suffer from pain in the lower back and cold arms and legs during winter.

Winter Warming Tea packets & recipe available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $11.50.

Contact us on 9486 5966 if you’d like us to put some aside for you.

Sugar Free Rhubarb & Apple Pie

apple pie

By: Bark Time


For the pastry:
1 1/3 cup/200g/7oz All purpose flour
200g/7oz unsalted butter, cubed
5 tbsp/ Natvia
1 ea Egg yolk
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 drops Vanilla essence
For the filling:
350g/ Rhubarb
350g Apples
1 tbsp/14g/0.5oz Natvia
1 tsp Cinnamon
Few handfuls of desiccated coconut


1. Sift the flour Into a large mixing bowl add the Natvia sweetener and combine, add the baking powder and vanilla essence and finally add the cubed butter. Bring all the ingredients together and add the egg yolk. Once you have a smooth and even pastry for our base split it into two halves and place in the fridge to settle.
2. Preheat the oven to 160C.
3. Wash and peel the rhubarb and apples, then trim the rhubarb and core/deseed the apples. Once cleaned up then chop them all up into small cubes.
4. Place them in a saucepan, add Natvia sweetener and cinnamon and gently cook until the fruit becomes soft, stir gently as you don’t want to turn the fruit into a mush.
5. Remove from the heat and put aside.
6. Prepare a small cake frame (around 12” X 12”) by lining with baking paper. Retrieve one half of your pastry from the fridge. Fill the bottom of your baking trey with a thin layer of the pastry either by rolling it out (if you are adept with a rolling pin) or just by patching piece by piece with your fingers (if you are not) – your pastry should be very easy to work with so this isn’t difficult.
7. Next cover your pastry with a thin layer of desiccated coconut then on top of your coconut layer spoon some of the stewed fruit filling; then again cover with a thin layer of desiccated coconut.
8. Take the second half of your pastry from the fridge so it is as chilled as it can be and using the “big eyes” on your grater grate all over the top.
9. Pop it into the oven and allow to cook for 30-35 minutes or until a nice golden colour.
10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
11. Sprinkle with Natvia sweetener to give it a nice dusted finishing look. Enjoy!

Harira – Morroccan chickpea and lentil soup


Harira is served during Ramadan as the first dish at the ‘breaking of the fast’ when the sun goes down. It is found on Morroccan menus all through the year, a perennial favourite that is varied from one household to another. It is hearty and delicious and seems to fulfil every need we have from food.

Here is a simple version.


  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 500gm of chicken thigh, diced (optional) and seasoned
  • 1 pinch of saffron thread, soaked in warm water
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • ¼ cup French lentils
  • 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2cm knob of ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 litre of stock (veg or chicken)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 handful of coriander, chopped


  1. In the soup pot, brown the chicken lightly and remove
  2. Sweat the onions and then add vegetables.
  3. Add spices including saffron
  4. Add stock, tomatoes, French lentils and chickpeas. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Add chicken and simmer for a further 10 minutes
  6. Add lemon juice
  7. Serve in bowls with coriander on top

Recipe by:

Dr Christine Lee

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

Dr Christine Lee has been practising as an acupuncturist and a Chinese herbalist since 2008. She graduated RMIT with a double degree in Applied Science (Chinese Medicine and Human Biology) and has completed further studies and a hospital internship in Nanjing, China.

Chicken and Veg with Rice Noodles


  • 300gm chicken (or other protein)
  • 500gm vegetables (carrot, broccoli, celery)
  • 500gm fresh rice noodle
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2-3 slices of fresh ginger
  • Oyster sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Cut chicken into pieces and season with minced garlic, a splash of sesame oil and fish sauce.
  2. Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces and blanch or steam till just before desired crunchiness
  3. Remove rice noodle from the packet and use your hands to tear the strips apart. Having the noodle loose and separated will mean that they don’t get gluggy when cooking.
  4. Microwave the noodle for 60 seconds to pre-soften.
  5. Heat up a wok and add vegetable oil. When the oil is steaming, add chicken and brown. Remove while it’s still pink inside and not completely cook. The chicken will release juices, keep the juices too.
  6. Wipe clean the wok and add more oil. Add noddles and stir-fry vigourously for 1-2 minutes, taking care to avoid the noodles sticking too much to the wok.
  7. Add vegetables, chicken and oyster sauce. Keep stirring with spatula vigourously to avoid noodle sticking to the wok (some always sticks, so don’t get too bothered if you see this).
  8. Serve in a dish to share

Recipe by:

Dr Christine Lee

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

Dr Christine Lee has been practising as an acupuncturist and a Chinese herbalist since 2008. She graduated RMIT with a double degree in Applied Science (Chinese Medicine and Human Biology) and has completed further studies and a hospital internship in Nanjing, China.

Raynaud’s Disease


Raynaud’s Disease (RD) is diagnosed when a patient has recurring episodes of Raynaud’s Phenomenon (RP), where they suffer from constriction of the arteries supplying blood to the fingers and toes. This results in colour changes of the digits: either paleness or deep purple/blue, pain and numbness, and lack of strength or ability to use the fingers, as in opening a jar.

It often occurs after exposure to cold or after significant emotional stress.¹

RD can be categorised as either:

Primary – where no known cause can be established, and no obvious structural issues with vasculature can be detected, or

Secondary– where it is accompanied with autoimmune conditions such as Scleroderma or Lupus, where structural abnormalities of the blood vessels are present.

Pharmaceutical based treatments are based on medications that focus on relaxing the blood vessels such as calcium channel blockers or alpha-adrenergic blockers.²

Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) practitioners have been prescribing herbs for coldness of the limbs for centuries.³ In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory the symptoms of RD can be caused by a few physiological disruptions to the body. Primarily there is a blockage in the flow of Qi and blood through the meridians to the fingers and toes, resulting in poor circulation and lack of nourishment of the tissues.

Two of the mechanisms that may be involved is usually either a deficiency of the Yang energy of the body, the warming energy of in TCM theory which also assists in the movement of energy; or there can be an invasion of a cold pathogen which blocks the flow of qi. blood or yang qi in the meridians.

CHM has many formulas prescribed for centuries to warm and move the Yang energy of the body, circulate qi and blood through the meridians to the extremities, and to expel any cold pathogen that may be trapped in the body.

In TCM theory, Acupuncture has the ability to assist in resolving issues with qi and blood flow and to dispel cold pathogens, and tonify Yang qi. One study showed positive results for treatment of symptoms of RD with acupuncture and the effect lasted up to 10 months after treatment.

Techniques including massage and moxibustion have been traditionally used to warm the meridians and promote the flow of Qi throughout the body.


(1) Kumar, P. J., & Clark, M. L. (2002). Kumar & Clark clinical medicine. Edinburgh, Saunders.

(2) Appiah R., Hiller S., Caspary L, Alexander K., & Creutzig A. (1997). Treatment of primary Raynaud’s syndrome with traditional Chinese acupuncture. Journal of Internal Medicine; 241: 119±124

(3) Dharmananda, S. 2002 Raynaud’s Disease: Chinese Medical Perspective. Internet Journal Of The Institute For Traditional Medicine And Preventive Health Care


This article written by:

Dr Jason Callanan

Chinese Medical Herbalist, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist

Jason has been practising Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 10 years. In addition to his Acupuncture degree, he has also completed a Masters in Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Jason was first introduced to Acupuncture more than 25 years ago when he received treatment for a back injury he was told would need surgery; instead he received six sessions of acupuncture which successfully resolved the issue. Following this experience, he developed a strong passion and interest in Chinese Medicine.

His treatments may include Acupuncture, Massage, Chinese Herbal Medicine, nutritional support and exercise advice to treat illness, as well as maintaining wellness and vitality.

Jason is available:

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday
Call (03) 9486 5966

Steamed whole fish – Chinese style

This recipe is incredibly simple. It involves no technique, but it can take a couple of tries to master the timing.

The only tricky part is finding a dish that fits your fish and also fits your steamer. The dish needs to be deep, as the steamed fish will release juices. If the fish is too big, cut it in half and it will fit into a round dish.

Great fresh and locally available fish to try are snapper and barramundi.


  • One whole fish 700-800gm (cleaned and gutted)
  • 4cm ginger – peeled and sliced into fine batons
  • 2 scallions spring onion – cut into fine batons
  • Coriander – small handful chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil


  1. Using the back of a knife, check that all the scales have been removed. Cut off the dorsal and side fins (tail and head too, if desired). Make sure the fish has been completely gutted.
  2. Rinse the fish and pat dry with a paper towel
  3. Place the fish in your serving dish and steam for 8 minutes
  4. Uncover the fish and carefully remove from heat
  5. Pour off the fish broth to save**
  6. Cover the fish with garnishes (ginger, spring onion and coriander)
  7. Heat the oil in a pan till bubbling and pour over the fish
  8. Pour over with soy sauce
  9. Serve with a spoon to be shared at the table

**The fish broth is incredibly nutritious. We usually drink it at the table, but it can also be reserved for soups, stews etc…

Recipe by:

Dr Christine Lee

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

Dr Christine Lee has been practising as an acupuncturist and a Chinese herbalist since 2008. She graduated RMIT with a double degree in Applied Science (Chinese Medicine and Human Biology) and has completed further studies and a hospital internship in Nanjing, China.

Five Seed & Spelt Crackers


A recipe (originally from Donna Hay) that has stormed the internet. Too good not to pass on. These seeded crackers are wholesome, delicious and easier to make than going to the shops to buy someone else’s.


  • 1/2 cup sunflower kernels
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup flaxseeds
  • 3 tbsp black chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp salt flakes plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix
  3. Add oil & water and mix into a dough
  4. Halve the dough and place one half between two sheets of baking paper
  5. Roll the dough into a sheet about 3mm thick. Make sure the flat dough is rolled into a shape that can bake in your baking dish
  6. Place onto baking dish and remove top layer of baking paper
  7. Lightly score the dough to make some snap lines when the crackers are cooked
  8. Sprinkle with some extra sea salt
  9. Repeat with second half of the dough
  10. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown.

Now to decide what to have them with! Enjoy 🙂

Broccoli Pasta

Fresh broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables. This pasta recipe is so quick and easy and a great way to dress it up so even the kids will love it!


  • 2 to 3 heads of broccoli (cut the florets into bite-sized pieces)
  • 100g long spaghetti
  • 1 large white potato (cubed)
  • 2 to 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Grana padano parmesan cheese (grated)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a small frypan heat approx 1/2 cup olive oil and sauté the crushed garlic
  2. Bring large pot of water to boil
  3. Add potato allow to come to boil again
  4. Add Broccoli and pasta bring to boil, cook until pasta is al dente
  5. Drain most of the water keepi
  6. ng about 3cm at the bottom of the pot
  7. Return the pot to a low flame and add the oil and sautéed garlic along with 1/4 cup or more of parmesan. If it appears a little dry add a little of the kept water.
  8. Add salt and pepper then serve ?

Recipe by: Mary Caia-Boustead


Acupuncture for labour induction

A lot of pregnant patients arrive at acupuncture due to a referral from a mid-wife, obstetrician or a recommendation from a friend. They have a vague idea that it will help with back pain, relaxation or birth induction. But mostly it’s another check in the box of what expectant mothers should do before the baby arrives. Here is a brief explanation of why acupuncture is recommended to prepare for childbirth.

Acupuncture aims to reduce labour time

Acupuncture is recommended weekly from Week 36 to prepare for birth. The aim is for an efficient, natural labour that avoids escalation of hospital interventions.

Each woman and each pregnancy is different and treatments are tailored for each case.

To provide women with the strength and stamina to get through child-birth, we address fatigue, musculoskeletal pains and metabolic issues.

To encourage a positive and calm approach, we help to remove stress and anxieties. We want mothers to walk out with all their muscles relaxed. This work is mostly achieved with acupuncture needles, but can also involve discussion of potential and realistic options that women face at childbirth.

One study[1] in 1998 showed that acupuncture from 36 weeks reduced the duration of the first stage of labour. The acupuncture group showed a median duration of labour of 196 minutes, while the control group had a median duration of 321 minutes.

For a more in-depth discussion of acupuncture reducing labour time, read this fantastic research article by accomplished mid-wife and acupuncturist – Debra Betts.

Acupuncture is used to induce labour

Generally speaking, mum and baby will induce labour when it’s time for labour.

However, we see a number of acupuncture inductions in clinic, mostly it is used to avoid hospital inductions, or the need for further invasive interventions.

An interesting study[2] on acupuncture used for labour induction showed significant effect on cervical ripening. One randomised group of women receiving acupuncture every second day from their due date, went into labour on an average of 5 days afterwards. The control group went into labour on average of 7.9 days after due date.

Acupuncture can help with pain and discomfort

Most women will try to endure pain during pregnancy. However, it can be severely disruptive, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks or get enough sleep.

Pregnancy brings significant changes in centre of balance, increase in fluid production as well as the increase of relaxin circulating throughout the body. It is easy for women to find themselves in pain. In clinic, we frequently see:

  • Back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Carpal tunnel

Acupuncture has been shown to provide relief for back pain in pregnant women. A recent study compared pain experiences of pregnant women receiving acupuncture compared to women using conventional treatment (pain medication).[3] It showed that over 8 weeks, 78% women receiving acupuncture reported significant pain relief. This is compared to 15% of the women taking pain medication.

How wonderful to have a drug-free option that performs even better than the drugs!

f you’d like to try Acupuncture for your labour induction. Contact us on 9486 5966 or click here to book online.

Article written by:

Dr Christine Lee

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

Dr Christine Lee has been practising as an acupuncturist and a Chinese herbalist since 2008. She graduated RMIT with a double degree in Applied Science (Chinese Medicine and Human Biology) and has completed further studies and a hospital internship in Nanjing, China.

Christine has extensive experience working in acupuncture general practice. She has worked with a broad range of patients: from children to seniors, from athletes to people with severe disability or complex chronic illnesses. She has special interest in treating women’s health, senior’s health, digestion, mental health and pain conditions.


[1] Tempfer C, Zeisler H, Mayerhofe Kr, Barrada M Husslein P. Influence of acupuncture on duration of labour Gynecol Obstet Invest 1998; 46:22-5

[2] Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P. Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labour at term – a randomised controlled trail. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2001; 113 (23-24): 942-6

[3] Guerreiro da Silva JB1, Nakamura MU, Cordeiro JA, Kulay L Jr. Acupuncture for low back pain in pregnancy–a prospective, quasi-randomised, controlled study. Acupunct Med. 2004 Jun; 22(2):60-7.




Italian style seafood salad

seafoood salad

Easy & Elegant

Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time: 10mins
Serves 4

1 red capsicum
½ red chilli
1 zucchini
1 small red onion
1 large clove garlic
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & black pepper
225 g ready-prepared small squid
3 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 teaspoons lemon juice
225g peeled, cooked prawns
50g rocket
3 tablespoons shredded fresh basil


1. Deseed capsicum. Deseed and finely chop chilli. Trim zucchini. Peel onion. Peel and crush garlic. Cut capsicum, zucchini and onion into 2.5cm pieces and put in a bowl. Stir in 4 tablespoons olive oil. Season and toss well.

2. Heat a large pan or wok until very hot. Add capsicum, zucchini and onion mixture. Stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until softened. Remove and allow to cool.

3. Carefully cut the squid across into 1 cm thick slices. Drain tomatoes and cut into strips. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in pan or wok. Add squid. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove. Allow to cool. Put remaining olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Season and whisk well. Put cooled vegetables and squid in a large bowl.

Stir in the garlic, chilli, prawns, rocket and basil. Drizzle with oil and lemon dressing, season and toss to coat. Serve at once.

Per Serving: 1575kg, Protein 24g, Carbohydrate 5g, Fat 29g, Fibre 3g, Sodium 1.1g