Congee as Food is Medicine

Congee is 'food as medicine' at its absolute best. 

It is delicious, light and nourishing.

The Stomach & Spleen

These are the organs of our digestion.  To clarify, the Stomach is a hollow yang organ with the function to receive, rot, and ripen food and drink, into neutral qi.   Meanwhile, its Yin partner the Spleen has the function of transforming and transporting the nutrients from this food around the body.

The Cauldron

Imagine your gut as a cauldron, we do not want to assault it with cold food and liquids.  These need to be body temperature to break down properly. How effective this process depends on the nature of the food, how well it has been chewed, and how strong Stomach and Spleen Qi is.  For more on how to support our gut go HERE

Grains are rich in Qi & can weaken a digestive system if not prepared properly.

Congee is a slow cooked food, and that means the rice breaks down into a different substance altogether.  Therefore, it is vital to have a long cooking process, at the very least overnight. 

This is one of the oldest fermented foods.

Being fermented means its easier to digest and the Stomach is strengthened because it can immediately begin the rotting and ripening process.

This recipe is especially beneficial to those with weak digestive systems or acute illness.

The mild, plain tasting congee makes the perfect backdrop for the addition of other foods, herbs, stocks, and broths. It is so simple and easy,  you can prepare this overnight and have a warm breakfast ready for you first thing in the morning.

Benefits of Congee

Eating congee helps to resolve and prevent phlegm and dampness, something the Western diet is prolific in. Sugary, cold cereals are the worst thing to break your fast and feed your gut. These sugary, sweet, and empty calorie breakfasts play havoc with your blood sugar levels and leave you nutritionally needing more. Skipping breakfast is a sure way to weaken your Spleen.

Important note: Those who do not crave breakfast are already Spleen Qi deficient. 

You should have a little congee every morning and you will soon regain your appetite.

Basic Congee Preparation

you will need:

One cup of polished (white) rice.

approx. 7 cups of water or broth.

Put in a slow cooker overnight.

1) Put the rice and water in a slow‑cooker, crockpot, or lidded casserole dish in your oven at 85 to 95 degrees Celsius and cook for four to eight hours. This is a perfect dish to put together at bedtime and leave cooking overnight so that it is finished in time for breakfast.

Congee will keep for two to three days at room temperature and longer if kept in the refrigerator.


The art of fermentation; an in-depth exploration of essential concepts and processes from around the world. Sandor Ellix Katz. Chelse Green. 2012. ISBN 978-1-60358-286-5


Copyright: Catherine Argyros ,The Barefoot Doctor I Wellness I Heart Driven Services 2019

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  • Ana Irene says:

    Hi Katerina! Wonderful website! I love it!
    I will make my first congee tonight.
    One question: do you rinse the rice before
    putting it to cook?
    (I always rinse my rice before i cook it but maybe this is a different process?

    Another question: is there a special type of white rice to be used? Basmati?
    The Indian shops have many different kinds if rice.

    Great Katherine!!! Looking forward to see you soon! A big hug! Ana Irene

    • catherineargyros says:

      Hello Ana! Thank you for the lovely feedback. I prefer just plain old white rice and go for organic. Yes, you can rinse it beforehand too. Let’s catch up soon 😀