The season of Moso bamboo spouts is short but sweet. A traditional forest vegetable for more than 2,500 years, bamboo shoots are not only delicious but are also rich in nutrients, and rank among the five most popular healthy foods in the world. In Japan, the bamboo shoot is called the King of Forest Vegetables. The properties of bamboo shoots were recorded in the book of Compendium of Materia Medica, a pharmaceutical text written during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), with the following words: “It’s slightly cold, sweet, non-toxic, and it quenches thirst, benefits the liquid circulatory system, supplements Qi, and can be served as a daily dish.”
Qi pronounced “chee” can be defined as the “force and vital substance” that animates and controls the observable functions of living beings. The basic foundation for Asian medicine is that this vital substance flows through the body on channels known as “meridians” that connect all of our major organs.