Monday, 24 September 2012

Recipe: Longan & Red Dates Tea

Expressed breast milk stored by freezing at -18C in Avent VIA cups. Takes 48 hours to thaw out 5 to 6 oz in the fridge set at 0C.

Syukur Alhamdulillah!
Red dates tea -  sweet, warm drink increased my breastmilk supply and improved overall vitality. I drink this daily during confinement, and still occasionally do when my energy is low.

Kudos to "Nyoya Flavours - A Complete Guide to Penang Straits Chinese Cuisine". Editing and Food Styling by Julie Wong; Main Recipe Contributor & Tester by Debbie Teoh and Food Photography by Bonnie Yap & Yap Chee Hong. New Edition Copies available at Popular & Kinokuniya.

If I may just reproduce the drink recipe here for the benefit of breastfeeding mothers and new mothers, simply because I have greatly benefitted from this recipe and keep having to email them to friends and readers alike:

"150 g dried longan
50 g pitted red dates, halved
50 g tong sam, cut into 3cm (1 inch) length
2 litres water

1. Wash and drain longan, dates and tong sam then place into a medium sized pot with the water.

2. Bring to rapid boil then simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Taken throughout the confinement month to substitute for drinking water, this pleasant drink helps the new mother in maintaining general well-being, and is said to increase the flow of milk in a breastfeeding mother. Tong sam, available from chinese medical halls, is also known as "poor man's ginseng" and plays a role in enhancing blood circulation."

I had mine boiled in the morning and kept warm in a thermos flask, sipped preciously throughout the day. On hot days, I have had supplies of more than 2 litres in hand!

Confession: I used to be able to express 2 to 3 oz in the early days of breastfeeding (those crazy, stressful days of not being totally sure if I was producing sufficiently to meet demand) but by 6th week, the yield had increased in tandem with The Little Girl's increase of appetite. Now with Bean, I am able to express 5 to 6 oz every 6 hourly *sujud to Allah in thanksgiving!*

Tip #1: My tong sam was purchased from a medical hall in One Utama and Pavilion called Eternal Cash Medical Hall. Tong sam is a type of "radix codonopsis" plant root.

Tip #2: I use the IKEA Stabil 3L pot with pasta boil insert to keep the ingredients boiling or simmering but simpler to strain by just lifting the insert when ready. Just be sure to use a metal strainer when carefully pouring hot liquid out of the pot into a thermos flask.

Tip #3: Red Date Tea Extract claiming to be 5x more potent is now available from Moon's (Daveleen (M) Sdn. Bhd. at No. 43, Jalan SS2/3, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Tel: +6037877800 ) Read also Falling in Love with Confinement by Peiling Goh. Personally, I have not ordered any products from this company as they are not certified halal so I cannot vouch for its potency, taste etc. However, some of the dishes suggested during confinement are simple to cook and delicious (I always replace pork dishes with halal cuts of chicken).

**now excuse me while I answer a milk-call**



  1. Hi Hampshire Mummy,
    Is this a one-time drink or can I top up water to the ingredients to make a second batch?

  2. Hi Liyana,

    This is a per batch recipe, and I sometimes add an additional 250ml of water to the pot to take away the sweetness but really it is to taste. All the best! Don't forget to check that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.