Scallion Power!

Food has long been an effective and economical healing resource of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). From the TCM perspective, every food has a special essence that conveys a healing energy to a particular organ, or in some cases, to several organs. TCM doctors prescribe specific foods to help restore balance. They also advise following the seasons when selecting foods. This means regularly including foods in your diet that support the organ system in predominance at any given time.

The Liver and Gallbladder are the organ pair “in charge” in Spring. Every season has a corresponding color and taste, according to Five Element Theory. Green, pungent, and sour foods are associated with spring. Many foods nurture this organ pair, namely broccoli, dandelion greens, eggplant, garlic, lemons and pickles. Yet the humble scallion holds pride of place because of its tremendous healing benefits. Known in ancient times to dispel pathogens, and often used as a treatment for measles, abcesses and colds, scallions have many medical applications.

In addition, the white and green parts of scallions benefit different organ systems. The white bottoms of scallion have a hot essence, thereby benefiting the Lung, which responds best to hot and spicy foods. The warm essence of the green scallion tops travels to the Liver meridian, helping to nourish and balance the Liver/Gallbladder organ system.

Try these delicious, easy-to-make scallion pancakes. Then check out our recipe section for other Liver-boosting recipes.



1 cup flour

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup milk

1 egg, beaten well

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

3 medium-sized scallions, washed, dried, and trimmed

Vegetable oil for frying



Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the water, milk, egg, salt and sugar. Whisk all ingredients together, taking care to press smooth any lumps in the batter.

Cut the scallions vertically down the center. Then chop them on the diagonal into 1/4” pieces. Fold the scallions into the batter.

Put some oil into a pan and heat on medium-high to high heat. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan for each pancake.

Cook the first side about 3 to 4 minutes (the edges of the pancakes will begin to turn translucent). Flip and cook the other side until slightly browned.

Serve your scallion pancakes hot with your favorite soy-based dipping sauce.

This recipe makes about six 4-inch pancakes


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