Many women find that the last few weeks of pregnancy are fraught with a myriad of discomforts. As the baby reaches his or her birth weight many moms find it more difficult to move around and function as they did before. One common complaint at this time is ankle swelling. For some women, it is a mild annoyance that shows up at the end of a busy work day, for others it is more severe. In my own pregnancies my ankles were so swollen that the only shoes I could wear were flip-flops. Thankfully, it was August and the weather warranted the footwear. When women develop swelling in the face and hands it is a more concerning sign, and they should report this to their obstetric care provider. Ankle swelling, however, does not usually cause any harm, but it can be very uncomfortable. In Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a common herbal treatment for the condition that any woman should be able to make at home. As a Westerner, the sound of it may not be very appealing, but it is actually quite good, and it works! In Chinese Medicine terms this formula fortifies the Spleen, disinhibits dampness and scatters swelling.
Li Yu Luo Bo Yin, or Carp and Radish Soup
1 one-pound Carp (Li Yu), gutted and scaled, head and tail removed (or also skinned if desired)
120g (about one cup) chopped daikon radish (Luo Bo)
Put the ingredients in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer covered until fish is cooked through. Drink the broth and if desired, eat the carp and radish.