I’m a huge fan of this dried herb! You can find it commonly used in Chinese restaurants as a tea which you can order, at supermarkets as bulk, at Asian herbal shops, and even in some western herbal tea blends. When seeped, it turns the liquid into a bright clear yellow. You can actually eat the flowers if you’d like, but they do disintegrate quite a bit and can be difficult to drink with all that stuff floating around 🙂
The chrysanthemum flower is widely known as a cooling ingredient in both Chinese food and Traditional Chinese Medicine. If you’ve got lots of “hot air” (yeet hay) or feeling very heaty, this is the go to herbal drink. It’s actually very common in Hong Kong to find chrysanthemum bottled or boxed drinks.
This is a perennial flower plant that has many variations (different colours such as white, pinks, yellows) in various shapes and sizes. It was first cultivated in China for herbal properties and is used in teas, drinks, desserts and various other Chinese dishes. It is often purchased dried for consumption and has a very distinct taste and scent.
How do I prepare it?
You can rinse in warm water first as sometimes there are bugs floating around, but not too long as not to seep out the flavours.No other preparation needed.
What is the cost?
The price will range from a few dollars to tens of dollars depending on the size, make, and brand of the dried flowers
There are smaller full buds, which tend to be more expensive, or the shredded bloomed ones, which are cheaper
In general, one tub of 60 g of dried loose flowers can cost around $8 CAD
This ingredient is considered cooling and great to remove and eliminate excess heat and heat from the body
It is particularly targeted to the liver (eyes) and lungs
It’s often used to help with fever, colds, and headaches
It tends to have a cleansing effect by clearing heat and drying dampness in the body
This goes will with honey (added in after you’ve boiled or steeped the tea)
It is cooling, so be careful if you’re cold, feeling cold, or have excess yin
Not suggested as part of postpartum or confinement consumption as it’s cooling
Luo Han Guo, Siraitia Grosvernorii, Arhat’s fruit, Monk’s fruit
Traditional Chinese Name:
羅漢果 (luóhàn guǒ)
This ingredient is slightly cooling and sweet.
This fruit grows on a vine plant common to southern China and northern Thailand and is often used dried in soups and teas. There are normally 2 versions of this dried fruit you can find in the supermarkets, a very dark brown version (more dry) and a golden version (less dry and less pungent).
This dried herbal ingredient is considered cooling and is sweet to taste. It’s actually a great sweetener to teas without needing to add any sugar. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this herb is great for eliminating coughs, nourishing and moisturizing the lungs, and replenishing yin. It can help cool both the body and the lungs and targets the lungs and large intestines.
I’ve used this both in soups and teas. It creates a dark color to the soup and has a particularly sweet taste to it. I’d recommend trying a quarter first (I used 4 cups of water for teas and 3L of water for soup). You would want the soups to be more dilute because the soup is more savory than sweet. Try it!
How do I prepare it?
For the dried versions, I will rinse under warm water first and pat dry. Then using the flat side of a knife, smash it. Literally! It will break into shreds as the outer shell is very hard and reveal a shriveled core with seeds. Some use only the shell, but I’ll use both the core and shell.For soups, I’ll only use a quarter, but some recipes do call for half if you’d like. It’s really a preferred taste on how sweet you’d like it.For teas, I will also use only a quarter.
Where can I buy it?
You can purchase these from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged
You can also purchase this in bulk from specialty stores (online herbal shops)
The one thing I did notice is that the Chinese prepared ones are different from Western prepared red dates. So just check to be sure they look like the above photos.
What is the cost?
In Canada, I’ve bought them for 4 for $8 CAD, so around $2 per golden fruit
The dark brown ones cost a little less
In Hong Kong, I’ve seen them for $5 HKD per monk fruit
A cooling herb designed to cool the body and lungs
It targets the lungs and help nourish, moisten, and replenish lung yin
It’s designed for yin deficiency primarily (or also dry heat, which is excess yang) and also replenishes Qi and Blood
This ingredient is already sweet, so you don’t need much sugar if you’re making a tea
It’s packed full of antioxidants and helps detoxify the body
Great for addressing dry coughs and sore throats!
It’s a pretty pungent fruit, so taste test how much you’ll need (add less first)
It’s also a cooling herb, so consume if you have more heaty conditions
Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?
While luo han guo isn’t the most common or basic of ingredients, I will always keep 1-2 in my pantry as well. These are great for teas and easy to make, so I will also have some lying around.