Traditional Chinese Name: 旗參海底椰理氣降火湯 (Qí cān hǎi dǐ yē lǐ qì jiàng huǒ tāng)
This soup is great for reducing internal heat where you may have sore throat, canker/cold sores, sore muscles (from the fire in your bones) and overall heatiness in your body. It’s not actually particular to any season, but more to a condition of the body caused by illness or circumstances. It is healing for the throat, lungs and respiratory system and eliminates unwanted heat.
Ingredient Name: Ginseng, American ginseng, panax ginseng
Traditional Chinese Name: 花旗參 (Huā qí cān)
What is this?
The brownish-beige ginseng is commonly grown in the United States (hence the name)
It produces a strong bitter, “golden” flavor
This ginseng is available in various forms such as whole, shredded, powdered, and in teabags
American ginseng is said to be a cooling agent
Ginseng is used in Chinese herbal medicine, soups, stews, stuffed in foods, as tablets, in skin care products, teas, desserts and many other uses
How do I prepare it?
Rinse in warm water before usage
Where can I buy this?
High quality American ginseng can be purchased from your local herbalist
It is sometimes also available in Asian supermarkets in both shreds or whole
What is the cost?
The cost of American ginseng varies depending on the size, age and rarity of the Ginseng species
Ginseng is said to promote blood circulation, prevent fatigue and strengthen the body’s immune system
American ginseng is said to aid in menopausal women with “hot flashes” and help regulate menstruation and reduce PMS (although not to be taken during menstruation as it is cooling and will cause contractions)
It is also a good fever reducing agent
This type of ginseng also helps in loosening a dry, hacking cough
Mixed with honey and hot water, it makes for a great sore throat “tea” as it is soothing and helps cool the body and throat
Not recommended for people with weak stomachs
Use in moderation
American ginseng is a cooling ingredient and should be taken with precaution during pregnancy and during menstruation
As it is cooling, reported side effects are headache and insomnia
Be sure to purchase ginseng from a reputable source as there are often replicas and lower grade ginseng sold at a higher price
Store in a dry and cool place
Ginseng can be stored for many years
Some very expensive ginseng are kept as a whole root (the bigger, the better) and stored in a liquid to preserve it
Benefits: For Qi deficiency, targeting the heart, lungs, and spleen
The Korean ginseng is quite opposite and different from the American ginseng. The Korean ginseng is warm compared to it’s cooling American ginseng, and are often harvested between 4-7 years of growth. This is what makes them as expensive as they are!
One of the more expensive breeds of ginseng available on the market, it is usually recommended for consumption during confinement.
This ginseng leaves a beautiful slightly sweet aftertaste in the throat and mouth that does linger with golden bitter tones.
You can consume ginseng in soups, stews, or as teas and are often paired nicely with chicken and minimal herbs and vegetables to really preserve the delicious taste of the ginseng.
How do I prepare it?
If you’re using fresh ginseng root, soak in warm water and wash gently under running water, taking care not to break the roots. This will help remove any leftover debris or dirt.If you’re using dried ginseng, this can usually be used directly as is.
Where can I buy it and cost?
You can buy Korean ginseng fresh in supermarkets in Asia
You can also buy dried Korean ginseng in dry herbalists and wet marts as well as Chinese medicine shops
The cost range of Korean ginseng varies depending on age, size, and origin
The Korean ginseng is warming and strongly helps with Qi deficiency
It will improve blood flow and circulation, allowing increased healing in the body
This herb supports fatigue, restlessness, and a weak pulse, strengthening the heart and calming the spirit
It is also ideal if you’ve got a weak or lost appetite
Korean ginseng can be used in post partum recipes
Take caution to consume this if you’re got excess heat or yin deficiency (because it’s heaty)
As it helps with increase of blood flow and circulation, those with high blood pressure should avoid this herb
Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?
Check out this video to begin building your soup pantry. There are 7 basic dried ingredients to get you started.
Introduction: An extremely easy and common Chinese tea/drink that is one of the traditional cooling teas. It relieves heatiness, expels heat from the body and is overall healthy for the body. Although slightly bitter in after taste, adding some honey or rock sugar can help make this tea delicious. There are a variety of recipes for ginseng tea with varying Chinese herbs, but this is the most basic.
What Ingredients are required?
1-2 pieces of dried ginseng (pending how bitter you’d like it) 1 tablespoon of honey 2-3 L of water
How do I prepare it?
Cut up long ginseng piece into slices (for releasing more ginseng flavor into the tea)
Add ginseng to water and boil covered for 30 minutes
Strain and add honey
Can be served chilled
Another way to prepare this tea is without boiling. You can simply steep the ginseng like normal tea leaves in a cup of hot/boiling water. Stir to distribute flavor and then add honey or rock sugar.
Excellent for removing heatiness from the body
Great anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties
Extremely easy to make
Can help reduce fatigue, lower cholesterol and prevent infections
Ginseng is a cooling food and should be avoided in women who are in their first trimester or in postpartum (confinement)
A very traditional Chinese soup that is ideal for the cold winter months and improving body immune system. You can use a variety of ginseng (Korean and American are most common) and a variety of sizes of ginseng. It is a simple soup to make that is slightly sweet with a hint of bitterness and extremely beneficial to all body organs. I make this soup without added pork (like some recipes call for). I know the soup isn’t ask sweet or as rich, but if you reduce the level of water, it gives you a clear, healthy broth. With a sprinkle of salt (in moderation), the soup is ready for serving.
There are actually a variety of ways to make this soup. You will also find variations where people add different herbal ingredients for targeting different parts of the body. Regardless, here is a base in which to start your greatest soup creations (of course being careful of what types of herbs you use and being careful how you mix them).
Wash and prepare chicken by cutting into quarters (remove organs)
Blanch chicken in a pot of hot water
In a separate pot of water, add all the ingredients together.
Cook over high heat for 30 minutes.
Reduce to low heat and simmer for 2 hours.
Ready to serve!
This soup is considered a warm soup and particularly warming in the winter months
Ginseng can help improve body immune system and metabolism
The Chinese believe that your body is either “cool” or “warm”. Some “warm” bodied people can’t consume too much warm foods as it makes them even more warm. The idea is to balance the ying and yang in the body