Lu Gen or Reed Rhizome
Ingredient Name: Lu Gen, Lu Root or Reed Rhizome
Chinese Name: 盧根 (Lú gēn)
A common root (or plant stalk) that is found in Chinese medicine. Some of its forms include dried (as pictured above) or ground into a powder to be used in teas. I usually use it in drinks more than soups and it is a pretty distinctive looking root. The best way to purchase this root is per usage because I don’t make drinks with it that often (in fact, I rather make soups, but Chinese drinks are also part of my diet), except more often in the summer when it gets hot and the drinks are boiled and chilled to be served later.
What is this?
- The roots and stalk of a perennial herb that grows as tall as 4 meters
- It is usually processed by removing the plant, stripping it of its stems and leaves and drying the stalk (which is then cut into pieces as pictured)
- The root itself is yellow-white or brown in color and “shiny” with vertical sections carved into the flesh of the root
- It is slightly sweet to taste and considered a “cooling” ingredient
- In Chinese medicine, it is used to treat fevers, sore throats, heatiness, excess phlegm, and stomach heat
- It is commonly used in drinks as it is a thirst quenching ingredient
How do I prepare it?
- Wash the roots in warm water before usage
Where can I buy this?
- Commonly found in wet marts in Hong Kong from the herbalist or dried food vendor
- It is sometimes available in packages in supermarkets
What is the cost?
- Very affordable
- Cooling effect on the body and excellent for treating fevers and sore throats
- Helps to relieve dry throats and quenches thirst
- Contains vitamins B1, B2 and C
- Women who are pregnant or menstruating should take caution when consuming Lu Gen
- They can be kept in a dry, sealed container for up to 6 months (or longer)