Creeping Liriope Root Tuber

Ingredient Name: Creeping Liriope Root Tuber, Ophiopogon japonicus tuber, fountain plant root, monkey grass root

Traditional Chinese Name: 麥冬 (mài dōng)

What is this?
  • The dried root of the orphiopogon japonicus plant (which is a native plant to Japan)
  • The dried tubers are slightly translucent in color and beige when processed and often 1.5-3 cm in length with varying thicknesses
  • They are usually extracted in the summer, cleaned and dried
  • A known and common Chinese herb (medicine) that is considered cool, sweet and slightly bitter in taste
  • Excellent for removing heatiness from the body and targets the heart, spleen, stomach and lungs
  • Can be used in porridge, soups, medicinal drinks, and creams

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage to ensure all dirt and soil is removed

Where can I buy this?

  • Most herbal shops will carry this
  • Wet marts in Hong Kong will also sometimes carry this

What is the cost?

  • Relatively affordable

Any benefits?

  • Excellent for reducing heatiness in the body and clearing toxins
  • Ideal for soup and drink compositions that remove fire from the body
  • Great for healing the throat and lungs and provides benefits to these bodily functions (ie: sore throats, coughing)
  • Nourishes the Yin
  • Helps remove excess phlegm
  • Assists with constipation

Any precautions?

  • As it is mild cooling, pregnant women in their first trimester should take caution as cooling ingredients can cause contractions
  • Has a distinct pungent smell

Any additional information?

  • Store in a cool, dry place
  • Good for use up to 6 months

Resources

Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae

Ingredient Name: Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae, tendrilled fritillary bulb

Traditional Chinese Name: 川貝 (chuān bèi)

What is this?
  • The dried flower bulb of the Fritillaria plant (which is a perennial herb) that contains about 100 species of this bulbous plant
  • The exact plant is the Fritillariae Cirrhosae, which is one of these species
  • A recognized official drug in Chinese medicine
  • The bulbs are often white-beige in color and around 1-2 cm in diameter and are very light weight
  • Various forms of this herb can be found as dried (as pictured above), powdered or cream

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage to ensure all dirt and soil is removed

Where can I buy this?

  • Most herbal shops will carry this
  • Wet marts in Hong Kong will also sometimes carry this
  • Not commonly found in western supermarkets

What is the cost?

  • Not very expensive

Any benefits?

  • Ideal in removing heat and fire from the body
  • Great for bringing moisture to the lungs and throat
  • Helps in dissolving phlegm and relieving coughs
  • Aids in conditions such as asthma, chronic coughs, bronchitis (or other conditions of the lungs)

Any precautions?

  • The unprocessed and raw bulbs are toxic
  • Pregnant woman should avoid this herb (as there is limited visibility and studies on the effects of fetuses)
  • Limit exposure to children as well (for the same reason as above)
  • Purchase from a reputable source

Resources

Figwort Root

Ingredient Name: Figwort Root, Radix Scrophulariae (Chinese scientific name)

Traditional Chinese Name: 玄參 (xuán shēn)

What is this?
  • The dried root of a flower plant of the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae)
  • There are a variety of figwort plants and are often named by their location (ie: The one pictured above is from Zhejiang)
  • There are uses for both the figwort plant leaves and roots
  • The root is extracted at the end of the season (winter) and dried for usage
  • Considered a mildly cooling Chinese herb

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage to ensure all dirt and soil is removed

Where can I buy this?

  • Most herbal shops will carry this
  • Wet marts in Hong Kong will also sometimes carry this

What is the cost?

  • Extremely affordable
  • 5 g cost around $5 HKD (as pictured above)

Any benefits?

  • Excellent for reducing heatiness in the body and clearing toxins
  • Ideal for soup and drink compositions that remove fire from the body
  • Great for healing the throat and lungs and provides benefits to these bodily functions (ie: sore throats, coughing)
  • Nourishes the Yin

Any precautions?

  • As it is mild cooling, pregnant women in their first trimester should take caution as cooling ingredients can cause contractions
  • Has a distinct pungent smell

Resources

Featured Blog of The Day On Foodista.com on June 9, 2010

TheChineseSoupLady.com is going to be featured as the Blog Of The Day on June 9, 2010 at Foodista.com!  It’s a great recognition in the foodie community and it’s part of our success to have readers worldwide appreciate and support our foodie cause.

So a continued thank you to our supporters and readers and many thanks for your words of appreciation and advice.  It has been a wonderful and fruitful journey, but will share more later on the other opportunities that TheChineseSoupLady.com is exploring.  Check us out on June 9, 2010!

Thanks,

Lisa

Loquat Leaf (Dried)

Loquat Leaf (Dried)

Ingredient Name: Loquat Leaf (Dried)

Traditional Chinese Name: 枇杷葉 (pípá yè), 琵琶葉 (pípá yè)

 
What is this?
  • The dried leaf of the loquat leaf plant (which produces an oval orange fruit that has a very large seed)
  • The leaves are usually 10-25 cm in length and dark green in color with a leathery texture
  • The loquat fruit is very common in Chinese and Japanese cultures

How do I prepare it?

  • The leaves are normally bought dried and pre-cut
  • Simply rinse in warm water before usage

Where can I buy this?

  • Most herbal shops will carry this
  • Wet marts in Hong Kong will also sometimes carry this

What is the cost?

  • Extremely affordable
  • 30 g cost around $5 HKD

Any benefits?

  • Leaves are said to soothe the digestive and respiratory systems
  • They also aid in helping your body release anti-oxidants (to reduce aging)
  • Can help skin inflammation if applied topically

Any precautions?

  • Avoid eating the seeds of the loquat fruit (and young leaves) as it is carcinogenic and releases cyanide when digested (although in low amounts)

Resources