American Ginseng Heat Reducing Soup

Soup Name: American Ginseng Heat Reducing Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 旗參海底椰理氣降火湯 (Qí cān hǎi dǐ yē lǐ qì jiàng huǒ tāng)

Introduction:

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.

What ingredients are required?

chicken (whole), skinned and quartered
2 g of dried American ginseng, sliced
10 g of dried lady bell root
15 g of lucid asparagus root
2 g of mulberry root
15 g of malt
80 g of pearl barley
5 honey dates
30 g dried mussels
1 large piece of dried tangerine peel
20 g of soloman’s seal
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Rinse and soak for 10 minutes all the herbs (everything except the Chicken)
  2. Boil your soup water
  3. Prepare chicken and in a separate pot of boiling water, blanch your chicken for 5 minutes
  4. Rinse again the herbs in cool water
  5. When soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to a medium boil for another 1.5 hours
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Helps reduce heatiness and internal fire from the body
  • Excellent for the respiratory system
  • Helps nourish the lungs, assist with cough and soothe the throat (especially sore throats)

Any precautions?

  • It is a slightly cooling soup, so take with precaution when in your first trimester of pregnancy
  • Be sure to purchase herbs from a reputable source

 

American Ginseng

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

Any benefits?

  • 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

Any precautions?

  • 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

Additional Information

  • 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

Other references

Korean Ginseng

Korean Ginseng

Korean Ginseng

Ingredient Name:

Ginseng, Korean ginseng, panax ginseng, ren shen, 

Traditional Chinese Name:

高麗參 (gāo lì shen)

Nature: warming

Taste:  sweet and bitter

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

Any benefits?

  • 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

Any precautions?

  • 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.

 

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Ginseng with Honey Tea

Soup Name: Ginseng with Honey Tea

Traditional Chinese Name: 人參茶 (Rénshēn Chá)

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?

  1. Cut up long ginseng piece into slices (for releasing more ginseng flavor into the tea)
  2. Add ginseng to water and boil covered for 30 minutes
  3. Strain and add honey
  4. 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.

Any benefits?

  • 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

Any precautions?

  • Ginseng is a cooling food and should be avoided in women who are in their first trimester or in postpartum (confinement)

Ginseng and Chicken Soup

Soup Name:  Ginseng and Chicken Soup
 
Traditional Chinese Name: 人參雞湯 (rén sēn jī tāng)
 
Introduction:

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).

What Ingredients are required?

1 whole chicken (or chicken bones or feet)
80g of ginseng (dried)
3 slices of fresh ginger
2-3 L of water
1-2 teaspoons of salt

How do I prepare it?

  1. Wash and prepare chicken by cutting into quarters (remove organs)
  2. Blanch chicken in a pot of hot water
  3. In a separate pot of water, add all the ingredients together.
  4. Cook over high heat for 30 minutes. 
  5. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 2 hours.
  6. Ready to serve!

Any benefits?

  • This soup is considered a warm soup and particularly warming in the winter months
  • Ginseng can help improve body immune system and metabolism

Any precautions?

  • 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