Angelica Root

Ingredient Name: Chinese Angelica Root

Chinese Name: 當歸 (dāng guī)

What is this?
  • Also known as Dong Quai, Tang-Kuei or “female ginseng”, the chinese angelica root is a very popular herb used in chinese medicine and is highly revered, second only to ginseng root
  • The herb, which is indigenous to China, is typically used to treat gynecological ailments, fatigue, mild anemia and high blood pressure
  • Women who suffer menstrual ailments or menopause are often given chinese angelica root to relieve symptoms
  • The root is also considered an aphrodisiac
  • The taste is sweet, warm, pungent and slightly bitter

How do I prepare it?

  • Soak in water for several minutes and rinse before using

Where can I buy this?

  • Chinese angelica root can be purchased at all Chinese dried herb shops
  • In the above photo, the angelica roots are shown as whole roots.  It is also possible to buy sliced angelica root for use in soups

What is the cost?

  • 1 pound of dried angelica root costs approximately $15 CAD

Any benefits?

  • The Angelica Root is used to nourish the blood (blood tonic) and is believed to help invigorate blood circulation.
  • It can strenghten the liver, heart, and spleen and is also a uterine tonic, effective against menstrual disorders.
  • It is widely used in confinement soups and recipes to treat postpartum women
  • The root is also used to treat common colds as an expectorant
  • Chinese angelica root is one of the few good non-animal sources of Vitamin B12

Any precautions?

  • Pregnant women should not use angelica root
  • Consuming large doses may lead to sensitivity to sunlight

References

 

Sliced Angelica Root

Chinese Yam (dried)

Chinese Yam (dried)

Ingredient Name:

Chinese Yam (dried)

Traditional Chinese Name:

淮山 (huái shān)

Check out our video on “The 7 basic Chinese Soup Pantry Ingredients“, which include the Chinese Yam.

 

This is the dried version of the Fresh Chinese Yam, which is a white long root with a brown outer skin.  When dried, the Chinese Yam is usually proceed into 1-2 inches in length, flat, and very chalky white.  It is tasteless, produces no colour in the soup, and is one of the common Chinese Soup pantry ingredients.  It’s used in soups, stews, and sometimes even desserts!  There are a few variety of these types of Chinese Yams, including a fresh Japanese variant, which is just as yummy in soups.

How do I prepare it?

      • Soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes.  This is to remove any of the chemicals used during processing and to allow it to soften and expand
      • It’s used as it directly in soups.  There’s no need to cut it any further.

Where can I buy it and cost?

      • You can purchase dried Chinese Yam from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged
      • These are also available either prepackaged or “pick your volume”  in Chinese Herbal Stores
      • You can also purchase this in bulk from specialty stores (online herbal shops) 

What is the cost?

      • A package costs around $3-5 CAD

Any benefits?

      • It is often used in combination with meats and other Chinese herbs to help digestion and regulate sugar levels
      • Traditionally it is used to relieve stomach pains and diarrhea
      • When boiled with chicken and a variety of other Chinese herbs, it is an ideal confinement soup as it helps control inflammation of the uterus
      • It is considered a neutral ingredient
      • Be sure to consult with your doctor first if you have any questions regarding this herb

Any precautions?

      • Excess consumption is known to cause frequent urination and perspiration

        For additional reading:

Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?

The dried Chinese Yam is one of them!  Check it out in my video to learn more!

 

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