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Posts tagged TCM

Nutritious Burdock Root Herbal Soup For Detoxification

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Fresh Burdock Root (Chinese: 牛蒡子 / in pinyin: niúpángzi)

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Dried Chinese Wolfberries

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Dried Red Dates

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A bowl of nourishing and detoxifying Burdock Root Soup simmered for 3 hours with Carrots, Red Dates and Pork Ribs.

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Good Day, dear friends 😀

I was first introduced to Burdock Root a few years ago, when it was served as a light Japanese salad. It was julienned and cooked lightly with some light soy sauce, sweet rice wine, chopped green onions, and sesame seeds. When I asked the Japanese restaurant’s lady owner what that delicious “vegetable” was, she told me that it is called “Gobo” in Japanese and “Ngau Pong” in Cantonese, and that it is very good for removing toxins from our body. Since then, I had used the Burdock Root and cooked it as a nutritious herbal soup for detoxification, and we have this soup once every 2 months. 😉

A few days back, I saw this root being used as one of the ingredients in cooking show called “Nutritional and Delicious Chinese Dishes”, which was hosted by a lady chef and a Chinese Physician. I was curious as to exactly what detoxification properties that this Burdock Root have and after doing some research, I am really amazed at the extremely beneficial properties of this simple root. 😯

Below is some information obtained from “The Natural Herbs Guide” on the Burdock Root that I would like to share with you –

Burdock is a root that is found in Europe and Asia. It has many medicinal qualities and has been used in many herbal remedies. The root is sweet to the taste and has a gummy consistency. Traditionally, burdock has been used as a remedy for measles, arthritis, tonsillitis, viruses like colds, throat pain, and as a diuretic. In modern times, burdock is also used in oncology and to treat many other serious health problems.

Burdock root has often been used to purify the blood by removing toxins that can build up in blood. It can be taken orally or used topically as a remedy for skin disorders. Also, burdock root can be a diuretic or soothe aching joints. Traditional Chinese healers used burdock root in combination with other plants to make cures for colds, measles, throat pain, and tonsillitis. Burdock root was also popular in Japan as a source of vitamins and other nutrients. In modern times, burdock root has been employed in the treatment of certain cancers. However, this use of burdock root still needs to be systematically tested.

Burdock’s active ingredients are arcigen, calcium, chlorogenic acid, essential oil, flavonoids, iron, inulin, lactone, mucilage, polyacetylenes, potassium, resin, tannin, and taraxosterol. The seeds of the plant contain beneficial fatty acids. The oil from the seeds can be used as a diaphoretic, which leads to increased perspiration, which is essential in cleansing the body of toxins or harmful elements. According to traditional healers, diaphoretics are integral to treating influenza, gallbladder or liver disorders, and to aid the kidneys which purify the blood.


Burdock root is eaten as a vegetable in many places. It has many nutrients like iron, inulin (a carbohydrate), and beneficial oils. Also, burdock can be used as a gentle laxative and help eradicate uric acid. Some of the active ingredients of burdock are polyacetylenes, which are known to be effective antibacterials and antifungals. Burdock enhances the performance of many of the organs which purify the body and eliminate toxins or waste (like the kidneys, liver, colon, etc). This enhances overall health and helps correct disorders.

Burdock is easily obtainable as an ingredient in teas, ointments, or pills. It is a powerful diuretic, and is safe to be taken internally, externally, or as food. However, it is important to make sure that the herb is pure. Some reports have indicated that burdock could have toxic properties, since cases of illness were reported that involved burdock tea. However, further analysis showed that the negative effects were the result of impure burdock root. Some belladonna, which contains atropine, had contaminated the burdock root. It is important to look at the source and purity of burdock root before obtaining it.

Here is my recipe for Burdock Root Herbal Soup For Detoxification

Ingredients –

* 2 whole fresh Burdock Roots (each about 2 ft long as the ones found here are quite thin) – peeled, washed and cut into slices or chunks

* 1 cup dried Red Dates

* 1/2 cup dried Wolfberries

* 500 gm pork ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths

* 2 litres water

Method –

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Remove any scum that floats to the surface. Lower heat and simmer for 4 hours (6-8 hours if using a slow cooker). Season to taste with some salt and white pepper.

I had bought the fresh Burdock Roots from the wet markets and hypermarkets here…in case some of you wonder where I got my Burdock Roots from. They are usually imported from China. 😉

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Nutritious Shallot Chicken Soup For Good Health

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Good evening, dear friends 😀

Here is another very nutritious soup recommended by my healer lady, and it very good for removing wind from our body and energising our body as it uses a lot of shallots.

Sometimes, our stomach is not working effectively in digesting food, or we eat too much food that causes bloatedness like beans, cabbage and as a result there is bloatedness or “wind” buildup in the stomach, all the way down our digestive tract. Or when we are stressed, our digestion may get affected and lead to this problem.

Symptoms of this wind in our body are funny sounds (not rumblings due to hunger :roll:) coming from our digestive system, mild cramping in stomach, or when you knock lightly on your abdomen, there is a hollow sound like playing a drum. In children, the sign of them having a lot of wind in their body is when the whites of their eyes are bluish in colour. So, we need to get rid of this wind in our body and this very nutritious soup is excellent for doing this, as the ginger and lemon grass are also good for this purpose.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), if left untreated, the “wind” can even spread to other parts of our body and cause other illnesses, like joint pains, headaches/migraines that won’t go away despite taking the right medication, lethargy. Once this “wind” problem is removed, then a person would feel more energised and alert.

Shallots ranks the highest among the onion family and has the most antioxidant activity among the 11 types of onions tested. They have the greatest effect against liver cancer cell growth. Shallots can also can aid in our digestion, regulation of menses, relieving of symptoms associated with colds.

I would make this soup for my family once in a while to maintain our good health, and the soup is so sweet and tasty although I never put in any salt at all. My late mother used to consume this soup to help her with her gastro-enteritis (gastric) problems which also brought on a build-up of wind and stomach pains.

Nutritious Shallot Chicken Soup (serves 6 persons)

Ingredients –

* 1 kg of shallots, leave whole with skins removed (if you like to eat the cooked shallots) or leaving the skins on and washed (then you only drink the liquid in the soup). I cheat a bit here in that I would buy ready peeled shallots from my grocer! 😆

* 3 stalks of lemon grass, use the bottom 6 inches, and pounded lightly to release the oils

* 2-inch ginger, pounded lightly

* 1 whole old chicken (about 1.5 kg), or free range chicken, skin removed, cut into 8 pieces. Old chicken is the best as it is believed to have more medicinal properties for this soup.

* 5 litres water

Method –

* Bring everything to boil in a stock pot or slow cooker.

* Remove the scum that floats on top of the soup.

* Lower heat to small, and simmer for 4 hours minimum (if using slow cooker, then 6 – 8 hours).

* Scoop out the layer of oil that has formed at the surface of the soup. Season with salt and pepper.

I like to have a large bowl of this soup with lots of soft, yummy shallots. This soup would be perfect just for that cold, rainy or cold, wintry day! 😀

Note – the more shallots we put into the soup, the better the potency of this soup. Sometimes, I even use up to 1 1/2 kgs of shallots. You can also add in a tbsp of whole white peppercorns or increase the size of the ginger to make this soup more spicy, thus warming up our stomach! 😉

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