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Chinese Herbal Soups – Eat Your Medicine

Although it was Hippocrates who was quoted for the famous line, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food,” this concept has been an integral part of Chinese medicine for millennia. 

Food therapy is often the first line of defense in Chinese medicine for conditions that are mild in nature or based in the gut. 

But what if you need more support than just a change in diet? One of the best ways to incorporate Chinese herbal medicine into your lifestyle for improved health and wellbeing is with Chinese herbal soups.

What are Chinese Herbal Soups?

Herbal soups are a delicious way to eat your medicine! Rather than taking Chinese herbal decoctions as teas or pills, you can cook your herbal formulation into a broth, soup, or congee. 

Herbal soups have been used in Chinese culture for centuries to prevent and treat disease. They are mild in nature, but still powerful enough to help rebalance the body from within.

The power of herbal soups comes from their direct impact on the Spleen and Stomach systems. While the Stomach takes in food, the Spleen turns this food into energy to be used by the body. That energy is then used to power all the body’s organs and systems. This is one reason why managing diet and supporting gut health are essential to treating any condition and achieving whole-body wellness.

What’s in Chinese Herbal Soups?

Many of the same herbs that are found in classic Chinese herbal formulas can be found in herbal soup kits. In fact, many of the traditional formulas can be cooked as soup instead of tea for a similar effect. 

Flowers, roots, barks, fruits, seeds and other plant materials can be found in herbal soup kits. They enhance the nutritional value of the soup while also imparting their unique characteristics and energy to the soup. 

For instance, ginger is a commonly used herb in medicinal soups. Along with adding a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, zinc, and other nutrients, ginger also brings a warming and dispersing quality to the soup. This enhances digestive function, calms nausea, alleviates arthritis pain, and boosts energy. 

What are the Benefits of Chinese Herbal Soup?

The benefits of Chinese herbal soup are as varied as the hundreds of herbs and formulas you can make it with. Here are just a few of the benefits:

When Should You Eat Chinese Herbal Soup?

When you’re feeling under the weather.

There’s something magical about a big warm bowl of soup when you’re feeling the onset of the flu or cold. Take your healing soup to the next level with Chinese herbs that support the immune system and help you feel better faster.

When your energy is low.

Feeling like you’re always running on empty? Nutritional deficiencies and a weak Spleen can make you feel tired, no matter how much sleep you get (or don’t). Herbal soups can help give your Spleen the boost it needs to make more qi so you can feel renewed.

When you’re managing a chronic illness.

Managing a chronic illness requires a whole-body approach to healing. Herbal soups help restore balance and give your body the energy it needs to heal. Certain herbal soup kits can also help reduce the specific symptoms you’re experiencing.

At the change of seasons.

Winter is a great time to enjoy herbal soups, as they are naturally warming and invigorating which helps fight the chill of colder months. But, you can benefit from herbal soups any time of year. The change of seasons is also a particularly good time to make a fresh pot of herbal soup as our bodies are more vulnerable to imbalances when temperatures and weather conditions are fluctuating. An herbal soup helps bolster the body against harsh changes and supports the immune system.

When you need a reset.

Have you been indulging a bit too much lately? A whole-foods diet paired with a detoxifying and rejuvenating herbal soup can put your digestion back on track.

When you’re in the postpartum phase.

Bringing new life into this world is a beautiful thing, but it often leaves new mothers feeling exhausted and drained. Herbal soups can help support new moms to rebuild their blood, qi, and body fluids, as well as improve lactation and alleviate pain and discomfort from delivery.

How to Use Chinese Herbal Soup Kits

Making herbal soup is as easy as adding a Root & Spring soup kit to your favorite soup recipe. We recommend choosing a variety of vegetables and whole grains to boost the nutritional power of your soup. 

How to Pick the Best Chinese Herbal Soup For You

Ready to infuse your diet with the healing power of herbs? Here are our favorite herbal soup blends to help you eat your way to a healthier future!

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Chinese Herbal Soup Mix for Good Health & Immunity
This soup blend features herbs that support your immune health from the root. It also helps detoxify the body and improve your overall energy. Make this soup when you’re feeling under the weather, at the change of seasons, or on a regular basis to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. 

Chinese Herbal Soup Mix for Revitalization
This herbal soup mix was designed to be a general tonic that restores your energy and wellbeing. The main herb in this soup kit is American ginseng, a moisturizing, energy-boosting herb that restores the body from the root. Enjoy this soup kit to clear inflammation, boost energy, and find balance.

Chinese Herbal Soup Mix for Stress Relief
Rejuvenate your spirit from the inside out with an herbal soup mix for stress relief. The herbs in this blend are designed to help soothe the mind and reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, nervousness, palpitations, forgetfulness, and poor sleep. 

Chinese Herbal Soup Mix for Detoxification (Yeet Hay)
“Yeet hay,” or “hot air” is a condition in which the body accumulates too much heat. This is often the result of a diet too rich in heavy, greasy, or unhealthy foods. You’ll benefit from this detox blend if you notice signs of discomfort and heat, like restlessness, sore throat, bloating, smelly bowel movements, mouth sores, and acne. 

Chinese Herbal Soup Mix for Postpartum Recovery
It is common for new mothers in China to spend weeks restoring their energy after delivery. One way they do this is with herbal soups. Eat this soup daily after delivery to boost the health of your uterus after birth, promote good breast milk flow, rebalance the body, and improve your mental and physical health. 

Chinese Herbal Soup Mix for Women
Struggling with PMS, irritability, fatigue, anxiety, cramping, bloating, or other symptoms throughout your menstrual cycle? Chinese herbal soup can help restore your hormonal balance and alleviate your symptoms.

Boost Your Health with Herbal Soups

Like Chinese herbal pills and teas, Chinese herbal soups help you naturally restore your body’s balance. Simply choose a Root & Spring soup kit that best supports your needs, cook up a healing soup in minutes, and let food be thy medicine!

Share the Health Benefits of Chinese Herbal Medicine

About the Author

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kate Downes is a Chinese medicine practitioner with a passion for herbal medicine. In fact, it was her love for plant and earth medicine that first drew her to study Chinese medicine.

Kate has a MSAOM (Master of Science, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) certification and practiced acupuncture in Indianapolis, IN for five years before packing her bags to roam the world. In order to stay in touch with the wellness community and continue to help others thrive with herbal medicine, she transformed her work from face-to-face patient care to spreading wellness through words. Her life as a remote herbalist and writer has allowed her to work with a variety of wellness brands, health pioneers, and her wonderful clients. She has a special interest in working with women’s health.

Kate thoroughly enjoys writing educational and useful pieces for Best Chinese Medicine. Her goal is to help the public gain a better understanding of the wonders of Chinese herbal medicine so they can be empowered in their own quest for natural, vibrant health.

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