Chicken Soup with Ginseng, Angelica & Ginger (Ren Shen, Dang Gui & Sheng Jiang)


This is a nutritious tonic to promote qi and blood, improve bodily functions and energy.  Overall blood tonic.


  • Angelica (dang-gui) head 當歸頭- 5-10gram  (too much will give the soup a bitter taste)
  • Ginseng 人參 – 8gm  (or substitute Codonopsis ‘Dang Shen’)
  • Small Whole Chicken  (about 1 lb., use black-meat chicken for best effects)
  • Pitted red dates  紅棗 – 12 pieces
  • Fresh Ginger 生薑 – 2 slices


1.    Wash chicken, cut into halves, remove skin and fat and put in boiling water to rinse for a couple of minutes, retrieve and drain.
2.    Rinse herbs and dates.
3.    Boil the ginseng for 20 minutes and cut into slices.  Use ‘neutral’ Codonopsis ‘Dang Shen’ if you have heat signs and Ginseng is too warming for you.
4.    Put all ingredients in a casserole with enough hot water to cover the chicken and put on the cover.
5.    Place the casserole on a stainless steel cooling stand inside a pot or a wok with enough hot water at the bottom to reach up to the lower third of the casserole. Cover the pot or wok with lid.
6.    Place the pot or wok on medium-high heat and cook for 4 hours. Add boiling water to the cooking whenever necessary to maintain the cooking and prevent burning.
7.    Remove and add salt to serve. Drink soup mainly.


Not suitable when having cold, flu or cough. Take regularly as a health tonic.


Bring the soup to a boil in a pot for about 10 minutes and transfer the cooking to a slow cooker and cook for 6 to 8 hours with high heat.

‘Dang Gui’ Angelica – tonify blood


Chinese medicine regards blood as not only necessary in nourishing your body, but also important in the healthy development of your mind.
Blood and qi are closely related. Blood is regarded as the mother of qi, and qi the general of blood. When there is blood deficiency, it is generally regarded as the inability of the spleen to provide enough fuel from food to make blood. Typical symptoms are pale complexion, dry skin, dizziness, ringing in the ears, forgetfulness, insomnia and menstrual disorder in women.
When blood is stagnant, it is a symbol of weak qi and the inability to move blood adequately. It can result in sharp and intense pain and the growth of tumors. Blood clots in the brain could be responsible for Alzheimer disease.
Too much internal heat will cause too much heat in the blood and will result in emotional problems, skin problems, excessive menstrual bleeding in women, premature gray hair and many other disharmonies.
Blood tonic is used to promote the increased production of blood in order to cure the various related health problems. It also can be used as a beauty tonic because when there is sufficient blood, the skin, the complexion and hair will all get the right nourishment and project good health. It can retard aging and prolong the youthfulness of the body.
When you have a feverish cold or flu, it is important that you do not consume blood tonic because it will fortify the evil excess and the sickness will be prolonged and much more difficult to cure. The idea of ‘starving’ a cold is traditionally observed in Asian medicine.

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