Top 10 Restorative Herbs

10 Restorative Herbs Recommended by our TCM Physicians

We are all aware of the holistic approach to health and wellness that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers. Whether it’s herbal remedies or lifestyle adjustments, incorporating certain herbs into your diet can do wonders for your well-being. If you’re keen to improve your vitality through TCM, we share the benefits of ten herbs and adaptogens to help you get started. Read on to learn more!


1. Ginseng (人参)

Ginseng, a perennial herb from the Panax genus, is renowned for its medicinal properties. With fleshy roots containing active compounds called ginsenosides, it is recognised for its adaptogenic qualities, aiding in stress management and overall well-being. Popular for cognitive and energy-boosting benefits, ginseng is available in supplements and teas, making it a favoured choice for natural support in promoting vitality and health.

Ginseng Chicken Soup 

Ingredients Steps
  • Half Chicken
  • 1 piece of Ginseng
  • 3 to 5 slices of ginger
  • 7 to 10 red dates
  • 1 tbsp of wolfberries
  • 500 ml of water
  1. Wash the chicken and prepare all the ingredients.
  2. Pour 500 ml of water into a pot and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add the chicken and other ingredients to the water. Cook for an hour, stirring once every 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Serve hot. 

Recipe adapted from Cookpad


2. Reishi Mushroom (灵芝)

Reishi, or Ling Zhi, is an herb capable of preserving Liver health, promoting calmness, and slowing the ageing process. Rich in bioactive compounds, including triterpenoids and polysaccharides, Reishi is believed to possess immune-modulating properties, contributing to its reputation as an adaptogen. It also has heart-nourishing properties. We recommend incorporating this into your diet to revitalise your body, strengthen your immunity, and improve stamina for health restoration.

Reishi Mushroom Tea



  • 1-inch dried Reishi mushroom
  • Water
  • Fresh ginger slice
  • A drizzle of honey
  • Orange or lemon edge
  • A sprinkle of cardamom or cinnamon
  • Fresh thyme or rosemary
  1. Add water, reishi mushrooms, ginger, cinnamon or cardamom into a pot. Boil for 10 minutes
  2. Add rosemary or thyme and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  3. Serve with honey and an orange or lemon wedge. 

Recipe adapted from staywyldorganics

Learn More: Slowing Down the Ageing Process During Menopause With TCM


3. Goji Berries (枸杞)

Ever indulged in some comforting herbal soup and spotted these small, red, oval-shaped ingredients in the bowl? Those are goji berries, which are packed full of anti-ageing properties and essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and fibre. They have the ability to nourish Kidney essence (Jing) and support eye health.

But that’s not all, goji berries are great confinement herbs too. They help to replenish the Blood and improve circulation, thus promoting healing for optimal postpartum recovery.

Mixed Fruit Smoothie with Goji Berries



  • 1 cup frozen mixed fruit
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 2 tbsps dried goji berries
  • 1 tsp honey
  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes


4. Turmeric (姜黄)

Turmeric is a vibrant-coloured spice with numerous health benefits. It can support the flow of Qi by stimulating blood flow and clearing the meridians, and even help with relieving pain. If you’re looking to address and prevent various health concerns naturally, consider adding turmeric to your diet.

Turmeric Chicken



  • 400g chickpeas
  • 1½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 600g skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 long shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 160g baby spinach, torn
  • 200g 0% fat natural yoghurt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
  • 4 wholemeal pittas, toasted and split
  1. Combine turmeric, paprika and chilli flakes in a small bowl. Add chicken and ½ tbsp of olive oil. Toss until well coated.
  2. Heat ½ tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and arrange the chicken in a single layer. Cook for three to four minutes, then flip and cook for three to four more minutes until golden and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate without removing the chicken fat.
  3. Add chickpeas to the pan with the remaining chicken fat. Throw in the shallots, garlic, and remaining oil. Cook for eight to 10 minutes. 
  4. Add spinach and toss to combine. Cook for two more minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the chicken. Combine the ingredients.
  6. Combine the yoghurt and lemon juice. Serve them on plates and top with chicken, chickpeas, lemon wedges and pittas.

Recipe adapted from Olive Magazine


5. Chinese Angelica Root (当归)

Chinese angelica root is an herb that offers multifaceted benefits great for the health conscious. It invigorates the Blood to support menstrual cycles and regulate reproductive hormones. For certain skin issues, Dang Gui can be a beneficial TCM remedy for eczema.

Chicken and Chinese Angelica Root Soup



Main Ingredients

  • 600g chicken
  • 1 L water
  • Salt

Dried Herbs

  • 20g Chinese yam
  • 10g Chinese angelica root
  • 20g codonopsis root
  • 20g Soloman’s seal
  • 15g goji berries
  • 8 red dates
  1. Blanch chicken pieces in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes until the scum floats up. Drain and rinse the meat.
  2. Rinse all the dried herbs and drain. Place them in a pot filled with 1L water and bring to a boil. Then, add the chicken and bring to a boil again.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for two hours.
  4. Season with salt and serve.

Recipe adapted from Asian Inspirations


6. Kelp (昆布)

Kelp is a vegetable that grows naturally in the sea. In Korean culture, it is often cooked into a soup for consumption postpartum as it contains lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants great for invigorating the mother’s body. Furthermore, it replenishes Kidney essence (Jing), increases vital energy and strengthens the immune system.

Seaweed Sou



  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stalk of celery, cut into slivers
  • ½ onion, cut into slivers
  • Handful of seaweed
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Noodles
  • Drizzle of sesame oil
  • Mushroom seasoning
  1. Add oil, salt, celery, and onions to a wok. Cook for one minute.
  2. Add 3 cups of boiling water to the wok and ½ tsp of mushroom seasoning.
  3. Drizzle in the scrambled egg and add the seaweed. Cook until seaweed is soft.
  4. Serve with a drizzle of sesame oil.

Recipe adapted from TCM world


7. Cordyceps (冬蟲夏草)

Cordyceps is a neutral herb that does wonders for your body, helping to boost overall energy. This unique fungus herb is often associated with improved respiratory function, increased energy levels, and enhanced endurance. It can be used to support fertility, and strengthen the Lungs and Kidneys for overall vitality.

Cordyceps and Old Cucumber Soup



  • 1 medium-sized kampung chicken, skinned and quartered
  • 2 old cucumbers
  • 150g fresh cordyceps, well-rinsed
  • 1 honey date 
  • 4 red dates, halved lengthwise
  • 5 pieces of dried Chinese yam
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms, quartered
  • 15g ginger, sliced
  • 4.2 litres of water
  1. Prepare the chicken by washing and removing excess fat. Then, blanch until there is no visible blood. Rinse and set aside.
  2. Slice the old cucumber lengthwise and remove the seeds and pith. Cut each half into four pieces.
  3. Add chicken, old cucumber, cordyceps, honey dates, red dates, Chinese yam, mushrooms, ginger and water to a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for two hours.
  4. Serve hot.

Recipe adapted from C3A


8. Astragalus (黄芪)

Astragalus is another herb full of antioxidants, which helps to protect cells against damage. It also has immune-boosting properties, energy-increasing capabilities, and can have positive effects on Kidney and Heart function.

Astragalus Miso Immunity Soup



  • 4-5 slices of dried astragalus root
  • 1 to 4-inch strip of kombu seaweed
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, fresh
  • 2-3 tbsps red miso paste
  • 4 tbsps of freshly chopped green onions
  • ½ bundle of dark leafy green vegetable
  • 100g of firm tofu, chopped into squares
  1. Add 3½ cups of water to a pot. Add the sliced shiitakes, kombu (rinse and pat dry first) and astragalus.
  2. Simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes. Then remove from heat and take out the kombu and astragalus.
  3. Add miso paste, chopped green onion, tofu, and dark leafy greens.
  4. Stir and cook until the miso is dissolved.
  5. Serve hot.

Recipe adapted from traditional medicinals


9. Poria Mushroom (茯苓)

Recognised for its natural diuretic properties, Poria helps regulate fluid balance in the body, potentially alleviating bloating and oedema. It is often used to address digestive issues such as indigestion, diarrhoea, and abdominal discomfort. Its mild and gentle nature makes it a suitable choice for those seeking natural remedies to enhance digestive well-being.

Four Herbs Soup



  • 30g dried fox nut barley
  • 25g dried lotus seeds
  • 30g dried Chinese yam slices
  • 35g poria mushroom
  • 900g pork neck bones
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 170g carrot
  • 340g daikon radish
  • 10 cups water
  • Salt
  1. Soak the barley, lotus seeds, Chinese yam, and poria mushroom in water.
  2. Soak the pork bones in cold water for an hour. Rinse thoroughly and drain.
  3. Blanch pork bones in a large pot. Then, drain the pork bones and rinse them clean. Wash the soup pot as well.
  4. Add the pork back to the pot and add the dried herbs along with the ginger, carrot, daikon, and 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer for two hours.
  5. Add salt to taste and serve hot. 

Recipe adapted from thewoksoflife


10. Ginger (姜)

Ginger is a warming herb with abilities to neutralise poisons in food, ventilate the lungs, and promote circulation to the limbs. It is also a confinement herb, frequently used in dishes like vinegar pig trotter or sesame oil chicken for dispelling wind from the mother’s body, preventing issues like rheumatism and body aches.

Ginger and Brown Sugar Tea



  • 600ml water
  • 8 slices ginger
  • 2 tbsp dried longan pulp
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  1. Rinse the ginger and slice. Rinse the longan pulp and drain well.
  2. Add the ginger and longan to a large pot. Pour in the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  3. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the water reduces to 400ml. Stir in the brown sugar and cover. 
  4. Turn off the heat with the cover on and let it stand for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Christine’s Recipes

From a TCM perspective, incorporating these herbs into one’s diet can contribute greatly to holistic wellness. By understanding each of their benefits, you can make informed decisions and consume the appropriate herbs to give your health a boost.

Whether you’re looking for a confinement herbs list or seeking TCM solutions for better health, Thomson Chinese Medicine can help you. We are a TCM clinic in Singapore offering a range of treatments to help you find relief, achieve optimal health, or improve your fertility. Book your appointment with us today.

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