When it comes to one’s health, TCM is all about prevention. By building a strong immunity (referred to as Defence Qi or “Wei Qi 卫气”), it can provide you with a broad-spectrum protection from getting sick. As many COVID-19 cases can be asymptomatic, taking simple steps to protect yourself and others are crucial in the long run.
In this article, we share 5 popular TCM herbal soups that you can prepare at home, to strengthen and nourish your body during this COVID-19 period. These soups are affordable and can be easily purchased from local supermarkets such as NTUC, Cold Storage and Market Place. When cooking these delicious soups, add in the herbs together with meat or beans and root vegetables of your choice and stew for an hour.
1. 泡参虫草炖汤 （Cordyceps and American Ginseng Tonic Soup）
- Main Ingredients: Cordyceps 培植虫草，American Ginseng 泡参, Huang Qi 黄芪
- Benefits: Strengthens Lung and Kidney Qi function and regulates blood.
- Suitable for: Ginseng and cordyceps have long been known as natural energy boosters. These can help with those with Qi deficiency symptoms such as feeling tired easily or sluggish even after a good sleep.
2. 莲子六味汤（Appetite Enhancement Tonic Soup）
- Main Ingredients: Yu Zhu 玉竹，Huai Shan 淮山，Lian Zi 莲子
- Benefits: Strengthens the digestive system. In TCM, the Spleen is the most important organ for digestion. Without the proper function of the Spleen, food will not be transformed into energy (Qi). Lack of energy would mean lack of defence energy to build immunity.
- Suitable for: Those with digestive issues such as bloating, indigestion, excessive fluctuance or lack of appetite.
3. 人参鸡汤（Ginseng Chicken Soup）
- Main Ingredients: Ginseng 人参，Dang Sheng 党参，Dang Gui 当归
- Benefits: Strengthens energy level and nourishs the blood.
- Suitable for: Those with weak immune system and tend to get sick easily; those that show signs of anaemia such as pale complexion fatigue, light headedness and low blood pressure.
4. 养阴八珍汤（Revitalizing Tonic Soup）
- Main Ingredients: Dang Gu i当归，Shu Di 熟地，Fu Ling 茯苓，Bai Zhu 白术
- Benefits: Strongly tonifies both Qi and Blood and nourishes the Yin too.
- Suitable for: Those with Qi and Blood deficiency. Signs usually show up as feeling colder than usual, pale complexion, palpitation with anxiety, easily fatigued and light-headedness. This is also commonly used for women after their menses to replenish the lost blood.
5. 杜仲补腰汤（Du Zhong Tonic Soup）
- Main Ingredients: Du Zhong 杜仲，Ba Ji Tian 巴戟天，Goji berries 枸杞
- Benefits: Strengthens the bones and sinews for a stronger back. As the saying goes “The waist is the house of the Kidney”, the Kidney is responsible for the strengthening the waist and lower back area.
- Suitable for: Those who sit or stand for a long period of time. Any history of lower back injury leading to lower back pain can benefit from this as well.