As I mentioned before, dang gui (angelica sinensis, 当归) soup is my go-to Chinese herbal tonic for whenever I have any issues that I suspect may be remotely related to blood, circulation, or hormones. Men can benefit from this tonic in the same way, too. Whenever I drink it, I feel revitalized and relaxed at the same time, helping my sleep and energy. I swear by it, and so do 2,200+ years of traditional Chinese medicine.
(Whenever I think about how Western medicine would never suggest this as a simple remedy because it’s not evidence-based, I’m frustrated by how many people could benefit, but are missing out!)
Although the dang gui herb comes in extract, capsule, or powder, I have only had the tea form. Having tried taking other Chinese herbs in capsule form, I think that the brewed method is far superior in feeling immediate benefit.
There are two basic recipes either sweet with dates or savory with chicken drumsticks, that you can use to prepare the soup/tea. Personally, I LOVE the bitter and sweet flavor of the sweet tea. I asked my mom to write me the recipe as she always prepares it for me and I haven’t ever done it myself. Now I’ve written down the surprisingly simple recipe here for myself (and you!) and have no excuse not to be able to prepare it for myself.
- About 5 slices of dang gui (當歸)
- About 8 red dates aka jujubes (红 枣 or 大枣) or more if you like it sweeter
- Substitute the red dates with 2 chicken drumsticks if you prefer savory
The number of dang gui slices and red dates are really more about the taste/effect that you prefer. The more dates you add, the sweeter the tea will be. Likewise, the more dang gui you add, the stronger the tea.
I get the dang gui from a local Chinese herbal store and recently have been able to find organic jujubes online at luckyvitamin.com.
- Rinse both ingredients, then put them into a pot of water (about 6 rice bowls of water – that’s how my mom measures things, haha).
- Cook on medium high heat for about 20-30 minutes.
- Then turn to medium low heat until the soup is ready (stop brewing when the liquid is equivalent to about 2 rice bowls of soup/tea).
- If you prepared the savory version, you can salt to taste.