Often referred to as the poor man’s ginseng, codonopsis can be added to soups to increase its benefits for good health. It is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is believed to support the functioning of the lungs and spleen, produce red blood cells, relieve stress, fatigue, headaches & high blood pressure, stimulate the nervous system & improve immunity, and aid in digestion.
My husband always work late nights, sleep under 6 hours everyday and often feel lethargic and sleepy in the office. As for me, my head spins easily without reason sometimes. Most likely due to genetic factors as my mum suffers from the same. With these in mind, I introduced codonopsis into our diet a few times per month in the hope of improving our overall health. So far, it does help my husband concentrate better and also help alleviate my dizzy spells too.
Just remember even if one thing is very good for you, it is still advisable to have it in moderation. Too much can actually do more harm than good. And if you’re not sure if codonopsis will be suitable for you and your family, seeing a Chinese physician may help.
Codonopsis has a mild sweet taste so it doesn’t make your soup taste overly herby. This is an easy, nourishing chicken soup recipe for all.
Chicken Soup with Wolfberries and Red Dates Recipe
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 chicken drumsticks, remove skin & fats
1 chicken carcass
3 stalks codonopsis pilosula (also known as dang shen 党参)
30 seedless red dates
salt to taste
1. Blanch the chicken drumsticks and carcass. Set aside.
2. Wash the codonopsis, wolfberries and red dates. Drain and place in soup pot together with the chicken. Fill with enough water so all ingredients are covered.
3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour.
4. Season with a little salt, if required.
The red dates and wolfberries add depths of sweetness to the soup. A pinch of salt in the soup will further enhance its taste. Very pleasant tasting. I’m sure kids will like it too. Enjoy!