Use Ginseng in Soup and Tea

Ginseng Root

Another popular root that is common in the Chinese diet, and many other Asian diets, is Ginseng. In fact, American Ginseng is one of the most popular in the world. I even see it in small local markets here in Zhuhai. I see it popularly used out here in soups, often with other Chinese herbs, chicken bones, Gou Ji berries, and Zao Zi. This kind of soup can be purchased warm and ready to eat at any Fujian style dumpling shop. (I’ll post a simple recipe for making this at home soon.)

Dried Ginseng Slices

Ginseng is also consumed by steeping some dried slices of it in hot water, like tea. I sometimes do this before going to bed in order to reduce “Qi” in the body. I also suggest this drink as a replacement for evening teas or coffee.

Here is some health-related information from Wikipedia, and sourced therein:
“Both American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) roots are taken orally as adaptogens [a product that increases the body’s resistance to stress], aphrodisiacs [you can guess…], nourishing stimulants, and in the treatment of type II diabetes, as well as sexual dysfunction in men.

Other information: The English word ginseng derives from the Chinese term rénshēn (simplified: 人参; traditional: 人蔘), literally “man root” (referring to the root’s characteristic forked shape, resembling the legs of a man).”

Vinegar from Shanxi

Dong Hu Vinegar

For vinegar, I don’t taste much of a difference between brands, although color is important. Dark vinegar, or “Chen Cu” 陈醋, is the standard in China and the famous ones always come from Shanxi province 山西. While cooking with a very experienced coworker, I learned that a particular brand is famous here: Dong Hu, literally East Lake brand. You could search for it, but I’m not sure if it is available outside of China.

Medicinal benefits: A study has shown that putting vinegar in the food you eat can increase satiety, which leads to less food intake.[*2000] This is a great natural benefit for people fighting obesity. Other potential benefits include fighting infections, but there are other things out there which are more effective.

Apple (cider) Vinegar is a common drink I see in supermarkets here. Some studies have hinted that it could help with conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Maybe you should get a bottle and try sometime. Shake things up a little!