My mum has a regular traditional medical shop at South Bridge Road that she goes to. She is a firm believer in Chinese herbs and traditional chinese medicine (TCM) so when my sister and I were growing up, she would occasionally boil us herbal soups to nourish our bodies. When I was younger, I hated drinking these soups. I did not appreciate the hard work that went into each bowl of soup and would drink each bowl with much reluctance. Now that I’m much older and realise their benefits, I am now a believer in TCM as well.
Recently, I was introduced to ba zhen tang (八珍汤) or Eight Treasure Decoction. You can read about its benefits here. Apparently, women take it at the end of their monthly period to nourish the bodies and to ‘replenish’ all the lost blood. I’ve never heard of it until recently. Basically, this tonic soup nourishes the blood, helps with the qi and balances the hormonal system.
For me, I usually get pretty bad cramps on the first day of the time-of-the-month and would usually need to pop a Panadol to manage the pain. However, after I drank one packet of ba zhen tang (one packet can last for 2 rounds) last month, I noticed that the cramps were not as bad as usual, i.e. I survived without resorting to the Panadol. Woohoo! I did not do anything special so I attributed it to the soup. I have to add that it isn’t the nicest soup. In fact, it’s far from nice. It’s thick, gooey and rather…gross. Check it out:
It tastes as vile as it looks. The best thing to do is to gulp it down very quickly while pinching your nose shut. Well, at least that’s what I did.
So yes, even though it’s thoroughly gross, I’m now sold on the soup because I no longer get cramps! I’d drink anything to stop the cramps, really. I accompanied my mum to the medical shop one afternoon and bought another 4 packets. I did not realise that each packet was specially concocted on the spot! I always thought that it was bought it off the shelf.
Check out the amount of herbs in one packet. LOADS! No wonder each packet costs $14. I saw the same packet of herbs (but a lot smaller) sold at shops and they were $6.50 each. Apparently, the types of herbs used are of different quality and quantity so naturally, the price is different. Ahhh, now I know.
Ladies, do you drink this tonic soup? Have you heard of it and do you drink it?