adventures · family · me myself and i

The wonders of ba zhen tang 八珍汤

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?

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17 thoughts on “The wonders of ba zhen tang 八珍汤

  1. Never heard of this one, but 4 words – Zhen Zhen Liang Cha – put the fear of God in me. I’d drop the keropok like a hot potato and pour myself a big glass of water.

  2. Yes yes, 四神汤, 六味汤, 八珍汤, 十全大补汤 … grew up drinking all kinds of soup. 滚汤, 煲汤, 炖汤, soup is a must for my family during meal time 🙂

  3. I loveeeee 八珍汤 for the taste. Am surprised you find it gross, but then again we use the prepacked ones and it’s no where as thick. Cooked with black chicken and mee sua!

  4. I swear by 八珍汤 too! It is the most effective thing EVER for cramps! I used to get cramps so bad that I may black out or get nauseous from the pain and now I hardly get any cramps at all!! My mum brews it for me at least once a month. The formula I use is slightly different from the typical formula (supposedly) cos my TCM doc customised it for me. Oh I hate the taste too but my mum boils it with chicken so it’s supposedly better, but I also gulp it all down at one go! Heh….

  5. Oh yes heard of it and I drank it during my confinement period too after giving birth. It does work wonders after a full month of herbal soups, I didnt have any cramps on the first mth of menses after delivery. Sybsequent months were not too bad. So my conslusion is, chinese herbal soup does have effects on me. They are in fact very ‘bu’ and good for ladies.

    1. Hi kiyeehun, once the period ends “cleanly”, I wait about 2-3 days before I drink the ba zhen soup. You can then keep the herbs and boil it again to drink in 3-4 days time. Usually, I’d drink 2 times before throwing the herbs away. Hope this helps! Oh and remember to get the herbs from a medical shop, not the pre-packed ones from the supermarket.

  6. Weird. I absolutely adore drinking this. I have it as a meal. Maybe it depends on how you cook it, but I tell you, this herb soup can become something that you really enjoy. I’ve been drinking it ever since I was a kid and I love it. Unfortunately, not living in Asia means that I can’t get my hands on it, so darn it!

    But I never knew about its benefits, that’s very interesting !

  7. My mum used to make Ba Zhen for me when I was younger. She used to add pig heart into it to make it sweeter. Since she passed away, I had totally forgotten about this soup and I don’t even know if they sell pig heart anymore!

    1. Oh wow, I don’t think they sell pig’s heart anymore. I’m not sure if I can stomach the soup if I knew that pig’s heart was inside though. I’m pretty squeamish about innards. Heh.

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