Soups are a wonderful treat for the body, warming it from within as the temperature drops outdoors. A soup containing Chinese herbs like cordyceps, however, can do much more than warm you up. Cordyceps act on the lung and kidney meridians, the channels in the body through which Qi flows. As, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the kidneys control the reproductive organs, then when the kidneys become depleted of their yang energy, the result can be infertility, menstrual difficulties, erectile dysfunction, low sperm count and diminished libido. Yang deficiency can also manifest in symptoms such as weakness or soreness of the lower back, intolerance to cold and chronic fatigue.
Cordyceps can also address yin deficiencies of the kidneys and lungs demonstrated by hot flashes and night sweats, dry coughing, wheezing,dry mouth, back pain and shortness of breath, as well as spermatorrhea in men.
If you are experiencing lung or kidney deficiencies, consider adding cordyceps to your diet or taking this herb in capsule form.
Cordyceps are most commonly consumed and prepared with duck meat to enhance the cooling yin properties, but combining cordyceps with chicken would further warm a person’s body (which would be helpful for those with yang deficiency, but not ideal for those with yin deficiency.)
Abalone soup with cordyceps (Serves three to four)
20g Chinese wolfberries
20g Chinese dodder seeds
50g canned abalone
50g sea cucumber
2 tbs Chinese wine
2 cups chicken broth
2-3 slices of ginger
2-3 sprigs of spring onions
Salt and pepper, to taste
Wash and slice the abalone thinly.
Clean and cut the sea cucumber into 3cm-thick slices.
Rinse and place the cordyceps, Chinese dodder seeds, abalone, sea cucumber and ginger slices into a crock pot.
Add the chicken broth and salt, then bring the mixture to a boil under high heat.
Lower the heat and add the wine and Chinese wolfberries. Leave the mixture to simmer for 40 minutes.
Do not use the spring onions simply as a garnish. Instead, mix them well with the rest of the ingredients to enhance the flavour of the dish before serving.