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Huang Jing and Pigeon Soup Recipe

We share two recipes that feature Huang Jing. These recipes share strong nutritive properties that are suitable for recovery from a long illness, as well as supporting the Jing / Essence and Yin.

Pigeon Soup

Huang Jing (Polygonatum sibiricum rhizome, common English name Siberian Solomon Seal rhizome) is usually found within the category of Qi Tonification, and is a very important herb for nourishing both the Jing / Essence and the Yin. There are studies outlining the pharmacological properties of Polygonatum sibiricum that may be of interest when considering this herb.*

Huang Jing is sweet and neutral, lending itself easily as an addition to soups and stews, and, because it has gradual, moderate tonifying properties, can be used long term. Huang Jing enters the Lung, Kidney and Spleen meridians and functions to moisten Lung Yin, tonify Kidney Yin and strengthen Jing / Essence.

Those with a strong constitution may, of course, do well with a vegetarian diet, and as we age, we likely need less animal protein. However, if a person has a weaker constitution or is recovering from a debilitating illness, we may need to incorporate animal protein to enrich our Blood and Yang. In terms of collagen production, which decreases during menopause due to the reduction of estrogen, we can incorporate animal protein which naturally contains collagen in the cartilage bone, and other tissues.

The meat in this recipe specifically calls for mature Pigeon (1+years old as opposed to squab). According to the Ben Cao Gang Mu《本草纲目》 (Compendium of Materia Medica), “meat can replenish the five internal organs, benefit the Middle, nourish vital energy, strengthen the bones, resist Cold and Heat, and reduce Heat.” In addition to replenishing Qi, it is also known to regulate menstruation. Pigeon meat is sweet, salty and neutral, entering the Liver and Kidney meridians, functioning to nourish the Kidneys and vital Qi, while also dispelling wind, and tonifying Jing / Essence and blood. Pigeon is high protein, low in fat content, and contains more copper, calcium, iron, vitamin A, B, and E than chicken or beef. It is also rich in pantothenic acid, which is said to protect against early hair aging, and some sources say it is the most suitable meat for human consumption, given its high digestibility and ease of absorption by the body.

Complementing the Huang jing in this recipe is one of our favorite herbs, Gou qi zi, which is sweet and neutral, entering the Liver, Lung and Kidney meridians. Gou qi zi tonifies Liver and Kidney blood and Yin, benefits the Jing / Essence, and brightens the eyes, making it the perfect Yin and blood tonic for healthy aging.



  • 1 Mature Pigeon
  • 19 g Polygonatum sibiricum rhizome (Huang jing)
  • 19 g Goji / Lycium barbarum fruit (Gou qi zi)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Clean, wash and scald pigeon in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain, set aside (cut into pieces or leave whole as desired)
  2. Put all ingredients (except salt) into cooking pot
  3. Add 6 cups of water or appropriate amount to cover ingredients
  4. Bring to boil, then stew over low heat for 3 hours
  5. Add salt to taste and serve

*A Review: The Bioactivities and Pharmacological Applications of Polygonatum sibiricum polysaccharides
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