Lung and Throat Protecting Soup

Originally published September 25, 2020 Lung Protecting Soup

Figs are one of the oldest cultivated crops throughout the world, and often said to be a symbol of peace, abundance and prosperity. Dried figs hold a special place in this delicious fall recipe, with heat clearing and moistening properties. Entering the Lung, Large Intestine and Stomach meridians, figs can promote the secretion of saliva to soothe a sore throat and dry cough, as well as being supportive to the functions of digestion and elimination. Pork, which is neutral, sweet and salty, also moistens dryness and benefits the Spleen, Stomach and Kidneys.

The herbs in this soup all work together to support us in this season. The Metal element is at its peak now, as we move more inward to prepare and protect for the coming winter. Shu di huang, one of our favorite sweet and slightly warm Blood tonics, is harvested in Autumn, and tonifies the Essence and Kidney Yin. The three Yin tonics: Bai he, Yu zhu and Tian men dong, are all sweet and cooling, sharing the function of entering the Lung meridian to clear heat and moisten dryness from Yin deficiency patterns that may present in this season with cough, dry mouth and sore throat. Bai he also clears Heart heat and calms the Spirit, and Yu zhu tonifies the Qi of the middle Jiao. This is an extremely nourishing and protective tonic for the Metal season, and all the herbs are edible and delicious. Enjoy!


  • ½ lb - lean pork, cut into cubes
  • 20 g - Shu Di Huang / Rehmannia glutinosa root
  • 30 g - Bai He / Lillium brownii bulb
  • 15 g - Yu Zhu / Polygonatum odoratum rhizome
  • 20 g - Tian Men Dong / Asparagus conchinchinensis root
  • 3-4 pc - Wu Hua Guo / Dried Figs, cut in half
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  • Scald pork in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain and rinse meat
  • Rinse herbs
  • Place all ingredients in 2 Quarts of water and boil for 30 minutes, reduce to low heat and simmer for 2 hours.
  • Skim top
  • Salt to taste and serve


About the Author

Janet L. Borges, MSTCM, Dipl.Ac. & C.H, L.Ac. graduated from San Francisco's American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2002. She maintains a thriving private practice in Richmond, Virginia focusing on mental health, musculoskeletal pain, and chronic digestive issues. In addition, she has been a representative and consultant for Mayway Herbs for over 20 years, as well as serving on national and state Boards for the advancement of the east Asian medicine profession.

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