Chinese Herbal Ingredients Used in Cantonese Soup

(Last Updated on March 12, 2024 by Amiee)

Chinese people often say that eating is in Guangdong province. It is because Cantonese people pay more attention to nutrition in eating, which is good for the body.

I came to southern China from northern China, and I also liked the food here, especially the Cantonese soup. Some Chinese herbal medicines will also be used in Cantonese-style soup to nourish or regulate the body. Here we introduce some common ingredients used in soups and their effects. Wolfberry, Red dates, Dried tangerine peel, Codonopsis pilosula, Fragrant Solomonseal Rhizome, Angelicae Sinensis, Astragalus mongholicus, Lilium lancifolium Thunb. We usually use the dried products of their fresh plants.


English Name: Lycium fruit, matrimony vine fruit, wolfberry.

Pharmacuetical Name: Fructus Lycii

Properties: sweet, neutral

It has a high nutritional value and is very rich in vitamin C and unsaturated fatty acids. The easiest way to eat is to soak the water and use it to cook soup and porridge.

Efficacy: It can protect the liver, lower blood sugar, soften blood vessels, and lower blood cholesterol. It’s good for the kidneys, it can also help the body to strengthen resistance.

Red dates(红枣):

Red dates in cantonese soup

English Name: jujube, date

Pharmacuetical Name: Frucuts Jujubae

Properties: sweet, warm

It is used in traditional Chinese medicine to replenish Qi and blood. Some Chinese people say: “eat three dates a day, and you will never grow old”.  It is good for your health to add some dates which are mild in nature to the soup or porridge.

Tangerine peel(陈皮):

Dried tangerine Peel in cantonese soup

English Name: citrus peel, orange peel, tangerine peel

Pharmacuetical Name: Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae

Properties: acrid, bitter, warm

Tangerine peel is actually orange peel, but the famous Xinhui tangerine peel comes from the big red tangerine of Xinhui, Guangdong. Xinhui tangerine peel is more expensive than others. The long-preserved tangerine peel has a special fragrance.

Efficacy: Tangerine peel can regulate qi and strengthen the spleen,  dry the wet, and reduce phlegm.

Codonopsis (党参):

English Name: codonopsis, pilose Asia bell root

Pharmacuetical Name: Radix Codonopsis

Properties: sweet, neutral

Chinese people often use ginseng to nourish the body. Codonopsis is mild in nature and not as strong as ginseng.

Efficacy: Supplement Qi- blood,  delay aging, can also regulate function, and have the effect of enhancing physical fitness.

Polygonatum Rhizome (玉竹):

English Name: Polygonatum Rhizome, fragrant Solomon’s Seal

Pharmacuetical Name: Rhizoma Polygonati Odorati

Properties: sweet, neutral

Efficacy: It is good for lung and stomach sinus, hot and cold cough, dry throat, and thirst.

Chinses Angelica(当归):

English Name: Tangkuei, angelica root, dong quai, Chinese angelica

Pharmacuetical Name: Radicis Angelicae Sinensis

Properties: sweet, acrid, warm

Efficacy: Run the bowel, relieve blood circulation, relieve menstruation and relieve pain. Usually, women eat after menstruation, which plays a role in regulating blood.

Astragalus (黄芪):

English Name: Astragalus, Mongolian milkvetch root

Pharmacuetical Name: Radix Astragali

Properties: sweet, slightly warm

It is a commonly used medicinal material for people. It can be used in soups and sparkling wines.

Efficacy: Enhance immune function, liver protection, diuresis, anti-aging, and antihypertensive effects.


English Name: lily, lily bulb

Pharmaceutical Name: Bulbus Lilii

Properties: sweet, cool

It is the rhizome of a lily flower, which has high medicinal value.

Efficacy: Detoxification, spleen and stomach, and promote blood circulation. It is used to clear the lungs and relieve dryness and relieve cough.


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