Pat Chan Soup (八珍汤) was the punishment to puberty. My mother forced me to drink this super bitter medicinal soup at the end of every menstrual cycle. It was a monthly torture.
I hated it so much that I secretly throw away the bowl of soup. Once, I was caught in the act. She was furious and refused to boil it for my again. I was elated…though not for long. I could feel a dip in energy after every menstrual cycle that I begged my mother to make if for me again.
Despite my distaste for it, I had to admit that it is good for me. Until now, my period is always regular and I never had much pain. Whenever I feel tired despite having enough sleep, I’ll make this soup or red dates tonic to strengthen my body.
In the recent years, my family found a Chinese herbal shop which sells a formula that taste palatable. On top of that, we added more black dates, and honey dates to make it sweeter. This is the best tasting Ba Zhen formula that I’ve tasted (as best as this bitter soup can be anyway).
Medicinal values & beauty benefits
This medicinal soup helps one regain strength and stamina. Formulated specifically to combat what Traditional Chinese Medicine refer to as ‘Blood and Qi deficiency’, it helps improves pale complexion, shortness of breath, and irregular or painful menstruation.
This medicinal soup is not only given to women after menstruration, but to patients after surgeries. It contains:
- Chinese Angelica Root – Gui Shen/ 归身
- White Atrocytlodes rhizomes – Bai Zhu/ 白术
- Rehmannia – Shu Di Huang/ 熟地黄
- Eucommia bark – Du Zhong/ 杜仲
- Codonopsis root – Dang Shen/ 党参
- White peony root – Bai Shao/ 白芍
- Poria – Fu Shen/ 茯神
- Sichuan Lovage – Chuang Xiong/ 川芎
- Honey Fried Licorice Root – Zhi Gan Cao/ 炙甘草
- Pot/ slow cooker
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
In this recipe, I have broke down my favourite recipe into individual herbs. But my family normally buy individual herbal packets from Chinese Medicinal shops. It’s much more convenient this way.
The cost of each packet varies from one medicinal shop to another. But the average price is RM 12. Here’s a few more popular ones:
It makes about 4 cups. So it is about RM 3 per serving.
I like it concentrated, as I see it as a bitter medicine to swallow more than delicious soup to enjoy. After finishing the soup, my mother like to add more water and boil it another time for a lighter soup. Sometimes she even puts some egg inside to absorb the herbal flavour (not for me!).
I think it’s a very affordable medicine. Even if it was not, I would still pay for it for.