Hai Ji Tang (Black-Boned Chicken Soup)

Categories: Kidney & Urinary Bladder Qi Vacuity, Kidney Jing Vacuity, Kidney Unable to Grasp Qi, Liver Blood Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Hai Ji Tang (Black-Boned Chicken Soup)
via China

Serves 4 (about 2 quarts)

1 1-lb silkie chicken (wu gu ji: black-boned chicken) head and feet discarded, cleaned and rinsed
20 pieces long yan rou (Longan Arillus)
1/4 cup yi mi (Coicis Semen)
2 large, thick, solid, heavy rhizomes huang jing (Polygonati Rhizoma)
1/4 cup gou qi zi (Lycii Fructus)
3-4 very large slices he shou wu (Polygoni multiflori Radix preparata)
4 pieces dang shen (Codonopsis Radix)
40 pieces lian zi (Nelumbinis Semen)
light Chinese soy sauce

Rinse all the dried herbs and set aside. Soak the lian zi in hot water for a few minutes or until soft, then remove all the pits in them to prevent the soup from becoming bitter.

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Boil the chicken for 2 minutes, then remove and set aside. Put the chicken in a double boiler with enough water to barely cover it. Place the double boiler over high heat and add the herbs. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours, occasionally skimming fat from the surface.

When done, remove and discard the herbs with a slotted spoon. Remove and set aside the chicken. Line a colander with cheesecloth and place over a serving bowl. Pour the broth through the colander, add salt to taste, and serve. The chicken is sliced and served separately, each diner dipping it in a light soy sauce before eating.

Wu gu ji (Silkie chicken): sweet neutral LV KI
Actions: nourishes LV and KI, nourishes yin, reduces fever
Indications: consumptive disease, xiao ke, chronic xie xie

Long yan rou (Longan Arillus): sweet warm HT SP
Actions: nourishes blood, tonifies qi, calms the spirit.
Indications: insomnia, palpitations, forgetfulness, dizziness.

Yi mi (Coicis Semen): sweet bland sl. cold LU SP ST KI
Actions: tonifies the SP, augments the LU, leaches damp from bones, sinews, muscles, cools heat, expels pus.
Indications: edema, diarrhea, damp heat disorder.

Huang jing (Polygonati Rhizoma): sweet neutral KI LU SP
Actions: tonifies SP qi, nourishes SP and LU yin, augments KI jing.
Indications: dry cough, lower back pain, wasting and thirsting disorder.

Gou qi zi (Lycii Fructus): sweet neutral LV LU KI
Actions: enriches LV, KI and LU yin, nourishes LV blood, mildly tonifies KI yang, benefits the jing, brightens the eyes, lowers BP and cholesterol.
Indications: sore back and legs, wasting and thirsting disorder, consumption, dizziness, blurred vision, diminished visual acuity.

He shou wu (Polygoni multiflori Radix preparata): bitter sweet astringent sl. warm LV KI
Actions: tonifies LV and KI, nourishes blood and yin, preserves the jing.
Indications: dizziness, blurred vision, premature greying, weakness in the lower back and knees, insomnia.

Dang shen (Codonopsis Radix): sweet neutral LU SP
Actions: tonifies the middle jiao, augments the SP and LU qi.
Indications: SP qi deficiency, prolapse due to collapsed SP qi, chronic cough, shortness of breath.

Lian zi (Nelumbinis Semen): sweet astringent neutral HT KI SP
Actions: tonifies and stabilizes SP, HT, and KI, calms the spirit.
Indications: chronic diarrhea, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhea, palpitations, irritability, insomnia.

Salt: salty neutral KI
Actions: moistens dryness, softens hardness, benefits digestion, and promotes bowel movements.

Soy Sauce: salty cold SP ST KI
Actions: harmonizes middle jiao, clears Heat, antidote to food poisoning.
Indications: interior heat toxin, fullness secondary to febrile diseases.

Hai ji tang (composite): bitter sweet salty astringent neutral LV KI HT SP ST LU
Actions: tonifies qi, tonifies and harmonizes middle jiao, nourishes HT, LV, LU, and KI, nourishes blood and yin, augments KI jing, calms the spirit, moistens dryness.
Indications: KI, LV, HT, SP, ST, LU, blood and yin deficiency.