Guide to commonly used TCM ingredients and their uses

PHOTO: Guide to commonly used TCM ingredients and their uses

SINGAPORE - Don’t just hold your breath the next time you walk past a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shop. Step in and discover the all-round benefits those herbs can bring.

Befuddled by the assortment and tongue-twisting names? Siew Pei Kuan, assistant branch manager at Yue Hwa Chinese Products, highlights eight TCM herbs – and what they’re good for.

RADIX PSEUDOSTELLARIAE  ($30 for 250g box)

Also known as: Crown prince ginseng

Benefits: Relieves heatiness, promotes circulation and strengthens respiratory function.

Try: Steep in boiling water for a tonifying tea.

How much to use: 6g to 250ml water

ROSELLE ($2.80 for 70g pack)

Also known as:; Roselle flower or sorrel

Benefits: Lowers cholesterol, regulates blood pressure and aids digestion.

Try: Steep in boiling water and sweeten with honey.

How much to use: Four pieces to 250ml water

BLACK FUNGUS ($15 for 225g box)

Benefits: Lowers blood pressure and prevents iron deficiency.

Try: Stir-fry with chicken and ginger.

How much to use:; 15g or a handful

WHITE FUNGUS ($4.20 for 37.5g pack)

Benefits: Enhances complexion, regulates menstrual cycle and relieves coughs.

Try: Add to chicken, red dates and mushrooms soup.

How much to use: 25g to one litre water

JOB'S TEARS ($2.60 for 200g pack)

Also known as: Chinese pearl barley

Benefits: Relieves diarrhoea and detoxifies.

Try: Boil with wintermelon strips for a cooling beverage. How much to use 50g to one litre water

PREPARED REHMANNIA ROOT ($1.60 for 37.5g pack)

Also known as: Chinese foxglove root

Benefits: Lowers blood sugar level.

Try: Add to chicken or pork rib soup.

How much to use: 30g to one litre water

EUCOMMIA ($7 for 37.5g pack)

Also known as: Eucommia bark

Benefits: Boosts the body’s self-cleansing process as well as strengthens joints and bones.

Try: Cut into strips and add to pork ribs, morinda root, wolfberries and Chinese dates soup.

How much to use: 70g to one litre water

WHERE TO BUY: Yue Hwa Chinese Products White and black fungus as well as Job’s tears are also available at supermarkets.

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