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The Nutritional Marvel: Benefits of Drinking Black Chicken Soup

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Throughout the centuries, traditional cuisines have employed various ingredients to nourish and restore health. One such ancient remedy is black chicken soup, cherished for its nutritional prowess and medicinal properties.

Rich in active ingredients, this delectable broth is valued in parts of Asia as a favored tonic and holds a special place in Chinese postpartum care.

In this article, we delve into the scientific evidence behind the benefits of this chicken soup and explore the active ingredients that make it a true nutritional gem.

Silkie Chicken Soup is a Tonic for Mum and Family

When a food or a supplement is a tonic, it is able to build up inadequacies or deficiencies in the body.

This tonic chicken soup has garnered a dedicated following because it is known as a tonic with potential health-promoting properties.

The key ingredients are silkie chicken (also known as black chickens) and a potpourri of chinese confinement herbs which we will share more about in the rest of this article.

Superior Bioavailability in the Soup

One of the key reasons for the popularity of this silkie chicken recipe lies in the superior bioavailability of essential nutrients.

The key ingredients are placed in a pot and simmered over low heat in a process known as water extraction. The process of water extraction concentrates the active ingredients in the soup, making them more easily absorbed by the body. This ensures that individuals receive a potent dose of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals, which makes this the most nourishing of confinement herbal recipes!

Those with compromised digestive systems or absorption issues will benefit the most from drinking this soup extracted from silkie chicken. But all new mothers and their family should consume this soup as she is recovering after delivery.

Energy Boost and Mental Clarity

Have you heard of “mummy’s brain?” Brain fog is common during the time of confinement after the birth of your baby.

Silkie chicken soup is often consumed as a tonic for students studying for their final exams, or adults needing work through the wee hours. For the postpartum mum, this soup benefits her because it is able to improve energy levels and mental clarity.

This soup can be consumed with confinement egg or confinement rice,  or other confinement herbal snack mixes.

The rich amino acid profile of this chicken soup includes glycine and proline, which supports cognitive function and promotes a sense of well-being.

Additionally, the high vitamin B content is vital for energy metabolism, helping the new mum stay alert and focused despite having stayed up through the night feeding her newborn child.

This is not even to mention the positive effect of cooking Chinese ginseng in this chicken soup. The ginsenosides in ginseng add a slight bitter taste to the soup, but it is this bitterness that gives a boost to mental clarity and enhances the energy-conferring properties of herbal silkie chicken.

Red and black dates are also used in this recipe. Add more red dates to this chicken soup recipe to replenish your red blood cells. Dried black dates are a good source of iron.

Finally (look at the image of the chicken soup above!), there is no harm modifying the recipe to double your helping of goji berries! Together with the dates, goji berries add sweetness to the taste, but is cooling balances out the heatiness of the dates!

Stress Reduction and Sleep Improvement

Several studies have explored the potential anxiolytic and sedative effects of Black Chicken Soup. The presence of carnosine and tryptophan are the likely contributors to resilience and calm.

Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. Increased serotonin levels are associated with improved mood and a reduction in stress and anxiety. Serotonin helps modulate the stress response by regulating the release of stress neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and cortisol.

High levels of oxidative stress have been associated with anxiety and sleep disorders. By reducing oxidative stress, carnosine protects the body from the harmful effects of chronic stress.

New mothers may sleep better when consuming this silkie  herbal recipe. When they sleep better, their mood is better regulated, which prevents a possible dip into postpartum depression.

Chicken Soup Recipe for Postpartum Care

For generations, Chinese mothers and grandmothers have lovingly prepared black chicken soup to aid postpartum recovery. This tradition is deeply rooted in Chinese culture due to the numerous health benefits it offers to new mothers.

Silkie chicken soup benefits you because it is rich in essential nutrients and active compounds. We explain in the rest of the article why this specific breed of chicken is a superior source of nutrition that supports postpartum health.

Cooking up the Black

It’s not just the Goji Berries which are nourishing and add to the nutrition profile!

Black chicken meat has been found to contain higher levels of certain nutrients when compared to standard chicken. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein and essential amino acids, which accelerates tissue repair.

Black chicken meat is also rich in vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, D), and minerals (iron, zinc, selenium). These vitamins and minerals are crucial for postpartum recovery. They also help in maintaining immune function and overall well-being during this delicate phase of a women’s life.

Most importantly, and we will share more in the rest of this article, black chicken meat is rich in carnosine. Carnosine is a supplement used by bodybuilder for enhancing strength and shortening recovery time.

Active Ingredients beyond the Goji Berries!

The unique black color of these chickens is attributed to melanin, a potent antioxidant that helps combat oxidative stress and reduce cellular damage.

Additionally, black chicken meat contains higher levels of carnosine, an antioxidant dipeptide associated with anti-aging effects and enhanced cognitive function.

Another significant active ingredient is collagen, a structural protein abundant in black chicken meat and bones.

Collagen is essential for promoting skin elasticity, wound healing, and strengthening connective tissues, making it an invaluable component for postpartum women recovering from childbirth.

Did you also know that collagen from chicken is more bioavailable than collagen from other sources, for example bovine or plant collagen?

Furthermore, black chicken soup is simmered with various Chinese herbs known for their medicinal properties, such as angelica root (Dang Gui) and goji berries (Gou Qi Zi). These herbs provide additional nutrients and potentially health-boosting compounds to the soup.

Enhancing Breast Milk Supply

Postpartum women want to know that they are producing enough breast milk. Many women seek out Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine to help increase levels of breast milk supply.

Black Chicken Soup is another Chinese herbal intervention that may help. This soup is believed to possess galactagogue properties — this means it can facilitate lactation and increase breast milk supply.

While further research is warranted to fully understand the mechanisms, it is likely the nutrient-rich profile and unique active ingredients that contribute to the breast milk enhancing effects of black chicken meat.

Conclusion

Black chicken soup, a cherished tradition in Chinese postpartum care, have both stood the test of time due to its incredible nutritional benefits.

With its superior bioavailability and potential health-promoting properties, Black Chicken Soup benefits postpartum recovery and even provides a boost to breast milk supply.

FAQs

What is black chicken soup good for?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chicken broth is understood to be able to warm the body and boost strength. In TCM jargon, it has the effects of fortifying tge Spleen and Stomach while strengthening Liver and Kidneys.

Chicken broth is suitable for treating

  1. Fear of cold
  2. Mental fatigue
  3. Lack of strength
  4. Menstrual irregularities
  5. Postpartum hypogalactorrhea

The concept of black chicken originated in the Ming dynasty of China, with Wuji Baifeng pills being the pill version of the bone broth of black chicken.

Bone broth is not only an important aspect of health in Chinese culture, it is also used extensively in traditional western societies as a home remedy for a variety of ailments.

That said, black chicken soup is prevalently consumed by Chinese in Southeast Asia.

What are the common Chinese herbs that I can add to Black Chicken Soup?

Chinese herbs are often added to Black Chicken Soup to enhance its nutritional value and potential health benefits. Here are some common Chinese herbs that you can consider adding to your black chicken soup:

  1. Dang Gui (Dong Quai, Angelica Sinensis): Dang Gui is commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine to nourish blood and promote circulation. It is believed to be beneficial for women’s health, especially during the postpartum period and menstrual cycles.
  2. Huang Qi (Astragalus): Huang Qi is known for its immune-boosting properties and is believed to support overall vitality and strengthen the body’s resistance to illness.
  3. Gou Qi Zi (Goji Berries): Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making them an excellent addition to black chicken soup to enhance its nutritional value.
  4. Shan Yao (Chinese Yam): Shan Yao is believed to strengthen the spleen and stomach and improve digestion. It adds a subtle sweetness to the soup.
  5. Dang Shen (Codonopsis): Dang Shen is often used to boost energy levels, build blood and support the immune system.
  6. Bai Shao (White Peony Root): Bai Shao is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory effects, making it a suitable addition to black chicken soup for individuals dealing with stress or inflammation.
  7. Yu Zhu (Solomon’s Seal): Yu Zhu is traditionally used to nourish the lungs and moisten the throat, making it a good choice for respiratory health. It is also useful if drinking the Black Chicken Soup causes too much heatiness.
  8. Ling Zhi (Reishi Mushroom): Ling Zhi is considered a medicinal mushroom with potential immune-enhancing and adaptogenic properties.
  9. Dried Red Dates: Dried red dates add a natural sweetness to the soup and are known as builders of blood because of the red colored skin. We do know from research that flavonoids from jujube stimulate the expression of EPO (erythropoietin), which is a hormone that stimulates blood production in the body.

There are different recipes for Black Chicken Soup, and they all use some or all of these abovementioned herbs.

Where does Black Chicken come from?

The black chicken used in black chicken soup is often referred to as “silkie chicken” or “black-boned chicken.” Silkie chickens are a distinct breed known for their unique characteristics. They have black or bluish-black skin, bones, and feathers. Despite their name, they are not entirely black; their meat is actually a dark bluish-gray color.

Silkie chickens have a long history and are native to China, where they are highly prized for their culinary and medicinal properties. The exact origin of silkie chickens is not clear, but they are believed to have been bred in China for thousands of years. Over time, silkie chickens have also become popular in other parts of Asia and have spread to different regions globally.

In Chinese culture, silkie chickens are highly regarded for their perceived health benefits and are often used in traditional dishes and medicinal soups, including the black chicken soup mentioned earlier. The popularity of silkie chickens has also led to their cultivation and consumption in other parts of the world where they are appreciated for their unique appearance and culinary qualities.

What is the difference if we cook Black Chicken Soup but use regular chicken meat?

Using regular chicken meat instead of black chicken in the soup will result in a different flavor profile and nutritional content. The primary differences lie in the unique properties of black chicken meat and the potential health benefits associated with it.

  1. Flavor: Black chicken meat tends to have a slightly richer and more pronounced flavor compared to regular chicken meat. The dark color of black chicken meat is attributed to higher levels of melanin, which contributes to its distinct taste. Regular chicken meat, while delicious, lacks the unique taste and depth of flavor that black chicken imparts to the soup.
  2. Nutritional Content: Black chicken meat is believed to contain higher levels of certain nutrients and active compounds. As mentioned earlier, it is rich in proteins, amino acids, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, D), minerals (iron, zinc, selenium), and antioxidants like melanin and carnosine. These components are responsible for the potential health benefits associated with black chicken soup.

On the other hand, regular chicken meat also offers nutritional benefits and is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, the specific active compounds found in black chicken, such as melanin and carnosine, are not present in significant quantities in regular chicken.

How does Black Chicken broth help breast milk?

According to TCM, not enough milk supply is due to “Xu” or deficiency. “Xu” in Chinese medicine refers to blood deficiency, fluid exhaustion, spleen and stomach deficiency, general fatigue, etc.

For all the above reasons that cause a new mum to be “Xu” or deficient,  she too may experience difficulties with lactation and not enough breast milk.

In a paper by Li and Li (1997),we know that the active extracts from chicken soup could promote postpartum lactation and increase breast milk supply. Another paper by Chao and others (2004) found that chicken broth could significantly elevate lactoferrin and epidermal growth factor (EFG), both of which contribute to infant growth and  general immunity.

How does Black Chicken Soup help postpartum anemia?

Postpartum anemia is real, and postpartum confinement is crucial for bringing a new mum back to health!

According to a paper by Geissler et al (1996) consumption of the active ingredients in chicken broth  can increase hemoglobin levels. This paper also shows that improvement in hemoglobin level was mediated by increased appetite and increased availability of dietary iron.

Carnosine and anserine, abundant in Black Chicken Soup, are also known to facilitate the absorption of iron by reduc9ing oxidation and increasing metal chelation in the body.

Is Black Chicken Soup Heaty?

Of course Black Chicken Soup is heaty!

There are manifold benefits to be garnered from using Black Chicken Soup in the postpartum phase of a women’s life. Many women also benefit from using this soup in the post menstrual phase of their cycle.

However, there is a darker side to Black Chicken Soup when used in excess — it may lead to heaty symptoms like dry throat, itchy throat, dry cough, pimples and even irritability and bad temper!

It is therefore important that while you benefit from its use, you do not use it excessively! The most common symptom of heatiness is a dry cough, that can also be treated using Chinese medicine.

Black Chicken Soup Recipe

What You need

  • 1 entire black chicken (around 1.5kg is a good size)
  • herbs include: 5 slices of angelica sinensis, 5 slices of astragalus, 10 slics of codonopsis, 5 slices of chuan xiong, 3 slices fresh ginger, 5 slitted red dates, 5 slitted black dates, one handful of goji berries.
  • seasoning: salt, pepper, sugar

What to do:

  1. Thaw the silkie chicken, rinse with water, remove the head and chop off the toe nails from the feet.
  2. Place the whole silkie chicken into a deep pot.
  3. Throw in all the herbs except for the goji berries.
  4. Put in boiled water to cover the chicken, start the fire and bring it to a small fire to let it simmer for the next 40 mins.
  5. When the chicken is adequately cooked, turn off the fire and throw in goji berries, which don’t need to be cooked for long.
  6. Season the soup with salt, pepper and sugar to your taste

Soma Clinic Confinement Soups

At Soma Clinic, we design confinement herbal formulas for you. We also brew and pressure-cooked these herbs for you.

Soma Clinic focuses on treating postpartum conditions. Because we regularly treat women with postpartum conditions for the last decade, we are familiar with how recovery progresses during confinement.

Soma Clinic’s Confinement Soups provides TREMENDOUS value because we create a postpartum confinement soup plan for you which changes as your conditions change.

Your postpartum journey is unique and individual. You may not need the same support as another person undergoing postpartum. In fact, for those who are pregnant for more than once will know that each pregnancy and postpartum experience is different.

You don’t want the first 4 weeks of herbs to have different names that cover everything from appetite to breast milk to the Spleen and Kidneys. In reality, you need to repeated use certain soups depending on your body type and what postpartum condition you present with.

Confinement Herbal Package: Find Out More!

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