Amazing Medicine Soup

This recipe is a wonderful way to ward off a cold or flu, if used when one is first exposed to cold and wind. I learned of its incredible effects after being in Washington, D.C. with my tai chi teacher, Charles Yang, some years ago. We were waiting to take the subway, and our train was delayed. Meanwhile, we were waiting out in January’s bitter cold for almost an hour. By the time I got home, I had chills and a fever, and knew I was getting sick. There just happened to be an Asian grocery store close by, and Charles went over to find fermented black beans and the other ingredients necessary to make the soup. In the morning, I was as good as new, and ready to see more of our capital! It is good to keep the fermented beans on hand just in case.

Cold and/or flu is considered very yin. This soup is salty and yang; thus, the soup balances the yin and yang in the body.


  • a handful of fermented black beans (roughly a half cup)
  • two cups of water
  • an inch of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced in small pieces
  • the bulb of a scallion-cut into pieces

Bring the water to a boil and add all the ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes. Decant the liquid, and sip the soup until gone. One can use the solid ingredients again by adding more water to the solids which are left after decanting , and then repeating the technique. The soup can be taken twice a day for a couple of days until the symptoms are gone.

IMPORTANT: The soup is quite salty, and thus may not be appropriate for people on low salt diets.

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