Soup for Post-partum Qi and Blood Deficiency

A classic “food as medicine” recipe to treat post-partum Qi and Blood deficiency AKA being fatigued and pale after giving birth (this may include insufficient lactation) is Black Chicken Soup. The recipe is very simple, and all the herbs can be purchased in Chinatown. You combine all of the ingredients in a pot with 4 quarts of water, and cook for 3 to 5 hours. Discard the herbs, but keep the meat and broth to eat.

  • Dang Shen, 15-30g
  • Huang Qi, 15-30g
  • Lu Rong, 6-10g (this is costly, so feel free to omit)
  • Shu Di Huang, 30-45g
  • Gou Qi Zi, 15-30g
  • Shan Yao, 12-30g
  • Yu Zhu, 12-30g
  • Da Zao, 15-30g
  • 1 lb. silkie (black chicken)
  • Fresh ginger root, 30g

One of the principles under which Chinese medicine operates is the Law of Signatures. This states that things that look like something treat that thing. For example, red food treats the blood or white food treats the Lungs (as their tissue is white-ish).

This is the reason why the recipe calls for black chicken. Its dark color connects its nourishing elements to the blood and also to the Kidney, whose color is blue-black. The silkie makes this recipe even more tonic. If you prefer to eat only free-range and organic meat, please use a chicken of your choosing. If you are vegetarian, use lots of root vegetables instead.


  1. Food for post-partum anemia | White Peony Wellness - August 30, 2011

    […] Black Chicken Soup is probably the number one recommended dietary therapy recipe recommended by Chinese medicine practitioners to all women after childbirth. […]