Tasty herbal wines in China 红酒

You may have heard of the health benefits contained in red wine(红酒hóngjiǔ), but what about liquor steeped with the herbs(a herb is a plant whose leaves are used in cooking to add flavour to food, or as a medicine), animal bones and insects? In China, these are just some of the ingredients contained in various ancient medicinal remedies.

There are numerous types of such tonics, many of which are made exclusively for women. Here’s a list of the four most valued ones in the country, all of which are easy to make at home.

Donkey-hide glue liquor

As the "queen" of herbs and one of the most efficient natural foods for women, donkey-hide glue helps speed up blood circulation – especially during menstruation – and provides natural and unhindered bodily detoxification(a treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol intended to remove the physiological effects of the addictive substances).

As a result, this "beauty" food has been widely consumed throughout history all over China. Among the various ways to prepare the medicine, steeping donkey-hide glue in huangjiu, or yellow wine, has long been considered one of the best, according to the practice of traditional Chinese medicine.

The liquor helps dispel cold during wintertime, making it extremely popular at Spring Festival gift markets. It’s also easy to make at home: just simmer 25ml of yellow wine(黄酒huángjiǔ) with 3-9g of donkey-hide glue for several minutes.

Rose Wine

This tonic(a tonic is a medicine that makes you feel stronger, healthier, and less tired) is particularly useful in protecting the female liver and smoothing the Qi, a vital energy resulting in unhindered blood circulation. Many classical medical handbooks claim that drinking rose wine on a daily basis can dispel liver constraints, wash away freckles and ease pains during abnormal menstruation.

Though it’s no easy task to find such wine in the supermarket, it’s easy to make at home. Put 350g of fresh rose petals into 1,500ml of yellow wine. Seal and bottle, then wait for a week before drinking the liquor twice a day.

Siwu wine (Four Herbs Wine)

The Siwu decoction is a famous Chinese medicine for women made of Chinese angelica, rehmannia glutinosa, ligustrazine and white peony root, all combined with yellow wine.

This tonic is extremely healthy for those who suffer from anemia and appear pale in the face.

Recipe: prepare 50g each of the four herbs and put them into about 1,000g of yellow wine. Seal the bottle for a whole month before drinking.

Sijunzi wine

Similar to Siwu wine, this tonic is also made with four kinds of herbs (ginseng, fried and deep-fried Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz, Tuckahoe and radix liquiritiae). It works surprisingly well for people troubled by depletion of the spleen who feel tired on a daily basis, as if they are always in need of extra sleep.

Prepare 30g radix liquiritiae, along with 60g each of the other three herbs, and put them into 1,000ml of yellow wine for a month before drinking.

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