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2020 Guangxi Chicken Bone Grass / Abrus Cantoniensis (100g)

2020 Guangxi Chicken Bone Grass / Abrus Cantoniensis (100g)

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Description

12th July, 2020

This herb is known as 'chicken bone grass' in Chinese and is most popular in the south of China: the species was first recorded in Guangdong, and has a long history of use there (as well as just south of Guangdong in Hong Kong). I often smell this herb in the air, boiling away, since it is a very popular herbal tea for yeet hei. This tea is so popular you can even buy it bottled at any 7-11 in town. I won't delve into the actual and purported health properties of this herb too much, but there is plenty of information and research out there for those who are curious in trying this very popular Southern Chinese herb!

Please note that the seeds of this plant are poisonous. While this material has been cleaned and sorted with great care (and I will definitely keep an eye out for any errant seeds), if by chance you do find a seed in the bag, please do not consume it. I also suggest rinsing the leaves in a strainer with room temperature water before boiling: while this probably isn't necessary, it's something I do anyway.

I decided to offer this batch of wild-harvested Abrus cantoniensis from Guangxi on the site after consuming a Hong Kong-produced bottled version, https://www.hungfooktong.com/en/product/canton-love-pes-vine-drink/ served chilled, and realizing the beverage cooled me right down and stopped me from sweating, even on a scorching hot night. Those of who who are contending with summer heat might find this herb to be just what you need if you find yourself suffering (as I do)!

While this is considered an innocuous herb here in Hong Kong, please do your own research if you have any health issues or are on any medication since adverse reactions and interactions with herbs, medication or supplements are always a possibility with anything you might consume!

This is a very light herb and takes up a lot of volume when packed. Two heaped tablespoons (only a few grams) in a saucepan, boiled down to 500ml of water, is the concentration I suggest, and you can also add small amounts of licorice to the resulting tisane (we do call this 'tea' in Chinese, however). I sweetened mine with a small chunk of Guangxi monkfruit (lo han guo), but you can also use sugar or even monkfruit sweetener if desired. 

After boiling the leaves and monkfruit in water for about an hour (you don't have to boil it for that long!), the resulting tisane smelled just like a Hong Kong herbal tea store: somewhat grassy. The liquor itself had pleasant sweetness and tasted of molasses, which was very pleasant.

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