Herbs for the 30 days purification, postpartum. (Tshuaj ntsuab Rau qaib noj, nyob nruab hli)
This page is dedicated to all the new generations Hmong who are looking for herbs for their postpartum chicken diet soup. For those that are first to second or third-plus generations and lost their native tongue or like me who was not born in the States but raised in the States and are limited to Hmong Daw (white home) language. Hmong ntusab (green Hmong/hoob) has a different dialect but not too bad. I speak both so it’s not hard for me at all.
What are the herbs to use
So there are eight main herbs to look for when getting the perfect soup. I guess there’s no such thing as a perfect soup but we can make it to our perfection, right? And depending on who you ask they will tell you to get what they recommended. The older generation (OG) knows more and has more herbs. Most of them are herbalist by trade. Like my mom, she’s no expert either but she knows enough to get by and has taught that to me as much as she knows.
However, most of these herbs are what I used and what my mom told me. So this is by my experience and usage. I’m no expert either but I love to share my experience with all of you who might even know more or less. Now, some of these I do not know the actual English names to them but I’m trying when your OG grandma or mom asked you to go get some, at least you know from here, and, I hope it’ll help you out a little. It’s my translation. (^-^) or Hmonglish phonics. XD
And depending on how much chicken soup you’re making. Small garnish hens from the store or live chicken, if you have any or store-bought. I use a whole, live, not alive but freshly obtain, you know what I mean. 😀
- Tauj dub / lemongrass
- ko taw os or koj liab ntshav / Artemisia lactiflora
- koj ntshuab / mugwort
- tshuaj rog / Okinawa spinach
- nkaj liab or / Iresine
- pawj qaib / Acorus gramineus
- nkob lij xeeb/ talinum paniculatum
- ntiv / joe-Pye-weed
- hmab ntsa liab / red Malabar spinach
I have a recipe for the Hmong chicken diet soup. (Coming soon) Update: Jan. 18, 2019 Chicken diet soup is here
Tauj dub / Lemongrass
The lemongrass. Its long blades are sharp so when picking some, wear gloves. You can pull them by the roots or just pick the blades for your chicken diet soup. It smells lemony. Makes your soup smell refreshing. I pick 4 blades or one stalk.
Ko taw os liab los koj liab ntshav / Artemisia lactiflora
This next one is call ko taw os liab some also call them koj liab ntshav translate to duck feet red. This one doesn’t have a smell to it. If it does, it smells like freshly picked greens. But it makes your soup buttery. I pick a handful of large leaves. I guess depending on how big your hand is… well then 5 large leaves or 3 tips.
Koj ntshuab Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris
Tshuaj rog / Okinawa spinach
This herb here we call it tshuaj rog, well it translates to fat herbs because after a woman gave birth she needs this herb in our chicken soup so she can plump back up. I’m guessing. It will allow her to have more stamina, endurance, and produce more milk for our newborn.
Nkaj liab / Iresine herbstii
Pawj Qaib (Acorus gramineus) and Hmab ntsa liab (red malabar spinach)
In the center of the pawj qaib sometimes call the Japanese sweet flag or sweet flag. Malabar spinach / hmab ntsa liab is also growing it’s also for the chicken soup. For the pawj qaib, I pull 1 or 2 right off the plants’ root ball. I always pick like 2 or 3 large leaves from the hmab nsta liab. Hmab ntsa liab (red) and hmab nsta ntsuab (green) have a texture that is almost like okra which is sticky and slimy. I don’t like the slimy texture. It is like slurping up boogers!
Kob lij xeeb / talinum paniculatum
This pretty herb is called kob lauj xeeb. Pick three for leaves for the chicken soup.
Ntiv / Joe-Pye weed
This herb is called ntiv / Joe Pye weed. I pick about 5 leaves from this guy and if you have plenty, pick 3 tops off and use that for the chicken soup.
Hmab Ntsa Liab / Red Malabar Spinach
Medicinal use and optional in your chicken soup.
These herbs down here are the lesser-known for the chicken soup. I have never used these for the Hmong chicken soup. If you know you can use it. If not I do not recommend them. Ask you OG’s for clarification or herbalist before use.
Raw txaij / zebrina pendula scnizl
This here is called raws txaij and the bottom of this one is raws liab. You can use one or the other and use this sparingly. Too much of this can be toxic. This herb is also used for the medicinal purpose of cramps (tu tu leeg) for men and women.
Raw liab / red water grass herb
Kub muas lwj / Kalanchoe laciniata
This strange-looking herb is called tshuaj Kub muas lwj (deer horn.) Maybe it looked like deer horns. Some use this in their chicken soup as well. I have never used it. So I can’t give you many details except my mom. She said pick 1 or 2 leaves.
Nplooj qaub / Kaffir lime leaf
So this isn’t for your chicken soup but I use this in my cooking, kho pong, and Hmong sausages. MMM… the aroma of this leave smells so good. Mince it up really nice if you’re cooking it. For the sausages slice then chop them up toss them into your meat and mix well. And for the kho pong, pick 4 leaves pop it right into the soup.
Raw nyab laj /Callisia fragrans
Medicinal use only, maybe, not recommended for chicken soup. If those of you that have used this in your soup please tell us. But as far as I know, I don’t use it in my soup. I have not used this plant yet, only what I was told
This one is for body and back pain. Tsob no nws zoo tshuaj mob duav mob ib ce, thiab zoo rau cov poj Naim mob tsev me nyuam.
Zaub ntswg npua / plantain weed
Well, while we were in Paris, France my Uncle told us that this one is good for bad breath. Pick a leaf and chew on it, once a month. Zaub ntswg npua zoo tshuaj qhov ncquj tsw phem. This plantain has a lot of healing properties as well. They heal broken bones. Not enough research into this plant as of yet but that’s what I was told. Hey please educate us if any of you know of this herb.
Most of these herbs I use for my chicken diet soup. I know that there is a lot of wiser herbalist out there that knows more then I do. Please comment and leave me ideas and what I don’t know so we all can learn from each other. Thank you for visiting and I will be updating my herbs list every so often.
This is for information purposes. Please consult professional help before attempting to use any herbs. I am not a herbalist. I only put up what I have known to work for myself. I have used some of these personally.
Further reading and resources:
Some medicinal uses can be found at https://eurekamag.com/pdf/001/001827450.pdf