Hmong Women Culture

Tina and Shang

Hmong women’s cultural beliefs are several religions if you can call a religion ranging, from shamanism, animism, Catholicism, and of course Christianity. They also believe in eating well and living longer is better. There is a proverb that says, “peb nyob puv 120 xyoo” (we lived fully for 120 years). Meaning when the time for us to leave this world behind we had lived to the fullest with no regrets.

Fountain of youth, maybe

Hello (nyob zoo), welcome (tuaj los.) Have you ever wonder why the Hmong women always seem to look so youthful even after they had children and has aged? Wondering what’s their secrets are? What kind of face regimen are they using? Or ask yourself, I hope I look as young as her when I reach her age? Even to, wow grandma has so much energy and stamina. Never complaining about aches and pain. What is she taking? What is her secret?

Let’s explore the possibilities shall we

Well, I have all those burning questions and was curious to know what they are? I spoke to my mom, some elders, and a bunch of girlfriends to see if they knew. This is the result of what quench my thirst for, must know the secret.

I will tell you in a bit. Let’s look into what the secret might be.

Most Hmong women elders do not care about face cream or moisturizer, not even makeup. They are all-natural beauties. Why? Because they are doing it correctly and they took care of themselves. They don’t want chemicals on their faces and bodies.

They used mother-natures remedies to help them look their best. Dirt is good for sunblock, rainwater is good for drinking and good hydration, and working in the fields to keep their muscle tight and tone.

It could also be that they are born natural athletes. Waking up at the first crow of the rooster in the early dawn. Tending the live stocks and cooking for the family before heading out to tend the acreage of rice fields from morning ’till dawn? Which kept them in shape.

Finally, could it be, what they ate that is helping them from the inside out? You know the saying, you are what you eat. That could be a possibility.

Hmong people eat Lots of fresh mustard greens, sweet potatoes, green onions, cilantro, and all varieties of pumpkins. The organic rice they tend every day to the animals they raised, free ranged. No chemicals, no pollutions, no free radicals, antibiotics,  or hormones in their live stocks.

You’re thinking, bah, that’s way back then. Who tends to their live stocks today? This wasn’t back in the days. It’s still in these modern times. Have you heard of farmers? Yep, Farmers still tend to their live stocks and garden. Or maybe because it has only been 44 years since the Vietnam war, C.I.A secret war that ended in 1974?

Either case let’s continue our research.

Hmong Women Culture Beliefs

Hmong women in Chinese Hmong outfit

Through some research I’ve done, it seems that this training isn’t difficult to do, it’s a lesson, teaching that had been handed down from generation to generation. Most Hmong elders are herbalists by trade. They learned to plant all the herbs they used as medicinal plants and what herbs to eat that are most beneficial to the human body. In so passing that to the newer generation.

A Hmong proverb said, “noj tshuaj rau nqaij qaib thiaj zoo rau koj lub cev nyob nraub hlis” (consume herbs with chicken is better for your body postpartum.) You might say whaaat?? But keep reading it’ll be explained in due time.

Good food, a clear mind, and a better body. Who doesn’t want that?

This soup must be eaten three times a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Postpartum soup for the 30 days purification process. The Hmong people believed that those days are critical to regenerate a woman’s health back to normal.

The healing process, gain energy, stamina, and stops bleeding also, slow down the aging process. Especially for Hmong women’s health after birth. Therefore, the Hmong chicken herb soup was born.

Within 30 Days, A New Body

Hmong people also believe that once the woman has given birth she has a new body. For the next 30 days, she is restricted to eating, working, cooking, and soul-nourishing. Why? Because her body is considered new. So, for my curiosity, I questioned the only person that I know about the 30 days, a new body, my mom.

Never questioned an elder with a bad temper. “Because that’s what our ancestors did so we must continue to follow this tradition” after some knuckles on the head. (By my mom, of course) Yeah, that hurt. Okay got it! Hence, puv hli (a full month).

In the 30 days of purification, these are to be followed as well. Along with eating healthy one must dress accordingly, to tradition.

  • She must bind her waist that was protruding and now sagging.
  • She must use anything from a garter, or an elastic waist trimmer to wrap her stomach. This process is to flatten her stomach.

My ex-mother-in-law once said, “Do you want your stomach to enter someone else’s house first?” Heh, I guess not. I’ve been really lucky I have the best in-laws now and then. Thank God for that.

  • When going outside no matter what it is for even getting the mail.
  • To grocery shop, she must wear something on her head to protect from winds. The purpose of this is it will prevent migraines and headaches in the future.

Even in summer going outside, she must wear long sleeves and pants. This process is to protect her from the elements and free radicals in the air.

  • She must not carry anything except her newborn child or children if she has more than one.
  • No reaching for something overhead is a no-no.
  • Must leave all the cooking and cleaning to her husband or mother-in-law.

Whisper: that’s the only time a daughter-in-law is allowed doing nothing for a whole month! Most of you know what I mean.

  • NO SEX for a whole month because if she doesn’t restrict herself she might have a prolapsed uterus (hlao dua)! Yikes!
  • Must not enter someone else’s home. She might end up taking the mother of the other household she visited breast milk with her. The other mother’s milk will dry up.
  • When eating, must eat only soft foods and freshly made warm food.
  • No cold or room temperature food is allowed. Not even leftover from breakfast.
  • Must not eat crunchy foods. This is to keep your teeth longer.

Water must be room temperature or warm as well.

  • No soft drinks, sugary drinks, and energy drinks aren’t allowed those sugary drinks are really awful for your health anyway.

Hmong Chicken Herb Soup, Nyob Nruab Hlis

Let’s take a closer look at the Hmong herbs used with the chicken diet soup. If you live in a rural region as I do. There’s no Hmong farmers market or store, you improvise. You can either order all the Hmong herbs online. Or do what I do and plant them yourself. Even if you don’t have the room. Use containers for your gardening needs.

There are nine Hmong herbs that I used personally. I have them growing in my backyard. 😀 They are:

  • ntiv/joe-pye-weed, gravelroot
  • hma nstah/Malabar spinach (it could either be green or red ones)
  • tauj dub/lemongrass
  • nkaj liab/iresine herbstii
  • tshuaj rog/Okinawa spinach or Longevity spinach (the green one.)
  • nkoj ntsuab/angelica mugwort
  • koj lauj xeeb/Portulacaceae or more common name is Surinam spinach
  • ko taw os liab/artemisia lactiflora or common name is white mugwort
  • pawj qaib/ acorus gramineus or more common name is, grass-leaf sweet flag

You can find more detail on the herbs on my Hmong herbs page above or click here. There are more but these are what I have and are available to me. These are Hmong herbs to be used for the Hmong chicken herb soup.

These are what the Hmong women culture beliefs. Nothing but chicken for 30 days straight without, CHEATING!

The secret uncovered

The secret is...

My must know isn’t manufactured in some high-end production plant or expensive at all. It’s actually cheap and most elders already have the most beneficial remedies in their backyards. Yes, it’s the Hmong herbs. Good old fashion gardening in the backyard!

Do you know how excited I was to find out that? I have the same Hmong herbs in my backyard. I have been nurturing these herbs like pets. Wash them, I guess it’s the same as feeding them and trimming them back so they look pretty.

For many generations, the Hmong people had used these herbs for combatting illness from headaches, toothaches, fevers, burns, sprains, and cuts. Not to mention upset stomachs, conceiving, and erectile dysfunctions :O hehe.

For people that once lived in hut homes made from straws, weaving bamboo sticks, and palm leaves all held together with mud and clay. Not to mentioned grow hemp to make clothes from. And they have great survival skills.

They are truly the wisest people I came to know. Starting with my mom. She had no education but she can add, subtract, multiply, and do fractions better than I can. She doesn’t know the symbols but just doesn’t try to pull a fast one on her, she’ll light you up.

I found out what the secret is… drum roll, please! If you haven’t guessed it by now It’s no other than using Hmong herbs in cooking. Foods with good, healthy Hmong herbs to fuel the body and help stimulate the cells back to as normal as it can. Now, this soup is so good for your body that it’s also good for the whole family to enjoy.

Part of the secret is to take care of yourself after each childbirth. As women, we age faster than our counterparts, men. Because having something growing inside us, stealing our food while we eat, depriving us of our sleep, and stripping us of our energy for nine whole months.

Even with all that privilege he or she decided to torpedo their exit with pain and exhaustion. Taking away our sanity and freedom. We need to replenish what was taken from us.

Not only that they left us dry, defeated, and taken our youth. We have to reverse the process. This process consists of, in a way of eating. Yes, eating healthy lean chicken with traditional herbs to mend our exhausted body.

Conclusion, Let’s Recap

Check out the youtube video. I think this is the best one I found so far. Plus she is in our FB group. Warning: It’s in both American English and Green Hmong.

There you have it. Who knew that following a strict diet of only Hmong chicken herb soup for 30 days it’s a fountain of youth, almost. Eat three warm meals a day. Try not to eat crunchy food only soft foods. Wrap your stomach for a flatter tummy. No soft drinks, drink only room temperature or warm water.

Not only eating she must be wrapped up like an Eskimo when going outside. Hat, cap, or beanie. Must wear long sleeves, pants, and tennis shoes.

Must not cook, clean, lift heavy objects, and reach for items on the top shelf. Except for taking care of the baby.

No sex for a whole month and must not enter other people’s homes until your 30 days are up.

In conclusion, this chicken soup is so delicious and healthy that even if it is not used during postpartum you can make healthy nutritious chicken soup for the entire family. I make it once in a while when I crave for it. Of course, eating it for 30 days it gets old and too repetitive.

However, if it is going to help me in the long run, why not? Delay aches and pain for as long as I can. Aging gracefully is what I am aiming for. I am hoping that this post will influence you to make a wise decision when the time comes.

I hope that this will be a reference for those who want some information on the Hmong chicken diet soup for 30 days, a new body process. For the most part, these are what Hmong cultural beliefs are.

Most of the practices that are mentioned are practiced by Hmong women people that are still practicing shamanism. It depends on the people if they are converted or hasn’t from the old way, (still coj dab thiab tsis coj dab) practices.

Although because It has been practiced for so long and my family had been converted to Christians. I observed the entering and exiting her (my mother’s) house from the front door. I slept in the converted garage house for two weeks and only enter and exit through the back sliding door window, after the two weeks, I was allowed inside her house.

I ate chicken for the 29 days… Yes, I CHEATED! That’s why in my 40s I’m hurting. I……cream… that’s why my bones and teeth hurt but, they are all there!

If I was to live with my mother-in-law then I can enter and exit her house like my own. But at the time work was closer to my mom’s place.

Many Hmong believe in many things and it depends on whom you asked. You may find that it’s all similar. Hmong culture’s beliefs are different from clan to clan.

Thank you for coming I really appreciate your time. If you have any comments or questions please leave them on my comment section and I’ll get to you soon.

If any of you out there knows more please enlighten us with your knowledge so we can all be educated. I’m first American Hmong and my daughter is the first-generation American Hmong.

She does not think it’s true that following this regimen is good for you. It’s up to you. But I am educating the new generations that this is or whoever wants to know about the 30 days Hmong chicken diet soup.

Go take on the day, challenge the unknown.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert nor an herbalist. This is for informational purposes only. Please seek qualified professional help or an herbalist before any herb consumption. These herbs I have used personally and they worked for me, everyone’s body is different. It may or may not work for you. This is based on my experience and findings. 

Special thanks to: 

Susan Hawj of Uplift the Human Spirit

Ka Ying Vang my mom

Mai her Vue my BFF

Katie Howard

Lisa Seachao

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