Without any delay, now I introduce my herbs... Ta-Dar...!
From the photo above, starting from top left corner in clockwise direction are: 无花果（Dried Fig）, 当归(Dang Guai, Aaugellica sinensis /Diels), 红枣(Red dates), 淮山 Huai Shan (Dioscorea opposita) 甘草(Glycyrrhiza uralensis) , 川芎(Rhizoma /Szechwan Lovage Rhizome). Not to forget 枸杞子(Wolfberry) shown below.
Wolfberries from 宁夏 (Ning Xia in China) is the best. This is what I heard from the TCM shop, I don't know how true is it, but I can see that its colour is natural (not some sort of colourings) and the berries are big and firm. I guess it's good.
Dang Guai is beneficial for women's health. Sometimes, when I feel a little cold in the hands and feet, I will cook this soup for myself. It brings back the warmth and makes me feel energised.
Normally, I will just buy a lot of herbs to mix and match to my own liking. But, generally, I will mix according to their properties. Chinese herbs are divided into 4 main properties/effects: "cool", "cold", "hot" and "warm". While herbs with "warm" or "hot" properties can be used to treat illnesses that are classified as on the "cold" side, e.g. cough and cold with runny nose. On the other hand, "cold" or "cooling" herbs can be used to treat illnesses that are "hot"/heaty in nature, e.g. sore throat and fever.
In that sense, Dang Guai is "hot" in nature, I normally mix it with herbs that is not too "hot" or "warm" such as wolfberry or Huai Shan. If not, I will be nose-bleed immediately the next day due to too much "heatiness"!
Also, anything that is too strong in properties should not be taken too much. In my case, I just put in a few strips of Dang Guai, that is it. Too much is not good for our bodies, resulting in imbalance of "qi".
Cat..! Are you listening or not?!
Blanch the meat into hot water to wash away smelly taste and drifting particles.