As the proud media partner of The Precious Journey that’s happening this 5 to 14 November, we are bringing you this series of interviews with presenters so that you get to know them better and their workshops.
Today, we speak to Herbal Soup Connoisseur, wellness advocate and mother, Queena Kok. She is passionate about spreading her love as well as the power of herbal soups. She believes that a nutritious soup with the right herbs and ingredients can nourish body and soul, and lay a healthy foundation to pursue your priorities in life.
Q: Tell us a bit about how your fascination with herbs and soups started?
Uneducated and having to work as a rubber tapper, my father was not destined for greatness. But he is not a man to resign to fate. He apprenticed under a master of Chinese herbs at the age of 19 and went on to owning his Chinese medical shop in Malaysia. No matter how busy my mother was in the business, she always ensured that she boiled a pot of nutritious and delicious herbal soup for us.
I have always loved soups. I can even have just soups and rice, everyday. Though, my fascination with herbal soups did not translate naturally to my passion for herbs. The turning point came when my firstborn at the age of two was diagnosed with bronchitis. He was prescribed medicines that can only be taken in limited dosage, which spells poison to me. Worse, it could turn into asthma. I did not want him to live a life dependent on drugs. I knew I had to find alternative natural solutions.
The answers came in the form of nutritious yet tasty Chinese herbal soups that my parents curated and that I brewed daily. Not only is my boy now free from bronchitis, but his immune system is also much stronger. Moreover, me and my husband also enjoy boundless energy, and I am able to conceive and deliver naturally at age 41 – all credited to herbal soups.
Having experienced the power of herbs and soups, and blessed with a family history of over 50 years of expertise in Chinese herbs and soup brewing, I made it my mission to spread the message that anyone can drink your way to better health.
The Power of Herbal Soups
Q: What are some of the benefits of drinking herbal soups for prenatal and postnatal mothers?
Herbal soups are nutritionally dense liquids that can be easily absorbed by the body for the wellness of babies and mothers. In fact, one bowl of soup is like a superfood that contains:
- Water – key for hydration and healthy functioning of organs as over 70% of our body is water
- Protein from meat
- Nutrients from herbs
Specially curated herbal soups can help resolve common ailments in prenatal mums including fatigue, constipation, edema or water swelling.
Women lose a large amount of Qi (vital energy) and blood during delivery and will benefit from drinking herbal soups especially in the first month after delivery for wound healing, digestion, tissue repair, nourishing and replenishing blood and energy, plus breastfeeding.
Q: Which herbal soups should those trying to conceive consume?
The inability to conceive or infertility is largely caused by problems of the kidney for men and cold uterus for women. One soup good for couples trying to conceive will have fish maw (hua jiao), codonopsis (dang shen), goji berry, walnut, red dates, and morinda root (ba ji). This soup strengthens the kidney and liver, enhances energy, strengthens muscles and bones, and warms the body.
Q: Are there any herbs that pregnant women should avoid?
Yes, this is one of the questions that are covered in my session at The Precious Journey, though I can share one here which is potent and that is saffron or 红花. In fact, in ancient times and also in Chinese dramas, saffron is used by jealous concubines to cause abortion in pregnant concubines.
The Precious Journey
Q: What are some exciting things participants can expect from your session at The Precious Journey 2020?
Overview of Chinese herbs and why they are popular among traditional Chinese families, herbs that pregnant mums should avoid, soup recipe for prenatal mums, and herbs that are good for postpartum mums.
If you’re interested to attend Queena or other presenters’ sharings, please go to this website to register. Hurry while spaces last!
Images: Shutterstock, HiClipart and The Precious Journey