In Singapore, Chicken Essence is a common health supplement. Before a significant test, you may fondly recall drinking a warm bottle of chicken essence when you were a child. The essence of chicken is also popular among new moms because it helps to build up their post-birth wellbeing. For some the nature of chicken is a great booster of energy to start their day.
Although chicken essence began as a niche component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) centuries ago, today it is readily available and widely used, valued for its energizing effects on the mind and body, by mothers, students and individuals from all walks of life. Before big exams, moms may give it to their kids, college students may take shots of it for those nights when the midnight oil has to keep burning, and office workers may drop bottles of it in their pursuit of deadlines. As Brand’s, one of the popular (or at least the most heavily marketed) chicken essence brands, puts it, chicken essence is for “busy people who want to seize the day.”
In this part of the world, it is a fascinating cultural phenomenon, but what really intrigues me is the way it is made at home. Since all modern methods are mostly eschewed in favor of the conventional, old-school method of extracting chicken essence, despite the rise of slow cookers, built-in-steamers and the Instant-Pot. Chicken essence is produced in most Chinese households with a rather ad-hoc kitchen setup.
Start by inverting a small bowl into a larger bowl of salt water filled with a few tablespoons. On top of the overturned little cup, a whole chicken, butchered and loosely smashed up (to maximize its surface area), is then spread out. This whole bowl should be left for several hours to steam undisturbed in a double boiler or a covered wok. The steam cooks the chicken’s flesh and bones during this time, and bits of juice drip down into the bowl’s cavity. The chicken’s clear, aromatic nature, untainted by any flesh or marrow, gleaming and golden, clear as the morning light, is what comes thereafter.
So what are the health benefits of drinking chicken essence?
- Reduce stress
A study has shown that one can concentrate more on completing the cognitive task by eating chicken essence daily, which will help boost the mood. It will adversely impact your stress level, and eventually, your mood, with the endless list of daunting tasks & errands to be completed. Chicken essence could be a choice if you find yourself easily irritated.
2. Combats mental fatigue
After a hard day of work and constant studying after school, we are all getting tired. Sitting in front of the screen from time to time, holding lengthy office meetings, staying up late to complete your assignments, burning the midnight oil to prepare for a major test, being overworked, and job stress will ultimately affect your mind and mental health.
3. Develops the brain
If you want your child to do well in school and achieve his potential, having a healthy diet and proper nutrition is important. If you have not noticed, you get hungry easily when you study! The explanation for this is that the brain is a very hungry organ that consumes nutrients from the food we consume. A developing child requires developmental nutrients and is advised to consume super foods or brain foods. The nature of chicken has nutrients that can help with brain development.
Haven’t tried it before? Grab one at your local store and tell me what you think!
Check out my related post: How to move the tummy and soul?