Lana Farson, M.S., L.Ac., Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Healthy ‘Spleen Qi’ Soup

This recipe is especially good for maintaining a strong digestive system (healthy Spleen Qi) and reducing dampness (water & mucus retention).    Strong Spleen Qi is the basis of ‘post-natal Qi’ and health.  Keeping your spleen strong ensures that your digestive system will have the ability to extract all the nutrients from your food so your body can stay well nourished.   This is a super tasty recipe -  enjoy!


2 cups Yi Yi Ren (Job’s Tears / Coix Seeds) – I had a heck of a time trying to find this and they were at Ranch 99 the whole time!

1 whole cooked chicken, including raw gizzard/gibletsIMG_3366

3 large sweet potatoes

4 carrots1 lb. kale

4 celery stalks

1 large onion

3 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

Some olive oil

A bunch of water

Salt to taste

This can be adapted to serve any size group.  The above makes a ton of soup for a large pot luck size.  You can use less ingredients to serve fewer folks.


In a small bowl of water, soak Yi Yi Ren for 1-2 hours.

Remove all the meat from a whole, cooked chicken.  In the meantime, make chicken broth using the bones, gizzard and giblets of the chicken, the vegetables (carrots, onions, celery), the spices (garlic, bay leaves) and water.  While this is going on, peel and chop sweet potatoes to desired size.  Also chop up kale.

When the stock is done, fish out the chicken parts.  I tie the chicken parts together so I can easily remove them and keep the vegies in the base of the soup.  Strain the Yi Yi Ren, which should now look puffy and soft.  Add the Yi Yi Ren and the chopped sweet potatoes.  Cook until the sweet potatoes are at desired mush level.  Yi Yi Ren should still be a little crunchy.  Add cooked chicken and kale.  When I add the chicken, I like to shred it in my hands as opposed to chopping it.  I like the texture better.  Bring to a rolling boil then reduce heat and serve piping hot!

Bon appetite!  If you like cooking with Job’s Tears, then you may very well like this Sweet Potato Porridge recipe.


  1. Ann Williams says:

    I will definitely try this. My poor spleen has been practically obliterated with sugar! Thanks for posting!

  2. Judy Klamecki says:

    This looks so simple! Do the sweet potatoes also help build Spleen qi? Sounds like it would sweeten the soup.

  3. Cynthia Lester says:

    I am going to try this. A fellow student felt my pulses yesterday and said my Spleen is very weak.

  4. Lynell says:

    One of the better photos I’ve seen lately

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