Soothing Sipping Broth

(from the book “Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen” by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir, and Mika Ono)

This nutty herbal broth features sour date seeds – small, reddish-brown seeds frequently used in Chinese medicine for their calming properties, and celery, which in China is considered a therapeutic herb as well as a food.


1 rounded tablespoon sour date seed (suan zao ren)

3 stalks celery, cut into 3 to 4 inch lengths

3 cups of water


  1. Toast the sour date seeds in a pan over medium-high heat until they crackle and pop and release a nutty fragrance, 3 to 5 minutes. Let the seeds cool, then crush them lightly with a rolling pin to further crack them open.
  1. Boil the water in a small pot, then add the sour date seeds and celery. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  1. Strain out the celery and seeds.
  1. Serve the broth warm.

Especially Good For:

Anyone who has insomnia or irritability, particularly those who are experiencing restless sleep with excessive, vivid dreams, and women who suffer insomnia due to anemia. Drink a cup one to two times a day, especially before bedtime, to stay calm and get a good night’s sleep.

For those familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine:

This broth nourishes the Heart Yin, augments the Liver Blood, and calms the spirit.

Notes: Sour date seeds are called “suan zao ren” in Chinese and can be found in many Asian grocery stores or Chinese medicine herb shops.