This post was updated on December 16th 2020.
Christmas is a time for giving, so why not try gifting something different this year? Homemade scented parcels made from Chinese dried herbs are a great present for the festive season.
The scented bags are super easy to make and make a big impact. Whether you give them as a gift, hang them on your Christmas tree or put them around your home/clinic, the fragrant smell will make you feel ever so Christmasy!
Phoenix Scented Herb Bags
To make the bags, all you need is small draw-string organza bags, six specially selected Chinese herbs and a gift tag. Simply put a small amount of each herb in the bag, pull the strings tightly and attach the label – the perfect homemade Christmas herb bags!
The scented bags contain six festive-smelling herbs to get you in the mood for Christmas. The herb bag includes:
- Gui Zhi/Rou Gui – Cinnamon Twigs/Bark: Cinnamon is a fragrant spice most often used during the festive season. The distinctive smell symbolises Christmas and the herb is most commonly used in biscuits, drinks and gingerbread. In TCM, Rou Gui is a very commonly used herb. It is a warming herb that is used to expel cold, warm the channels and helps the flow of Qi and blood.
- Ding Xiang – Cloves: Originating in Indonesia, cloves are dried flower buds from the clove tree. It is a popular spice is used all year round, especially at Christmas in the famous Orange and Clove Pomanders and Clove-Studded Ham. Much like Rou Gui, Ding Xiang is a warm herb used to heat the body and expel cold. It is especially beneficial for the kidney, spleen and stomach.
- Chen Pi – Orange Peel: Oranges are popular all year round, but especially at Christmas! As the legend goes, receiving an orange in your stocking is a symbol of gold according to the ancient St Nicholas tale. Although it is not real gold, Chen Pi is favoured in TCM for its ability to regulate Qi. It is used for relieving stagnation, drying dampness and descending Qi.
- Zhi Qiao – Bitter Orange: Satsumas and clementine’s fill the supermarket shelves at Christmas and for good reason too! Not only do they taste good but oranges are a great source of fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants. Zhi Qiao is a slightly cool and bitter herb which is used to promote the movement of Qi, remove stagnation and regulate Qi in deficient patients.
- Zhi Shi – Immature Bitter Orange: As well as being eaten, oranges are often used this time of year in mulled wine! The citrus zest adds a punch to the classic Christmas tipple. Much like Zhi Qiao, Zhi Shi is a bitter and cooling herb. It can regulate Qi, reduced distention and remove blockages.
- Hong Zao – Jujube Dates: Jujube dates are tasty all year round! The red date adds a pop of colour in the bag and a hint of sweetness. Hong Zao is a sweet and warm herb, especially beneficial for nourishing the blood. They can be eaten dried or rehydrated for an extra sweet treat.
The main purpose of the Phoenix Scented Herb Bag is to share with you that, in our view, herbal medicine can be easy! Simply mixing a few herbs can create a gorgeous gift, a tasty tea or soothing soup.