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October 25, 2022

The Kitchen Herbalist: Jing-Nourishing Superfood Bars

gui ban bars


  • 1 bar gui ban jiao, or 2 sheets of gelatin, or 1 teaspoon agar agar powder*
  • Handfuls of:
    • Almonds
    • Walnuts (Hu Tao Ren)– Tonify Yang
    • Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi)– Tonify Blood & Yin
    • Chinese Dates (Da Zao)– Tonify Qi
    • Dried rose petals (Mei Gui Hua)– Regulate Qi
    • Black sesame seed (Hei Zhi Ma)– Tonify Yin


  1. If using Gui Ban, soak Gui Ban Jiao in yellow wine for 72 hours.
  2. Gently simmer gui ban in yellow wine until it has a jelly-like consistency, add sugar or honey to preference.
  3. As that’s coming to a simmer, line your mold/pan with rose petals & lightly toast nuts and seeds to release their nourishing oils.
  4. Mix the nuts & seeds into the pot with Gui Ban & remove from heat.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pan lined with roses and top with more rose petals.
  6. Let cool, then cut & serve!

About the Medicine:

These Jing-nourishing superfood bars make such a great treat because they tonify and strengthen many vital substances in our bodies, and are great for folks who present as deficient. Snacking on these bars while recovering from an illness (not while actively sick), or even post-partum, will help to strengthen your body! Learn more about some of the signs of deficiency these bars can support:

  • Qi: Some signs of qi deficiency include fatigue, shortness of breath, poor appetite, spontaneous sweating. The Da Zao tonify qi, our vital life source or energy, and the addition of Mei Gui Hua can also move any stagnated qi, causing us to feel stuck.
  • Blood: Some signs of blood deficiency include pale complexion, trouble sleeping, anxiety, heart palpitations. Gou Qi Zi are excellent for blood tonification – think of their red color being a sign they are good for blood!
  • Yin: Some signs of yin deficiency include dryness, thirst with desire to sip, red complexion, insomnia, feeling hot (especially in the afternoon). Gou Qi Zi and Hei Zhi Ma both tonify yin, clearing some of the heat and bringing more moisture and fluid back into the body.
  • Yang: Some signs of yang deficiency include feeling cold, desire to sleep all day, low back ache or pain, low energy and motivation. Hu Tao Ren are rich and fatty, making it perfect for tonifying yang and restoring some energy and warmth.

A note: Because of their tonifying and building properties, these bars are not recommended for excess patterns of qi, blood, yin, or yang. Ask your Acupuncturist if they might be a good fit for you at your next appointment!

*The original recipe calls for 1 bar of Gui Ban Jiao, which is an ingredient in the Chinese Medicine pharmacopeia made into gelatin bars from Tortoise shell. Gui Ban serves as a strong Liver & Kidney yin tonic and can be used in deeply deficient cases with deficient heat and signs that heat is rising. As an animal product and one that is may be hard to source ethically, we have listed suitable substitutes to make strongly nourishing bars without Gui Ban. Gelatin is a non-vegetarian option, and agar-agar is a vegan-friendly option for these bars.

About the Creator

Molly's selfie
My name is Molly Rodrigues (she/her) and I’m term 6 here at AIMC. I work as a flexologist at StretchLab and as a restorative yoga teacher. I am passionate about individualized and accessible healthcare, and trauma alchemization. When I’m not studying or working you can find me soaking up the sunshine, moving my body, reading, or pondering philosophies. I’m a big fan of all things coffee, music, and nature.

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