Black Beans Lotus Root Mushroom Soup

This is a revered Chinese tonic soup due to its high nutritional value.

And my dad’s secret for prolonging grey hair!

He makes a large pot almost every week for the family.

Ingredients and Instructions

  1. Soak the black beans overnight
  2. Wash, clean and cut the lotus and shiitake
  3. Add them all in one pot and bring to a boil
  4. Simmer for many more hours or overnight

Traditional Indications

Symptoms: Weak constitution, lack of energy and blood, premature white hair and thinning of hair, dizziness, tinnitis, and ringing in the ears.

Therapeutic effects: Tonify liver and promote blood, prevent white hair and hair loss.

Black Beans (Phaselous vulgaris)

In ancient times, beans were known as the “Meat of the Poor”. I like to argue that beans were also their medicine which prevented them from diseases of the rich such as Gout.

Why Black beans though?

Well, in nature, the black colour of food is normally associated with nutrient-density. Black Beans are high in folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and B vitamins. I suspect the high folate content is one reason why it is good for hair growth.

Per 100g, Black Beans are rich in:

  • Folate B9 (37%)
  • Fibre (35%)
  • Manganese (22%)
  • Protein (18%)
  • Magnesium (17%)
  • Phosphorus (14%)
  • Iron (2.1mg 12%)
  • Potassium & Copper (10%)
  • B1/Thiamin (16%)

DV = Daily Value based on 2000 calorie diet [4]

They can also reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, can prevent cancer, control appetite, improve digestion, stabilize blood sugar. [5]

Lotus Root (Nelumbo nucifera)

Lotus root or 藕节 (Ǒu Jié) is neutral in nature with a Sour & Sweet taste. In TCM, Sour ingredients “help with digestion and restrain abnormal fluid discharges from the body, such as diarrhoea or heavy sweating. Sweet ingredients slow down acute reactions, detoxify the body and have a tonic effect by replenishing Qi and Blood.”*

Lotus Flower, Singapore Botanical Gardens

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)

Shiitake is well known for stimulating/modulating the immune system although this effect is much lower in food sources vs extracts. There is some evidence for antidiabetic, antihyperlipidaemic (lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids), antimicrobial, antineoplastic (antitumour), antioxidant and antiviral effects from liquid extracts.

That one pot lasts us days. We have it mostly for breakfast, along with other things 🙂


  1. Lotus Root and Black Bean Soup (
  2. Chinese Pork and Black Bean Soup | Healthy gf Asian
  3. Romero-Arenas, O., Damián-Huato, M. A., Rivera-Tapia, J. A., Báez-Simón, A., Huerta-Lara, M., & Cabrera-Huerta, E. (2013). The nutritional value of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and its importance for feeding of rural communities in Puebla, Mexico. International Research Journal of Biological Sciences2(8), 59-65.
  4. Beans, black, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories (
  5. Black Beans Nutrition, Health Benefits, Recipes and Side Effects – Dr. Axe
  6. Lotus roots (Ou Jie) in Chinese Medicine (
  7. Natural Medicines – Professional (

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