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Instantly Turn Water Into A Delicious Healthy Drink With These 5 Chinese Herbs

When it’s north of 90 degrees and muggy outside, there’s only so much water you can drink. No wonder many people quench their thirst with fruit juice, soda and beer. But obviously, that’s not healthy. 

So how can you instantly hydrate while actually enjoying the taste of water without spiking your blood sugar? By adding Chinese herb extract granules. 

Here’s a list of our top 5 Chinese herbs you should add to your water this summer for taste, health benefits and convenience….

Honeysuckle flower

Jin Yin Hua, or honeysuckle flower, is one of the most popular herbs for clearing heat. As this action implies, when heat is removed from the body, you feel cooler. That’s why honeysuckle is one of the best thirst-quenching herbs you can add to water. And as the botanical name implies, honeysuckle has a sweet, nectar-like taste. 

Traditionally, in China, honeysuckle water is prepared in glass cups. A single 8 oz. serving would require several grams of dried flowers, covered with a lid for three minutes. But if you don’t have three minutes to spare, or any raw honeysuckle flowers at home, there’s a much easier way to enjoy honeysuckle water: with honeysuckle flower extract granules. Thanks to granule extracts, it’s so easy to make honeysuckle water.  

To get the recommended three gram dosage, simply open the bottle of honeysuckle flower granules, and use the gram measuring spoon provided. Add one spoonful to water and stir. Within seconds, your honeysuckle water is ready to drink. 

The main active ingredient in honeysuckle flower is chlorogenic acid. Numerous studies suggest this polyphenol compound (polyphenols are a type of antioxidant) may contribute to health. In fact, a review of 94 studies on chlorogenic acid concludes the compound may support a healthy inflammatory response (in people that already have normal inflammation levels).  

Hawthorn fruit

Like honeysuckle, hawthorn fruit is another popular herbal ingredient added to summertime drinks in China. It transforms plain water into a tart and tangy (and mildly sweet) functional drink.

By adding hawthorn fruit to water, you’re not only quenching your thirst, you’re supporting your digestive system.

By adding hawthorn fruit to water, you’re not only quenching your thirst, you’re supporting your digestive system. In summertime, barbecues are very popular, but eating a lot of grilled/blackened meats can produce what’s known in TCM theory as damp-heat. Damp-heat can cause food retention, bloating, hiccups and stomach discomfort. Hawthorn berry water may help ease Qi stagnation that causes these damp-heat symptoms. 

You can easily quench your thirst and get the benefits from hawthorn by adding hawthorn berry extract granules to your water. 

Hawthorn berries contain polyphenol antioxidants, specifically, catechin and epicatechin. These compounds have been shown in numerous studies to support overall health. 


Obviously, peppermint (Bo He) isn’t one of those esoteric Chinese herbs you’ve never heard of. You’re probably familiar with peppermint’s cool and refreshing scent, which in extract granule format is preserved. 

Bo He is one of the best thirst-quenching herbs for summer because it disperses wind-heat. And not only does it have a refreshing taste, but from a TCM perspective it also refreshes the mind, and helps clear the eyes and cools rashes.  

Chrysanthemum flower 

Chrysanthemum flowers and water make for a delicious, thirst-quenching functional drink because of three reasons. First, it’s very effective at clearing heat, according to TCM theory. Second, from a health perspective, its main active ingredient is chlorogenic acid, which is also a key constituent in coffee. In research studies, chlorogenic acid has been shown to support health in several ways. 

Possessing a slightly sweet and bitter flavor profile, chrysanthemum supports normal liver and eye function. 

Prunella Spike

Finally, what better thirst-quenching Chinese herb to add to water than Prunella… Believe it or not, beverages based on Xia Ku Cao are more popular than Coca Cola in China, especially in hot climates. It should come as no surprise that its chief actions in TCM theory are clearing heat and fire. 

Also known as prunella vulgaris or prunella dew, this herbal ingredient has a bitter, slightly sweet taste that’s sometimes compared to rosemary. Like chrysanthemum, prunella also supports eye health and vision. 

Click to learn about prunella extract granules.

There are dozens of other extract granules you can add to water that may help quench your thirst and support your overall health. Try starting with one herbal extract. Then you can add more as summer goes along. Who ever thought experimenting with water could be fun?

Recommended Reading From The ActiveHerb Blog:

Immuni-TEA: Brew An Instant Herbal Tea For Immunity

Ditch the Damp-Heat: How TCM Nutrition Tips Can Help You Stay Cool During the Summer


The potential effects of chlorogenic acid

The combination of catechin and epicatechin callate from Fructus Crataegi