Job’s Tears Adzuki Bean Soup – Home Remedy for Dampness

紅豆薏仁湯Summer is coming and it has been raining more and more over the past few weeks. During this raining season, dampness is easier to accumulate in our body. If you feel heavy, lack of strength, low appetite, fatigue or pain in the joints, it is very likely that there is an excess in dampness in your body. Of course, there are many other signs and symptoms of dampness, and it is considered one of the most popular modern day evil from Tradition Chinese Medicine point of view. I will write more on it in the near future, but for those who are interested in reading about it now, here is a good article that gives you a general overview on dampness.

Now, let’s talk about Job’s Tears Adzuki Bean Soup (in Chinese – 紅豆薏仁湯 hóng dòu yì rén tāng). It is a very common home remedy that almost every Chinese family has their own recipes. Many years back when I was still a kid in Taiwan, I remember dim sum restaurants often offer a small bowl of this wonderful soup at the end of the meal. I didn’t like it first because the soup is often offered warm, but as I grew older and older, I enjoy this soup more and more because this soup help to relief the fullness and to clean the greasy feeling in mouth.

One interesting fact about Job’s Tears is that it benefits the skin. In Asia, it is often used as a beauty food that can help return skin to it’s youth. In other word, it is often used for facial rejuvenation. In addition to various dishes, I have seen job’s tears in facial masks, facial washes, cream, and etc. And, in combination with Adzuki beans, they become a healthy addition to the diet for those with acne.

Adzuki beans and Job's tearsMain Ingredients –

  • Adzuki beans (赤小豆 Chi Xiao Dou or 紅豆 Hong Dou)
    • Sweet, sour, and neutral
    • Enters the Heart and Small Intestine channels.
    • Promotes urination to drain dampness.
    • You can purchase Adzuki beans on, herbal shops or almost all Asian grocery shop.
  • Job’s Tears (薏苡仁 Yi Yi Ren or 薏仁 Yi Ren)
    • Sweet, bland, and cooling
    • Enters the Spleen, Lung,and  Kidney channels.
    • Promotes  urination to drain dampness, treats wind damp bi pain,and has a special function to benefit the skin.
    • You can purchase job’s tear on, herbal shops or Asian grocery shop.
    • It is often labeled as pearl barely in supermarket, but they are actually different products and have different functions in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
    • Do not use during pregnancy.

Note: Both Adzuki beans and Job’s tears have the energy to push dampness downward out of the body, so they might cause excess urination or diarrhea. If diarrhea happens and there is no discomfort afterward, it is part of the normal process. However, if there is anything that worries you, please seek for professional care.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Cinnamon (肉桂 Rou Gui)
    • cinnamon powder, cinnamon stick or fresh ground cinnamon are all good. It is up to your personal preference. However, in this recipe, I would say powder or ground cinnamon works better.
  • Fresh Ginger (生薑 Sheng Jiang)
    • Thin slices, or ground into paste.
  • Aged tangerine/citrus peel (陳皮 Chen Pi)
    • Thin slices or ground into powder for this dishes.
    • Chen Pi is an important herb for drying dampness and the transformation of phlegm,
    • It is often used for abdominal distention, fullness, bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting, and it promote movement especially in downward direction.
    • You can purchase this on, herbal shops or any Asian grocery shops.


  1. Get a handful of both Job’s Tears and Adzuki Beans. Wash and dry.
  2. Use a sunanabe (砂鍋 Sha Guo) or any wok like pan to dry pan fry (pan fry without oil) the washed and dried job’s tears and adzuki beans until smelling slight fragrance.
    • Sunanabe is a thick ceramic pot/wok that can produce even and gentle heat, so if dry pan frying with wok, it is a good idea to use mild to small heat.
  3. Soak the Job’s Tears and Adzuki Beans for 3 hours. If sunanabe is used, water can be added directly to the pot. Water must cover Job’s Tears and Adzuki Beans.
  4. After soaking, cover the pot and turn on high heat to boil. Turn off the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Repeat step 4 two more times. (3 times total) After the last boil, add Cinnamon powder and simmer for 30 minutes. Then you are all set!
    • Other optional ingredients can replace Cinnamon powder.
    • Ginger and aged citrus skin can be used together.
    • Don’t add too much of these optional ingredients. For cinnamon powder, add as much as you would on a rice pudding or oatmeal. For fresh ginger, just use 2 slices or a tea spoon of ground ginger. For aged citrus skin, just use half a piece or less.

The idea of dry pain fry and adding cinnamon or ginger is to add the warm or heat effect to this soup to help disperse dampness in addition to to damp draining effect. These can also balance the cooling effect from job’s tears and bring up the yang energy to promote water metabolism (or move water to where it should be going to).

And, for those who don’t want to go through these steps, the easy way to cook this soup is to use a slow cooker or thermal cooker and just let it cook for overnight.

For those who don’t enjoy eating Job’s Tears and Adzuki Beans, it is okay to just drink the soup, and it is also okay to add a little sugar or honey to flavor this dish. I always add a few piece of rock sugar to mine before boiling.

This soup is going to help you not only to feel good and health, but also to look wonderful. Well, enjoy your Job’s Tears Adzuki Beans soup!


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