Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years for culinary, medicinal and spiritual purposes. Some of the common sweet Chinese herbs can be made into teas, taken as supplements or added to cooking. You could even grow your own Chinese herb garden, but keep in mind these herbs need to be in partial sunlight and shade, and watered often. As with all herbs, consult a physician before taking any herbs, especially if you have a medical condition or are pregnant.
Celosia seeds are small, round and black, and have both cool and sweet properties. The active ingredient is celosiaol, which causes pupils to dilate. Medicinally, they are used to support liver function, and to heal eye disorders such as impaired vision, red and itchy eyes, nebula or hypertension. They can bought as whole seeds, dried or fresh, as well as ground up as a spice. They can be eaten as seeds or made into a sweet-flavored tea. Since it is used for eye purposes, it should not be used by anyone with glaucoma or kidney ailments, as it makes the pupil dilate excessively.
Throughout Asia, this common herb is usually dried to make a sweet drink or tea. It has a sweet and bitter flavor, and can also be eaten dried, fresh or added to food dishes. For medicinal uses, the flowers can be used to soothe tired eyes and skin, along with under-eye circles. It is classified as a body-cooling source and brings a sweet flavor to beverages.
Wolfberries, or gou qi zi, are used a lot in Chinese medicine to help the eyesight and immune system and also to improve circulation and liver, kidney and lung function. They taste sweet, and can be eaten raw, dried out, steeped in tea or added to food. They contain many B vitamins, zinc, iron, vitamin C, beta-carotene, phosphorus, copper, isoleucine and antioxidants.
Honeysuckle vines, or ren dong teng, have a sweet flavor that Chinese healers say can cool off the body. They are used to unblock channels within the body, soothe burning sensations internally, cool the blood, clear out toxins and illness and sooth itching. Honeysuckle vine is also said to cure excessive bleeding, abdominal pain and mastitis.