History of Bird’s Nest
History of Bird’s Nest – The Beginning
Bird’s Nest which was primarily known as Swallow Nest in the early days, was first found during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907) back in China nearly 1500 years ago. According to many historical data, in the classical Chinese Medicine Book (本草綱目) about health food, swallow nest was imported into China from the Southeast Asian region.
During the golden period in Tang Dynasty’s era, only the family of the Emperor and his court officials has the privilege to consume this supreme delicacy. It was after the era of Emperors ended, that the common people were introduced to swallow nest, where it was now widely termed as bird’s nest. Since then, due to its rarity and rich in nutritional and historical values, demand and price for bird’s nest remains sky high.
Where The Bird’s Nest Evolution Begins…
From the historical documents, a progressive familiarity of the swallow nest evolved through time. The records of around year 1587 show that large amount of swallow nest was imported into China and an import duty was levied on the nest. In 1618, the amount of swallow nest imported had increased so much that a reduction on the import duty was granted by the emperor of the Ming Dynasty. At that time, swallow nest was already well accepted as precious food by residents of Guangdong and Fujian Provinces. From then on, records about swallow nest became more detailed and covered even its place of origin.
And for hundreds of years after bird’s nest had been accepted as a kind of precious food in China, they were further accepted by the Chinese to have medical and health enhancing effect. Descriptions of such effects were first found in the works of two famous practitioners of Chinese medicine in the Qing Dynasty. It can therefore be seen that the medical and health-enhancing effects of bird’s nests were formally confirmed and accepted by Chinese medical practitioners only after about a century’s observation and validation. From then on, more detailed and comprehensive description of these effects can be found in some of the subsequent works on Chinese medicine. Principally, Swallow Nests have been considered as a substance that slows down the aging process, a rejuvenating agent. Swallow Nests also act as a demulcent to the lungs and have been used in relieving phlegm and coughs.