Know all your Bird Nest Benefits before you eat any!

What is Bird’s Nest?

Bird nests are the nests of swiftlet birds, which the male swiftlet made entirely out of his edible saliva. It is harvested and prized to make sweet dessert soup, for its prized nutritious content and flavor. Edible Bird nests are rich in collagen, amino acid, glycoprotein, antioxidants, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and hormones.

Collagen and amino acid are the prized building blocks for smooth skin, such as leucine, lysine, glycine, glutamine, tyrosine, arginine, cysteine, histidine, tryptophan, and other amino acids. These are renowned for tissue regeneration and cell growth.

Bird Nest Benefits

Due to the high glycoprotein, collagen and amino acid, antioxidants, hormones and various minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, bird nest is treasured for many benefits.

Boost Immunity system

Many mothers and grandmothers would swear by bird nest soups improvement to overall health and immunity to their beloved children and grandchildren. This has been a traditional remedy since ancient days of imperial China, where only the royal family and well connected businessmen can eat bird nest soup.

Bird Nest for skin and beauty

Scientific studies have proved that bird’s nest has large amount of epidermal growth factor (EGF). With the richness of collagen and amino acid, it is no wonder many women loves bird nest to maintain their youthful skin.

How to eat Bird’s Nest?

We should try to eat bird nest soup or dishes on an empty stomach. They are tonics,meant to nourish our bodies, so an empty stomach is better to absorb all the minerals and nutrients.

Most Chinese eat bird’s nest as hot soup, boiled for hours with rock sugar, or chilled soup. You can use honey instead. There are many modern restaurants that have take bird’s nest as a twist in Asian cuisines. There are egg tarts that uses bird’s nests as fillings, or adding bird nests to jelly desserts.

There are congee porridge that uses bird nests as well as dishes that cook bird nests with scallops and mushrooms.


How to prepare bird’s nest?

We need to soak the bird’s nests for 4-8 hours, then steam or stew (aka double-boiled) the bird’s nest for 15 minutes. And add in rock sugar or raw honey for 5 minutes for a sweet dessert.

How to soak bird’s nest, for how long?

You may have to soak bird’s nest from 3 to 8 hours, depending on quality and type of bird nest. Wild cave bird nests require at least 24 hours of soaking to soften it.

  1. Place the bird’s nest in a bowl of cool and clean water, making sure the water covers the nest entirely. This allows the nest to have full contact with water and absorb the water fully.
  2. You may change the water once or twice during the soaking period..
  3. After 3 – 8 hours, you can feel it become softer and expanded in size.
  4. For natural bird’s nest, there may have a small amount of feather or debris, you can use a pair of tweezers to remove them. For ease, place the bird nest on white cloth, allowing you to see the dark feather or debris easily.
  5. Use a strainer or netting to remove excess water.
  6. If there are still impurities, you can rinse the bird’s nest a few times, tearing small pieces of the nests to allow the impurities inside to be washed off.


How to cook bird’s nest soup?

All types of bird’s nest should be prepared with indirect heat (i.e., stewing or steaming). One should take caution not to boil the nests. We place the bird nest bowl to be steamed or stewed. Chinese calls it “double boiling” where the bird nest bowl is placed on a metal stand in a pot of water. You boil the pot of water that steams the bird nest bowl.

How to stew bird’s nest?

  1. The water in the stewing bowl must cover the entire bird nest and other ingredients. The water level should not be more than 70% of the stewing bowl’s full height because the water level will rise during cooking.
  2. Boil the pot of water (that is holding the stewing bowl of bird’s nest) and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. The active ingredient, “mitogenic stimulation factor”, gets active around 80 degrees celsius (176 fahrenheit). The effectiveness will be lost if the  nest is boiled directly at more than 80 degrees celsius. Hence, once the pot of water boils, reduce the heat and let it simmer.

How long to boil bird’s nest?

You only need 15 minutes for the bowl of bird’s nest to cook once the pot of water boils and left to simmer.

You may prefer to use electronic stewing pot or slow cooker for convenience. Just adjust the heat intensity to low level. You can keep the bird’s nest at a warm temperature too so that you can serve to family members any time.

Do NOT use microwave for bird’s nest soup, as it applies direct heat to the nest and may damage nutrient.

Bird Nest Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 piece of BirdNest (a whole nest of 8 gram for 1-2 servings)
  • 1 bowl of water
  • A few pieces of rock sugar to taste (you can use less sugar for less sweet)
  • OR organic raw honey instead of sugar.

Optional Ingredients to add, to improve the tonics.

  • 4-5 pieces red dates
  • 4-5 pieces dried longan
  • 4-5 pieces wolfberries
  • 4-5 slices of Korean Ginseng or American Ginseng


  1. Bird nest comes in dried form, soak it overnight, for 8 hours. The end reason is a soft, expanded, fibrous gelatin mixture.
  2. If there are any impurities such as feathers, pluck it out with a tweezers.
  3. Add the bird’s nest, one bowl of water, and other ingredients (such as red dates, dried longan, wolfberries or ginseng) into a small bowl and cover with a lid.
  4. Place the bowl into a large pot
  5. Pour water into the pot, making sure half of your bowl is submerged in the water.
  6. Start the heat, and observe that the water in the large pot is boiling, then cover the pot with a pot lid.
  7. Leave the pot to boil for fifteen minutes.
  8. Remove bird’s nest from heat and stir in organic honey or rock sugar to your preferred sweetness.

Once the soup is cooled, you can have it as a hot soup, or chilled it in the fridge for a cold dessert!

Bird Nest Drinks

When the bird nest soup is cooled, you can bottled it as a refreshing drink later for office or at home. For best effect, make sure the drink is full of bird’s nest and not just sugary water. The best is to cook the bird nest drink for yourself. If you prefer the convenience of branded drinks, do buy only bird nest drinks with real bird nest.

Bird Nest Soup is best consumed on an empty stomach.

In TCM, Bird’s Nest is classified as a tonic. Ideally, it should be consumed before meals to allow the body to better absorb its nutrients.

 Bird’s Nest for recovery in illness

The glycoprotein and amino acids helps in recovering from chronic illness. In traditional chinese medicine, it may help respiratory ailments such as for cough relief, phlegm, or asthma.

Do note that bird’s nest is not a medicine or treatment for any specific illness. It is a tonic to help the body recover and gain strength.

Bird’s Nest for the elderly or children

Bird’s Nest contains essential glycoproteins, amino acids and minerals that are essential for healthy development. Children needs to to develop and grow. Elderly needs them to recuperate and reduce ageing problems. For example, bird nest are traditional chinese medicine relief for phlegm problems, chronic dry coughs and fatigue.

Bird’s Nest can also be used to stimulate the appetite, improve digestion and stimulate bowel movement, essential bodily functions for kids and seniors.

Regular consumption of bird’s nest helps boost the body immune system, and improve the function of lungs and kidneys.

Is bird nest benefits good for pregnancy?

The Chinese traditional medicine teaches that bird’s nest is nourishing and contain essential nutrients for pregnant ladies and while breastfeeding their child. It is rich in glycoprotein and amino acids that are the building blocks of cells. It is renowned for boosting mother and child’s immune system.

What are some benefits of bird’s nest for pregnancy?

Bird’s nest is reputed to promote healthy growth to foetus by stimulating cell growth, improving blood supply and strengthening the immune system.

Bird nest contains the following that are so essential for mothers to be:-

The richness of collagen also help to relieve stretch marks during pregnancy, and allows the mother to recover her smooth complexion after giving birth.

Theronine helps with the mother to build up her collagen and elastin for her skin and stretch mark.

Glycine helps to reduce pre-eclampsia in pregnant ladies and reduce risks of neural tube defects in fetus.

Tryptophan (a precursor of serotonin and melatonin) reduces fatigue, anxiety and stress in mothers. It enhance the mother’s recuperation after birth and aids in growth for the child.

Amino acids proteins, some examples are leucine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, arginine, histidine and proline. These aid the body to build and recover body tissues.

When should pregnant ladies eat bird nest?

Pregnant ladies should eat bird’s nest from the 4th month of their pregnancy. 5-10 g per serving (1 bowl of bird’s nest soup) for a pregnant lady every day, or at least once a week.

During the first 3 months of pregnancy (aka first trimester), it is not recommended to consume bird nest so as to allow the embryo to develop first.

Should I eat bird’s nest after giving birth?

Yes, to absorb essential nutrient and to recover. After an event that is traumatic to the female body, the new mother needs to recuperate and recover from the blood loss. There is also hormone imbalance from stress, lack of sleep, and poor immunity system. The new mother is also expected to start breast milk production to feed her baby.

Bird’s nest drinks or soup help mothers recover their smooth skin and relieve stretch marks.

Should I eat bird nest while breastfeeding?

Yes, Bird’s nest has essential nutrients such as the various amino acid that will help the mother in recovery. Bird’s nest can help to improve breastmilk supply and we are aware of numerous scientific studies that show breast milk is recommended for babies.

Are there any side effects to consuming bird nest?

No. There are  rare instances of people who are allergic to bird’s nests. Other than that, scientific researches show no harmful side effects has ever been recorded.

What are some bird nest benefit for skin?

Theronine helps in building of collagen and elastin that helps in keeping the skin youthful and radiance. Ladies who eat bird’s nest regularly have more beautiful and anti-aging looks.

Bird’s nest is so rich in collagen and amino acid that are essential nutrient for renewal of your complexion.

What are some of myths about bird’s nest?

There are myths that eating bird’s nests causes asthma or allergies in the children later, this has been scientifically debunked. Similar some benefits such as eating bird nest while pregnant will ensure a lighter skin tone of the babies is also a myth that has been debunked. Your baby’s skin colour and tone is predetermined by genetics factors.

There are myths that some bird nests are red due to the blood from swiftlets. Or that birds are harmed during harvesting of bird nests from caves. These are not true.

Why is some bird’s nest red? Is it a myth that red is from the swiftlet’s blood?

This is a myth that some red bird’s nest is because of the blood from swiftlets. Some bird’s nest from certain caves and regions are reddish due to minerals absorbed from the cave or from oxidation.

Are birds harmed in the harvesting of bird’s nests?

No. Harvesters understand that the swiftlets are the “golden gooses which lies the golden eggs”. They only harvest the nest after the eggs are hatched and the baby birds are grown up and flew away. Only then are the nests harvested and the rural people can hope for a bigger harvest next season when the young swiftlets return.


Whats the difference between Indonesian and Malaysian bird’s nest?

Indonesia has more caves and natural habitat suitable for swiftlets, and there are larger population of wild swiftlets. The swiftlet’s bird nests are higher nutritious value and more premium.

Malaysia has many farms where they created buildings to encourage swiftlet’s nesting. The quality and premium of such bird’s nest is perceived as less premium and hence the costs is more affordable.

Bird’s Nest Prices

Indonesian Bird’s nest are more premium and valuable as the quality is much higher. The price can be varying $500 – $700 for 100 grams of such bird nests.

Malaysian bird’s nests are of lower quality and much more affordable, it can be bought from about $200 for 100 gram.

Where to buy bird’s nest?

You may buy the best premium indonesian bird’s nest at a better price from Bird’s Nest Singapore. They are more affordable as they get bird’s nest directly from the fishing villagers in Indonesia, avoiding middlemen and getting the best quality available.

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