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All Things Health Team
Written by All Things Health Team

Reviewed by Doreen Kee on August 3, 2023

Debunking Common Misconceptions About Bird’s Nest Soup

Published | 3 min read

Debunking Common Misconceptions About Bird’s Nest Soup

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the best way to treat ailments is to restore balance to the body. Hence, popular supplements such as Cordyceps Sinensis and essence of chicken benefit you by improving your overall health so your body can function optimally.

Another well-known health supplement that acts similarly is bird’s nest, a high-end delicacy made with solidified bird spit. It possesses various health and wellness benefits and is thus harvested and commonly used in traditional medicine.

While there are many benefits of bird’s nest soup, some avoid consuming it due to popular misconceptions about the nature of its production and use. Read on to learn more about these misconceptions and why they don’t hold.

Bird’s Nest Contains Harmful Chemicals

Some may associate bird’s nest’s white colour with bleach and thus consider it unfit for human consumption. However, there is no evidence that bird’s nest contains bleach or other harmful chemicals.

In reality, bird’s saliva is naturally white and is not dyed or sterilised with toxins. Hence, as long as you purchase bird’s nest from reputable suppliers, there is no need to worry about accidentally consuming hazardous substances.

Bird’s Nest Soup is Not Vegetarian

Bird’s nest is entirely lifeless and contains no living or reproductive cells. Furthermore, just like how the milk production does not hurt or kill the cows, harvesting bird’s nest does not inflict any harm on the birds themselves.

Therefore, if you are a vegetarian willing to consume dairy, bird’s nest soup does not contradict your diet.

Harvesting Bird’s Nest is Unethical

Swallows build their nests to provide a suitable environment for their chicks to hatch and grow. Once the birds have matured, both parents and offspring abandon their nests. During this abandonment period, harvesters will start the collection process.

There is no need to worry about the swallows returning to their old nests because they will build new ones to incubate their eggs. Hence, harvesting does not interfere with their lives at all.

Today, bird’s nest farming is a safe and sustainable approach to harvesting bird’s nests. Farmers create artificial birdhouses that provide swallows with an ideal and desirable environment for nesting. As harvesters are well aware of the value of these birds, their farms tend to pay great attention to the well-being of the swallows and are cruelty-free. 

Red Bird’s Nest Is the Result of the Bird’s Blood

Some believe that farmers harm the swiftlets during the harvesting process, causing their blood to turn the nest red. However, this is not true.Its colour is a result of the environment from which it is harvested. Bird’s nests are usually found in caves, which tend to be extremely humid. When water and oxygen in the air react with the minerals found in the rocks, they create a form of oxidation commonly known as “rust”. Subsequently, this reddish rust permeates into the bird’s nest.

Red Bird’s Nest Is the Result of the Bird’s Blood

Bird’s nests are red because they are harvested from humid caves.

Bird’s Nest Soup Is Only for the Elderly

Though typically considered an elderly person’s remedy, bird’s nest soup also significantly benefits children and adults.

Children can benefit from bird’s nest as it contains minerals and proteins that act as growth supplements and thus promotes healthy development. Moreover, bird’s nest contains Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), which repairs skin tissue and provides anti-ageing benefits. Therefore, it is a popular beauty food among women.


Now that we have debunked the popular myths and misconceptions surrounding bird’s nest soup, we hope you are more open to incorporating it into your diet. It is safe, ethical, and greatly beneficial for your health and wellbeing. Hence, it is a valuable health supplement that you should try.

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