Birds’ Nest Benefits, Myths and whys? Birdnest Eating FAQs


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.

Birds nest post pregnancy confinement baby mother
Birds nest post pregnancy confinement baby mother

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.

Red bird’s nests are not made from swiftlets blood
Red bird’s nests are not made from swiftlets blood

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.

Bird’s nest –  Benefits and Myths

Is bird’s nest good for pregnancy and cancer? Is red bird’s nest made from swiftlets blood? Be sure to check out the myths and benefits before purchasing your bird’s nest!

Common myths and benefits of bird’s nest

  • Eating bird’s nest every day
  • Eating bird’s nest during pregnancy – fair skin for my baby
  • Eating bird’s nest during pregnancy – asthma for my baby
  • Eating bird’s nest during confinement
  • Birds nest and cancer
  • Birds nest for cough
  • Birds nest for acne
  • Red bird’s nests are made from the swiftlets blood
  • Red Bird’s nest is made by both house and cave swiftlets
  • Caves nests are better than farm nest
  • Red bird’s nests are better than white bird’s nest
  • Swiftlets are harmed in the harvesting of bird’s nests


Eating Bird’s Nest Everyday

bird's nest for the family benefits myths
bird’s nest for the family benefits myths

Is it safe to eat bird nest everyday? Some type (such as white bird’s nest) is safe to consume every day while others such as golden and red bird nest should be consumed in moderation due to the high minerals content.


White bird’s nest is safe to consume every day as it is rich in glycoprotein, collagen and amino acid, antioxidants, hormones and various minerals. Bird’s nest is treasured for many benefits such as:

  • High nutritional value
  • Smooth and fair skin
  • All natural anti-aging ability
  • Boost immune system

However, golden and red bird’s nest should be taken in moderation due to the high mineral content that may put unnecessary stress on your body while trying to process it.


Eating Bird’s Nest During Pregnancy – Fair Skin for The Baby

Bird's nest pregnancy baby fair skin benefit myth
Bird’s nest pregnancy baby fair skin benefit myth

Bird’s nest does not make your baby’s skin fair

Skin color is determined genetically and there is no scientific evidence to show the consumption of bird’s nest, soybean products, coffee will affect the skin tone of a baby. It is recommended for mothers to consume bird’s nest only after the first 3 months of pregnancy in order for the embryo to grow properly.


Eating Bird’s Nest During Pregnancy – Asthma for the Child

birds nest child asthma benefit myth
birds nest child asthma benefit myth

Birds nest does not induce child asthma

Eating bird’s nest during pregnancy does not increase the risk of your child contracting asthma. It is a myth that is not scientifically proven. However, bird’s nests are known to trigger allergic anaphylactic reactions in children and even adults. Should your child develop symptoms of breathing difficulty, swollen eyes and rashes, stop consumption and seek immediate medical attention.

It is also important to note that as with all food products, bird’s nests should be consumed in moderation.


Eating Bird’s Nest During Confinement

It is safe for mothers to consume bird’s nest during confinement post pregnancy. The nutrients within the bird’s nest, such as polypeptide hormone – Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), aids the recovery process and enhances the milk supply for mothers who breastfeed their child. Bird’s nest can also help stimulate appetite and aids digestion, repairing damaged tissue and improving overall immunity.

The period after birth is crucial and a mother you have just given birth should take all the effort she can to recuperate and re-energize herself to enjoy with her new bundle of joy!


Can birds nest cure cancer?

Bird's nest cure cancer relieve symptom help benefit myth
Bird’s nest cure cancer relieve symptom help benefit myth

Bird’s nest can relieve the symptoms of chemotherapy and radiation

No, bird’s nest cannot be a substitute for modern medical treatment but it can help relieve certain symptoms.

Birds nest can be beneficial to cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The contents and nutritional value of bird’s nest can help relieve “dry symptoms” such as dry skin, throats or mouths. The essence of chicken, multivitamins and Lingzi mushroom are also known to help with relieving the condition.

However, you should consult your doctor before including bird’s nest as part of your diet as it may or may not interfere with your treatment.


Can Birds Nest Cure Cough?

Birds nest cure cough benefit myth
Birds nest cure cough benefit myth

Birds nest can help relieve cough

The pre-digested form of nutrients that goes into the swiftlets nest can help improve recovery and aid in the relief of common respiratory ailments such as coughs and even asthma. The bird’s nest soup you make should include ingredients such as ginger that can aid the body in absorbing the antioxidants of the bird’s nest. Ginger is can also be a natural remedy that aids blood circulation and relieves cough.


Can Birds Nest Cure Acne?

birds nest cure acne collagen skin health benefit myth
birds nest cure acne collagen skin health benefit myth

Birds nest can cure acne by increasing collagen production

Yes! Regular consumption of bird’s nest that is highly nutritious can increase collagen levels in your body to improve and maintain youthful skin. White bird’s nest from farms are generally cleaner and required less processing before it is edible, resulting in a higher quality nest as compared to the rest.


Are Red Bird’s Nests are Made from Swiftlets Blood?

Red Bird’s Nests are not made from swiftlets blood

False. The redness is actually from the minerals of the surrounding cave environment that seep into the nest, turning it red in color. As red nests are more expensive than white ones, it is important to note that certain producers have dyed the white nests red. While genuine red bird’s nest brings health benefits, long-term consumption red bird’s nest that is dyed may damage human health and consumers of red bird’s nests are advised to purchase them from a trusted source to avoid harm.


Are Red Bird’s Nest is Made by Both House and Cave Swiftlets?

Only cave swiftlets produce red bird’s nest.

False. Red bird’s nests are only made by cave swiftlets and the redness is due to the nest’s contact and the natural absorption of minerals from the cave wall. White bird’s nests are made from both cave and farm swiftlets but farm swiftlets produce cleaner and higher quality nests due to the clean environment the nests are built.


Are Red Bird’s Nests Better than White Bird’s Nest?


Red and white bird’s nest have similar levels of protein and amino acid

It depends. Red and white bird’s nests have the same levels of protein and amino acid but red nests are presumably better due to the higher levels of minerals it contains. Your body requires only a limited amount of minerals and any excess or long-term consumption can damage your health as it may put unnecessary stress on your organs to process the excess minerals.


Are caves nests are better than farm nest?

False. Cave nests are more expensive as they are low in supply as it is difficult to harvest. Another reason would be the excessive minerals found in cave nests and they thought to be more superior in quality even though cave and farm nests have similar amino acid and protein levels.

The industry has turned to swiftlet farming in urban areas and adopted swiftlet husbandry methods and structures specially designed to mimic the conditions of natural caves and the nests are routinely harvested to ensure quality, cleanliness, and freshness.


Are Swiftlets Harmed in the Harvesting of Bird’s Nests?

baby swiftlets not harm harvesting farm cave nest

It is an industry practice for farmers to harvest the nest only after they are abandoned by the swiftlets but harvesting methods may differ depending on the location of harvest. Bird’s nests from farms are harvested in a responsible way after they are abandoned by the swiftlet family when the baby swiftlets can fly, only to return during the next mating season where nests will be built again for another round of harvest.

However, for nests harvested from caves, due to season constraint and other risk factors, harvesters may simply pluck whatever is available regardless of whether the nests are abandoned or not.

After Reading the Benefits and Myths of Bird’s Nest

You now know the health benefits you can reap from the regular consumption of this beauty food, you should always purchase your bird’s nest from reputable and reliable sources.

HoneyCity offers the most premium of bird’s nest at the best prices. The Bird’s nests are imported directly from the suppliers in Indonesia and they are carefully selected to guarantee satisfaction.

With a click, you can enjoy the nutritional goodness of premium bird’s nest conveniently delivered right to your doorstep!

We have our bird’s nests listed below for your convenience so satisfy your cravings with HoneyCity today! While stocks last!

Where to buy bird’s nest?

You may buy the best premium indonesian bird’s nest at a better price from Bird’s Nest Hong Kong. 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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