Birds’ nest has been used for a long time in traditional Chinese medicine for many centuries. It is classified as a cold food or “ying” according to the Chinese food concept.Birds’ nest is mostly composed of water-soluble protein that is easily absorbed by human body. The total protein content is about 65 percent. The other constituents are moisture (~ 10%), traces of fat (~23.3%), and carbohydrate (~0.8%). Other minerals present are calcium and iron. The total content of Amino acid in birds’ nest is approximately 6 percent. Amino acids isolated from birds’ nest consist of amide, humin, arginine, cystine, histidine, and lysine. It is possible that when taken with other certain foods through a cooking process,such as ginseng (as a hot food or “yang”), may have high nutritive and therapeutic value to human body.Birds’ nest is regarded as having a wide range of tonic and medical values. Traditionally, it is believed that birds’ nest can strengthen the lungs and use in the curing and strengthening of body in diseases related to weak blood, body overheat, and other bronchion ailments. Consumption of bird nest is also recommended to complement other treatments to combat degenerative diseases such as cancer and also for recovering health after illness, or surgery. Recent studies in Hong Kong suggested that it may even be useful in the treatment of AIDS.
It is also claimed that Bird's nest contains elements which can stimulate cell growth and especially beneficial to elderly recovering from various body ailments. Birds’ nest is especially valued by ladies for its reported properties of making the skin delicate and growing radiantly. It is also mentioned that an expectant mother consuming bird nests would have a baby with fine and smooth complexion.