Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners have used Chinese herbs to heal patients for centuries.
There’s a reason they are still widely used today, and there’s no sign that their popularity is waning. Doctors who practice western medicine use them to treat some illnesses. Physicians in some hospitals use acupuncture, which involves burning Chinese herbs on top of inserted needles, to cure arthritis.
Chinese herbs have brought me some relief. While this article introduces you to some of their benefits, it’s not medical advice. Do consult a doctor before taking them.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
TCM is a practice that includes various forms of herbal medicine, massage (tui na), and acupuncture. Its basic premise is that the bodies Chi, or vital energy flows through channels practitioners call meridians. They believe that tapping into these channels using the forms of treatment mentioned above promotes healing.
The History of Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbs
The story of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is a long one. It originates from the Shang Dynasty that lasted from the 11th to the 14th centuries. The Shang people inscribed diagnoses on Tortoise shells and bones. They blamed ailments on curses handed down by ancestors. The illnesses they referred to usually affected the Royal Family.
British scientists and historian Joseph Needham, who discovered bones and needles in ancient Shang tombs concluded that the Shang people might have used acupuncture and herbal treatment.
The oldest compilation on Chinese medicine, The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon, discussed the relationship between human beings’ vitality, illnesses, and the cosmos. It suggested ways to make diagnoses, given all these factors.
The Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders and Miscellaneous Illnesses, written at the end of the Han Dynasty, focused on drug prescriptions. It grouped symptoms into patterns for physicians to treat.
Chairman Mao Zedong, in 1950, spoke up in support of Chinese medicine. Although he promoted it, he didn’t use it himself.
10 Ancient Chinese Herbs That Work Wonders for Different Ailments
Many people view traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese herbs with raised eyebrows. That’s because there’s little research that supports their benefits, some of which are astounding.
1. Goji Berries
First of all are antioxidant-rich Goji berries. These herbs, which have roots in ancient China, have an interesting sweet and sour taste. They resemble raisins. You won’t regret trying goji berry chocolates.
This fruit contains many nutrients, including Vitamin C, fiber, iron, vitamin A, and zinc. It also contains all the amino acids our bodies need. Note that the Goji berry is a complex carbohydrate that prevents our blood sugar levels from rising too quickly. Consequently, it decreases sugar crashes.
The extraordinary Goji berry protects bus from the flu. As shown in tests on mice, it enhances the effectiveness of vaccines. It also prevents infections. Goji berries are an effective weight loss aid. As appetite suppressants, they prevent us from snacking. They are perfect substitutes for sugar-rich dried fruits.
Because they have high levels of antioxidants, they protect our eyes and skin. Studies show that they contain lots of zeaxanthin, which protects skin cells. The Goji berry is good news for men. It increases testosterone levels and sperm. This incredible fruit also enhances sexuality.
Heart patients should include Goji berries in their diets because they lower the risk of heart attacks. This Superfruit reduces blood pressure and prevents arthritis as well.
On this list of useful Chinese herbs is ginseng. The Chinese have used it to treat different diseases.
Apart from balancing hormones, this herb recharges our bodies. It will relieve parents who are anxious about their children’s schoolwork because it enhances cognitive function. The ginsenosides in it control inflammation. There are some suggestions that it may prevent cancer as well.
Ginseng is another piece of good news for men.A study in the British Journal Of Clinical Pharmacology showed that red ginseng is an effective remedy for ED. Also, the International Journal of Molecular Medicine revealed a link between ginseng and the flu. Ginseng extract improves the survival rate of cells infected by the flu virus.
3. Dang Gui
Another herb that has healing properties is Dang Gui. When I had an operation to remove tumors some years ago, well-meaning relatives advised that I take it. It brought some relief. It balances female hormones and improves fertility. Phytoestrogens in it add to the estrogen in the body.
Coumarins, compounds found in Dang Gui, dilate blood vessels and prevent muscle spasms. They help women regulate their menstrual cycles. Some people believe that Dang Gui is a solely female herb. On the contrary, it improves male fertility. It also protects the prostate gland.
This herb is an astounding source of antioxidants. The compounds in it also increase our vitality. Weight Watchers should rejoice because it raises the body’s metabolism. Dang Gui relieves pain as well. It controls information and arthritis.
4. Chinese Wild Yam
Chinese wild yam is another herb with therapeutic properties. It puts an end to diarrhea, a common digestive ailment. This beneficial herb also energizes and strengthens the body.
Furthermore, wild yam relieves a chronic cough. People with asthma will find it a relief because it moisturizes the lungs. Conversely, it’s a cure for incontinence. It remedies kidney deficiencies. Chinese yam also moisturizes the skin. As such, it helps a woman stay beautiful.
5. Lotus Seed
One of my favorite Chinese desserts is a combination of lotus seeds, white fungus, and red dates.
The lotus flower produces edible seeds which have healing properties. Therefore, the Chinese use them in many herbal remedies. Lotus seeds contain proteins, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Chinese cooks add them to nutritious soups. Dieters love them because they are low in cholesterol.
Many Chinese women eat them because they have anti-aging properties. The enzyme L-isopentyl methyltransferase repairs damaged protein cells, which helps skin stay supple. It is also a natural flavonoid which stops inflammation. Lotus seeds treat other illnesses such as insomnia and restlessness. They dilate blood vessels, which in turn reduces blood pressure.
6. White Peony Root
Do you have trouble sleeping? If you struggle with insomnia, you might want to try white peony root. Take it just before a major examination because it might help you think through your answers calmly.
Does anyone you know have jaundice or other liver problems? You might want to advise them to try peony root because it is an anticoagulant. It cleanses the blood, stomach, and liver.
Peony root removes bacteria. As such, it cures gastrointestinal infections. It also relieves common skin problems and gets rid of wrinkles. The Ethanol and Gallic extract in peony root prevent free radicals from forming. Therefore, it might aid in cancer prevention.
Compounds like Paeoniflorin in puny root eliminate cholesterol. It’s 18 constituents help to control hypertension. This extraordinary herb is an antioxidant that prevents cancer.
One of my favorite childhood memories is chewing on the Longan fruits that my grandmother used to bring home From the market.
The Longan is not only a delicious fruit but also has healing properties. This fruit is brown and has a delicate skin. It has a musky, yet sweet flavor.
If you have an anxiety disorder, the Longan fruit will help you calm your nerves. It also reduces exhaustion.
It’s a cure for cuts and abrasions. This herb-cum-fruit arrests free radicals and prevents cancer.
Does anyone you know have problems with blood circulation? This fruit will offer some relief. It decreases anemia and prevents giddiness.
8. Red Dates
A relative recommended red dates as a cure for my weak eyesight. I haven’t had my eyes tested yet but can now read the fine print on food labels.
How you brew red dates determines their effectiveness. Dates stored in red wine regulate blood flow. If you soak them in water, you’ll ease your liver problems. It increases the body’s serum protein which helps the liver detoxify.
Are you anxious? Have some date porridge. It will soothe your nerves before a big event. Forget all those anti-aging masks. Red date soup with boiled egg will stop the aging process. Is your stomach easily upset? Red date ginger tea reduces stomach pains. It’s also a cure for sore throats.
9. Black Sesame
I usually ask for a bowl of black Sesame after a huge Chinese dinner. This delicious dessert has more healing properties than I thought.
This herb has Phytosterols that lower cholesterol and help to protect heart health. It’s a way of easing hypertension. Furthermore, it burns fat and is a weight loss aid. Besides balancing hormones, black sesame fights cancer. It helps digestion and allows the body to absorb nutrients.
I admit that I was skeptical when someone asked me to try a wheatgrass drink. I added a teaspoon of honey to it, and it didn’t taste too bad.
Wheatgrass purifies the body. It’s an antioxidant that purges free radicals. It also helps your body to keep beneficial nutrients. If you struggle with digestive issues, this is one of the Chinese herbs you must try. Wheatgrass also speeds up weight loss by stimulating the thyroid gland. A 2010 study shows that it fights cholesterol. Researchers are still exploring its benefits.
In all, Chinese herbs aren’t a complete cure. But they may bring some relief and even pleasure.
By Michelle L.