Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (TCM) has made an important contribution to preventing and controlling Covid19 since the outbreaks began in 2020.
The NIH published a new study in PubMed Feb 28, 2022. The study explains how researchers systematically screened literature of various randomized controlled trials (RCT) of Traditionally Chinese herbs used for Cov id and what they found you will never hear about in legacy media.
After a Meta-analysis of 29 RCT’s involving 12,460 patients herbal treatments were found highly successful for both severe and critical patients. The study, (link below) found Chinese herb blends reduced the mortality rate of patients with severe Cov19 by 55%.
Chinese herbal medicine was also found to relieve clinical symptoms and curtail hospital stays, improve laboratory indicators and more.
In addition, within the randomized studies consulted, a large number of the Chinese herbs used for COVID19 had biological constituents which can bind to antiviral targets and down regulate inflammation and regulate the immune system.
Authors of the study will continue research into the components of these herbs and the mechanism of actions for Coronavirus diseases.
Find the study abstract here:: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35227280/
Zhao Z, Li Y, Zhou L, et al. Prevention and treatment of COVID-19 using traditional Chinese medicine: a review. Phytomedicine. 2021;85:153308. – PubMed
An X, Zhang Y, Duan L, et al. The direct evidence and mechanism of traditional Chinese medicine treatment of COVID-19. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021;137:111267. – PubMed – PMC
An X, Duan L, Zhang YH, et al. The three syndromes and six Chinese patent medicine study during the recovery phase of COVID-19. Chin Med. 2021;16:44. – PubMed – PMC
Liu M, Gao Y, Yuan Y, et al. Efficacy and safety of integrated traditional Chinese and western medicine for Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pharmacol Res. 2020;158:104896. – PubMed – PMC
Xiong X, Wang P, Su K, et al. Chinese herbal medicine for coronavirus disease 2019: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pharmacol Res. 2020;160:105056. – PubMed – PMC
What’s better than horny goat weed?
The herb is Cistanche, a native desert plant that’s always been prized in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). This Chinese herb Cistanche (aka – Rou Cong Rong) is used in Chinese medicine to replenish the blood and kidney jing also translated as essence or heredity. Cistanche was first mentioned in the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing a Chinese book on agriculture and medicinal plants written circa 100 AD. It is commonly used today for impotence and erectile dysfunction and you can find it in Pacific Herbs, Libido Booster for Him.
It’s not Viagra, but the actions from the volatile oils and non-volatile phenylethanoid glycosides (PhGs), oligosaccharides and polysaccharides have proven fertility treatment benefits for premature ejaculation, frequent urination, weakness of tendons, constipation in old age, impotence and even high blood pressure. Libido Booster for Him has a combination of Chinese herbs used as a fertility treatment to increase sex drive and desire which includes cistanche.
What I find fascinating about this plant is that cistanche cannot grow alone. It is a parasitic type of shrub which only grows on the roots of others. Saxaul is one such partner and is special in its own right for impeding erosion. You may have heard about the dust storms near Beijing before and during the Olympic games. This is a continual problem for the residents and certainly for any athletes competing outdoors. China has spent millions on planting trees on the outskirts of Beijing to prevent the desert form encroaching into the metropolitan areas and to reduce the effects of the dust storms. (Approximately 18% of China’s land is desert). A plant like saxaul has huge value in simply holding the sand in place.
Now that thousands of acres of saxaul and cistanche are growing, it’s not only holding back the encroaching desert it also had the ability to earn families a substantial living. The international market for kidney tonics has been growing and cistanche is known as the “ginseng of the desert”. Along with the above mentioned actions this Chinese herb is a popular immunity booster, memory enhancer and known for delaying aging and treating infertility. Overall it’s a kidney tonic, similar to ginseng in that regard.
You probably never thought to look for the fountain of youth in a desert, but this plant is truly just that. Growing in one of the harshest environments on earth, cistanche overcomes the odds with enduring persistence and provides us with compounds which Chinese medicine has used for centuries to restore and replenish kidney essence. This incredible plant provides us energy, it helps the ecology and the local economy.
Who would of thought you would find something so “green“ in the middle of a desert.
- Check out Fertility Tea Herb Pack
- Analysis of chemical constituents in Cistanche species
- School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing China.
A cup of coffee is 2% caffeine and 98% other bioactive ingredients. To say the least, it is a complex beverage. People seem to forget that the coffee bean is an herb. Indeed, the coffee plant belongs to the Rubiaceae family, which is a source of several different Chinese herbs, including the gardenia fruit. Coffee beans medicinal effects have been well known for millenia but some of the first popular evidence was in 1908, when the Indian Materia Medica was first published.
At the proper dosages, the coffee bean has the ability to improve health in several ways. Drinking coffee can increase cardiovascular health and lower the risk of colon cancer, gallstones, cirrhosis, and Parkinson’s disease. A typical dosage for this type of herbal medicine is in the range of 6-18 grams per day, which translates to about 1-3 cups of coffee, depending on how many grams of ground beans are used. Roasting the coffee beans do not detract from the beneficial effects of this herb.
The primary active substances in the coffee bean are chlorogenic and caffeic acids. These substances have been shown to have anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects. No wonder the local coffee shop has become our favorite pit stops. Coffee also contains antioxidant phenols that can reduce the risk of cancer. (Like so many Chinese herbs, many many benefits. Probably a lot we don’t even understand fully, yet.
This blog idea was inspired by a study on long-term coffee drinker with type 2 diabetes mellitus. To quote the study, “long-term coffee consumption is associated with a statistically significantly lower risk for type 2 diabetes,” (link below) Coffee, just like any other potent herbal medicine, is not necessarily for everyone, as some people may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. But the coffee bean definitely contains many beneficial vitamins including potassium, niacin and magnesium.
Drinking a freshly brewed cup of this herbal bean can have some wonderful health benefits. Enjoy, but drink responsibly. Dont use coffee and the caffiene to keep your energy high all day long. This is actually a great way to burn our your adrenal glands. Coffee like almost all things is best used in moderation.
Are your allergies connected to how well you sleep?
A study conducted by New York Medical College says there is a link between your REM sleep and your allergy symptoms.
We all know getting enough quality sleep is key to good overall health. This first-of-its-kind study is a breakthrough for many suffering from allergies.
“When I started focusing on the new REM-RDI numbers, I was able to connect patient’s symptoms such as fatigue, allergies, nasal blockage or congestion” with REM abnormalities, said Dr. Berson. “This led to the correlation of tired allergic patients having a problem during REM and some patients who were tired and had REM-RDI elevations testing positive for allergies.”
While the new approach can provide patients with sleep issues better diagnoses and new symptoms to look for, Dr. Berson cautions that there is no one-size-fits-all diagnosis.
“Every patient is different and the study aims to provide more clarity on the relationship between allergies and a person’s overall quality of sleep,” said Dr. Berson. “The airway begins in the nose and its anatomic form needs to be properly balanced with its function. This shows that Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctors, as well as allergists and sleep physicians, should be collaborating more closely to help pinpoint sleeping problems patients may be facing.”
If you’re having trouble sleeping try iSleep Herb Pack a combination of herbs used together for over 500 years which will not interfere with any allergy medication you may be taking. iSleep herbs will help quiet your mind and stop the ruminating process. A quiet mind helps you get to REM sleep much faster and longer. Give it a try here, or find it on Amazon here.
Flowering plants are smart. They know how to grab our attention and the attention of passing insects. Flowers actually intentionally, flaunt sex. Makes perfect sense really, since it’s the flowers job to manage the reproduction of the plant. Plants produce beautiful flower petals of varying colors and shape to advertise the sexual organs ever so masterly hidden inside. Flowers release powerful aphrodisiac scents, an instinctive incentive for insects to come in and play. Nectar and pollen are the insects’ rewards and the plant benefits from the insects who carry their pollen to other plants which ensures rapid fertilization and reproduction. Flowers are smarter than you might think, but there’s more to flowers than just sex.
As spring weather emerges and flowers begin to bloom, you might want to consider that many flowers are so much more than just look pretty. We have depended on flowers for our food supply, such as rice, wheat, corn and for clothing materials such as cotton and for medicine, continuously for thousands of years. Long before western pharmaceutical drugs, flowers were used as herbal remedies and recorded use goes back to 500 AD. Chinese medicine, for example, has used flowers in herbal remedies to heal a huge variety of afflictions. Here are a few examples:
Lonicerae Flower – (Jin Yin Hua) has been used in Asian cultures for colds, flu, and sore throats. Recently, it was one of the four herbs in a formula to combat the swine flu and has proven its antibiotic properties successfully through years of research.
Viola Flower – (Zi Hua Di Ding) is known as the purple flower earth herb. This herb/flower has both anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects, meaning it can treat fevers and bacterial infections. It has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy to treat snake bites because it can reduce both swelling and toxicity.
Pagoda Flower – or Sophorae flower (Huai Hua) is used to stop various bleeding disorders. Chinese medicine often uses this herb/flower in the treatment of hemorrhoids and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Chrysanthemum Flower– (Ju Hua) This common Chinese medicine herb has over 30 different species and is a wonderful natural eye treatment for dry, irritated eyes. It’s also commonly used for high blood pressure, headaches and other ailments in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Safflower also is known as Carthamus – (Hong Hua) is a red flower used to treat menstrual disorders such as cramps and amenorrhea. It’s known to invigorate circulation and help dissolve clots. Safflower has been extensively studied and found beneficial for use in patients with heart disease and joint pain. This flower also has a high success rate in treating flat warts. (Now that’s a fun herbal remedy fact!)
Lotus Flower – (Lian Zi Xin) I would be remiss not to mention one of the most famous flowers associated with Chinese medicine, the Lotus flower. Eight parts of the lotus plant are used for their botanical medicine qualities. The flower is known to treat bleeding disorders (i.e. bloody noses) and often used for irritability and fevers. The stamen of the lotus flower also has healing qualities. One use in Traditional Chinese Medicine is to reduce excessive dreaming.
Flowers truly have wonderful healing properties and have changed our world more than we imagine. Chinese medicine understands flowers are useful beyond just their sexual appeal of beautiful packaging. (Many more are used in Traditional Chinese medicine than I could possibly have space to mention here.)
I thank the flowering plants for their beauty, but even though flowers are beautiful to look at, I never overlook the fact they also provide us with an abundance of natural herbal remedies.
If you or someone you know suffers with arthritis, Turmeric is a Chinese herb you have probably heard about but not sure if it will work for you. Turmeric is what gives that yellow color to Indian food, this root has been used for centuries in Indian food and traditional remedies. The yellow color, often in curry sauces comes from the active compounds known as curcuminoids, or mainly curcumin.
A recent clinical trial in Italy studied the effects of curcumin on 50 patients with osteoarthritis in the knees. The effects of supplementing ones diet with this Chinese herb was impressive. The patients that took the turmeric supplement had a 16 fold decrease of inflammation markers in their blood. If that wasn’t enough, these same patients were able to reduce their NSAID’s (Non-Sterodial Anti-Inflammatory) usage by 63%. Remarkable, and these benefits occurred without unintended side effects. Yes, that is the magic of mother nature and this data is consistent with other human studies done of various types of turmeric extracts.
“This is great news for people who suffer from osteoarthritis and the physicians who treat them,” said Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit, American Botanical Council an independent herbal medicine research and education organization in Austin, Texas.
So, what is this Chinese herb and how does it work? First and foremost, the active ingredient curcumin has been extensively studied around the world. It has been used for thousands of years in both Ayurveda Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is the root of the turmeric plant that is used for herbal remedies. Chinese herbal medicine has always classified turmeric as a blood moving herb, interestingly it also has properties to clear heat from the blood, break up blood stasis and benefit the gall bladder and help jaundice, most likely because it stimulates bile production.
Turmeric’s popularity has been rising quickly as its reputation for treating chronic inflammatory diseases, some cancers and also Alzheimer’s disease get more media attention. In 2009 sales of turmeric dietary supplements were up about 23% from the previous year. This is understandable, who wouldn’t want a safe, effective herbal supplement to reduce the suffering of osteoarthritis? Pacific Herbs uses turmeric to a combination of herbs to move blood and reduce pain. Many of these herbs have been historically used together to reduce pain and improve blood flow. The Pacific Herbs product is called Corydalis Pain Relief Herb Pack and can be found here.
Pharmaceutical labs have been trying to chemically copy the chemical bonds of curcumin for years but it never seems to have exactly the same effect. When turmeric is used as a whole herb, all the important and beneficial compounds of the plant are present. Science has not yet been able to copy this mix exactly to mimic the same effects.
Turmeric, a common spice in India and an herb used extensively in Chinese Medicine is gaining popularity as the “Alzheimer’s preventing herb”. Dr. Oz, Oprah’s favorite resident MD has a short video on this ancient herb. (watch here) But what Dr. Oz doesn’t talk about is the thousands years plus, of historical medicinal use of this “spice of life”. Chinese herb pharmacopoeia categorizes turmeric as a blood regulator. What this means is turmeric’s most bio-active constituents called “curcuminoids” have been documented as blood movers. As such, it has a wide range of benefits one being an excellent natural anti-inflammatory. Studies show it benefits wound healing and helps speed the remodeling of skin, so it’s great for minor cuts and burns.
In regards to Alzheimer’s disease, turmeric (Curcuma Longa) along with it’s commonly substituted Curcuma Aromatica from the same specie, may slow the progression of this disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain. Turmeric, which, as with many Chinese herbs is seen in at least three different species in the same genus, is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial and antispasmodic. Chinese Medicine has used turmeric for the treatment of depression and for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It reduces cholesterol, helps liver function and stimulates bile production which aids digestion. Turmeric has also been used successfully for inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease. Turmeric should not be used by pregnant women, it’s blood moving qualities make it contraindicated during pregnancy.
Now that Western researchers have conducted a number of well publicized studies on turmeric which prove scientifically it’s many benefits to health. Chinese Medicine is vindicated for what it’s known for generations. Hopefully one day Eastern and Western medicine will cease to be adversaries and form a partnership based on the integration of their knowledge and their mutual goal of improving the health and well being of people everywhere. Until then, enjoy some turmeric in your food often to keep your cholesterol in check and to improve your overall health. Food should be your first medicine.
I found this on the Mayo-Clinic web site, thought it might interest some people.
Can curcumin slow cancer growth?
from Timothy Moynihan, M.D.
Curcumin, a substance found in the spice turmeric, has long been used in Asian medicine to treat maladies ranging from heartburn to arthritis. Now some recent research suggests that curcumin may help prevent or treat cancer.
Curcumin is thought to have antioxidant properties, which means it may decrease swelling and inflammation. It’s being explored as a cancer treatment because inflammation appears to play a role in cancer.
Lab research suggests that curcumin may slow the spread of cancer and the growth of new tumor blood vessels. It may also cause cancer cells to die. In the lab, curcumin has been studied for use in treating or preventing colon, skin and breast cancers.
At this time, there isn’t enough evidence to recommend curcumin for preventing or treating cancer, but research is ongoing. As always, talk with your doctor before using any herbal supplement.
You can build a healthy immune system, if you know the right foods to eat. Of course vegetables are good for you but have you tried fermented veggies, you know, pickles? Yes raw pickles are a great option (with no sugar added) for building a health immune system. You only need a tablespoon of fermented foods everyday to boost your natural immunity and give you a natural energy boost. Your immune system is located mostly in your gut. If you feed your digestive system, your gut, healthy foods, your gut bacteria in turn grow and thrive. When healthy gut bacteria also known as your microbiome thrive, you thrive. Learn which foods will help you stay healthy and avoid colds and flu’s all year long.
Fermented foods like saurekraut, kimchi, yogurt (without sugar), raw pickles, kefir, are a couple easy options. As little as a tablespoon per day with help feed your gut bacteria exactly what they love to eat. One word of caution, fermented foods are best in the raw form, not pasteurized. Sometimes you have to shop with a discerning eye to find these raw foods. Check the labels carefully. Medicinal mushrooms are also excellent at building a healthy immune system. These mushrooms are high in polysaccharides, the perfect food for your gut microbiome.
Boost your immune system naturally with foods. It’s easy and less costly than purchasing a probiotic supplements that is killed by stomach acid before it can work. High fiber foods are a better choice and will also help you lose weight. High fiber foods take more energy to break down and increase bowel movements. One of the best immune boosting foods is BUCKWHEAT!
American’s don’t tend to eat buckwheat very often but it’s extremely popular in Japan, one of the healthiest and oldest societies on the planet. Buckwheat is not a wheat, so don’t worry if you follow a gluten free diet. It’s actually a seed. Buckwheat breads are an easy way to add this high fiber food to your diet. Buckwheat soba noodles are another great immune boosting food option.
Buckwheat, just like reishi mushroom are high in polysaccharides which is the food your gut bacteria like to eat. When you feed your healthy gut bacteria the foods they like, they build your immune system naturally.
Healthy gut bacteria boosts your immune system. Add healthy foods like buckwheat and reishi a couple times a week for a month and you’ll notice the difference.
“My 88 year old husband was prescribed Ambien for insomnia. After the first dose, he fell while getting up to go the bathroom, gashed his head and had to go to the emergency room for stitches. A year later, I gave him a half-dose (again prescribed) and within minutes, his legs collapsed on him. I had the hardest time getting him into bed.
Ambien? Never again!
Your experience reminds us that sleeping pills may pose a serious risk for older people who have to get up at night to go to the bathroom. This is a dilemma, because many seniors suffer from insomnia. Even over-the-counter sleep aids sleep aids that contain the sedating antihistamine diphenhydramine ( advil PM, Nytol, Sominex, Tylenol PM etc.) may also contribute to unsteadiness, urinary retention and similar host of side effects such as rebound next day sleepiness and cognitive impairment. Older people should be careful with sleeping pills like Ambien. Other side effects may include reflux, next-day memory impairment, dry mouth and dizziness.”1
For those among us who experience occasional insomnia, you may have already tried a plethora of sleeping aids. The story above illustrates some of the dangers of the prescriptions on the market. Drugs such as the benzodiazepines approved as sleep aids, estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane), and temazepam (Restoril) have serious side effects. As with all these medications daytime sleepiness, cognitive impairment, dizziness, unsteadiness, sleep-walking, sleep-driving, memory lapses, and hallucinations have all been reported as a result of sleeping pills. If you have only mild insomnia, relying to heavily on sleeping pills can cause dependency and if abused may worsen your sleeping problems.
There are several non-prescription drugs sold over the counter for sleeplessness which contain the antihistamine diphenhydramine. Brands such as Benadryl, Nytol, Tylenol PM, and Sominex, which block the action of acetylcholine (anticholinergic effect) and are used as a sedative because they causes drowsiness. However, these may also contribute to unsteadiness and urinary retention. There’s also a fairly new drug out called zolpide, a sedative, it’s a inexpensive generic version of the drug Ambien. Generally it’s not prescribed for more than 10 days and is usually taken intermittently as needed to avoid problems with addiction or habituation, loss of effectiveness, and rebound phenomena. “The most common side effects of zolpidem are drowsiness, dizziness, and a “drugged” feeling, which probably reflect the action of the drug. Other side effects include confusion, insomnia, euphoria, ataxia (balance problems), and visual changes.” 1
The difference between drugs and taking an herbal medicinal are both the actions and side effects. Addiction is not a concern with natural medicinals.
Plants used in Chinese herbal medicine have been clinically tested and studies throughout Asia for the past 50 plus years. Their usage goes back to 2nd century. One such medicinal known to have a soothing and calming effect on the body and promote sleep is Spiny jujube or (zizyrus spinosae semen). Spiny jujube has been well documented for use when occasional insomnia is an issue. One study on rats showed spinosae significantly increased the rate of sleep onset and exhibited a synergistic effect with 5-HTP.2 “These results suggest that spiny jujube potentiated pentobarbital-induced sleep via a serotonergic mechanism.” Translation, you sleep without being put into a drug induced state. This herb and others are the answer to a peaceful nights sleep, without all the side effects of prescription or OTC drugs.
2. Zolpidem http://www.medicinenet.com/zolpidem/article.htm
5. WANG LE, BAI YJ, SHI XR, CUI XY, CUI SY, ZHANG F, ZHANG QY, ZHAO YY, ZHANG YH. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2008;90(3):399-403. Department of Pharmacology, Peking University, School of Basic Medical Science, 38 Xueyuan Lu, Beijing 100083, China
On April 16, 2017 Oregon’s House of Representatives unanimously agreed on a bill that would limit doctors from prescribing opioid drugs for more than seven (7) days unless circumstances determined, by a medical professional, that more were necessary.
NO – Not – Didn’t happen!
This almost happened. What really happened is the Oregon state legislature instead passed a watered down version of this bill, without the 7 day rule even though the state attorney general’s office had strongly backed the measure because “the risk of overdose and addiction is serious.”
What the House of Representatives in Salem, Oregon passed, is a bill that suggests, clinicians should avoid prescribing opioids and benzodiazepines (a class of psychoactive drugs) known to be addicting after very short time periods. Really! Yup, they actually took time to pass a bill that now goes to the Senate that “SUGGEST” this.
Even though The Oregon Health Authority says an average of three Oregonians die every week from prescription opioid overdose, the legislature removed any teeth from a bill that might have made a dent in the problem. What good does a bill do that simply “SUGGEST” doctors should cut back on their prescriptions????
I for one am baffled.
Here’s wishing the state legislature would “SUGGEST” a safe botanical like Corydalis for pain relief. The state could become growers of this wonderful, might I even say, “miraculous” plant. Although nobody would get addicted it would provide safe and effective pain relief. The State could go beyond growing it, they could tax it and regulate it too. This would bring much needed revenue and simultaneously reduce the use of prescription drugs all while having a pain reliever that really works.
The botanical world has plenty of pain relieving chemicals. (uuhhmmm opioids originated from natural chemicals first found in the Poppy plant, now created synthetically.)
Here’s to hoping one day we take plant chemicals seriously and our government representatives “SUGGEST” we use them.