Sexy flowers, Chinese herbs

Flowers Are Sexy and Smart

 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!)

 

Magnolia Flower – (xin yin hua) How about a flower to treat nasal congestion? This flower is one of the most effective herbal remedies for stuffy noses and chronic sinusitis. 

 

Lotus Flower – (Lian Zi Xin) I would be remiss not to mention one of the most famous flowers associated with Chinese medicine, the Lotus flowerEight 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.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26087234

Chinese herbs organic

How Long Can You Last? The Test of Time

Chinese herbs Tong Ren TongIn the business world when economic times get tough a business that weathers the storm is a true survivor. A standout,  that must have incredibly popular products that make people come back for more even when unemployment is high and people are unwilling to spend. A business that survives  must have proven itself worthy of providing  great products at a fair price. Products that people simply can’t do without.  When a business does this for 70  to 100 years  or more we are all impressed. The stamina, the fortitude and adaptability to survive for so many years  must mean this business has some incredible products which we all crave.  Ford Motor Company  and Kodak  come to mind, some of the oldest American businesses.

But what do you think about a business that has survived providing the same products for 341 years?  It is truly unheard of in America. We have only been an independent nation for 240 years and no single business has survived since revolutionary days.  Yet, a Chinese herb pharmacy called Tong Ren Tong is still in business after 341 continuous years. They still sell Chinese herbs, just as they did in the year 1669.  In fact, in Beijing they operate from the same location since 1702!

They are a household name in China, Hong Kong and much of Asia. They operate pharmacies, drug retailers and various joint ventures throughout 13 countries in  Asia. Wouldn’t you be a household name if you were 345 years old?   The picture above is me standing in front of their Hong Kong store. (No pictures were allowed inside)

 

Tong Ren Tang was the supplier of medicinal Chinese herbs to the royals of the Qing Dynasty, from 1669 until their collapse  1911. They have succeed in weathering the storms of Chinese government takeovers, communism and now globalization and prescription medications. Tong Ren has been  successful  for hundreds of years because Chinese herbs work, it’s as simple as that.   Chinese herbs worked 300 hundred years ago and they work today for all kinds of illnesses. Whether your buying ginseng or reishi mushrooms Tong Ren has the herbs and they know how to prescribe them for everything from the common cold to cancer. 

 

When you have incredibly popular products that work well, are needed by the masses and provide real value at a fair price your business will survive regardless of the economic times and government takeovers. Chinese herbs have proven to be that commodity. Chinese herbs are medicine that continues to heal people, even centuries after they were first introduced.  

 

The 5 Biggest “Health Insurance” Tips You Will Ever Need

Love your body, be healthy and prevent disease.I having been surrounded (quite literally) for the past three days by so called “healthy products”,  everything from fortified lolly pops, safer nail polish to every type of infused water possible. I had three days of endless conversations with wellness experts from around the world, Naturopaths, Dieticians, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Herbalists, Homeopaths and Bio-Chemists to name a few. Every health professional I spoke to had the same resounding theme, the key to better health is not in any one of these hot new health products that you’ll find at the Natural Products Expo and later on a store shelf.  It’s not about curing a disease, it’s about PREVENTING it in the first place. The key is and always has been about PREVENTION.

So how do you PREVENT disease?  It’s actually not that difficult. Everyone can do it.
What you eat of course plays a big part and being a fast food society does cause “eating challenges”. (the subject of a later blog)
However, every health practitioner that I spoke with agreed that since all dis-ease (disease) is associated with inflammation and hormonal imbalances, getting those two area of the body in balance is the beginning to true prevention.
Think of prevention as the most cost effective “health insurance” available. Here are 5 tips to help your body be less acidic and more alkaline to keep inflammation to a minimum and a couple easy steps to balancing your hormones. (especially essential for women)
1. Reduce the sugar, it leads to inflammation. This includes fruit juices and products sweetened with fruit juice.  Most fruit is highly acidic.
2. Stay away from artificial hormones such as birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy and artificial “muscle building” powders. You can easily balance your own hormones through exercise and diet and you won’t need hormone replacements.
3. Get good quality sleep. Sleep helps the body heal and restores natural energy. When you sleep well, you will naturally produce more hormones. You won’t need that artificial, sugar laced energy drink and one cup of coffee will be enough. 
4. Add tea’s rather than coffee to your diet. There a thousand types of teas to choose from bags, loose leaf everyone can find something pleasing. Green teas (and others) naturally reduce body acidity and help reduce inflammation. Don’t misunderstand coffee has health benefits, but adding variety to your diet with tea’s provides other unique health benefits.
5. Exercise and learn some new stress releasing techniques like Yoga, Qi Gong breathing, Tai Qi and other types of relaxation / breathing exercises to reduce your stress. (All sorts of Youtube videos are freely available on these subjects) Get at least 45 minutes of sustained exercise everyday even if it’s just a brisk walk. Movement helps stimulate natural hormone production in your thymus, pituitary, adrenals and thyroid glands. Do it daily, for the greatest disease insurance.
It’s been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, I think it’s something closer to a ton of cure.
This post is proud to be part of “Prevention Not Prescription Tues” at The Kathleen Show

Harvard Says Menopause Hormone Therapy Carries Proven Heart Risks

A very important study was just released from Harvard School of Public Health by the National Institute of Health.  This study on women’s health confirmed that combination hormone therapy used commonly for symptoms due to menopause increases a woman’s risk for heart disease.
 
 
“New analysis from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) confirm that combination hormone therapy increases the risk of heart disease in healthy postmenopausal women. Researchers report a trend toward an increased risk of heart disease during the first two years of hormone therapy among women who began therapy within 10 years of menopause, and a more marked elevation of risk among women who began hormone therapy more than 10 years after menopause. Analysis indicate that overall a woman’s risk of heart disease more than doubles within the first two years of taking combination HT.”
 
 
My hope is that this study will be read by the throngs of women who visit their medical doctors looking for a quick fix for hot flashes and night sweats.  Understanding these proven risks will surely save lives. There is a better way to treat menopausal symptoms using Chinese medicine and Chinese herbs. This less understood Complementary and Alternative Medicine has been practiced in Asia for centuries with truly remarkable results. Today nearly every community across America has an Acupuncturist and the profession is growing.
 
 
Jacques E. Rossouw, M.D., chief of the NHLBI Women's Health Initiative Branch and a coauthor of the paper, added, "Although the number of recently menopausal women who would be expected to suffer a heart attack during the first years of combination hormone therapy is small, the risk is likely to be real.”
 
 
The risk  of taking hormone therapy is real!   It can’t be much clearer than that. Yet, to me it sounds like Dr. Rossouw’s statement doesn’t want to cause panic so he says the risk is small. But if even one women dies unnecessarily from a heart attack due to hormone replacement therapy, in my book, that’s one heart attack and one life to many.     
 
 
I treat many women with menopausal symptoms and I understand how uncomfortable hot flashes and night sweats can be. Routinely I hear the common complaints about quality of sleep, how difficult it is to dress comfortably and all the other dryness issues from hair to nails to skin, etc.   I treat women with Acupuncture and with Chinese herbs. I don’t do anything miraculous as an Acupuncturist, but my patients get great results.  It’s the acupuncture and herbs that balance the body naturally and help ease the symptoms of menopause.
 
 
It’s also not a quick fix, many patients come for three to six months on a  weekly basis and are very compliant about taking the herbal formulas. Again it’s not me, it’s Chinese medicine that understands the relationship of Yin and Yang energy in the body and has been perfected throughout the last 2000 years.
 
 
My hope is that all women will ease into the change of life and experience little to no uncomfortable symptoms. But when they do, spread the word that help is available using Chinese Medicine and Chinese herbs that does not carry proven risk factors such as heart attacks. Acupuncture is safe and effective when performed by a licensed Acupuncturist. If you need a referral we are here to help. Use the yellow contact button on the left and just let us know your looking for an acupuncturist in your hometown.  
 
 
I always give links to studies in my articles, here’s the link for this one. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/feb2010/nhlbi-15.htm

Herbal Medicine May Help Reduce Menstrual Pain Says Cochrane Collaboration

PMS Relief

A study involving nearly 3,500 women in several countries suggests natural herbs may be more effective in relieving menstrual cramps than drugs, acupuncture or heat compression.

Australia-based researchers said herbs not only relieved pain, but reduced the recurrence of the condition over three months, according to the Cochrane Library journal. Who writes The Cochrane Library Journal? An international not-for-profit and independent organization, dedicated to up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of health-care readily available worldwide.

Who is Cochrane Collaboration? Watch video

The Cochrane Collaboration produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health-care interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions. The Cochrane Collaboration was founded in 1993. They publish the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews quarterly as part of the Cochrane Library.

Women looking for a natural treatment for menstrual cramps can be confident that Chinese herbs have been reviewed in clinical trials and have been used safely for hundreds of years. The evidence came from 39 trials, involved 3475 women – 36 in China, and one each in Taiwan, Japan and the Netherlands. Participants were given herb formulas to regulate their ‘qi’ (energy) and blood, warm their bodies and boost their kidney and liver functions.

“Chinese herbal medicine gave significant improvements in pain relief when compared to pharmaceutical drugs. It also reduced overall symptoms. The research revealed that Chinese herbal medicine was also better at alleviating pain than acupuncture or heat compression.”

“All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs, OCP, (oral contraception pills) acupuncture and heat compression, and, at the same time, there were no indications that Chinese herbs caused any adverse events,” says lead author Xiaoshu Zhu who works at the Center for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Some of the Chinese herbs include Chinese angelica root (danggui), Szechuan lovage root (chuanxiong), red peony root (chishao), white peony root (baishao), Chinese motherwort (yimucao), fennel fruit (huixiang), nut-grass rhizome (xiangfu), liquorice root (gancao) and cinnamon bark (rougui). In one trial involving 36 women, 53 percent of those who took Chinese herbs reported less pain than usual compared with 26 percent in the placebo group. (No coincidence these herbs are all included in our PMS Relief Herb Pack)

See Full Study here: http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD005288/frame.html

Curcumae, A Chinese Herb Proves To Be Cardio-Protective

From the American Journal of Cardiology, April 2012

 

More great research results on the Chinese herb curcumae!

 

This herbal remedy was yet again put to the test, this time in a study on patients who had coronary artery bypass grafting.

Chinese herbs for osteoarthritis

 

Also known as Yu Jin or Tuber Curcumae, (curcuma), this remarkable herbal supplement has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. Curcumae, found in tumeric, has been extensively studied for its blood moving abilities. 

 

It is well established that myocardial infarction, (heart attacks) are associated with a coronary artery bypass grafting procedure.  As a result of the poor outcomes of patients who have this grafting procedure, a study on the Chinese herb curcumae was undertaken to  evaluate whether this Chinese herbal remedy for blood stasis could be considered a cardio-protective therapy. 

 

"Previous studies have shown that curcuminoids decrease proinflammatory cytokines during cardiopulmonary bypass surgery and decrease the occurrence of cardiomyocytic apoptosis after cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury in animal models."

 

The aim of this study done was to evaluate whether curcuminoids, one of the chemical constiuients in curcumae could prevent heart attackes compared to a placebo. 

 

The conclusion:  4 grams of curcumin per day demonstrated a significant decrease in heart attacks after bypass grafting, compared with a placebo.   Postoperative C-reactive protein, levels were also lower in the curcuminoid than in the placebo group.

 

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcuminoids may account for their cardioprotective effects shown in this study

 


Reference:   Study Evaluated Effects of Curcuminoids on Acute Myocardial Infarction

Wongcharoen W, Jai-aue S, Phrommintikul A, et al. Effects of curcuminoids on frequency of acute myocardial infarction after coronary artery bypass grafting. Am J Cardiol. April 3, 2012;[epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.02.043.

Billionaire’s In The Chinese Medicine Industry

This past weekend, Forbes published a story about a billionaire family who's family fortune is growing due to their investments in Chinese herbal medicine.

The company, called Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical gained 5.6% to close at 47.20 yuan, or $7.37.  A rise 29% on its first day of trading. Most of money will be used to expand production of Chinese herbal medicines for cardio-cerebrovascular illness and the flu.

The Yiling’s 2010 revenue was approximately 1.6 billion yuan last year.

The family of chairman Wu Yiling, who with his children own 59% of the herb company, is currently worth $1.7 billion.

Wu is a graduate of Hebei Medical University with a bachelor’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM,  and also holds a master’s degree in medicine from the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine.

China had a record 115 billionaires on the 2011 Forbes Billionaires list published earlier this year. To have a family in the Chinese herbal medicine business shows the expansive growth of Chinese herbs both in China and around the world.  

Chemical Additives in Your Herbs. To Sulfur or Not to Sulfur

When purchasing dried fruit, 9 out of 10 people will pick the bag that looks prettier than the one that has fruit turned brown.  Go beyond the beautiful color because that beautiful color is deceiving,  it may even carry toxins. Sulfur dioxide is used to prevent discoloration in dried fruit and has significant side effects on some people. The most common reactions are diarrhea, allergies, headaches and asthma.  

Now what about the herbs you buy? 

Do your herbs contain sulfur dioxide (SD)  and does SD effect the fundamental quality of the herbs? 

Chinese herbs are derived from natural plant and mineral products.  Like any natural product, they are vulnerable to mold and insect infestation. To control the decay and mold many herbal products and natural supplements are sprayed with sulfur based fumigation. This process kills bacteria, mold, insects and may also be used for bleaching/ cleaning raw herbs.  

But can it change the chemical constituents of a particular herb?  In some cases we know for a fact the answer is YES!  Pac Herbs products are not fumigated with SD!  We believe the byproduct of fumigation is unacceptable as it often changes the nature of the herb. 

Sulfer dioxide is commonly used by some farmers to cosmetically improve the appearance of the herb Dioscorea, (Shan Yao) Pueraria Root ( Ge Gen) and dried ginger (Gan Jiang).  In high sugar content raw herbs SD causes the herbs to taste more acidic, in herbs containing fatty oils such as persica (tao ren) used in our PMS Relief, fumigation leaves a pungent oil odor.  Fragile herbs such as Chrysanthemum (Ju Hua) should never be fumigated with sulfur dioxide because it damages Chrysanthemum's fundamental qualities.

As a preservative, sulfur dioxide is often used in dried fruit because it's antimicrobial properties preserve freshness, reduce rotting and help maintain the appearance of the fruit.  Sulfur dioxide is an important compound in wine making. It serves as an antibiotic and antioxidant, protecting wine from spoilage by bacteria and oxidation.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest  lists  two food preservatives, sulfur dioxide and sodium bisulfate as being safe for human consumption except for certain individuals who may be sensitive to it, even in small amounts.

Our labs conduct sulfur dioxide residue tests before our herbs are processed to insure the our natural herbal products are sulfur free. When I visited wholesale herb markets in China, the un-sulfured herbs were noticeable different  in color and price  (see above picture)  from the same herbs treated with sulfur.  Untreated herbs were always more expensive, what does that tell you?   
 

 Center for Science in the Public Interest.. http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm#sulfites

Stress Relief Herbs, Grab the Adaptogens

Stress Relief herb teaScience can split an atom, create nuclear fusion and clone Dolly the sheep, but it can't copy the chemical compounds in adaptogenic herb teas.

How is that possible?  Stress relief herbs contain such a complex number of chemicals  that modern pharmacology has yet to be able to reproduce what nature can make.

Whole plant/herb remedies are very different than single compounds which is what Western medicine primarily uses. Discovering how the chemical compounds in these now very expensive herbs, also known as adaptogens, work inside our bodies is yet to be unraveled. Adaptogenic herbs adapt to what our body needs.  They can calm us if we need calm and the same herb stimulates us, if we need a stimulant. They help the body to adapt to physiological and psychological stress.

Need some of this around holiday time?  Yes, it is really possible that plants can do this.   

Where did the term adaptogenic come from?  It started  with a Soviet doctor who first coined the term in 1947.  Nikolai Lazarev, was examining psychotropic drugs, specifically stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine which were used in the military. Lazarev saw the powerful short-term gain along with the long term side-effects from these drugs.  He recognized these drugs lead to addiction and was looking for a better solution. He needed something that worked both in the short term and long term.  In  other words, he needed adaptogenic herbal compounds. He found the answer in plants such as  American ginseng, Asian ginseng, Schisandra,  Astragalus, Cordyceps, Eleuthero, Licorice, GoJi berries, Dang Shen and Reishi mushroom and coined this term.

 

Ultimately, what he found were herbal remedies that can boost the body's resistance to stress, whether the stress is from physical exertion, infection or emotional and environmental stressors.  (The relatives coming over may fall into that last category.)

 

Adaptogens stimulate the immune system positively creating a healthy environment.  These plants such as Ginseng, Cordyceps, GoJi berries and Reishi all have two things in common, they have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and they are rich in polysaccharides.  Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates that act as energy stores and boost the immune system. These natural stress relief remedies increase vital energy and are also known as Chinese herbal qi tonics.

These herbal remedies are all much more than the sum of their individual parts.  Which is exactly why modern science has not been able to copy them.  They continue to become more popular as the Western world discovers the benefits of these incredible, edible, Chinese herbs.

You can find herbs for stress relief on our product page. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Herbal Aphrodisiacs

The perfect follow up to my Chinese medicinal wine article is the topic of herbal aphrodisiacs.  An aphrodisiac can be anything that arouses or intensifies sexual desire. Throughout the centuries Chinese emperors had concubines to keep happy,  or was it the reverse? Either way preserving one’s stamina and sexual vitality was of the utmost importance to one’s health and herbs were considered a source for the proverbial “fountain of youth”. 

Needless to say, perfecting Chinese herbal formulas for sexual enhancement, has been a high priority for  over two thousand years.  

Ginseng is probably the most well known of the herbs used throughout the centuries. Yet a Chinese herb formula with ginseng will often be more potent than any given single herb.  A formula for sexual improvement is always designed to build both yin and yang energy from a Chinese medicine viewpoint. All natural aphrodisiac formulas are designed to build the kidney energy because in Traditional Chinese medicine the kidney's are the source of the sexual stamina.   

Other powerful kidney tonics include Cistanche, see this post to find out more about this truly remarkable plant that grows only with a host plant next to it. Cistanche is completely dependent on the energy of it’s host for all it’s growth and maturation.     

The herb Rehmannia is another superior herb to replenish your yin and yang energy. It is always given in combination with other herbs by Acupuncturist’s and Chinese Medicine practitioners. In fact,  it is one herb of six in a formula that many in Asia use for years. This formula called Six Flavor Rehmannia is commonly taken in pill form and is very safe to take long term.

Horny goat weed also known as Epimedium, (by name alone) must be included in this list. Many studies have researched the power of this plant.  The general consensus is the leaves active constituents  help increase the relaxation of smooth muscle  and this allows more blood flow to the penis or clitoris or other smooth muscles. It also has immune regulating effects. Again, it’s often used in combination with other herbs for the sought after aphrodisiac effects.

I would be remiss not to include Cordyceps as a Chinese herbal aphrodisiac. To read more about cordyceps click here. I believe will suffice to say it’s one of the strongest sexual tonics known in the herb world.

If  your looking for a powerful herb formula to boost your energy, check with a licensed Acupuncturist. You’ll end up getting a higher quality product than something off the shelf of most stores. You will also be certain to get the right product for your condition. If you have any questions about herbal formulas feel free to post them here or drop us a private message using the  yellow contact button on the left. 

Happy Valentines Day all.

Dr. Oz Recommends Ginseng for Swine Flu

Chinese herb ginsengEver since Dr. Oz’s interview in Esquire magazine (Dec. 09) I’ve been fielding a phethera of questions on ginseng.  Thanks Dr. Oz, I’m always happy to talk about the Chinese herbs I love.  It’s an added bonus that the best American Ginseng is actually grown in Wisconsin, my old stomping grounds. I also love to buy American whenever possible.

In response to a question “how to prevent swine flu”, Dr. Oz says: “Vitamin D and American ginseng are the two things I recommend the most. Vitamin D because it stimulates dramatically the ability of the immune system to respond, and American ginseng because it stimulates these things called Toll-like receptors in the gut. They’re ancient – our most primitive immune response – and they make it difficult for bugs to get in through the intestinal wall.”

 

This is an excellent post on ginseng from Acupuncture Chicago.
By Jennifer Dubowsky

Did you know there are different types of ginseng and they are all considered potent herbs for helping the body adapt to stress – both mental and physical. Ginseng is best known for its ability to stimulate your immune system and fight fatigue and stress. Several dozen studies have shown that ginseng enhances physical and mental performance, improves mood, and aids metabolic function. Other studies suggest ginseng maybe anti-inflammatory and can provide a wealth of benefits including: improved blood cholesterol; lowered liver toxicity; lowered blood sugar levels; improved blood oxygen flow; control of respiratory diseases; and enhanced stamina.

The 3 Most Well Known Types Of Ginseng

Chinese Ginseng (Panax ginseng)

Considered the “king of all herbs” in many countries, found in the forests of northeast China, Manchuria and Korea. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese ginseng is used to tonify the “Qi” (vital energy or life energy force) and is a powerful “yang” or warming tonic herb. It has been reported to: stimulate the immune system; fight fatigue, combat stress, slow aging, balance blood sugar levels, enhance mental performance and memory, lower cholesterol, and strengthen the heart muscle. It may even have anti-tumor and anticancer properties. Before rushing off to get some Chinese Ginseng be aware that it’s overuse can have some negative side effects including; irritability, insomnia and rapid heart beat.

*Panax ginseng has had a notorious reputation as a sexual rejuvenator, particularly for men, however much of this reputation seems to be over-hyped.

American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium)

Is indigenous to eastern woodlands from Georgia to Quebec, and was used by Native Americans. The picture in this post is of American Ginseng. While not as well known as Chinese Ginseng, American Ginseng has been around for hundreds of years. Jesuit Priests were reported to be trading American Ginseng to the Chinese as early as 1718. American Ginseng has a more “yin” or cooler nature than its Chinese counterpart. While still energizing the body, American Ginseng calms the central nervous system, quiets the brain and lowers blood pressure. Also, because of its more “yin” nature, it is generally better to use on a daily, long term basis than Chinese Ginseng. However if you tend to have a cold constitution, this might not be the herb for you.

Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

Native to Siberia, Japan, Korea and China. Although not a “true ginseng”, this variety is most highly prized. Eleuthero was traditionally used to promote longevity and general health. Many herbalists prefer Eleuthero as the ginseng for helping with women’s health issues, particularly with depression associated with PMS and menopause. Research, mostly from Russia, confirms this herb’s ability to increase mental and physical performance, stimulate the immune system, increase movement of white blood cells, promote circulation and enhance the benefits of medical radiation treatments while lessening its negative side-effects.

Cautions About Ginseng

Ginseng should be avoided by patients who are pregnant or have high blood pressure. In addition, ginseng may increase the effects other stimulants, which may cause sweating, insomnia, or an irregular heartbeat. It should not be used in conjunction with antipsychotic medications, steroids or hormones. As with all Chinese herbs it is best to consult with a Chinese Herbalist and see what is best for you before taking ginseng products.

Buy ginseng here at PacHerbs

TCM & Chinese Herbs May Be Another Alternative In Fight Against H1N1

Chinese Herb researchTraditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is used by more than 3 billion people in the world. As temperatures begin to drop and winter approaches the seasonal flu and H1N1 cases begin to spread. There may be another alternative to Tamiflu & flu vaccines to battle the virus. Hong Kong based Rorric Bio-Technology Ltd. believes it may be able to offer a less invasive cure to H1N1 using Chinese Medicine. The Chairman of R&B Dr. Chow Ching-Fung says, “This formula is effective in two ways.

First it combats and eliminates the virus. Second, it boost the immune system, helping the patient to become stronger. Traditional Chinese medicine has a long history of being proven to have fewer side effects, as it uses herbal ingredients. But western medicine contains a mixture of chemicals from the manufacturing process. So the risks are higher.”

The formula is made of up 21 Chinese herbs. Dr. Chow says he has prescribed the formula to 100 patients suspected of contracting taking H1N1 and they have fully recovered after taking the formula. It’s currently in a powder form, but Dr. Chow says there may be a pill version in the future. Tests at the Wu Han Institute of Virology show that the formula is not only effective on H1N1 but also against other mutated forms of influenza A. Tests continue on 300 patients. If successful it will be the first Chinese Herbal prescription drug to cure H1N1.