"Youth is a gift a nature. But age is a work of art."- Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
When most people think of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture comes to mind. Traditional Chinese Medicine -as it is practiced in Asia however- consists of more herbal therapy than acupuncture. Herbs in TCM have a long history of use. For more than 2000 years TCM Doctors have combined herbs and created formulas to promote good health. Below are three TCM herbs that can be used singly to promote graceful aging and good immunity. As always check with your doctor before supplementing with herbs.
AMERICAN/ CANADIAN GINSENG (Panax Quinquefolium)
American ginseng or Xi Yang Shen is considered Chinese gold. American ginseng is commonly used in TCM to improve energy levels and boost overall health. In Traditional Chinese Medicine our constitutional energy or essence weakens as we age. This leads to a natural decline in the substances that keep our bodies youthful. Preliminary studies have found American ginseng improves memory, immunity and chronic fatigue. Ginsenoside, a major component in ginseng is useful in the fight against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress damages the body and contributes to aging. American ginseng is not as strong as Korean ginseng to boost energy. It makes this list however because it is better than Korean ginseng at generating body fluids and yin. Healthy quantities of yin keep our skin and organs moist and supple.
GOJI BERRIES (Lyceum Barbarum)
Goji berries or wolfberries are renowned in the East for their ability to prolong and improve life. Goji berries or Guo Qi Zi gently boosts body essence, blood and yin. This small red fruit nourishes the Kidney and Liver systems in TCM. The Kidneys in TCM are deeply connected to our constitutional essence. TCM doctors sometimes use goji berries to treat aches and pains, irritability and declined vision that is associated with aging. Goji berries are also used in TCM to alleviate dryness in the lungs that leads to dry coughing. Studies in the West has found the fruit enhances athletic performance, sleep and immunity. Goji berries are normally sold dried. The fruit should be bright red in colour. Check the packaging to ensure no added preservatives or sugars have been added to the fruit.
ASTRALAGUS ROOT (Astralagus Membranaceus)
Astralagus Root is used in the treatment of several diseases in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Astralagus root or Huang Qi is an energy tonic. In Western medicine both astralagus root and American ginseng are classified as adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogenic herbs counteract the negative effects of stress on the body. Astralagus has been used for centuries in Asia to boost immunity. Recent studies have found several compounds in the herb useful to increase stamina, reverse memory loss and prevent nerve degeneration. Preliminary studies have also found the herb useful in the treatment of senility.
Herbs in TCM are normally used in combination with other herbs to increase potency and to reduce negative side effects. Consulting a specialist is always recommended before supplementing with herbs. Follow us at NW Vibration for more self care information!