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Discover the Healing Power of 10 Popular Chinese Herbs

For thousands of years, Chinese herbal medicine has been used to treat various ailments for thousands of years. Unlike Whole Foods' herbal supplements, which are not specifically tailored to address individual needs, Chinese herbs are combined to create a tea or powder tailored to the root cause of a patient's symptoms.

To help you learn more about the healing power of Chinese herbs, we spoke with Karen Greathouse, an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine expert with over 20 years of experience. Remember that it's best to consult a knowledgeable herb shop clerk or acupuncturist on the most effective herbal remedy for your symptoms.

Here are some of the most generally used Chinese herbs and their benefits:


Common name: Japanese honeysuckle flower

Chinese name: Jin Yin Hua

Uses: Antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic (fever) properties; treating respiratory infections, gastrointestinal problems, skin sores, ulcerations, and abscesses

Siberian Ginseng

Common name: Eleutherococcus or Siberian ginseng

Chinese name: Wu Jia Shen

Uses: Immunostimulant; treating fatigue, low appetite, lower back pain, poor concentration, stress, altitude sickness, sleep cycle regulation, and endurance


Common name: Corydalis

Chinese name: Yan Hu Suo

Uses: Treating chronic pain; muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory

Baikal Skullcap

Common name: Scutellaria or Baikal skullcap

Chinese name: Huang Qin

Uses: Antibacterial aid, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory agent; treating allergies, hepatitis, bile production, and liver protection

Lin Qiao

Common name: Forsythia

Chinese name: Lian Qiao

Uses: Treating common colds, skin sores, flu, respiratory problems, burning urination, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory

White Peony Root

White Peony Root

Common name: White peony root

Chinese name: Bai Shao

Uses: Treating PMS, painful menstruation, twitching, and peptic ulcers; relaxing intestines and uterine muscles; pain relief

Citrus Peel

Common name: Citrus peel

Chinese name: Chen Pi Uses: Treating nausea, loose stool, loss of appetite; expectorant

Lycium Fruit

Common name: Lycium fruit or goji berry

Chinese name: Gou Qi Zi

Uses: Treating blurry vision, dizziness, lower back pain, impotence, premature grey hair


Common name: Hawthorne fruit

Chinese name: Shan Zha

Uses: Treating hypertension, reducing cholesterol, and improving cardiovascular health (blood flow, abnormal heart rhythms)


Common name: Mint

Chinese name: Bo He

Uses: Treating upper respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea, indigestion, flatulence), headaches, and rashes

In conclusion, Chinese herbal medicine has been used for centuries to address various health issues. When combined in specific ways, these herbs can provide targeted and effective treatment for various ailments. However, working with a trained professional is important to ensure you're using the right herbs and in the proper dosages. Consult with your healthcare provider before initiating any new herbal regimen, especially if you have any underlying medical illnesses or are taking prescription medications. With the right guidance and knowledge, Chinese herbs can be a powerful tool for promoting optimal health and well-being.

While some of these herbs have been studied in laboratories and have shown promising results, it's important to note that further research is needed to understand their effects fully. It's always a nice idea to consult a healthcare professional before using any new herbal remedy.

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