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