Chinese herbal therapy is an important core of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The same as with acupuncture, cupping and other TCM practices, the therapy aims to strengthen our body’s resistance or immunity to bacteria and viruses around us. With the continuous covid-19 spread in Hong Kong and other cities and countries across the world, many people are exploring and turning to Chinese herbs and other adaptogens to protect them from covid, heal them while they are sick and help them recover from it.
What is an adaptogen and how does it help with our health?
Adaptogen is a general term for non-toxic plants and there is a wide range of plants that are considered as adaptogens. Among the characteristics of adaptogens are that their natural flavor, channel tropism and function are meant to help our body to achieve balance. These plants also support our health while our bodies are subjected to external changes.
Adaptogen has been widely used in ancient Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurveda, Tibetan traditional medicine and other ancient methods of treatments. Its healing role has been verified over time. With the rapid advancement of technology today, these herbs have been revived and returned to our daily lives wherein they are now widely accepted and applied.
Traditional Chinese Medicine holds a more holistic perspective towards adaptogens. The use of adaptogen plants can promote the mutual coordination of the body’s internal organs, the quality of qi and blood, the temperature inside and outside the body, and the energy fluidity and stability. It can also increase the body’s self-healing ability, achieve balance in the lymphatic system, immune system and the nervous system, boost health and regulate emotions.
From a physiological point of view, adaptogens trigger intracellular and extracellular regulation, promote cell survival and the body’s ability to recover, while regulating the release of epinephrine to relieve stress. It acts as biological response modifiers, restores the body’s immunity and helps resist different stress levels.
It can also improve tolerance, mental concentration, and can help with deep alertness. Hence, it has been widely used in patients who are suffering from chronic fatigue diseases, depression and anxiety, sleep disorders, chronic diseases and autoimmune diseases in recent years.
Adaptogens and The Ailments They Can Help With
Since the adaptogens’ function is to promote and balance health, their usages are not limited to any kind of disease. Although they do not emphasize on treating a certain disease, they do have their effect as a support. If we can follow the concept of traditional medicine and be more aware of people’s constitution, the usage of herbal products will be more complete and their effectiveness will be greatly increased.
At the same time, because each adaptogen has its own uniqueness and pertinence, it is necessary to consult professionals before use. For instance, some herbals are suitable for cancer patients in producing a strengthening effect, while some can only be used for regular maintenance. At Balance Health, we provide Chinese medicine doctors online consultations for everyone’s convenience. We have clients from the U.S. and Europe who are consulting with our TCM doctors for their health concerns and get assistance as to the adaptogens and herbal products that can specifically help their conditions. We also have a special discounted covid-19 immunity package for those who want to consult and know some Chinese herbs and therapies that they can use to protect them from covid.
Examples of Adaptogens and Benefits From Them
There are different herbals that we can use to boost our health such as Rhodiola, Sand Ginger, American ginseng, Pueraria, schisandra fruit, Acanthopanax and many more. Listed as one of the top grade herbals in “Shennong’s herbal classic of Materia Medica,” Schisandra fruit has the effect of tonifying the spirit and qi. It is also one of the many herbal medicines used by Dr. Grace (Yu Hsin Tzu) in her clinical practice. It is warm in nature, with a taste of sweet and sour. It is helpful to the healthy functioning of the kidneys, heart and lungs. It is commonly used together with Dwarf Lilyturf and ginseng to treat people with dry mouth and diabetes. It is also being used with different herbs to improve the health conditions of people with chronic cough and asthma.
Traditional Chinese Medicine emphasizes that depending on several factors such as the differences in the individual symptoms and constitutions, the coordination of nature, taste and performance of herbs, Schisandra fruit can be used to bring the body back into balance, make up for its deficiencies, and remove the excesses. Modern biotechnology research also discovered that it is rich in vitamin E. With this, it can inhibit free radicals. Hence, it is mostly used for skin calming and skin whitening purposes. Moreover, we can also use schisandra fruit with red dates to make Schisandra tea or Schisandra vinegar that can be used in cooking to recuperate the functioning and health state of our five internal organs, protect the liver and moisten the lungs.
Indian Ayurveda also divides people’s constitution into three types. According to the constitution, different herbs are selected and used for intake and external massage so that the imbalanced constitution can resume neutral. To better maximize the herbs benefits, these may vary on various factors including our body type. At Balance Health, we have an online Chinese medicine body type test that people can just do on themselves to understand their specific body type. As a result of this, they can have ideas and deeper understanding of what kinds of food and adaptogen might be fit for them.
Frankincense is among the herbal supplements commonly used in Ayurveda. It helps to reduce inflammation in the body and health conditions that may develop when we store excess heat in our body such as enteritis, arthritis and chronic bronchitis. It is also helpful to better manage chronic fatigue and depression.
Guidance for Adaptogens and Chinese Herbs Use
For people who take chronic disease medicines or psychoactive drugs, there is a possibility of pharmacological reactions so professional prescriptions are needed. For a better result, product option, usage amount or usage time need to be taken into account.
However, in comparison with the “prototype food” from biological technology, herbs or tea products are gentler and milder, so these can be used as a daily health care drink. Tea products and soup products can also be designed and taken based on body constitution for regulating health. Most people can start with products that are more neutral in nature.
All health supplements are used to support our health, but we cannot ignore the most fundamental health principles which are exercise, healthy diet, good mood, and regular daily schedule. As a human being, awareness of your own body is utmost important. All dosages will be determined according to the individual’s current health status. With this, it is fundamental to use the appropriate amount or dosage to maintain the best health.