are rich in antioxidants, phytosterols, vitamins, and other nutrient
substances that equip the body to fight against toxins and germs. They
help in boosting the immune system as well. In fact, you can call herbs
as ‘medicines’ when taken in small doses. I have been making broths out
of medicinal herbs along with powerful nutrient-rich vegetables like
beets, onions,m celery, carrots, kale, mustard greens, shitake mushroom
and red cabbage. Today I very gently simmered Astragalus Root,
Codonopsis Root, Reishi Mushroom, Poria Fungus, Shiitake Mushroom,
Jujube Date Fruit and the vegetables I detailed… I simmer for about an
hour and then I strain the herbs and the vegetables out of the liquid. I
drink the liquid both cold and hot. I may add freshly squeezed lemon. I
also make a clear chickpea miso soup with the broth…
Alfalfa Leaf (Medicago sativa): Naturally high in protein as well as
many essential vitamins and minerals, including A, D, E, K, and even the
full family of B vitamins. Alfalfa detoxifies the body and purifies the
Astragalus/Huang Qi (Astragalus membranaceus): Astragalus
nourishes and tonifies the blood, builds immunity and resistance to
colds and flu, promotes skin generation, strengthens muscle, strengthens
chronically weak lungs, improves digestion and metabolism, tonifies
spleen Qi, and helps to maintain upright posture and positioning of the
organs in the body.
Burdock Root (Arctium lappa): A highly
nutritive herb, rich in vitamins A & C, burdock root improves
gallbladder function, helps to increase the absorption of fats, and aids
in the detoxification of excess wastes. Burdock also helps to control
sugar cravings as well as treating alcohol addiction. Burdock relieves
lymph congestion and cleanses and nourishes the blood.
Pepper (Capsicum annuum): Improves circulation, increases metabolism,
boosts the immune system, and aids digestion. It breaks up congestion in
the body, clearing mucus, moving blood and dispelling cold dampness.
With anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties, cayenne may be
used internally or externally to treat muscle and joint pain, including
arthritis. It is a tonic for the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas,
spleen, and stomach.
Chickweed (Stellaria Media): Loaded in
nutrition and best known for its ability to cool and soothe
inflammations, both internally and externally, It can be used to treat
blood toxicity, inflammation and other “hot” type diseases.
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum): Cilantro is rich in micronutrients, high
in calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, and has been found to
remove heavy metals from the body. There is evidence that consumption of
cilantro accelerates the excretion of lead and aluminum deposits from
Codonopsis Root/Dang Shen (Codonopsis pilosula): A
supreme tonic supporting digestion and the immune system, it is a
primary herb used to tonify Qi, particularly in the spleen and lungs.
Codonopsis increases vital energy, strengthens digestion and
assimilation, and is given in all diseases associated with weakness,
debility after illness, tiredness, lack of strength, poor appetite and
anemia. It supports breast milk production and can alleviate diarrhea,
vomiting, gas, bloatedness, chronic cough and shortness of breath.
Cordyceps/Dong Chong Xia Cao (Cordyceps sinensis): Cordyceps is a
parasitic fungus that, in the wild, typically grows on and completely
consumes the larvae of certain moths (eg. caterpillars). Cordyceps is a
tonic for the kidneys which control sexual function, cognition,
structural integrity, and healing ability. It strengthens the skeletal
structure; specifically the lower back, knees, and ankles, and is
antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal.
Gui/Chinese Angelica Root (Angelica sinensis): Alleviates pain,
regulates menstruation, and moistens intestines. Dang Gui is used as a
blood tonic, vitalizing and improving circulation. It is used for
abdominal and menstrual pain, traumatic injuries, arthritis, rheumatism,
sores, and abscesses. It normalizes heart contractions and dilates
blood vessels increasing peripheral blood flow. It causes red blood cell
proliferation and helps treat anemia.
Yao/Chinese Yam (Dioscorea opposita): Best known for regulating female
hormones in Western Medicine, Chinese Yam is used as a Spleen Qi tonic
and supports both the Yin and the Qi of the spleen, lungs and Kidneys.
It is used to treat fatigue, lack of strength, exhaustion, and weakness.
Eleuthero Root/Siberian Ginseng/Ci Wu Jia (Eleutherococcus senticosus):
Increases appetite, improves energy and enhances immune system, boosts
endurance, stimulates virility and helps the body better withstand
stress. Indicated when there is low energy, chronic fatigue, exhaustion,
and weakness. As such it is popular as an adjunct treatment for cancer
patients. Can be helpful in Lyme disease protocols when there is joint
pain and fatigue.
Eucommia BarkEucommia Root/Du Zhong (Eucommia
ulmoides): Supports the functions of the endocrine and skeletal systems,
particularly ligaments and tendons. It is also known for its kidney
tonifying effects and supports normal healthy sexual functions.
Fo ti Stem/Ye Jiao Teng (Polygonum multiflorum): A Chinese herb used to
nourish the heart and calm the spirit. Helps to quiet the mind and calm
Galangal Root/Gao Liang Jiang (Alpinia galanga): Has
a stimulating effect on the digestive system. Galangal root is
antispasmodic and antibacterial.
Garlic (Allium sativum): Garlic
contains a substance called Allicin which has antibiotic properties. It
is useful in treating everything from a common cold to allergies to
tonsillitis. Garlic contains many sulfur compounds which detoxify the
body, boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and improve
circulation. Garlic has also demonstrated anticancer, antifungal and
Ginger RootGinger Rhizome/Gan Jiang
(Zingiber officinale): Ginger is a wonderful herb for digestion. It
helps break down proteins to decrease stomach and intestinal gas. It
also aids in the digestion of fatty foods. Ginger’s warming quality
improves and stimulates circulation and relaxes the muscles surrounding
blood vessels, facilitating the flow of blood throughout the body.
Ginger also treats nausea and morning sickness. Studies demonstrate that
ginger can lower cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol absorption
in the blood and liver.
Berry/Gou Qi Zi (Lycium barbarum):
Regular consumption of Goji is traditionally believed to lead to a long
and happy life. Goji is also said to brighten the eyes and support
vision. It is traditionally said that Goji strengthens the legs and
enhances sexual function. Goji fruit contains polysaccharides that have
been demonstrated to support the immune system. Goji provides B vitamins
and is high in Beta Carotene.
Jujube DatesJujube Date/Da Zao
(Ziziphus jujuba): An excellent superfruit that fosters radiant health
and provides energy when consumed consistently. Red Jujube Dates nourish
the blood, soothe the mind, and build and strengthen muscle. Jujube is
considered a mild Shen tonic because it calms the mind without causing
drowsiness – while increasing physical energy.
Kaffir Lime Leaf
(Citrus hystrix): Aids in digestion and purifies the blood. It is
believed to have a positive effect on the mind and the body and leaves
one with positive thoughts. The leaves can also be rubbed on to gums and
teeth for total dental health.
Kelp/Kun Du (Ascophyllum
nodosum): Seaweed draws an extraordinary wealth of mineral elements from
the sea including sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chlorine,
sulfur and phosphorus. Kelp is rich in natural iodine which benefits
proper functioning of the thyroid glands.
Dai (Laminaria japonica): Kombu is very high in organic iodine, and has
been used to treat thyroid disease in China for centuries. It also is
very high in calcium and potassium, and contains a number of other
minerals and trace elements. The algin in kombu has been found to fix
and remove radioactive particles and heavy metals from the body, have a
strong blood anticoagulant activity, and reduce blood pressure.
Ligusticum Root/Chinese Lovage Root/Chuan Xiong (Ligusticum wallichii):
Ligusticum treats conditions such as upper respiratory infection, helps
to promote healthy blood flow and relieves pain. Liguisticum has been
known to treat all types of headaches and relieve menstrual symptoms.
Because it warms the uterus and decongests blood in the pelvic region,
it is especially popular for menstrual cramps.
Lily Bulb/Bai He
(Lilium brownii): Lily bulbs are used to relieve coughs, dry throats and
other respiratory conditions, to clear away heat, and to treat insomnia
and heart palpitations. Its tonic properties make it a good herb for
promoting restful sleep and treating restlessness and irritability.
Lotus Seed/Lian Zi (Nelumbo nucifera): Beneficial for the heart, tones
the spleen and kidneys, prevents insomnia, and calms the nerves. Lotus
seeds have astringent properties, which make them helpful in relieving
the symptoms of diarrhea while also improving appetite. The seeds are
used to treat weak sexual function in men and leukorrhea in women. The
seed also has calming properties that alleviate restlessness,
palpitations, and insomnia.
Maitake Mushroom/Hui Shu Hua (Grifola
frondosa): A highly nutritious food, traditionally eaten throughout the
world. It has a positive effect on the immune system and anti-cancer
properties and has been effective in the treatment of diabetes.
NettlesNettles (Urtica dioica): Is a nutritive herb that gently cleanses
the body of wastes. Nettles are especially important for women’s
health. Through pregnancy it helps in guarding against excessive
bleeding as well as strengthening the fetus. It eases labor pains and
increase milk production. Stinging nettle contains natural
antihistamines and anti-inflammatories that open up constricted
bronchial and nasal passages, helping to ease hay fever, and nose &
sinus type allergic reactions. Nettles is extremely high in essential
vitamins and nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and even
Peony RootPeony Root/Bai Shao (Paeonia lactiflora): One
of the most highly prized women’s herbs used traditionally to help
regulate the female hormonal cycle and to tonify and purify the blood.
It is also used as a pain reducing agent and as an emotional stabilizer
by women. It is said to relieve cramps and spasms anywhere in the body.
Peony root is also believed to extend life and to promote beauty. Men
should use Peony as well, since it has an anti-aging effect without
PoriaPoria Fungus/Fu Ling (Sclerotium Poriae
cocos): One of the main benefits of poria is it’s anti-cancer
properties. It is widely used in Chinese medicine to treat malignant
tumors. Furthermore, poria stimulates the immune system and helps
enhance the positive effects of cancer treatments like radiation and
chemotherapy while negating some of their side effects. Poria is well
known for correcting problems related to the digestive system such as
diarrhea, constipation, acidity, and other gastrointestinal issues and
promotes the secretion of digestive fluids.
Zhi (Ganoderma lucidum): Considered both the “elixir of life” and the
“mushroom of immortality,” Reishi has long been a fundamental ingredient
in the attainment of a long, happy life and even spiritual
enlightenment. It is believed to help calm the mind, ease tension,
strengthen the nerves, strengthen memory, sharpen concentration, improve
focus, build willpower and as a result, helps build wisdom. Its effect
is cumulative; gradually strengthening the nerves and a sense of peace.
It is safe to take on a daily basis by most everyone and other benefits
include: Supports immune system, antibacterial, adaptogenic qualities
protect against stress, tonifies blood and qi and strengthens major
organs including lungs, heart, bone marrow and liver.
Rehmannia/Shu Di Huang (Rehmannia Glutinosa): Frequently used in
Traditional Chinese Medicine to nourish the kidneys. It is considered
the food of the kidneys and is used for loss of blood, yin deficiency,
lower back pain with deficiency from overwork. It can also treat cough,
diabetes, urinary incontinence, deafness, uterine bleeding, vertigo,
tinnitus, and regulate menstrual flow. It helps to protect and support
the liver and adrenal glands and is often found in energy tonic formulas
used to combat chronic fatigue.
Schizandra/Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra
chinensis): Promotes soft, radiant, clear skin and is known to increase
sexual fluids, endurance and strengthen the whole body. For this it is
considered “anti-aging.” Used in Chinese medicine as an adaptogenic herb
to improve mental function, reduce tiredness and improve endurance.
Schisandra is also a recognized lung tonic. It enhances immune response,
regenerates liver tissue, and has been proven to treat hepatitis. The
Chinese name, wu-wei-zi, means five taste fruits and refers to the fact
that sweet, salt, bitter, sour and warmth can all be tasted when it is
consumed, distinguishing it as a uniquely balanced herb.
ShiitakeShiitake/Xiang Gu (Lentinus edodes): Shiitake mushrooms have
deep immune system healing properties, have been proven to stop or slow
down tumor growth and are used in treating a variety of cancers. It is
credited with lowering serum cholesterol and contains protein,
potassium, niacin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Recent
studies have shown the ability of shiitake mushrooms to help protect
against cardiovascular diseases. They are also strongly anti-viral.
Spirit Poria Fungus/Fu Shen (Sclerotium Poriae cocos Circum Radicem
Pini): The poria fungus grows underground in conjunction with pine
roots. This is the center of the fungus, containing a portion of the
root. It is considered a shen tonic and is sought by many spiritual
seekers for its ability to calm emotions and raise shen (spirit.) It
also strengthens the immune system and fortifies heart, kidney, and
Teasel Root/Xu Duan (Dipsacus Japonicus): Known
in Chinese as “Repair what is Broken,” Teasel fortifies the lower back,
knees and bones as well and sinews and joints. It is used for pain and
stiffness due to decreased Kidney energy or traumatic injury and
promotes the movement of blood to repair damaged tissues. Used in Lyme
Disease treatment, as an analgesic for pain relief, an
anti-inflammatory, and a stimulant for the nervous system.
Turkey Tail Mushroom/Yun Zhi (Trametes versicolor): Common throughout
the world, growing on and decomposing logs and stumps, it is used to
strengthen the immune system and fight chronic diseases such as
hepatitis and cancer. Traditionally, it has also been used for asthma
and cough, invigorating digestion in cases of weakness and poor
appetite, and clearing dampness associated with arthritis.
Turmeric/Jiang Huang (Curcuma longa): Powerfully anti-inflammatory,
healing to the liver, and pain relieving. Excellent source for
beta-carotene. Improves circulation. Treats liver congestion, jaundice,
Wakame Seaweed/Qun Dai Cai (Undaria pinnatifida):
Aides in weight loss by inhibiting the accumulation of fat in the cells
and by stimulating fat oxidation. Also helps our body transfer energy
efficiently, regulate hormones throughout the body, and helps our body
produce and utilize protein. Wakame balances hormone levels and promotes
bone growth and repair. High in trace minerals.
(Ziziphus jujuba): Ziziphus seed is the most commonly used herb in
sedative formulas designed to help relax the mind. It is categorized as a
heart blood tonic in traditional Chinese medicine, therefore it is
calming to the heart, which is the Seat of Shen and which determines our