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Ten Essential Chinese Herbs
By Peter Games, L. Ac.

Chinese Herbal Medicine in Boise Idaho - Loose Herbs on PlateCooking parts of various plants, animals, and minerals in boiling water to create a medicinal tea may sound a bit outdated to some. It may even conjure up images of a witch’s brew or an episode of Fear Factor. But what if I were to tell you that aspirin is derived from naturally occurring salicin, found in the bark of the willow tree? Or that digoxin, a popular medicine for heart disease, is based upon an extract from the digitalis leaf? Or that the pain killer morphine is isolated from the poppy plant? Or that one quarter of the prescriptions dispensed in the United States contains one or more ingredients derived from plants? In fact, using natural products as medicine is still very commonplace today.

Indeed, medicine does not need to be synthesized in a laboratory in order to be effective. The fact that cures for many of our ailments may be produced naturally, may be readily available, and may exist all around us in nature is a very comforting thought for many. As we have heard many times, unexplored tropical rainforests, full of unique and unfamiliar plant life, offer tremendous opportunity and hope, hope that cures for many diseases are within reach.

Along these lines, Chinese herbology is one of the major branches of Chinese medicine. For thousands of years, plants, animals, and minerals have been used as medicine in helping people to overcome all kinds of ailments. Chinese herbs include everything from leaves, twigs, and roots, to bones and shells, to whole geckos and scorpions. Herbs are most often combined into formulas in certain ratios in order to treat particular ailments. A typical formula contains anywhere from eight to twelve different herbs which are combined in a specific ratio in order to function synergistically and facilitate healing. Although there are actually thousands of different Chinese herbs, several hundred are commonly used and have been the subject of numerous research studies. In this article, I will further condense that list and discuss ten essential Chinese herbs and how they can be helpful to you.

Boise, Idaho Chinese Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture - GingerGinger is one of the most popular Chinese herbs, prescribed for a variety of reasons. It is a warming herb and one of the main actions of ginger is to stimulate digestion, especially the digestion of proteins. Ginger is an effective treatment for occasional upset stomach, nausea, or motion sickness. It protects the lining of the stomach and has a wide range of action against intestinal parasites. Ginger has anticancer effects, blocking the tendency of some carcinogens to cause mutations in DNA. Ginger can also be helpful if taken in the early stages of a common cold.

Ginseng root is a valuable herb which is able to boost energy, aid respiration, and benefit digestion. It also increases resistance to the harmful effects of stress and aging. It improves appetite and digestion, tones skin and muscles, and restores depleted sexual energy. Ginseng also has demonstrated a marked effect in improving memory and learning ability. Ginseng boosts vitality and enhances the immune system. In clinical studies, it has been shown to lower blood glucose levels in patients with mild diabetes, and it has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides.

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