Balance your inner chi and strengthen your immune system with these 6 Chinese medicinal herbs, as recommended by expert Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on a concept of balanced qi, or vital energy, that is believed to flow throughout the body. As one of the oldest systems of medicine, its origins can be traced back over 3,500 years. While western medicine focuses mainly on treating disease, TCM looks at your entire wellbeing. TCM practitioners use a mix of mind and body practices such as acupuncture, cupping, meditation, tai chi, and various herbal products to address health problems whilst creating harmony and a healthy flow of that all-important qi.
In TCM, qi is the body’s vital energy and must flow unimpeded for the body to function normally. Any disruptions in the qi can manifest in physical and mental health issues such as lethargy, cold and flu symptoms, fever, cough, depression and anxiety.
Read on to discover the 6 traditional Chinese medicine herbs that’ll help bring balance to your body, boost your immune system and improve your overall health, as recommended by expert TCM practitioners.
An antiviral and antibacterial herb that has been linked to many health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, improved immunity and lower blood sugar levels. One of the most common ways to use Echinacea is to drink it in a tea, making it a popular option for those looking to fight off the flu and help manage their anxiety.
Where to Find: Available in capsule and tea form which can be found online at www.iherb.com.
Known to boost energy, lower blood sugar levels, and sharpen the mind, Asian Ginseng is a fantastic immune booster with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Other benefits include improved mental performance and physical endurance, reduced stress and enhanced sexual performance.
Where to Find: Available in dried form, tablets, capsules and liquid. Capsule form can be found online at www.iherb.com. Dried ginseng can be found in your local Traditional Chinese Pharmacy.
An antioxidant powerhouse that’s packed with quercetin that has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects, elderberries have long been revered for being a natural remedy with antiviral properties to fight against cold and flu. They’ve also been known to aid in the treatment of constipation and provide pain relief, thanks to their high dose of anthocyanins.
Where to Find: Available in capsule, chewable tablet, syrup, and gummy form which can be found online at www.iherb.com.
It’s no wonder that people have been using ginger in both their cooking and as medicine since ancient times. Not only is it delicious, but this readily available antioxidant has been shown to naturally boost the immune system, prevent inflammation, and fight off various other types of infection. On top of that, it’s often used to treat the ‘heat’ symptoms in one’s body such as, dry and sore throat, and has long been a popular home remedy for both nausea and stomach pain.
Where to Find: Your local supermarket or wet market. Easily incorporate it into your meals, or steep yourself a honey ginger lemon tea to combat cold and flu symptoms!
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A popular ingredient in cooking, garlic is known for being highly nutritious but with very few calories. It’s known to be effective in combating the common cold, reducing blood pressure, and improving cholesterol levels. So give your taste buds and your immune system a boost with its antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.
Where to Find: Your local supermarket or wet market.
Also known as the Reishi mushroom, this fungus is called ‘The Great Protector’ in TCM, and is often prescribed to inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses associated with the flu. Studies have found that it boosts the number of white blood cells and enhances the immune system to fight against the common cold and flu. Some also claim that it can alleviate fatigue, could lower blood pressure, and has allery-fighting potential.
Where to Find: Available in capsule, fresh, and dried form. At a more affordable price, capsules can be readily purchased online at www.iherb.com, whilst the dried form can be purchased at your local traditional Chinese pharmacy and made into a soup.