Originally published December 16 2010
Dragon Herbs, He Shou Wu, Eucommia and other treasures of Chinese herbology
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) Those who have been following NaturalNews for several years have heard me rave about Ron Teeguarden and Dragon Herbs. His company is considered by many to be the most pristine source of tonic herbs and Chinese herbs available in North America. Ron himself is a true-to-life "guru" in Chinese medicinal herbs and he is one of the most knowledgeable people you'll ever hear speak on the subject.
You can listen to my 2008 interview with Ron on our Podcast page: http://www.naturalnews.com/Index-Podcasts.ht...
As a follower of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a regular consumer of Chinese herbs, I have also been a follower of Ron Teeguarden for many years. I've interviewed him several times and published articles and interviews about him on NaturalNews. I'm also a long-time Dragon Herbs customer, and I have some favorite Dragon Herbs formulas that I'll be sharing with you in this review.
The little-known Chinese herb powerhouse: Eucommia BarkMy single most favorite Chinese herb is, without question, eucommia bark. This isn't an herb many people have heard of, but it has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for literally thousands of years.
Although FDA censorship won't let me tell you much about this herb, I can at least offer the simple statement that "eucommia bark may help support healthy bone function*." In Chinese Medicine, it is an element frequently used in formulas referred to as "kidney energy" formulas, as it may also help support and normalize regular kidney function.*
The challenge with eucommia bark is that it's really hard to find a trusted source. I looked for eucommia bark capsules for years, and I could never find sources that I trusted until Dragon Herbs came out with the formulation. Today, they offer both eucommia bark drops (liquid), and another formula called Frame Builder that includes eucommia bark, eucommia seed and a supportive collection of other plants and herbs commonly used in Chinese herbology.
Dragon Herbs offers a wide range of really premium-quality herbal products beyond Frame Builder, too. And his company is widely respected by the best-informed leaders in the natural health industry. Everyone I've ever talked to raves about Dragon Herbs and Ron Teeguarden.
Imagine my surprise...Given all positive rich history I have with Dragon Herbs, imagine my sheer joy when I was informed that Ron was open to working with NaturalNews to make several of his top products available to NaturalNews readers at a great value. Dragon Herbs normally doesn't offer discounts -- this isn't a company that competes on price. When you're the best in the industry, you don't have to, and the truth of the matter is that Ron Teeguarden is meticulous about sourcing extremely high-potency raw materials for his formulas, and those raw materials cost a pretty penny... (see below for the true story about Schizandra...)
Yet, astoundingly, we've been able to put together a collection of Dragon Herbs formulas at really fantastic special prices for NaturalNews readers. You can see what we have available from Dragon Herbs right now on our specials page: http://store.naturalnews.com/index.php?main_...
Here's a quick listing of what you'll find there, and the discount prices you see are only good while supplies last:
• Frame Builder - Eucommia Bark was the second herb ever described in a written text on herbs in China, playing second fiddle only to Ginseng, "the King of Herbs." Eucommia Bark has remained a virtual icon of tonic herbalism in Asia for thousands of years. It has been consumed by billions of people, and is consumed by millions of people today as a superior, life-enhancing tonic.*
• He Shou Wu - As a tonic to the kidney and liver functions, toning up the vital essence and blood, fortifying the muscles, tendons and bones, and to prevent premature aging, maintaining the youthful condition and color of the hair, strengthening sperm and ova, fortifying the back and knees and as the premier longevity herb of Chinese tonic herbalism.*
• Cordyceps - Cordyceps Mushroom is one of the absolute superstars of the Chinese tonic herbal system. It is an extremely effective and powerful life-enhancing agent, ranking right up there with Ginseng, Reishi and Deer Antler. Because it is rare, potent and highly treasured, like Deer Antler, it is very expensive. This rare and precious herb is considered to be a moderately Yang primal essence (Jing) tonic of the highest stature.*
• Eucommia Drops - Eucommia is the primary plant-sourced herb in Chinese herbalism used to tonify the Kidney Yang functions, in particular as it affects the lower part of the body and the skeletal structure. And although Eucommia is primarily known as a powerful Yang Jing tonic, it is also a strong Yin Essence (Yin Jing) nourishing herb.*
• Super Adaptogen - If a person were to take just one formula, this could be the one. This is a full spectrum adaptogenic formula which nurtures all three treasures. An adaptogen is a substance which helps bring the body into a state of harmony with its environment by inducing chemical, cellular, and systemic balance. This harmonizing function reduces the effects of unfavorable conditions and stimulates the body's own immune and healing functions. These adaptogenic substances help the body to adapt to various stressful challenges presented by the environment and reduce the damage inflicted on the body.*
• Will Power - Will Power is based on a wonderful tonic herb now called Polygala, traditionally know as the "Will Strengthener." Polygala is combined with herbs that strengthen Qi and Shen, helping us to remain "centered" during stress and thus allowing us to persevere through difficulties.*
• Caralluma - Caralluma fimbriata is a succulent, edible cactus that grows across India. It has been in use in India for centuries as a vegetable and famine food. The cactus is used by the labor class in South India to enhance endurance and suppress appetite. Indian tribesmen are known to chew chunks of Caralluma for energy and to suppress hunger when on a day's hunt.*
• Salacia - The roots and stems of Salacia oblonga, known in India as Ponkoranti, has been traditionally used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine to regulate sugar imbalance, and more recently it has been used as a dietary supplement in Japan. Salacia helps normalize blood sugar and insulin levels, and support healthy blood lipids. Ponkoranti is a woody plant found in the rainforests of Sri Lanka and India. Salacia oblonga extract suppresses glucose absorption. Intestinal enzymes normally bond to carbohydrates and turn them to glucose (the sugar that circulates throughout the body). Salacia contains inhibitors of sugar digestion and absorption.*
• Salvia - Salvia (Salvia miltiorrhizae) is not a tonic herb because it does not nourish any of the three treasures. However, it is a very important herb in the tonic health system because of its critical role as a circulation enhancer. Salvia (Red Sage Root) has the capacity to activate blood circulation and to dispel “blood stasis,” or blood congestion. Salvia is a cooling herb that can dispel heat. NOTE: This is a very safe herb. However, it should not be used to treat any disease without the supervision of a doctor. Most doctors will allow you to take it, but some will not. This herb should not be used prior to surgery since it is theorized that it may cause excessive bleeding during an operation. Not for people who are easily chilled or who have cold feelings.*
• Goji and Schizandra Drops - Schizandra chinensis is one of the elite tonic herbs in the entire world. It is staggeringly popular in Asia and its reputation is rapidly growing in America. It is known as the “Quintessence of Chinese Herbs.” It is the only herb known that tonifies all three of the Three Treasures (Jing, Qi and Shen). It is the only herb that enters all twelve of the meridian systems that nourish all of our internal organs and functions. It is the only herb that simultaneously tonifies all five elements (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal). No other herb compares in this capacity to nurture the entire body and mind, not even Ginseng or Reishi.*
Important NOTE about Schizandra: Good, REAL Schizandra is not so easy to get. Schizandra grows abundantly in the forests of Changbai Mountain, a non-polluted, pristine biosphere in northeastern China (Manchuria). Schizandra from that region is called Bei Wu Wei Zi (Northern Five Flavor Herb). It is collected annually in the fall by local collectors. It is also now being grown by some farmers at lower altitude in a neighboring region (Liaoning).
Unfortunately for most Americans, most of the high grade Schizandra is pre-purchased by a few Taiwanese and South Korean mega-herb companies who sell entirely to the vast Asian market. For a few years just recently, these companies controlled the entire world market, and real Schizandra was very hard to get – and the price was driven up significantly.
As a result, starting about 7 years ago, marketers starting selling a different species of Schizandra, Schisandra sphenanthera, especially targeting the American market where most buyers don’t know the difference. In China it is called Nan Wu Wei Zi, Southern Schizandra, because it grows in southern China, not northeastern China where the real stuff comes from. This variety of “Schizandra” is looked upon as a very inferior tonic in China and is not used as a legitimate Schizandra substitute by reputable companies.
U.S. marketers have either been ignorant of this, or have ignored the issue, and often even state that they are selling the Schisandra chinensis on their labels and in their literature, even when they aren’t.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Health Ranger comments on the best Dragon Herbs productsHere's my own experience with these herbs. I've been a customer of Dragon Herbs for over four years now, so I have a lot of experience using most of these products:
• I take Frame Builder and Eucommia Drops daily because I used to suffer from chronic lower back pain in years past, and I now take steps to nutritionally support my back and kidneys.
• I started taking He Shou Wu about a year ago after drinking some tonic smoothies made by Truth Calkins, the tonic herbal smoothie guru in California. Since then, I've learned a lot about why this tonic herb has been so popular throughout the history of Chinese Medicine.
• I take Cordyceps after my rigorous exercise sessions to help support my physical energy and stamina. I've also learned that there is a huge difference between cheap cordyceps (useless!) and high-quality cordyceps.
• I use Super Adaptogens to help support my body's response to the enormous stress I'm under each day as the editor of NaturalNews. I work extremely long hours and manage a huge number of projects on a daily basis. I believe that my nutritional support helps me deal with stress while remaining extremely productive and alert.
• I've just started experimenting with the Will Power supplement. I can't say yet that I've noticed any difference yet, since I've always had a lot of will power and never seemed to have any deficiency in that realm. But I like the herbs in this formula for lots of other reasons, too.
• Caralluma has been extremely useful when I'm fasting. I don't know about you, but when I fast, there are days (usually after the third day) when the hunger just seems impossible to deal with. This herb has helped me control and normalize my appetite in a healthy way so that I can stay on my fast and get the results that I'm looking for.
• Goji and Schizandra are two of my favorite herbs from the world of Chinese herbology, and I've long been a fan of their overall supportive effects. I take these on a regular basis, without any particular goal or desired outcome. I just consider them to be good sources of supportive nutrition.
• I do not have experience with Salacia or Salvia. I've never tried these formulas, but I'm considering trying Salvia to see if it might help reduce the time to recover from injuries (I've had a few significant martial arts training injuries recently, and I don't enjoy waiting very long for my body to heal). That would be an interesting experiment to try.
Holistic nutrition, not allopathyIn all these cases, keep in mind that these are not magical pills with overnight effects. The system of Traditional Chinese Medicine does not believe in the allopathic approach to health, where one symptom is eradicated with one chemical. Rather, TCM is based on using herbs in a multi-faceted support role that helps the body regulate its own health over time through the flow of natural biological and energetic processes upon which the human body depends for its vitality.
This is even quite different from the way many western consumers view nutritional supplements. A lot of people take supplements in a purely allopathic way, too: If they have high cholesterol, they'll take red yeast rice, for example. This is an allopathic point of view: The "symptom" is eliminated with the "treatment." But that point of view isn't quite accurate. It's not the full story of how nutrition really works.
Chinese Medicine takes into account a more holistic view of the interrelations between body functions and the actions of various herbs. Rather than trying to overthrow the body's biochemistry, Chinese Medicine attempts to support or improve the natural flows of blood, nutrients or energies that are necessary for allowing the body to naturally express its peak health potential.
In Chinese Medicine, isolated nutrients are rarely taken by themselves. In nearly every case, Chinese Medicine formulas combine multiple supporting herbs and ingredients into a complementary, synergistic recipe.
These Dragon Herbs products are formulated in alignment with the fundamental principles of Chinese herbology.
Keep learning more!I strongly encourage you to learn more about Chinese medicine, and discover how additional nutritional support can help you experienced improved results in your life.
As with any supplements, I also encourage you to discuss your consumption of them with your primary care provider; preferably a naturopathic physician who understands holistic nutrition and has experience with Chinese herbology.
In covering nutrition, phytochemicals, disease prevention and other similar topics, I've noticed that in America, discussions about nutrition often leave out Chinese herbology. It's like a whole new realm to many who are into natural health -- in much the same way that Ayurvedic herbology is also a different realm to most Americans. There is truth to be found in every system of medicine, of course, including western medicine, but to limit our knowledge and experience to just one or two systems of medicine is to deprive ourselves of the enormous body of wisdom that's now available to us through the multiple systems of medicine practiced around the world.
Remember, western medicine is only practiced by a small fraction of the world population. Most people on planet Earth practice herbal medicine because that's what's affordable, locally available and has been proven safe through thousands of years of regular use. The more I learn about Chinese medicine, the more I am convinced that it is an extremely valuable, and often-overlooked system of medicine that deserves a lot more study. I also have a keen interest in South American medicine, of course, which is sometimes called "rainforest medicine."
In fact, here's an amazing interview with Alex Holland, founder of a TCM school in Tucson, Arizona. Listen to this interview and you'll be absolutely amazed, I think, at what you'll learn about Chinese Medicine: http://www.naturalnews.com/podcasts/Intervie...
And if you'd like to hear my interview with Ron Teeguarden, recorded nearly two years ago, give that a listen. It's quite fascinating and you'll learn a lot about Chinese herbology: http://www.naturalnews.com/podcasts/DragonHe...
Once again, if you wish to take advantage of our sale on Dragon Herbs formulas, available for a limited time (at limited quantities) at the NaturalNews store, here's the link: http://store.naturalnews.com/index.php?main_...
Enjoy exploring and learning! I love this subject, and I hope to cover TCM more in the near future.
All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. NaturalNews.com is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit www.NaturalNews.com/terms.shtml