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(4 pages total)

Page 4 - Tonic Herbs that Every Qigong Practitoners Should Know --Part 2

Rhodiola Root (Tibetan)

According to the Tibetans, Rhodiola, which grows at the snow line of the Himalayas in Tibet, may be used as a tonic to increase vitality. It is superb for strengthening the body and mind, resisting fatigue, resisting a lack of oxygen, for exposure to excessive radiation, and for prolonging life. The immune potentiating effects of Tibetan Rhodiola are stronger than those of ginseng. It has a notable restorative effect if one consumes a preparation while the tired body is recovering or is failing to recover from strong or excessive exertion. It has double-direction-adjusting effects on the nervous and endocrine systems. It is especially well known in Asia for increasing the intelligence of those who consume it regularly. It can improve a persons memory, power of concentration and work-efficiency. Consumption of a small amount of Tibetan Rhodiola extract significantly improves a persons capacity to absorb and utilize oxygen. This is a major key to the incredible benefits associated with this herb. When you consume Tibetan Rhodiola, it is the same as inhaling pure oxygen. Tibetan Rhodiola was considered sacred by the monks of Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. Its Latin name is Rhodiola sacra.

Royal Jelly

A natural food substance produced by worker bees for their queen. This incredibly nutritious whole food is rich in a very broad spectrum of important vitamins, minerals and other substances essential to radiant health. Royal Jelly is believed to be an important beauty aid and is said to beautify the skin, eyes and hair. It is widely available in many commercially prepared products, or it can be obtained fresh, straight from the hive. Fresh Royal Jelly can have profound health benefits.

Schizandra Fruit

Schizandra is a wonderful tonic historically consumed by Chinese royalty. It is one of the few herbs that contains all three treasures. Therefore, Schizandra was consumed by all Daoists throughout Chinese history. Schizandra is renowned as a beauty tonic and is considered to be a youth preserving herb. It has been used for centuries to make the skin soft, moist and radiant. It is also said to be a powerful tonic to the brain and mind, and is believed in China to improve memory. It is also said to be an excellent and reliable sexual tonic when consumed regularly. It is said to help produce abundant sexual fluids, increase sexual endurance and to strengthen the whole body. It is used in many tonic formulations as an astringent.. Schizandra has a wonderful multi-layered flavor when processed properly. Schizandra is a must herb for Qigong practitioners.

Shitake Mushroom

Shitake mushroom is a potent immune modulating herb. It contains the beta-glucan type of polysaccharides that have been found to bolster the immune response of humans. Shitake also helps reduce blood lipids and bad cholesterol. Shitake is widely used as a food, though it is also available as a food supplement.

Siberian Ginseng

Siberian Ginseng is an incredibly important and popular tonic herb. It is another relative of true ginseng, though it shows no physical resemblance to Panax Ginseng. Wild Eleutherococcus senticosis grows widely in Siberia, Mongolia and Northeastern China. It is famous as an adaptogenic herb, thus aiding in handling of stress. It has been used for centuries to increase physical and mental endurance, to build blood and to improve memory. It is now widely used to regulate blood sugar levels, and is especially popular among athletes and those who work hard. It is perhaps the most popular herb in the world among martial arts practitioners.

Snow Lotus Flower

This herb is extremely rare and precious. It comes from one of the most remote areas of Asia. Snow Lotus has a general health promoting effect. It regulates the functions of different organs. In particular, it improves the immune system, prevents internal and external diseases, improves adaptability, and eliminates body toxins. Snow Lotus is anti-aging, strengthens the body, preserves youthfulness, and helps with all kinds of diseases. Snow Lotus calms and eliminates wind, smoothes Liver function, sedates rising Liver yang. It replenishes the Yin, strengthens the Yang, tonifies the blood, strengthens the sinews, relieves swelling and pain, improves blood circulation, removes blood stagnation, is said to remove sludge from the blood vessels, and promotes longevity. It clears away heat, toxic material and dampness. It is extremely rare and precious. Though it is equally beneficial to men and women, Snow Lotus has been the favorite herb of female Daoists and Qigong practitioners for many centuries.

Spirit Poria Mushroom

This special variety of Poria is considered a premium Shen tonic herb. It is the part of the Poria mushroom that contains the root of the old pine tree, upon which it has grown. Spirit Poria is said to benefit the heart, to nourish the Spirit and to lead to a long and happy life. It is often used by those wishing to overcome anxiety, worry, fear, etc. This is a very special herb traditionally used by Daoist adepts to help attain enlightenment.

Tortoise Shell

The shell of the tortoise is a very special and potent Yin Essence tonic that also builds blood. It is said to increase fluids, build hormones and to replenish substances lost to stress and excessive behavior. The species used is cultivated for food and is not endangered if from a reputable vendor.

Ron Teeguarden has been practicing daoism and a variety of specific Daoist healing arts for over 30 years. Ron has spent many years studying in China and Japan. He studied with the legendary Daoist master Sung Jin Park in the 1970s, and as Master Parks primary student, took a vow to spread daoism in America. He was the co-founder of the Acupressure Workshops in Venice and Berkeley, Calif. Ron co-developed the acupressure technique known as Jin Shin Do. Ron has taught the Daoist healing arts to thousands of people. He wrote the classic book Chinese Tonic Herbs published by Japan Publications in 1985. His most recent book, The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs, published by Warner Books is available from our Qi Catalog. Ron is the developer of the Dragon Herbs line of superior tonic herbal products, which are also available through Qi Catalog.

© Qi Journal, Spring 2002

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