Dr. Maoshing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., Ph.D.
Who doesn't need an energy boost in this
fast-paced world? As we speed along in our technological and
intellectual pursuits, life demands that we rapidly adapt to many
The balancing act between home, family, and work causes stress and
strain that can usher in the aging process prematurely. Here are two
tonic herbs that will nurture and regenerate you for the rest of your
Ginseng Restores Failing Energy
For 5,000 years, the roots of this
slow-growing plant have been valued in traditional Chinese medicine. The
term ginseng refers to several species of the genus Panax, a botanical
name meaning "all-heal" in Greek.
The two Panax herbs commonly used are Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax
ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). These
are not to be confused with Siberian "ginseng" (Eleutherococcus
senticosus) which is not actually ginseng at all!
Panax ginseng is the most famous energy-boosting herb. Its popular
medicinal uses include increasing physical and mental endurance,
decreasing fatigue, and elevating energy.
Unlike coffee, which stimulates the central nervous system, ginseng
boosts energy gently. Ginseng is commonly considered an adaptogen - a
natural substance that improves the body's resistance to physical and
environmental stress, thereby enhancing the immune system.
Some other uses include enhancing physical performance, improving
coordination, increasing sexual potency, and reducing cholesterol. There
is also strong evidence that ginseng can help the body fight off
infection, protect liver and heart health, normalize cholesterol and
blood sugar levels, regulate the function of hormones, and improve
memory and cognitive functions. People taking ginseng often report
overall improvement in well-being.
Available as a powder, capsule, tea, ginseng is generally considered
safe, although there are some rare possible side effects, especially at
higher doses, including a faster heart rate, nausea, headaches, trouble
sleeping, and restlessness. Work with a licensed practitioner of Chinese
medicine to customize the right dosage for you.
Cordyceps is a mushroom with energizing
properties that has also been prized in the East for thousands of years.
It has received a lot of attention recently since the news came out that
record-breaking Chinese Olympic runners used it to greatly enhance their
Cordyceps was in relatively short supply until modern advances in
growing techniques made it more widely available to consumers. The same
Vitality-boosting properties that give athletes the edge to achieve
feats of strength and endurance can help you live longer: cordyceps
helps increase cellular energy metabolism, boosts adrenal functions to
adapt to stress, modulates immune function, increases capillary
circulation, and improves oxygen utilization. Cordyceps is available as
capsules or elixirs in health food stores, online and in Chinese
medicine practitioner's office.
I hope this article helps discover the
Vitality-enhancing benefits of
ginseng and cordyceps! I invite you to visit often and share your own
personal health and longevity tips with me.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!