By Lisa M. Miller, L.Ac.
When I was studying acupuncture, one of my
favorite things to do was to sneak a piece of Rou Cong Rong from the
herbal pharmacy at my school. While many of my fellow students snacked
on the usual suspects - Gou Qi Zi or Long Yan Rou, it was the chewy
sweet taste of Rou Con Rong that I always pined for.
Rou Cong Rong is a hardy perennial that lives mostly in dry areas and
deserts. It is sometimes referred to as the “Ginseng of the desert.”
This title refers to its ability to act as a tonic for the body. In
particular, it strengthens Kidney Yang. In addition to being sweet and
warm, its salty nature has an affinity to the Kidney meridian. Rou Cong
Rong is primarily used to treat Kidney deficiency with symptoms such as
impotence, infertility, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhea, urinary
incontinence, and excessive uterine bleeding. The heavy and cloying
nature of the herb also moistens the intestines and helps ease
constipation, especially senile constipation.
In a recent study, chemical analysis of Rou Cong Rong demonstrated that
it has antioxidant, anti-aging, and neuroprotective qualities. This is
because the plant contains volatile oils, non-volatile phenylethanoid
glycosides (PhGs), alditols, lignans, iridoids, oligosaccharides, and
polysaccharides. The study revealed that it’s the PhGs in Rou Cong Rong
that offer neuroprotection and antioxidation. It’s also the chemical
responsible for helping to reinforce the vital function of the Kidneys.
The polysaccharides improve overall immune function. Galactitol and
oligosaccharides are the chemicals that aid in constipation relief.
|Rou Cong Rong
|| sweet, warm,
|| Kidney, Large
strengthen yang, moistens the intestines
impotence, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhea, urinary
incontinence, and excessive uterine bleeding, constipation
with heat signs, constipation due to weak Spleen/Stomach energy
Source: J Chromatogr
A. 2008 Jul 18. from Pubmed