Longevity is the primary focus of Chinese medicine. It has to do with maintaining and circulating Qi in your body. My working definition of Qi is the force which creates us from nothing and animates life. As adults, our Qi comes from air and food. And good health comes from having proper amounts of Qi circulating in the body.
Acupuncture regulates Qi. Herbs, food, and proper breathing supplement it. Therefore, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, balanced nutrition, exercise, and diaphragmatic breathing are all pivotal components to preserve and circulate Qi for good health and a long life. This post will focus on four Chinese herbs that can be taken every day for a long period of time to cultivate longevity.
The following is a wonderfully simple four herb tea designed to supplement Qi and Blood. Qi and Blood deficiency, as well as a poor lifestyle (overwork, lack of rest, poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, etc), lead to many health issues. Therefore, gentle supplementation of Qi and Blood with herbs can help prevent many conditions.
Huang Qi (Astragalus root) 10-15g
Xi Yang Shen (American ginseng root) 3-5g
Gou Qi Zi (Goji berries) 6-10g
Huang Jing (Polygonatum root) 10g
In this formula, Huang Qi is the chief herb. It is used to strengthen the Qi of all the internal organs. Xi Yang Shen is used to strengthen Qi and Blood. Although similar to Chinese or Korean ginseng, Xi Yang Shen is cooler in nature and protects body fluids. It also helps moderate Huang Qi's warm nature and makes the overall temperature of the formula neutral.
The other herbs, Gou Qi and Huang Jing, nourish the Kidneys. In Chinese medicine, the Kidneys are the powerhouses of the body. Gou Qi Zi is neutral and has a light, moistening yet non-stagnating, nature and can be used over long periods of time. Huang Jing has the added benefit of strengthening digestion in combination with Huang Qi. In ancient times, Huang Jing was used by Daoists as a food substitute while fasting since it is very nourishing and treats poor appetite.
These herbs are designed to be taken once per day, preferably on an empty stomach in the morning. If you're using raw herbs, they are decocted for a short time. I've been using this longevity formula and I love it! It's easy to change individual herb doses depending on what's going on in my body, it doesn't taste horrible, and it makes me feel good. I even think it helps to balance out my appetite. What more could you want?
Enjoy this simple formula in good health. If you 'd like to get these herbs in a concentrated powder for easy administration, please let me know!
Thoughts and practical tips to help you look and feel your best based in the wisdom of Chinese medicine.
Posts by Topic