Some Common Chinese folk remedies

Some Common Chinese folk remedies

Chinese folk remedies are known as “pian fang”, which means “side formulas”. They are not medicinal prescriptions.

Traditional Chinese medicinal prescriptions do not include food ingredients except for roasted ginger which is actually not edible. All Chinese medicinal ingredients are herbs which are not edible as food with only a very few exceptions such as dong Quai, etc. Ginseng is actually used singly and not used in Chinese herbal decoctions.

Chinese folk remedies use different types of food ingredients such as garlic, ginger, ginseng, sugar, and chrysthansemum flowers in combination or singly.

Here are some Chinese folk remedies taken from my hand written notes of some time ago:

Bitter melon is a liver and kidney cleanser. It also calms the nerves and the stomach.

Black bean is an alkaline neutralizing food.

Chrysanthemum flower tea is a depressant.

Dong Quai, Angelica sinensis, is an herb that regulates menstruation and eases mentrual cramps.

Eucommia, Du Zhong, is a liver and kidney cleanser. It strengthens the kidneys and gets rid of lower back pain very effectively.

Fructus lycii cleans the liver and kidney and improves vision.

Garlic paste and sugar is said to be a cough remedy.

Garlic tightens the prostate.

Ginger is said to be a remedy for asthma.

Ginger tightens muscles.

Ginseng is a common energy food. It is a common aphrodisiac.

Green bean is used as a detoxicant in food clashes.

Licorice, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, is a bitter ingredient that neutralizes acidity.

Longan, lotus seed and lychee are “hot” fruits. In combination, they will cause nose bleeds and elevate one’s blood pressure immediately. So will jackfruit and the Durian. They are energy foods.

Orange peel can be used in two ways. Fresh orange peel makes an alkaline tea that is bitter. It is good as a common cold remedy, and a tea that will neutralize stomach acidity. Dried orange peel is very often used in Chinese herbal combinations as a neutralizing agent to neutralize the acidity of the other herbs.

Polygonum multiflorum (he shou wu, shou wu) cleans out the liver and darkens hair.

Red bean is an alkaline food that neutralizes stomach acidity.

Red dates are an alkaline energy fruit.

Senna leaf (folium Sennae) is a very strong remedy for constipation. It causes severe diarrhea.

Sesami oil is an alkaline oil like olive oil. Sesami oil can neutralize stomach acidity, and like olive oil, can be applied to fresh burn wounds.

Talcum powder can be used on burn wounds to soothe the wounds.

Walnuts, Juglans regia, are an alkaline energy fruit.

Wu Jia Pi, Acanthopancis Radicis, is an herb used to make medicinal wine. It is alkaline, bitter, and serves as an energy drink that strengthens the male libido. It is a rather expensive aphrodisiac.


About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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