Immunity & Traditional Chinese Medicine
What is the traditional approach to immunity in Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on restoring the body's balance of Qi's harmony, specifically yin and yang. Acupuncture, diet, herbal therapy, meditation, physical exercise, and massages target the body's vital Qi energy that flows along meridians channels.
Medicinal herbs are used to support the immune system, along with other forms of traditional care. Due to constitutional differences, it is crucial to identify your body constituent type as it transitions from one season to another.
Some herbs should be consumed and taken with caution, while other ingredients are very safe and can be eaten freely as food.
Aside from stand-alone applications, herbs are also widely used to apply to food therapy and paired with complementary and seasonal ingredients to support and nourish the body and mind.
Common immunity remedies in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Tremella fuciformis Mushroom
Adaptogen herbal medicine uses natural substances that help the body adapt to stress and exert a normalizing effect on bodily processes. A well-known example is the Tremella fuciformis mushroom.
This dried fungus is used to help tonifiy Yin deficiencies. It is believed to promote meridian affinity by moistening the stomach, kidney and lungs. In beauty, Tremella Fuciformis is said to enhance skin hydration, and has been shown to have antioxidant effects, which generally prevent cell damage by free radicals, reduce inflammation and increase vitality.
Chinese Medicine has used Cordyceps sinensis for centuries. In recent years, it has experienced a surge in demand in the West.
This "magic mushroom" native to northern provinces in China is believed to have a wide range of health benefits like increasing virility and energy levels, regulating blood sugar, strengthening the immune system, detoxing kidneys, removing dampness, providing antioxidant and treating hemorrhoids. Chinese Medicinal Food Therapy also uses cordyceps in recipes such as steamed chicken and seasonal nourishing soups.
Cordyceps sinensis wild harvesting is unsustainable and very expensive. It is only suitable from late April to June and is dependent on how many caterpillars get infected by a fungus called Ophiocordyceps Sinensis.
Instead of harvesting "caterpillar parasite zombies," Organika's Cordyceps Mushroom Extract is a potent vegan-friendly strain made from the fermentation of the Paecilomyces hepiali strain on organic brown rice. This process preserves the active ingredients that possess pharmacological and nutritional properties compared to the naturally occurring Cordyceps sinensis. Plus, it is packaged in vegetarian capsules.
Perhaps one of the most well-known ingredients in Traditional Chinese Medicine, due to its association with immortality, longevity and the miracle of life, is Reishi (also known as Ling Zhi).
Reishi is believed to target the meridians of the heart, lung, liver, kidney and spleen. It is also considered a protector from chronic illnesses. Reishi is said to be an excellent herb to consider for times of stress when the body and mind is overworked and require enhanced immunity support, reduced anxiety, anti-allergenic effects, etc.
Traditional preparation of wild-harvested reishi, like many other herbal remedies, is often complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, modern science has made the extraction of beneficial compounds and the breakdown of indigestible cell walls possible. Modern techniques allow access to the beneficial compounds found in reishi through a process of steam extraction, which breaks down the fungi' indigestible cell walls, aka chitin. Delivery is also convenient and easy – Organika offers both reishi capsules and an organic reishi powder for increased digestibility and absorption.