Traditional Chinese Medicine (also known as TCM) has been growing in popularity for a few years at this point. These practices and remedies, once restricted to and around China, have since taken off across the world, for better and for worse.
While some of the more outlandish claims about this form of healthcare and medicine are hard to believe, there are plenty of practices used in TCM that can be good for alleviating small or temporary aches and pains that you may be dealing with across the body
One of the biggest types of aches and pains that can get in the way of your quality of life is inflammation. Whether you’re old or young, healthy or ill, you’ll have dealt with inflamed parts of your body from time to time. Heck, maybe even right now!
Well, with these medicinal herbs that you can use, you might be able to find a way to help take the edge off those problems or manage them completely. All without the need for constant medication or repeated visits to a doctor!
Herbal Remedies And Traditional Chinese Medicine
Before I get any further into this guide and your herbs of choice, it’s probably worth briefly explaining the theories and practices behind TCM.
The main aspect to understand is how TCM approaches treating the body when compared to standard Western practices. In Western medicine, problems and issues around the body are treated like parts of a machine.
Checking problems mainly happens around the area that is having issues, and the symptoms are addressed accordingly.
By contrast, TCM treats the body as a mass of different connected systems, where energy (and, by association, pain) can travel across different parts of the body through connective pathways.
This energy, known in TCM as Qi, can be both negative and positive and requires a balance throughout the body for both your body and spirit to stay healthy.
When that balance is thrown off, whether due to stress, exhaustion, or outside ailments, the body responds by changing, often shown through pain.
Given that inflammation is often a physical manifestation of other issues in the body, it’s a logic and reasoning that isn’t even that different from Western medicine.
Just a different understanding of the same process that tries to look at the whole body, rather than just one part.
So, with that explanation, let’s dive into some of the solutions that you can find for inflammation through TCM!
Starting with a plant root that is one of the most popularly used in TCM, Corydalis roots have long been used as medicinal herbs in China for centuries at this point.
Found in high-altitude grasslands in the Zhejiang region of China, this plant’s roots have been used alongside acupuncture treatments to help relieve pain caused by inflammation, (see also: How Acupuncture Relieves Inflammation)as well as ease the comfort of moving inflamed areas.
While acupuncture research has brought back mixed results over the years, the pain relief effects of corydalis roots have been documented by scientists plenty of times.
Researchers in 2014 found that the compounds that are in this plant and root are great for not just relieving pain caused by inflammation, but for treating inflamed muscle injuries and even neuropathic injuries in the brain.
Although, that last one has only been observed in rodents so far.
It’s why this plant and its roots have been used by martial artists to treat inflamed muscles and pains before and after practice for centuries. If it’s good enough for practised martial artists to try, then it’s good enough for us!
This next entry arguably doesn’t need any introduction. If you’ve even only heard of TCM, herbal teas, or just Chinese tea, then you will have no doubt heard about green teas!
The unoxidised leaves that are used in green tea are noted for their ability to tackle cardiovascular issues, help regulate and control diabetic symptoms, and even alleviate pain for cancer sufferers.
And that’s not even touching on its anti-inflammatory abilities!
The leaves preserve a lot of anti-inflammatory agents known as polyphenols, making green tea the perfect way of treating inflammatory issues in sensitive areas and joints common in conditions like arthritis and ulcers.
The fact that so many people also drink this tea on a regular, sometimes even daily, basis, without any adverse effects, also answers another question that many people often have when it comes to TCM: It’s a safe herbal option to try, with little to no consequences!
One of the fundamental 50 herbs that have been used in TCM for centuries, if not millennia, Chinese goldthread is a herbal remedy that has a lot of history to its uses. So, it must be doing something right!
This herb has been proven for treating inflammation across the whole body and has been used as a herbal treatment for a wide range of issues. From arthritis to stomach ulcers to even treating inflammation caused by cancer cells.
It’s arguably one of the most reliable means of controlling inflammatory pain in this way, so don’t hesitate to add a few grams of this plant to a herbal tea, or find pills with this item from reliable vendors.
Many cooks and chefs will be familiar with turmeric as an excellent spice to add to Asian dishes and cuisines. But did you know that it’s a great anti-inflammatory agent in TCM too?
Like with Chinese Goldthread and green tea, turmeric is ideal for treating joint pain inflammation, making for an excellent self-treatment ingredient for people with arthritis.
It should be noted that the necessary compounds that turmeric has for these ailments aren’t really found in high enough quantities in cooking turmeric.
So, try finding supplement pills or curcumin pills, before thinking that you can self-medicate with a good curry or other dishes (unless you want to, of course)!
For our final entry, we’ve decided to show you a plant that has been used for centuries by Europeans, North Africans, and cultures across Asia alike. And, as it turns out, has a few medicinal properties of its own!
This plant has long been used across both Europe and Western Asia as a dying agent for clothing, producing a deep indigo colour.
However, herbalists and TCM practitioners have also discovered that it has quite a few anti-inflammatory properties too! It’s especially good for treating inflamed sinuses while someone is suffering from a cold.
It can also be used to ease the symptoms of tonsillitis, making the issue much more manageable.
You’ll notice that this plant, when added to a herbal tea, turns the blend into a deep brown colour. And, unlike many other Chinese herbal teas, also has a slight sweetness to it, making it a more palatable way of getting your herbal tea for the day into your system!
Plus, because it’s grown across many parts of Europe and Asia, it shouldn’t be too hard to find either.
So, with so many ways to treat your inflammatory health issues with traditional Chinese Medicine, you’ll be able to start managing your health a little better in no time flat!
So, which herb will you try? Why not give them all a try in sequence and see which one works best for you? If you consume them regularly, you should start to see a marked decrease in pain and inflammation.