According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Chinese herbal medicine is a major part of Traditional Chinese Medicine … it has been used for centuries in China, where herbs are considered fundamental therapy for many acute and chronic conditions.”  Chinese herbal therapy has its roots in a traditional medicinal text called “Materia Medica.” Thousands of different herbs, minerals, teas, tinctures and other extracts are listed in this text and utilized by trained herbalists depending on a patient’s specific symptoms.  Chinese herbs focus on correcting dysfunction of certain organs and unhealthy body patterns. The goal of herbal therapy is to bring the body back into a state of balance and restore the proper flow of blood and nutrients.

The Journal of Traditional & Complementary Medicine reports that Traditional Chinese Medicine practices, including herbal treatments and the use of medicinal mushrooms, can have positive “antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and autophagic regulatory functions. ”  This translates to lowered levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby protecting cells, tissues
and organs from long-term disease development and helping damaged nerve tissue regenerate. Inflammation is the root of most diseases and tied to the majority of common health problems, including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, cognitive impairment and diabetes.  In addition it forms a road block to recovery following a spinal cord injury.

The great news is; there are several herbal treatments that have been found to directly help lower oxidative which stress include:

  • Medicinal mushrooms, including reishi and cordyceps: promote stronger immnity, help fight fatigue, have anticancer properties, help balance hormones and control the body’s stress response
  • Monascus adlay and Monascus purpureus: used to lower lung inflammation and damage
  • Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn. of Euphorbiaceae family), aka gooseberries: lowers hepatotoxin-induced liver inflammation
  • Virgate wormwood decoction (Yīn Chén Hāo tāng): also used to lower liver damage
  • Green tea extract and its active components, catechins: help protect the brain, reduce fatigue and regulate appetite
  • Crataegi Fructus (Shān Zhā): helps treat symptoms of hyperactive bladder
  • Five Stranguries Powder (Wǔ Lén Sǎn): has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities