Considered a power-herb just second to Ginseng, Eucommia is a Chinese herb that has a wide variety of health and medical properties, and has been used by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners for thousand of years. It is only recently that elsewhere, people are starting to learn about and use this herb for its health-promoting qualities.
Should you be incorporating the herb into your health routine? Here are 6 instances when the answers to these questions are “Yes”.
Yes, if you often have backaches
TCM practitioners believe that backaches are usually a sign of Shen deficiency, and Eucommia can help address this deficiency. In 2000, some Japanese researchers found that the bark and leaves of the Eucommia plant contain a compound that increases collagen formation in rats. Collagen is essential for healthy connective tissues (e.g. tendons and ligaments) which are found extensively along the back.
Yes, if you have high blood pressure
Studies since 1970s have shown the blood-pressure lowering properties of Eucommia, which some researchers attributed to its mild diuretic actions. This effect of the herb is especially useful if you have borderline hypertension and could be helped with dietary and lifestyle modification (instead of having to resort to pharmaceutical drugs).
But even if you do not have high blood pressure, you could still take the herb, as unlike pharmaceutical drugs, the herb does not further lower blood-pressure in those already with low blood pressure.
Yes, if you are male and have impotency
If you are male and suffer from impotency or premature ejaculation, and your problems are due to a deficiency in Shen yang (you would need to be diagnosed by a TCM practitioner for that), then Eucommia is the herb for you. Modern studies have found that the herb increases the production of nitric-oxide in your body, which probably explains its function in addressing impotency issues.
Yes, if you are female and are pregnant
TCM practitioners have traditionally used Eucommia in supporting pregnancies, by reducing the occurrence of miscarriages. The herb is extremely mild in terms of side effects and toxicity, and so can be quite safely consumed by almost everyone. Nonetheless, if you are pregnant and are considering whether to take the herb, it might be best to consult your TCM doctor first. Your physician would be in the best shoes to advise you if the herb is suited for your body constitution.
Yes, if you have low immunity
Eucommia has been found to immunity-enhancing properties. It enhances adrenocortical functions and possesses anti-inflammatory abilities. It increases interferon production, which triggers your body’s immune system into defense mode. The herb also enhances phagocytic action, which increases the elimination of foreign materials in your blood by your white blood cells.
Yes, if you deficiencies in Gan and Shen
If you are diagnosed by a TCM practitioner as having deficiencies in Gan and Shen, Eucommia could be very useful for you. The herb could help you address problems brought about by your deficiencies, including the premature graying of hair, blurry vision, tinnitus, poor memory, menstrual issues, as well as fertility issues (in both men and women).
Find out more about HOW you could take Eucommia to enjoy its health benefits.
Here’s when you need to be extra cautious
You need to be extra cautious when taking Eucommia if you experience symptoms of yin-deficient-huo-excessive, which include but are not limited to night sweating, hot flashes, and dry cough with little or bloody phlegm. It is best to consult a TCM practitioner for a proper diagnosis if you are unsure about your body constitution. You should also reframe from consuming Eucommia if you are down with flu or have a sore throat.
Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.