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Astragalus (Huang Qi, Astragalus membranaceus or Radix astragali) is a plant native to Asia. The part of the plant used medicinally is the root. Astragalus is one of the most important and commonly used herbs in Chinese medicine. Varieties of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) formulations ranging from compositions for treating cold, cough, digestive illness, respiratory illness, to formulations for treating inflammation, uses Astragalus as one of the ingredients.

Astagalus, slightly sweet taste, has been prescribed for centuries in China for general debility, chronic illness, and to increase the overall vitality of the body.   Astragalus is “warm” (i.e. “blood moving”) in nature and affects both the spleen and the lung meridians. The herb is useful in treating spleen deficiency symptoms such as diarrhea, fatigue, spontaneous sweating, and lack of appetite. Composed of more than 95% of lymphocytes, spleen is the reservoir of disease fighting immune cells and therefor the most important part of your immune system. By strengthening the spleen, Astragalus essentially boosts your immune system.

In addition, astragalus tonifies the lungs and is often used to treat cold, shortness of breath, sore throat, and respiratory inflammation. Systematically, the herb is often included in formulas for treating wasting disorders, night sweats, chronic ulcerations and sores, numbness and paralysis of the limbs, edema, and high blood sugar.

Astragalus is not only well studied and used in Chinese medicine; it is also well researched by scientists in natural product/pharmaceutical chemistry and medicine. Chemical composition wise, Astragalus contains polysaccharides, isoflavones such as formononetin, kumatakenin, astraisoflavan, astrapterocarpan, 2’-3’-dihydroxy-7,4’- imethooxyisoflavone, and isoliquiritigenin, triterpenodis such as astragaloside I,II,III,IV, and steroids such as calyxosin, cycloastragenol, daucosterol, beta-sitosterol, and soyasaponin I. In addition, the herb contains L-3-hydroxy-9-methoxpterocarpan, D-ß-asparagine, palmitic acid, choline, betaine, folic acid, and antibacterial ingredient.

According to modern pharmacological studies, astragalus polysaccharides are shown to boost immune system by increasing the amount of B cells, serum IgG level, and conversion percentage of lymphocytes. The isoflavones and flavonoids are important classes of anti-oxidants and have been shown to improve cardiovascular activity. In addition, the herb extracts have demonstrated antibacterial activity against various common bacteria.

What about side effects, you may ask. Astragalus has been used for thousands of years in China at a recommended dosage of 8-15 grams of dried herb (in its extract equivalence) per day. The herb is not only one of the most used herbs in medical compositions; it is also a common ingredient in Chinese diet. Go to any Chinese grocery store, you will see dried Astragalus slices sitting next to beans and grains on the shelf. Lots of restaurants in China offer soups and teas using Astragalus as an ingredient. Thousands years of use on billions of people has not shown any side effect from the use of the herb within the recommended herbal dosage.

Now, let’s recount the great things that Astragalus can do for you: it tonifies your body, boosts the immune system by strengthening the spleen, strengthens cardiovascular system, kills bacteria, and contains strong anti-oxidant. That’s right—if you don’t feel quite well or just want to maintain general wellness, you can’t go wrong with using Astragalus.

Thanks for reading!

About SGC:SGC is an R&D focused developer of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical gummy products. The company specializes in formulating Functional Gummy® products combining the wealth of the in-house knowledge in pharmaceutics, chemistry, western medicine and herbal medicine. The company provides performance gummies® inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine including MOCCA SHOTS™, ENERGON QUBE™, FUNCTIONAL FRUIT®, and SEATTLE BEAUTY®.

To learn more, visit https://seattlegummy.com, [email protected],call 206-257-0464, or join at https://seattlegummy.com/be-an-informed-member/.

 

In this post, I’d like to share some top ranked anti-aging and wrinkle removal herbs based on Chinese herbal medicine. All of these herbs have been extensively used in China both for medicinal use and as food. You should be able to buy these from many online stores.  Just copy paste the herb name into you google search engine. Alternatively, you should be able to find these herbs in your local Chinese herb stores. Every China town should have an herb store somewhere. Keep looking—you will find it.

As a general rule, use the whole herb and chunks or slices thereof for tea and soup; use rough powder for tea or facial scrub; and use fine powder as face wash or mask. You can also use tea as an ingredient for face toner, hair wash, or hair conditioner.

For tea or skin toner use, simmer herb slices in hot water for 5-10 min. Strain the water out. Drink as a tea. Or, cool and use as a skin toner or hair conditioner. I would recommend infuse the tea with other herbal ingredient for skin toner use.

For face wash or facial mask use, mix herb power with a grain powder such as oat or barley flower. Add a little agar or gelatin powder to increase the adhesion. Mix the powder with water, milk, or diluted honey to make a soft paste. Use as a facial mask. You can also add other ingredient as desired. Please refer to my past posts for recipes.

Ginseng (Radix et Rhizoma Ginseng)

Ginseng is known to strengthen the immune system, facilitate protein synthesis, increase metabolism, and promote peripheral blood circulation. For skincare use, the herb is known to help smooth and soften the skin, enhance elasticity, and remove wrinkles.   For hair care use, the herb is known to strengthens hair, prevent graying and loss of hair, and increase the shin of hair.

Shudihuang (Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata)

Shudihuang is the cooked root of the herb, Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata. Large amount of herb could be toxic. So please use with extremely caution. The herb is known to strengthen the cardiac muscle function, increase blood pressure, constrict the blood vessels at small doses, dilate the blood vessel at large doses, possesses the characteristics of diuretics, decreases the blood sugar and inhibits carbohydrates being converted into blood sugar. For skincare use, the herb is known to moisturize and hydrate skin. For hair care use, the herb is known to prevent hair graying and hair loss.

Heshouwu (Radix Polygoni Multiflori)

Heshouwu is one of the most often used herbal ingredients in Chinese herbal hair care formulas. The herb is known to regulate the nervous and endocrine system, promote the synthesis of melanin in hair and nourish hair follicles with lecithin like nutrients. The herb is often use to treat premature hair graying or hair loss.

For skin care use, Heshouwu is often used as a soup ingredient. Regular consumption of the herb is believed to increase and strengthen capillary blood circulation and therefore nourish and beautify the skin.

Lingzhi (Ganoderma)

Lingzhi is a species of mushroom and has been used in Chinese medicine for over 2000 years. Today, it is widely used in food supplements, cooking, and skincare products in China.

The herb is known to strengthen immune system, regulate blood sugar level, control blood pressure, anti-cancer, protect liver function, and regulate sleep. The herb contains various amino acids, polysaccharides, organic acids, and ergosterin. The herb is famous for its anti-aging and anti-wrinkle function.

Dangui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis)

This herb contains volatile oil, ferulic acid, polysaccharides, amino acids, vitamins and trace elements. The herb is known to dilate capillaries and promote blood circulation. For skin care use, the herb is known to brighten and moisturize skin, soothing chapped skin, detoxify and remove dark spots. For hair care use, the herb is known to nourish and strengthen the hair.

Gouqizhi (Fructus Lycii)

The herb contains vitamins including B2, nicotinic acid and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), minerals such as potassium, iron, and copper, polysaccharide, and anti-oxidants. The herb is known to increase peripheral white blood cells, improve the function of reticuloendothelial system, strengthen immunity, increase metabolism, and increase blood cell count. For skin care use, the herb moisturizes the skin and improves the complexion. For hair care use, the herb prevents premature hair graying.

Thanks for reading.

About SGC:SGC is an R&D focused developer of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical gummy products. The company specializes in formulating Functional Gummy® products combining the wealth of the in-house knowledge in pharmaceutics, chemistry, western medicine and herbal medicine. The company provides performance gummies® inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine including MOCCA SHOTS™, ENERGON QUBE™, FUNTIONAL FRUIT®, and SEATTLE BEAUTY®.

To learn more, visit https://seattlegummy.com, [email protected],call 206-257-0464, or join at https://seattlegummy.com/be-an-informed-member/.

I use lots of herbs from Chinese traditional medicine for my skincare and general wellness purpose.  In this post, I’d like to share some top ranked moisturizing and skin brightening herbs based on Chinese herbal medicine. All of these herbs have been extensively used in China both for medicinal applications and as everyday food items. You should be able to find these herbs in your local Asian grocery stores or a number of online stores. Just copy-paste the herb name into you Google search engine.

Here are a few general rules for incorporating herbs into your skincare and dietary routines:

  • use the whole herb, chunks or slices for tea or soup
  • use rough powder for tea or facial scrub
  • use fine powder as face wash or mask
  • You can also use herb tea as an ingredient for face toner, hair wash, or hair conditioner.

For tea or skin toner use, simmer herb slices in hot water for 5-10 min. Strain the water out.  Drink as a tea. Or, cool and use as a skin toner or hair conditioner. I would recommend infuse the tea with other herbal ingredient for skin toner use.

For face wash or facial mask use, mix herb power with a grain powder such as oat or barley flower. Add a little agar or gelatin powder to increase the adhesion. Mix the powder with water, milk, or diluted honey to make a soft paste.  Sometimes, you might want to microwave a few seconds to assist the softening of agar or gelatin.  Use as a facial mask. You can also add other ingredient as desired.

Here are two top ranked moisturizing and skin brightening herbs from Chinese medicine.

Poria (Fuling)

Poria is a fungas, from Polyporaceae family, similar to mushroom. The herb was termed as “God’s medicine” by ancient Chinese. The herb is very versatile and can be mixed with many other herbs for various indications. In general, the herb is known to be calming, diuretic, and strengthen immune system. For skincare use, the herb is used to smooth and refresh the skin, improve elasticity, moisture and texture. It is often used in recipes for treating dry skin or damage skin. The herb is especially good for mature skins and is known to be the favorite skincare and anti-aging herb of Empress Cixi. Nowadays, Poria is often used as an essential ingredient in anti-aging supplements in China.

Poria can be found in the dried food sections in any Chinese grocery store. I often use them in soup or porridge. For skincare application, Poria powder can be used in face wash or facial mask.

Pearl (Zhenshu, Margarita)

Pearl powder has long being used for moisturizing and brightening the skin and strengthening and whitening the teeth. For example, ancient performers in the Chinese palace preferred pearl powder as a cosmetic make-up. Pearl contains calcium carbonate, organics, amino acids, peptides, and minerals. The herb is known to promote cell regeneration, inhibit lipofucsin (an aging substance), stimulate cell activity and prolong the lifespan of cells.

To incorporate earl powder into your skincare regime, you can try a mixture of pearl powder and silk powder at a 3/1 ratio as a daily facial powder. The mixture is very good at control oil especially in the T-zone. If the weather is too dry, you can try mixing pearl powder into your favorite day or night lotion or skin toner to give those a super nutritious boost.

Thanks for reading!

About SGC:SGC is an R&D focused developer of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical gummy products. The company specializes in formulating Functional Gummy® products combining the wealth of the in-house knowledge in pharmaceutics, chemistry, western medicine and herbal medicine. The company provides performance gummies® inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine including MOCCA SHOTS™, ENERGON QUBE™, FUNTIONAL FRUIT®, and SEATTLE BEAUTY®.

To learn more, visit https://seattlegummy.com, [email protected],call 206-257-0464, or join at https://seattlegummy.com/be-an-informed-member/.

 

Seven whitening Mask is a mask recipes originated in Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE).  It is believed that the mask recipe was originally created inside the Emperor’s palace and was kept as a beauty secret from common folks for the sole use of emperor’s wives and daughters.  The recipe was eventually leaked and spread into the general population. The effectiveness of the mask was praised over thousands of years of use and is now one of the most popular beauty recipes in China.

Here is the recipe: mix the fine powder of equal amount of these ingredients together: Largehead Atractylodes Rh(白术), Angelica Root (白芷), Bletilla striata (白芨), Ampelopsis Radix (白蔹), white peony root (白芍), Poria cocos(Schw.) Wolf. (白茯苓), and pearl powder.  You should be able to find these all these ingredients online.  There are a lot of websites selling Chinese herbal powders.  You can also copy-paste the Chinese characters into your search engine.

Add a few drops of honey into the mixture. Add water and stir in one direction to provide a soft paste.  I would add a little egg white or gelatin in to help the paste to adhere to the skin. Spread over the clean damp face. Wait until dry.  Rinse off with warm water and end with a splash of old water. Pat dry.  The mask is excellent in improving skin tone, removing dark spots and scar, clearing pimples, and rejuvenating the skin.

Thanks for reading.

About SGC:SGC is an R&D focused developer of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical gummy products. The company specializes in formulating Functional Gummy® products combining the wealth of the in-house knowledge in pharmaceutics, chemistry, western medicine and herbal medicine. The company provides performance gummies® inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine including MOCCA SHOTS™, ENERGON QUBE™, FUNTIONAL FRUIT®, and SEATTLE BEAUTY®.

To learn more, visit https://seattlegummy.com, [email protected],call 206-257-0464, or join at https://seattlegummy.com/be-an-informed-member/.

In a teacup, add a tablespoon of honey. Then add hot water to dilute the honey so it’s easily spreadable. Open upon a chamomile tea bag and pore the chamomile grinds into the diluted honey. Let the chamomile soak up the liquid and soften. Then, add a little more hot water to make a spreadable paste. If you have normal or oily skin, squeeze into the paste a few drops of lemon juice. Mix well to provide a mask paste. Spread a thick layer of the mask paste over your face, draw a tub of hot water, and enjoy a hot bath while wait for the mask to dry. If you want, throw in a bag of green tea or chamomile into the bath water. Well, that’s my routine. You can certainly skip the hot bath part — I wouldn’t recommend it though.

Honey is anti-bacterial and good for acne. Even if you don’t have acne, this recipe provides a great moisturizing mask. Chamomile has been found to lighten skin tone, reduce skin inflammation, and relieve eye fatigue and dark circles. The mask is effective in relieving stress on your skin.

Thanks for reading.

About SGC:SGC is an R&D focused developer of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical gummy products. The company specializes in formulating Functional Gummy® products combining the wealth of the in-house knowledge in pharmaceutics, chemistry, western medicine and herbal medicine. The company provides performance gummies® inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine including MOCCA SHOTS™, ENERGON QUBE™, FUNTIONAL FRUIT®, and SEATTLE BEAUTY®.

To learn more, visit https://seattlegummy.com, [email protected],call 206-257-0464, or join at https://seattlegummy.com/be-an-informed-member/.

Holiday is over and business traveling starts again. If you are like me, you may be back on the road. Taking care of your skin is especially important during travel as you are constantly stressed. Here is a facial toner you are try during the travel.

Dissolving an effervescent Vitamin C tablet in a cup of water, add half a tablespoon of honey, and squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice. Mix well and use as an on-the-road facial cleaner and toner.   Vitamin C boosts collagen production, removes blemishes and is a potent antioxidant; lemon juice clears and rejuvenates the skin; and honey sooths the skin and is anti-inflammatory preventing potential stress-induced acne flare up.

I often carry a small bottle of this toner (less than 3 ounces, so I could pass TSA’s scrutiny) in my purse with a few cotton pads. The air in airplanes is usually very dry. For long distance flight, I use the toner both as a cleaner and a moisturizing toner.

There are a few more formulas using wines and beers, which are abundant on the road. I will provide those in future posts.

Thanks for reading.

About SGC:SGC is an R&D focused developer of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical gummy products. The company specializes in formulating Functional Gummy® products combining the wealth of the in-house knowledge in pharmaceutics, chemistry, western medicine and herbal medicine. The company provides performance gummies® inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine including MOCCA SHOTS™, ENERGON QUBE™, FUNTIONAL FRUIT®, and SEATTLE BEAUTY®.

To learn more, visit https://seattlegummy.com, [email protected],call 206-257-0464, or join at https://seattlegummy.com/be-an-informed-member/.

Mix pearl powder with the powder of Baizhi, Baifulin, Baiji, and Bailian. – all Chinese herbs that are easily attainable in Chinese grocery stores.  Add a little glycerin or honey, water, and egg white into the mixture to make a consistent soft paste.  Spread the paste over your freshly cleaned face, wait until dry, washing off or towel off with warm water with a splash with cold water at end.  Pat dry.  The mask is good at removing pimple, whitening skin, improve skin tone, and removing dark spots.

Thanks for reading.

About SGC:SGC is an R&D focused developer of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical gummy products. The company specializes in formulating Functional Gummy® products combining the wealth of the in-house knowledge in pharmaceutics, chemistry, western medicine and herbal medicine. The company provides performance gummies® inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine including MOCCA SHOTS™, ENERGON QUBE™, FUNTIONAL FRUIT®, and SEATTLE BEAUTY®.

To learn more, visit https://seattlegummy.com, [email protected],call 206-257-0464, or join at https://seattlegummy.com/be-an-informed-member/.

Mix together the powder of Angelica (Baizhi), Baiji, Almond and Japanese yam. Prepare the ginsend water as described in the previous post. Mix the ginseng water with the powder mix to make a spreadable paste. Spread the paste over your clean face. Wait until dry. Wash off with warm water and end with a splash of cold water. Pat dry. The mask is very effective in removing wrinkles and clarifying the skin.

Thanks for reading.

About SGC:SGC is an R&D focused developer of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical gummy products. The company specializes in formulating Functional Gummy® products combining the wealth of the in-house knowledge in pharmaceutics, chemistry, western medicine and herbal medicine. The company provides performance gummies® inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine including MOCCA SHOTS™, ENERGON QUBE™, FUNTIONAL FRUIT®, and SEATTLE BEAUTY®.

To learn more, visit https://seattlegummy.com, [email protected],call 206-257-0464, or join at https://seattlegummy.com/be-an-informed-member/.

Stew ginseng whole herb in water at low heat for two hours. Let the mixture cool down. Decant the solution to provide ginseng water. Let it cool down. To make a ginseng skin toner, mix 4 parts of ginseng water, 4 parts of rose water, with 1 part of distilled vodka and 1 part of glycerol. Shake the mixture well. Use the toner after face wash and before applying the moisturizer. The toner is moisturizing and anti-aging.

Thanks for reading.

About SGC:SGC is an R&D focused developer of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical gummy products. The company specializes in formulating Functional Gummy® products combining the wealth of the in-house knowledge in pharmaceutics, chemistry, western medicine and herbal medicine. The company provides performance gummies® inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine including MOCCA SHOTS™, ENERGON QUBE™, FUNTIONAL FRUIT®, and SEATTLE BEAUTY®.

To learn more, visit https://seattlegummy.com, [email protected],call 206-257-0464, or join at https://seattlegummy.com/be-an-informed-member/.

Puffiness of the face is caused by accumulation of fluids on the face. The condition makes your face to appear more rounded and inflamed. There are varieties of causes for puffy face. Some drugs can lead to water retention in the body and cause puffiness, such as steroids, aspirin, birth control pills, antidepressants, blood pressure mediations and hormone replace therapy. Certain medical conditions can also cause face puffiness, such as allergies, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, certain hormonal imbalance, diabetes, dehydration, high blood pressure and obesity.

Another major reason for facial puffiness is the life style —too much sugary drinks, too much salty and/fatty food, long sleepless night, heavy drinking the night before can lead to a puffy face in the morning. Before you write off the puffiness on your face to too much fatty food, you should consult a doctor for persistent puffiness because it could be a sign for a serious health problem.

Lotus leaf is a common herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating facial puffiness. For a facial application, boil 3 teaspoons of dried and chopped lotus leaf with a small amount of water for a few minutes. Add to the boiled mixture 2 teaspoons of Coix seed powder to provide a soft spreadable paste. Sprinkle in a small amount of agar or gelatin powder to help with the paste consistency. Spread the paste onto your clean face. Wait until dry. Wash off with warm water and end with a splash of cold water. Pat dry. The mask whitens the skin, reduces the puffiness and firms the skin.

According to the “Compendium of Matera Medica,” lotus leaf is capable of reducing swelling, increase drainage of water, and reducing the inflammation. If you have persistent puffy face, drinking lotus tea also helps to alleviate the symptom.

Thanks for reading.

About SGC:SGC is an R&D focused developer of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical gummy products. The company specializes in formulating Functional Gummy® products combining the wealth of the in-house knowledge in pharmaceutics, chemistry, western medicine and herbal medicine. The company provides performance gummies® inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine including MOCCA SHOTS™, ENERGON QUBE™, FUNTIONAL FRUIT®, and SEATTLE BEAUTY®.

To learn more, visit https://seattlegummy.com, [email protected],call 206-257-0464, or join at https://seattlegummy.com/be-an-informed-member/.