An Introduction to 6 Important Ingredients Used in TCM

Ginseng root and extract.

Ginseng is widely referred to as a Chinese herb. Although its taste might not suit everyone, it is believed to help cure illnesses and replenish qi (vital energy). (Image: Sierpniowka via Dreamstime)

Contrary to popular beliefs, TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) consists of a sensible diet. Chinese medicine’s practice is to intake certain foods that help keep the body balanced.

The whole diet of TCM involves the intake of herbs, fruits, and pulses (dry peas, chickpeas, beans, lentils) with great health benefits. These foods have proven scientific health benefits, and instead of superstition, they are logically very beneficial to your health.

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If you’ve been under the impression that TCM involves far eastern mysticism, let us break down the scientific benefits of the different ingredients used in Chinese medicine.

Let’s understand how these ingredients can benefit your body.

6 important TCM ingredients

Out of the multiple TCM ingredients, which some can be a bit odd, let’s take a closer look at the elements that are within the reach of most people.

1. Ginseng

Ginseng is widely referred to as a Chinese herb. Although its taste might not suit everyone, it is believed to help cure illnesses and replenish qi (vital energy).

Scientifically, ginseng has proven to be an excellent antioxidant that helps cleanse the body. In addition, intaking ginseng can help boost your immune system and fight off certain diseases or infections.

2. Walnuts

Walnuts might be the most feasible TCM ingredient on this list. The belief is that since a walnut resembles the brain, it helps boost memory and concentration.

There is some truth to this because walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folates, and vitamin E, all known to be potent boosters of your heart and brain.

Although ginger is an element of TCM, it is also a popular cooking ingredient for Asian food.
Although ginger is an element of TCM, it is also a popular cooking ingredient for Asian food. (Image: Leo_65 via Pixabay)

3. Ginger

Although ginger is Chinese medicine, it is also a popular cooking ingredient for Asian food. Ginger is said to help neutralize poison and help promote blood circulation.

Ginger is often used as Chinese candies or teas and has shown helpful in countering nausea or helping improve digestion. Although maybe not all poisons can be neutralized with ginger, the fact that it aids with digestion could be a reason why it’s referred to as Chinese medicine.

4. Mung beans

Although not everyone’s cup of tea, mung beans have potent health benefits and play an integral role in TCM, mung beans are used to expel heat and moisture while helping detoxify the body.

Mung beans are naturally packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, folate, and vitamin B, which are great stress relievers. In addition, due to their fiber content, mung beans are also perfect for regulating digestion.

A pile of dried Goji berries sits on a wooden surface.
Goji berries have been around for over 3,000 years and have been a massive part of TCM. (Image via Pixabay)

5. Goji berries

Goji berries have been around for over 3,000 years and have been a massive part of TCM. The berries are said to include anti-aging properties and benefit your kidneys.

The truth about these berries is that they are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants making them a very healthy food to intake. Goji berries are known for their complex, but well-packed nutritional values and are considered one of the most popular Chinese medicine ingredients.

6. Lotus seed

Although lotus seeds may be rare, they are used in soups, teas, and even different recipes. In addition, lotus seeds are said to help improve spleen and kidney functions while being an excellent remedy for diarrhea.

As for its nutritional components, lotus seeds are rich in calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, which are excellent for nourishment. In addition, the seeds also include a significant amount of fiber which can help aid digestion.

TCM and science

Although there are some harder-to-believe ingredients in TCM, most of them come with their own unique health benefits. Incorporating these ingredients into your diet can be a good way to improve your digestion, blood circulation, and other health aspects.

Feel free to share other nuggets of knowledge regarding TCM in the comment section below.

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