Bone health has become a worldwide challenge. Rates of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, herniated disks, necrosis and fractures are rising. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has had profoundly successful remedies for promoting bone health for centuries. TCM has simply used strong and balanced herbal formulas that carry none of the same risks of harmful side-effects as the too often unsuccessful pharmaceutical approaches.
The "Kidneys are in Charge of the Bones"
In TCM, the bones are governed by the kidneys, thus, the secret for optimal bone health lies in maintaining a strong kidney function which will provide ample nutrients for robust bone formation. The ancient Chinese texts state: "the kidneys are in charge of the bones." As the body's storehouse of Qi, the essence of health and vitality, the kidneys are the fountain of youth and the foundation for vital life and graceful longevity. When the Qi energy of the kidneys is strong, it can stimulate the growth and transformation of the bone marrow, which nourishes and invigorates skeletal bone health.
The kidney is responsible for growth, development and reproduction; for healthy bones and marrow; and for brain functions such as memory, concentration and intelligence. It regulates fluid metabolism; supports keen hearing, healthy hair, and strong sexual function. Because of the great importance of healthy kidneys for supporting bone health, guarding and cultivating kidney essence was elevated to an art from in Traditional Chinese culture and is reflected in innumerable martial arts exercises and herbal recipes.
Chinese Herbs for Strengthening Kidney and Bone Health
Traditional Chinese herbal formulas are uniquely powerful and effective for addressing kidney and bone health. Even though the individual herbs in a formula are chosen for specific therapeutic effects, the precise gathering and blending of the herbs enhances the effectiveness of the individual components, creating a powerful synergy that compounds their effects. This synergistic value is what creates the holistic influence on the body in general, while at the same time, addressing the individual malady.
Poor circulation is often the cause of poor bone health because delivery of vital nutrients to the bone cells is inhibited, and dead cells are not cleansed away, which encourages stagnation. Thus, TCM ancients know they needed to develop a formula that combines rich kidney tonics, amino acids, and herbs that revitalized the cells and enhanced blood circulation and micro-circulation. One of these ancient formulas was known in China as The Eternal Bone Healing Formula. It originated form the Yi people in the Yunnan Province of China, a culture famous for their knowledge of the healing power of plants. This formula contained: Astragalus Root, Asian Ginseng Root, Safflower Flower, Tienchi Ginseng Root, Eucommia Bark, and Tangerine Peel.
Kidneys are involved in strong fertility and sexuality and require a rich supply of blood and Qi to the reproductive organs. They also require a sufficiently hot "fire." TCM uses kidney yin tonics for the blood aspect. These yin tonics are nourishing and moistening herbs that provide luxuriant tonification, maintain the quality of eggs and sperm, and enhance vaginal lubrication. The best example is wine-steamed Rhemannia root, Shu Di Huang. Even the way the sliced root looks gives evidence of its effects: black, glistening, heavy, pliable and very unlike most other roots which are often dry and woody. Shu Di Huang is a true ambrosia. Other Qi-nourishing herbs are: Shan Zhu Yu or Wu Wei Zi. The sourness of these two herbs tones the mucus membranes and encourages the production of fluids.
Boosting the fire of kidneys requires enhancement of the Yang aspect, which will translate into increased sexual desire, better motility of sperm, and a healthy ovulation. Herbs used for this purpose are Yin Yang Huo, Ba Ji Tian, and Du Zhong.
Plum Dragon Products that Benefit Kidney and Bone Health
Plum Dragon Herbs offers several formulas that support bone health by enhancing general circulation and micro-circulation and encouraging healthy kidney function, among them are:
- The Jeet Kune Do/JKD formula is specifically formulated for deep healing of bones and injuries to joints.
- Ho Family Dit Da Jow is a more general formula, but especially useful if there is pain present.
- Advanced Advanced Dit Da Jow is excellent conditioning formula for bones, but is more specific to healing bones of the upper body, particularly the hands and arms.
If you would like to learn more about Chinese liniment (dit da jow) formulas and the science behind how they work you will definitely want to read this blog post: Why Plum Dragon's Dit Da Jow Herbs Work Better Than Mainstream Solutions for Pain.
If you want help determining which formula is best for you, email us and we are always more than happy to help.
*Selections taken from the following sources: Adina Stanescu, C. Ac. DCHM, "Chinese Medicine for Boosting Your Kidney Chi," Vitality Magazine and Elaine Duncan, "Better Bone Health: Traditional Chinese Medicine's Ancient Solutions."