Ancient Chinese Remedies for Strong Bones

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"

Kidney Health is important for Bone Health

In TCM, the bones are governed by the kidneys, thus, the secret for maintaining optimal bone health lies in maintaining healthy kidney function because strong kidneys 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 considered the fountain of youth and the foundation for vitality and 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 kidneys are responsible for growth, development and reproduction; for strong bones and healthy bone marrow; and for brain functions such as memory, concentration and intelligence. The kidneys also regulate fluid metabolism; and support 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 form in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and culture, and reflected in innumerable martial arts exercises and herbal recipes for strong bones.

Chinese Herbs for Strong Bones and Kidney 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 individual therapeutic effects, it is the blending of the herbs for strong bones together that creates a powerful synergy, which compounds the effects of the individual herbs. This synergism has a powerful holistic influence on the body in general, while at the same time, addressing the individual malady.

Poor circulation is a common cause of poor bone health. This is because delivery of vital nutrients to the bone cells is inhibited by the poor circulation, and dead cells are not cleansed away, which encourages stagnation. Thus, TCM practitioners of old learned to develop formulas that combined rich tonic herbs for the kidneys with amino acid 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.

Strong Bones and Strong Fertility Require Strong Kidneys

Strong fertility and sexuality require a rich supply of blood and Qi to the reproductive organs, as well as robust and healthy kidney function. They also require a sufficiently hot "fire." TCM uses kidney yin tonics for maintaining healthy blood. Kidney yin tonics consist of nourishing and moistening herbs that are considered to tonify the kidneys. The best example is wine-steamed Rhemannia rootShu 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 is considered to tonify the mucus membranes and encourage the production of fluids.

Boosting the fire of kidneys requires enhancement of the Yang aspect, which will translate into maintenance of healthy libido. Herbs used for this purpose are Yin Yang Huo, Ba Ji Tianand Du Zhong.

Plum Dragon Products that help Maintain Healthy Strong Bones

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 a topical formula specifically formulated for deep healing of injured bones and injuries to joints.


    • Ho Family Dit Da Jow is a more general topical formula, but especially useful if there is pain present.



If you would like to learn more about Chinese herbal 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.


*Selections taken from the following sources:

Adina Stanescu, C. Ac. DCHM, "Chinese Medicine for Boosting Your Kidney Chi," Vitality Magazine 

Elaine Duncan, "Better Bone Health: Traditional Chinese Medicine's Ancient Solutions."

Michelle Fletcher, "Traditional Chinese Medicine and Bone Health." Pacific College of Health and Science


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