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An In-Depth Guide to the Benefits and Uses of "Women's Ginseng" (Which is Also Great for Men!)

Dong Quai, often called the "female ginseng" is NOT just for women! From balancing hormones to helping prostate problems, Dong Quai has many other benefits for your heart and health.

Imbalanced hormones cause more symptoms than you may think: depression, fatigue, weight gain, bloating, water retention, infertility, PMS and low libido are a common sign. When hormone levels are low you can be certain your immunity will suffer. All kinds of infections including urinary tract infections can easily develop.

It seems that everywhere we turn, the symptoms described above are on the rise, especially as we age. However, it's not just at midlife that you may experience these symptoms. Women from their teens and twenties also experience symptoms of hormonal imbalance and if the root cause isn't addressed, symptoms become worse over time.

Hormonal Imbalances are Not Just a Woman's Problem.

For men, prostate problems tend to become commonplace as a man turns 50. At the same time, in younger males it has become very clear that infertility is rising and sperm counts are falling.

Men, too, suffer when testosterone levels decline creating an imbalance because of elevating estrogen levels. Yes, men have estrogen in their body as well. In fact testosterone comes from estrogen. But today's male is also storing too much estrogen. They obtain it from their food (hormones in cow milk, soymilk, tofu) and from the environment (xenoestrogens.)

After the age of 50 the average man today will almost assume that he too will become a victim of a prostate problem...maybe even cancer. But it doesn't have to be that way.

While hormone and drug therapy are often still prescribed as the solution, more and more evidence is showing us that hormones and drugs have adverse side effects, especially in long-term use.

Keys to Health

One of our key goals at Body Ecology has always been to find ways to:

  • Conquer infections
  • Increase energy
  • Correct digestion and
  • Cleanse out toxins

Doing so will then create balance in your entire body - helping it to heal and helping to reverse the signs of aging. These four steps to wellness also help balance your hormones. Whether male or female, your hormones AND your health rely on the health of your:

  • Inner ecosystem - a healthy inner ecosystem is made up of friendly microflora that reside and colonize in your intestines and keep you strong and energized. It is the microflora that help you digest and assimilate your foods, conquer infections and boost your immunity.
  • After years of antibiotic use, stress and poor diet most people have an imbalanced inner ecosystem and a yeast infection called candidiasis. This infection creates a wide variety of related health problems, including hormone imbalances. In fact, a common symptom of candidiasis is acne caused by the hormonal balance from the overgrowth of yeast.
  • Adrenals - are little organs, about the size of a walnut, that sit on top of your kidneys. In Chinese medicine, the kidneys/adrenals are said to be where life force or chi energy is rooted. Their name indicates their place in our body. Ad means "near" or "at" and Renesmeans "kidneys").
  • I believe that the adrenals and their dear partner, the thyroid, are the most important organs to focus upon and nourish when you want to regain youthfulness, health and vitality.

What happens when the adrenals and thyroid have lost their life force or "spirit?" Your digestive system, the endocrine organs in your brain (e.g., hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands), liver, sexual organ system, heart and central nervous system all suffer as well. They all rely on the energy these two little organs supply.

Natural Hormone Balance (AND More!) For Women -- With Benefits for Men too!

Thousands of years ago, long before drug therapy existed, cultures in Japan, China and Korea prized the herb dong quai (Angelica sinensis) for its many healing benefits, including balancing hormones.

In fact, it became known as the "female ginseng" because Chinese women used it to regulate their menstrual cycle and alleviate menstrual pain.

A perennial plant grown in the mountains of Japan, China and Korea, dong quai is related to the celery plant. It was often used as a spice and tonic. Even today, herbal tonics with dong quai are taken daily by the women in Japan and China.

In Chinese medicine, dong quai was used for its medicinal benefits, including to:

  • Promote nourishing and cleansing of the blood
  • Fight the signs of aging
  • Elevate mood
  • Increase energy
  • Maintain proper digestion and immune function
  • Support optimal joint and bone health
  • Promote proper functioning of the heart, spleen, liver and kidneys

The name dong quai actually translates as "return to order" because of the herb's ability to promote overall body balancing and restoration.

While clinical studies haven't conclusively pinpointed the reasons why dong quai seems to work so well, studies and reports include the following possible uses for dong quai:1
Women:

  • Balancing hormones
  • PMS relief
  • Relief of menopause symptoms
  • Amenorrhea (unexplained interruptions in the menstrual cycle)

Men:

  • Supports fertility
  • Supports prostate health

Overall:

  • Stroke
  • Anemia
  • Ulcers
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis

While more studies are needed, laboratory tests of dong quai have also shown possible benefits for: migraines, the liver, pain and constipation.2

Nutritional Benefits of Dong Quai

The nutritional profile of dong quai may explain some of the benefits that have been reported with its use.

Dong quai provides a source of:

  • Vitamins A, E, B12, niacin and folate.
  • Iron.
  • Coumarins - compounds which act to dilate or open up blood vessels and help control spasms in muscles. Experts presume that these compounds may act to increase the blood supply to various organs including the uterus, thus promoting the regulation of menstruation.
  • Phytoestrogens - estrogen-like plant compounds thought to help supply an additional, mild source of estrogen to balance out levels in the body.
  • Antioxidants - fight free radicals that can cause signs of aging.

The Keys to Hormone Balance AND Overall Health

As I mentioned earlier, a healthy inner ecosystem and healthy adrenals are critical for hormone balance, energy and immunity. As I was studying the benefits of dong quai, I believed it could be more powerful if it was fermented.

Fermenting foods and beverages adds a source of healthy microflora that increase the nutritional value hundreds of times and helps heal your inner ecosystem.

When your inner ecosystem is thriving with healthy microflora (probiotics), you can digest all of your foods better, nourishing your adrenals and thyroid with vitamins and minerals. As your adrenals and thyroid improve, you will notice an increase in energy and your hormones will naturally come into balance.

For more on the symptoms of weak adrenals, read: Sleeping Trouble? Discover Why Winter is the Ideal Time to Learn How to Sleep Right.
Body Ecology has always advocated making your own fermented foods and drinks at home, like cultured vegetablesYoung Coconut Kefir and kefir from cow and goats milk.

Many people have written to tell us how they or a loved one has healed a persistent health issue following Body Ecology's principles and diet including these superfoods.

Probiotic foods are much more potent than probiotic supplements because the beneficial microflora can better withstand the harsh stomach acid to reach the walls of your intestines, recolonizing them more effectively.

Our new probiotic liquids make sense, especially if you are busy and can't always find the time to make fermented liquids like young coconut kefir from scratch, and also if you travel and want their convenience.

Dong Quai has all the benefits you need to heal your inner ecosystem and adrenals, creating balance, energy and immunity for women AND men. Learn More and Try Dong Quai Today!

On that note, Body Ecology is now pleased to offer you our new probiotic-rich Dong Quai as a way to provide the many benefits of the herb dong quai combined with healthy probiotics for your inner ecosystem - a powerful combination for your hormones and your health!

And a special note to men: While Dong Quai is also known as "women's ginseng" for all the benefits to women, be sure to read The Most Potent Natural Ways to Prevent Prostate Cancer to discover why Dong Quai, and in a more general sense why the Body Ecology program, can be so essential to your prostate health!

While there are several different types of prostate problems, one common problem is Acute prostatitis, a bacterial infection of the prostate. The typical symptoms are fever, chills, pain upon urination, pain in the lower back and between the legs. It's important to see your doctor if you experience these symptoms. The microflora in fermented foods and drinks can help prevent and treat these infections.

The Body Ecology program focuses on keeping your immunity high therefore helping to prevent and even treat bacterial, fungal and viral infections.

Finding Balance

Your health and happiness is all about finding balance. Balance comes from paying attention to your lifestyle by avoiding stress, surrounding yourself with supportive loved ones and taking time out to relax and renew.

For some excellent tips on how to create a healing lifestyle, read: How to De-stress and Focus on YOU.

It also means paying attention to your diet and eating healing foods, like those on the Body Ecology program. For more on Body Ecology's healthy eating principles, read: A Review of the 7 Key Healthy Eating Principles as You Enter 2007.

For many (if not most these days) it is difficult to always prepare your foods and your fermented drinks from scratch. In this case, I always recommend having a plan so that you can still take good care of yourself with the best diet and lifestyle choices.

Dong Quai probiotic liquid can be one of your best tools to help maintain balance and energy in your daily life. (For serving size and much more, be sure to see the ordering and details page for Dong Quai.)

I'm sure like me, you have an overly busy year ahead, but please remember you don't have to sacrifice your health and wellbeing!
Make 2007 a year of balance - for your hormones AND your health!

Sources

  1. Dong Quai. Mayo Clinic
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dong-quai/NS_patient-Dongquai
  2. Dong Quai. University of Maryland Medical Center
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dong-quai/NS_patient-Dongquai
  3. Prostate Problem Warning Signs. MedicineNet.com
    http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=21562

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  • Rachael

    To Teresa Black for your daughter - have you tried Olive Leaf Extract? It's known as a natural antibiotic, among other benefits (you can buy the leaf in bulk and make up veggie caps yourself - safest way to know what you are getting - I use a coffee grinder to crush the leaf - and either put a small amount in food in the am or in a capsule.

    You might also want to get her tested for allergies.

    A healthy skin cleanser - mix 1/2 apple cider vinegar with 1/2 distilled warm water - use morning and night as a facial astringent. the smell goes away in a few min.

    Another tip - try and get fresh Rosemary leaf, dry will also work. Take either 1 tbl of fresh to two cups of boiling water - let it steep and use as a rinse on the face. For the dried herb, just use 2 teaspoons instead.

    She can also try slicing a full lemon thinly - pour boiling water over and let steep over night - in the am she can use this as a tonic. Note that you should use a glass bowl or ceramic mug - never plastic or metal.

    I hope you are able to get the above information - this is my first time on this site. Cheers, Rachael

  • Teresa Black

    My duaghter is 26 yrs. old and several months ago started having cystic acne. Has taken 3 rounds of antibiotics which clear it up after she starts taking it but keeps coming back and she keeps taking another round of antibiotics which I think is causing the acne to just keep getting worse. What would be best for her to use to get balanced so acne will go away an stay away?

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.

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