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January 27, 2013

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TCM Treasures - Du Zhong 杜仲

DU zhong, the leaves and dried bark of the eucommia ulmoides tree, is an expensive Chinese traditional medicine.

It is used to nourish the kidneys and liver, strengthen muscles and bones and lower blood pressure. It is also said to warm the uterus and help prevent miscarriages.

It is a warm herb, but unlike other warm TCM that will cause inner heat, du zhong is mild and gentle.

Du zhong - known as floral gold - is an ancient Chinese medical herb. Today the tree is found in mountainous areas at an altitude over 500 meters in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and some southern provinces.

National reserve Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province, a movie setting of the blockbuster Avatar, is the world's largest concentration of wild du zhong trees are found.

In order to protect the species, only 15-20-year-old du zhong trees are used to make medicine.

The traditional treatment is to clean the bark, soak it in hot salted water and saute the du zhong bark at a low heat.

Ancient TCM books have recipes for fresh du zhong with honey or wine.

Prescriptions & Usage:

Du zhong tea

Brew young du zhong leaves with 500ml of hot water for five minutes.

Make it your daily drink. Use 15-25g du zhong leaves daily. Leaves should be boiled no more than three times.

Benefits: Lowers blood pressure, improves sleep quality and promotes weight loss.

Du zhong soup

Wash 60g peanuts and 50g walnuts clean. Soak them for one or two hours.

Chop a pig tail and boil for five minutes.

Put 30g du zhong, the treated pig tail sections, five jujubes, the peanuts, walnuts and 60g huai niu qi (Achyranthes aspera, or Devil's horsewhip) together in hot water. Boil then simmer for another three hours.

Benefits: Nourishes the kidneys and liver.


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