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May 26, 2013

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Home » Sunday » Now and Then

TCM Treasures - Fragrant Solomon's seal

SIMPLIFIED Chinese: 玉竹 Pinyin: yù zhú

Yu zhu - literally, jade and bamboo - is a nourishing herb that helps relieve dryness and heat-related problems.

Known as fragrant Solomon's seal in English, yu zhu is a neutral herb that helps nourish yin energy. It is especially beneficial for the lungs and stomach. Yu zhu can help relieve pathogenic heat-related problems like coughing, a dry throat, persistent thirst, dizziness, painful tendons and stomach discomfort.

It can be taken orally in the form of decoctions, wine and drugs, and externally in the form of mashed fresh herbs.

In addition, yu zhu is also said to be a "magic herb" that delays aging.

A legend goes that a lady-in-waiting in Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) escaped from the royal palace and hid in the woods. She survived on eating just yu zhu, and developed a slim figure and smooth skin. In time she married a hunter in the woods and didn't return her hometown until she was 60 years old. On her return, neighbors were amazed to see that she looked exactly the same as she had on entering the palace dozens of years before.

Modern research has found that the vitamin A and alkaloids in yu zhu can help nourish skin. And the herb can help restore blood sugar and cholesterol balances and strengthen the heart.

Prescriptions & Usage:

Yu zhu tea

Make a decoction with 12g yu zhu. Drink often as tea.

Benefits: Relieves cardiovascular disorders.

For chronic bronchitis

Make a decoction with 10g yu zhu, 10g bei mu (fritillaria), 9g zhi mu (rhizoma anemarrhenae) and 9g loquat leaf. Drink once a day.

Benefits: Helps relieve coughing.

Nourishing soup

Put four chicken feet, 50g pork and 12g yu zhu in an earthen pot with 500ml water.

Bring to a quick boil and simmer at a gentle heat. Keep it simmering until the feet and meat are soft. Add salt to season.

Benefits: Yu zhu nourishes the organs while chicken feet will provide collagen protein.


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