Immuno-depression is a common problem in clients
suffering from chronic disease or debility states. Whether this is due to the
disease/debility state itself, drug treatments used to treat symptoms and/or a
general decline in health, it is of great benefit to support the immune system
with herbal remedies.
When rebuilding general health and immunity, we tend to use a combination of
Chinese tonic herbs which have been used for centuries to help balance and tone
the body, and to protect it from external diseases. Although these herbs can be
used singularly they are of most benefit when in balanced combinations
addressing the needs of the different systems of the body. When seeing
individuals, we tailor our herbal suggestions to their particular symptoms but
also add Fu Zheng Therapy in their treatment plan.
Fu Zheng Therapy
is a form of traditional Chinese
herbalism that literally means ďto restore normalcy and balance to the body.Ē It
does not specifically treat any infection or disease state but helps rebuilt the
bodyís resistance and innate strength so that it may more effectively contend
with the manifestations of the disease. The following formula is based on herbs
traditionally used in Fu Zheng Therapy.
Astragalus membranaceus (Astragalus)-
The polysaccharides in this plant are thought to be responsible for itís deep
immune building effects which include increasing the number of macrophages,
enhancing T-cell transformation and increasing phagocytosis. Chinese medicine
classifies it as a warm, sweet tonic which enhances the functions of the spleen
Schizandra sinensis (Schizandra)-
Studies have shown this plant to be a stimulant herb affecting the central
nervous system thus enhancing energy levels and mental acuity. It also protects
liver cells from fatty degeneration and enhances lymphocyte transformation. The
Chinese regard it as a warm, astringent tonic affecting the kidneys and lungs.
Ganoderma lucidium (Reishi)
- This fungus, also known as the Reishi mushroom,
has been long used as a immuno-supportive herb. Studies show itís mechanism of
action to involve an increase in T-cell and macrophage activity.
Atractylodes macrocephala (Bai Zhu)-
This herb has been shown to have a protective effect on the liver as well as
enhancing phagocytic function of the white blood cells. The Chinese see it as a
bitter warming tonic acting on the stomach and spleen.
Codonopsis pilosula (Dang Shen)-
The roots of this plant have been used as a substitute for the more expensive
Ginseng but the two may be interchanged as their effects are very similar. They
are both used to treat dampness and heat. Clinically they enhance the growth of
red blood cells, T-cell formation and increase the level of IgG antibodies in
Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice)-
Licorice is a known anti-viral as well as an anti-bacterial agent. It is
classified as a sweet chi (energy) tonic by the Chinese.