Top 10 Chinese Herbs for Wellness

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and herbal medicine have been used for thousands of years to help people fight illness and restore optimal well-being. But where TCM truly shines is in helping people stay healthy, prevent illness, and enhance longevity.

This is where tonic herbs come into play. While many herbal medicines focus on reversing imbalances and alleviating symptoms, tonic herbs restore the body’s natural state of harmony so we not only avoid illness, but can embrace our healthiest selves.

Ready to discover the 10 best Chinese herbs?

Why Use Chinese Tonic Herbs?

Tonic herbs are also considered adaptogens. Adaptogens are considered an “elite” class of botanicals that help the body adapt to stress, whether it's emotional, physical, or environmental.

Using adaptogens on a regular basis can help prevent chronic stress and the toll it takes on the body. That’s why adaptogens are also considered powerful herbs for immunity, anti-aging, and longevity. Plus, most people tolerate the gentle nature of adaptogenic herbs well, which makes them a simple healthy addition to any self-care routine.

The Top 10 Chinese Herbs for Everyday Well-being

So, which herbs are the best herbs to create and maintain optimal health? There are dozens of adaptogenic herbs with tonifying properties, but these 10 TCM herbs reign supreme for supporting overall well-being:

Astragalus (Huang Qi)

Astragalus is a powerhouse herb known for its immune-boosting and anti-aging properties. In TCM, it's used to tonify the Spleen and Qi to enhance energy and vitality. Western research supports its role in strengthening the immune system and potentially protecting cardiovascular health.

Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Ginseng is one of the most popular herbs in TCM, and around the world. It is believed to replenish Qi and energy, improve stamina, and support cognitive function. Studies show that ginseng can help boost immune function, enhance brain performance, and reduce fatigue.

Codonopsis (Dang Shen)

Often used as a gentler substitute for ginseng, Codonopsis supports energy levels and digestive health. In TCM, it is known to tonify the Spleen and Stomach, especially for those with weak digestive systems. It also aids in the production of blood and Qi to boost overall energy and vitality.

Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi)

Goji berries are bright red fruits that are not only a delicious snack, but also a potent wellness tonic. TCM uses Goji berries to nourish the Liver and Kidneys, improve vision, and promote longevity. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and great for supporting immune function and skin health.

Bupleurum (Chai Hu)

Bupleurum is a key herb for Liver health, menstrual health, and emotional balance in TCM. This is because it has a powerful ability to course qi and blood through the body, which helps relieve stagnation, inflammation, stress, and related issues like premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Coptis (Huang Lian)

Unlike the other herbs in this list, coptis is not considered a tonic herb. Rather, it is a powerful detoxifying and anti-inflammatory herb that can be used to clear heat, dry dampness, and clear excess heat. It also contains berberine, a compound studied for its potential to fight infections, support heart health, and manage diabetes. So, why include it in a list for well-being herbs? Coptis is one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial herbs, but without the side-effects of prescription antibiotics. It offers a natural remedy for life’s common infections.

Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

If you’ve ever had ginger tea for an upset stomach, you’ve experienced the soothing nature of sheng jiang. Ginger is commonly used to maintain healthy digestion, alleviate nausea, and warm the body (especially when dried). In TCM, it is commonly added to formulas to expel cold and harmonize the Stomach. Studies show it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties and may be beneficial for combating flu and cold symptoms and supporting cardiovascular health.

Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang)

Rehmannia is a nourishing tonic for blood and Yin, which helps support our body's need for moisture and temperature balance. Rehmannia is particularly favored for Kidney health, skin and hair health, and supporting the reproductive system – all of which make it a powerful tonic for anti-aging and menopause balance. Studies link these benefits to shu di huang’s rich content of iridoids and anthocyanins (potent antioxidants).

Schisandra (Wu Wei Zi)

Schisandra berries are celebrated for their ability to enhance liver function, improve stamina, and support mental clarity. In TCM, they are used to prevent the loss of Qi and promote the production of body fluids. Their adaptogenic qualities also make them an excellent tonic for stress management, depression, and insomnia.

Cinnamon (Rou Gui)

Cinnamon is not just a delicious spice for cooking and baking, but also a potent medicinal herb (rou gui) in TCM. Its warming properties are used to dispel cold, invigorate blood circulation, and stimulate Yang energy. Its warming properties are particularly beneficial for those who always complain of cold hands and feet or sluggish digestion. Studies point to cinnamon's many health benefits for managing blood sugar levels and improving heart health naturally.

3 Tips to Infuse Tonic Herbs into Your Daily Life

These top ten TCM herbs are packed with health benefits. Now, it’s time to put them to use. Get inspired with these tips to work herbs into your daily wellness plan.

Cook with healing herbs.

One of the best ways to work these tonic herbs into your daily wellness routine is through the power of your plate! Cooking with herbs helps extract their healing properties and can even enhance digestion. Many of the herbs above can be found in the grocery store – like ginger, goji berries, and cinnamon – while others can be ordered online.

To make cooking with herbs easy as pie, shop our range of Herbal Soup + Broth Kits! These kits are pre-formulated to support a variety of health goals (like stress management, immunity, and detox). Simply cook the herbs in water to make a broth that you can use in your favorite recipes, from soups and stews to stir fries, dressings, and baked goods.

Swap coffee with herbal tea.

Do you find yourself going back to the coffee pot again and again? Why not swap one (or more) of your daily coffees with a healing herbal tea? Many teas (like our Baby Chrysanthemum & Ginseng Energy Booster Tea) even help boost natural energy levels like coffee, but without the jitters or anxiety-inducing effects of caffeine.

Take a daily herbal supplement.

Tonic herbal medicine works a lot like your multivitamin – a consistent daily dose helps to maintain your health and keep illnesses at bay. While there is no single “best” herbal formula for everyone, here are a few supplements that can help you find your balance, based on your current health goals:

Pave Your Path to Well-Being with Chinese Herbs

These 10 Chinese herbs offer a powerful natural way to infuse well-being into your daily routine. But, they make up just a few of the hundreds of Chinese herbs – and countless formulas and combinations – that can help you create the healthy life you deserve.

Shop our collection of TCM herbal formulas designed to help you achieve health and well-being in every aspect of life.

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