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In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the lungs are viewed as organs that control the vital energy in the body. The lungs are responsible for extracting qi (interpreted as "energy“) from the air via inhalation, and then transferring it through the respiratory passages to the blood, where it is then circulated throughout the body. All ancient texts refer to the lung as "the delicate organ,“ believing that it is sensitive to imbalance from dryness, dampness, cold or even heat. Symptoms of lung imbalance or "disharmony“ include cough; mucus in the bronchioles, lungs, sinuses and throat; shortness or breath; and susceptibility to colds and influenza.1,2
Chinese Lung Support is an herbal combination designed to strengthen the lungs and stimulate immune function to prevent or combat respiratory infections, especially in those prone to frequent illness. Chinese Lung Support contains herbs that increase the infectionfighting activity of white blood cells and enhance the production of interferon—a substance that fights viral infection by inhibiting viral growth. The herbs in Chinese Lung Support are known for theirability to help expel phlegm, relieve congestion, stop coughs, lower fever, combat fatigue, reduce body aches and pain, soothe inflammation, and improve breathing, particularly in cases of asthma, shortness of breath and wheezing. Many of these herbs also demonstrate antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Chinese Lung Support can be used for asthma, bronchitis, chronic fatigue, colds, congestion, fever, influenza (flu), night sweats, sore throat and thirst, as well as bacterial and viral respiratory infections.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is a primary herb in Traditional Chinese medicine for tonifying the immune system (or protective qi) of the lungs. Astragalus is effective against a number of viral infections, particularly in the lungs. Astragalus increases the activity of white blood cells that fight disease and stimulates production of interferon. Chinese studies have shown that astragalus both reduces the incidence of and shortens the duration of the common cold. Astragalus also promotes therapeutic sweating, improves circulation to the skin, and lowers blood pressure. Astragalus is commonly used for frequent colds, bronchitis, chronic fatigue, flu and shortness of breath, and is often combined with ginseng, schizandra, dang gui and/or licorice to further enhance its immunotonic properties. 1,3-7
Aster (Aster tataricus) is a warming, bitter herb that helps expel phlegm, suppress cough, relieve asthma, and warm up the lungs. Aster is primarily used for relieving chronic coughs, especially coldinduced coughs with excessive phlegm that is difficult to expectorate. Aster is combined with schizandra for use with productive cough, wheezing and spontaneous sweating.3,8
Qinjiao (Gentiana macrophylla) exhibits antibacterial, antiinflammatory, antipyretic (a substance that relieves or reduces fever), antispasmodic and antiphlogistic (a substance that counteracts inflammation and fever) properties. Qinjiao is commonly used to relieve hot sore throat and fever, as well as rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Animal studies have confirmed that qinjiao exhibits considerable antiinflammatory action comparable to that observed in prednisone. Qinjiao contains several active constituents, including iridoids, flavonoids and sterols that have antiinflammatory properties. Due to its antiinflammatory activity, qinjiao has gained increasing use in the treatment of autoimmune disorders such as lupus. 1,3,6,9,10
Platycodon (Platycodon grandiflorum) is one of the most important Chinese herbal medicines and has been used since ancient times as an antiphlogistic, an antitussive (a substance that relieves or prevents cough), and an expectorant. However, modern animal research has shown that platycodon also lowers serum cholesterol levels by stimulating the liver. In addition, platycodon has demonstrated protective effects against chemicallyinduced liver damage in mice, and is known to have immunostimulatory and antitumor effects. 1,3,4,11,14
Anemarrhena (Anemarrhena asphodeloides) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its antibacterial, antiinflammatory and antipyretic activities. Anemarrhena is used to relieve cough due to "heat“ in the lungs with expectoration of thick, yellow mucus, as well as chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic lowgrade fever and night sweats, and fevers associated with tuberculosis. Anemarrhena has demonstrated strong antibacterial activity in vitro and has been shown to reduce mortality from tuberculosis in mice.1,3,4,6,15
Bupleurum (Bupleurum chinense) is a wellknown and important traditional Chinese herbal medicine often used to treat common cold with fever, alternating chills and fever, and feelings of fullness and heaviness in the chest. Bupleurum exhibits analgesic (painrelieving), antiinflammatory, antipyretic, antimalarial (a substance that prevents or cures malaria) and diaphoretic (a substance that promotes perspiration) properties. Recent research has shown that bupleurum extracts inhibit the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In addition, bupleurum contains a volatile oil that has shown strong in vitro antiviral effects against influenza and poliomyelitis viruses. Bupleurum strengthens the immune response to infection, relieves congestion and chest pain, combats colds with fever and sweating, reduces arthritis inflammation, treats malaria, and provides a mild sedative action. Bupleurum is commonly prescribed even for children and pregnant women, particularly in cases of common cold and flu. 1,3,4,6,8,16
Dang gui (Angelica polymorpha) is used as a blood tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine
to purify blood quality and improve circulation. Dang gui is also regarded as the most important herb in Japanese herbal medicine for stimulating blood circulation. Dang gui exhibits confirmed antiinflammatory activity and has also been shown to protect the liver in animal studies. Dang gui also provides analgesic, antispasmodic, immunostimulatory and sedative effects. Dang gui is contraindicated in pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester, due to potential uterine stimulant and relaxant effects. 3,4,17,18
Lycium (Lycium chinense) is used in Oriental medicine for the treatment of respiratory diseases and for symptoms including chronic lowgrade fever, night sweats, sinus or chest congestion, and coughs and wheezing. Lycium is also used to stop malarial fevers. Animal studies have confirmed a definite antipyretic action in cases of artificiallyinduced fever, with an effect slightly weaker than that of aspirin. Research suggests that betaine, an active component derived from lycium, may be effective as a mild expectorant for the treatment of chronic airway diseases. Other studies show that substances isolated from the root bark of lycium exhibit potent antioxidative activity. 1,4,19,20
Ophiopogon (Ophiopogon japonicus) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to moisten the lungs and stop dry cough, as well as stop coughs due to thick phlegm. Ophiopogon also generate fluids to relieve dryness of the tongue and mouth and ease sore throat. In addition, ophiopogon provides antimicrobial effects.1,3,4,6
Ginseng (Panax ginseng) tonifies the lungs, improves cerebral circulation and function, relieves extreme fatigue, generates fluids to stop thirst, and enhances the immune response, in part, by stimulating phagocytosis (the process by which white blood cells fight infection), as well as the production of white blood cells and interferon. Ginseng is used for wheezing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing upon exertion. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, ginseng is commonly combined with schizandra and ophiopogon for shortness of breath and spontaneous sweating. A standardized ginseng preparation has been shown to protect against free radical injury of the lungs, and has demonstrated preventive effects on the common cold symptom complex, including flu. In fact, a randomized, placebocontrolled, doubleblind study found a statistically highly significant decrease in the frequency of influenza or common cold among 114 volunteers receiving 100mg of standardized ginseng extract compared to 113 volunteers taking a placebo. Plus, natural killer (NK) cell activity levels were nearly twice as high in the ginseng group as compared to the placebo group. Studies have also confirmed that ginsenoside, an extract of Panax ginseng, relaxes human bronchial smooth muscle, which may account for the herb’s antiasthmatic effect. Furthermore, research has confirmed that prolonged administration of ginseng extract significantly inhibits the proliferation of experimentallyinduced pulmonary (lung) tumors. 1,3,6,21-25
Atractylodes (Atractylodes lancea) contains several substances that demonstrate antiinflammatory activity, thus confirming the use of atractylodes to soothe sore, swollen joints and relieve headaches and body aches. Atractylodes also helps remove dampness in the body, induces therapeutic sweating, and combats fatigue, nausea and vomiting. 3,4,6,8,26
Blue citrus peel (Citrus reticulata) is an important herb in Chinese medicine for phlegmdamp coughs accompanied by a stifling sensation in the chest and/or diaphragm and excessive viscous phlegm (large amounts of thick mucus). Blue citrus peel dries dampness and transforms phlegm, stops hiccups and combats fatigue and loss of appetite. Research has confirmed the antibacterial activity of blue citrus peel extracts. 3,4,27
Citrus peel (Citrus aurantium) is a warming herb that normalizes the flow of energy through the body, moving congested water and phlegm and releasing pathogens (diseasecausing organisms) that have become stagnant. Citrus peel also demonstrates antibacterial and antiinflammatory activities. 1,4
Typhonium (Typhonium flagelliforme) is closely related to Pinellia ternata and is often used by Chinese herbalists is the United States in place of Pinellia Typhonium is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to reduce phlegm and dry dampness, suppress spasms, and relieve pain and lymphatic swellings. Animal studies have confirmed that extracts of typhonium demonstrate analgesic, antiinflammatory, antiasthmatic and sedative effects, as well as the ability to decrease cough times. 3,28-30
Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis) is an important and effective herb used in Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine for coughs. Schizandra is also used for asthma, chronic cough and wheezing due to lung deficiency—it is said to tonify the lungs and lungenergy. In addition, schizandra demonstrates adaptogenic, expectorant, rejuvenative, tonic and immunepotentiating properties. One example of schizandra’s adaptogenic qualities is that it helps restore fluid balance—schizandra inhibits excessive perspiration and night sweats, yet also generates fluids and quenches thirst. Schizandra is often combined with ginseng and ophiopogon for shortness of breath, cough and thirst. Research shows that schizandra stimulates respiration by exerting a direct effect on the central nervous system centers. Thus, it has been used to help limit respiratory depression resulting from the use of morphine. 1,3,4,6,8
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis) is perhaps the most widely used herb in the Chinese Materia Medica, primarily because of its harmonizing effects on other herbs, which makes it useful in numerous herbal formulas. Licorice has antihistamine, antiinflammatory, antitussive, expectorant, sedative and tonic properties. Licorice also acts as a demulcent (a substance that soothes irritation and inflammation) to the lungs and bronchi and is used to moisten the lungs to relieve dry cough. Licorice is frequently used for asthma, colds, dry cough, fatigue, fever, sore throat, and lung and bronchial congestion. In addition, studies conducted in China and Japan have found that licorice stimulates production of phagocytes (immune system cells that kill microorganisms and remove dead cells), as well as the production of interferon. Research has also confirmed the antibacterial activity of licorice components against upper airway respiratory tract bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenes, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis—bacteria that can cause chronic bronchitis, communityacquired pneumonia, sinusitis, strep throat and tonsillitis, as well as other respiratory tract infections. 1,4,6,8,31,32
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