Eucommia (du zhong)

A Life Enhancer for All Ages

eucommiaAs a superior herb, Eucommia is considered a life-enhancing tonic. It is one of the first herbs described in ancient Chinese Medicine text (it’s Chinese name is Du Zhong), and it is regarded as a classic potion to prolong life.

Eucommia helps assist the overall function of the human body and leads it towards better balance and health. In order to ultimately enable the body to reach an optimum level of health, Eucommia brings harmony within by helping to balance the Yin (internal fluids) and Yang (life’s fire). If the Yin and Yang are unbalanced or if either are deficient, then health complications are likely to ensue. So, it is vital to keep a balance and to target the Yin and Yang as a place to restore health, a place to avoid other ailments, and to help improve existing conditions.

Eucommia is a bark which comes from rubber trees that can grow up to fifty feet high and are native to provinces of China. The Eucommia is a rubbery white liquid with sweet and warm properties found within the inner bark of these rubber trees. To obtain the Eucommia, the trees are not cut down. The bark is simply peeled in small amounts, and the liquid is extracted from the inner layers. The liquid, though, is only present when the trees have matured, in the late summer and early autumn. These trees are said to be the only cold-tolerant trees of its kind. However, most of the rubber trees are extinct today and are cultivated in China specifically for Eucommia.

The Chinese keep cultivating these rubber trees for Eucommia because of its many uses; one of its values is as an anti-aging tonic. Aging is usually not a human’s friend. Aging can lead to poor blood circulation, poor blood pressure, increased stress, achy and inflexible joints, fragile bones, stiff and weak muscles and all other sorts of discomforts and pesky conditions which we’re unlikely to have when younger. This is why the Chinese look to Eucommia for relief. Rather than try to treat each and every individual condition and get, at the best, temporary results which only spawn off into other problems, Eucommia tends to all the body’s ailments by focusing on the balance of the Yin and the Yang.

Balancing the Yin and Yang will ultimately lead to strengthening the human body. Eucommia supports and stabilizes the body and its circulation in many ways.  It is traditionally used to tonify the kidney, heart and liver functions. Its warm energies both strengthens and calms instead of stimulating.

By tonifying the kidney, Eucommia helps to nourish the Jing (our longevity and power of life) with its potency yet gentleness. Premature aging, as well as problems that may come along with aging, are results of a diminished Jing. By restoring the Jing and bringing it to a healthier level and balance, Eucommia can positively influence many conditions through our kidneys such as resistance to disease, our inner power, mental creativity, structural integrity and sexual vitality.

Also through the kidneys, Eucommia helps improve the overall skeletal structure. Its traditional and primary use was for alleviating lower body pain and bone weakness; it is still very much used for that today, One of its best known uses are for people who have difficulty moving their legs and have lumbar and knee pains. Eucommia helps to build a strong and sturdy skeletal structure as well as strong and flexible joints. For centuries, Eucommia has been used to not just strengthen the bones, but to also strengthen the tendons and ligaments whether they’re weakened or damaged by age, trauma, or stress. It helps to heal and repair injured and weak tissues, treat leg pain, and help stiffness, arthritis, swelling and dislocation. And as said before, Eucommia does not treat each individual symptom; it strengthens and improves the body through the kidneys at a fundamental level to not only relieve these pains but make it less likely to suffer from them again or obtain the pains as we grow old.

Skin, considered an organ of the body (and the largest organ at that), is also affected with age. Eucommia may help to protect skin against photo-aging. An active constituent of Eucommia is called aucubin which may help protect the skin from UVB rays. Skin photo-aging is the damaging effect of the prolonged exposure of skin to sunlight. This includes wrinkling, discoloration, and the susceptibility to skin cancer. Eucommia may help to prevent these negative effects sunlight has on skin.Alcohol and water extracts of Eucommia show to have a powerful impact on helping to regulate bone remodeling. This is one of the benefits that shows that Eucommia therapeutically helps with osteoporosis, which is another condition that is more likely to come with age. The herb may participate in activating osteoblasts, which are cells that secrete the matrix for bone building. It also can suppress osteoclast, which is the activity which inhibits the bones from actively rebuilding; it helps to negate and prevent bone dissolution. These effects that Eucommia have on the bones makes it widely considered as a bone tonic.

As a tonic herb, Eucommia also may benefit the cardiovascular system. It has been found that Eucommia contains hypotensive compounds which are known to lower blood pressure. The way that Eucommia helps to reduce blood pressure is by relaxing the blood vessels and deep arteries. It has also been shown that Eucommia helps to reduce cholesterol absorption and have mild sedative and anti-inflammatory effects. Because of these effects, Eucommia is also considered a cardiotonic herb.

The Eucommia extract has also been shown to positively effect the immune system by enhancing phagocytic action. This includes clearing away foreign and potentially harmful material from the blood stream with white blood cells. It enhances these white blood cells in both number and quality to perform these actions.

Because it is both a Yin and Yang tonic, this herb has great benefits for both woman and men, especially with sexual potency. It strengthens the sexual functions in both the man and woman. With men, Eucommia helps build stamina and slows down ejaculation. It also tonifies the sexual organs and helps to better recover from fatigue. With woman, it increases libido and enhances fertility. It has been said that Eucommia helps to protect the fetus and prevent miscarriages. For centuries, pregnant women in Asia have been using Eucommia to support the health of their pregnancy.

In both men and women, Eucommia helps to moderate and regulate testosterone and estrogen hormones by releasing special biomolecules within the body’s cells. These biomolecules intensifies both estrogen and androgen (or testosterone) effects on the body, but they have no hormonal effects of their own. This is considered to be a phenomenal effect and has been termed “supra-hormonal.”

Supra-hormonal, an anti-aging tonic, a bone tonic, cardiotonic herb and many other positive effects help to describe what Eucommia is and how it is capable to help the human body. Whether it be with aging, sexual potency, blood health or stress, it is the balancing of the energies, the Jing, Yin and Yang (as well as the Qi and Shen) and the tonifying of the organs which help promote a better health and better life for the human and his/her body.

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