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HoloSapiens - the TCM "Food as Medicine" Project

Huang in Chinese means yellow. So here I would like to share three of my favorite Chinese herbs that are … obviously yellow – Huang Qin, Huang Lian and Huang Bai. They are all cold and bitter herbs and all serve to clear damp-heat.

Huang Qin addresses damp-heat problems in the upper part of the body – it enters the Lung (among other channels) and is prescribed for Lung disharmony with symptoms such as cough with thick yellow mucus (mucus is a sign of dampness/phlegm, the yellow color points to heat). Huang Lian is known to address the middle part of the body and clears Stomach Fire, manifesting in symptoms such as burning pain in the stomach, acid reflux, bad breath (when there is “heat” there is odor). Huang Bai goes to the lower part of the body and enters the Kidney and Urinary Bladder channels. Among other things it is highly beneficial for thick yellow vaginal discharge due to damp-heat (in Chinese medicine the Kidney is in charge of the reproductive system) and dysenteric disorders.

The three yellow herbs have many more indications which I will not review here in order to keep things simple. If you want to learn more about them you can go to the Materia Medica chapter on our Project and read this material. I talk about the three Yellows in our blog to point to the fact that there are natural antibiotics that work faster and more efficient than synthetic ones and do not disrupt the immunity but rather enhance it. Huang Qin is known to have a strong effect on many pathogenic bacteria, Huang Lian together with antibacterial has also antiviral and antifungal effect, Huang Bai has an antibacterial effect and was successfully used in the treatment of meningitis.


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It is worth it to explore further and embrace natural sources with antimicrobial/antibiotic effect not only because they are merciful on the body but also because they will be good partners in the disturbing and frightening fight against Antibiotic Resistance.


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If you want to give the Huangs a try please find a TCM practitioner in your area to get full examination and the proper herbal formula prescription.

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