Exterior or superficial diseases are caused by external 'evils' within the body, including 'cold', 'damp' or 'wind-heat'.
Using specific Eastern herbs can be an effective way to potentially treat these exterior conditions, towards a better health and wellbeing.
So, without further ado here are 3 warm pungent herbs for exterior conditions...
What is an Exterior Condition?
Exterior conditions possess symptoms including coughs, chills, fevers and muscular aches, treating these conditions with the correct herbs can make for an effective natural remedy against these evils. This allows the body to 'release the exterior'.
Herbs effective for these conditions fall into two main categories - warm pungent, particularly useful for treating cold conditions and cold pungent, ideal for treating heat problems.
Warm Pungent Herbs
These herbs are used where the body chills are severe, fever is relatively mild and there are additional symptoms present, such as headaches, body/neck pains and longing thirst...
1) Cinnamon Twig
Known as 'Gui Zhi', using the twig of Chinese cinnamon is a popular remedy for treating external cold and wind-cold conditions.
Consuming this herb is known to 'warm the channels' and is most commonly used to potentially treat gynecological issues associated with period pains.
As a warming herb, Cinnamon Twig is naturally yang and is mainly used to improve the circulation of yang qi and strengthen the heart yang.
Overview of Cinnamon Twig
Botanical Name: Cinnamomum Cassia
Taste: Pungent, sweet
Meridians: Heart, Urinary Bladder, Lung
Actions: Antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, carminative, analgesic, cardio-tonic & diuretic
2) Perilla Leaf
A familiar herb in the West, this is most commonly used as an ingredient in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
Known as 'Zi Su Ye', consuming this herb is known to 'disperse exterior cold' (especially wind cold) for coughs.
It may also be beneficial for circulating stomach and spleen qi associated with san jiao disharmony.
The leaf of this herb is mainly used as a natural cough remedy to clear the channels of phlegm.
Overview of Perilla Leaf
Botanical Name: Perilla frutescens
Meridians: Lung, Spleen
Actions: Antibacterial, anti-coughing, anti-perspiring, expectorant
3) Ginger Root
Widely known and used as a remedy by itself, this herb is typically cooked with other herbs as a warming remedy for wind-cold.
Known as 'Sheng Jiang', consuming this herb is said to strengthen the wei qi and 'release the exterior'. This allows the middle jiao to warm, reducing the risk of vomiting associated with cold in the stomach.
In dried form, Ginger Root is a more powerful warming remedy, as the fresh root is used as a diuretic.
Overview of Ginger Root
Botanical Name: Zingiber Officinale
Meridians: Lung, Spleen, Stomach
Actions: Antiemetic, antipasmodic, circulatory stimulant, peripheral vasodilator
For wind cold, it's best to consume this herb when decocted in brown sugar as a warming remedy.
Now that you've got some warming herbs to assist with exterior conditions, explore the wonderful, colourful world of eastern herbs to re-connect your ying and yang!
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