Shi Hu Aphrodisiac

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shi hu aphrodisiac

Dendrobium Nobile, also known as Shi Hu in Pinyin, has been used for medicinal purpose for at least 2,000 years. The evidence is its related record in “Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic”, which was written 2300 to 2780 years ago (the Warring States Period). It usually grows atop the perpendicular cliff walls and is exposed to the moisture of dew and rain as well as to the essence of the sun and moon throughout the year. This reason led traditional Chinese medicine to believe that it owns such rich and balanced pharmaceutical ingredients for treatment of a variety of disorders, such as chronic pharyngitis, gastrointestinal disease, eye disease, thrombotic occlusive disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and so on.

For thousands of years, people in South China will risk their lives to pick the “immortality herb” grown in the edge of cliffs for saving patients in critical condition. In the legends, the juice of it can resurrect the dead. Of course, this is just a legendary saying but can offer another perspective on reviews of its rarity and efficacy. It is highly regarded as the No. 1 of the 9 “Chinese immortality herbs” (i.e. Tie Pi Shi Hu dendrobium candidum, Tian Shan Xue Lian Saussurea involucrate from Tian Shan Mountain, San Liang Zhong Ren Shen three liang of ginseng, one-hundred-and-twenty-year He Shou Wu, Fu Ling Poria of a cycle of sixty years, Cong Rong Cistanche, Shen Shan Ling Zhi Ganoderma in remote mountains, Hai Di Zhen Zhu seabed pearls, and Dong Chong Xia Cao Cordyceps Sinensis).

Medicinally it mainly refers to the fresh or dried stem of Dendrobium nobile Lindl. This is a member in the family Orchidaceae. However, the name Shi Hu also means the four other dendrobium orchid varieties namely; Dendrobium loddigesii Rolfe., Dendrobium fimbriatum Hook. var. oculatum Hook., Dendrobium chrysanthum Wall., and Dendrobium candidum Wall. ex Lindl. So other common names of this herb include Dendrobium Stem, Herba Dendrobii, Shi Hu Lan, dendrobium orchid, Jian Chai Shi Hu (literally “gold hairpin dendrobium”), and more. In China it is mainly produced in provinces of Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan. It is harvested all the year round. Medicinally, it is usually dried by the fire or in the sun, cut, and used raw.

The medicinal uses of dendrobium have been recorded in a few famous ancient medical writings, such as Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (the Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica), Ben Cao Gang Mu (The Compendium of Materia Medica), Zhong Yao Da Ci Dian (The Dictionary of Medicinal Plant), and so on.

Its main health benefits are as follows:

1) Nourishes Yin, clears Heat and generates fluids
2) Enriches Kidney Yin and reduces Heat from Deficiency
3) Tonifies the Kidneys, augments Jing, brightens the eyes, strengthens the tendons and bones and strengthens the low back
4) Nourishes Stomach and Lung Yin

Certain constituents of orchids suggest biological activity. Alkaloids are nitrogenous organic heterocyclic molecules that have pharmacological effects on humans and other animals. They are secondary metabolites of plants and are of amino acid origin. Well-known alkaloids include strychnine, morphine, codeine, nicotine, atropine, cocaine, quinine, methamphetamine, reserpine, caffeine and theophylline. In orchids, 214 species in 64 genera contain 0.1% or more alkaloids. In China, 8% of Dendrobium species, 18% of Eria species and 42% of Liparis species have this degree of alkaloid content. Thus it is quite possible that orchids grown in China have medicinal or toxic properties when consumed by man. However, no herbal Chinese product has been subjected to the tests for efficacy and safety that would be required to satisfy the world medicine regulatory authorities.


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