Back to basics with Asian remedies

In conjunction with “Mystique of the East: Down the Panda Hole,” the College’s largest student-run cultural show that took place this past Saturday, here is a compilation of Asian medicinal remedies that have been scientifically proven to be effective.

Sometimes, such tonics are scoffed at by modern medicine, but such an attitude happens to be completely unjustified. Prior to the advancements of science and technology, these herbal remedies were used to cure a slew of aches, pains and ailments. In fact, these natural forms of healing are actually being encouraged today as an alternative to expensive prescription drugs.

1. Ginger

Ginger, although predominantly known for adding flavor to many dishes, boasts significant healthful properties. This root is capable of aiding digestion, easing morning and motion sickness, and relieving irritable bowel syndromes.

2. Garlic

As it turns out, the only downside to garlic is bad breath after consumption. Otherwise, it possesses quite the variety of benefits. Garlic can lower cholesterol, reduce cancer risk, and treat high blood pressure. It has also been used to stimulate hair growth and as a topical for warts.

3. Ginseng

Ginseng has recently garnered much attention for its capacities as it is now added to a variety of beverages. Specifically, it functions as a cure for erectile dysfunction, an energy stimulant and stress reliever. In addition, ginseng can help strengthen the immune system, so it would be particularly helpful with the current weather fluctuations.

4. Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba, a Chinese herbal remedy dating back over 5,000 years, has become a central Western supplement. Firstly, it is replete with antioxidants, which function in the removal of damaging agents from living organisms. Gingko biloba stimulates circulation to the brain, ultimately lessening the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Glaucoma and other such age-related illnesses. In addition, it aids in relieving depression and vertigo, asthma, tinnitus and diabetes.

5. Mushrooms

Their health benefits give new meaning to the idea of ‘magic mushrooms.’ (AP Photo)

The theme of this year’s Mystique show was “Alice in Wonderland.” Just as the caterpillar advised Alice to take a bite of the mushroom, I will advise you to do the same. Shiitake mushrooms have been found to relieve cold symptoms, Hepatitis B symptoms and certain cancers. These mushrooms also relieve the negative effects related to chemotherapy. Another type of mushroom, the Maitake, strengthens the immune system.

It is most unfortunate that with current advancements in technology and science, we tend to forget our roots, quite literally. The aforementioned herbal remedies are effective treatments to a plethora of common ailments and a great alternative to expensive drugs that are routinely prescribed by physicians. Keep in mind that the East holds much mystique.