Our skeleton is of primordial importance to our health. First, it provides a framework for our entire body. Secondly, it is a living tissue that plays key roles in our immune system, blood production and aging process. It is involved in our cardiovascular and metabolic functions because it is a mineral reservoir. It houses the bone marrow that maintains a lifetime supply of progenitor cells. It houses our brain, spinal cord and central endocrine glands. It holds our teeth and eyes in place. The skeleton is both firm and flexible, as the bones form a strong structure and as the joints move flexibly within limits that allow us to live and perform freely and with joy upon this earth. The Chinese, from the very beginning of their development as a civilization, recognized the deep importance of the skeleton. Early on they discovered herbs that provided support for the various tissues of the skeleton. Dragon Herbs Strong Bones is a combination of the herbs used for centuries in Asia to provide support to the bones and related tissues and functions.
The Herbs in Strong Bones
Eucommia Bark was the second herb ever described in a written text on herbs in China, playing second fiddle only to Ginseng, "the King of Herbs." Shen Nong, the great founder of Chinese herbalism, described Eucommia bark as "a superior herb that can prolong life." A "superior herb," by definition, is an herb that may be consumed daily for the purpose of promoting health and well being without side effects. Eucommia Bark has remained a virtual icon of tonic herbalism in Asia for thousands of years. It has been consumed by billions of people, and is consumed by millions of people today as a superior, life-enhancing tonic.
Eucommia Bark is traditionally used to tonify the Kidney, Liver and Heart functions, as described in Chinese health theory. It has a warm energy and is considered to be very strengthening, but it is not a "stimulant." In fact, Eucommia Bark calms the nerves while strengthening the core of the body.
Eucommia Bark is the primary plant-sourced herb in Chinese herbalism used to tonify the Kidney Yang functions. Kidney Yang functions include such issues as our inner power, sexual vitality, structural integrity, mental creativity and resistance to disease. Eucommia is a superb Yang Jing tonic because it is simultaneously powerful and gentle. Its safety has been well established over many centuries. There has been no challenge to its safety in either historical or modern literature. It may be used continuously without causing over-excitation or imbalance of any sort. According to Chinese health theory, the Jing stored in the Kidneys is a determining factor in our potential longevity. Diminished Jing will result in premature aging and early death. Eucommia Bark helps restore spent Jing and helps maintain healthy levels of Jing once Jing levels are normal.
Eucommia Bark is traditionally considered to be particularly beneficial to the lower back, legs, and to the skeletal structure. And although Eucommia Bark is primarily known as a powerful Yang Jing tonic, it is also a strong Yin Jing nourishing herb. Because it provides both Yang and Yin, it is a superb herb for men and women alike and can be used by almost anybody to promote the functions of the endocrine system, to strengthen the physical structure, to promote sexual functions, to enhance normal growth, to promote healing, to promote the healthy functions of the cardiovascular system, and to enhance resistance to infection. Eucommia Bark is thus the quintessential example of a safe, mild and potent Kidney tonic that builds Jing, Qi and Shen, with an emphasis on its quintessential Jing building capability.
Eucommia Bark's first fame is in its Kidney tonifying effects. It is in fact the primary herb in Chinese tonic herbalism for building a strong, sturdy, skeletal structure and strong, flexible joints. It is used to strengthen the bones, ligaments and tendons, and has been used for centuries to help mend damage to these tissues, whether the damage is due to stress, age or trauma. Eucommia Bark is also the primary tonic herb of choice to strengthen the lower back and knees. Traditionally, it has been used to help with problems in the joints, including pain, stiffness, dislocation, swelling and weakness. However, it is not a mere "remedy." It is a tonic herb that strengthens structural tissue and improves structural competency at a fundamental level. Therefore, it is preferably used as a tonic herb to maintain the structural integrity of the body so that breakdowns in this system are much less likely, even as we age or are exposed to stress.
Eucommia Seed has been found to have special action on strengthening bone. Eucommia Seed has the same actions as Eucommia Bark, But the action of Eucommia Seed on bone is stronger than the action of Eucommia Bark due to calcium compounds in the seed that specifically promote bone health. Eucommia Bark and Eucommia Seed are derived from the same plant.
Drynaria Rhizome tonifies the Kidney, promotes mending of bones and related structural tissues and stimulates hair growth. Drynaria is considered to be the most important herb in the Chinese pharmacopoeia for healing damaged bone and ligaments. It is used in all formulas for broken bones and torn ligaments. It is also useful in the treatment of and recovery from sprains, contusions (bruises) and stress fractures. Drynaria has been explored deeply by martial arts practitioners in Asia for over a thousand years and its efficacy is very well established. In fact, the literal name of the herb in Chinese is "Mender of Shattered Bones." Drynaria is usually used in combination with Dipsacus and other herbs to deal with the specific problems. Drynaria can be used like all Yang Jing tonics to strengthen the lower back and knees. It seems to have special efficacy in a high percentage of cases of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and bleeding gums. Though it is traditionally considered to be effective for toothaches, I recommend you get to the dentist and get the problem fixed.
Dipsacus Root tonifies Kidney and Liver, helps repair bones and ligaments, and opens the blood vessels. This Kidney tonic is primarily used to strengthen the skeletal structure. Dipsacus is one of the main herbs used in case of traumatic injury to the skeleton. It is an excellent herb for repairing structural tissue (bones and ligaments) that have been damaged as a result of trauma. Dipsacus helps relieve the swelling due to structural trauma. It is the perfect herb for those who have damaged spinal structure and for those who have experienced knee injuries. However, it is useful for any structural tissue damage to hasten repair. Thus Dipsacus is a premium herb for athletes, dancers and others who have experienced minor or severe structural injuries as a result of their activities. It can be used preventatively by those who have had previous injuries or by those who are involved in dangerous activities and may wish to do all that they can to fortify the structure of the body. It is equally effective for older people who are experiencing structural difficulties simply due to aging. Dipsacus is usually combined with Eucommia, Drynaria, Dang Gui and sometimes Deer Antler. Dipsacus performs some of the classic Kidney tonic functions as well. It helps strengthen sexual function and relieves back pain. Dipsacus is a very safe herb and is routinely used during pregnancy in Asia to strengthen the mother' back and to calm the fetus. Dipsacus also helps improve blood flow by opening up the blood vessels. Therefore it is useful in any condition in which the blood vessels are constricted especially when the constriction results in pain.
Morinda is an excellent Yang essence tonic. It is considered to be highly nutritious and is used in superior tonic formulas for strengthening the body. It is widely used in primal essence formulations, often as the main ingredient. Morinda is widely believed in China to increase mental power. It is also considered to be beneficial to the heart. And like many other Yang tonic herbs, it has been shown to be effective in treating hypertension (not a function of this formulation). It is one of the finest Yang tonics since it is not only powerful but extremely well tolerated by almost every one. It is a superb athletes herb and ranks among the most important vitalizing herbs of the tonic system. It is likewise considered a major longevity herb and is a regular ingredient in Taoist formulations.
Dragon Bone is the fossilized (mineralized) bones of prehistoric animals such as mastodon, hairy rhinoceros, hipparion, deer, oxen, etc. This is of course not an animal product. It is a mineral product. It provides a rich source of minerals useful to structural tissue. Furthermore, Dragon Bone has an "astringent" action. Detoxified Oyster Shell is ground into a fine powder and is used as an excellent source of minerals. It, like Dragon Bone, has astringent action and strengthens bone. Bupleurum Root improves liver function and supports the flow of Qi. White Peony Root is a blood tonic. Licorice Root tonifies Qi and Kidney. It influences the hormones of the adrenals, which have a direct and profound influence on bone integrity.
Some Facts of the Bone
70% inorganic -- salts of calcium and phosphate -- Compressional strength
30% organic --mostly collagen fibers -- Tensile strength (the strength to handle stretch without breaking)
There are three types of cells that maintain the skeleton: osteoblasts, osteoclasts and osteocytes.
Osteoblasts: A blood cell that produces bone tissue. It does so by moving along the surface of bone, producing a matrix that then forms bone. Osteoblasts are always present in the body and are constantly active in repairing and rebuilding bone. Osteoblasts are involved in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus exchange and deposition. Osteoblasts have many fine filaments that enter bone through numerous microscopic canals and extend through the bone matrix. In this way the osteoblasts transport calcium to the bone matrix from the blood.
Osteoclasts: A special type of white blood cell that nibbles at and breaks down bone and is responsible for bone resorption. Osteoclasts are very large multinucleate cells similar to macrophages (phagocytes). They specialize in consuming bone tissue. They are filled with lysosomes, which are microscopic vacuoles that contain the enzymes that digest the organic matrix of bone. Acids (such as lactic acid) secreted by the osteoclasts are responsible for the dissolution of the bone crystals. Like osteoblasts, osteoclasts have fine filaments that penetrate the bone surface and tunnel into the bone matrix, where they destroy old collagen and the bone's mineral salts.
Osteocytes: During the process of building bone, some of the osteoblasts are trapped or "imprisoned" by the newly formed bone matrix that they are building. Osteocytes live for a long time within the bone, and remain quite functional, but in a different way. They communicate with the blood stream by means of fine filaments. The exact function of osteocytes is still being studied, but they appear to be acting as sensors, communicating information on the state of the bone to the other cells. They are believed to play a profound role in regulating the building and resorption of bone.
The Yin and Yang of Bone Maintenance
In normal bone, bone formation and bone resorption -- opposing functions typical of the yin and yang activity that defines all life functions -- are closely coupled processes involved in the normal remodeling of bone. Normally, these processes are regulated in such a way that normal growth can take place and bone structure can be properly maintained in adults. If this balance goes awry, an "illness" will develop. In osteoporosis, for example, the net rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation, resulting in a decrease in bone mass without a defect in bone mineralization. In women, osteoclast activity is increased because of decreased estrogen after menopause. Men with prematurely decreased testosterone may also have increased osteoclast activity. These changes result in a net loss of bone. The amount of bone available for mechanical support of the skeleton eventually falls below the fracture threshold and one may suffer fractures.
Osteoblasts and osteoclasts work in harmony to maintain a healthy bone structure, and osteocytes are the sensors that maintain that harmony. In the bone-building process, the functions of osteoblasts and osteoclasts are intimately intertwined, with each cell releasing chemicals that influence the other. Osteoblasts resorb bone in front of the osteoclasts. As the bone is resorbed, the osteoclasts release signaling molecules called cytokines that attract osteoblasts and encourage them to start laying down new bone. The osteoblasts then incorporate small proteins into the bone matrix that they create. This harmonious functioning results in smooth bone formation.
Why does the body spend so much energy on bone remodeling? The primary reason is so that the bone can adapt to different stresses that are placed on it, especially thickening it in areas that are under great load. The second reason for remodeling is so that the bone is able to resist fatigue stress. Repetitive stress on any structure will cause it to fail. Through perpetual remodeling, the bone is able to repair small microscopic fractures before they develop into major fractures. A third reason is that the process allows for the ready transfer of calcium into the blood stream when needed for other functions. A fourth reason is that young bone protects the deep inner functions of bone best, that is, the functions associated with bone marrow production and its networking with the bloodstream.
Eucommia's Effect on Bone
Eucommia Bark, Seed and Leaf has been used since before the time of Shen Nong, well over two thousand years ago, to strengthen bones and to heal fractures. Scientists now are gaining understanding of the action of Eucommia in this regard.
Alcohol (methanol) and aqueous (water) extracts of Eucommia bark were tested for their therapeutic efficacy on osteoporosis. The results showed that Eucommia bark has powerful activity with regard to regulating bone remodeling. The components of Eucommia bark are thought to participate in each step of a mechanism for activating osteoblasts to facilitate osteogenesis (bone building), and suppress osteoclast activity sufficiently to inhibit osteolysis (the excessively active resorption or dissolution of bone).
The hormone tonic effects of Eucommia may play a significant role in its bone strengthening functions. Human Growth Hormone is known to play a role in bone growth. Insulin plays a role, in concert with hgh in building bone, and eucommia has been shown to mitigate type 2 diabetes in rats, indicating that it may have an ability to affect insulin. And Eucommia has androgenic actions that influences bone structure through multiple pathways. Testosterone spurs bone growth and calcium deposition, thickening and strengthening the bones.
Traditionally, Eucommia bark is used as a tonic to the skeleton. The apparent ability of Eucommia bark to stimulate bone growth and to mitigate excessive bone loss apparently supports this usage of Eucommia as a bone tonic.
Tips for Good Bone Health
The proper diet plays a major role. We should eat foods and consume tonic herbs rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc and other minerals, and take a mineral supplement if necessary. Limiting or restricting the consumption of carbonated soft drinks, caffeine, sugar and table salt reduces calcium excretion and therefore lead to stronger bones. Weight bearing exercise also strengthens healthy bone, though this must be carefully monitored in the cases where bone has already weakened significantly.
There is growing evidence that exposure to microwaves increases demineralization of our bone. The significance of this is not yet fully defined, but health care professionals are growing increasingly concerned about the amount of microwave exposure most of us experience in the modern world. It is best to limit exposure to microwaves.
Pearl provides calcium, magnesium and manganese that are very important in the formation of bones. Pearl has been widely used in Asia as a natural calcium supplement and a beauty tonic. The only "side effect" of Pearl is that it adds a beautiful lust to the skin. We will feature Pearl in the product section to complete a bone health program. Draw information from the Pearl article written long while ago.
Indeed, our daily activities impact our bone health everyday. Bone health is something that can be under our control and is closely connected to our biological aging. Early bone degeneration is a sign of premature aging. Hence tonic maintenance can be extremely important in not just our bone health, but in our total body health.
Traditional Function: Tonifies Yang, fortifies the Kidneys
Who can use it? Those who wish to strengthen the skeletal structure
Specifications: 100 Capsules 500 mg each
Ingredients: Eucommia seed, Dipsacus asper root, Drynaria rhizome, Eucommia bark, Morinda root, Bupleurum root, Dragon bone, Oyster shell, Chinese White Peony root, Chinese Licorice root
Other Ingredients: Vegetarian capsules (Pullulan caps 100% natural, water-soluble polysaccharide produced through a fermentation process; vegetable origin; non-GMO; no starch, preservative or chemical modifications; gluten free.), rice powder.
Usage: Take 3 capsules, 2 times per day or as directed by a healthcare professional
Remember Ron Teeguarden's "First Rule of Tonic Herbalism," summed up in a single word -- Compliance. If you don't take the herbs, they won't work."
- Eucommia seed, dipsacus root, drynaria rhizome, eucommia bark, morinda root, bupleurum root, dragon bone, oyster shell, chinese white peony root, chinese licorice root.
- Other ingredients
- Vegetarian capsules, rice powder.
- Suggested Use
- Take 3 capsules, 2 times per day or as directed by a healthcare professional.
- Additional info
- Pullulan caps 100% natural, water-soluble polysaccharide produced through a fermentation process; vegetable origin; non-GMO; no starch, preservatives or chemical modifications; gluten free.
- Quantity & type
- 100 capsules 500 mg each.
- Dragon Herbs
- 100 Caps