Hanging With Huang Qi

In China, where it is a native plant, astragalus is known as Huang Qi which is translated to mean “Yellow Leader.”  This title seems somewhat oxymoronic since it would be difficult to be both yellow (or cowardly) and a leader, unless you were a very poor leader, but I digress, which genies should be allowed to do.

Anyway, astragalus is an adaptogen that is a leader among tonic herbs and is anything but poor or cowardice in terms of it’s potency and benefits.  Astragalus root has been used for centuries to expel pus and relieve pain.  Chinese herbalists recommended astragalus for night sweats, asthma, coughing and diseases with chills and fevers.


Modern uses of astragalus include preventing liver and kidney damage due to long term use of medications.  It is a known immune booster that helps prevent colds, flus, bronchitis, mononucleosis, pneumonia and other common ailments.  Astragalus has been known to improve blood flow and increase stamina.

Other benefits attributed to astragalus include increasing appetite, improving recovery from chemotherapy and as a cure for hemorrhoids.

Recent research at the UCLA AIDS Institute focused on the function of cycloastragenol in the aging process of immune cells, and its effects on the cells’ response to viral infections. It appears to increase the production of telomerase, an enzyme that mediates the replacement of short bits of DNA known as telomeres, which play a key role in cell replication, including in cancer processes.


With such a broad array of benefits, you can easily see how astragalus received its name.  It is a leader among herbs.  The yellow part simply refers to the color of its root, but then you probably figured that out.

Sensational Schisandra

Schisandra is an adaptogen that is native to northern and northeastern China. Its name comes from the fact that its berries possess all five basic flavors: salty, sweet, sour, pungent (spicy), and bitter. The Schisandra berries are used in traditional chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs.



Schisandra is classified as an “adaptogen” because it increases resistance to disease and stress.  It works to balance hormones naturally and therefore improves the ability to deal with stressors, both physical and psychological. It has also been traditionally used to increase energy, physical performance and endurance.


It is also well know for its prowess in preventing early aging and increasing lifespan. Different cultures have had different uses for Schisandra.  Just look at the impressive list of conditions addressed by this amazing herb:

  • Normalizes blood sugar and blood pressure
  • Stimulates the immune system 
  • Liver detoxing and hepatitis  (The Chinese have developed a liver-protecting drug called DBD that is made from schisandrin, one of the chemicals in schisandra.)
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Asthma and chronic cough
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps relieve nerve pain
  • Prevents night sweats
  • Stops chronic diarrhea
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Excessive urination
  • Depression and irritability
  • Protects against memory loss
  • Improves vision
  • Relieves adrenal fatigue

Historically, schisandra was consumed as a tonic in tea form, but today you can find it in capsules and herbal beverages, which makes it easier than ever to use. Because it is an adaptogen, it can be taken long term without any negative side effects or risks.  In fact, it’s believed to work better and better the longer you take it, just like many other natural adaptogens.


Schisandra berries may have five flavors, but it has at least 5 times that many health benefits.   Schisandra…an adaptogen for everyone!


Suma – The Sum Total of Health

One of the best things about being a genie, is that you frequently know what is going to happen before it actually transpires.  What this means is that I am often aware of future trends, inventions, discoveries, etc. before any of you.  Well, I AdaptoGenie am here to tell you about a little known herb that is poised to become the next kale, quinoa, ginseng  or whatever.  The next big thing in herbal supplementation is going to be Suma.


Suma is an adaptogen that is native to the Amazonian rainforest.  It’s berries bark and leaves are all used medicinally, but it is the suma root that is widely recognized as an herbal powerhouse.  The word suma comes from the latin word which means “sum total” and the plant is known throughout the Amazon basin as “para todo,” which means for everything.


According to the American Pharmaceutical Association, suma is an “energizing adaptogen,” which boosts the immune system and combats low energy or fatigue. Natutal health practicioners have often suggested suma to fight the exhaustion that occurs from viral infections such as Lyme disease and Epstein-Barr disease. It has also been used to control diabetes and hormonal imbalances due to menopause. The Mayo Clinic has stated that a serum containing suma can improve the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.

So, here’s a little Suma-ry of health benefits attributed to this amazing plant:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Increases stamina
  • Promotes fertility
  • Enriches skin
  • Boosts libido and sexual performance
  • Inhibits tumor growth
  • Reduces dark circles under eyes
  • Balances hormones
  • Helps control diabetes
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Relieves stress
  • Increases appetite
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Strengthens the heart and circulation


You know what? It really doesn’t take a genie to see that suma is destined to be one of the hottest herbs on the market.  With the ever growing need for stronger immunity and greater stamina, suma is the right herb at the right time.  If you are not currently including suma in your daily health regimen, now is the perfect time to start.

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