Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chinese Herbs For Sports Performance

I came across this story in the New York Times today about asthma medications being used by some athletes who don't have asthma in the hopes of increasing performance. The last time I heard of this was high school, when the rumor was that taking a shot of inhaled asthma medication would give one a boost right before a competition.

Fools! Why aggravate your body with harsh chemicals when nature has provided you with the most wonderful sports-enhancements possible? Put down your EPO, throw away your carefully packaged high-oxygen blood supplements! Here is a short, incomplete list of Chinese herbs with documented cardiovascular effects:

  • Huang Qi - astragalus
  • Ci Wu Jia - eleuthero/acanthopanax, formerly known as "siberian ginseng."
  • Ren Shen - ginseng
  • Xi Yang Shen / Hua Qi Shen - american ginseng
  • San Qi - pseudoginseng

Now, don't go out and start downing these herbs indiscriminately. If you are interested in using herbs to supplement your athletic performance, talk to your acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist. One of the basic tenets of Chinese medicine is individualized treatments, so what might be right for you might not be right for some...

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