Dendrobium (Shi Hu)
Botanical Name: Dendrobium nobile
This ancient Chinese Tonic herb has been used by Chinese Taoist monks to promote longevity and improve health and stamina. Dendrobium (genus of orchids) is used to increase the sexual fluids in both men and women and is excellent for relieving thirst and dry mouth. It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Below is an overview of Dendrobium, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Dendrobium.
Western Name: Dendrobium
Also Known As: Orchid
Organs/Systems: Stamina, Muscles, Stomach
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Mild Analgesic, Antipyretic, Adaoptogen, Tonic.
Pin Yin: Shi Hu
Also Known As: Shi Hu translates as “bushel of stone.”
Meridians: Kidney, Lung, Stomach
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Nourishes Yin/Clears Heat/Generates Fluids: parched mouth, severe thirst, injury to fluids during warm febrile disease. Nourishes Stomach Yin: stomach, dry heaves, wasting and thirsting disorders. Brightens Vision and Strengthens the Lower Back.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Stems
Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Slightly Salty, Bland, Cool
Caution: This herb can cause dampness so do not use in cases of abdominal distension due to damp.
History/Folklore: Good quality is said to be shiny, golden in color and pliable. It is the white pulpy insides that contain the tonic properties.
Dendrobium is especially noted for being a Kidney Yin tonic. The Chinese Taoists used it as a daily tea to promote longevity and help build Jing (Essence). Restoring Kidney Jing strengthens the whole body. It is said to increase the sexual fluids in men and women as well as increasing saliva.
Dendrobium is considered a perfect herb for those entering the healing arts as it is said to provide “healing energy” itself, helping healers to replenish themselves after and during healing practices.
Orchid and Licorice Tea is a classic daily tea made up of four or five pieces of licorice to double the amount of dendrobium. Simmer for about twenty minutes and enjoy daily.
Dendrobium helps moisten and nourish the skin preventing dryness and Natives of the Himalayas use dendrobium to treat hot, red eye disorders.
Orchids are long-lasting and elegant plants. In Ancient Greece they were a symbol of fertility and virility. Eating the flower’s large new orchid tubers was said to insure the birth of a baby boy. Eating small orchid tubers would help you give birth to a baby girl.
In Victorian England orchids took on a mantle of luxury and delicacy. They are a symbol of perfection and beauty. In Ancient China the flowers were a symbol of many children, refinement and innocence.
Growing dendrobium at home can eradicate pollutants and toxins from the air creating a clean environment.
Dendrobine, Dendranime, Dendrocine.
When the life cycle of the mother plant ends, dendrobium produces offshoots that continue the life of the plant.
The Aborigines consider dendrobium to be emergency bush food.
In Europe, dendrobium flower blossoms are used as edible cake decorations.
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