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These eight herbs are great for women, say TCM experts Peng Yaling, physician at Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic, and Sun Hui Li, senior TCM consultant at Bao Zhong Tang TCM Centre.

Amounts stated here are suitable for general use. As a rule of thumb, 15-30g of herbs should be boiled with 500ml of water (or enough to cover the ingredients if your pot is larger) for at least 30 minutes.

1. If you want stronger bones, consume xian mao (rhizoma curculignis).

Best TCM Herb Xian Mao

TCM 101: Calcium loss can increase by up to two times as women age.

How to prepare the herb: Boil 9g of the herb with 12g of xian ling pi (herba epimedii), 3g of licorice root, and five pieces of red dates. Have it once or twice a week. 

2. If you want lusher locks, consume nu zhen zi (fructus ligustri lucidi/glossy privet fruit).

TCM 101: This fruit helps keep hair dark and lustrous, and may also ward cervical and breast cancers.

How to prepare the fruit: Boil 10-15g of the fruit with 15g goji berries (wolfberries). Have it twice a week.

3. If you want a sharper memory, consume long yan rou (arillus longan/dried longan).

TCM 101: This fruit helps women who are often agitated or lose track of things easily.

How to prepare the fruit: Steam 10-15g of the fruit once or twice a week with a teaspoon of sugar.

4. If you want fewer blemishes, consume bai he (bulbus lilii/lily bulb).

TCM 101: Breakouts could result from “imbalances’ in women’s organs.

How to prepare the herb: Cook 15-30g of the herb with 20-30g of green beans and some rock sugar. Have it twice or thrice a week.

5. If you want a healthier flush, consume zhang hong hua (flos carthami).

TCM 101: This herb improves blood circulation and gives women a youthful, rosy glow. Drinking the tea (see recipe below) also helps regulate cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure levels.

How to prepare the herb: Steep 3-6g in hot water. Have it once daily.

6. If you want improved digestion, consume huai shan (rhizoma dioscoreae/Chinese yam).

TCM 101: Sipping the soup (see recipe below) helps enhance nutrient absorption in the gut.

How to prepare the herb: Boil 15g of the herb with 9-12g of huang qi (radix astragali). Have it once daily.

7. If you want an easier menstrual period, consume yi mu cao (herba leonuri).

TCM 101: The tea (see recipe below) will help purge blood from the womb so it returns to its original condition, with as little downtime as possible.

How to prepare the herb: Five days before your period (or after giving birth), brew 15-30g of the herb and drink once daily. Stop when your period comes.

8. If you want a better menstrual flow, consume dang gui (radix angelicae sinensis).

TCM 101: This herb replenishes blood stores after a woman’s period or childbirth.

How to prepare the herb: Boil 6-9g of the herb, 12-15g of huang qi (radix astragali), and a black chicken for one to two hours. Have it once or twice weekly.

 

This story was originally published in SHAPE. For more stories like this, head to www.shape.com.sg.