Tibetan Herbal Footsoaks: even the name sounds mysterious, ancient, and unusual. If you’ve come anywhere near them, you have been treated to their powerful fragrance. If you have picked up a bag and looked inside, you may have thought, “oh crud. The names of the herbs are in Chinese. I don’t know Chinese!”
Fear not. I do know Chinese (medicine), and I am going to tell you everything you need to know about the herbs in these footsoaks. You were right if you thought they were ancient and unusual, but they do not have to be mysterious.
The following is a list of the herbs found in the footsoaks and a brief description of their properties and functions.
So, let’s start from the top.
Du Yi Wei, also known as Herba Lamiophlomis, has many important functions, including both moving and stopping bleeding, producing red blood cells, and stopping hemorrhaging. How does it both move and stop the movement of blood? It’s about regulation. What is stagnant is moved and what is moving out of control is slowed or stopped. Du Yi Wei is important in the footsoak formula because the aim of the soak is to create movement in the peripheral blood vessels to open the channels and vessels throughout the body and return the body’s system to balance, or homeostasis.
Next, we have Zang Chang Pu, which is also known as Rhizoma Acori Calami. This herb is anti-bacterial and has a mild tranquilizing effect. It regulates digestive function and is great for people who can’t absorb nutrients.
Zong Hong Hua is commonly known as Safflower. This herb is a powerful antioxidant which has been known to lower cholesterol and can protect cardiac muscles from factors that can cause hardening of the tissue. This herb is regularly used in Chinese medicine formulas to move blood.
Hong Jing Tian, AKA Rhodiola, has its roots in Tibetan medicine. This herb is used to improve immune functions, treat chronic inflammation, increase oxygen in the blood, and alleviate pain by moving blood. This herb is often used for chronic fatigue.
Qiang Huo is analgesic and improves arthritis pain. It inhibits fungus, increases blood circulation, and restores normal heart rhythm. It works synergistically with Hong Jing Tian. For this formula, our source was able to procure the highest quality herb, which is normally designated for the elite of Beijing.
The formula also includes Ai Ye, which you may know as Mugwort, the herb we use in moxibustion. This herb supports normal functioning of the gall bladder and is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It is also credited with inhibiting the formation of blood clots.
Gan Jiang, or dried ginger, protects the gastric mucosa of the stomach lining as well as the liver. It also prevents clotting and is anti-bacterial.
The last Chinese herb in our footsoak formula is Ku Shen or Sophora Root. This herb has immune-stimulant properties. It stimulates beta receptors of the sympathetic nervous system to relax bronchioles and relieve asthma. It is anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial. It is also anti-arrhythmic. It dilates blood vessels and increases blood perfusion to cardiac muscle. It also inhibits the bacterial biofilms that are associated with most chronic diseases.
Aside from the herbs mentioned above, the foot soak sachets include a Tibetan salt called Karucha, which is high in many minerals, such as potassium, manganese, magnesium, and barium.
We use herbs in formulations in Chinese medicine because the benefits of each herb is modified and moderated by the functions of other herbs to achieve a specific goal. SOOOOOOO, don’t run out and get any of these herbs and try to mix them up yourself. The formula has been carefully researched and the herbs have been tested together. Don’t mess with that.
The long and short of it is this: this well crafted formula helps improve a person’s mobility, which is important because mobility is the key to eliminating chronic pain. When we dredge body’s channels of the accumulations that block smooth flow, we can return the body to normal functioning, or homeostasis. Balance is really what it’s all about, isn’t it?
If you missed the post about why we use soaks and how they work, I welcome you to read the post below.