January 12, 2023

Chinese Herbs for Muscle Recovery

Keeping your body in tip-top condition is the secret to a healthier and longer life. Barring bad genes (which you can do nothing about) and freak accidents, people are living much longer. Today, the life expectancy of a baby born in developed nations is well above 70 years.

While many factors contribute to longevity, the benefits of exercise for long life are up there with good genes. Exercising strengthens muscles, improves blood circulation, boosts immunity, and promotes the release of feel-good hormones, contributing significantly to overall well-being.

That said, exercising puts lots of strain on muscles. It is not uncommon to experience body pain after strenuous physical activity. While this indicates the muscles are adjusting to new performance levels, the experience can be disconcerting.

Resting helps the body repair and strengthen muscle fibers. Indeed, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) affirms that training recovery is integral to any exercise program. A 1 to 3-day rest is usually enough depending on the intensity of the activity.

But for best results, supplementing with Chinese herbs is a great idea. These are mostly available as extracts and have been shown to have extensive benefits, including promoting muscle recovery.

Key takeaways 

  • Chinese herbs have been used for centuries to treat various health conditions and diseases.
  • These herbs are an integral component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), whose overall goal is to restore and maintain body balance.
  • According to TCM, diseases and illnesses result from a disrupted Qi (life force) flow caused by unbalanced yin and yang forces.
  • Chinese herbs demonstrate significant potential in aiding muscle recovery.
  • Their efficacy and safety remain debatable, but a growing body of studies suggests Chinese herbs could be as effective as conventional medicines.

Brief history of traditional Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a medical system whose roots go back thousands of years to ancient civilizations in China. It constitutes a broad spectrum of techniques and herbal concoctions to maintain body harmony and balance to prevent disease.

TCM is built on the concept of Qi (pronounced ‘chi’) – the life force that surges through body organs preventing illness and disease. When Qi is in full flow, body balance is optimal, resulting in a healthier, stronger you.

However, sometimes Qi flow can be obstructed, causing an imbalance. How so? In Taoism, the phenomenon of life is made up of two opposite and opposing forces – yin and yang. These two halves are interconnected and combine to create complete wholeness.

The balance and harmony espoused by the yin-yang philosophy are evident in everyday life. For example, darkness and light, male and female, hot and cold, old and young, and so on. Generally, yin represents darkness, femininity, and negativity, while yang is associated with masculinity, brightness, and positivity.

Contrary to the popular view that yin and yang are opposites, they are not. In fact, each side has a little bit of the other, and it is at their confluence that perfect harmony is achieved.

This philosophy has had a profound effect on TCM. Fundamentally, it asserts that yin and yang should be perfectly balanced at any given time. When this balance is altered, Qi flow is disrupted, causing unwanted side effects like disease and illness.

As such, the overall goal of TCM is to regain and maintain this yin-yang balance. This not only means establishing balance within the body but also between it and the external environment.

Which Chinese herbs should you use for muscle recovery

After an intense workout, it is advisable to let the muscles recover. Typically, resting is one of the most effective ways to recover from the effects of physical exertion. But as mentioned earlier, you can fast-track muscle recovery by integrating Chinese herbs into your post-workout recovery program.

One way to enhance muscle recovery is by increasing blood flow to muscles. This ensures they are adequately supplied with nutrients and other vital minerals that help them heal and repair fast.

Dragon’s blood for increased circulation

For this function, a Chinese herb called dragon’s blood is highly recommended. Its bioactive compounds are found in the bright red resin obtained from the stems of Dracaena plant species. 

Dragon’s blood has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. A recent analysis of the compounds in dragon’s blood resin found that they could invigorate blood circulation and reduce blood stasis. 

They also demonstrated the ability to promote skin repair and wound healing besides exhibiting anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, the study showed that dragon’s blood has analgesic properties and may help mitigate the pain that often accompanies muscle damage.

So, there are a ton of benefits you can get from dragon’s blood. The good news is that you don’t have to scour the forest for the Dracaena plant; we have done that for you. Dragon Hemp’s Warming Balm is a unique topical formulation that relieves muscular, back, and joint pain. 

This balm is made with full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD blended with dragon’s blood, aconite, and other Chinese herbs to stimulate blood flow and prevent blood stasis. It absorbs easily into the skin and penetrates deep into muscle tissue to reduce inflammation and pain.

Chinese herbs for muscle repair

The second step to achieving full muscle recovery is muscle repair. This essentially entails healing the microscopic tears in muscles and tendons after strenuous activity. 

Typically, the repair of skeletal muscles requires that the satellite cells are activated. This is often a well-coordinated process that involves various cellular interactions. 

Muscle repair and regeneration happen in three phases:

  1. Destruction stage – the rupture and eventual death of muscle fibers, hematoma, and inflammatory responses.
  2. Regeneration – this phase is characterized by phagocytosis of damaged tissues followed by the activation of satellite cells.
  3. Remodeling – the newly regenerated muscle tissue matures and becomes functional.

Muscle repair can either be incomplete or complete depending on the degree of injury. Minor muscle injuries often heal completely with full restoration of muscle functionality. However, with severe trauma, healing may be incomplete, resulting in reduced functional capacity due to muscle atrophy.

If the findings of a 2017 study are to go by, then a Chinese herbal decoction, Jian-Pi-Yi-Shen (JPYS), might be what you need to fast-track muscle repair.

In the experiment investigating the effects of JPYS on muscle atrophy in rats, the results showed that JPYS treatment reduced muscle loss, body weight loss, muscle protein degradation, muscle fiber size decrease, and enhanced muscle protein synthesis.

This decoction is made with eight Chinese herbs, and thanks to its ability to attenuate damaged tissues, it is widely used in treating chronic kidney disease.

Passionflower to induce sleep

The importance of sleep in muscle recovery cannot be overemphasized. Vital processes that help the body repair itself happen during sleep, so it is important to get enough rest, especially after a physically demanding activity.

Have you noticed that you tend to fall asleep faster when tired? That’s because moderate to vigorous physical activity reduces sleep onset (time taken to fall asleep), increasing the amount of time you actually have to sleep. 

Indeed, numerous studies have explored the relationship between exercise habits and sleep among adults. For example, a 2013 survey by the National Sleep Foundation found that 76-83% of adults who exercised at least three times a week reported “very good” or “fairly good” sleep quality.

Conversely, only 56% of their peers who did not exercise reported sleeping relatively well. Going by these findings, it appears that sleep and exercise are intricately related.

Besides exercise, Chinese herbs such as passionflower can also help you sleep better. 

A 2017 study investigating the effects of Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) on sleep showed that it significantly increased total sleep time. In particular, it lengthened the duration of slow wave sleep (SWS) and concomitantly reduced wakefulness. 

Here is the implication. The SWS phase is regarded as the most important sleep phase. That’s because the body is in its most restful state. More importantly, during SWS, the body releases growth hormones that repair and build muscles, tissues, and bones in addition to enhancing immune system functioning.

SWS is the most restorative sleep phase, and the good news is that Dragon Hemp’s Sleep Support tincture contains a healthy dose of sleep-inducing ingredients. 

With 50 mg per dose of premium full-spectrum CBD and CBN and a host of potent Chinese herbs, including passionflower, Schisandra, lavender, and linden flower, this product is formulated to calm the mind and the central nervous system, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.

The icing on the cake is that you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated without any side effects. 

Chinese herbs for muscle pain

Another aspect of muscle recovery that you may also need to address is pain. 

The first few days can test your resolve when you start a training regimen. The pain often seems unbearable and strong willpower is needed to overcome these initial stages.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is an experience that even top-tier athletes are familiar with. It is characterized by muscle pain and tenderness that can range from mild to debilitating depending on the degree of exertion.

DOMS is essentially the body’s self-healing effect on microscopic muscle tears occasioned by intense exercise, especially after a period of inactivity. Naturally, the body attempts to correct the tissue damage by sending macrophages to the affected muscles. 

This results in a buildup of fluids in the areas surrounding the affected muscle triggering inflammation. As the pressure mounts, nociceptors in the muscle tissues and joints are activated, sending signals to the brain, which are interpreted as pain.

Turmeric to reduce inflammation

Indeed, inflammation and pain often go hand in hand. So, if you feel your muscles become tender and painful after a training session, don’t worry; it is normal.

However, too much inflammation and pain can equally be detrimental to your health. You will need something effective to manage this, and our Relief recovery tincture is it. 

Designed for oral use, this product contains premium hemp CBD extract combined with corydalis, frankincense, turmeric, and myrrh to reduce inflammation by activating the endocannabinoid system. This increases blood flow, disperses blood stasis, and minimizes inflammation, thus treating pain and catalyzing healing.

Turmeric contains curcumin – a compound shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects. As a result, it is widely used in treating inflammatory diseases like IBD, atherosclerosis, depression, arthritis, and psoriasis.

Are Chinese herbs safe

For the most part, yes. However, if you are considering using Chinese herbs for muscle recovery, it is advisable to consult a certified TCM practitioner. While some herbs used in TCM are as effective as conventional medications, they can also have serious side effects.

For example, in 2004, the FDA banned dietary supplements containing ephedra due to increased risks of stroke and heart attacks. This Chinese herb is commonly used to enhance performance and aid weight loss.

Moreover, some Chinese herbs are intended for short-term use only as they are likely to induce adverse side effects when used long-term. Also, some TCM herbals have been shown to interfere with conventional medicines. So, it is important to inform your physician if you plan to supplement with Chinese herbs.

Furthermore, since herbal supplements typically don’t require FDA approval before entering the market, their efficacy and safety are gray areas. So, exercise caution and diligence when using them.

Why CBD with Chinese herbs make a wellness duo 

The health benefits of CBD continue to be discovered, and so far, this cannabinoid demonstrates significant pharmaceutical potential. Existing studies suggest it possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can offer substantial protection against numerous pathological disorders, including degenerative disorders and pain.

At Dragon Hemp, we specialize in creating different formulas for combining CBD and Chinese herbs. In doing so, we develop custom products that perform different health functions, including supporting recovery, enhancing performance, and restoring overall well-being.

Moreover, our ingredients are organic, clean-sourced, and high-grade to ensure our products are safe and effective.

Where to buy Chinese herbs with cannabinoids online 

That said, there is no place to purchase high-quality herbal supplements other than Dragon Hemp’s online platform. We have a broad array of natural health and wellness products, such as gummies, capsules, tinctures, and topicals tailored to address your health needs.

So whether you are seeking relief from pain and inflammation, better sleep, or improved focus and concentration; name it, we have something that may help.

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