Dragon Herbs Liver Tonic
Liver tonic is a “super pill” formulation. It contains six of the greatest tonic herbs used in Chinese tonic herbalism. All of the herbs are considered to be antiaging herbs. They are all completely safe and non-toxic. In fact, they help detoxify the Liver and the whole body while improving the condition of the tissues of the Liver and improving its functioning. Though these herbs have general effects on the body, they do have specific health promoting benefits directly on the Liver. This formula may be used as both a Liver tonic and a general tonic. It may be used throughout one’s lifetime.
The Herbs in Liver Tonic
Ant has been widely used and very highly regarded in China as a tonic for over 3000 years. Ant has been referred to in a number of famous Chinese medicinal classics, including Li Shi Chen’s Ben Cao Gang Mu, where the great master praised ants as a superior tonic with excellent curative powers. It has been universally touted as a superb Liver and Kidney tonic of the highest order. Its name, which it received in ancient times, means “black horse.” Imperial records indicate that numerous emperors and other noblemen have consumed ant tonics to promote sexuality and to increase longevity. Ant has been historically considered a superior herb of the highest order. In fact, it has been said that “Ginseng may be the King of Herbs, but Ant is the Herb of Kings!”
Ant tonics are widely consumed in Asia because Ant is considered to be a powerful antiaging agent. Over 70 years of research has proven that ants are highly nutritious and have powerful medicinal effects. As a matter of fact, ant is considered a premium adaptogenic substance in the same ranks as Ginseng, Schizandra, Cordyceps, Astragalus, Reishi and Gynostemma, the superstars of Chinese tonic herbalism.
Polyrhachis is widely used to boost the immune system, or to maintain already strong immune functions. It has been established to have double-direction benefits on the immune system, so it is used by anyone with any immune disorder to regulate immune functions.
Polyrhachis Ant has been demonstrated to have liver protective activity by lowering the activity of SGPT, a liver enzyme. It can also, to a certain degree, prevent liver cells from turning into fat.
Gynostemma is one of the superstars of herbalism. It is a potent adaptogenic herb with powerful immune modulating actions. It is considered to be especially beneficial to the Liver. The active constituents of Gynostemma are known as gypenosides. The action of gypenosides as an antioxidant was studied using various models of oxidant stress in phagocytes, liver microsomes and vascular endothelial cells. It was found that Gynostemma protected biomembranes from oxidative injury by reversing the decreased membrane fluidity of liver microsomes and mitochondria. The extensive antioxidant effect of Gynostemma is believed to be the source of its Liver protective capability.
Schizandra is one of the primary cleansing tonic herbs used in Chinese herbalism. Schizandra stands along with Reishi, Gynostemma and Polyrhachis Ant, as one of the primary liver cleansing agents used in tonic programs. Schizandra does not have the side effects that are associated with many of the “medicinal,” or “inferior” liver cleansing herbs. It is believed that by taking Schizandra regularly, it is possible to rid the body of toxins before they have a chance to do serious damage. Schizandra are widely believed to protect the liver from damage due to toxins, as well as the by-products of living.
Schizandra has been shown to strengthen and protect the liver. It does this by detoxifying and rejuvenating this critical organ. There are two critical stages to the process of liver detoxification, known as Phase I and Phase II. In Phase I, a detoxifying agent goes into the liver and binds with toxins, releasing them from the liver and taking them into the bloodstream. Almost always, this newly bound toxic bundle is more toxic than the original toxin. This increased toxicity is known as bioactivation. It is obvious that this process can be dangerous. It’s similar to the removal of asbestos from an old house. It needs to be safely removed from the walls and from the building without exposing anyone to it again. Re-exposure to old toxins in their new bioactivated form can make you sick – and much of this material will end up back in the liver again, or stored in other tissues.
During phase II of detoxification, the bioactivated toxins, which may be highly active, are safely cleared out of the body. This, of course, is the part we all want to happen in quick and efficient order. If the phase II process is weak, faulty or absent, all we’ve done is re-poison ourselves.
Many substances can go into the liver and release old toxins into the bloodstream, but that is all they do, and as a result the person goes through an increased toxic period. The so-called cleansing crisis experienced by many people who go through various types of cleanses, is largely the result of bioactivated toxins wreaking havoc in the body. It is therefore very important that agents which boost phase I activity also have significant effects on enhancing the phase II clearance of the reactive intermediate.
Schizandra appears to be very effective in boosting both Phase I detoxification and Phase II clearance of activated toxins.
Duanwood Reishi is the most highly regarded herb in Chinese herbalism. It is believed to have powerful protective actions on the Liver.
Ganoderic acids are potent antioxidant free-radical scavengers. Ganoderic acids from Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) inhibit histamine release, improve oxygen utilization and improve liver functions. Ganoderic acids T, S, R, U, V, W,X, Y, and Z isolated from Ganoderma lucidum, have strong antihepatotoxic activity.
Reishi extract showed anti-hepatotoxic activity with administration of the extract to mice with carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage. An alcohol extract of Ganoderma lucidum also stimulated regeneration of liver cells after part of liver was removed by surgery (Tsung). Six triterpenoid ganoderic acids, isolated from Duanwood Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) have been found to have cytotoxic activity.
The LBP (Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharide) component of Lycium has been found to have significant liver protective actions.
Dioscorea is a Qi tonic that aids in the assimilation and utilization of the other herbs in this formulation. The liver plays a major role in metabolism and has a number of functions in the body, including glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein plasma protein synthesis, and detoxification. This organ also is the largest gland in the human body. It lies below the diaphragm in the thoracic region of the abdomen. It produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion, by emulsifying lipids. It also performs and regulates a wide variety of biochemical reactions.
The Liver According to Chinese Traditional Health Theory
Of course, Dragon Herbs does not advocate using Liver Tonic to treat or mitigate any disease of the Liver. Liver Tonic is just what it is called – a Liver tonic. To understand more fully what this means, one must understand how the Liver is believed to function according to the theories of Chinese herbalism.
The Liver, like the Kidney, is a complex organ system. Its functions include not only those of the liver as we know it physiologically in the West, but also includes a number of other organic structures and functions that might seem unrelated at first glance, but are in fact closely related functionally such as the control of the peripheral nervous system and of our vision.
The Liver stores and purifies blood
When we are active our blood circulates freely throughout our body, but when we are at rest, much of our blood returns to the liver and is stored there. While the blood is in the liver it is purified and changed. The liver plays the major role in our body of detoxifying the blood. Chemical toxins and metabolic by-products are separated from the blood in the liver and are either discharged through the bowels or stored in the liver where they cannot harm other tissues in the body. Of course, chronic consumption of toxic substances will severely damage the liver over time. Therefore a major part of strengthening the liver and making it healthy is detoxifying the liver itself of the toxins that have been stored there.
The Liver smoothes and regulates the flow of Qi
The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. It prevents stagnation and accumulation of Qi in the internal organs and meridians. If the liver is not functioning well in this respect, there is a tendency to bloating and congestion in the digestive tract. Other conditions that can arise from the inability of the liver to spread Qi are muscular tension, poor circulation, headaches, cold hands and feet, menstrual problems.
The Liver manifests as creativity, ambition, motivation and the "will to become"
When the Liver is balanced, Qi flows smoothly and a person will naturally be able to express ideas creatively. Creativity itself is a manifestation of the Liver energy. Liver is associated with the Wood element, which is associated with expansive energy. Ambition and drive are also manifestations of the Liver energy. A person with a healthy Liver will have a well balanced urge to grow and develop, and will feel happily and energetically motivated. This is known in Chinese lexicon as the "will to become." The "will to become" is the will to live and to evolve. Lacking this "will to become," one will become depressed and lethargic. Depression and lethargy are clear signs that the Liver is not functioning properly.
The creative energy of the Liver manifests most fully at the early stage of new cycles, when a person's energy is fully charged and the future seems unlimited. The "honeymoon" of a relationship is just such a period that would be governed by the energies of the Liver.
Anger damages the Liver
Blockage of the Liver energy usually results as a blockage of one's creativity, or the ability to express it. This inability to express one's creativity results in frustration. Since our society forces most people to suppress much of their natural creativity, most people build up Liver tension and frustration. If this frustration builds, eventually the energy turns to anger and rage. It is very difficult to suppress anger, which is an explosively powerful emotion, and eventually anger will manifest in one way or another. Anger is not always, or even usually, directed at the cause of the anger. People most often vent their anger in directions that will put up little resistance.
Anger should not be suppressed, but it should not be allowed to grow out of control either. Uncontrolled venting of one's anger will further damage the Liver. By regulating the Liver energy, it is actually possible to dissipate and dissolve old anger and to rise above the things that generate anger. It is very important to regulate the live and to dissolve old anger and resentment because carrying this emotional energy around constantly distorts one's entire life.
Anger often results in what is known as restrained Liver Qi, which will manifest as tightness in the ribs and cold hands and feet. The Liver does not allow the Qi to spread smoothly and thus the circulation to the hands and feet is insufficient.
Excessive ambition can damage the Liver because it can result in frustration and anger. Excessive desire of any sort will result in frustration because by the very nature of this world, desires beyond attainability will result in frustration and depression. For this reason all the great spiritual traditions caution their followers against harboring excessive desire and ambition.
The Liver is also believed to play an important role in one's courage. Although the Kidney influences courage by providing the raw hormonal power to the system, the Liver influences courage by generating raw animal desire and power along with the human capacity for intelligent planning and decision-making.
The Liver controls the peripheral nervous system and regulates the degree of muscular tension
One of the great tricks to understanding the nature of the Liver function, as described in the Chinese healing arts, is to realize that the Liver function includes all the functions of the peripheral nervous system of the body. The peripheral nervous system includes all the nerves the emanate from the central nervous system. This of course includes the nerves that enervate the organs and tissues of the body, the arms and legs, the face, the genitalia, etc.
When the Liver energy is functioning properly, the Qi is said to flow smoothly. This means that the energy flowing through the nervous system will flow smoothly. Blockage of this function, known as Qi stagnation, results in muscular tension. This is an extremely important syndrome. If the Liver function malfunctions, as when we are chronically frustrated or angry, or due to toxicity of the liver, this will physically manifestation as muscular tension. This tension will manifest wherever there is weakness. So, for example, if the lungs are out of balance, the tension will manifest along the Lung meridian and around the areas actually directly related to the lungs and its functional accessory tissues. The same would be true for any of the organs.
Muscular tension often occurs most severely in the regions specifically controlled by the Liver and the Liver meridian. For example, it is always said that "the Liver controls the neck." The main meridian of the Liver itself does not actually flow through the neck, but the Gall Bladder meridian does. The Gall Bladder is the Yang partner of the Liver. If the Liver is tense or "heated," the Gall Bladder will become more Yang resulting in neck tension. This in turn can cause chronic a acute neck problems, jaw problems and headaches. In fact, the great majority of headaches are so-called "Gall Bladder headaches," which are in reality caused by blockage or suppression of the Liver's ability to express itself freely and satisfactorily.
When the Liver fails to regulate the nervous system properly, the peripheral nervous system will become unruly. Spasms, cramps, twitching, dizziness, vertigo, convulsions, paralysis and hypertension will result. Headaches, for example, are generally caused by spasms of the blood vessels and other muscles of the head, neck, face and eye. This is a typical Liver symptom caused by an imbalance in the peripheral nervous system. Leg cramps, menstrual tension and cramps, back spasms, chronic shoulder tension, twitching, jaw tension (tempero-mandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome), muscular dystrophy, spastic colon and so on are all manifestations of Liver dysfunction.
These conditions that are caused by a lack of control of the peripheral nervous system are all known as internal wind conditions. Like the wind blowing, the energy shoots through the system chaotically and in bolts and waves. Drunkenness is a windy condition as well.
The Liver opens into the eye and controls vision
The eyes are a part of the peripheral nervous system, and are therefore controlled by the Liver. Both visual acuity and the condition of the eye itself are under the influence of the Liver. Acute inflammatory eye diseases are generally associated with excess of Liver fire. Chronic eye disorders such as blurred vision, dizziness, chronically dry eyes, and glaucoma are caused by blood and Yin deficiency of the Liver (often in conjunction with Yin Jing deficiency). Anger and toxic substances will cause the eyes to become red, as will a lack of sleep, which harms the blood and Yin of the Liver.
The Liver nourishes the tendons and ligaments
The tendons and ligaments are governed by the Liver, so when the Liver energy decreases, the tendons contract and become stiff and movement is impaired. Liver diseases, due to diminished Liver energy, are often indicated by contracture, tendon soreness, curled tongue and contraction of the scrotum. Excessive anger, or chronically repressed anger and frustration will damage the Liver and will cause the tendons to contract. Degeneration or injury to the tendons and ligaments is
The Liver feeds the nails
The finger and toe nails are nourished by the Liver and provide an excellent indication of the condition of the Liver. Someone who has a healthy Liver function will have beautiful nails that are smooth, strong, and naturally shiny. If the Liver energy is depressed, the nails will be soft, thin, brittle, pale, dull and ridged. There will also be a tendency to develop inflammatory conditions around them or chronic fungal diseases.
The Liver energy concentrates in the genital organs
The Liver meridian runs through the genitalia of both men and women and thus are responsible for male erection and female arousal. Sexual drive is closely related to the Liver's primary drive to create (procreate) and to manifest the future. Poor erection or the inability to achieve arousal in a woman is the result of deficient Liver and Kidney energy.
The Liver benefits from calmness and smooth transitions
The Liver flourishes when transitions are smooth and general calm is maintained. Rapid, harsh change will damage the Liver. Change is a form of wind, and wind stimulates the Liver. If the wind is excessive, in other words the change is drastic, the Liver will not be able to make plans and have them carried out. The ability to make plans is an important function of the Liver, and the inability to do so can cause frustration and anger.
The Liver prefers to remain cool
The Liver is damaged by excessive heat, and therefore prefers to remain cool. Excessive heat conditions can cause general hypersensitivity, allergic reactions, and the full range of Liver symptoms. The natural tendency of the Liver is to overheat, in which case the heat rises, causing neck tension, hypertension, bloodshot or inflamed eyes, headaches, etc. This is called Liver fire rising. Or the heat can dry up the Liver Yin causing Liver Yin deficiency, which manifests as dizziness, depression, headache, irritability, blurred vision, nervous disorders, chronic eye problems and menstrual difficulties. Hypertension (high blood pressure), which falls into the pattern of these two syndromes (often a combination of both) is one of the primary killers of modern man because it predisposes a person to major cardiovascular accidents. It is treated by nurturing the Liver Yin and quelling excessive Liver fire.
If however, the heat combines with moisture, it can descend resulting in inflammatory conditions in the lower burner (the pelvic basin). Urinary tract infections, genital inflammation, vaginal discharge, and other such inflammatory conditions are known as Liver fire descending with dampness, or simply as damp heat of the lower burner and are treated by drying up the moisture and cooling the fire while balancing the Liver energy.
The Liver is the Seat of Happiness
Happiness is said to reside in, and emanate from, the Liver. Happiness occurs when there is no frustration and anger, and in the Orient this is closely associated with the idea of modifying one's desires and ambition so that frustration and anger do not become hidden within the Liver and destroy our lives. A balanced attitude will result in a healthy Liver and a calm and happy life.
Tonifies Qi and Blood, builds defensive energy. Protects and regulates the Liver and its functions
Who can use it?
People who need to improve Liver functions. If you are on medication, seek advice from a physician.
Specifications: 100 Capsules, 470mg each
Polyrhachis Ant, Gynostemma leaf, Schisandra fruit, Duanwood Reishi fruiting body, Lycium fruit, Chinese Yam rhizome.
Other Ingredients: Vegetarian capsules (Pullulan caps 100% natural, water-soluble polysaccharide produced through a fermentation process; vegetable origin; non-GMO; no starch, preservative or chemical modifications; gluten free.), rice powder.
Usage: Take 3 capsules, 2 times per day or as directed by a healthcare professional.
Remember Ron Teeguarden’s “First Rule of Tonic Herbalism,” summed up in a single word – Compliance. "If you don’t take the herbs, they won’t work.”
About Dragon Herbs, the company
Dragon Herbs was founded by Ron Teeguarden, a professional practitioner and teacher of holistic Asian health. Ron is recognized as the premier spokesperson for Chinese tonic herbalism in America, after spending decades teaching the concept of promoting health through Chinese Tonic Herbs.
For thousands of years, Asian herbalism has been used as a way to naturally maintain health. These tonic herbs safely promote ones health and healthy aging, and support “radiant health”, including increased longevity, emotional balance, resistance to disease, superb vitality, and maintenance of youthfulness.
To be considered a Superior Tonic herb, that herb must have been found to meet specific qualifications over many centuries of human use, including:
- • Possess anti-aging and longevity characteristics
- • Profound health-promoting actions
- • Balance emotional and psychic energy to improve emotional and spiritual wellbeing and happiness
- • No negative side effects when taken continuously
- • Be easily digestible and assimilated, and taste good enough to be easily consumed
- • Must contain at least one of the “three treasures”
The Three Treasures
In traditional Asian healthcare, there are said to be Three Treasures, or three primary types of energy in the body. These energies are known as treasures because they are the basis for life. The three treasures are Jing, Qi, and Shen, also known as Essence, Vitality, and Awareness. True health and happiness cannot be obtained unless all three treasures are valued and not wasted.
The Dragon Herbs line of herbal tonics is based on these superior herbs. Using herbs from their natural sources combined with cutting edge modern technology, Ron Teeguarden’s Dragon Herbs provide a broad and complete program of superior tonics to help promote radiant health on every level of your being.