Makhana In Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine or TCM is a popular branch of traditional medicine and also an ancient system of health and wellness management. It has been in use in China for more than 4000 years and is an inherent part of their alternate medical system. The system includes acupuncture, Tai Chi, use of various Chinese traditional plants and herbs that manage both the body as well as the mind.
Fox nut or Makhana or Qian Shi as it is locally called in China is one of the very popular plants that is used in Traditional Chinese medicine ( TCM) to manage and cure a number of diseases. Fox nut seeds have been in use for a very long period of time and have been successfully used to cure a number of illnesses.
Qian Shi or Makhana
Following are the details of the multi-purpose plant:
Parts of plant used: Dried kernels of ripe seeds
Category of TCM : Herbs that stabilize and bind
TCM nature: Neutral
TCM taste(s): Sweet
Meridian affinity: Spleen and Kidney
Naturally Occurring Components: Starch, protein, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, thiamine, carotene, vitamin C, nicotinic acid, phosphorus
Scientific name: Euryale ferox
Other popular names: Fox nut, Gorgon nut, Makhana, Gordon Euryale
Importance of Makhana in Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM)
Stability and Binding Agent: In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), foxnut or makhana seeds are belong to the category of herbs of plants are have naturally occurring ‘ Stabilizing and binding’ properties. This special category of Chinese herbs are used for treating abnormal discharges and also displacement of organs. There are also conditions including diarrhea, discharge from a man’s or woman’s private parts. While makhana or Gorgon nuts can be used to treat symptoms, it must also be kept in mind that any underlying problem or deficiency also needs to be taken care of for a holistic solution.
Fox nuts or makhana find a lot of use in traditional Chinese medicine or TCM as they are neutral in nature. This essentially translates in the ability of this multi-purpose seed to create a balance and harmony in the human body. Popularly known as Yin ( Cold) and Yang ( Hot), the balance of the two is important for optimal human body functioning. Many human beings create imbalance in the body by eating either too much hot food or too much cold food. Fox nuts being neutral in nature do not disrupt the body balance. Therefore, even if sometimes, one ends up having excess, the human body is able to tolerate that.
The TCM medical practitioners consider fox nut of a “ sweet and sour taste” and believe that the fiber rich nut also aids in digestion. It also helps to detoxify the body
Managing Diseases through TCM
A number of diseases are being cured since thousands of years through the traditional Chinese medicinal system. There are millions of people who still believe in the efficacy of TCM as its uses natural herbs and plants for treating diseases and maintaining the body health. Also there are no side effects of TCM since it creates a positive balance in the body through energies.
Primary conditions or symptoms for which foxnut seeds may be prescribed by TCM doctors
Common Traditional Chinese Medicines formulation in which foxnut seeds are used
Fox nuts are widely used for treating kidney deficiency
Fox nuts or Gorgon nuts are also used to treat people with symptoms of leukorrhea, seminal emissions. Some practitioners may combine foxnut seeds with Lian Zi and Cuscuta Seeds or Tu Si Zi.
Fox nuts are also combined with Cherokee rose fruits or Jin Ying Zi for treating nocturnal emissions and urinary incontinence.
Gorgon nuts or Makhanas are also used for treating blood deficiency . Practitioners in some parts of China use fox nut seeds with gingko nuts to treat disease like vaginal discharge etc.
TCM practitioners also combine foxnut seeds with lotus stamens and Cherokee rose fruits to treat kidney deficiencies.
Forms used in Traditional Chinese Medicine :
Plants and herbs are processed and used in different forms in TCM.. These include :
The whole plant or herb,
Makhana or fox nuts, are popularly used in the seed or kernel form and sold in bulk in China. They are then be used and processed in the form of powder and flakes. The only negative of use in TCM is that normally there are no standardization processes and the components of the end product may vary between batches and producers.
Future of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Even though the TCM system is not standardised, however a lot of people and countries also believe in the efficacy of this medicinal system. Countries including Japan, Korea, Vietnam, United States of America, the European Union, have witnessed an increase in demand of such medicines. Now this medicinal method is accepted globally and gradually is gaining much more popularity than was 2- 3 decades ago.
TCM gains edge over the western medicinal counterpart due to the fact that in this traditional system, the focus in on prevention, maintaining balance of the mind and body, so that diseases can be avoided. On the other hand, western medicine, despite all the advances, has been unable to focus more on the prevention and now increasingly are following suit.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) market has been developing fast since the latter part of the 9th century.. According to some estimates, during 2010, the output value of medicines were nearly RMB 300 plus billion . The global market has been expanding with almost at a rate of nearly 25%. It is also estimated with the combined demand in China and also other countries, the market for TCM will be around USD 80 billion by 2025.
All the above factors also gives an interesting and very positive demand for makhana or Qian Shi.