June 6, 2023

The traditional Chinese medical remedy huang jing is safer and more effective than hormone therapy in improving menopausal symptoms, according to a new study from Korea.
Menopause happens at the end of women’s menstrual cycles owing to a natural decline in reproductive hormones. During the process of transitioning into the stage of menopause and a short time after, a woman may experience symptoms such as hot flushes, sweating, depression, dizziness, memory loss, and back pain.
Modern medicine treats menopausal symptoms primarily with external hormone replacement. However, numerous clinical trials have shown that hormone therapy is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and stroke.
In the research conducted by the Spine and Joint Research Institute (JRI) of the Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine, senior researcher Park Doo-ri and her team confirmed that huang jing (Polygonatum sibiricum) can improve menopausal symptoms without the risks of hormone therapy’s side effects.
The research was conducted on mice using huang jing extracted from the prescribed medicine “Jaseng JStrogen,” and the research paper was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy in September.
The team concluded that huang jing can improve vaginal epithelium thickness, psychological depression, osteoporosis, and obesity associated with menopause.
In short, huang jing functions by regulating female hormone receptors, or molecules that make cells respond to hormones in the body. However, huang jing is found to inhibit two specific growth factors that lead to endometrial hyperplasia, an exciting discovery that confirms oral intake of huang jing is a side-effect free menopause treatment.
Huang jing, also known as Siberian Solomon’s Seal, is the dried underground stem of a plant called Polygonatum sibiricum. It has been used for thousands of years in China as a medicine for nourishing the lungs, kidneys, and spleen.
Additionally, huang jing has been shown in modern medical research to have antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-osteoporosis, neuroprotective, immunity-boosting, anti-diabetic, anti-fatigue, and anti-cancer properties.
In the most well-known ancient Chinese traditional medical book, “Compendium of Materia Medica,” huang jing was said to “replenish and strengthen marrow and essence … a good treatment for all kinds of frailty.” In some instances, it was referred to as the “food of the immortals” by ancient Chinese people.
The origin of huang jing can be traced back around 5,000 years, to the times of the Yellow Emperor. According to “Bowuzhi,” a 1,800-year-old compendium of ancient Chinese folklore and tales, huang jing was first referred to as “the essence of the sun” by the Yellow Emperor’s assistant.
In another notable ancient compendium of philosophy and medicine, “Baopuzi,” huang jing was mentioned as “an essence that provides extraordinary benefits if consumed for 10 years.”
The author of “Baopuzi,” Ge Hong, a fourth-century Taoist and herbalist worshiped by people of his time as Immortal Ge, gained recognition both at home and abroad when Chinese scientist Tu Youyou won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Ge’s work provided key insight into treating malaria with an extract made from the sweet wormwood shrub, Artemisia annua, more than 1,600 years ago.
The Zen master Wuxia of the Ming Dynasty lived until the age of 124 when he passed away in 1623. He lived in seclusion in the mountains for a long time, eating huang jing and wild fruits as his main foods. His body, which shows little signs of decay nearly 400 years later, is one of the eight famous “incorruptible bodies” at the sacred Buddhist mountain, Mount Jiuhua in Anhui Province, China.


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