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Interesting Correlations With Herbs & The Body

Interesting Correlations: (modified from Bag Of Pearls by Subhuti       Dharmananda, Ph.D.)

Trees & Shrubs:

They attain larger sizes which is good to free up restricted circulation of qi and blood and to protect against external influences.  Example: Ginkgo and Cinnamon


Minerals are immobile and supporting in nature – extricated form the earth and water. Minerals stabilize the emotions and mental agitation and support the body’s basic strength.  They are used to help insomnia, muscle spasms, reinforcing the function of the endocrine glands and restoring weak and broken bones. Ex: Calcium, gypsum and fossilized bone.

Weeds, Grasses & Vines:

They grow rapidly in spring and die off in fall.  Their short life span deals with the winds of spring and the heat of summer.  Therefore these herbs are effective for treating rapidly developing diseases and heat syndromes such as acute sore throat, fever and skin eruptions.  Vines are long, jointed and strong and known to help many symptoms related to the extremities (arms and legs).  Example: dandelion and fleece flower vine.


Animals are known for their grace, agility and strength.  Animal herbs are known to help nerves, muscles, joints and skeletal problems.  They are strong in counteracting debilitating, immobilized and deadly diseases such as coma, paralysis, arthritis, cancer, bone marrow depression and debility of aging.  Small animals such as insects and snakes quickly penetrate area of obstruction and so are good to relieve pain and accumulation of qi, blood and body fluids.  Larger animals have strength and longevity.  Example: lizards, snakes and antler fur.

Fruits and Seeds:

These are a storehouse of essential ingredients for regeneration of life.  Usually they develop later in the year capturing the essence of the plant before the cold, dark of winter to preserve until spring.  Chinese doctors often use fruits and seeds to preserve life, enhance fertility, promote strength and provide lubrication for the body. Many seeds are also highly effective in treating various eye disorders. Today we recognize that seeds are a good source of essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins.  Fruits protect against diseases in general.  Example: apricot kernel and lotus seeds

Materials from the Sea:

Sea life has evolved to thrive in the environment of cold water.  Aquatic herbs are good for resolving moisture problems and they help to regulate metabolism and body temperature.  In addition they clarify opacity and resolve accumulations, producing clear, flowing fluids like sea water.  Such is the case with Goiter that is resolved from iodine found in many sea plants.  Example: seaweed, turtle shell and kelp.

Roots and Rhizomes:

Roots draw in basic nutrient for the rest of the plant and the rhizome serves as a reservoir of complex nutrients to be stored during the winter months.  They exist in dark, moist environments and are resistant to micro-organisms in the soil and to adverse impacts of moisture.  Chinese doctors use roots and rhizomes to provide nourishing tonic qualities and have used these herbs to overcome diseases associated with dampness and chronic infections.  Example: poria, prking spurge root and rhubarb root.

Flowers and Buds:

Flowers are light and airy opening up and out into the air.  These herbs have the action of releasing toxins out from exterior invasions such as seen in colds, allergy reactions or skin rashes.  They help to open the sinuses, lungs and skin release headaches, drippy or congested sinuses and watery burning eyes.  Example: magnolia flower and buds, chrysanthemum flower and Chinese rose.