Calm your nerves with Suan zao ren
By Gloria Garland L.Ac, Dipl. Ac. & CH.
The Chinese herb Suan zao ren (Ziziphis jujuba Mill) may offer help in overcoming a case of jumpy, nervous tension. Suan zao ren is the primary herb in a number of classic Chinese herbal formulas designed to ease anxiety, fearfulness, nervousness and calm those who are easily startled.
Suan zao ren is a first-rate calmer for those who become anxious, fearful, nervous and unable to think clearly before events or competitions. While it is not a sedative, Suan zao ren allows one to be calm without feeling or acting sedated or sluggish. From a traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, we say that Suan zao ren calms the shen and nourishes the heart. The shen is our capacity for clear mental functioning and thinking. It is our spirit and emotions. The shen is associated with the heart, the organ most negatively affected by fear, stress and anxiety. When the heart is bothered, the shen becomes unbalanced; calming the shen is synonymous with settling the mind.
Additionally useful to folks traveling to compete at higher altitudes is Suan zao ren’s capacity to reduce altitude stress/sickness. It enables the body to acclimatize to higher altitudes more quickly without the usual side effect of headaches, dizziness, nausea and breathlessness which accompany higher altitude travel.
In Chinese ren translates as seed. Suan zao ren is a small seed that resembles a round, somewhat flattened, red lentil in size and shape. Suan zao ren is quite safe for long term use. For human use, one to two tablespoons can be brewed as a tea or taken in capsules. For high altitude travel start using three days prior to travel and continue for three days after arrival.
Chinese herbal supplements should be used properly and thoughtfully under the guidance of a licensed Chinese herbalist. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), used properly, is an adjunctive therapy and, therefore, complementary to veterinary treatment. Information presented here is not intended to replace proper veterinary diagnosis or treatment and should not be used for that purpose.