One of my favorite herbs ever is the red asparagus root (Asparagus cochinchinensis) also known in Chinese tonic herbalism as Tian men dong.
To be perfectly clear, this is not garden asparagus (Asparagus officinalis), nor the ayurvedic herb Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), although shatavari is a very prized herb with different effects.
Tian men dong is often considered the flying herb or levitation herb, because is induces a light state. So prized was it that many monks have used it heavily in Asia for generations to induce a profoundly spiritually lifted state and a widened, wiser perspective.
It’s a really fun herb to take because of this lift (with no crash whatsoever), but it’s the long term cumulative effect of taking this herb daily where the real magic is.
Tian men dong is a tonic herb, meaning it is safe for daily use with no side effects. Think of it as a very intelligent superfood.
First let’s go through the legend and lore of Chinese medicine, then I’ll break it down to the science of it. This 5 out of 5-star herb opens the heart, prolongs life and tonifies the sexual functions of both men and women. Not only a keynote aphrodesiac, it tonifies the lungs, nourishes the heart and kidneys, and moistens and beautifies the skin.
The herb is cooling. It’s name suggests so (Tian men dong, or lush winter aerial plant). In Chinese medicine there is a life energy called Shen (your spiritual health), which must be uplifted daily or else it is reduced by stress. This herb dramatically nourishes Shen.
After 2000+ years of traditional use, now we have science to back up the lore:
Sweet and bitter in flavor, and oh so full of adaptogenic (health modulating) molecules. Studies show that consumption of Tian men dong increases interferon (immune system proteins) in humans (a very good thing for immune system response). It possesses anti-tumor functions and is currently being studied for the treatment of lung cancer. It is rich in polysaccharides (immune system food), quercetin, and a huge array of phytonutrients which help your body assimilate more vitamins.
Contraindications: People who run cool or get cold easily should combine this herb with warming foods and herbs like maca and Panax ginseng.
UPDATE JUNE 2013: I love this herb so much that I created a delicious product out of it: LEVITY 100% Pure Red Asparagus Root Extract Powder.
I also put my potent elite-quality extract of red asparagus in my product Longevity in a Bottle.
Recipe: Check out my Butterscotch Flavored Levity Elixir Recipe over at LongevityPower.com!
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