What is Eucommia Bark?
The word Eucommiarefers to the bark of what is called the “Hardy Rubbertree”, which can reach up to sixty feet in height wherever it is grown. Originating in central China, Eucommia is used for ornamental and shade purposes, as well as for its medicinal properties. It is grown in temperate climates and harvested for numerous medicinal purposes. Additionally, it is the only latex-bearing tree that is known to have arisen naturally within the temperate climate zone in which it grew. Its genus title, Eucommia, is translated as “good gum” (referring to the latex). The name of this herb allegedly comes from a man named Du Zhong who, according to legend, consumed it one day and attained enlightenment.
Eucommia Bark Benefits and Uses
Eucommia bark is widely utilized in traditional Chinese medicine, and it requires several steps to process it. First, the bark is stripped off the tree in large chunks, folded until the inner surfaces are together, and then left alone until those inner surfaces turn black. After this change occurs, the bark is left out in the sun for a day and then the coarse outer layer is torn away. The tree must be a minimum of ten years old in order for the bark to be suitable for use.
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Eucommia bark is incredibly versatile and offers a variety of useful benefits:
Regulation and Rejuvenation: Eucommia bark has been shown to assist in the regulation of the endocrine system, central nervous system, immune system, urinary system, and circulatory system. It can also stimulate the adrenal cortex system, as well as strengthen adrenal functioning. The specific benefits of the bark were not always well-known, but once discovered, they merely confirmed the ancient Chinese wisdom that long-term use of Eucommia bark helps with rejuvenation and weight loss.
Nourishment: Certain herbal remedies made from Eucommia bark nourish major organs, including the liver and kidneys. They also strengthen the bones and muscles.
Infertility: While it is not a guaranteed cure for women suffering from pregnancy issues, the bark has been used to target certain fertility problems, such as miscarriage prevention, bleeding during pregnancy, fetal irritability, and recurrent abortion.
Memory: Eucommia Bark when tested on Mice proved to have anti-amnesic activity which is a proven therapy for cognitive defects, thus providing beneficial effects for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers.
Specific diseases: Eucommia bark is also used as treatment in a wide variety of medical concerns, including, but not limited to, the following ailments:
- lumbago due to kidney asthenia;
- erectile dysfunction;
- urinary frequency;
- high blood pressure;
- urinary endless; and
- Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, one of the most common forms of arthritis that degenerates joints and causes pain and stiffness in the hands, knees, or spinal functions. The disease is a result of the deterioration of the protective cartilage on the end of bones. Eucommia is used as a nutritional tonic to help prevent this deterioration. It is also beneficial for post-menopausal women, helping to nourish brittle or weak bone structure which occurs for many women after menopause due to decreased amounts of estrogen in their bodies.
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Eucommia Bark Side Effects
If done with the proper amount of care and caution, the bark rarely leads to serious repercussions. However, an overdose can cause dizziness, drowsiness, spasms, fatigue, palpitations, and comas in the most severe cases. It can also cause allergic reactions, and though such reactions to Eucommia bark are rare, it is important to keep in mind that they could, nevertheless, be induced due to the latex properties of the Eucommia bark.
Latex is a famous contact allergen, meaning that skin exposure to it can cause or trigger an allergy. Latex is used in the production industry (i.e., workers who frequently use latex gloves), and so the reaction could be due to cross-sensitivity rather than to the actual natural substance. Many people who react strongly to latex-allergy inducing plants and substances can and do consume the herbs with the same ingredients, and experience no severe side effects.
How to Take Eucommia Bark?
There are any number of ways to take Eucommia, and preparing the best method of consumption depends on the needs and preferences of the individual. For the most part, the bark can be taken in tea, pill, extract, or powder form.
Eucommia tea: Eucommia has a slightly bitter taste when mixed in with tea. The bark’s healing properties are strongest when stir-fried (or “stir-baked”).
Eucommia bark: Whole bark is sold in large segments and can be broken up to be used in liquid concoctions. When combined in pill form, Eucommia bark is usually blended with other complimentary Chinese herbs.
Eucommia extract: This form of Eucommia dosage comes in both dry and liquid form. The dry combinations are concentrated hot water extracts in order to be used for tablets, capsules, or as bulk powder. Liquid solutions consist of extracting the bark into alcohol to concentrate the active compounds within it.
Eucommia Bark Dosage
The recommended dosage for Eucommiavaries, but it typically ranges from 6 to 15 grams. In some cases, it is advised that Eucommia be consumed as much as twice a day: in the morning and then in the afternoon as an energy booster (this is about 1/4t-3t for powdered forms and 3-12 drops for liquid extractions).
A note of caution: if you are taking blood pressure medications, special care and attention is needed when it comes to your Eucommia bark dosage. This is especially true if you are thinking about taking Eucommia blood pressure tablets, powders, or liquids. The bark has a tendency to lower blood pressure, so taking the wrong amount could negatively impact this condition and make you feel worse.
Final Thoughts on Eucommia Bark
It is important to consult a professional before taking any kind of supplement or medicine. Consuming Eucommia is no exception. The proper dosage likely depends on the type of herb (liquid, powder, pill, etc.) and how frequently you desire to consume it. Before taking Eucommia bark in any of its forms, check with your doctor in order to determine the safest dosage for you.