Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for thousands of years by different generations in China and other Asian countries as foods to promote good health and as drugs to treat disease. Goji berry (Lycium barbarum), as a Chinese traditional herb and food supplement, contains many nutrients and phytochemicals, such as polysaccharides, scopoletin, the glucosylated precursor, amino acids, flaconoids, carotenoids, vitamins and minerals. It has positive effects on anitcancer, antioxidant activities, retinal function preservation, anti-diabetes, immune function and anti-fatigue. Widely used in traditional Chinese medicine, Goji berries can be sold as a dietary supplement or classified as nutraceutical food due to their long and safe traditional use. Modern Goji pharmacological actions are improving function, enhances the body ,s ability to adapt to a variety of noxious stimuli; it significantly inhibits the generation and spread of cancer cells and can improve eyesight and increase reserves of muscle glycogen and liver glycogen which may increase human energy and has anti-fatigue effect. Goji berries may improve brain function and enhances learning and memory. It may boost the body ,s adaptive defences, and significantly reduce the levels of serum cholesterol and triglyceride, it may help weight loss and obesity and treats chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. Today they are considered functional food with many beneficial effects, which is why they have become more popular recently, especially in Europe, North America and Australia, as they are considered as superfood with highly nutritive and antioxidant properties. Geographical origin of Goji berries are one of the most important quality parameters in TCM since the differences in climate, soil, and cultivation methods cause differences in the chemical composition of the plants. Goji berry has huge health benefits that attract good international markets. Goji berry which is as knows as the super fruit and super food in TCM for the claimed health benefits and it should be part of daily diet.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used as a spice and a medicine for over 200 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Ginger is an important plant with several medicinal, and nutritional values used in Asian and Chinese Tradition medicine. Ginger and its general compounds such as Fe, Mg, Ca, vitamin C, flavonoids, phenolic compounds (gingerdiol, gingerol, gingerdione and shogaols), sesquiterpenes, paradols has long been used as an herbal medicine to treat various symptoms including vomiting, pain, cold symptoms and it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, anti-tumor activities, anti-pyretic, anti-platelet, anti-tumourigenic, anti-hyperglycaemic, antioxidant anti-diabetic, anti-clotting and analgesic properties, cardiotonic, cytotoxic. It has been widely used for arthritis, cramps, sprains, sore throats, rheumatism, muscular aches, pains, vomiting, constipation, indigestion, hypertension, dementia, fever and infectious diseases. Ginger leaves have also been used for food flavouring and Asian Traditional Medicine especially in China. Ginger oil also used as food flavouring agent in soft drink, as spices in bakery products, in confectionary items, pickles, sauces and as a preservatives. Ginger is available in three forms, namely fresh root ginger, preserved ginger and dried ginger. The pharmacological activities of ginger were mainly attributed to its active phytocompounds 6-gingerol, 6-shogaol, zingerone beside other phenolics and flavonoids. Gingerol and shogaol in particular, is known to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In both Traditional Chinese Medicine, and modern China, Ginger is used in about half of all herbal prescriptions. Traditional medicinal plants are often cheaper, locally available and easily consumable raw and as simple medicinal preparations.
Ginseng is the most famous of the Chinese herbs throughout the world, and has been one of the most valued herb in China. Traditional Chinese Medicine as an important component of complementary and alternative medicine, evolved over thousands of years with its own unique system of theories, diagnostics and therapies in Asian countries, especially China. In most parts of the world, especially western countries, Ginseng has been increasingly used in the last decades and has become well known for its significant role in preventing and treating so many diseases. Ginseng species are Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer (Korean ginseng), Panax japonicas C. A. Meyer (Japanese ginseng), Panax major Tings, Paanx notoginseng (Burkill) F. H. Chen (Sanchi ginseng), Panax omeiensis J. Wen, Panax pseudoginseng Wallich, Paanx quinquefolius L. (American ginseng), Panax sinesis J. Wen, Panax trifolius L (Dwarf ginseng), Panax wangianus Sun, Panax zingiberensis C. Y. Wu & K. M. Feng, Panax vietnamensis Ha et Grushv. (Vietnamese ginseng) and etc. But the most important species are Panax ginseng (Chinese ginseng), and Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng). Panax ginseng has consisted of a number of active constituents, such as saponins or ginsenosides, carbohydrates, nitrogenous substances, phytosteril, essential oils, organic acids, amino acids, peptidoglycans, carbohydrate, nitrogen-containing compounds, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other phenolic compounds. Ginsenosides are classified into two main groups known as protopanaxadiol (PPD), and protopanaxatriol (PPT). Pharmacological activities of ginseng extracts are effects on the central nervous system; antipsychotic action; tranquilizing effects; protection from stress ulcers; increase of gastrointestinal motility; anti-fatigue action; endocrinological effects; enhancement of sexual behaviour; acceleration of metabolism; or synthesis of carbohydrates, lipids, RNA, and proteins. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, ginseng help to maintain a healthy immune system. Ginseng contains an abundance of diversified chemical elements hardly found in other medicinal herbs. More clinical studies are necessary to uncover the numerous substances and their effects in ginseng that contribute to public health.
Astragalus is a common Traditional Chinese Medicinal plant which is a widely used herbal product in China, other Asian countries and some western countries. Astragalus has been used for almost 2000 years in China to boost the body ,s general vitality and strengthening resistance to exogenous pathogens. Saponins, polysaccharides, amino acids, flavonoids, organic acid, glycosides, alkaloid, and trace elements, are the major class of chemical compounds occurring in species of Astragalus genus, the largest one in the family of Leguminosae. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astragalus considers to used in the treatment of diabetes, mellitus, nephritis, leukemia, uterine cancer, besides its tonic agent and diuretic effects. Astragalus polysaccharide, the active component extracted from Astragali Radix which is the root of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge. Some uses of Astragalus are in kidney and urinary problems, Digestion, liver problems, female reproductive system problems, muscular, skin problems, cardiovascular and blood, immune and lymphatic system, nervous system, respiratory system, and for some specific disease. It helps protect the body against various types of stress such as physical and emotional stress. Astragalus root including anti-aging properties, and also helping to prevent bone loss. In TCM, huang qi is never administered as a mono drug, but forms part of mixtures depending on the indications. Astragali Radix, the root of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge, has been reported to exert hepatoprotective effects, antioxidative effects, antiviral activity, anti-oxidative effects, anti-hypertensive effects, and immunostimulant properties; it has also been reported to strengthen superficial resistance, drainage action and new tissue growth. Although, TCM in China is partly integrating with western medicine science, researchers should learn more from TCM and carry out more studies.