When using herbs, there are a few things you should have in mind.
- Knowledge of your own body system and what herbs are suitable for your body type
- How to pick the right one
- How to correctly cook/infuse herbs
Today, I want to talk about 'how to pick the right one' especially when you are choosing Hwang Gi (Korean Astragalus) and its known benefits for your skincare.
Korea has one of the largest herbal markets in the world and many active researches are being done on the herbs. Since dated more than thousands of years ago, Korean ancestors have focused on longevity of human lifespan. They believed that a person's ethical practice as a human being and respect for nature and one's body lead to living long and youthful.
For them to do that, they have been in search for many different kinds of herbs they could find and fortunately South Korea having hot, moist summer and cold, dry winter made a perfect soil ground for many herbs to grow having medicinal benefits.
There are many, many, and too many to list but today I would love to talk about Hwang Gi which is considered the better alternative(or a better choice) to In Sam ( Korean pronunciation of Gin Seng).
In Sam is best known for its stamina boosting energy. However, if you use it wrong or if your body type conserves a lot of heat, it can actually negatively affect you than good. Lactating women, pregnant women, patients who just received surgeries, diabetic patients and patients with weakened thyroids should avoid using Gin Seng as their herbal remedy. "Tae-um-in" is a type of people group that has characteristics of being tall, big hands/feet, loud voices, rough skin, big eyes/nose and lips. Tae-um-in group should avoid or be careful when consuming any In Sam products/supplements like Red GinSeng as well.
Speaking of Hwang Gi, it isn't potent as In Sam, it especially is helpful for people who sweat a lot, bleed a lot during periods, kids with sleep problems or reduced appetite and problem gaining weight by helping them retain more energy efficiently. Its properties and benefits can be remedied by most people safely.
It helps restore/regulate T-cell function. There are active researches and studies being performed on how Astragalus can be used in immunotherapy in patients with various diseases (The Current Application and Future Prospects of Astragalus Polysaccharide Combined With Cancer Immunotherapy)
For your 'skincare', pay close attention to how it can be used and why it has so much potential. In June of 2019, Korea Rural Development Administration performed an interesting experiment by applying Astragalus extract on a UVA damaged artificial skin tissue. There it was able to discover the recovery process on the UVA damaged tissue where the extract reduced skin-inflammation factor by 30-70% and also reduced production of immune responsive inflammation factor proteins like cytokines* by 75%. Also it was able to experiment that heat processed Astragalus extract was 50% more effective than that of raw form.
From this study, we can learn that Hwang Gi can be an excellent skin immunity strengthener and more of keeping your youthful look longer by reducing inflammation causing factors from outside damages to your skin.
For this reason, there are many herbal suppliers selling Hwang Gi, but please know that there are more than 3000 strains of this particular herb. The guide to find the right kind that can actually benefit you is to find the one that comes with its skin (not peeled/shaved, not bleached, Hwang in Korean hanja means 'Yellow' so you should appreciate its dull, unappealing tinted old looking yellow color), at least 3 years old when harvested (the way to tell if its aged to 3 years or more is to look inside the stem. You will see a lot of hollow holes on the cut surface because as it ages, less fresh skins, duh, also more wrinkles on outer skin) and obviously it is thicker when aged.
This coming Thursday for your healthy weekly meal recipe - I will introduce how to make 'Sam Gye Tang' Korean Medicinal Chicken Soup using Hwang Gi. It will help you boost your immune system and an excellent remedy to those who might be suffering from flu-like symptoms.
Stay tuned! 01.15.22 is the debut of our All New! 'Good-bye Trouble' Astragalus facial massaging soap. Only 6 will be available initially. They were made with premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil we were able to scout from Templeton, CA from a small family-owned olive farm. They were slow-processed just like how Korean herbal medicines are made by heating up ingredients at a minimal heat for days.
*Cytokines are an essential part of the inflammatory process. Cytokines are produced by several immune cells including the innate macrophages, dendritic cells, natural killer cells and the adaptive T and B lymphocytes.
The Current Application and Future Prospects of Astragalus Polysaccharide Combined With Cancer Immunotherapy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8548714/
R&D by Korean Rural Development Administration: http://www.rda.go.kr/board/board.do?boardId=farmprmninfo&prgId=day_farmprmninfoEntry&currPage=1&dataNo=100000756151&mode=updateCnt&searchSDate=&searchEDate=