As I write this, I am sipping a red, delicious, aromatic brew. I steeped it from a special plant called wild siberian red root (radices hedysarae theinae) not to be confused with red root (ceanothus americanus) as they are two separate and distinct varieties with different properties.
The wild siberian red root (radices hedysarae theinae) also called bear root and blood root, grows mostly in the mountains of Altai region where it’s roots reach up to 18 feet in length and 4 inches in diameter. Imagine, pulling that out of the ground. Altayans, who are famous for their longevity, vitality and strength, used to pull it out of the ground with the help of horses.
The plant prefers cool, subalpine climate with moist rich soil or tundra. Locals called it bear root because they observed bears eating the root after hibernation for restoring vitality. Siberian hunters now have a tradition of drinking bear root before hunting since it allows them to stay strong and alert without food for many hours.
For clarity of distinction from regional red root (ceanothus americanus), I will refer to the plant as siberian red root or blood root (old Russian name for radices hedysarae theinae).
While blood root has amazing benefits for both sexes, it’s worth emphasizing it’s effects on gender specific issues. Unlike ginseng that mainly targets men’s health, blood root works equally well for both. Let’s start with women.
The Biggie for Women – blood root is effectively used for treating infertility and gynocological issues. Whether you are at a stage dealing with breast tenderness, PMS and menstrual cramps or a stage where uterine bleeding, rectal prolapse, uterine prolapse, or bladder infections has taken place – blood root will address these issues. It rejuvenates the reproductive system and restores the reproductive function. In Russia, Siberian red root is given to women going into labor since it supports the muscle tone. Furthermore, it is excellent at dealing with extreme emotions, nervous breakdowns, headaches, and neurasthenia. It really knows how to treat a girl, but doesn’t leave men behind either.
The Biggie for Men – blood root is natural, non hormonal stimulator of sexual drive. Unlike quick and short lived action of Viagara, blood root produces subtle but sustained results without side effects. Discrete and effective, stimulating effect of the plant constituents restore sexual function. Psst! In Russia, guys take it to prevent impotence. In Russian folk medicine blood root is used for treatment of prostatitis – the curse of men in general, but especially of men with sedentary life style (computers, video games, watching TV, etc). Lack of physical activity tends to cut off blood circulation to the pelvic area, causing stagnation in the bladder, kidneys and prostate. The results are ache and discomfort in the groin, urethritis, erectile disfunction, low sperm count and impotence. Blood root to the rescue! Active constituents of Siberian red root, such as vitamin P, strengthen the walls of the blood vessels and normalize blood circulation in the organs of pelvic cavity. Unique flavonoids relax the musculature of prostate, which restores its blood circulation and sperm count. Timely use of bear root prevents complications of prostatitis and stops it’s progression.
The benefits of blood root go far beyond the reproductive systems of men and women. Blood root rejuvenates the entire organism and it’s systems. According to Altai legend it is energetically warm and belongs to the spirit of water, meaning it regulates the balance of water in the body. A diuretic, it expels only stagnant water and in the process treats fluid retention, edema, puffiness, resolves swellings, improves electrolyte balance and muscle tone.
Siberian red root helps with all kinds of bladder problems. It normalizes urination by fully emptying the bladder thus decreasing frequency of urination, especially useful to middle-aged people with bladder issues. Treats bladder prolapse and is used for cystitis. Also used for the diseases of kidneys
Siberian red root reinforces the walls of small blood vessels and increases permeability of capillaries thanks to vitamin P that acts as chelating agent, detoxifying body from heavy metals and neutralizing the free radicals. This, in turn, improves blood circulation, facilitating the work of heart muscle, making the heart muscle stronger and sturdier so it could circulate more blood and oxygen. Blood root is incredibly effective for treatment of anemia, improving hemoglobin and red blood cells count.
Siberian red root affects brain activity by improving blood circulation to the brain. It improves psycho-emotional states and can be used as an antidepressant or to treat anxiety. Both men and women of certain age want to pay attention to this plant.
Used for respiratory tract infections: bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma. Blood root is an expectorant; it clears lungs and bronchioles from phlegm and reduces the intensity of the cough. It treats lungs and bronchial passages, unproductive cough and nasal congestion.
Blood root revitalizes the immune system, increases endurance, and assists in restoring the health of the body after illness. Immunostimulant, it decreases the risk of epidemics and restores the immune function.
Tannins in the root deal with acute gastro-intestinal issues. It stops gastro-intestinal spasms, alleviates pain and stops diarrhea.
- Alleviates fatigue and normalizes sleep.
- Breaks high fever. Deals with problems of the central nervous system.
- In old days blood root was used to treat epilepsy.
- It is anti-inflammatory as well as a natural pain-killer.
Siberian red root contains amino-acids, unique bioflavonoids that give the tea its red color, antioxidants, alkaloids, and polysaccharides. Do not worry if your urine takes on reddish color as blood root is a powerful dye.
Please remember that no herb is a magic wand. One plant can not undo damage that took many years to form. It is a supplement that contains many nutrients used best before the pathology had a chance to settle.
Contraindications: Do not take blood root
- If you had a heart attack.
- If you have bad hypertension.
- If you have a liver pathology.
- If you have a history of alcoholism.
- If you had brain trauma.
- If you are pregnant or lactating.
- Not for small children and adolescents.
1 heaping tablespoon of Siberian red root.
1 quart of water.
Bring blood root to boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. It’s ready to drink at this point, but if you want a stronger effect and to get more nutrients out of it, pour the hot liquid into a thermos including the root and let it rest for two hours right after cooking. Be aware that it will make the taste of the tea stronger.
Similarly, if you want to make a slightly lighter tea for a pleasant restorative brew word to fight off cold and flue infections, follow the same proportions but do not simmer the root. Simply put the root into a thermos, pour hot water on it, cover and let stand for 1-2 hours.
Drink 2 cups a day adding honey or milk to taste. Don’t exceed 2 cups a day. Drink the last cup at least 2 hours before going to sleep.
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