January 27, 2012

Tian Ma 天麻

Tian ma is a common herb used by Chinese mothers to help ease their children's headaches and anxieties before examinations.

A few slices of tian ma steamed with some meat is often a good soup for children and adult as well.

According to some Taiwanese scientists it might possess anti-depresent effect. This study will be published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

tin-ma.jpgThe study will be published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

 is a common psychiatric disorder with a high morbidity and mortality rate. The pharmacotherapy used in clinic today is not suitable for all patients and causes certain side-effects. Thus, looking for alternative treatments with antidepressant effect and minimal side-effect is impotant.

Gastrodia elata Bl. (tian ma, 天麻) is a famous Chinese traditional medicine used for centuries.

 The earliest account of tian ma was recorded in Shennong Bencao Jing (神農本草經, “The Herbal Encyclopedia of Shennong”), which is considered the oldest Chinese medicine text in history. The name(s) of author(s) have been lost through time but the book is believed to be at least 2200 years old.

Personally I enjoy having this soup once in a while. I just pop down to my cousin's shop "Ing Kong" in Miri and buy a bit usually RM10.00 worth and that's good enough for the whole family. But I do not know whether this is the reason why I don't have as many headaches as before. Nowadays I do not take Panadol at all which I used to consume quite regularly when I had very stressful teaching load.

Besides I am not as anxiety prone as before.

however this is just my own experience with Tian Ma....so you do need to experiment with it yourself. The rule of Traditional Medicine is never to take too much and too often.

All the best.


Anonymous said...

Hello There,

Take a look at this link

I became curious (after seeing the photo on your blog) because the top portion (the shoot), looks like white asparagus we have over here in Holland (actually it is white because the shoot is grown under sand/soil to prevent sunlight).


Ann said...

I have never heard of this. May be if I had taken them, I would have 4A, and top scholar.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

the Tian Ma is from Tibet and Sichuan Province..I have lots of photos of the dried forms..but this is the only reference I have of the plant growing. Really looks like asparagus but then asparagus does not have a bulbous root. Have to check it out. Thanks for pointing it out. God bless.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Tian Ma has been sold by Chiew Hock Choon for many years ever since I was a kid I think. Parents would talk about giving this root (it was cheap like 3.00 dollars for 100 gms then) to their kids whenever they had headaches..especially the girls. You could steam the pieces (processed) just like medicine by itself) or with check bones etc...to give it more flavour.
I did not know about the anxiety part until I went to University when I met some lecturers who taught Chinese History of Science and Civilisation. I then started to read books on Chinese Medicine..very intriguing.

Ann said...

I recognise from your FB that I posted before, having a giant flu , whole family getting it.

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