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Abalone Shell (shi jue ming)
Abutilon Seed (dong kui zi)
Acanthopanax Bark (wu jia pi)
Achyranthes (niu xi)
Aconite (fu zi)
Acorus (shi chang pu)
Adenophora Root (nan sha shen)
Agkistrodon (bai hua she)
Agrimony (xian he cao)
Ailanthus Bark (chun pi)
Akebia Fruit (ba yue zha)
Albizzia Bark (he huan pi)
Albizzia Flower (he huan hua)
Alfalfa (medicago sativa)
Alisma (ze xie)
Aloe (lu hui)
Alum (bai fan)
Amber (hu po)
Ampelopsis (bai lian)
Andrographis (chuan xin lian)
Anemarrhena (zhi mu)
Antelope's Horn (ling yang jiao)
Apricot Seed (xing ren)
Areca Peel (da fu pi)
Areca Seed (bing lang)
Arisaema (tian nan xing)
Ark Shell (wa leng zi)
Arnebia (zi cao or ying zi cao)
Arnica (arnica montana)
Artichoke Leaves (Cynara scolymus)
Ash bark (qin pi)
Ashwagandha (withania somniferum)
Aster (zi wan)
Astragalus (huang qi)
Aurantium (zhi ke [qiao])
Bamboo Juice (zhu li)
Bamboo Shavings (zhu ru)
Belamcanda Rhizome (she gan)
Benincasa Peel (dong gua pi)
Benincasa Seed (dong gua xi/ren)
Benzoin (an xi xiang)
Bilberry (yue ju)
Biota Leaf (ce bai ye)
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Black Cohosh (sheng ma)
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Black Sesame Seed (hei zhi ma)
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Carpesium (he shi)
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Chinese Gall (wu bei zi)
Chinese Raspberry (fu pen zi)
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Clam Shell (hai ge ke/qiao)
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Cnidium Seed (she chuang zi)
Codonopsis (dang shen)
Coix Seed (yi yi ren)
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Corydalis (yan hu suo)
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Cranberry (vaccinium macrocarpon)
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Cuttlefish Bone (hai piao xiao)
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Dianthus (qu mai)
Dichroa Root (chang shan)
Dittany Bark (bai xian pi)
Dong Quai (tang kuei)
Dragon Bone (long gu)
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Elder (sambucus nigra or sambucus canadensis)
Elsholtzia (xiang ru)
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Erythrina Bark (hai tong pi)
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus)
Eucommia Bark (du zhong)
Eupatorium (pei lan)
Euphorbia Root (gan sui or kan sui)
Euryale Seed (qian shi)
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Fo Ti (he shou wu)
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Ginseng, American (xi yang shen)
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Honeysuckle Flower (jin yin hua)
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Ilex (mao dong qing)
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Isatis Leaf (da qing ye)
Isatis Root (ban lan gen)
Java Brucea (ya dan zi)
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Juncus (deng xin cao)
Kadsura Stem (hai feng teng)
Katsumadai Seed (cao dou kou)
Kelp (kun bu)
Knotweed (bian xu)
Knoxia root (hong da ji)
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Magnolia Bark (hou po)
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Massa Fermentata (shen qu)
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Millettia (ji xue teng)
Mint (bo he)
Mirabilite (mang xiao)
Morinda Root (ba ji tian)
Mugwort Leaf (ai ye)
Mulberry Bark (sang bai pi)
Mulberry Leaf (sang ye)
Mulberry Twig (sang zhi)
Mullein (jia yan ye)
Musk (she xiang)
Myrrh (mo yao)
Notoginseng (san qi)
Notopterygium (qiang huo)
Nutmeg (rou dou kou)
Oldenlandia (bai hua she she cao)
Omphalia (lei wan)
Onion (yang cong)
Ophicalcite (hua rui shi)
Ophiopogon (mai dong)
Oroxylum Seed (mu hu die)
Oryza (gu ya)
Oyster Shell (mu li)
Passion Flower (passiflora incarnata)
Patrinia (bai jiang cao)
Pau D'Arco (tabebuia avellanedae)
Peach Seed (tao ren)
Pearl (zhen zhu [mu])
Perilla Leaf (su ye)
Perilla Seed (su zi)
Perilla Stem (su geng)
Persimmon (shi di)
Pharbitis Seed (qian niu zi)
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Pinellia (ban xia)
Pine Knots (song jie)
Pipe Fish (hai long)
Plantain Seed (che qian zi)
Platycodon (jie geng)
Polygala (yuan zhi)
Polygonatum (huang jing)
Polyporus (zhu ling)
Poppy Capsule (ying su qiao)
Poria (fu ling)
Prickly Ash Peel (hua jiao)
Prinsepia Seed (rui ren/zi)
Prunella (xia ku cao)
Prunus Seed (yu li ren)
Pseudostellaria (tai zi shen)
Psoralea (bu gu zhi)
Pueraria (ge gen)
Pulsatilla (bai tou weng)
Pumice (fu hai shi)
Pumpkin Seed (nan gua zi)
Purslane (ma chi xian)
Pyrite (zi ran tong)
Pyrrosia Leaf (shi wei)
Quisqualis (shi jun zi)
Radish (lai fu zi)
Realgar (xiong huang)
Red Atractylodes (cang zhu)
Red Clover (trifolium pratense)
Red Ochre (dai zhe shi)
Red Peony (chi shao)
Red Sage Root (dan shen)
Rehmannia (shu di huang)
Reishi (ling zhi)
Rhubarb (da huang)
Rice Paper Pith (tong cao)
Rose (mei gui hua)
Rosemary (mi die xiang)
Safflower (hong hua)
Saffron (fan hong hua)
Sandalwood (tan xiang)
Sanguisorba Root (di yu)
Sappan Wood (su mu)
Sargent Gloryvine (hong teng)
Saw Palmetto (ju zong lu)
Schefflera (qi ye lian)
Schisandra (wu wei zi)
Schizonepeta (jing jie)
Scirpus (san leng)
Scopolia (S. carniolica Jacq.)
Scorpion (quan xie)
Scrophularia (xuan shen)
Scutellaria (huang qin)
Sea Cucumber (hai shen)
Sea Horse (hai ma)
Seaweed (hai zao)
Selaginella (shi shang bai)
Senna (fan xie ye)
Shiitake (hua gu)
Siegesbeckia (xi xian cao)
Siler Root (fang feng)
Slippery Elm (ulmus fulva)
Smilax (tu fu ling)
Smithsonite (lu gan shi)
Sophora Flower (huai hua mi)
Sophora Root (ku shen)
Spirodela (fu ping)
Stellaria (yin chai hu)
Stemona (bai bu)
Stephania (fang ji [han])
Sweet Annie (qing hao)
Teasel Root (xu duan)
Tiger Bone (hu gu)
Torreya Seed (fei zi)
Tortoise Plastron (gui ban)
Tremella (bai mu er)
Trichosanthes Fruit (gua lou)
Trichosanthes Root (tian hua fen)
Trichosanthes Seed (gua lou ren)
Tsaoko Fruit (cao guo)
Turmeric (jiang huang)
Turtle Shell (bie jia)
Tussilago (kuan dong hua)
Urtica (xun ma)
Uva ursi (arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Vaccaria Seed (wang bu lui xing)
Valerian (jie cao)
Veratrum (li lu)
Viola (zi hua di ding)
Vitex (man jing zi)
Walnut (hu tao ren)
Watermelon (xi gua)
White Atractylodes (bai zhu)
White Mustard Seed (bai jie ze)
White Peony (bai shao)
Wild Asparagus (tian men dong)
Windmill Palm (zong lu pi/tan)
Xanthium (cang er zi)
Zedoary (e zhu)

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Arginine

What is arginine? Why do we need it?

Arginine is an essential amino acid produced naturally by the body. It plays several roles in the body, including an increase in protein synthesis (which promotes wound healing); removal of excess ammonia; stimulation of the immune system; and promoting the secretion of several hormones, including glucagon, insulin and human growth hormone. Arginine is also a precursor to nitric oxide, which keeps blood vessels dilated and allows the heart to receive an adequate oxygen supply.

Several tests have been conducted on arginine’s properties. Large amounts of arginine help wounds heal faster in both animals and humans. Some studies of men with low sperm counts have experience an increase in the number of sperm while taking arginine supplements. There is also preliminary evidence that arginine reduces angina pain and may help regulate blood cholesterol levels.

How much arginine should I take?

Normally, the body makes enough arginine, even when it is lacking in the diet. Most studies on arginine have used between 2-30 grams per day. Arginine is also sometimes combined with arginine prior to physical activity.

What are some good sources of arginine? What forms are available?

Dairy products, meat, poultry and dish are all excellent sources of arginine. Many nuts and chocolate also contain significant amounts of arginine. It is available in powder, tablet or capsule form, and is sold either alone or in conjunction with other amino acids.

What can happen if I don’t get enough arginine? What can happen if I take too much? Are there any side-effects I should be aware of?

Because arginine is produced naturally by the body, most people do not need to take extra supplements. However, during times of unusual stress or injury, the body may not be able to produce the necessary amount of arginine. Patients with such conditions should consult with a qualified health care practitioner about arginine supplements.

Individuals with kidney or liver disease should consult with a health care provider before taking arginine supplements. Patients with herpes should not take arginine because it may stimulate replication of the virus.

Large amounts of arginine may both promote and/or interfere with the growth of cancer. While preliminary research has shown that arginine stimulates the immune system, a high intake (>30 grams per day) has also bee associated with increased cancer cell growth in humans. As of this writing, it remains unclear whether arginine is helpful or harmful for people with cancer.

As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions with arginine.


References

  • Ehrén I, Lundberg JO, Adolfsson J. Effects of L-arginine treatment on symptoms and bladder nitric oxide levels in patients with interstitial cystitis. Urology 1998;52:1026—9.
  • Korting GE, Smith SD, Wheeler MA, et al. A randomized double-blind trial of oral L-arginine for treatment of interstitial cystitis. J Urol 1999;161:558—65.
  • Marcell TJ, Taaffe DR, Hawkins SA, et al. Oral arginine does not stimulate basal or augment exercise-induced GH secretion in either young or old adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 1999;54:M395—9.
  • Smith SD, Wheeler MA, Foster HE Jr, Weiss RM. Improvement in interstitial cystitis symptom scores during treatment with oral L-arginine. J Urol 1997;158:703—8.
  • Wolf A, Zalpour C, Theilmeier G, et al. Dietary L-arginine supplementation normalizes platelet aggregation in hypercholesterolemic humans. J Am Coll Cardiol 1997;29:479—85.
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