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Abalone Shell (shi jue ming)
Abutilon Seed (dong kui zi)
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Achyranthes (niu xi)
Aconite (fu zi)
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Ailanthus Bark (chun pi)
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Albizzia Bark (he huan pi)
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Antelope's Horn (ling yang jiao)
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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)
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Ashwagandha (withania somniferum)
Aster (zi wan)
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Nutmeg (rou dou kou)
Oldenlandia (bai hua she she cao)
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Onion (yang cong)
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Ophiopogon (mai dong)
Oroxylum Seed (mu hu die)
Oryza (gu ya)
Oyster Shell (mu li)
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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)
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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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Sodium

What is sodium?

A silvery-white mineral, sodium is one of the most abundant elements in nature. It is usually seen in combination with one or more elements and is chemically very active. About half of the sodium found in the body is in the soft tissues.

Why do we need it?

Sodium plays an essential role in the regulation of blood pressure and blood volume. It also assists with proper muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve impulses. Moderate sodium intake increases resistance to heat cramps and heat stroke, especially during periods of excessive fluid loss through sweating.In addition, manganese plays an important role in the synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids, and is essential for the utilization of choline, thiamin, biotin, and vitamins C and E. It helps activate enzymes that regulate blood sugar, energy metabolism and function of the thyroid gland.

How much sodium should I take?

According to the National Academy of Sciences, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sodium is between 1,100-3,300 milligrams/day.

What are some good sources of sodium?

Sodium occurs naturally in nearly every food, from milk and beets to celery. It is most readily available in flavorings such as table salt, garlic salt, onion salt and soy sauce. One teaspoon of table salt contains approximately 2,300 milligrams of sodium. Sodium is also added to various food products. Added forms include monosodium glutamate, sodium nitrite, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and sodium benzoate. Processed meats such as bacon, sausage and ham, and canned soups and vegetables all contain added sodium. Fast foods are generally very high in sodium.

What can happen if I don't get enough sodium?

Sodium deficiency can be attributed to starvation, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme sweating, or any condition with excessive fluid loss. Symptoms of sodium deficiency include intestinal gas, weight loss, short attention span, vomiting, heart palpitations and muscle weakness. Deficiency can cause a buildup of acids in the body, which can lead to arthritis, rheumatism and neuralgia.

What can happen if I take too much?

Excessive sodium intake can cause a loss of potassium in the urine, leading to potassium deficiency. Symptoms of excess sodium include edema, dizziness, and swelling of the legs and face. Excessive salt intake has also been linked to hypertension, and diets high in sodium may increase the likelihood of liver, heart and kidney disease.


References

  • Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th ed. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1989.
  • Beard TC, Blizzard L, OBrien DJ, Dwyer T. Association between blood pressure and dietary factors in the dietary and nutritional survey of British adults. Arch Intern Med 1997;157:234-238.
  • Cappuccio FP, Markandu ND, Carney C, Sagnella GA, MacGregor GA. Double-blind randomised trial of modest salt restriction in older people. Lancet Sep 1997;350(9081):850-4.
  • Graudal NA, et al. Effects of sodium restriction on blood pressure, renin, aldosterone, catecholamines, cholesterols and triglyceride. JAMA 1998;279:1383-1391.
  • Rollnik JD, Mills PJ, Dimsdale JE. Characteristics of individuals who excrete versus retain sodium under stress. J Psychosom Res May 1995;39(4):499-505.
  • Carey OJ, Locke C, Cookson JB. Effect of alterations of dietary sodium on the severity of asthma in men. Thorax Jul 1993;48(7):714-8.
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