Traditional Research | Fitness Formula

Eleuthero root (Eleutherococcus senticosis)*

An excellent adaptogen that normalizes immune activity.  Its tonic effects on the adrenal glands and nervous system include reducing fatigue, stress and depression.  For the circulatory system, Eleuthero reduces atherosclerosis and normalizes blood pressure.  It is frequently used especially by athletes to increase performance.

Schisandra berry/Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra chinensis)*

Translates as Five Flavor Fruit. This herb is a powerful adaptogen strengthening hypothalamic/adrenal function and normalizing nervous system and immune activity.  Schisandra also acts as a mild, non-habit forming stimulant and a hepatoprotective agent. It astringes the jing—the vital essence—and is rich in anti-inflammatory flavonoids.

Hawthorn berry, leaf and flower (Crataegus monogyna)*

Indications include functional and organic heart weakness with pain, weak tonus of the heart muscle, angina, valvular insufficiency, mitral valve prolapse, heart murmur, venous stasis, poor capillary & venous integrity, and varicose veins.  Hawthorn lowers cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure and prevents deposition of plaque on arterial walls.  This herb may potentiate other heart medications, i.e. beta-blockers.

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum, G. sinensis)*

Indicated for immune hypo (Cancer, AIDS, Chronic Fatigue) or hyper functioning (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn's Disease, and Ankylosing Spondylitis). Reishi is an active hepatoprotective agent as well as a cardiotonic, antioxidant and nervine.

Sarsaparilla rhizome (Smilax ornata)*

A mild adaptogen and contains plant sterols which are anti-inflammatory.  It is used for psoriasis, arthritis, gout, bursitis, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammation of connective tissue.

Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera)*

A traditional Ayurvedic medicinal plant considered one of the best tonic remedies of India. It is a calming adaptogen and nervine used to reduce stress, stimulate libido and male reproductive functioning. It also acts as an antispasmodic and along with Black Cohosh, Kava and Wood Betony is specific for fibromyalgia pain. Due to its rich iron content, Withania is used to treat iron deficient anemia and the resultant fatigue associated with it.

Cordyceps mycelium (Cordyceps sinensis)*

Once reserved for the royal family of China as a superb tonic to the blood (xue), kidneys (yin and yang) and lung. Cordyceps is used by Chinese Olympic teams to enhance performance, stimulate endocrine function, reduce fatigue and calm nervousness. It can also be useful for heart arrhythmias, glomerulonephritis and loss of libido.


Bone, K.  Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs, Queensland, Australia, 1996

Bone, K.  Crataegus - More Than The Heart?  British Journal of Phytotherapy, Vol. 2 #3, 1991-2, pp. 115-127

Stamets, P., MycoMedicinals, Olympia, WA, 2002

Upton, R., Reishi Mushroom, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium, Santa Cruz, 2000

Upton, R., Schisandra Berry, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium, Santa Cruz, 1999

Upton, R., Ashwagandha Root, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium, Santa Cruz, 2000

Winston, D., Herbal Therapeutics, Specific Indications For Herbs & Herbal Formulas, HTRL, 8th ed., 2003

Zhou, J. et al.  Recent Advances in Chinese Herbal Drugs, Beijing, 1991

Herbal Therapeutics Research Library, David Winston (RH) AHG

©2012 Herbal Therapeutics Research Library. All rights reserved

*Disclaimer: The information on historical, ethnobotanical and phytotherapeutic uses of herbs and traditional formulas contained herein is based on the experience and research of the author. It is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or other health care provider. Any attempt to diagnose and treat an illness should be done under the direction of a health care professional. The publisher and author are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any of the information discussed. Should you have any questions concerning the appropriateness of any preparation mentioned, the author strongly suggests consulting a professional health care advisor.