The Chinese herb Panax notoginseng, or pseudo-ginseng, also known as tianqi or sanqi, has remarkable health benefits, especially for the blood and circulation. It is one of the most precious natural herbs used in Chinese medicine. It has been used for hundreds of years in China to improve the overall health of the human body by adjusting the internal balance.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the herb is widely used to treat traumatic injuries and bleeding. It can be used to make a drink that promotes the healing of minor scrapes and cuts.
The Qing Dynasty medical book record refers to sanqi as being almost equivalent to ginseng both in taste and in its beneficial health effects. Some say its main ingredient is even stronger than that of ginseng. Sanqi is known to stop bleeding and support the production of healthy blood and a strong heart. It disperses bruising and reduces swelling and aches. It's the essential component of the popular Yunnan white medicinal powder. The plant's roots, stems, leaves and flowers all can be used as medicine.
By Chinese standards, sanqi is not an ancient herb. The earliest records of its use date back only 400 years ago, in Li Shizhen's "Compendium of Materia Medica" from about 1590.
Sanqi is closely related to Asian ginseng and American ginseng. Like ginseng, it contains ginsenosides as its major active components. However, unlike ginseng, sanqi's most common traditional use is not as a tonic but as a hemostatic, to stop bleeding and promote healing.
It is a common ingredient in many hemostatic formulas both for internal and external applications. The most famous formula of this kind is Yunnan Baoyao (Yunnan White Drug-Powder), which uses sanqi as a major component. Because of its hemostatic function, sanqi is a valued medicine for armies.
In addition, sanqi has curative effects on cardiovascular, immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory diseases, and helps normalize blood lipids and blood pressure as well. Its effect on the nervous system helps to promote calmness and a sense of well being. Its combined effects are believed to enhance mental alertness and physical energy. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect. It's even known to have anti-cancer effects.
Sanqi needs a climate with warm winters and cool summers, little strong sunshine, soft and infiltrative soil, and expedite drainage system as well. Wenshan state in Yunnan province has the right range of moderate temperatures and sufficient rainfall to grow the best-quality pseudo ginseng.
Yunnan is the place to go to find sanqi at its source.
Here are some places where you can buy pseudo-ginseng.
1. Wenshan Sanqi International Trading Center (文山三七国际交易中心)
Address: 100 meters south of the intersection of South Kaihua Road and Fengqing Street, Wenshan City, Yunnan Province (云南省文山市开化南路与风清街交汇处南100米)
2. Yixintang Chain Drugstore (一心堂连锁药店)
Address: No. 121 West Renmin Road, Kunming City, Yunnan Province（云南省昆明市人民西路121号）
Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province