5 Must-Have Chinese Herbal Products for Athletes (2023)

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC
  • May 14, 2021

If you’re an athlete, you know that when your body is running like a well-oiled machine, you can take on the world. But, what do you do when pain, fatigue, or injuries get in the way of reaching your goals?

Most people opt for over-the-counter pain relievers or band-aid treatments that only work temporarily. Thankfully, Chinese medicine offers a more holistic solution with lasting results.

Here we’ll share 5 of the must-have Chinese herbal products for athletes and how these simple natural products can help you perform at your best!

Chinese Herbal Medicine for Athletes

Chinese medicine has long been used to help relieve pain and heal injuries faster. Trauma medicine, or Dit Da, began as a way to help martial artists and fighters prevent and heal injuries. Along with bone setting and manual therapies, herbal remedies were crucial in the rapid and complete healing of bones, joints, muscles, and other tissues.

Today, we still use Dit Da and other herbal therapies to help martial artists and other athletes perform at their best naturally. From increasing endurance to reducing inflammation to relieving pain, Chinese herbal medicine is a secret weapon for any serious or amateur athlete.

Let’s dive into the must-haves for your sports medicine toolbox!

5 Must-Have Chinese Herbal Products for Athletes

1. Boost Endurance: Cordyceps Capsules

Want to increase your endurance and stamina? Real Mushrooms Cordyceps Capsules can give you the boost you need.

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    The cordyceps fungus helps athletes achieve peak performance. It is a strong qi tonic which means it supercharges your natural energy and endurance. Cordyceps is particularly helpful for improving lung function and capacity, which makes it a great supplement for runners or swimmers. But, any athlete can benefit from cordyceps’ ability to boost energy and fight fatigue.

    If you’re an athlete who always reaches for your heat pack when your muscles and joints feel sore, this might be the formula for you.

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      Du huo ji sheng tang is a commonly used formula for pain and stiffness that gets better with heat. It helps to increase warming circulation through the body and soothes joint soreness. Use it for issues like low back pain, joint pain, arthritis, numbness, weakness, and stiffness. Du huo ji sheng tang is particularly helpful for older athletes who also struggle with arthritis, fatigue, or muscle weakness.

      As an added benefit, du huo ji sheng tang also calms and soothes a tired mind, too. You can use it to fight overwork and mental fatigue.

      3. Muscle Ease: Po Sum On Oil

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      • Po Sum On Medicated Oil – External Analgesic – Pain RelieverStarting at $9.99Add to Cart
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      If your muscles are sore post-workout, po sum on can help. This warming medicated oil has natural analgesic properties that help to instantly relieve pain. But, the best thing about po sum on is that it actually helps your muscles heal. It flushes the area with healing circulation and cools inflammation that could be causing your pain.

      Pair with du huo ji sheng tang to fight chronic pain, or use as needed during intense training or competition.

      4. Injury Recovery (Pills): The Great Mender (Jin Gu Die Shang Wan)

      We hope you never have to use The Great Mender pills. But when accidents happen, they can cut down on healing time and get you back to your old self.

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      The Great Mender is a trauma relief formula that helps heal sprains, strains, and fractures. It works quickly to stop internal bleeding and keep bruising and swelling to a minimum so your tissues can heal.

      When you use The Great Mender pills after an injury, you are more likely to heal completely, experience less pain, and rebuild stronger tendons.

      5. Injury Recovery (Topical): 701 Medicated Plasters

      As an athlete, you’re no stranger to pain. But when an injury holds you back from achieving your goals, you’re not willing to stand down.

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      • 701 Dieda Zhengtong Yaogao – Medicated Plaster Patch (Roll)$25.00Add to Cart
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      701 Dieda Zhengtong Yaogo medicated plasters offer pain relief from everyday aches and pains as well as musculoskeletal injuries. Use these plasters on muscles, joints, arthritis, strains, bone spurs, tendonitis, bruises, and sprains to revive the area and get back to your sport faster.

      Achieve Your Best with Best Chinese Medicines

      At Best Chinese Medicines, we know how important it is to you to live a vibrant, active life. Getting to work hard at the sports you love each day is part of living a full and happy life.

      But, we also know that aches and pains are part of living that active life! That’s why we provide only the best in natural Chinese herbal medicine products to help you stay healthy and active while reaching your highest athletic goals.

      Shop our full collection of natural pain relief products for athletes here!

      Share the Health Benefits of Chinese Herbal Medicine

      About the Author

      5 Must-Have Chinese Herbal Products for Athletes (4)

      Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

      Kate Downes is a Chinese medicine practitioner with a passion for herbal medicine. In fact, it was her love for plant and earth medicine that first drew her to study Chinese medicine.

      Kate has a MSAOM (Master of Science, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) certification and practiced acupuncture in Indianapolis, IN for five years before packing her bags to roam the world. In order to stay in touch with the wellness community and continue to help others thrive with herbal medicine, she transformed her work from face-to-face patient care to spreading wellness through words. Her life as a remote herbalist and writer has allowed her to work with a variety of wellness brands, health pioneers, and her wonderful clients. She has a special interest in working with women’s health.

      Kate thoroughly enjoys writing educational and useful pieces for Best Chinese Medicine. Her goal is to help the public gain a better understanding of the wonders of Chinese herbal medicine so they can be empowered in their own quest for natural, vibrant health.

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      What herbs do Chinese medicine use? ›

      Herbs most commonly used in this manner include astragalus , dong quai , ginger , kudzu ( Pueraria lobata ), licorice , lycium , Panax ginseng , and schizandra .

      Which herbal product is known as a performance enhancing substance? ›

      Purportedly performance-enhancing herbs include those that benefit both endurance and strength athletes, such as ginseng (Panax species or Eleutherococcus senticosus), ephedra (Ephedra sinica) and arctic root (Rhodiola rosea).

      What Chinese herb is good for? ›

      Chinese herbal products have been studied for many medical problems, including stroke, heart disease, mental disorders, and respiratory diseases (such as bronchitis and the common cold), and a national survey showed that about one in five Americans use them.

      Why are herbs used in sports? ›

      Athletes are among those who use herbs for their own benefit. They believe that some herbs may help them to improve their performance, speed up recovery, maintain health and fitness during intense periods of training, increase muscle mass and reduce body fat.

      What is Xiao Yao Wan good for? ›

      Xiao Yao Wan is a well-known Chinese herbal supplement from Lan Zhou Foci that supports the health of your circulatory system and blood along with your liver and spleen.

      What are 5 performance enhancing drugs? ›

      Take the time to learn about the potential benefits, the health risks and the many unknowns regarding so-called performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids, androstenedione, human growth hormone, erythropoietin, diuretics, creatine and stimulants.

      What herb is good for muscle growth? ›

      Top 10 Ayurvedic Herbs for Muscle Growth
      • Ashwagandha for Muscle Growth. ...
      • Shatavari for Muscle Growth. ...
      • Eleuthero for Muscle Growth. ...
      • Guarana. ...
      • Bitter orange for Muscle Growth. ...
      • Safed musli for Muscle Growth. ...
      • Salab Punja for Muscle Growth. ...
      • Echinacea.

      Is ginseng banned for athletes? ›

      Ginseng is not included among the lists of banned stimulants for athletes6 because ingestion of P. ginseng did not result in positive test results for any banned substances after urine testing of elite athletes7. Accordingly, there is no risk of disqualification from drug-tested sporting events from using ginseng.

      What is the best Chinese herb? ›

      Ginseng (rénshēn, 人参)

      This gnarled rhizome is perhaps one of the best known of the Chinese herbs.

      What Chinese herb gives you energy? ›

      Ginseng. Ginseng is a popular herbal supplement, well known for its energy-boosting properties. It has also been shown to stimulate brain function, making it a sought-after herb for improving sports and mental performance.

      Do Chinese herbs really work? ›

      Critics argue that there is no physiological evidence that qi or meridians exist, and scant evidence that TCM works. There have been just a handful of cases in which Chinese herbal treatments have proved effective in randomized controlled clinical trials.

      Why are creatine used in sport? ›

      Creatine helps produce ATP, your cells' most basic form of energy. This increases energy production during high intensity exercise and leads to improved performance and increased strength and muscle gain.

      Is Rhodiola a banned substance? ›

      Because Rhodiola is more moderate and isn't on any lists of banned substances, it continues to intrigue modern researchers and athletes around the world.

      Are herbal supplements safe? ›

      Herbal products can pose unexpected risks because many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong effects in the body. For example, taking a combination of herbal supplements or using supplements together with prescription drugs could lead to harmful, even life-threatening results.

      What herbs should I take daily? ›

      10 nutritious herbs you should add to your diet now
      • Parsley. Touted for its natural diuretic properties, parsley is useful in treating fluid retention and edema, noted Sharon Zarabi, RD, CDN, CPT, bariatric program director, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, NY. ...
      • Peppermint. ...
      • Oregano. ...
      • Basil. ...
      • Thyme. ...
      • Dill. ...
      • Chamomile. ...
      • Sage.
      Oct 5, 2020

      What herb has the most vitamin D? ›

      Although these leafy green and delicious plants contain many other nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin c they lack one of the most important micronutrients to our health.
      Vitamin D in Herbs.
      HerbVitamin D per 100g
      8 more rows
      Jan 12, 2021

      What is Chinese medicine made out of? ›

      Chinese herbal medicines are mainly plant based, but some preparations include minerals or animal products. They can be packaged as powders, pastes, lotions or tablets, depending on the herb and its intended use. Different herbs have different properties and can balance particular parts of the body.

      How many herbs are there in Chinese medicine? ›

      There are over 300 herbs in common use.

      Does Chinese medicine actually work? ›

      Critics argue that there is no physiological evidence that qi or meridians exist, and scant evidence that TCM works. There have been just a handful of cases in which Chinese herbal treatments have proved effective in randomized controlled clinical trials.


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