Rénshēn (Bái), Reveal Date: 3/1/24

Article published at: Feb 24, 2024 Article author: Lily Michaud
Panax Ginseng fresh root Rénshēn
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This week we meditated on Rénshēn (Bái) 白人參 Ginseng Radix (Albae). This herb is new to me. One goal I have for this project is to better understand how herbs can move us from survival to resilience to thriving. I feel this herb could be useful for people wanting to be able to hold space for others. I experienced this herb as fortifying and grounding to the heart.

Curious about Chinese herbs? Check out our Plant Meditation Club subscription for Chinese herbalism here.

Renshen, panax ginseng illustration "Whip-poor-will with ginseng" by Mark Catesby, 1747


Taste: tastes almost like a prescription medication, similar to plantain, like clay

Feel: focus is on the back of the tongue moving to the tip of the tongue 

Meditation Experience:

The heart chakra rotates in such a way that it goes down to the Earth and back up.  I moved my body position to better understand this angle. The heart chakra is going into the Earth.*

Renshen, the heart rotates at an angle that it goes down to the Earth. Water color, Lily Michaud

The herb states the heart can go deep into the well (Kidneys). It shows me a blue wash (like a water color) going deep into the lower jiao (pelvis), a bit purple on the edges of the basin.  

Renshen, the heart can go deep into the well. Lily Michaud gouache

The herb shows me blue under eyes (kidney area of face), letting me know that this face indication is one it can help with. 

Renshen for blue under eyes. Lily Michaud

Another person has a water color style image of a pink heart hugging her uterus. 

I feel very strong from under arms to top of hips. I feel this herb can help a person support others who are experiencing suffering. It feels heart-centered in a very solid, pragmatic way. Able to help you deal with the nitty gritty of life. It feels like it would make you very good at staying strong while supporting others dealing with the harsher side of reality. It takes a lot of strength to hold space for someone who is suffering, especially when it doesn't feel like there is anything you can do besides be there for them.

My dog was drawn to the tea and wanted to have some. He is pretty selective about what he consumes, this was a different attitude towards a beverage.

Post Meditation:

This herb appeared to lower my blood sugar. I have a history of low blood sugar and I became very hungry a little later and had to do some late night snacking, and then had interrupted sleep.**

Traditional Use: 

This herb is used for opening the heart and boosting wisdom, brightening the eyes (Divine Farmer's Materia Medica, Wilms). Tonifies original qi (yuan qi), used for collapsed qi. Tonifying to the lungs, strengthens spleen, and tonifies stomach. (Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, Bensky). Calms heart shen, therefore good for insomnia. Longer term illness with excessive sweating.

*This herb is an adaptogen said to bring energy up from the Earth. 

Some Contemporary Uses: 

This herb is frequently used for fatique, Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disfunction, depression, erectile disfunction, menopause, **diabetes (lowering blood sugar--use caution if you tend to low blood sugar), prolapse in the lower jiao (pelvic organs). (White Rabbit)

For Dogs:

This herb is used with dogs for similar problems as humans: decrease blood sugar levels, improve circulation, and to increase energy and longevity (VCA Animal Hospitals). Consult a veterinary herbalist is you are curious about using herbs like ginseng with your dog. This herb can have negative side effects for dogs (and humans) if used improperly. 



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