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Gui Zhi: The Ancient Herb with Modern Benefits

Hey there, fellow Eastern Med enthusiasts! Today, let’s dive into the fascinating world of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and explore the incredible herb known as Gui Zhi. So, what makes this herb so special? Let’s find out!

Historical Perspective:

Eastern Medicine theory suggests that individuals can potentially benefit from Gui Zhi’s warming properties, improved circulation, and overall well-being. Gui Zhi, also known as Ramulus Cinnamomi, is a versatile herb that has played a significant role in TCM for over 2,000 years. Gui Zhi is derived from the twigs of the cinnamon tree, and is widely celebrated for its warming properties and its ability to invigorate the body.

It’s important to note that although TCM has used Gui Zhi for centuries, individual responses to herbal remedies may vary. Therefore, it’s always advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner or a TCM expert before using Gui Zhi or any other herb for therapeutic purposes.

Key Properties & Active Compounds in Gui Zhi:

Gui Zhi contains various active compounds that contribute to its medicinal properties. The primary active compounds found in this herb include:

  • Cinnamaldehyde: This is the primary component responsible for Gui Zhi’s characteristic aroma. It is known for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
  • Cinnamic acid: This compound possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is believed that it plays a role in promoting blood circulation and relieving pain.
  • Eugenol: Found in Gui Zhi’s essential oil, eugenol exhibits analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory effects. It is also known for its antimicrobial properties.
  • Linalool: This compound contributes to Gui Zhi’s aroma and possesses calming and sedative properties. It can help alleviate stress and promote relaxation.
  • Camphor: Present in small amounts, camphor contributes to Gui Zhi’s warming effect. It has analgesic properties and is often used topically for relieving pain and soothing muscles.

These active compounds synergistically provide a wide range of health benefits when this herb is used within Eastern Medicine treatments.

Traditional Uses & Benefits of Gui Zhi:

Following Eastern medicine theory, Gui Zhi is a warm, acrid, and sweet herb employed to release an exterior Wind-Cold pathogen. While it may seem to be similar to Ma Huang, another herb used to release exterior Wind-Cold pathogens, they are used for two completely different presentations of external Wind-Cold. It can be used when a patient has an underlying Wei Qi deficiency (allowing them to sweat while an exterior cold pathogen is invading). Ma Huang is used when the patient cannot sweat, indicating a strong Wei Qi and thus, closed pores. In this way, it is unique and has an appropriate use: Harmonizing the Ying and Wei Qi. This is the key action of Gui Zhi.

Gui Zhi is warm- It warms the Yang Qi. It warms the middle jiao and tonifies Yang energy; it will warm the channels and vessels to alleviate Cold Painful Obstruction or can assist the Heart Yang Qi, alleviating palpitations. It also unblocks chest Yang Qi, treating chest pain or shortness of breath.

Release the Exterior (Wind-Cold)Warm, Acrid, SweetChannels: Heart, Lung, Bladder
Gui Zhi Properties

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You can find affordable and organic Gui Zhi at Mountain Rose Herbs!

Modern Research & Safety:

Modern research has shed light on the potential health benefits of Gui Zhi, validating many of the traditional uses of this herb. While research on this herb is ongoing, here are a few areas where scientific studies have explored its properties:

  • Studies have shown that its active compounds possess anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It has demonstrated antimicrobial effects against a range of bacteria and fungi in laboratory studies.
  • Researchers have investigated the effects of Gui Zhi on cardiovascular health. Research indicates that it may help improve blood circulation, regulate blood pressure, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Gui Zhi’s warming properties and active compounds, such as cinnamaldehyde and camphor, have been studied for their analgesic effects. These compounds may help alleviate pain and discomfort, making Gui Zhi a potential natural remedy for pain management.
  • Preliminary studies suggest that Gui Zhi may have potential in supporting metabolic health through its ability to regulate blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and potentially aid in weight management.

Proper Usage and Precautions:

While most people generally consider Gui Zhi safe when used appropriately, it is important to exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before using it, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking medications. Pregnant women and individuals with excessive menstruation should avoid using it due to contraindications.

It is always important to adhere to your practitioner’s recommended dosages and durations of using this herb in order to minimize the risk of adverse effects.

Some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to this herb or its compounds, so it’s advisable to perform a patch test or start with a low dose to observe any adverse reactions.


By harnessing the power of this ancient herb and its active compounds, individuals can potentially benefit from its warming properties, improved circulation, and overall well-being.

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No product mentioned herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.

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