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Gaofang: Keep Your Body Strong This Winter

In our last article, we discussed winter health and tips for helping the body adjust to the seasons. TCM does a great job addressing winter health and treating seasonal illnesses, due to its focus on strengthening the body to live in harmony with nature. Common winter ailments like colds and coughing can be effectively treated with herbal decoctions and acupuncture. Today, we’ll share how an ancient Chinese tonic can improve your overall health during the winter season.

Gaofang has a long history in TCM; one of its biggest proponents was Qing Dynasty Prime Minister Li Hongzhang. In the past, it was a secret formula only for the special use of the members of the imperial court, but today it is prescribed by many TCM Doctors and used by the new generation of health conscious consumers who follow TCM.

How does Gaofang work?

This treatment is based on the underlying principal for disease prevention in TCM called tonification. This therapeutic treatment nourishes and replenishes the Qi, blood, yin and yang of the human body when they are deficient or weak. Since the winter season is a regenerative time for our body, we take Gaofang tonic because it guarantees the intake of nutrition.

What is it?

Gaofang is a condensed semi-solid paste, including about 40 different herbal medicines and animal materials like turtle shell, donkey skin, and deer horn. In addition, foods such as lotus seeds, dates and crystal sugar are added to improve the taste. Some varieties are available ready-made while other variations can be made directly by pharmacists according to a TCM doctor's prescription. After drying or other processing of the ingredients, the prescribed herbs must be cooked and filtered. Then the pharmacist follows the complicated and time-consuming process of making the Gaofang, which requires an experienced professional.

Pharmacists will condense the medicine into a concentrate, adding sugar, honey, or gelatin to congeal it. The taste is slightly better than many other TCM decoctions. Pharmacists dispense daily portions in small plastic bags. It should be stored in a cool place.

Contact us to make a consultation to address your health concerns and discuss if Gaofang could help you stay strong and healthy this winter.

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Doris Rathgeber
Doris Rathgeber
TCM Doctor & Founder of Body & Soul – Medical Clinics

With more than 20 years of experience as a TCM Doctor and internal medicine specialist, Doris treats a vast array of acute and chronic diseases by expertly combining Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western Medicine. She also hast extensive experience addressing women’s issues as well as infertility problems.