Living in a fast-paced and rapidly developing world, we have noticed that the environmental pollution has becoming a worrying concern today. Meanwhile, the ozone layer is getting thinner, UV rays are getting stronger, and the air pollution is getting worse with pollen and dust everywhere. Lungs diseases often occur when people are constantly exposing to such polluted environment, but among so many organs in our body, why are lungs always the first to get affected? Here's the explanation from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In TCM, lungs are very much similar to a delicate baby. There is a Chinese idiom goes "Lungs are the most delicate organ", why? In terms of the position, lungs are located at the upper part of our body, on top of all the other organs. Therefore, lungs are more vulnerable to harmful substances as compared to the other organs, when our lungs are unable to fight against the external harmful substances, discomfort or even diseases will then be triggered. What do our lungs do exactly? Lungs are in charging of the "air", mainly the air that we breathe in and the utilization of air in our body. Lungs are the gas exchange station in our body, it helps us to breathe in clean air and release the unwanted waste from our body. This is the natural metabolism of gas exchange in our body. However, how do we know if our lungs are healthy?
TCM practitioners can tell one's health condition from the physical appearance. As our lungs are in charging of removing toxins and waste from our body through perspiration, therefore, our lungs' health can actually be observed through our skin, hair and sweat gland. Lungs also help to consistently allocate the QI or CHI (vital energy) and body fluids to the skin all over our body in order to supply sufficient nutrition and keeps our skin moisturized from time to time. If Qi deficiency occurs in our lungs, we will be facing the issue of debility, hence, resulting in dry and rough skin, formation of fine lines on face and lower resistance towards external threats, causing the risk of skin diseases such as rubella to get higher.
What makes our lungs vulnerable to diseases? In fact, the answer has been revealed in the first paragraph, living in polluted environment is undoubtedly the main factor. Other than that, people who smoke or expose to second-hand smoke, people who always consume cold drinks, and people who never take good care of their health, are some of the key factors that increase the risk of lungs diseases. There are several consequences if our lungs' functions are weakened, including low immunity, always cough, risk of asthma, etc., but if our lungs are healthy, our immunity will be much stronger and we will be less likely to fall sick.
There is a national treasure in Malaysia that is well-known for its benefits in protecting and healing our lungs--- Tiger Milk Mushroom (Lignosus rhinocerus). The fungus can be found in tropical rainforests and has always been used as a health tonic since hundreds of years ago. According to the aboriginal folklore, Tiger Milk Mushroom is said to be grown on the spots where tiger milk falls to the ground when the tiger is feeding its cubs. This is basically the story and origin of its name. What are the benefits of Tiger Milk Mushroom towards lungs? It can help to reduce asthma attacks, strengthen immune system, prevent colds and coughs, anti-inflammation, improve respiratory problems, as well as prevent bronchoconstriction.
Tiger Milk Mushroom is a safe traditional herb that can be consumed to ease diseases and also to maintain general well-being by anyone regardless of age especially the elderlies, smokers, people with rhinitis, chronic cough (chronic bronchitis) and asthma, but women are not encouraged to consume during their period and pregnancy. People are reminded not to consume coffee and tea while consuming Tiger Milk Mushroom because it will affect the absorption of nutrients. Moreover, sour and spicy foods should also be avoided while consuming any fungal herb, and being a supplement product, it should be consumed after meal.
Many of us are living with the health status of suboptimal health (no significant diseases or diagnosable illnesses, but at high risk) today, as the saying goes "prevention is better than cure", we need to always take good care of our health to prevent the development of diseases.