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Ancient Herbs. Modern Science.

Holsana’s formulas are based on specific blends of herbs that have been refined over centuries to improve efficacy and safety. Learn about traditional uses and modern research on these amazing plants.

Angelica Root

(Radix Angelicae Sinensis)

Used in Friday Afternoon™ and Level Up™ formulas
Uses
Angelica root is used in plant medicines to promote blood circulation, improve digestion, and modulate the immune system.1 Studies have shown that compounds in angelica root can act on the serotonin pathway by binding to a particular serotonin receptor (5-HT-7).2,3 Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that stabilizes mood and promotes feelings of wellbeing and happiness.
Research Studies
A small randomized double-blind trial found that angelica root along with other herbs improved sleep quality in women aged 44-65.4
TCM Uses
Angelica root (dang gui) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to tonify and replenish the blood.5
References
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3174116/
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23408273/
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16643021/
4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17454163/
5. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

Astragalus

(Radix Astragali Membranacei)

Used in Level Up™ formula.
Uses
Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for thousands of years to support immunity and reduce fatigue. It is also used for anti-inflammatory and anti-aging purposes.1
Research Studies
A small randomized controlled trial found that tea made with astragalus and two other plants reduced fatigue and improved sleep in participants relative to a placebo group.2
TCM Uses
Astragalus (huang qi) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to tonify and replenish qi for the lungs and spleen.3
References
1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/astragalus
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30482676/
3. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

Bupleurum Root

(Radix Bupleuri)

Used in Friday Afternoon™ formula.
Uses
Bupleurum root is used in plant medicine to treat colds, fever, inflammation, and liver diseases, as well as to alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression.1 A meta analysis of clinical trials found that bupleurum used in combination with other plants improved symptoms of depression.2
Research Studies
There are currently no studies of bupleurum on sleep; however a clinical trial is currently underway to assess the impact of bupleurum along with other plants on pre-hypertensive patients with insomnia.3
TCM Uses
Bupleurum root (chai hu) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to cool and for its exterior-releasing properties for the liver, gallbladder, and lungs.4
References
1. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/bupleurum
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3159992/
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32702837/
4. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

Codonopsis

(Codonopsis Pilosula)

Used in Level Up™ formula.
Uses
Codonopsis has been used traditionally to increase energy and appetite, as well as aid with digestion, anaemia, and difficulty breathing. It is sometimes referred to as poor man’s ginseng because it is believed to exhibit similar effects and is used as a substitute for ginseng in several Traditional Chinese Medicine formulas.1
Research Studies
A study in mice found that polysaccharides extracted from codonopsis increased energy levels of mice relative to a control group.2
TMC Uses
Codonopsis (dang shen) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to tonify and replenish qi to the lungs and spleen.3
References
1. https://pfaf.org/User/plant.aspx?latinname=Codonopsis+pilosula
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32608442/
3. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

Jujube Fruit

(Fructus ziziphi jujubae)

Used in Level Up™ formula.
Uses
Jujube fruit has been used for centuries to support heart health, promote sleep, reduce anxiety, soothe digestion, and lower blood sugar.1
Research Studies
Studies in animals and cell cultures suggest a beneficial effect of jujube on the brain. Studies found that jujube extract induced neurite outgrowth in rat neurons2 and caused astrocytes (cells of the nervous system) to produce higher levels of nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor.3 A study on a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease found that rats given jujube had improved memory.4
TMC Uses
Jujube fruit (da zao) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to tonify and replenish qi for the stomach and spleen.5
References
1. https://selfhacked.com/blog/jujube-health-benefits/
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24520858/
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25066116/
4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24379110/
5. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

Licorice Root

(Radix Glycyrrhizae)

Used in Friday Afternoon™ and Level Up™ formulas.
Uses
Licorice root has been used to alleviate coughs, treat heartburn and indigestion, and as an antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal agent.1
Research Studies
There are limited studies on the effects of licorice root alone on sleep or anxiety. One study in rats found that glabridin, which is a phytochemical found in licorice, activates GABA receptors in the brain (GABA is a key pathway involved in sleep and stress modulation).2
TMC Uses
Licorice root (gan cao) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to tonify and replenish qi for the heart, lungs, spleen, and stomach.3
References
1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/licorice-root
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23975867/
3. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

Longan Fruit

(Arillus Euphoriae Longanae)

Used in Level Up™ formula.
Uses
Longan fruit have been used to boost energy, strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, and as a nootropic to improve memory.1
Research Studies
There are very few studies on the effects of longan fruit on sleep or stress. One study found that longan extract produced anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects in mice.2
TMC Uses
Longan fruit (long yan rou) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to invigorate the heart and spleen, nourish blood, and tranquilize the mind.3
References
1. https://www.healthline.com/health/longan-fruit-vs-lychee-benefits
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10193200/
3. https://www.americandragon.com/Individualherbsupdate/LongYanRou.html

Polygala Root

(Radix Polygalae Tenuifoliae)

Used in Level Up™ formula.
Uses
Polygala root has been used for hundreds of years and is thought to benefit a wide variety of areas including: as an adaptogen to modulate stress, as a sedative, as a mood enhancer, and as a nootropic to support memory and cognition.1
Research Studies
There are no human clinical studies on the effects of polygala root alone on sleep; however studies on mice and rats have both demonstrated that whole polygala extract and polygalasaponin (a phytochemical extracted from polygala root) increase sleep time relative to control groups.2,3
TMC Uses
Polygala root (yuan zhi) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to tranquilize and nourish the heart, lungs, and kidney.4
References
1. https://examine.com/supplements/polygala-tenuifolia/
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32240473/
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20645780/
4. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

Poria Cocos

(Sclerotium Poriae Cocos)

Used in Friday Afternoon™ and Level Up™ formulas.
Uses
Poria cocos are a mushroom with a multitude of uses in herbal medicine, including: treating insomnia, reducing anxiety, fatigue, nervousness, and tension. They are also used to treat stomach and GI problems.1
Research Studies
There are no studies on the independent effects of poria cocos on sleep in humans. An animal study found that pachymic acid, one of the most well-studied phytochemicals in poria, reduced the time it took to fall asleep and increased total sleep time in pentobarbital-treated rats.2
TMC Uses
Poria cocos (fu ling) are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to dispel dampness from the heart, lungs, kidney, and spleen.3
References
1. https://www.rxlist.com/poria_mushroom/supplements.htm
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25143810/
3. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

Red Sage

(Radix Salvia Miltiorrhiza)

Used in Turndown Service™ formula.
Uses
Red sage has been used for centuries to relieve chest pains, reduce blood pressure, lower blood sugar, as well as to help treat insomnia.1
Research Studies
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, red sage is often used in combination with other herbs, in particular sour jujube seeds, for the treatment of insomnia. A study found that a combination extract of these two plants worked synergistically to decrease time to fall asleep and increase sleep duration in mice.2 Unrelated to sleep, red sage, along with notoginseng and the chemical borneol, are used as a well known clinical drug by the tradename Dantonic® for treating angina.3
TMC Uses
Red sage (dan shen) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to activate the blood and dispel stasis in the heart and liver.4
References
1. https://www.healthline.com/health/red-sage
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19682877/
3. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01659580
4. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

Schisandra

(Fructus Schisandra Chinensis)

Used in Turndown Service™ formula.
Uses
Schisandra is an adaptogenic herb that has been used in plant medicine to treat stomach and liver issues as well as alleviate coughs. It is also commonly used in formulas for sleep.
Research Studies
There are no human clinical studies on the effect of schisandra alone on sleep, but studies in animals have shown that schisandra protects the nervous system through antioxidant properties.1
TMC Uses
Schisandra (wu wei zi) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its astringent qualities for the lung, heart, and kidney.2
References
1. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/schisandra
2. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

Sour Jujube Seed

(Semen Zizyphi Spinosae)

Used in Level Up™ and Turndown Service™ formulas.
Uses
Sour jujube seeds have been used in plant medicine for hundreds of years as a digestive aid, to reduce anxiety, and to improve sleep.1
Research Studies
Two meta-analyses that analyzed over 30 randomized controlled trials found that formulas containing sour jujube were effective in reducing symptoms of insomnia relative to placebo groups.2,3 Animal studies have found at least two groups of phytochemicals (spinosins and jujubosides) in sour jujube seeds that exhibit sedative effects and anxiety-reducing effects.4,5
TMC Uses
Sour jujube seeds (suan zao ren) are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to tranquilize and nourish the heart, liver, and gallbladder.6
References
1. https://www.drugs.com/npp/jujube.html
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23336848/
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32045853/
4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31724150/
5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20347951/
6. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

White Atractylodes

(Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae)

Used in Friday Afternoon™ and Level Up™ formulas.
Uses
White atractylodes have been used in plant medicine to treat indigestion, stomach ache, fluid retention. diarrhea, and rheumatism.1
Research Studies
A study in mice found atractylodes had a positive effect on sleep when used in combination with other plants, but not on their own, suggesting a multi-compound, multi-target mechanism of action.2
TMC Uses
White atractylodes (bai zhu) are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to tonify and replenish qi for the spleen and stomach.3
References
1. https://www.rxlist.com/atractylodes/supplements.htm
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26611914/
3. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.

White Peony Root

(Radix Albus Paeoniae Lactiflorae)

Used in Friday Afternoon™ formula.
Uses
White peony root has a long history of use in plant medicines to treat anxiety, depression, fever, inflammation, pain, and more recently to help treat autoimmune disorders.1
Research Studies
A 2020 animal study demonstrated that white peony root decreased SERT (sodium-dependent serotonin transporter) levels in rat brains. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that stabilizes mood and promotes feelings of wellbeing and happiness. SERT removes serotonin from doing its job, so reducing SERT levels may explain white peony’s effect on reducing anxiety and depression.2
TMC Uses
White peony root (bai shao) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to tonify and replenish blood, liver, and spleen.3
References
1. https://www.healthline.com/health/white-peony-root
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081021/
3. Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia 3rd Edition. 2019. Taiwan Ministry of Health.