Guizhi and Rougui (Cinnamomum loureirii bark and twig)

The cinnamon tree has been one of China’s most important herbal sources since antiquity. The Shanghan lun, China’s most revered herbal classic written 1,850 years ago, deliberately commences its introduction of classical prescriptions with Guizhi Tang (Cinnamon Decoction). According to the theory of flavors put forward in the Tangye jing, another influential herb primer from the formative period of Chinese medicine, pungent medicinals have the ability to stimulate the moving power inherent in all life forms. Perhaps more than any other plant, cinnamon’s unique fusion of sweet and spicy flavors have made it a general symbol of yang qi in China. It grows only in the deep South, and is therefore regarded as a warming “solar” plant that has the ability to drive out all cold, stagnant and evil yin influences. No weeds grow underneath a cinnamon tree, even in the thickest jungle.