Chen pi, the dried mature rind of tangerines, is a celebrated supplement because of its nutritional value and sustainable sourcing; not only are citrus peels rich in calcium, vitamin C, fiber, and other essential nutrients, they are easily accessible and their use as supplements reduces food waste. What’s more, they have historic and contemporary value for improving digestive and respiratory comfort, including reducing nausea, vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, cough, and mucus in the airways, as well as a topical treatment for skin inflammation and psoriasis.
Although the rind or dried sliced fruits of many citrus species is used in Chinese medicine, tangerine peel is the widest used form. It’s categorized in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a qi regulator. That means that it helps energy overcome obstacles to remove blockages inside the body. Chen pi is classified as warm, sweet, pungent and aromatic. It especially affects the Spleen, Stomach and Lung channels.
The most notable effect of using chen pi supplements is a reduction in the tension held in vascular tissue. As a result, it is a known bronchodilator and expectorant (helps open up airways and expel phlegm) and has a long history of use as a helpful at-home remedy for reducing the symptoms of asthma and other constricting upper-respiratory conditions. Chen pi supplements, especially when derived from the peel of immature fruits, are high in antioxidants and may help protect cells against oxidative damage (aging) over time. This is especially true for neural cells, suggesting that chen pi may be a helpful supplement for helping reduce cognitive decline due to aging.
That said, chen pi teas and extracts are notoriously inconsistent in strength. While most extracts have some antimicrobial effects (on certain types of bacteria, like those that cause staph infections, but not those that cause strep throat or E. coli), older extractions have stronger antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. Unusually for herbs, older rinds are preferred to fresher dried rinds.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
Chen pi is the dried peel of tangerine (mandarin) fruits. The shredded (dried) peel is often available for purchase, as are both aged and fresh extracts (which are known to have different effects). When working with the peel itself, expected preparations include decocting then drinking a tea made using the peel. Extracts are used for both oral and topical applications.
There are no known drug interactions with chen pi supplements, and it currently has a class 1 rating from the American Herbal Products Association (meaning it is safe so long as it is used as directed).
You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking Chen pi.
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