‘In Chinese medicine there are hundreds of traditional formulas that belong to the commons. If you buy Liu wei di huang wan (Rhemannia 6) or Bu zhong yi qi tang (Tonify the Middle and Augment the Qi Decoction) you will find essentially the same formula made by a wide variety of manufacturers under the same name. They may have minor variations but are essentially the same in function and content.Many of the recipes and their names derive from famous doctors like Zhang Zhongjing who wrote the Shan Han Lun or Sun Si Miao. The names of the formulas neither are nor can be trademarked by a single company. The Bensky formulas book contains over 500 traditional formulas. Continue reading Herbal Formulas in Common Use
Anyone who consults with me knows that I always suggest taking herbs in a way that allows you to taste them. That means that I usually use teas, tinctures, syrups, herbal jams like chayawanprash or turmeric honey, pickled herbs, overnight infusions, herbal decoctions or powdered herbal extracts that are added to water. The only time I really approve of using capsules is when giving the severely bitter anti-parasite herbs (usually a long term proposition and the bitterness is for the parasite) or when a person is so debilitated that they will miss dosages unless they have pills to tide them over until they can brew up their herbs. In that case Continue reading Why you should taste your herbs
The New York Times had an article this week, Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem, that suggested that herbal capsules may not contain what they say, often containing different species in the family or fillers. The study cited is found here.
When, many years ago, I was walking through Prospect Park with my then toddler Francis, tasting the sprouting plants, he pointed out a lace-leafed plant with a lovely aroma. We tasted it and agreed that, in judicious quantities, it was delicious and used it in our wild salads and omelets along with chickweed, oxalis and wild onion. But once it got over five inches the bitter taste was overpowering. This was our introduction to mugwort.
Continue reading Spring Mugwort
Cordyceps sinensis has been part of my anti-cancer formulas for many years, since Thai doctor Santi Rosswong suggested that I add it to my reishi formulas for stamina. It appears from recent research that the herb stops cell proliferation as well.
Cordyceps is a strange herb, a fungus that colonizes then kills an insect, as shown in a BBC video (with one of the other 680 described cordyceps species found on 6 continents.) When the Cordyceps sinensis fungus attacks a Continue reading Cordyceps for stamina, against cancer