‘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
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.
I spoke with a medical doctor, a women’s urologist, the other day about a mutual client. The discussion was frustrating for both of us, with disagreements about what I thought were perfectly obvious physical characteristics. Afterwards it hit me that we were speaking different languages with enough overlaps that we didn’t realize there were two different sets of definitions. For those of you going between two practitioners with different paradigms or for practitioners of Chinese or Naturopathic medicine who need to communicate with medical doctors, I thought I’d write about this. Continue reading Doctors speaking a different medical language with a 70% overlap
Two months ago I made a chai tea redolent with cloves, but without milk or sugar. I put it in my water bottle to drink during the day, but it was pushed behind other bottles and I forgot about it. Two weeks later there was not one spec of mold floating in the liquid and a quick smell and taste of a few drops revealed no souring. I was curious and put it back. Two months after making it shows no growth of organisms or off taste or odor. Which got me thinking about the Spice Route.
In the ancient time, refrigeration was unavailable, especially in cities where cellars and ice were generally unavailable. Spices were important not only for food preservation, but to fortify the digestion and to cure food poisoning. In Europe where there was little tradition of fermenting meat, spices or smoking (often with spices or aromatic wood) were the primary way of dealing with meat that might not be fresh. Cloves were one of the most important. Continue reading Cloves for Preservation and to Lift the Spirit