Page 1

I.

The way of

C h i n e s e He rb s t h e a rt o f n at u r a l h e a l i n g

{ 中

門 }


I.

The way of

C h i n e s e He rb s t h e a rt o f n at u r a l h e a l i n g

{ 中

門 }


r

ty her ces

ne d Printed in United States

d

d

ne d

d

d

Edited by AMA JADE co. Cover and page design by Louise Chen Photography and illustration by Louise Chen

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages or reproduce illustrations in a review with appropriate credits; nor may any part of this book be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other— without written permission from the publisher.

ne d

NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER

d

ISBN 0-00-713108-8

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Any information given in this book is not intended to be taken as a replacement for medical advice. Any person with a condition requiring medical attention should consult a qualified practitioner or therapist.


PR E FA C E : : Health issues have become more and more important today. Just as North Americans and Europeans are accustomed to the use of a multitude of over-thecounter medicines, vitamins, and supplements for various conditions, Chinese people use a wide variety of herbs and other natural substances. Because of the growing popularity of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine in the West, and the increasing popularity of many Chinese herbs and products, this book is intended to serve as an introduction and practical guide for people. This is a fascinating and enthralling journey. You will be asked to look at the world from a very different perspective, but once you get used to the new landscape the view can be breathtaking and the reward, your health, is priceless. Read on and enjoy!

7


8


{ The practice of Chinese herbs is the outcome of ancient wisdom and historical culture.

9


{ A traditional herb

shop in San Francisco Chinatown.

10


11


HO W TO US E THIS BOO K : : This book provides an informed understanding and guide to Chinese herbs. We hope to give the extraordinary heritage a modern look and make it easier to understand. This book is not meant to be a comprehensive reference book nor to replace a doctor’s diagnosis but aims to give information about the concepts, principles and practices. For those wishing to study aspects of the subject in more detail, there are lists of helpful addresses and further reading, please check page 126.

12


CONT E NTS : : 07 12 14 10 14 16 20 34 24 28 32 34 54 44 48 58 62

127 127 128

preface how to use this book ch 1足: : herbs of the east 1.1 t h e idea s b e h ind C h inese medic ine 1.2 qi 1.3 y in & yang 1.4 t h e five e le me nt s ch 2足: : the art of natural healing 2.1 word s & t e r m s 2.2 p re p arat ion & p roduc t ion 2.3 p rop e r t ies of h e rbs 2.4 food a s medic ine ch 3足: : finding herbs 3.1 b ody t y p es 3.2 se lf diag nosi s quest ionnaire 3.3 Q & A ch 4足: : selected herbs 4.1 reading g uide & co lor syst e m 4.2 h ot h e rbs 4.3 co ld h e rbs 4.4 ne ut ral h e rbs recommended reading bibliography index


第 一 章

01 herbs of the east

Ancient wisdom,

p h i l o s o p h y, 先 人 智 慧 , 哲 學,

與 文化遺產 and heritage.


, , ,,

,,,

15


Chinese herbal medicine is one major pillar of traditional Chinese medicine. Living in harmony with nature and the environment is the basis for the use of Chinese herbs and the traditional Chinese approach to health. i t i s s a i d t h at 5 0 0 0 y e a r s a g o , the Chinese emperor Shen Nung tasted various plants to discover the healing properties of them. He poisoned himself many times, which necessitated his finding the corresponding antidote. Accordingly, he was revered as the Father of Chinese Medicine. Fortunately, the knowledge of the healing power of plants was passed down from generation to generation over millennia, with new discoveries and revisions, and now represents one of China’s greatest gifts to mankind. Practicing with Chinese herbs has become the cultural custom, heritage and way of living. Almost every Chinese family has its way of applying the herbs; almost every individual grows up remembering the smell and tastes. Chinese medicine and herbal medicine is very different from the western scientific approach that most people are accustomed to. Knowledge about the practices of Chinese herbs did not spread to western countries until 1972 with China’s opening. Currently, with the increasing concern about diets, medicines and environmental issues all around the world, the holistic healing system is being welcomed by western people who are seeking natural, healthy and balanced alternative remedies.

16


TH E ID E A S B E HIND CHIN E S E M E DICIN E To understand any system of healing, it is necessary to discover the cultural context within which it developed. The principle of Chinese medicine is strongly related to Taoism, they have been intertwined from the ancient beginnings of the culture. Taoism is an ancient Chinese philosophical school that discusses the harmony of the universe. Inspired by some of Taoism’s key thoughts such as Yin and Yang, Five Elements and Qi, people believe that the human body is an energy system in which various substances interact to create a whole physical organism. In the following sections, we will explore the key concepts and principles.

17


02

north america

fig.

18

= origin places of herbs key:

a

Origins of Chinese herbs

Wisconsin, United States. Ontario, Canada.


01

east asia

China Taiwan Japan Korea

03

south africa

Republic of South Africa

{ The origins include East Asia,

North America, Canada and South Africa. Among them, China is the major exporter.

19


20


{ Using Chinese herbs is a cultural

custom, heritage and way of living. Almost every Chinese family has its own method; almost every individual grows up remembering the smell and tastes.

21


QI: Qi, frequently translated as “energy flow,” “vital energy,” or “life force,” forms the basis of any living thing. “When qi gathers, the physical body is formed; when qi disappears, the body dies,” as the Chinese say. The characteristics of qi are ephemerality, activity, constant change and warmth. It forms the basis for all inorganic substances, such as minerals. In life, qi is expressed both specifically and generally. In general, one who is youthful and energetic exudes abundant qi, but qi wanes with age, exposing one to accompanying infirmities, weaknesses, and degenerative symptoms. It is in this area of health maintenance and longevity that Chinese herbalism, with its highly evolved concept of tonics, can prove a very positive asset. Specifically, qi is expressed in the strength of individual organs, including respiration, nerve force, reproductive power, and digestion. The qi of plants is perceived in their growth, smell, flavor, texture, and color. Minerals have a slower qi that undergoes transformation and changes almost imperceptibly over great periods of time. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, the human body has natural patterns of qi that circulate in channels called meridians. While qi is constantly ascending, descending, entering and leaving the body, symptoms of various illnesses are often believed to be the

interrupted flow or unbalanced qi movement through the body’s meridians. Therefore, the fundamental principle of health and healing depends on qi flow and removing its blockage. This can be accomplished with all of the Chinese healing methods, including herbal medicine, acupuncture, Chinese massage and exercise such as qi gong and tai chi. In contrast, Western herbalisms and dietetics are primarily based on micro nutrients and biochemical constituents. Chinese herbalism and dietetics more obviously use both energetic responses, classifying herbs and foods ”organoleptically”, according to their energies, flavors, textures, and colors. Today, these are considered along with the various quantifiable components, such as protein, carbohydrate, fats, vitamins, and minerals, according to individual effects & indications::. The immune system is also seen as a form of qi that can be negatively influenced by pollution, bad diet, physical and emotional stress, and other factors. This eventually becomes the underlying cause for disease.

right:

{ Meridians are invisible

channels/pathways which qi or energy flows around the body. There are twelve main meridians.

22


= acupuncture points = meridians

Meridians of the body

key:

b fig.

a.

b.

c.

a. b. c.

Points and meridians around head Triple heater meridian Liver meridian

23


fig.

c Qi and living things

a.

24 d.

b.

c.


a.

plants The qi of plants is perceived in their growth, smell, flavor, texture, and color.

b.

human The qi in human body is constantly ascending, descending, entering and leaving, the freely flow brings good health; the block of qi causes illness.

c.

mineral Minerals have a slower qi that undergoes transformation and change almost imperceptibly over great periods of time.

d.

animals The qi of animals is perceived in their growth, actions, living.

left:

{ Qi is an active principle forming part of any living thing.

25


YIN A ND YA NG : : The concept of Yin and Yang dates back to somewhere between 1000 and 700 B.C, while ancient Chinese were observing the nature of the universe. They realized there were contrasts and relations existing in almost every object, such as sky and ground, day and night, male and female, hot and cold, up and down. The Yin-Yang theory has a great influence on Chinese culture throughout time, including religion, calendar, customs, art, and medicine. It is said that all nature appears as pairs of mutually dependent opposites, each giving meaning to the other. Whatever has a front has a back, if there is above, there is below, heat and cold are relative to each other; strength is accompanied by weakness; night is followed by day; where there is male, there is female as well. Literally, yin means the “shady side of the mountain” and yang means the “sunny side of the mountain.” In general, all creation has both yin and yang aspects; both aspects exist at the same time and there comes the balance. These terms are used to describe the opposite and complementary energies of warm and cool, day and night, summer and winter, men and women, and so forth. In Chinese medicine, the principle of yin and yang is taken as the fundamental idea; health is represented as a balance of yin and yang.

26

qua l i t i e s o f y i n a n d ya n g

aspect

position color temp weight attitude biology energy season

yin

yang

earth

sky

moon

sun

generation

growth

night

day

timid

bold

lifeless

energetic

feminine

masculine

moist

dry

inward

outward

bright

light

cold

hot

heavy

light

introvert

extrovert

vegetable

animal

receptive

aggressive

winter

summer


Standard line

{ There are many ways

in which Yin and Yang can be out of balance.

Too little Yin

Too little Yang

key:

fig.

d

Too much Yang

= Yin

= Yang

Yin & Yang relationships

Perfect balance

Too much Yin


Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ug liness , All can see good as good only because there is evil.

‘ ‘ ‘‘ ‘ ‘

Therefore, 有 無 相 生 h a v i n g a n d n o t h a v i n g a r i s e t o g e t h e r.

Difficult. . . . . and........ easy complement each other. L o n g and s h o r t contrast each other; High a nd low re st up on e ach othe r ;

Voice

and sound harmonize each other ; Front and 前 後 相 隨 back follow one

{ This is a paragraph drew from Tao-Te Ching, by Lao-tuz. Tao Te Ching is fundamental to philosophical Taoism and strongly influenced other schools at that time.

28


‘ ‘‘

‘ ‘‘

Therefore..... the sage goes about doing nothing, teaching n o - t a l k i n g .

another.

The ten thousand things rise and fall without cease. Creating, yet not taking credit. Work is done, then forgotten.

Th e re fo re. . . . .

it lasts

forever.

萬物作焉而不辭。

29


TH E F IV E E L E M E NTS : : The Chinese Five Elements, also called Wu Xing or Five Phases, are water, fire, wood, earth and metal. It was mentioned in ancient records: “Heaven has four seasons and five elements to allow cultivation, growth, harvesting, and storing. It produces cold, heat, drought, humidity, wind. Man has five vital organs that transform the five influences to engender happiness, anger, vexation, sadness and fear.”[+] The theories emerged from an observation of the various groups of dynamic processes, functions, and characteristics observed in the natural world. The characteristics described here are merely exemplars of how the elements can be seen, but the important feature is that they will all contain both yin and yang aspects, thus reflecting the underlying principle of mutually interactive duality. Each element has a series of correspondences relating both to the natural world and the human body. (see the opposite table) For instance, fire corresponds to heat and to the heart. A pattern of interrelationships between the Five Elements is used as a model to describe how the body organs support and restrain each other. These are defined mainly through the Sheng and Ke cycles. In Chinese herbalism, a disease that appears in one element may actually be caused by a weakness or excess in another. By treating the “mother” element, therefore, it is possible to calm or subdue symptoms associated with the corresponding “child.” Another approach might be to subdue the “child” to strengthen the “mother.” Practically speaking, while the five elements represent a powerful tool for healing and transformation on the body-mind level, this level may not be the most efficient one at which to expeditiously treat most diseases. It offers a deeper understanding, however, of the influences of seasons, diet, relationships, occupation, and other factors that are the underlying cause of disease or that hamper the recovery process.

[+] note ::

From Huangdi Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon), is an ancient Chinese medical text that has been treated as the fundamental doctrinal source for Chinese medicine for more than two millennia.

30

the sheng cycle This cycle represents the manner in which the elements and their implicating organs support and promote each other: wood feeds fire; fire produces ashes, which becomes earth; within earth is metal; metal, when heated, liquefies and produces water; and water nourishes the growth of wood. When Chinese medicine applies this promotion cycle to the organ system, similar relationships develop: the heart supports the spleen, the spleen supports the lung. ( fig. a )

the ke cycle This cycle represents the manner in which the elements and their implicating organs restrain and control each other: earth is broken by wood, water is restrained by earth, fire is extinguished by water, metal can me melted by fire, and wood is chopped by metal. In Chinese medicine, when disharmony occurs, a weak organ may be unable to exert the control and assistance needed by another organ. If the lung, for example, is weak, the energy in the liver would be uncontrolled and cause the energy/qi to rise. ( fig. b )


b. \ heart /

fire

earth

metal

\ lungs /

wood earth

\ liver / \ spleen /

ke

water metal

\ kidney / \ lungs /

Five element’s table of correspondences

water

\ kidney /

late summer centre dampness yellow sweet fragrant spleen mouth muscles pensiveness sing

autumn weat dryness white pungent rotting lungs nose skin grief weep

metal

sheng

fire

earth

\ spleen /

summer south heat red bitter burnt heart tongue blood vessels joy laugh

wood

\ liver /

spring east wind blue/green sour rancid liver eyes tendons anger shout

winter north cold blue/black salty putrid kidney ears bones fear groan

water

a.

wood

fire

season direction climate color taste smell organ orifice tissue emotion voice

\ heart /

31


Controlling

Promoting

Implicated Organs

wood fire

earth

metal water

liver heart spleen lungs kidneys


fire

See left page

earth

fig.

key:

e

The five elements

wood

water metal

{ Each element is believed

to have a series of correspondences relating both to the natural world and also human body. Chinese medicine uses the inter-relationships between the Five Elements in order to understand how various processes of the body support and control each other.

33


第 二 章

02 natural healing

Balance, harmony, fragrance,

陰 陽 調 和,

聞香,


nat ural h ealing. 自然養生之道。。。

35


Considering the confusion from translations of Chinese to English, here we collect several frequently used terms to help readers with clarification and better understanding. f ro m t i m e t o t i m e , word meaning changes during translating. For example, the word hot used in Chinese herbal medicine doesn’t mean spicy or hot temperature. Instead, it is used to describe the character or energy in herbs that can warm the body, boost qi flow, and nourish blood.

36


words and terms collections:: blood:: It is used as a broad term to describe the physical blood in the body that moistens the muscles, tissues, skin and hair, as well as nourishing the cells and organs. blood deficiency:: A lack of blood with signs of anemia, dizziness, numb arms and legs, dry skin or hair, scant or absent menstruation, fatigue, pale skin or lips, fatigue, and poor memory. chinese herbal medicine:: The study and practice of medicinal herbs to prevent and treat diseases and ailments or to promote health. cold, coldness:: Lowered metabolism with such symptoms as clear to white bodily secretions, body aches, chills, poor circulation, fatigue, lack of appetite, loose stools or diarrhea, poor digestion, pain in the joints, slowness of speech, slow movements, aversion to cold and craving for heat. Is present in all “hypo” conditions such as hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism. deficiency:: Any weakness or insufficiency of qi, blood, yin, yang or essence. five elements:: The five energies of wood, earth, metal, water and fire which exist in nature. Each promotes and controls one another in order to maintain a harmonious balance. heat:: Hyper metabolism with symptoms of fever and concurrent little chills, restlessness, constipation, thirst, aversion to heat and carving for cold, burning digestion, infections, inflammations, dryness, red face, sweating, strong appetite, blood in vomit, urine, stool; strong odors; sticky or thick yellow bodily excretions; scanty, dark yellow urination; and swollen, red, and painful eyes or gums and red skin eruptions. hot/warm herb:: Herbs that have hot or warm energy. Hot herbs are used to nourish blood, warm body. cold/cool herb:: Herbs that have cold or cool energy. They are used to release heat.

meridians:: The pathways along which qi circulates to supply energy and nourishment to the organs and the surface of the body. organs:: The organs in TCM are conceptualized differently than in Western medicine: organs have energetic rather than physical functions; they are dynamic, interrelated processes that occur throughout every level of body. Tin organs include heart, lungs, kidneys, spleen, and liver; yang organs include the small intestine, large intestine, urinary bladder, stomach and gallbladder. qi:: Pronounced “chee”, this is the vital energy or life force which flows through the meridians and is used to protect, transform and warm the body. qi deficiency:: A lack of qi which is seen with symptoms of lethargy, weakness, shortness of breath, slow metabolism, frequent colds and flu with slow recovery, low or soft voice, palpitations and/or frequent urination. tao/taoism:: The ancient Chinese philosophy of oneness in all creation. tcm:: Abbreviation of Traditional Chinese Medicine. yin & yang:: In Chinese theory, the fundamental principle of two mutually interdependent and constantly interacting polar energies that sustain all living organisms. The interaction of Yin and Yang produces Qi. yin deficiency:: Deficiency heat that causes emaciation and weakness with heat symptoms, such as night sweats, insomnia, a burning sensation in the palms, soles, and chest, malar flush, nervous exhaustion, dry throat, dry eyes, dizziness, and nervous tension. yang deficiency:: A condition of coldness due to lack of the heating quality of yang; symptoms include lethargy, coldness, edema, poor digestion, lower back pain , the type of constipation caused by weak peristaltic motion, and lack of libido.

37


PR E PA R ATION & PRODUCTION You can find Chinese herbs in several forms—fresh, raw, powdered, and prepared pills. Raw, the form of dried out herbs, is seen and used most often. Raw herbs last longer than fresh ones and are easier to preserve. Fresh herbs, though, are easier to cook and sometimes have better texture in food than dried herbs do. Generally, after herbs are picked either from the farm or wild environment, they are cleansed to be ready for the following production. Most of the time, the herbs would be chopped into smaller pieces before sending to the drying step. Drying is an important step of the

38

production; it makes the herbs stay longer and keeps the medicinal component into herbs themselves. For some herbs that have strong properties, the toasting process would diminish the strength so the herbs can be used by people who are too weak to take the original strength. Interestingly, for several herbs, toasting can promote their healing properties. Finally, if needed, the chopped dried herbs would be ground to powder for capsules or powder medicine.


grown herbs

wild herbs

01

herb sources

02

chop

toast

06

03

05

cleanse

dry

ground to powder

make into capsules

extra work (toast or grind)

fig.

f

Herb preparation and production

04

pick

07

packaging

39


1,2

{ Wolfberry production: 1,2: wolfberry tree & fresh wolfberry fruits 3: fruits being dried in the sun 4: cleansing process 5: final product: dry fruits

40

3


4

5

41


PROP E RTI E S O F H E RBS Chinese herbs are classified according to the four energies, the five flavors, the four directions, and their relationship to the internal organs. The herbs are said to be able to move through the energetic system of the body; specific herbs can be used to target specific parts of the body, or to facilitate the movement of other active herbal ingredients. The majority of herbal remedies are made from parts of plants—roots, stalks, bark, leaves, fruit, seeds, and so on. However, substances from the animal and mineral kingdoms are also included.[+] This book contains only plant-based herbs because the animal and mineral are used less.

four energies: The four energies are hot, warm, cool and cold. They are different by their variance in degrees. Sickness is also classified as cold or hot in nature. Herbs that have a cold or cool energy are used to treat inflammatory and toxic heat conditions. In Western herbalism, these might be described as blood purifying or detoxifying herbs. Examples of these are honeysuckle flowers, forsythia blossoms, and gentian root. Those herbs with hot or warm energy can expel cold, counteract blood, promote digestion and circulation. For example, ginger belongs to the warm-nature herb, and a tea of fresh ginger or dried ginger is a simple treatment for coldnature disease such as influenza. There is actually a fifth nature, neutral, which is neither cool nor warm.

[+] note ::

Please check page 61 for examples of animal and mineral herbal medicine.

42


Yang energy

herbs needed

Thirst, restlessness, constipation, burning digestion, inflammations, red face, sweating, strong appetite.

Add yin

Chills, poor circulation, fatigue, lack of appetite, loose stools, poor digestion, slow movements, aversion to cold.

Cold herbs

body condition

fig.

key:

Add yang

disease symptoms

Yin energy

Hot herbs

g

The way the herb works

yin = yang

yin > yang

yin < yang

{ Healing with herbs is all about

creating a balance of yin and yang by the properties the herbs.


sour

{

Pro. Absorb body substances

and control the functions of body organs. Ex. Spine date seed Org. Liver

sweet

{

Pro. Strengthen the qi and

nourish the blood.

Ex. Wolfberry, Chinese yam,

Licorice

Org. Spleen

bitter

{

Pro. Clear and detoxify excess

heat and dry excess moisture. Ex. Bitter melon, Almond Org. Heart

pungent

{

Pro. Stimulate, warm,

and dry Ex. Cinnamon, Safflower,

Clove, Ginger

Org. Lungs

salty

{

Pro. Retain bodily fluids and

moisten the tissues. Ex. Cassia seed, Seeweed Org. Kidneys

Pro. = property Ex. =example Org. =associate organ

[+] note ::

For definition of dampness, please see the note on page 48.

44

five flavors:: The five flavors of herbs describe the therapeutic effect of herbs. Sour herbs absorb body substances and control the functions of body organs; sweet herbs strengthen the qi and nourish the blood; Bitter herbs are used to clear and detoxify excess heat and dry excess moisture; pungent herbs are used to stimulate, warm, and dry dampness[+]; salty herbs help retain bodily fluids and moisten the tissues. However, there are herbs that have more than one flavor, such as Ginseng, which is bitter and sweet at the same time. Based on the Five Element theory, each flavor has its related organ: bitter belongs to heart, sweet belongs to spleen, sour belongs to liver, pungent belongs to lungs , and salty belongs to kidney. That is to say, sweet flavor is good for spleen and stomach, but when too much sweet is taken, the imbalance will cause the deficiency of spleenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shen and ke organs, which are kidney and heart. A common example would be diabetes.


the movement of herbs::

take the herb

Since herbs are thought to ”enter” specific channels of meridians and are therefore targeted toward the organ system associated with the meridians. It is probably more accurate to state that specific herbs energetically influence particular organ systems of the body. In some cases, if the herbs are not used to target specific parts of the body, they are used to facilitate the movement of other active herbal ingredients. For example, the herb red date enters the spleen channel, therefore red date is commonly used to tonify[+] the spleen and augment the qi.

Red date tea.

effects particular meridians Red date “enters” the Spleen meridians.

benefits the associate organs The function of red date relates to the function of spleen and stomach.

becomes general Red date has become the herb commonly used to tonify spleen.

note :: [+]

Notify, In Chinese medicine, means to nourish, augment, and invigorate; to add to the supply of qi and to promote the proper functioning and balance in the body.

45


{ Chinese herbs are often

brought into cooking and daily diet.

46


47


F OOD A S M E DICIN E Chinese herbology and food therapy are closely related to each other. Most people eat two to three times a day; food is a vital part of healing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You are what you eatâ&#x20AC;? is not such a strange adage from this perspective. In general, food is consumed to sustain the qi of the body and promote good health and vitality. However, most foods, when used in special ways, become medicine, and many Chinese herbs used as medicine are also used as food or with food to enhance not only the flavor but also the therapeutic value. The difference between what we call a food and what we regard as a medicine is that foods have milder qualities and energies. That is why in most cases when food is the primary therapeutic modality, concentrated quantities of certain foods must be taken to achieve a result. From the aspect of TCM, foods and herbs are classified according to their healing properties along the same energetic continuum. All foods have an inherent cooling or warming energy, so do all herbs and diseases. They also possess the therapeutic properties embodied by the five flavors and the qualities of dryness and[+] dampness. Other qualities of food, such as colors and textures, also have medicinal value. The opposite table represents some common therapeutic foods, including energies, flavors and therapeutic uses.

In order to achieve a state of balanced well being, it is crucial that one know the energies of foods and herbs so they can be used properly. Basically, Chinese herbs can be used individually or as mixture. For instance, you can make ginseng tea with only ginseng and water, or you can add wolfberries and red dates together for better flavor and medicinal benefit. There are also herbal formulae, which are herb combinations that have been observed and recorded over centuries. These formulae are found to be effective in treating a particular type of disharmony; however, there are slight variations according to each personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs. Chinese herbal medicine is a very complex subject, and its mystery requires years of dedicated study. Still, the most important use of this book is to inspire people with the concept of natural healing. To start with learning common-used herbs, check chapter four.

[+] note ::

48

Dryness: This is a frequent partner with Heat; just think about the cracked bottom of a dried up riverbed. But where heat creates redness and warmth, dryness creates evaporation and dehydration. Dampness: Dampness blocks the flow of life energy and causes a stuffy chest and abdomen. Damp pain is heavy and expansive.


49

milk products

meat

category

Neutral

Neutral

Cheese

Milk

Neutral

Lamb

Warm

Chicken

Warm

Neutral

Beef

Pork

energy

food

Liver, lungs, spleen

Salty, sweet

Sour, sweet

Sweet

Kidneys, stomach, spleen

Indigestion, upset stomach, difficulty swallowing, diabetes, constipation

Deficiency fever, dryness, constipation, skin eruptions, itchy skin Tonifies qi, blood, and yin; quenches thirst

Tonifies blood and qi, produces fluids, lubricates dryness of the intestines.

Diabetes, weakness, emaciation, dry cough, constipation Lubricate dryness, tonifies yin

Therapeutic foods_1

Lungs, stomach, heart

Kidneys, spleen

Indigestion, tiredness, coldness, general weakness, underweight, abdominal pain, sore loins

Tonifies qi, warms and expels coldness, removes blood stagnation.

Underweight, diarrhea, edema, poor appetite, lack of motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s milk, weakness after childbirth, general weakness, frequent urination

Tonifies qi, moves blood, expels cold

Spleen, stomach

Emaciation, edema, diabetes, week knees and low back pain with emaciation

Tonifies qi, blood, and yin; strengthens tendons and bones

Spleen, stomach, large intestine

conditions for which used

properties

organs affected

Sweet

Sweet

Sweet

flavor


50

fruits

category

Cool

Warm

Pear

Strawberry

Neutral

Grape

Cold

Warm

Cherry

Mango

Cold

Banana

Cold

Cool

Apple

Lemon

energy

food

Lungs, stomach

Liver, kidneys

Sour, sweet

Stomach

Sour, sweet

Sweet

Liver

Cough, indigestion, bleeding from gums.

Hot cough with mucus, constipation, indigestion, diabetes, difficulty urination Dizziness, motion sickness, excessive quantity of urine

Quenches thirst, strengthens stomach, relives vomiting Clears heat, produces fluids, lubricate dryness

Removes blood stagnation, expels cold

Blood and qi deficiency, cough, night sweats, edema, palpitation

Red grapes tonify qi and blood, strengthen bones, promote urination

Spleen, kidneys, lungs

Cough with mucous discharge, diabetes, indigestion, fat reduction

Rheumatism, joint inflammations, numbness

Move blood in lower half of body, expel cold

Heart, spleen

Produces fluid, considered good for pregnancy

Constipation, bleeding piles, alcoholism

Clear heat, counteract toxins, tonify yin

Spleen

Spleen, stomach

conditions for which used Cough, swelling, various kinds of skin eruptions, diabetes

properties Clears heat and dampness, tonifies yin

organs affected

Sour

Sour, sweet

Sweet

Sweet

Sweet

flavor


51

vegetables

category

Neutral

Warm

Pumpkin

Tomato

Neutral

Mushroom

Neutral

Warm

Garlic

Potato

Cool

Cucumber

Warm

Neutral

Carrot

Onion

energy

food

Weak heart, difficulty urinating

Joint inflammations, edema, diarrhea, whooping cough, cold abdominal pain

High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, common cold, chickenpox, kidney problems, lack of vitamin D Common cold, headache, constipation, facial edema, difficult urinating, nasal congestion Jaundice, emaciation, skin eruptions, stomach and kidney weakness

Clears heat, promotes urination, quenches thirst Warms, expels cold, promotes qi and blood circulation, kills parasites Tonifies blood, benefits the stomach, treats inflammation Tonifies and regulates qi, treats blood stagnation, expels cold Tonifies qi and spleen, removes blood stagnation, produces fluid Tonifies qi, induces sweating

Spleen, stomach, large intestine

Spleen, lungs, stomach

Stomach, liver

Lungs, stomach

Spleen, kidneys

Spleen, stomach

Liver, kidneys

Sweet

Sour, sweet

Sweet

Pungent

Sweet

Pungent

Sweet

Therapeutic foods_2

Clears heat, tonifies yin, quench thirst, promotes digestion

Indigestion, cough, difficult urination, skin eruptions, chronic diarrhea

Improves eyes, remove swelling and tumors.

Spleen, lungs

Sweet

Thirst, poor appetite

Bronchial asthma

conditions for which used

organs affected properties

flavor


52

grains, beans, nuts

category

Cool

Neutral

Neutral

Barley

Peas

Peanuts

Cool

Cool

Wheat

Slightly Cool

Walnut

Rice (white)

Neutral

Neutral

Almond

Rice (brown)

energy

food

Sweet

Sweet

Sweet

Sweet

Sweet

Sweet

Sweet, salty

Sweet

flavor

Cough, frequent urination, dry stools, kidney and bladder stones, constipation Insomnia, nervousness, thirst

Clears heat, produces fluids, lubricate dryness

Nourishes heart, calms spirit, clears quenches thirst

Lungs, stomach

Heart, kidneys

Spleen, stomach

Spleen, stomach

Similar to those for brown rice but clears heat from acidity

Stomachache, dry cough, upset stomach

Lubricates lungs, promotes birth milk

Clears heat

Spasm, skin eruptions

Lowers rebellious qi, promotes urination, induce bowel movements

Cough with mucous discharge, diabetes, indigestion, fat reduction

Regulates stomach, promotes urination, clears heat, lubricates dryness

Cough, skin whiteness

conditions for which used

Clear heat, counteract toxins, tonify yin

Relives cough, resolves phlegm, lubricates lungs

properties

Tonifies qi and spleen, harmonizes stomach, relieves depression

Spleen, lungs

Spleen, stomach,

Spleen, stomach

Spleen, lungs

organs affected


53

seafood

category

energy

Cold

Cold

Neutral

Neutral

Warm

food

Clam

Crabmeat

Oyster

Tuna

Shrimp Sweet

Weak heart, difficulty urinating

Stress, insomnia, nervousness

Beriberi (mainly tropical disease caused by lack of vitamin B), joint inflammations Common cold, headache, constipation, facial edema, difficult urinating, nasal congestion

Tonifies blood, yin, and hormones

Tonifies qi and blood, transforms damp

Tonifies qi and yang, removes blood stagnation, expels sputum

Diabetes, edema

conditions for which used

Regulates digestive organs

Clears heat, lubricates dryness, tonifies yin, softens hardness

properties

Therapeutic foods_3

Spleen, stomach

Stomach

Kidneys, liver

Sweet, salty

Sweet

Stomach

Stomach

organs affected

Salty

Salty

flavor


第 三 章

03 finding herbs

Yi n & y a n g b o d y t y p e s , 體 質 有 陰 陽 ,


yin & yang herbs... create balance. 草藥亦有陰陽

在於...求平衡

55


Not everyone has the same body condition. Choosing the right herbs for the person becomes crucial. How do you find the appropriate herbs for you? A very basic way is to understand your body type. Th e c o n c e p t o f h e r b a l h e a l i n g i s t o use the properties of Chinese herb to achieve a state of balanced well being. We have learned that herbs have hot, cold and neutral energies and each of them is effective for specific symptoms. According to TCM, a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body type is determined by heredity and living environment. Yet, depending on his/her life style, diet, surroundings and climate where he/she lives, body type changes. Sometimes womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s period and menstrual cycle affects it as well. Although everyone has different situations, the body types are classified into hot, cold, replete and vacuous by the principle of yin and yang.

56


there are four body types:: hot::

signs/symptoms

constipation, thirst, aversion to heat and carving for cold, restlessness, burning digestion, bad temper, red face, inflammations recommended herbs

American Ginseng, fisfwort, Chrysanthemum

cold::

signs/symptoms

poor circulations, no thirst or sweating, low energy, pale complexion, dizziness, aversion to cold and carving for heat, nighttime urination, chill, cold hands and feet, loose stools recommended herbs

ginger, dang gui, longan, red date, ginseng, safflower, cinnamon

replete::

signs/symptoms

loud voice, feel hot all the time, energetic, seldom sweating, little urine, poor metabolism, poor sleeping quality, good immunity recommended herbs

coix seeds, mint, mulberry

vacuous::

signs/symptoms

low blood pressure, sleepy, constantly tiredness, poor appetite, pale complexion, low energy, poor immunity, night sweat recommended herbs

red date, lotus root, Chinese yam, wolfberry

57


Please check what fits you.

self diagnosis questionnaire

Where do you have most checks? That’s your body type.

am i hot body type?

am i cold body type?

I often feel thirsty and I like drinking water. I have a yellow tongue coating. My face becomes red easily, I often have red eyes. My hands and feet usually feel warm. I don’t have much urine and the color is dark yellow. My mouth and tongue feel dry and I like cold drinks. My period often comes early. I’m short-tempered and fidgety. I’m often constipated and my stool is hard and dry. I can’t stand hot weather.

I have low energy and generally feel weak. I am often cold and have cold hands and feet. My period often comes late. I often get sick. I can’t stand cold weather. My face is pale and my lips are light. I’m prone to anemia. I often have diarrhoea.


{

If you have a hot or replete body type, cold and cool herbs are good for you. If you are a cold or vacuous body type, go for hot and warm herbs.

am i replete body type?

am i vacuous body type?

I have a loud voice. I have firm muscles and I am strong. I feel energetic and I exercise a lot. I don’t sweat often times. I’m often constipated and my stomach feels bloated. I don’t wear much even on cold days. I don’t have much urine and the color is yellow. I seldom get sick. I often feel hot. I sleep poorly. I’m short-tempered and fidgety. I have a thick tongue coating. Sometimes I have bad breath.

I have a soft voice. I am often cold and have cold hands and feet. I feel thirsty all the time. I have a dry cough. I often have palpitations and feel giddy. I often have diarrhoea and my stomach feels bloated. I sweat easily. I feel weak and get tired easily. I don’t like to exercise. I have a poor appetite. I have sleep problems. I have night sweat.


Q & A: Frequently asked questions and answers.

60

how were the herbs named?

can anyone take chinese herbs?

The traditional Chinese herb naming, besides several unclear history, the majority of names has certain origins and meaning. Generally, the herbs are named according to origin, color, smell, growing environment, healing properties, part of use, etc. It is hard to tell when the names are translated in English, but there are a lot of stories behind the original Chinese names.

Chinese herbs come from natural substances, anyone at any age is able to take them. However, people who have special situations would have to consult experienced Chinese herbalism before taking herbs. * Certain herbs are not appropriate for pregnancy. For instance, Safflower and Coix Seeds may cause uterus contractions. * People who have high blood pressure, flu, fever or poor digestion are not suitable to take hot or warm herbs because the properties of those herbs may worsen the situation.


not all herbs are plants?

are chinese herbs toxic?

People are often surprised to learn that not every substance in the field of Chinese herb comes from a plant. The Majority of herbal remedies are made from parts of plantâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;roots, stalks, bark, leaves, fruit, seeds, and so on. However, some substances are animal or mineral in origin. Some examples for animal ingredients are gecko skin, hives, shells, earthworms, scorpions, animal bones, cicada husks, etc. Gypsum, a mineral ingredient that is commonly used, is considered to have cooling energy in TCM, and is commonly used to treat heat problems.

You may probably have heard that Chinese herb may be toxic or in any way dangerous to take. The reality is that taking herbs is no different from taking any other substance into the body. The vast majority of herbs are very safe and pose no threat if taken in the specified does. For several herbs which have stronger properties, the use may need to be limited to avoid side effects. To avoid any problems, the best advice, as always, is to make sure that you consult an appropriately trained and experienced Chinese herb practitioner.

61


第 四 章

04 selected herbs

千百藥材,

Thousands of herbs,

t h i r t y t h e most common see n . 精選三十種常見用藥。


\ \ \ \\\

\

63


There are thousands of herbs used in Chinese medicine. Besides medical uses, many of the herbs are commonly used in daily cooking for better flavor and health benefits. i n t h i s c h a p t e r , the selected herbs are divided into hot, cold and neutral based on their energies. The hot section includes herbs that have hot or warm energies and the cold section contains those herbs with cold and cool energies. The neutral section collects herbs that are neither hot nor cold. Choose the right herbs for yourself based on your body type and special needs.

64


reading guide a. b. c. d.

e. f.

color system

Herb name and common name. Basic informations. Including energy, part of use, flavor and related organs. Properties and functions. The illustration of the herb and the herb name in Chinese characters. The color background represents the energy of the herb. (see right) The energy of the herb and order number. The spelling sound of the herb.

hot

cold

neutral

d.

L ICORIC E ROOT common name :: Chinese licorice

ç&#x201D;&#x2DC; b.

c.

qi-tonic, anti- inflammatory, suppress coughing, detoxicant

affected organs:: heart, lungs, spleen, stomach

flavor:: sweet

part used:: root

č?&#x2030;

properties

basic info

energy:: neutral

a.

Ne ut ral He rb

e.

.06

Piny in

Gan Cao

f.

65


.01

Piny in

common name:: Astragalus

Huang Q i

A STR A G A L US

War m He rb

éť&#x192;

basic info

energy:: slightly warm part used:: root flavor:: sweet affected organs:: lungs, spleen

66

properties

č&#x20AC;&#x2020;

qi tonic, immune tonic, diuretic, lowers blood pressure


astragalus is the primary herb used in chinese medicine to strengthen the immune system.

effects & indications:: Astragalus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, often in combination with other herbs, to strengthen the body against disease. It is useful for conditions of immune deficiency that leads to spontaneous sweating. Spleen qi deficiency with symptoms of weak, low metabolism, edema can also be treated with astragalus, as it raises the spleen yang and qi.

cautions & warnings:: Astragalus should not be used for cases of excess or when there is deficiency of yin with heat signs, and it should not be used

notes:: Drinking a cup of tea made by 15g Astragalus and 20g Red Dates everyday is a simple way to keep healthy.

67


68 basic info

warms the middle, directs stomach qi downward, tonifies kidney yang

affected organs:: spleen, kidneys, stomach

flavor:: pungent, aromatic

part used:: flower bud

energy:: warm

C L OV E

common name:: Clove

ä¸

éŚ&#x2122;

properties

War m He rb .02 Piny in D ing Xiang


clove is used as a spice in food as well as a medicinal herb to treat diseases. effects & indications:: Clove is notable in its ability to warm the middle, direct stomach qi downward, to treat hiccough and to fortify the kidney yang. As such it is used in formulas for impotence or clear vaginal discharge from yang deficiency, for morning sickness together with ginseng and patchouli, or for vomiting and diarrhea due to spleen and stomach coldness.

cautions & warnings:: Because the herb is so warming it is contra-indicated in any persons with fire symptoms and according to classical sources should not be used for anything except cold from yang deficiency.

notes:: Clove oil is used in various skin disorders like acne and pimples. It is also used in severe burns, skin irritations and to reduce the sensitiveness of skin.

69


CORDYC E PS common name:: Cordyceps, Winterworm, Caterpillar fungus

冬 蟲 夏 草 affected organs:: spleen, lungs

flavor:: sweet

part used:: the caterpillar larvae fungus

energy:: warm

tonic, astringent, expectorant

properties

basic info

War m He rb

70

.03

Piny in

D ong C h ong Xia Cao


cordyceps has been praised in asian countries for its health benefits to elevate energy levels, stamina, endurance and sexual performance. effects & indications:: Cordyceps tonifies the kidney yang and is useful for weak back and knees, impotence, and most of the other common kidney yang deficiency symptoms. It is also good for lung yin deficiency when accompanied with kidney yang deficiency, when there are symptoms of chronic cough and cough with blood in the sputum. This is a very safe herb and can be taken for extended periods of time. Cordyceps has been found to be very effective for increasing stamina, making it useful for competitive sports.

cautions & warnings:: Cordyceps is generally considered to be safe and side effect-free. However, certain people, including pregnant or lactating women and children, should exercise caution when considering using this herb.

notes:: The worm-liked shape is the signature for this herb. It is believed that the potency of cordyceps is increased when it is cooked with duck.

71


72 basic info

blood tonic, menstrual stimulating, sedative, analgesic, mild laxative, antibacterical, antiinflammatory

affected organs:: heart, spleen, liver

flavor:: sweet, pungent, bitter

part used:: root

energy:: warm

CHIN E S E A NG E L IC A common name::

Dong quai, Dang qui

ç&#x2022;ś

ć­¸

properties

War m He rb .04 Piny in Dang Q ui


chinese angelica is well known as the herb for women’s health. that’s how it got its nickname: women’s ginseng. effects & indications:: Dong quai is the premier herb for blood deficiency, just as ginseng is for qi deficiency. It is also called women’s ginseng, because women’s health is closely related to blood. Dong quai is widely used for all gynecological conditions, including irregular monthly period, infertility, weakness after giving birth, menopause imbalances, and anemia. It is also indicated for blurred vision, dizziness, or palpitations when these symptoms are caused by blood deficiency.

cautions & warnings:: Dong quai should not be used by those with diarrhea or abdominal distension due to dampness or by those with yin deficiency with heat signs.

notes:: There are many ways to practice Dong quai. Some people put it in chicken soup for tonifing blood. Sometimes the root body is finely sliced and soaked in wine and the wine becomes medicinal drink.

73


G A STRODI A 夊 麝

basic info

energy:: slightly warm part used:: rhizome flavor:: sweet affected organs:: liver

74

properties

War m He rb

.05

Piny in

Gastrodia

Tian Ma

common name::

sedative, relieves pain


gastrodia affects the liver function. it is also the main herb used to treat headaches.

effects & indications:: This herb is used for symptoms including headache, dizziness, convulsion, epilepsy, pain in the joints, numbness of the limbs and lower back. In addition, Gastrodia is beneficial for preventing premature graying and loss of the hair. It improves circulation in the scalp, and when combined with He Shou Wu (Polygonum Multiflorum), it stimulates circulation in the follicles and promotes hair growth and color.

cautions & warnings:: Gastrodia should not be taken in large doses or for expended periods of time.

75


76 basic info

warms the body, diaphoretic, promotes circulation, antiemetic

affected organs:: spleen, lungs, stomach

flavor:: pungent

part used:: rhizome

energy:: warm

F R E SH GING E R

common name::

Fresh ginger

ç&#x201D;&#x;

č&#x2013;&#x2018;

properties

War m He rb .06 Piny in Sh e ng Jiang


ginger is a tuber that is consumed whole as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. effects & indications:: Fresh ginger is used for the common cold when there is thin white mucus and chills. Fresh ginger is also one of the best remedies for nausea associated with motion sickness and seafood poisoning.

cautions & warnings:: Ginger should not be used by those with heat signs in the lungs or stomach.

notes:: Ginger is perhaps the most versatile of all herbs, fresh ginger can be topically applied as a warm fomentation to relieve spasms pain and cramps. Simply cut several slices of the fresh root and place them in a pan of boiling water. Saturate a flannel cloth with the tea and apply it topically as warm as the body will bear. This is an ideal treatment for stiff neck and shoulders. This herb is cooked with meat to aid its assimilation and detoxify it. Fresh ginger tea is the most ideal herb to use for the first signs of mucus, cold, cough, and so on. To make it taste better, add honey or sugar would help.

77


78 basic info

qi tonic, stomachic, stimulate, nutritive, rejuvenative, demulcent

affected organs:: heart, spleen, lungs

flavor:: sweet, slightly biter

part used:: root

energy:: warm

GINS E NG

common name::

Ginseng, Chinese or Korean ginseng

äşş

ĺ?&#x192;

properties

War m He rb .07 Piny in Re n Sh e n


ginseng was one of the earliest marketable herbs to be harvested in america. it is also considered to be the king of all herbs. effects & indications:: Ginseng is used as qi tonic mainly for the spleen and lungs. It is used when there has been a loss of qi because by any one of many factors, such as loss of blood or chronic deficiency. It is used for such symptoms as spontaneous sweating, difficulty breathing, weak digestion, poor appetite. Ginseng is generally not used as a stimulant; an overly high dose can cause symptoms of uneasiness, irritability, headache, and palpitations.

cautions & warnings:: Ginseng should not be used by those with yin deficiency with heat signs or by those with heat because of excess. It should also not be used when there are acute pathogenic conditions and should be avoided by those with very high blood pressure.

notes:: Unlike Chinese ginseng, American ginseng has more â&#x20AC;&#x153;coolingâ&#x20AC;? properties and is more of a yin tonic. Today, ginseng root is used in toothpaste, soft drinks, tea, candy, chewing gum and cigarettes.

79


龍 眼

basic info

energy:: warm part used:: fruit flavor:: sweet affected organs:: heart, spleen

80

properties

War m He rb

.08

Piny in

common name:: Dragon’s eyes, Longan berry

L ong Ye n

L ONG A N B E RRY

nourishes the blood, calms the spirit, relieves fatigue


in chinese food therapy and herbal medicine, logan berry is believed to have an effect on relaxation.

effects & indications:: Longan berry can be used for anxiety, neurosis, insomnia, and forgetfulness; heart palpitations caused by heart blood deficiency; exhaustion and fatigue caused by spleen deficiency; and exhaustion caused by worry, overthinking, or overwork.

cautions & warnings:: Longan berries should not be used for conditions of dampness and heat.

notes:: Dried longan berry is often used in Chinese cuisine and sweet dessert soups.

81


R E D D AT E common name:: Jujube date, Chinese date, Chinese jujube

ç´&#x2026; ćŁ&#x2014;

affected organs:: spleen, stomach

flavor:: sweet

part used:: date

energy:: slightly warm

qi tonic, sedative, nutritive

properties

basic info

War m He rb

82

.09

Piny in

Hong Z ao


red dates are a special species with a long tradition and a high reputation in asia. they are known as the herb that nourishes the blood and replenishes qi. effects & indications:: Red dates are used to treat deficiency of the spleen and stomach with such symptoms as fatigue, loose stools, and lack of appetite. They nourish the blood and can be used when there are symptoms as restlessness, insomnia, and emotional instability associated with blood deficiency. They are also used in formulas to harmonize the actions of the other herbs.

cautions & warnings:: This herb should not be used when there are conditions of dampness or food stagnation, intestinal parasites, or dental diseases.

83


84 basic info

circulatory stimulant, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, analgesic

affected organs:: heart, liver

flavor:: bitter, pungent

part used:: flower

energy:: warm

SAFFLOWER

common name::

Safflower, Carthamus

properties

ç´&#x2026;

č&#x160;ą

War m He rb .10 Piny in Hong Hua


safflower is one of humanityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest crops. it is commonly used for coloring and flavoring foods, in medicines, and making dyes. effects & indications:: Safflower is commonly used to alleviate pain caused by blood stagnation. It is therefore useful for menstrual disorders, abdominal pains caused by blood stasis, and most other kinds of pain caused by blood stasis. It is also effective for traumatic injury when there is pain and swelling; for this, it can be used both internally or externally.

cautions & warnings:: This herb should not be used when there are conditions of dampness or food stagnation, intestinal parasites, or dental diseases.

85


西 洋

Piny in

common name:: American ginseng

Xi Yang Sh e n

A M E RIC A N GINS E NG

basic info

energy:: cool part used:: root flavor:: sweet, slightly bitter affected organs:: heart, kidneys, stomach, lungs

86

properties

Co ld h e rb

.01

yin tonic, calmative


american ginseng is the most well known of all north american tonics.

effects & indications:: American ginseng is a yin tonic that benefits the qi. It is used for yin deficiency with heat signs and weakness following febrile diseases when the yin has been injured. It is specific for lung yin deficiency with blazing fire when there is blood-streaked sputum, chronic cough, and loss of voice. It is good for counteracting the effects of stress and increasing endurance.

cautions & warnings:: American ginseng should not be used by those with a cold damp stomach.

notes:: American ginseng root is light tan and looks a bit like a human body. Herbalists hundreds of years ago took this likeness to mean that ginseng could cure all human ills. It has been imported by the Chinese from North America since the 1700s. It is now widely grown in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

87


Dan Zh u Ye

basic info

energy:: cold part used:: leaf flavor:: sweet affected organs:: heart, stomach, small intestine

88

properties

Co ld h e rb

.02

common name:: Lophatherum, Bamboo Leaf

Piny in

B A M BOO L E A F

anti-inflammatory, increases the excretion of urine


asia has over 3000 species of bamboo and many different parts of the plants are used in chinese medicine.

effects & indications:: This herb is used for heat conditions associated with irritability and anxiety. It can also be used for swollen, painful gums and urinary tract infections with signs of irritability; because of its effect on the heart, which in Chinese theory corresponds to the mind.

cautions & warnings:: Bamboo leaf should not be used by pregnant women.

notes:: This is distinguished from black bamboo leaf, which similarly clears heat and relieves irritability but enters the heart, lungs and stomach.

89


90 basic info

anti- inflammatory repels heat, lowers blood pressure

affected organs:: lungs, liver

flavor:: bitter, sweet

part used:: flower

energy:: slightly cold

CHRYS A NTH E M U M F L O W E R common name::

Chrysanthemum flower

č?&#x160;

č&#x160;ą

properties

Co ld h e rb .03 Piny in Ju Hua


chrysanthemum tea is often used to treat common eye problems. effects & indications:: Chrysanthemum flower clears heat, disperses wind, soothes the liver, improves vision. It can be used for the common cold, fevers, headaches, conjunctivitis, red eyes. This herb is excellent for fevers with headache and for counteracting the effects of hot climate. While this is a surface relieving herb, it also has some yinnourishing properties.

cautions & warnings:: Those who are weak or have diarrhea should not use chrysanthemum flower.

notes:: The white chrysanthemum flower is used to relieve hypertension, pacify the liver, expel wind and clear eyesight. The yellow chrysanthemum flower is more efficient for wind-heat syndrome with symptoms of fever and sore throat.

91


92 basic info

Clears heat, tonifies the spleen, anti- inflammatory, increases the excretion of urine

affected organs:: spleen, stomach, kidney, lungs, large intestine

flavor:: sweet, bland

part used:: seed

energy:: slightly cold

COI X S E E D

common name::

Job’s tears, Coix

properties

Co ld h e rb .04 Piny in Yi Yi Re n


coix gained a reputation for beautifying the skin. women southeast asia have been encouraged to eat coix as a cereal grain. effects & indications:: Drains dampness, clears heat, eliminates pus, tonifies the spleen. This herb is valued because it can be used as a therapeutic food in rice porridge as well as added to medicinal formulas to regulate fluid retention and counteract inflammation. It is very good for all conditions and disease associated with edema and inflammation, including pus, diarrhea, etc.

cautions & warnings:: Coix seed should not be used by pregnant women.

93


94 basic info

anti- inflammatory, antimicrobial, releases heat

affected organs:: heart, lungs, stomach, large intestine

flavor:: bitter, sweet

part used:: flower

energy:: cold

HON E YSUC K L E F L O W E R common name::

Honeysuckle flower, Lonicera

properties

Co ld h e rb .05 Piny in Jin Yin Hua


in traditional chinese medicine, honeysuckle flower is among the important herbs for releasing heat and relieving toxicity. effects & indications:: This herb has broad-spectrum antibiotic properties and can be used for all infections and inflammations. It is especially effective when the infection is in the Upper Warmer but us also effective for some Middle Warmer gastrointestinal tract inflammations. It is useful for the onset of wind-heat disease associated with fevers, the common cold, soar throat, and influenza.

cautions & warnings:: Honeysuckle flower should not be used by those with weakness in the spleen/stomach system when there is cold or diarrhea. It should be used carefully when there are sores due to qi or yin deficiency.

notes:: The stems and leaves have more or less the same properties as the flowers but are more specific for arthritic and rheumatic conditions.

95


96 basic info

anti- inflammatory, anti- microbial, diuretic, increases the excretion of urine

affected organs:: liver, lungs, urinary bladder

flavor:: acrid

part used:: leaves

energy:: slightly cold

HOUTTUYNI A

common name::

Houttuynia, Fishwort

properties

Co ld h e rb .06 Piny in Yu Xing Cao


houttuynia tea is a popular drink in summer days. effects & indications:: Houttuynia is indicated for any toxic heat of the lungs in which there is thick yellow or green sputum. It can also be used for other hot swellings, either internally or externally, as it will help expel pus and cool the inflammation. It promotes urination for damp heat in the Lower Warmer.

cautions & warnings:: This herb is not appropriate for people with cold deficiency symptoms.

notes:: Houttuynia leaf has an unusual taste that is often described as fishy (earning it the nickname â&#x20AC;&#x153;fish mintâ&#x20AC;?), so it is not enjoyed as universally as basil, mint, or other more commonly used herbs.

97


B an L an Ge n

basic info

energy:: cold part used:: root flavor:: bitter affected organs:: lungs, heart, stomach

98

properties

Co ld h e rb

.07

common name:: Isatis root, Indigowoad root

Piny in

IS ATIS ROOT

Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral


isatis root comes from the root of the flowering plant isatis tinctoria. it is said to be effective to treat influenza and inflammation.

effects & indications:: Isatis root is one of the most effective antivirals. It is therefore used for a wide range of infectious viral and bacterial conditions, like common cold, influenza, sore throat, and epidemic diseases, such as mumps. It also cools the blood and is effective for damp-heat conditions.

cautions & warnings:: Isatis root should not be used by pregnant women and those who are weak or are without true fire toxicity.

notes:: Isatis is presently cultivated in the West.

99


10 0 basic info

Yin tonic, soothing, expectorant, antitussive

affected organs:: heart, lungs

flavor:: sweet, bland

part used:: bulb

energy:: slightly cold

L I LY BU L B

common name::

Lily bulb

ç&#x2122;ž

ĺ?&#x2C6;

properties

Co ld h e rb .08 Piny in B ai He


today, lilys are grown in china as a food, as an ornamental plant, and for medicinal purposes. effects & indications:: Lily bulb is used for dry cough and heat in the lung due to yin deficiency. It nourishes the heart and calms the spirit for heart yin and qi deficiency, with such symptoms as restlessness, insomnia, and chronic lowgrade fever.

cautions & warnings:: Lily bulb should not be used by those with such windcold conditions as the common cold when there is phlegm or by those with diarrhea.

notes:: While these lilies are cultivated as ornamentals, they should not be confused with Day lilies, of which the flowers are used in cooking, or Calla Lilies, which are uneatable because they are poisonous.

101


102 basic info

produces perspiration, reduces fever, improves digestion, relieves flatulence

affected organs:: lungs, liver

flavor:: aromatic, pungent

part used:: leaves

energy:: cool

M INT

common name::

Chinese mint

č&#x2013;&#x201E;

č?ˇ

properties

Co ld h e rb .09 Piny in Bo He


mint is widely used almost in every country for its aroma, fresh taste and medical values. effects & indications:: Mint clears wind-heat conditions associated with colds and influenza with fever, headache, sore throat, and red eyes (conjunctivitis). It can also be used for measles and rashes. Like peppermint, it is very good for stomach bloating and lifting the spirits. Finally, it can be used for mouth sores, toothache, allergic rashes, hives, and early stages of measles.

cautions & warnings:: Mint, although not thought of as a strong herb by most people, should be used with caution by those with weakness and spontaneous sweating. Moreover, this herb should not be used by nursing mothers, as it may slow lactation.

103


104 basic info

releases heat, detoxifies, increases the excretion of urine, anti-inflammatory, antidiarrheal

affected organs:: heart, stomach

flavor:: sweet

part used:: seed

energy:: cool

M UNG B E A N

common name::

Green bean, Green soy Mung, Mash bean

çś

čą&#x2020;

properties

Co ld h e rb .10 Piny in Lu D ou


mung beans soup is especially popular in summer time when it is eaten to prevent heatstroke, heat rash or prickly heat. effects & indications:: Mung bean has enjoyed a long history of food and medicinal uses, with a written record dating back to the 10th century A.D. Mung bean is rich in the traditional nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, fibers, minerals, vitamins and lipids, among others. In Chinese medicine, it is used to clear heat, promotes urine and to treat conditions like edema. Because of its detoxification property, mung bean is commonly used for food or drug poisoning.

cautions & warnings:: This herb is not appropriate for people with diarrhea.

notes:: Mung bean sprout is also a popular ingredient which has high nutritive value.

105


黑 芝

Piny in

common name:: Black sesame seed

He i Zh i Ma

BLACK SESAME SEED

basic info

energy:: neutral part used:: seed flavor:: sweet affected organs:: kidneys, liver

10 6

properties

Ne ut ral He rb

.01

tonic, nutritive, demulcent, laxative


sesame seeds are exceptionally rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, calcium, vitamin b 1 and vitamin e.

effects & indications:: Black sesame seeds nourish the kidney yin, the liver yin, and blood. They are good for such symptoms as dizziness, premature gray hair, blurred vision, and weakness after severe illness. They are also used to moisten the intestines for constipation due to dryness or blood deficiency.

cautions & warnings:: This herb should not be used by those with diarrhea.

notes:: Both black sesame seed and white sesame seed have high nutritional value. They are rich in protein, calcium, vitamin A, B, and E. Sesame oil is a very common ingredient in Asian food culture.

107


B L A C K W OOD E A R common name:: Wood ear, Tree ear, Tremella

黑 木 耳

affected organs:: lungs, kidneys, stomach

flavor:: sweet, bland

part used:: the tree mushroom

energy:: neutral

tonic, demulcent

properties

basic info

Ne ut ral He rb

10 8

.02

Piny in

He i Mu Er


black wood ear is highly regarded and much used in asian cooking to give the dish an authentic flavor and interesting texture. effects & indications:: Wood ear is a mushroom that can be used as a food as well as a medicine. It nourishes the yin and moistens the lung for cases of chronic dry cough and cough associated with consumptive diseases when there is blood in sputum. It nourishes the yin of the stomach for conditions of dry mouth and thin coatâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or no coatâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;on the tongue.

cautions & warnings:: Wood ear is very safe and can be eaten freely as food.

notes:: The wood ear has a firm, thick skin and an interesting jelly-like, springy yet soft texture when fresh that becomes slightly crunchy when cooked. This mushroom is highly regarded and much used in Asian cooking.

109


ĺąą č&#x2014;Ľ

basic info

energy:: neutral part used:: tuber flavor:: sweet affected organs:: lungs, kidneys, stomach, spleen

110

properties

Ne ut ral He rb

.03

Piny in

common name:: Dioscorea, Chinese yam, Mountain Potato

Sh an Yao

CHIN E S E YA M

qi tonic, nutrient, demulcent


chinese yams contain a large amount of mucilage, which soothes the mucus membranes and relieves cough.

effects & indications:: Chinese yam tonifies spleen and lung qi and also tonifies both the yin and the yang of he kidneys and the lungs. It is used for spleen deficiency when there is chronic diarrhea, stagnation of food, and fatigue. It is also useful when there is lung qi deficiency with symptoms such as spontaneous sweating, chronic cough, and difficulty breathing. It can also be used for frequent urination.

cautions & warnings:: Chinese yam should be used with caution when there is excess heat or dampness.

notes:: This herb is eaten as a vegetable in both China and Japan. Only recently has it begun to be cultivated in the West. Perhaps because of the hormone precursors the herb contains, there are few reports of adverse symptoms associated with menopause in countries where it is included as part of diet.

111


112 basic info

qi tonic, lowers blood pressure, regulates blood sugar, increases numbers of white and red blood cells

affected organs:: lungs, spleen

flavor:: sweet

part used:: root

energy:: neutral

CODONOPSIS

common name::

Codonopsis

靨

ĺ?&#x192;

properties

Ne ut ral He rb .04 Piny in Dang Sh e n


codonopsis is known as the “poor man’s ginseng.” in ancient china, codonopsis was used along with ginseng to create a tonic that helped replenish one’s qi. effects & indications:: This herb is often and routinely used in all formulas in place of ginseng when the stronger herb is not required. It is used for spleen qi deficiency that causes lack of appetite or prolapse of internal organs. It is useful for fatigue and weakness of the limbs and is effective for deficiency of lung qi that causes shortness of breath or chronic cough.

cautions & warnings:: Codonopsis should be used with caution when there is acute illness.

113


E URYA L E S E E D common name:: Foxnuts, Euryale seed Water lily seed

č&#x160;Ą 富

affected organs:: kidneys, spleen

flavor:: astringent, sweet

part used:: seed

energy:: neutral

anti-diarrheal, retard aging

properties

basic info

Ne ut ral He rb

11 4

.05

Piny in

Q ian Sh i


euryale seed is small and round, with a brown outer covering. it can be consumed either raw or after being roasted in a wok. effects & indications:: Euryale seed tonifies the spleen, strengthens the kidneys and restrains essence and dispels dampness. This herb is especially good for diarrhea in children. Also, it is commonly used for urinary incontinence.

cautions & warnings:: Women who just gave birth or people with poor digestion are not appropriate to take this herb.

notes:: Euryale seeds are often cooked in soups along with other ingredients, and believed to strengthen male potency and retard aging.

115


116 basic info

qi-tonic, anti- inflammatory, suppress coughing, detoxicant

affected organs:: heart, lungs, spleen, stomach

flavor:: sweet

part used:: root

energy:: neutral

L ICORIC E ROOT

common name::

Chinese licorice

ç&#x201D;&#x2DC;

č?&#x2030;

properties

Ne ut ral He rb .06 Piny in Gan Cao


licorice is originally grown in central europe, but now found all across europe and asia. aside from its medicinal properties, it has been used to flavor foods for centuries. effects & effects & indications:::: Licorice root is probably the most used herb in the Chinese medicine. Because of its harmonizing effects on other herbs, it can be found in many formulas. It is used as a tonic for spleen qi deficiency, for the heart when there are symptoms of palpitations and irregular pulses, and to lubricate the lungs when there is a deficient dry cough. Because of its neutral energy, licorice can be used in formulas to treat either hot or cold conditions.

cautions & warnings:: Licorice root should not be used when there is excess dampness, nausea, or vomiting and generally should be used with caution by those who tend to retain water.

notes:: Prepared licorice is made by stir-frying the dried licorice root in a wok with honey. This makes it warmer and more of qi tonic.

117


118 basic info

Checks bleeding, lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol

affected organs:: lungs, liver, stomach

flavor:: astringent, liver, sweet

part used:: rhizome node

energy:: neutral

L OTUS ROOT

common name::

Lotus rhizome node

č&#x2014;&#x2022;

çŻ&#x20AC;

properties

Ne ut ral He rb .07 Piny in O u Jie


lotus root comes from the lotus, a perennial aquatic plant related to the water lily. the plant has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries. effects & indications:: Lotus root acts as an astringent. Its main function is to stop bleeding, particularly coughing accompanied by blood and vomiting accompanied by blood, and to help the blood coagulate more quickly. It also helps treat conditions such as diarrhea.

cautions & warnings:: Lotus root usually is cooked in soup or made as salad. Raw lotus root is cold in energy. Women with menstruation or menstrual pain should not eat it raw.

119


12 0 basic info

tonic, sedative

affected organs:: Heart, spleen, kidneys

flavor:: astringent, sweet

part used:: seed

energy:: neutral

L OTUS S E E D

common name::

Lotus Seed

č&#x201C;Ž

ĺ­?

properties

Ne ut ral He rb .08 Piny in Lian Zi


lotus seeds are of great importance to east asian cuisine and is used extensively in traditional chinese medicine and also chinese desserts. effects & indications:: This herb is both stringent and tonic and therefore is very useful for chronic diarrhea due to spleen deficiency. It is also used as a tonic for the heart and to calm the spirit in such conditions as insomnia, palpitations, and anxiety.

cautions & warnings:: Lotus seeds should not be used by those with constipation or abdominal distension.

121


é?&#x2C6; č&#x160;?

basic info

energy:: neutral

12 2

part used:: fungus flavor:: sweet affected organs:: heart, lungs, spleen

properties

Ne ut ral He rb

.09

Piny in

common name:: Red reishi, Reishi mushroom

Ling Zh i

R E ISHI M USHROO M

qi-tonic, strengthen immune system, anti-ageing, anti-cancer


reishi mushrooms are considered a very powerful and valuable medicinal mushroom in chinese medicine.

effects & indications:: Reishi mushrooms are non-toxic and can be taken daily without producing any side effects. When they are taken regularly, they can restore the body to its natural state, enabling all organs to function normally. The Chinese claimed that reishi mushrooms make the body lighter, which may refer to its ability to reduce cholesterol and blood lipid levels.

cautions & warnings:: This herb should not be used with Artemisia capillaris.

notes:: This herb is also eaten as a confection or food.

123


12 4 basic info

blood and yin tonic, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

affected organs:: liver, kidneys, lungs

flavor:: sweet

part used:: fruit

energy:: neutral

W O L F B E RRY

common name::

Lycii berry, Chinese wolfberry

properties

Ne ut ral He rb .10 Piny in Gou Q i Zi


wolfberries are commonly known as the herb that is very good for eyes. effects & indications:: Wolfberries are used for deficiency of both blood and yin and is especially useful when these deficiencies occur in the liver and kidneys, causing such symptoms as weak lower back and knees. They nourish the liver and benefits the essence. This herb is commonly combined with chrysanthemum flower for blurred vision and poor night vision.

cautions & warnings:: Wolfberries should not be used by those with patterns of heat and excess or when there is spleen deficiency with dampness or loose stools.

125


12 6


R E CO M M E ND E D R E A DING

BIB L IOGR A PHY

There are many valuable books available on Chinese herbology. The following are some practical ones to start with.

Huang, GhoShan. The Complete Collection of Chinese Recipes For Health Preserving. Taipei: Sanyi Culture Publishing, 2006.

Hou, Joseph P. The Healing Power of Chinese Herbs and Medicinal Recipes. New York: Haworth Intergrative Healing Press., 2005.

Tierra, Michael. The Way of Chinese Herbs. New York: Pocket Books, 1998. Norman, Jill. Herbs & Spices. New York: DK Pub., 2002.

Tierra, Michael. The Way of Chinese Herbs. New York: Pocket Books, 1998. Tan, Terry. Cooking With Chinese Herbs. Singapore: Times Books International, 1983. Williams, Tom. The complete illuatrated guide to Chinese medicine: a comprehensive system for health and fitness. London: Thorsons, 2003. Wiseman, Nigel and Yè, Féng. Introduction to English terminology of Chinese medicine. Brookline, Mass.: Paradigm Publications, 2002.

Simonds, Nina. Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes For Great Health. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. Sun Color Culture Publishing Co. Zhong Yao Cai Su Cha Ching Tu Dian. Taipei: Sun Color Culture Publishing Co., 2008. Wang, Jinru. Zhong Yao Cai Shi Liao Shi Dian. Taipei: Life Tastes and Culture Publishing, 2007. Williams, Tom. Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture, Herbal Remedies, Nutrition, Qigong and Meditation For Total Health. Shaftesbury, Dorset [England]; Boston, Mass.: Element, 1997. Williams, Tom. The complete illustrated guide to Chinese medicine: a comprehensive system for health and fitness. London: Thorsons, 2003. Wiseman, Nigel and Yè, Féng. Introduction to English terminology of Chinese medicine. Brookline, Mass.: Paradigm Publications, 2002. University of Maryland, Medical Center http://www.umm.edu Mountain Rose Herbs http://www.mountainroseherbs.com Naturopathy Digest http://www.naturopathydigest.com

127


IND E X

A American ginseng, 86-87 Astragalus, 66-67 Astringent herbs, 70, 114, 118, 120 B Bamboo leaf, 88-89 Bitter flavor, 44 Black sesame seed, 106-107 Bladder, 37 Blood, 44, 37 Blood deficiency, 37 Body types, 56-57 C Chinese angelica, 72-73 Chinese herbal medicine, 16,37,48 Chinese yam, 44,57, 110-111 Chrysanthemum flower, 90-91, 125

12 8

Clove, 44, 68-69 Codonopsis, 112-113, Coix, 60, 92-93 Cold, coldness, 37, 42, 56, 59, 64 Color, 22, 48, 60 Cool herbs, 37, 59, Cooling, 48 Cordyceps, 70,71 D Dampness, 44 Diarrhea, 37 Diet, 16, 23, 30, 56 Dryness, 37, 48 E Euryale seed, 114-115 F Five elements, 17, 30-33, 37

Five flavors, 42, 44, 48 Formula, formulae, 48 Four energies, four natures, 42 G Gallbladder, 37 Gastrodia, 74-75 Ginger, 42, 44, 57, 76-77 Ginseng, 48, 57, 73, 78-79, 113, H Heart, 30, 37, 44 Honeysuckle flower, 94-95 I Immune system, 22 Inflammatory, 44 Isatis root, 98-99 J Jujube date, 82-83


K Ke, 30-31 L Large intestine, 37 Licorice, 44, 116-117 Lily bulb, 100-101 Liver, 30-31, 37, 44 Logan berry, 80-81 Lotus root, 118-119 Lotus seed, 120-121 M Metal, 30-33, 37 Mint, 57, 102-103 Mung bean, 104-105 O Organs, 22, 30, 37, 42, 44

P Pungent flavor, 44 Q Qi, 17, 22, 25, 30, 37, 44, 48 Qi deficiency, 37 R Red date, 45, 48, 82-83 Reishi mushroom, 122-123 S Safflower, 60, 84-85 Salty flavor, 44 Sheng, 30-31 Shen Nung, Emperor, 16 Sour flavor, 44 Spleen, 30-31, 37, 44-45 Sweet flavor, 44

T Tai chi, 22 Tao-te Ching, 28 Taoism, 17, 28, 31 Tonics, 22 W Wolfberry, 40-41, 44, 124-125 Wood ear, 108-109 Y Yang, 17, 26-27, 31, 37, 46 Yang deficiency, 17, 26-27, 31, 37, 46 Yin, 17, 26-27, 31, 37, 46 Yin deficiency, 37 Yin-yang balance/imblalance, 16, 22, 26-27, 37, 43, 44-45,

129


The Way of Chinese Herbs  

This is the first book of the set The Art of Chinese Herbs. This book introduces basic information about Chinese herbs, such as history, con...

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