The linked article was my third prize winning entry into a contest run by UCLA's East
West Center for ideas on how to improve the quality and efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine in America.
This essay depicts “the reintroduction of the role of pharmacognosy into the practice of Chinese herbal QA/QC, [which] will require increasing educational demands placed on students and clinicians, an increasingly complex regulatory apparatus and the compliance of the herb growers and herbal products manufacturers."
This link is a photo journal designed to inspire introspection. The photos and words were collected during the course of 2015. I shot all of the photos on my iPhone but some of them are pretty good all the same.
He Huan Hua/合欢花 first appeared in the Ben Cao Yan Yi/本草衍义 during the Song dynasty (1116AD). The consensus seems to be that it has sweet flavor and a balanced nature. It enters the heart and spleen channels equally. In the 本草便读/BenCaoYanYi it is said to nourish the blood. The 分类草药性/FenLeiCaoYaoXing states that it can purify the heart and brighten the eyes. The 四川中药志/SiChuanZhongYaoZhi states that it can unite the heart with the....
Starting with an examination into the notion of toxicity in the classic texts of Chinese medicine, we move on to an analysis of the molecular mechanism of Pinellia ternata induced toxicity and finally we look at how the traditional processing methods of TCM are used to eliminate this mechanism of toxicity.
Please click the link below to peruse the .pdf with the whole story.
One of the methods I was interested in was the method for Huang Fu Pian. I found a method in the Huo Shen Pai Book火神派扶阳第一要药/Huo Shen Pai Fu Yang Di Yi Yao Yao/Fire God Faction Support Yang Number One Demand Medicine about Huang Fu Pian
Huang Fu Pian/Huang Pian – Clean the Fu Zi, classically you would boil it in the mother liquid, steep in clean water that is repeatedly replaced until toxicity is reduced, eliminate the peel and any remnants of the root, cut into even slices, then use gan cao, sheng jiang, hong hua in equal amounts to make a medicinal liquid for soaking, dry with heat source, and then sun dry to completion; as a result of this process the Fu Pian slices should become yellow, therefore it is known as huang fu pian. End product is cross cut, has a circular or possibly oval form, without peel, has a protruding tumor that is the trace of the root. Diameter is 3.5 to 4 cm, thickness is 0.4 to 0.5 cm. Whole surface is yellow, cut surface can have polygons that are attributed to cambium rings, without oily face, only a glossy feel, opaque, some places of production use a red 5 pointed star stamp. Slight smell, bland taste, possibly has a slight prickly feeling in the throat.
For the rest go here.
Popular for millennia, Atractylodes was used by the ancient Daoist sages as a foodstuff while they pursued transformation and immortality deep in secluded mountains. Today we use it to improve digestion.
A video from a few years ago when I first moved to the Pacific Northwest and was amazed to find the beautiful Aconite species blooming so robustly. Since that time I have fallen love with it for its form and for its function.
A video I recently posted to my YouTube channel describing some of the history and historical medicinal uses of Huang Qi.