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Salvia miltorrhiza Dānshēn 丹蔘

This is part of a monograph from the book De Pei Ben Cao (Materia Medica Properly Combining) 1761. 《得配本草》 丹参:一名赤参,一名奔马草。苦,微寒。入手少阴、厥阴经血分。养血活血,生新血,去宿血。治风邪留热,除产后烦热,开心腹结气,调女人经脉,有孕能安, 死胎可落,愈冷热痨,止骨节痛。配白芷、芍药、猪脂,敷乳痈。配查炭、益母草,酒炒,清血瘀。心血不足以养神,神不安而虚火动者,丹参补之。 Dan Shen: 1 name is red shen (ginseng), 1 name is “galloping horse” herb. Bitter, slightly cold. Enters the hand shao-yin, jue-yin channels and blood aspect. Nourishes and quickens blood, engenders new blood, eliminates […]

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Musings on the Season

The last couple days have really let us know here in Beijing that the Summer is indeed over and that Autumn has dug its heels in. We have had bright blue skies, something we don’t see enough of here in Beijing, brought in by the cool north winds. I was up at the Autumn Reine […]

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Rosa rugosa — Mei Gui Hua 玫瑰花

Shakespeare said, “A rose would be a rose by any other name.” And, while this might be true, there is only one Rosa rugosa, known as mei gui hua (玫瑰花) in Chinese medicine. This is one of nine species of rose covered in the Grand Dictionary of Chinese Medicinals and one of many used around […]

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St. John’s Wort — Hypericum perforatum

St. John’s Wort is one of the most popular herbs in the West these days after the marketing it received for its use as a treatment for mild to moderate depression. While this use is valid this plant has abundant historical and current uses that make it a very versatile herbal medicine. Hypericum perforatum is […]

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Pao Zhi – The Chinese Way of Preparing Herbs

In Chinese herbal medicine pao zhi is a term that generally describes all the procedures involved in preparing plant (or animal or mineral) to be consumed by humans. This includes every part of the process from harvest to consumption. However, we mostly think of pao zhi as some specific processes applied to herbs when they […]

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Ligusticum is part of the Apiaceae (Carrot) family. According the the Jepson Manual of Higher Plants of California the genus has approximately 25 species, however the electronic version of the Flora of China says the genus has approximately 60 species with 35 endemic to China. Further research will need to be done to see if […]

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Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine: Classes for professionals and students

California Peony As many of you know, my primary work over the years has been to teach and write about my experience using Western herbs in Chinese medicine. My first book, Western Herbs According to Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Practitioner’s Guide was published in 2008 and I have been working on a second volume ever […]

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Dendrobium is a genus in the orchid family, which is exclusively found in Asia. Many of the species are used in Chinese medicine, but sadly they have become either endangered or nearly so. The primary Chinese name is shi hu (石湖) but that only refers to the genus. There are many species used more or […]

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A Canyon North of Beijing

We are in the National Holiday this week in China, so I took the opportunity to venture out to my favorite canyon spot north of Beijing. It was a crisp warm day with a bit of a gusty breeze, but it was quite warm in the sun, and the creep was a very refreshing dip. […]

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Actea rubra and related species

Welcome back, I have been a bit busy with writing  and other various projects, but I thought I would give you a preview of one of the monographs from my upcoming book. The book is the second volume of Western Herbs According to Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Practitioners Guide, which you can find in the […]

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