Root Rap™ Herb Blog
Topics in Chinese herb medicine and health
California's Prop 65
Drug Herb Interactions
Herbs, The Original Medicine
Herbs, The Original Medicine: Dang Gui
Herbs, The Original Medicine: Summer Heat
How to Make Dit Da Jow
How to Make Herb Tea
We have been doing business with the Mayway Corp. for over 25 years. In 1996 they established the Mayway Hebei Factory in Anguo, China where they package and process herbs into their Plum Flower Brand. The herbs are processed in GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) facilities in Anguo China and are known for their high quality. East Earth Trade Winds owner, Michel Czehatowski, was invited to the inaugural tour their factory in April, 2011 and found that they had extremely high standards for quality and production. Below are some pictures from the factory tour complements of Mayway Corp.:
Worker's preparing herbs for slicing
Slicing Jie Geng by Hand A worker with his equipment Sorting Bai Zhi Ren Seeds
Filling bottles with extract powder
Tour of the extraction facility (M. Czehatowski is third from left)
Where it all starts. The herb farmer working in the fields.
Dr. Christine Horner writes the following about inflammation on her website:
Inflammation is a normal and important process created naturally by our bodies and serves an important role. It helps to get rid of unwanted bacteria, and other invaders. It also assists our bodies in cleaning up dead cells from trauma or infections. When inflammation rises to assist healing and then quietly quells when it is no longer needed, no harm is done. But, if the inflammation remains beyond its useful purpose and becomes "chronic" - meaning it stays as an ongoing process in our body over time - it turns into a lethal firestorm, breaking down cells and destroying the natural architectural boundaries of the body's tissues which makes it easier for tumors to invade and grow. Researchers have found that chronic inflammation not only plays a key role in the commencement and progression of many types of cancers, but it also fuels a wide variety of chronic disorders, including heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer's disease.
One main reason why chronic inflammation can be so devastating to our health is because it doesn't act alone. It creates additional destructive ammunition: oxygen free radicals. The cells in our immune system use oxygen free radicals like cosmic ray guns to shoot bacteria and other offenders. In the presence of inflammation, these cells release showers of oxygen free radicals and excess oxygen free radicals can cause damage to DNA that can lead to cancer.
Certain foods and stress promote inflammation. Refined carbohydrates, sugar and certain fats (especially trans-fats) are some of the worst offenders. On the other hand, a diet rich in antioxidants found in fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids reduces inflammation. Taking supplemental antioxidants and practicing stress reduction techniques are also very beneficial in preventing and reducing inflammation.
INFLAMMATION AND THE COX-2 ENZYME
There's another way to reduce inflammation. It involves blocking the activity of a key enzyme essential to the process of inflammation. The enzyme is called cyclo-oxygenase 2 or COX-2. A relatively new class of pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories targets the COX-2 enzyme and blocks it or inhibits it. Celebrex and Vioxx are two examples. But pharmaceutical medications, as you are probably aware, are hard on the body and create imbalances that result in potentially serious side effects. When reaching for COX-2 anti-inflammatories, the wisest choice is to choose those made by Nature. Herbal COX-2 inhibitors not only block the "evil" enzyme with equal force, but they also import a fantastic amount of extraordinary intelligence and balance into the body.
Natures COX-2 inhibiting pharmacy includes dozens of herbs. The standouts are green tea, turmeric, holy basil, rosemary, ginger, oregano, Scutellaria, barberry, and the Chinese herbs Hu Zhang and Chinese Goldenthread (Coptis).
Note: Turmeric (curcuma) is found in our Tung Shueh Pills.
References: See: Dr. Christine Horner (www.drchristinehorner.com)
Author/Acupuncturist Letha Hadady wrote a good article on Yunnan Baiyao. Follow this link to read it:
How to use a Ginseng Cooker
Ginseng is a fantastic herb to boost your energy. It is available in a wide variety of pills and extracts which are easy to take. However, if you want to be a little more of a purist you should use (or at least try) a ginseng cooker. This specially designed ceramic teapot has two lids-one flat inner lid and one curved lid on top. After filling with water and adding a root of ginseng, the cooker is used as a double boiler. it is placed in another pot with water reaching up to its handles. The water is brought to a boil which heats the water in the cooker. Simmer until the water in the outside pot has boiled half away-about 40 minutes. Tea prepared in this way is very rich as the medicinal elements normally lost by evaporation are retained. Please see our page on Supplies if you are interested in ordering a ginseng cooker.
If you don't find the ginseng cooker on our website call us. We usually have some in stock and will be glad to get you one.
Herb Substitutes for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
TimeMagazine reported (July 22, 2002) that the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study has shown for the first time that taking estrogen and progestin together for more than a few years increases a woman's risk of developing potentially deadly cardiovascular problems and invasive breast cancer among other things. Thousands of women have been prescribed these hormones for menopausal complaints.
While the study indicates that these hormones still may be safe for short-term relief of menopausal symptoms, long term use is no longer recommended.
What's a woman to do?
Some of the symptoms of menopause, e.g., hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness, can be safely treated with herbal remedies.
We recommend using the Women's Precious (#45213) as the foundation formula to help balance the reproductive system. This is an ideal constitutional formula for women of any age and is safe for long-term use.
Symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, or dryness can be addressed by combining Gentle Rejuvenator (#45205), which balances the kidney function and nourishes the essential fluids of the body. In some cases, the Chinese formula Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan (#15280) may be needed in addition to clear the heat from the body.
Mood swings may be helped with Soothing Balance (#45216) which regulates the Liver. A Liver imbalance is often responsible for PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness, bloating, and irritability.
All these products can be ordered on-line. Look for them in the Long Hay Flat section of our website: www.eastearthtrade.com If you have any further questions regarding the use of these products please email us. We'll be glad to help you.
Improving Athletic Endurance
Every serious athlete wants to extend the limits of his strength, speed, and overall performance. The foundation of someone's strength comes from eating well and getting proper exercise balanced by complete rest. Modern science has given us a number of products that enhance and improve the health of the human body. Some things like vitamins are relatively harmless while others such as steroids can have serious side effects which in the long run compromises a persons health.
There are many "natural herbal" supplements available too. Unfortunately, most are manufactured by companies that have little, if any, concept on how or why herbs should be used and combined. The result of marketing herbal products without knowledge has given a lot of bad press to the legitimate herbal industry. An example of lack of herbal knowledge in manufacturing can be seen in companies that market Ma-huang (ephedra) combined with guarana. This combination has been shown to have serious side-effects and should be avoided. You should also avoid any "energizing" product in which Ma-huang is the major component of the formula.
Fortunately, there are some companies that have the knowledge and expertise (and a conscience) to make excellent products. One of the best companies around is East Earth Herb, Inc (now AM Todd Botanicals) of Eugene, Oregon. They manufacture Jade Chinese Herbals. (Update: AM Todd no longer makes the Jade Chinese Herbals, Turtle Mountain Professional, and Jade Pharmacy product lines but we left the article online because you can still learn about herbs. EETW 5/2001)
One herbal supplement that gives consistent results to athletes is Jade Chinese Herbals "Stamina". Stamina is well-balanced, so the herbs long-term effects help increase the performance potential derived from inner strength gained by the organs, muscles, and nerves. Those who use Stamina find they can go the extra distance during intense workouts or competitions. However, it doesn't leave you feeling depleted or run-down by any after-effects. The herbs in Stamina nourish the basic activating qualities that give drive and movement to life. They also help to strengthen a person's will, breaking through the emotional restrictions from lack of assertiveness, or fear.
Looking for a modern equivalent of Stamina would lead you to steroids. There is no doubt that steroids are powerful but where does their power come from? From the perspective of Chinese medicine, steroids rob the energy (Qi) of the kidneys, spleen, heart, and liver. The strength of the internal organs is transferred to the large muscles. Thus, the negative effects of long-term steroid use observed by Western clinicians are due, according to Chines medicine, to the weakening of the energy (Qi) of the internal organs.
According to Chinese medicine, the root of the body's strength resides in its kidney function. In contrast to steroids, Stamina nourishes the energy (Qi) of the internal organs, especially in the kidney meridian, filling them with enduring energy and helping them to function at peak levels. Jade's Stamina is stronger than steroids and vitamins when the overall structure of the body is taken into account. The herbs go directly to the main bodily organs and fill them with long-lasting energy, enabling them to function at peak levels. Stamina is well balanced, so its extended effects are increased performance potential built on long-term strength in the organs, muscles, and nerves.
Central to Stamina are herbs that energize the kidney function. They nourish the basic activating and energizing qualities that give life drive and movement. Another way of describing these herbs is that they stimulate the fire that energizes life. They break through the restriction and immobility of an unassertive or weak will, paralyzing fear, or numbing cold, by strengthening the will. This formulation contains some of the most potent tonifying herb in Chinese medicine including Salvia, Lycii, Polygoni, Schisandrae, Eucommia, Ginseng, Astragali, Angelicae Sinesnsis, Atractylodis, Glycyrrhizae, and Deer Antler.
Tylenol and Liver Failure
Time magazine reported (Time, April 9, 2001) that the FDA was concerned with Tylenol. Their interest was triggered by a report by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where researchers tracked more than 300 cases of acute liver failure at 22 hospitals. It was found that 38% of these liver failures were associated with excessive acetaminophen use. In a second study 307 adults suffering from severe liver injury acetaminophen was linked to as many as 35% of the cases, most of them preventable. Acetaminophen produces toxic byproducts that are funneled to the liver-which end up working overtime to clear them out of the body. If you ingest too much acetaminophen, toxins can build up in the bloodstream and do serious damage.
Fortunately there are natural alternatives to acetaminophen. For pain there are a number of externally applied liniments that reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Internally, products such as Tung Shueh Pills work well. For headaches, we suggest trying Soothing Balance or the Chinese formula Xiao Yao Wan.
If you have questions on safe alternatives to acetaminophen or any other drugs, please write us and we'll try to suggest some alternative herbal remedies that may help.
What do we do for the flu?
The flu shouldn't be taken lightly but keep in mind that in 2003 the wrong type of flu vaccine was given to millions of people and in 2004 they ran out of vaccine. There was no increase in flu related deaths or increase in flu in general despite these major problems. However, for those with compromised immune systems or poor health general immune system tonics, like Reishi, are good, along with proper hygiene (washing hands) and at the first sign of illness one should use either Yinchiao or Ganmaoling.
In the book "Immune System and Chinese Herbs" by Pi-Kwang Tsung, Ph.D. (out-of-print) he states that the formula Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum Combination (order code: 50215) is the best selling formula in Japan to prevent common cold. The formula is an immunostimulant. Traditionally, this formula is used for the late stages of a cold when a cold lingers and you just are not getting over it.
We highly recommend Reishi + (code #45234) for boosting the immune system. Reishi+ is a concentrated Ganoderma extract. Everyone should use this during the cold season.
You can use Xiao Chai Hu Tangduring cold season if you feel you are in an area of high exposure to a lot of sick people, e.g., those who work with the public a lot, health care, retail, etc., or those that use mass transporation as a preventative. However, if you do come down with cold or flu symptoms switch to Yinchiao or Ganmaoling.