OTC Tylenol Dosage Lowered to Prevent Liver Damage

If you use Tylenol for PMS Relief , menstrual cramps, backaches. headaches or any other pain you need to know why Tylenol maker Johnson & Johnson such lowered the maximum recommended dosage.   You should rethink why how much you use and how often. 

Just because Tylenol is over-the-counter does not necessarily mean it’s safe.

In an effort to reduce the risk of liver damage resulting from overuse of acetaminophen — the active ingredient in Tylenol — the drug maker’s McNeil division will soon cap the product’s daily dose recommendation at 3,000 milligrams (a total of six 500-milligram pills a day) instead of the current 4,000 (eight pills a day).

 

Some experts say they also worry about overuse of other medications that consumers can purchase off pharmacy shelves without a prescription, such as the pain reliever ibuprofen, Theraflu for colds, and the antihistamine Benadryl.

“It’s important for the public to realize all drugs have side effects. It doesn’t matter if they’re prescription, over-the-counter, herbals or nutritional supplements. If they have active ingredients, they have side effects and can interfere with normal body functions,” says Brian Strom, director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

He says Tylenol is an “extraordinarily” safe drug at proper doses, even though its overuse is a leading cause for liver transplants in patients with acute liver failure. But, he says, “It has a narrow therapeutic ratio. The toxic dose and the therapeutic dose are very close.”

Commonly used over-the-counter medications may carry risks, say experts.

Acetaminophen (Extra Strength Tylenol). For headaches, joint and muscle pain, fever.
Overuse risks: Liver damage or failure. May cause liver problems at lower doses in alcohol users, or in those who take other drugs containing acetaminophen.

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Reduces pain and swelling related to arthritis. Relieves headache, fever, menstrual cramps.
Overuse risks: Gastrointestinal pain, bleeding. Kidney damage.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), antihistamine used to prevent, reduce hayfever and other allergy symptoms.
Overuse risks: Memory loss and disorientation, especially in elderly. Drowsiness, dryness.

Loratadine (Claritin), antihistimine used to relieve hayfever, other allergy symptoms.
Overuse risks: Sleepiness, fast heart rate. May lose effectiveness over time. Claritin-D includes an additional active ingredient, pseudoephedrine sulfate, which may cause insomnia or restlessness. Pseudoephedrine should not to be taken with certain medications for Parkinsons, depression, psychiatric or other emotional conditions.

Dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant, and Doxylamine succinate, an antihistamine (NyQuil Cough).
Overuse risks: Can cause drowsiness, especially when mixed with sleeping medications and alcohol. Not to be taken with certain medications for Parkinsons, depression, psychiatric or other emotional conditions.

Ranitidine (Zantac), an acid reducer, treats ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Overuse risks: May lose effectiveness over time. Long-term acid suppressor use could lead to poor absorption of some forms of calcium.

For menstrual cramps and period pain try our PMS Relief Herb Pack.  We guarantee pain relief in 30 minutes or less.  It’s also great for the irritability and moodiness that often accompany your monthly menstrual cycle.

Sources: Brian Strom, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Winston Parris, Duke University Medical Center; Lisa McDevitt, Tufts Medical Center; Sarah Anderson, University of Colorado School of Pharmacy; Ausim Azizi, Temple University School of Medicine.

 

 

 

For more information on OTC pain killers see my Huff post article:  Pain Relief without Pain Killers

No Monthly Cramps, No Kidding

No cramps & PMS - Herbs work fast for PMS ReliefBe the envy of all your friends because you don't get PMS and cramps anymore.  Yes it's possible!!

The herbs used in PMS Relief Herb Pac are safe, natural and work fast for monthly cramps and PMS moodiness.  There are 14 herbs in PMS Relief that have all been used by generations of women to regulate and relieve monthly period pains. 

Why haven't you heard of this before?  If you lived in just about any part of Asia, you would have heard about these herbs.  In fact, everyone there uses Chinese herbs all the time.  Whether it's in pills, packets or boiled at home, herbs are just regular medicine.  Nothing really out of the ordinary.  I suppose similar to taking Vitamin C here or packets of Emergen C.

Once you try a packet you won't believe the results and you will be the envy of all your friends. Stop suffering in pain, there is an answer, it's all natural, safe and available. 

More info on PMS Relief Herb Pac here.

Six Healthy Foods to Help Fight PMS

PMS and Menstrual cramps helped with diet and Chinese Herbs

 

You're PMS'ing and what you're craving cupcakes, salty potato chips and CHOCOLATE!!!   Mood swings caused by hormonal changes, especially the drop in progesterone just before your menstrual cycle/period, definitely cause those food binge cravings.  So what's a girl to do??

If you give in to the cravings, your mood plummets further, often from the calorie intake realization and  the sugar that let's you down with a crash.  Bloating is another common problem and the junk food and salty snacks only make that situation worse.

So here's a couple healthy suggestions of foods to help fill you up while at the same time have the extra perk of helping resolve PMS.  At the very least, eat these foods before any junk food.  Don't wait until you have the cravings, feed your body before the cravings get out of control.   (One note, there are lots of healthy dark chocolates available today. Splurge on quality chocolate and eat it in moderation, this will be a benefit in the long run.)

Here's six great foods you must keep on hand at all times, PMS or no PMS.

1.  Garbanzo beans,  I love them pureed into hummus.  You can also easily spice them up with a little garlic, paprika, salt, pepper and dill and melt jarlsberg cheese over them.  Makes a  great snack.   Garbanzo's are high in magnesium, which can reduce bloating and water retention,  Vitamin B6 which has been know to reduce irritability and manganese may help mood swings.  Eat them hot or cold in a salad, either way they are delicious.  

2. Comblex Carb's are your best friend when you're dealing with PMS symptoms. I'm talking, brown rice, oatmeal, beans and whole grain pasta.   Whole grains contains the three nutrients mentioned above, magnesium, vitamin B6, and manganese.   The right balance of these nutrients can help depression,  irritability and as an added bonus they carry few calories for those girls watching their weight. 

3.  Fish  – Fish is high in both omega 3's and 6 fatty acids.   Small fish will have the least amount of pollutants so check out mackerel, sardines and herring.  Ok, it may not be what you were craving but think outside the box.  You're body will love you because it's high in oils, (good for skin and hair) and fish is  also a great source of Vitamin D.  Studies suggest a diet rich in vitamin D may reduce the risk of PMS by about 40 percent.

4.  Nuts –  Nuts are fast and easy and the natural oils help your body make the "feel good" neurotransmitters that impact mood.  Throw  nuts into any meal and they spice up just about everything.  Walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, cashews, pine nuts are some of my favorites.

5.  Sweet potatoes and/or yams –  I consider yams a goddess food for all age women. High in vitamin and minerals, yams are really the perfect food.  Baking a yam is so simple, just wash it and place in oven at 350 degree's for about 45 minutes and your done.  For a faster version, slice the yam into rounds with the skin on, place on a cooking sheet with a little olive oil and thyme and their done in a quick 15 minutes.  (melt blue cheese or feta on top for a yummy treat.)

6.  Water  Drink lots of water.  Often we think we're hungry when really we are just thirsty.  Staying completely hydrated helps bloating and of course fills you up so you won't want to binge on those junk foods.  You can drink  your water as tea, hot or cold.  Add lemon or sweeteners if you need too. If you need more than just foods for your PMS try our PMS Relief tea. It's all herbs, tastes great and is guaranteed to work fast.  You can drink it as a tea right when your period arrives or use a packet in the middle of the month at ovulation to help you deal with mood swings.  The added benefit is the herbs in PMS Relief also help regulate your cycle.  You'll be pain free, PMS free, and bloating will never bother you again.

 

Herbal Gifts From The First Christmas

best natural remedies for menstrual crampsAs Christmas approaches once again we often hear the story of baby Jesus and the Wise Men who came to present gifts of frankincense and myrrh.   Why would “Wise Men” bring a baby herbs and just what exactly are frankincense and myrrh?

Both of these herbs have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 1600 years and are mentioned in the Book of Exodus.  Both of these tree resins, look like little rocks but are actually the bleeds from trees.   But not just any trees.   Frankincense is the resin of the Boswellia tree, whose roots can grow in solid rock.  The trees are renowned for growing in unforgiving environments and can survive violent storms and harsh conditions.  The tree is “tapped” a similar process to taping maple trees for syrup and the resin bleeds out.  It naturally hardens into small rocks and valued for its healing abilities.  Chinese medicine has used frankincense as an internal tea to move the blood and relieve pain. 

Myrrh is commonly used topically for bed sores, and in Chinese herbal medicine it is paired with frankincense as a pain reliever.  It can be used for menstrual cramps or in the event of an injury such as a sprain, strain or bruise these two together can invigorate the blood, reduce swelling, relieve pain and promote healing, similar to the way we use over the counter pain relievers.  Now you see why these would be a valuable gift for Jesus, or anybody living in ancient times. These natural herbs were the first Christmas gifts and have proven useful throughout the test of time. 

Happy holidays.

Believe It or Not, Prozac for PMS

PMS, PMDD, best herbal remedies for menstrual crampsAt first I thought it was a joke, but it's for real.  Prozac is now being touted as the latest greatest thing for PMS and PMDD.  This is the drug used for treatment of depression or obsessive-compulsive behavior.  You know, the happy pill. Sadly,  I've seen lots of people who are not happy, who take this pill.

Straight from Wikipedia (and a few other sources) re-labeling drugs is becoming a common occurrence when a prescription drug  patent is about to expire. The  manufacturer suddenly finds "new uses" for it to stem the post-patent sales decrease.    Eli Lilly's re-branding of Prozac is the latest drug to suddenly find new uses.  This time the "research" (hmm, some research at the University of Birmingham, but couldn't find anything published) says it works for the treatment of PMDD, otherwise known as  Pre-Menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This is a dramatic form of Premenstrual syndrome.

Not to worry though, because if Prozac helps your PMDD or your PMS you only have, well minimal side-effects.  Here's the short list. 

 
In clinical studies, the most common side effects Prozac included:
  • Insomnia– in up to 33 percent  of people    (Great I'm dead tired from not sleeping but I'm not anxious. But I do need another drug to help me sleep, what do you recommend?)
  • Nausea — up to 29 percent
  • Weakness — up to 21 percent
  • Headache — up to 21 percent
  • Diarrhea  — up to 18 percent
  • Loss of appetite — up to 17 percent 
  • Drowsiness — up to 17 percent
  • Anxiety— up to 15 percent               (what, I thought it treats anxiety, You mean I could have a 15% chance of having more anxiety?  What's up with that?)
  • Nervousness — up to 14 percent
  • Shakiness (tremor) — up to 13 percent
  • Dry mouth — up to 12 percent 
  • Decreased sex drive — up to 11 percent 
  • Yawning — up to 11 percent
  • Indigestion — up to 10 percent
  • Dizziness — up to 9 percent
  • Sweating — up to 8 percent
  • Impotence- up to 7 percent 
  • Ejaculation problems — up to 7 percent  (probably doesn't apply to females, unless…   does this include failure to orgasm?)
Other common Prozac side effects (that occurred in at least 1 percent of people) include:
 
  • Flushing (redness of the skin, especially the face)
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Fever or chills
  • Weight loss
  • Vision changes
  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure/hypertension
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Taste changes
  • Menstrual Problems  (What???  Wait a minute …. I thought you said it's for my menstrual problems??)

Lastly, let's not forget that Prozac, like all anti-depressant drugs, carry the "black box warning"  on the label.  That's the little caveat that says if you commit suicide it's not our fault because we  are telling you this drug may give you suicidal thoughts.   

If you need something for PMS or menstrual cramps and pain, we have a better answer.  You don't have to suffer and you don't have to take a drug with side-effects.  Check out all your options.  Feeling good again can happen, check out a natural alternative used for generations.  We've got it here.

 

Wikipedia  says:    Eli Lilly's patent on Prozac (fluoxetine) expired in the United States in August 2001, prompting an influx of generic drugs onto the market. Prozac was rebranded "Sarafem" for the treatment of PMDD in an attempt to stem the post-patent decrease in Eli Lilly's sales of fluoxetine.

Funny and Real, Rantings on “Period” Pain

menstrual cramp relief that works fast is PMS Relief Herb Pac I just love this,  it's an "actual letter", and was PC Magazine's Editors' Choice award-winner for the best letter sent via e-mail from an Austin, Texas woman sent to Proctor and Gamble regarding one of their feminine products. You have to read the whole thing, because it just gets funnier as it goes on.  Period pain, is never something any woman chooses and far too many women suffer needlessly.  We encourage you to check out our natural alternative, PMS Relief.  It really can make a difference!
  

  Dear Mr. Thatcher,
 
  I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate
  many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core or Dri-Weave absorbency,
  I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer
  clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts.
 
  But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being
  the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic.
  I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little
  F-16 in my pants.
 
  Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? I'm guessing you haven't.
  Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already
  feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from
  now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call
  'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.'
 
  Isn't the human body amazing?
 
  As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite
  a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customer's monthly visits
  from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping
  we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior.
  You surely realize it's a tough time for most women.
 
  The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling
  with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants… Which brings me to the reason for my letter.
  Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside
  my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed
  on the adhesive backing, were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.' 

 
  Are you kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager
  brain really think happiness – actual smiling, laughing happiness, is possible during
  a menstrual period? Did anything
  mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI,
  unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak, there will never be anything 'happy'
  about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock
  yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed
  with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.
 
  For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you have to slap a moronic message
  on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent,
  like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong'.
 
  Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there
  will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business
  elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one
  minute miss your brand of condescending bull. And that's a promise I will keep.
 
  Always…
 
  Wendi Aarons
  Austin , TX 

 

Thank you Wendi,  we couldn't have said it any better.  We would love to send you some PMS Relief Herb Pac's, let us know where to send them.  Thanks for making all our days, even days on the rag,  a little brighter.

Holy Hormones – Evidence Shows How Menstrual Cramps Effect Women’s Brains

Often, menstrual pain and cramps are not taken seriously. But here at Pack Herbs we take them very seriously, as do a group of researchers at the University of Taipei.  These researchers from Taiwan have made international news.  Using highly specialized brain scanners the researchers found the anatomy of the female brain changed as a result of painful menstrual cramps.  If fact, even if women did not have cramps at the time of the brain scans, yet had experienced moderate to severe cramps on a regular basis for years, scans still showed their brains gray matter had abnormalities.  Yes, abnormalities!  This is the first documented evidence of it’s type. This research proves the monthly misery of menstrual cramps have serious lasting side effects, similar to the effects of people who deal with chronic pain issues. This research is published in the Sept. 2010 issue of PAIN.

“A long-term bombardment by peripheral pain can elicit plastic changes in the central brain as a reactive adaptation,” Hsieh explained. “It can also be a crucial mechanism that perpetuates the ‘chronification’ of pain” — that is, a mechanism that can turn pain into a lingering affliction, says  Dr. Jen-Chuen Hsieh, a professor of neuroscience at the Institute of Brain Science at National Yang-Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan, and lead researcher.  Previously, the researches found PET brain scans also showed differences in brain activity.

Menstrual cramps, or pain in the lower abdomen occur when the uterus contracts during menstruation.  Cramps are one of the most common gynecological disorder in women of childbearing age. As a woman who has been through some pretty painful menstrual cramps in my life, I found Chinese herbs can eliminate monthly suffering and I wanted to share it with others. This is the reason I gave birth to PMS Relief Herb Pack.  (Not a traditional birth, but a birthing of sorts.)

Whether you experience the moodiness, cramps, backaches, bloating, breast tenderness or all of the above, PMS Relief will work for you.  It’s packed with 14 herbs (a dried powder extraction) which has been used through-out Asia for centuries.  Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, our herbal blend of Chinese herbs (not Western herbs) is nothing like what’s been on the American market before.  One packet mixed in water is all you need to start feeling the immediate relief.   Most women use a packet the day before their cycle starts and then a packet or two on their worst cramping days. Did I mention it’s all natural herbs, nothing artificial added and it taste good too.   

Do your brain and your body a favor and give PMS Relief a try.  There is really no reason to suffer any longer. Chinese herbs have the longest continual use history of any medicine on earth. What are you waiting for, an abnormal brain to develop?

Connect to a Australian study:  549 women had documented results on the severity of PMS using Chinese herbs. By restoring the imbalance in the reproductive system, Chinese herbal medicine can prevent monthly menstrual cramps, depression, PMS, and abdominal pain.

Read the abstract here: http://www.painjournalonline.com/article/S0304-3959(10)00329-5/abstract

 

 

 

Women Speak Loud and Clear, They Want and Need PMS Relief

Yesterday, I was talking with a buyer for a large chain health food store who emphatically told me that he has been in the natural products business for 20 years and there has never been a need for a woman’s menstrual pain, cramp and PMS relief product.

For about a full second, and no more than that,  I acknowledged that this individual is highly intelligent and certainly knows much about the natural supplement business.  But, it took no more than a second for my mind to say “Are you crazy?”   Granted he’s not a woman and obviously has not spent enough time around women, and maybe  he’s simply making excuses to get me off his back about adding my products to his store.  Whatever it is, he couldn’t be more  wrong about what women need. 

I went to a woman’s networking event last night with women of all ages.  None of the women I met  knew anything about my products. I  talked with at least 20 different women.  Every single woman who I introduced my product to said, “I need that, or my daughter needs that, or my friend needs that.” My conclusion:  This buyer needs to spend a little time in the real world with real women.

Speak up real women and tell the buyers at your favorite health food stores you need a product like PMS Relief Herb Pack. Watch some of our video testimonials of what real women say about our products.  If you would like a free sample, drop us a email and we will promptly send you a couple packets to try.   You too will be a believer in what Asian cultures have known for centuries.  Herbs are medicine and botanicals in the right combination can eliminate both  PMS and menstrual symptoms such as cramps, bloating, breast tenderness and backaches.  It is possible to have pain free periods.

Natural Alternatives to Birth Control Pills for PMS

Natural remedies to PMS and period crampsMany young women are looking for a natural alternative to birth control pills for the PMS and cramps they get each month.  Chinese herbs are very effective at controlling and eliminating PMS (premenstrual syndrome).  The birth control pill is an option many women choose because they are not familiar with Chinese herbal medicine.

The approach I take is very different than the way progesterone and estrogen therapy found in the “Pill”.  Chinese Medicine can treat PMS and cramps successfully without artificial hormones.

Chinese Medicine recognizes that the liver is an organ that not just cleans blood but also moves blood.  When the liver is overly taxed by stress, lack of sleep, drugs or accumulation of chemicals (including hormones found in our food supply) the liver energy can become stagnate.   This stagnation effects the breasts, the uterus and eventually all the channels of the body because the liver cannot effectively perform it’s functions.

PMS results because the liver energy and the liver blood are not moving.  Breast tenderness occurs because the liver channel energy runs through the breast area and up to the head which may also result in headaches.  If the liver is given an opportunity to “detoxify” this can help move the liver Qi or energy.

Chinese herbs treat this stagnation with herbs that help move the blood, help normalize hormones and herbs that help reduce the liver Qi stagnation.   By moving the liver energy, the emotional component of PMS such as moodiness and irritability are resolved. This may seem foreign to Americans, but is a common practice of the Chinese.

Chinese herbal formulas for PMS symptoms date back to over 1000 years ago.  This is a remarkable testament to their popularity and to their success. We have many modern day clinical studies that  have been done on Chinese herbs for PMS, click here to read about the largest one conducted on over 3000 women.

Herbal remedies are safe and can provide complete cures for menstrual symptoms.  Symptoms will reduce immediatly and often resolve completely within a few months. A formula used by many women in China is call Jia Wei Xiao Yao San. Today it is found in every drug store in pill form or individual herbal packets throughout Asia.   Many people in China prefer the packets because it’s potency is much stronger than pills.  We don’t yet have these herbs in every drug store in America, but we are sure the American drug stores will catch on soon.  For our favorite PMS Relief product go here.

Bitter Melon to Ward Off Breast Cancer Cells

What vegetable is green, oblong, with the skin of a toad and the name of a fruit? The answer is bitter melon,  a tropical native popular in  South Asia and India.  Most Westerners would cringe at the taste. But it’s time it start showing up in American diets now that a new study from The Journal of Cancer Research, (March 1 issue) indicates  bitter  melon may also ward off breast cancer.

Bitter melon has been used in Traditional Chinese herbal Medicine for ages.  This study, published by the American Association of Cancer Research and conducted in St. Louis MO,  showed this Chinese herb has an ability to slow the growth and in some cases kill breast cancer cells.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S.  It’s time prevention, not just research for a cure, be emphasized, including dietary changes to effectively stop the spread of this deadly cancer.

Chinese herbal medicine commonly uses bitter melon for the treatment of diabetes.  It is naturally high in Vitamin C, calcium, has twice the potassium of  bananas, twice the beta carotene of  broccoli and is fiber and B vitamin rich. Now we should add breast cancer prevention to the list of what this incredible, edible, Chinese herb can do.

This Chinese herbs preventative properties need to be publicized.  Prevention is not only more cost effective, it is the solution to all our health challenges as we age.   Staying healthy and happy is a health goal we all share.  Find some bitter melon today and eat your way to good health.

Link to the study here

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Another  study  just published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported having a double mastectomy, or removing an otherwise healthy breast to prevent breast cancer from occurring in  healthy tissue had no added benefit.  This was a population study conducted by MD Anderson in Houston TX.  Surgery as a prevention against breast cancer had no measurable benefit.

Connect to this study here

Drink in the Benefits of Chinese Medicine Wines

Two things I love to do are digging in the dirt and drinking good wine. So this article is a natural for me. 

Digging and drinking don’t seem very compatible, but if you’re an archeologist digging in the dirt has an entirely different meaning.  In 1972 a group of very fortunate Chinese archeologists were digging and uncovered one of the greatest finds in Chinese history, the Mawangdui Han Tombs dating back to the Han Dynasty dated 220 BCE to 220 AC.  These tombs are one of China's most important archaeological discoveries.

One of thousands of artifacts recovered from these tombs was a book titled “52 Prescriptions".  In this book more than 30 wine recipes were recorded.  But not just any wine, medicated wines, formulated for both internal and external use to treat illnesses like ulcers, snake bits, skin problems and of course longevity and sexual stamina.  Wine was a common beverage for the aristocrats of the time and two top priorities were living longer and greater sexual prowess. 

Some wines were called tonic wines,  many are still used today to preserve health and increase longevity.  The wines were made by mixing certain medicinal herbs and leaving them to soak or brew for some period of time, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months or longer.  I’ve never tried to make medicinal wines but I do keep a private stock of ginseng roots soaking in a premium vodka.  It makes the ultimate martini.

Whether it’s wine or tea, both use the same principal of soaking or cooking Chinese herbs in a liquid, be it water or wine, to release the healthly consitutients of the herbs.  So drink up and enjoy the health benefits of Chinese medicine, truly rooted in 2000 year old books like “52 Prescriptions”.

One herb, two herbs, red herbs, blue herbs…. What’s the difference?

red herbs blue herbs all chinese herbs for PMS Relief & sleepWhen we speak about using plants as medicine there are two very different and distinct methods, Western herbalism and Chinese herbal medicine.   I find a lot of confusion between these two methods, so I've written a little background on each.
 
Western herbal medicine or folk herbalism primarily treats symptoms such as asthma symptoms or coughs, colds, headaches, constipation symptoms, PMS symptoms etc. All cultures across the globe have used indigenous plants for their own brand of folk medicine. However,  Western herbs in our modern day  fell from the lime light when prescription medicine started being heavily marketed in the 1950’s.   They seem to be making a comeback today, but  large clinical studies are scarce and very expensive and this makes it difficult to know what really works.  Good manufacturing standards, which are overseen by the FDA in the U.S. are getting stricter, but enforcement is lacking and herb quality control has no standardization. 
 
In comparison, Chinese herbal medicine is the worlds oldest documented medicine. Chinese medicine has been continually practiced for over 2000 years. The same herbs have been prescribed for centuries. However, the method of prescription is done on what’s called “pattern identification” rather than on just “ bodily symptoms”. Pattern identification can get complicated but in a nut shell, a patients pattern diagnosis is made up of a person’s overall body constitution, medical history, emotional temperament, signs and symptoms. Chinese herb formulas are prescribed according to each individuals set patterns and often customized to treat  both the  underlying root cause of disease and symptoms.

Chinese medicine including Acupuncture is gaining popularity in the West as  an effective alternative therapy. Unlike Western herbalism, China, Taiwan, Japan and other Asian countries have extensively researched and studied herbs in clinical trials. Today most of Asia depends on herbs for their primary medicine.   Good manufacturing standards in Taiwan, a large producer of Chinese herbs, are extremely controlled compared to the U.S. and both enforcement and quality control standards are similar to pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in the U.S. The reason for these strict standards in Taiwan is because the herbs are covered as part of the Taiwanese  National Health Insurance program and heavily depended upon for all types of illness.  In fact, even a swine flu cure has been highly publicized in Asia using only cooked and processed Chinese herbs.
 
Hope this helps explain the differences, if you have any questions feel free to post below.