Monday, October 6, 2008

24 flavors

24 flavors or 24 mei is the name given to a variety of , drunk for . Its name refers to the fact that it is a mixture of up to 24 different herbs . The recipe is not fixed, and thus may vary according to the producer.

The tea is extremely in taste.

Typical ingredients

*Mulberry leaf
*Chrysanthemum flower
*Japanese Honeysuckle flower
*Bamboo leaf
*''Imperata cylindrica''
*''Agastache rugosa''
*''Perilla frutescens''
*Fermented soybean
*''Cleistocalyx operculatus'' flower
*''Microcos paniculata'' leaf
*'' rotunda''

Four stages

The Four Stages or Four Levels are from the book ''Discussion of Warm Diseases'' by Ye Tian Shi, written in the years 1667-1746.

The stages are in order from surface to deep internal and from "light" sickness to death:

*Wei level treated by releasing the exterior





*Qi level treated by dispelling heat and promoting body fluids

Lung heat

Stomach heat

Intestines dry-heat

Gall-bladder heat

Stomach and Spleen damp heat

*Ying level treated by cooling fire and tonifing the yin

Heat in Nutritive qi portion

Heat in Pericardium

*Blood level treated by tonifing the yin and qi and stopping bleeding.
Heat Victorious moves blood

Heat victorious stirs wind

Empty wind agitates in the interior

Collapse of yin

Collapse of yang

Separation of yin and yang

Fire cupping

Fire cupping is a method of applying acupressure by creating a vacuum next to the patient's skin, used in traditional Chinese medicine . It involves placing glass, plastic, or bamboo cups on the skin. The therapy is used to relieve what is called "stagnation" in TCM terms, and is used in the treatment of diseases such as the common cold, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Cupping is also used to treat back, neck, shoulder, and other musculoskeletal pain. Its advocates claim it has other applications as well. This technique, in varying forms, has also been found in the folk medicine of Vietnam, the Balkans, modern Greece, Cyprus, Mexico, and Poland. In Poland, it is referred to as ''banki'' and in Iran it is called 'bod-kesh', meaning 'pull with air'. Cupping was also commonly used as a folk remedy, with the Yiddish name ?????? . Cupping is also sometimes practiced in BDSM for stimulation or pain.


Cupping in Europe and the Middle East grew from , a belief dating to the ancient Greeks which supposed temperament and health were related to the balance or imbalance of four "humors" in the body: blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. This system was adopted widely by ancient European and Middle-East cultures. Applying hot cups to the body aided bloodletting, removing an excess of blood and purportedly returning the body to health. Humoral medicine encountered a brief revival in European medicine in the 18th and 19th centuries, and cupping was widely used in this practice.

In the late 20th century, cupping has gained a second wind as a for a variety of ailments.


A vacuum is created by air heated by fire in a glass cup placed flush against the patient's skin. As the air cools in the cup, a vacuum forms that pulls up on the skin, stimulating the acupressure effect.

The cups are roughly bell shaped with a capacity of about 4 fluid ounces. 8 to 12 cups are applied to the subject's back in two parallel 'vertical' columns, midway between the spine and each edge of the body; cups within each column are placed four inches apart measured from the center of the cup.

There are several ways of heating the air in the cup with fire:

#One can swab rubbing alcohol into the bottom of a cup, then light it and place the cup immediately against the skin. The seal thus created extinguishes the fire by cutting off its oxygen supply, preventing the person from being burned. The smaller the amount of alcohol, and the quicker the flame is extinguished by application of the cup, the better, so long as there is no risk of the cups falling off due to lack of a proper seal. Some experienced cuppers prefer the use of kerosene over alcohol, claiming it provides better ignition and thus greater suction.
#One can hold the cup inverted over a flame , heating the air within it, then place the cup against the skin. Care must be taken not to heat the glass itself. Even so, the person to whom the cup is applied will feel distinctly more heat than in the previous method.
#One can ignite a flame with a small alcohol-soaked cotton wad resting on a small pad of leather or other insulating material that rests directly on the patient's skin, then place the cup immediately over the flame, putting out the fire. The quickness with which the flame is extinguished depends on the size and shape of the cup.
#One can place the cup on the skin and gently heat the bottom of the cup with a flame heating the air inside, whilst leaving a small gap to allow air to escape. When the air is heated sufficiently, the gap is closed and the air is allowed to cool.

Methods 1 and 2 heat the glass to some extent and have a risk of burning the patient if not carefully executed. Method 3 risks the cotton falling off the insulating pad onto the patient's skin, and leaves the pad and cotton wadding inside the adhering cup which could be considered cumbersome.

Baby oil massaged onto the skin prior to treatment causes a better seal to form, making it possible to use this therapy with less heating of the cup. It is often possible to slide the adhered cup around on the skin, preserving the suction seal as it glides. Care must be taken not to move the cup over protruding , skin tags, scabs, etc.

The longer a cup is left on, the more of a circular mark is created. The skin pores are more open, and the patient may experience a sensation similar to sunburn. An application of about 20 minutes is average, for the back; however this varies with the individual. In no case should the cups be left in place if the subject reports noticeable discomfort.

According to the American Cancer Society, "vailable scientific evidence does not support cupping as a cure for cancer or any other disease". It can leave temporary unsightly marks on the skin and there is also a small risk of burns. Persons who claim this therapy to be beneficial report that it produces feeling of relaxation and invigoration. It is possible that whatever relief is obtained from this procedure derives from the same principles that are employed in shiatsu massage, where instead of the outward sucking of the cups, strong inward pressure is directed at the muscles of the ribcage and abdomen.

Wet cupping

In this alternative form of bloodletting, also called blood cupping, a small scratch or incision is made with a lancet prior to the cupping, and the pressure difference extracts blood from the skin. uses this technique - called in ''hijamah'' or ''hijama'' - with a number of hadith supporting its recommendation and use by Muhammad.

The ''hijama'' method cautions against over cupping, cupping in the lying down position and sleeping or resting following any cupping procedure, claiming that the one real danger of cupping is the potential risk of blood clotting following a procedure. Patients should take a brisk thirty minute walk following any cupping treatment. When properly performed, using tiny incisions and not leaving the cups on longer than necessary, cupping leaves no marks or scarring.

While the history of wet cupping may date back thousands of years, the first documented uses are found in the teachings of Muhammad. According to Imams , and , Muhammad approved of the Hijama treatment. This treatment was usually recommended for headache or leg aches. Muhammad himself underwent Hijama for his lumbar pains.


Ephedra refers to the plant ''Ephedra sinica''. ''E. sinica'', known in Chinese as ma huang , has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for 5,000 years for the treatment of asthma and hay fever, as well as for the common cold. Several additional species belonging to the genus '''' have traditionally been used for a variety of medicinal purposes, and are a possible candidate for the Soma plant of Indo-Iranian religion. and Mormon pioneers drank a tea brewed from an ''Ephedra,'' called Mormon Tea, but North American ephedras lack the alkaloids found in species such as ''E. sinica''.

In recent years, the safety of ephedra-containing dietary supplements has been questioned by the United States Food and Drug Administration , the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the medical community as a result of a high rate of serious side effects and ephedra-related deaths. In response to accumulating evidence of adverse effects and deaths related to ephedra, the FDA banned the sale of ephedra-containing supplements on April 12 2004. A suit by an ephedra manufacturer was upheld by a judge in Utah on April 14 2005. The FDA appealed this ruling, and on August 17 2006 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the FDA's ban of ephedra. The sale of ephedra-containing dietary supplements remains illegal in the United States due to evidence of adverse ephedra-related effects.

Ephedra biochemistry

The alkaloids ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are the active constituents of the plant. Pseudoephedrine is used in decongestants. Derivatives of ephedrine are used to treat , but alternatives with reduced cardiovascular risk have replaced it for treating asthma. Ephedrine is also considered a performance-enhancing drug and is prohibited in most competitive sports. Some species in the ''Ephedra'' genus have no alkaloid content and are therefore essentially inert; however, the most commonly used species, ''E. sinica'', has a total alkaloid content of 1–3% by dry weight. Ephedrine constitutes 40–90% of the alkaloid content, with the remainder consisting of pseudoephedrine and the demethylated forms of each compound.

Effects and uses

Ephedra is both a stimulant and a thermogenic; its biological effects are due to its ephedrine and pseudoephedrine content. These compounds stimulate the brain, increase heart rate, constrict blood vessels , and expand bronchial tubes . Their thermogenic properties cause an increase in metabolism, evidenced by an increase in body heat.

In traditional Chinese herbology, ''E. sinica'' is included in many herbal formulas used to treat cold and flu such as 麻黃湯 ''ma huang tang'' or 麻杏石甘湯 ''ma xing shi gan tang'' . Ephedra is used therapeutically as a diaphoretic to help expel exterior pathogens and regulate the proper functioning of the lungs.

Ephedra is widely used by athletes, despite a lack of evidence that it enhances athletic performance. Ephedra may also be used as a precursor in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine.

Ephedra has also been used for weight loss, sometimes in combination with aspirin and caffeine. Some studies have shown that ephedra, when taken in a regulated and supervised environment, is effective for marginal short-term weight loss , although it is unclear whether such weight loss is maintained. However, several reports have documented the large number of adverse events attributable to unregulated ephedra supplements.

Side effects of ephedra may include severe skin reactions, irritability, nervousness, dizziness, trembling, headache, insomnia, profuse perspiration, dehydration, itchy scalp and skin, vomiting, hyperthermia, , seizures, , stroke, or death.

Purity and dosage

There are no formal requirements for standardization or quality control of dietary supplements in the United States, and the dosage of effective ingredients in supplements may vary widely from brand to brand or batch to batch. Studies of ephedra supplements have found significant discrepancies between the labeled dose and the actual amount of ephedra in the product. Significant variation in ephedrine alkaloid levels, by as much as 10-fold, was seen even from lot to lot within the same brand.

Safety and regulatory actions in the United States

Escalating concerns regarding the safety of ephedra supplements led the FDA to ban the sale of ephedra-containing supplements in the United States in 2004. This ban was challenged by supplement manufacturers and initially overturned, but ultimately upheld. However, the FDA ban only applies to ephedra-based dietary supplements that contain ephedrine alkaloids.

Initial concerns and supplement industry response

In 1997, in response to mounting concern over serious side effects of ephedra, the FDA proposed a ban on products containing 8 mg or more of ephedrine alkaloids and stricter labeling of low-dose ephedra supplements. The FDA also proposed that ephedra labels be required to disclose the health risks of ephedra, such as , stroke, or death.

In response, the supplement industry created a public relations group, the Ephedra Education Council, to oppose the changes, and commissioned a scientific review by a private consulting firm, which reported that ephedra was safe. The Ephedra Education Council also attempted to block publication of a study confirming wide discrepancies between the labeled potency of supplements and the actual amount of ephedra in the product. Senators Orrin Hatch and Tom Harkin, authors of the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act, questioned the scientific basis for the FDA's proposed labeling changes and suggested that the number of problems reported were insufficient to warrant regulatory action. At the time, Hatch's son was working for a firm hired to Congress and the FDA on behalf of ephedra manufacturers.

In addition to the activities of the Ephedra Education Council, Metabolife spent more than $4 million between 1998 and 2000 lobbying against state regulation of ephedra in Texas. ''Business Week'' reported that efforts to regulate ephedra and other potentially harmful supplements had been "beaten down by deep-pocketed industry lobbying."

Ultimately, in 2000, the FDA withdrew the proposed labeling changes and restrictions.

Additional evidence

A review of ephedra-related adverse reactions, published in the ''New England Journal of Medicine'' in 2000, found a number of cases of sudden cardiac death or severe disability resulting from ephedra use, many of which occurred in young adults using ephedra in the labeled dosages.

Death of Steve Bechler

Steve Bechler, a for the Baltimore Orioles, died of complications from heatstroke following a spring training workout on February 17 2003. The medical examiner found that ephedra toxicity played a "significant role" in Bechler's sudden death. Following Bechler's death, the FDA re-opened its efforts to regulate ephedra use. According to Bruce Silverglade, legal director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, "All of a sudden Congress dropped objections to an ephedra ban and started demanding the FDA act."

Ephedra banned

In response to renewed calls for the regulation of ephedra, the FDA commissioned a large meta-analysis of ephedra's safety and efficacy by the RAND Corporation. This study found that while ephedra promoted modest short-term weight loss, there was no evidence that it was effective for long-term weight loss or performance enhancement. The use of ephedra in this study was associated with significant gastrointestinal, psychiatric, and side effects. Almost simultaneously, a study in ''Annals of Internal Medicine'' found that ephedra was 100 to 700 times more likely to cause a significant adverse reaction than other commonly used supplements such as kava or Ginkgo biloba. Subsequently, on April 12 2004, the FDA issued a final rule banning the sale of ephedra-containing dietary supplements. Tommy Thompson, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, stated that "...These products pose unacceptable health risks, and any consumers who are still using them should stop immediately."

The ruling was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado. On August 17 2006, the Appeals Court upheld the FDA's ban of ephedra, finding that the 133,000-page administrative record compiled by the FDA supported the agency's finding that ephedra posed an unreasonable risk to consumers. The U.S. National Football League banned players from using ephedra as a dietary supplement in 2001 after the death of Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Korey Stringer; ephedra was found in Stringer's locker and lawyers for the team contend that it contributed to his death. The substance is also banned by the National Basketball Association.

Prominent cases of ephedra use

In the 1994 , the footballer tested positive for ephedrine. The Japanese motorcycle racer Noriyuki Haga tested positive for it in 2000, being disqualified from two races and banned from two more as a result. NFL Todd Sauerbrun of the Denver Broncos was suspended for the first month of the 2006 season after testing positive for ephedra.

Emerson College of Herbology

Emerson College of Herbology was one of the first schools of Herbal Medicine founded in North America. This college taught the science of Herbology. It was based in Montreal, Canada.

The history of Emerson College of Herbology can be traced back to 1888. In this year Dr. Max Thuna immigrated from his native Austria to New York City. Dr. Thuna was a Master Herbalist and opened his first herbal store in New York City soon after his arrival. Dr. Thuna eventually relocated to Canada and went on to open twenty-five herbal shops across the country.

Following in his father's footsteps, Dr. Jack Thuna became a Master Herbalist and a practicing Homeopathic . He founded Emerson College of Herbology in the mid 1950s in order to spread his families understanding of the natural healing elements of herbs to others of like mind. The course of study was initially offered primarily via a correspondence format when it operated from Dr. Thuna's, Pointe Claire, Quebec clinic. Dr. Thuna eventually moved from this clinic and rented the ground floor of a large multi story building in Montreal; located at 11 Street. and Catherine Street East. This location is in downtown Montreal. From there he ran a large wholesale herbal sales operation and established the new home of Emerson College of Herbology.

With the additional room afforded by the new location, Dr. Thuna was able to offer a more diverse program of study in Herbology. By 1977 Dr. Thuna and Professor C.C. Bell were able to provide extensive classroom instruction. In addition, they instituted the requirement of writing of a thesis for students who wished to explore the science of Herbology to greater depths, and graduate from the college. Because the wholesale herb business was housed at this location as well, the students were able to examine and work with numerous specimens of exotic medicinal plants, gaining deep insight into the science of Herbology.

During this period, upon graduation, the college began offering a detailed transcript of courses taken and grades received. This was because Dr. Thuna felt that some of the courses may be accepted in transfer at traditional schools of medicine.

In 1978 Dr. Robert Mohr Wyndham, an alumnus of the college, began serving as a consultant chemist to the college's advanced program. He served in this position until late in 1980. At this time Dr. Thuna, who was then eighty-four years old, notified him that he would no longer be able to offer the advance program of Herbal education due to his failing health.

Emerson College of Herbology closed its doors in 1989. The family has, however, continued forward and has a flourishing Canadian based company offering high quality herbs.

During its existence Emerson College of Herbology was regarded as one of the most respected schools of Herbology in the world. The college offered Bachelor of Science and Master of Herbology, M.H. degrees to its student body. The M.H. program usually lasted 2-3 years. Many of the graduates of this college make up the who's who in the world of modern Homeopathic Medicine.

Notable Alumni

* Daniel Clay
* Rita Elkins
* David Elliott
* Jacqueline Fairbrass
* Paulette E. Fitzpatrick
* Thom Hartmann
* Carl Edwin Lindgren
* Diane McLaren
* Cathy McNease
* Thelma Mullen
* Diane H. Polasky
* Lainy Reicher
* Scott Shaw
* Louise Tenney
* Barry Whittaker
* Robert Mohr Wyndham

Di Long (extract)

Di Long or Dilong extract is a medicinal preparation based on abdominal extracts from the earthworm species ''Lumbricus rubellus'' used in traditional Chinese medicine for a wide variety of disorders, from convulsions and fevers to rheumatoid arthritis and blood stasis syndromess.


Di Long comes in two variants, Guang Di Long native to Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian and collected from spring to autumn, and Tu Di Long collected during the summer in many regions of China. The abdomen of an earthworm of the ''L. rubellus'' species is cut open immediately after capture, whereupon viscera and extraneous matter are removed. The abdomen is washed clean, and dried in the sun or indoors at a low temperatures.

It is also used in the treatment of blepharoptosis, or drooping of the upper eye lid, along with other Phlegm Herbs .

According to TCM, Di Long is associated with the Bladder, Liver, Lung and Spleen meridians, and has Salty and Cold properties. It is thought to work by draining Liver Heat and by clearing Lung Heat, and also by clearing Heat in the collateral channels. Its "channel-opening" properties are thought to derive from its habits of burrowing through the earth, constantly searching out new spaces to slither.

Recommended dosage is 4.5 to 12 grams per day as an oral preparation.

Desi Sangye Gyatso

Desi Sangye Gyatso was the regent of the Fifth Dalai Lama who founded the School of Medicine and Astrology on Chags-po-ri Hill in 1694 and wrote the ''Blue Beryl'' treatise. The name is sometimes written Sangye Gyamtso.

By some accounts, Sangye Gyatso is believed to be the son of the Fifth Dalai Lama. He ruled as regent, hiding the death of the Dalai Lama, while the infant Sixth Dalai Lama was growing up, for 16 years. During this period, he oversaw the completion of the Potala palace, and also warded off Chinese politicking. Eventually, the discovery of this deception was not taken kindly by the Chinese emperor Kangxi.

Iron Mountain

The medical college at Chags-po-ri was designed for monastic scholars who would, after learning esoteric arts of medicine and tantrism, mostly remain in the monastery, serving the public as would other monk scholars and lamas. In 1916, Khenrab Norbu, physician to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, sponsored the construction of a second secular college of Tibetan medicine and Astrology, the Mentsikhang. Mentsikhang was designed as a college for 'laypersons' who would, after receiving training, return to their rural areas for work as doctors and educators.

Six herbs

Six medicinal substances were in common use in Tibet when they appeared in the ''Blue Beryl'' Treatise:
* Arabic frankincense (Burseraceae} ;
* Mongolian garlic ;
* Chinese quince ;
* Indian embelic myrobalan ;
* Tibetan ginger ;
* South Chinese Kaempferia galanga ;