BACK TO ASK THE HERBALIST
ANSWERS FROM KAREN:
QUESTION: I have been diagnosed by a Chinese
practitioner with a spleen qi deficiency caused by a cold
internal dampness. Can you recommend any Western herbs to
treat internal dampness?
ANSWER: I'm not a Chinese Herbalist, and though I
am familiar with chi and the oriental view of the body,
I'm certainly no expert and hardly qualified to suggest
something western. What did your Chinese herbalist
suggest? Surely they suggested something when they
diagnosed your problem? Chinese herbalists are very good
and I respect them. If they suggested something for your
condition, I would stick to that and not try to substitute
without knowing exactly what is going on.
ANSWERS FROM DAVID BRILL
QUESTION: I am currently taking an herbal mixture
recommended by my MD. The names of the herbs are strange to me. I have
not been able to get any info on them through the net. They are:
"dioscorea opposita root"
"cooked Rehmannia glutinosa root"
"cornus officinales fruit"
"poria cocos herb"
The last ingrediant listed is cinnamon bark, the only familiar name to
me. Any thing you can tell me will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
ANSWER: "dioscorea opposita root" The common
name is Chinese wild yam or Mountain Medicine, Pin Yin it is called
Shan yao, the latin name is Dioscorea opposita. Root tells you
what part of the plant was used to make the medicine. It is used
for low grade diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue, to moisten &
tonify the lung (emphysema, dry cough, dry throat, dry asthma), in
wasting & thirsting diseases (most often diabetes, but any
wasting disease), low sperm count, impotence, nonspecific leukorrhea,
"cooked Rehmannia glutinosa root" The common name is
Chinese Floxglove or Processed Rehmania, Pin Yin is Shi Di Huang, the
latin name is Rehmannia glutinosa. Root tells what part was
used. One of the major blood tonics. for irregular
periods, erratic bleeding, heavy post partuum bleeding, bleeding
fibroids, endometreosis, reckless blood, blood in urine, scanty urine,
dry hard stools, dry Mucus Membranes, spotting, & coughing blood.
It is also used for impaired Kidney function or the structure,
nightsweats, easily broken bones, dizziness, hearing problems, This is
one of the herbs used in Women's 4 herb tea with Dang qui, Ligusticum
& White Peony. A great Female tonic.
"cornus officinales fruit" The common name is Chinese
Dogwood, Japanese Cornel, Pin Yin is Shan Zhu Yu, the latin name is
Cornus officinalis or C. officinales. The fruit is a berry used
to make the herbal medicine picked when yellow to orange color and
sour taste. Cornus officinalis berries are a tonic and stimulant
for the kidneys. They are useful for incontinence, impotence or lack
of sexual desire, and certain infections of the urinary tract. They
are also useful in stimulating the sweat glands, which can be helpful
during fevers. They helps to overcome the condition of lightheadedness
and weakness in the knees which some individuals experience when
"poria cocos herb" The common names are Poria,
Tuckahoe, Indian Bread, the Pin Yin name is Fu Ling, the Latin
Name is Poria Cocus. Poria is used for providing relief from diarrhea,
poor appetite, and other disorders of digestion. It is also useful as
a selective tonic for the blood pressure, balances electrolytes by
raising or lowering adjusting the body's balance of sodium or
potassium as needed. This fungus has been used in oriental and western
herbalism as a treatment for cancers and other chronic ailments. This
herb helps calm the shen.
"cinnamon bark" The common name is Cinnamon (Chinese
cinnamon not Ceylon), the Pin Yin name is Gui pi, the Latin Name is
Cinnamonium cassia, C. quizhi (use cinn twigs) C.
rouqui (use thin young bark). Cinnamon is used to increase
circulation for cold hands and feet, chills without sweating, good
carminative for gas and nausea, good for colds and flu to raise body
temp and give warmth when chilled. Good for blood sugar control,
sweetener, good for rheumatism if worse in cold damp weather. Good for
structure of kidneys.
The formula you are on is probably called Kidney One a traditional
The symptoms associated with this remedy are:
Coldness of the hands or feet; hair loss & early gray hair;
incontinence or frequent urination; weak libido, impotence; seminal
emission, premature ejaculation, infertility; edema and swelling of
legs; easy to catch cold, and turn to asthma; low back pain and ache;
early menopause; fear, tension, and stress; insomnia; dream-disturbed
sleep; short of breath & tiredness; urinary tract and prostate