Did you know that three quarters of Chinese medical training is dedicated to Herbal Medicine? It means that out of 4 years of studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Acupuncture courses take about 1 year to complete. Another fun fact is that 70-80% of TCM doctors in China are Herbalists and only remaining 20-30% are Acupuncturists. Chinese Herbology might seem very complex and mysterious as there are hundreds of Herbs that make up thousands of Herbal Formulas and they are all listed in Chinese language and are native to Chinese land. However, upon closer look you realize that you encounter many of them in your day-to-day life and some of them even carry a "superfood" status: turmeric, ginger, ginseng, goji berries, chaste tree, licorice, cinnamon just to name a few. Unlike most folk medicines out there, Chinese Herbal Medicine is a complete and organized theoretical system of knowledge. The very first category of Herbs that you find in Materia Medica literature is Herbs/Formulas that release exterior cold or heat, which is essentially cold, flu & upper respiratory infections.
Honeysuckle and Forsythia Powder to Relieve Toxicity
Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian 银翘解毒片
One of the most popular formulas to fight cold & flu is Honeysuckle Pills. It is widely sold as over-the-counter remedy in China and is very effective in the treatment of high fever, sore and swollen throat, chills, headaches and cough. Honeysuckle pills have antibiotic, temperature regulation, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Because of the complexity of the ingredients in this formula, bacterial & viral resistance is unlikely and therefore it can be effectively used even when antibiotics have failed.
Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae)
Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae Japonicae)
Ban Lan Gen (Radix Isatidis)
Da Qing Ye (Folium Isatidis)
Pu Gong Ying (Herba Taraxaci)
Zi Hua Di Ding (Herba Violae)
Ye Ju Hua (Flos Chrysanthemi Indici)
Jie Geng (Radix Platycodonis)
Bo He (Herba Menthae)
Dan Zhu Ye (Herba Lophatheri)
Lu Gen (Rhizoma Phragmitis)
Jing Jie (Herba Schizonepetae)
Dan Dou Chi (Semen Sojae Praeparatum)
Niu Bang Zi (Fructus Arctii)
Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae)
Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae)
Sang Ye (Folium Mori)
Let's look at some of the ingredients in the formula...
1. Honeysuckle (Jin Yin Hua 金银花)
From Chinese "Jin" 金 is gold and "Yin" 银 is silver, honeysuckle flowers look yellow & white like the intertwining of Yin & Yang. Dried honeysuckle flowers can be easily found in Asian Markets and can be brewed as tea to help fight any type of infection.
2. Chrysanthemum (Ju Hua 菊花)
Chrysanthemum is not only a gorgeous flower but it also has a therapeutic effect of eliminating
toxins to treat furuncles, sores and sore throat. Chrysanthemum can be taken orally as a tea or used as an herbal wash for red irritated or itchy eyes. Personally, I like to prescribe Chrysanthemum for my diabetic patients as a daily hot or cold tea to balance blood sugar levels.
3. Mint (Bo He 薄荷)
Same as Chrysanthemum, mint is most effective in treating headaches, sore throat, and red eyes. But it also has a unique function of soothing Liver Qi stagnation characterized by discomfort, distention, and pain in the chest and rib sides as well as relieving nausea.
4. Licorice (Gan Cao 甘草)
Licorice is the most frequently used herb in TCM. It's main function is to harmonize harsh nature of other Chinese herbs and sweeten bitterness of the overall formula making it more digestible and easy to drink. The fresh form of licorice is used to treat various sores, ulcers and swellings. Therefore in Honeysuckle Formula licorice reduces soreness, swelling and pain in the throat.
5. Mulberry Leaf (Sang Ye 桑叶)
Mulberry Leaf is a great herb to clear dry cough, fever, headache and sore throat.
It is also an herb of choice to treat red, swollen and painful eyes as well as dizziness and blurred vision.
At Mulberry Leaf we choose Honeysuckle Pills in softgel capsule form. Softgel Chinese herbal medicine has the following advantages:
Fast absorption (the time taken for the softgel capsule to disintegrate is about 1/4 of the time for regular pills);
Higher content of active ingredients;
No evaporation of volatile components (this is especially important for the formulas containing aromatic/essential oil components as the ones in Honeysuckle Pills);
Easier to swallow