Author Topic: Chinese herbalism or Ayurvedic medicine  (Read 5680 times)

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May 14, 2013, 12:53:41 PM
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Koujiryuu

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Does anyone know anything about Chinese herbalism or Ayurvedic herbalism?

I know a little bit but I'm wondering if anyone here knows more.
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May 14, 2013, 06:15:41 PM
Reply #1

Henry

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I myself do not know much about Chinese herbalism, but my grandparents go to a TCM doctor regularly, so I guess I could ask him if you want?

May 14, 2013, 06:20:52 PM
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Koujiryuu

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Sure, if you want to.

I'm already taking Astralagus (Chinese herb), Haritaki (Ayurvedic herb), as well as numerous other supplements.
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May 14, 2013, 06:29:52 PM
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Mind_Bender

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I know very little but me and father just made some Dit Dat Jow (hit medicine) from a Chinese family recipe that is cooling made from bear bark, cockroaches, and about 20 other herbs and resins. I know most Chinese families into martial arts or healing have their own jows of various natures.

There's cool herbs, hot herbs, herbs for internal damage such as bruising and bleeding, external damage and qi deviations are the most common I know about. "A Tooth from A Tigers Mouth" by Tom Bisio is a pretty good resource on some basic jows and martial arts herbs.

I know next to nothing about Ayurvedic herbs, but I'm sure it's a long the same lines- TCM is pretty close cousin of Ayurveda after all.

Some interesting things I picked up along the way are herbs for Daoist Sexual Yoga such as peach wine for women (tightens their vaginal walls, but only one shot a day) and ginseng for men to bring all around health of jing, qi and shen and for sexual prowess as well.

I hope that helps a little.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
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Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

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"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

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May 14, 2013, 07:02:37 PM
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Koujiryuu

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Thanks Mind_Bender! Any way I can convince you to send me some Dit Da Jow for my hands? ;)

Quote
There's cool herbs, hot herbs, herbs for internal damage such as bruising and bleeding, external damage and qi deviations are the most common I know about.

Would be interested in hearing about these.

Quote
Some interesting things I picked up along the way are herbs for Daoist Sexual Yoga such as peach wine for women (tightens their vaginal walls, but only one shot a day) and ginseng for men to bring all around health of jing, qi and shen and for sexual prowess as well.

Yeah, I might need to get more ginseng tea then...
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May 14, 2013, 07:57:57 PM
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Mind_Bender

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Thanks Mind_Bender! Any way I can convince you to send me some Dit Da Jow for my hands? ;)

5 bucks an ounce!  :cool: No, seriously, it cost about $120-140 for two gallons... If you really are interested I'll teleport it to you via Psionic Resonance, or you can always get a bottle of Zhen Gui Shui online for like, $12-20...

wle.com (Wing Lam Enterprises) has some really good Iron Palm jow. One of my favorites- it's a bit pricey, though- about $22 for a 4oz bottle.

I don't know the names of the herbs and very little of how they work, but I do know that cool herbs (made into jow) help right after an injury (like ice) to lower inflammation. Our jow is cooling because we train, or I do, Iron Body and we're a fighting style so bruises are kind of common.

Hot herbs are good a few days or weeks after the inflammation goes down to get the blood flowing and helps release stagnant qi and blood clots. Some herbs can be used over cuts, but this is usually in poultice form (made into a lotion of sorts and applied with a bandage), some are only made for bruises, some are ingested, etc.

Local herbs are really good to learn, too. I am very new to herbalism, but if you have aloe vera plants where you live, this is good on cuts.
Fresh sage (straight from the 'vine') is a good energy booster- the feeling is kind of euphoric after a really good session of qigong or the feeling you get after a good orgasm with a partner (seriously- the mind is calm and clear, the body is relaxed but ready to move if need be). It only lasts for a short bit, but if it's local, I suggest it.
I read you can make a sore muscle infused oil with the (yellow) dandelion (my batch got moldy, so I haven't quite tested it). I learned the recipe from a book, but the recipe in the link is close enough http://www.irisweaver.com/herbs/howto/dandelionoil.html.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

May 14, 2013, 08:03:50 PM
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Koujiryuu

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I'll look into getting some Jow from the websites you mentioned.

That Dandelion oil link is interesting too.

Thanks.

EDIT: What fighting style do you practice?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 09:38:43 PM by Koujiryuu »
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May 15, 2013, 12:49:48 AM
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Mind_Bender

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My main style is Americanized Japanese-Okinawan Karate with some added Iron Body my fathers friend taught him. Specifically, the Karate styles are a mixture of Shuri-Ryu (my fathers instructor was a direct student of Robert A. Trias, the one who brought Karate to America) and Bojuka Ryu, a synthesis of Boxing, Jujutsu (more judo influenced, though) and Shito-Ryu Karate, although I never did learn judo like my father.

A few years of Escrima and I did three months of Muay Thai- I only mention it because I use their thigh kick and boxing methods quite a bit in sparring matches (very effective) and have been doing Jiang Riang Qiao's Classical Baguazhang (with Sifu's personal flavor of course) for about a year and a half, but I haven't seen my Sifu in about 6 months due to money issues- this problem should be solved soon, though. Me and my father are gearing up to teach again, well, it will be my first time teaching students that aren't friends, but he was in the business for 35 years before taking a decade hiatus, so it will be a new adventure!

I'm guessing you have done some martial arts yourself?
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

May 16, 2013, 08:50:41 PM
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Koujiryuu

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I'm guessing you have done some martial arts yourself?

This is a funny thing, because no I haven't, and at the same time, yes I have.

I took Villari's Shaolin Kempo Karate for 2 months at age 14 and hated it. At this time, I had already been in at least 10 street fights as a kid, on the playground, and even with supposed friends out of school. When I was about 7 or 8 my Dad taught me the basics of boxing and bought me a speed bag. He taught me all the basic punches, some footwork, and body movement. He had also taken Judo in college and showed me a few basic throws and takedowns ("Shoulder Throw", "Hooking Foot Trip", etc... I don't know the "Geri" names). Having had some experience defending myself as a kid, I instantly saw that the Karate was all forms and less adaptability. Sure, these forms can work for some people, but for me they don't. I was HEAVILY teased, bullied and picked on a lot and had to learn to survive for myself, with what little my Dad could give me, but he instilled the values in me of not backing down, not running away, and sticking up for myself. ("Son, if they hit you, it is okay to hit them back", when I came home with a black eye for the 3rd time.) So, anyway, I didn't make it past white belt in Villari's and hated the whole militaristic, unspiritual experience. (At the time, I had *just* learned about "Ki" and found MisteryShadow's site, and was beginning to practice meditation and Qigong, though I had it all wrong then and thought it was like DBZ.)

After quitting Villari's I eventually got "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do" by Bruce Lee, as well as a 80 lbs Heavy Bag, drew up some Kanji with black permanent marker ("Budo", "Bujutsu", "Mushin", "Ki", etc), and made the basement my training room.

I got some other books about more exotic arts and read about those too. Chuka Shaolin Kungfu, Shaolin Wahnam, Wing Chun, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu (and a sword I no longer have). None of these are things you can learn easily in Wisconsin. Of course, I wouldn't claim to actually know these arts, as I haven't trained in them. Of course, I'm most fond of Jeet Kune Do, and studied all the principles, and applied them in training on my heavy bag. ("Treat all of your attacks like tools, and sharpen them, then when you see the opportunity in combat, the tool will strike for you.") Of course I have practiced all the punches tens of thousands of times, the basic kicks (Front/Side/Crescent/Roundhouse/Back) tens of thousands of times, and so forth. I don't use the hard style blocking ("8 Shaolin Blocks") I learned at Villari's, instead I block more like Bruce Lee did, Wing Chun style open palm circular intercepts...

I'm mostly a stand up fighter, I'm weak in ground maneuvers. I'm influenced by boxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, and Western Kickboxing.

So, if anything it would probably be easiest to describe my style as MMA, it is also my own, and it is the style of no style.

Since I was a kid I've been in at least 25 street fights, more than half of which I lost... the last one was in 06. A lot of them happened because I was living near Chicago at the time and hanging around gang bangers and drug dealers with guns, and I was on drugs myself.

So, can I fight? Yes. Do I study a martial art? No. Do I want to study a martial art in the future? That depends. There's a local Shaolin Kung Fu school that looks good, and they also teach Taijiquan and Qigong. However, I'm afraid that if the Shaolin Kung Fu is nothing but rigid forms, I'll probably fail to see the usefulness in that, and I don't know if I would continue taking it. After reading many books about Kung Fu, and even training a little bit with friends in Illinois who did Mantis Kung Fu, I will probably never take another Japanese art again. However, a lot of the Chinese arts also don't seem to be any different. Taijiquan is technically all forms, but it's done relaxed and it's internal, so I can deal with that. The form is the essence of the art and it's more of a flowing dance than a rigid, strict Kata. I don't know if there's anywhere around here like this, but I might just be best off going to a boxing gym, gearing up and boxing. Getting hit "for real" and hitting back "for real". None of that point sparring bullshit. I also need to learn Brazilian Jiu Jutsu, Greco-Roman wrestling or something else to step up my ground game.

I have a complicated past, and so this is a complicated post. Hope this doesn't all sound like excuses, but I don't think taking a martial arts class is the only way to learn how to fight. I guess it's up to you what you want to think of it. A lot can be learned by practice, with a keen intellect, and real fighting experiences.

~Kouji
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 09:02:07 PM by Koujiryuu »
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May 17, 2013, 12:06:02 AM
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Mind_Bender

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Some people aren't as lucky as I am to have a father that taught them martial arts. Although I am from a Karate back round my Karate was fight oriented. There were forms of course, but whenever students from other schools came in and spouted their reputation, my fathers instructor always responded with, "That's nice. But can you fight?" That's the attitude, with compassion, I grew up with. Like your father, I was taught to never back down and if I was getting picked on I had every right to defend myself and would never be punished at home for it. On the other hand, if I picked the fight, I was expected to make amends for it. I got in few street fights growing because I was in a dojo most of the time. In my rougher days I was part of a few brawls, but that's as far as I go with my 'applied combat' or 'self defense' skills. I love martial arts, but I am pretty peaceful over all.

My fathers second instructor was a point fighter, but they still fought hard. Last time I visited and sparred with him (or got my ass handed to me) he said [not exact quote] 'getting a little hurt is good, but not injured.' I stick up for Karate because it is 'my' art and I know I can make it effective if I have to, but I also see your point that it is more form oriented (most traditional styles, actually). All form really does is get you in touch with your body and give you sequences to perfect your form and techniques for you to develop power (the only reason they're good in my opinion, unless you want to pass on the tradition), much like qigong, but for fighting, you need to fight. Shadow box, hit bags... and fight.

Like you, I also use Muay Thai and Wing Chun applications because they flow better in a real fight. The biggest advantage of traditional Karate fighting is learning to bridge the gap and fight bigger and taller people (check out JKA tournaments on youtube, this is close to the kind of fighting I have practiced, except we wear gloves. Kyokushinkai is another good style to check out and Uechi Ryu for their Iron Body). I use Bagua mainly to develop the 'internal' striking power via tendons and ligaments.

Be wary of Taijiquan because sometimes the teachers are all form and don't know a thing about actual qi- but the website you linked looks good. Gu Ruzhang's Dit Dat Jow is what you get from the wle.com site I gave you in the previous post. It's what I use until my batch is done. If they keep to Gu Ruzhang's training you should be able to get a solid Iron Body in about 6 months to a years time. Proper Iron Body is a big advantage in a fight or sparring session.

I totally agree that martial arts is not the only way to learn real fighting. But I can say that by learning a traditional or systematized style your technique (hitting and evading), power, fluidity, and speed can be greatly enhanced. Most of the street fighters I have come across are not as good as I am, but that is only because I make an effort to actually train my skill on a regular basis. The only problem I have seen with learning to fight only from street fights is a lot of the fighters I have known hold too much onto the fights they have won as some sort of reason for them being better than a trained martial artist (and the only 'training' they get is in the off chance fight), but they never take the time to actually train their body to hit, block, maneuver and develop a fighters intuition, but I also stopped hanging out with such a rough crowd, so at this point it might just be judging the past and a bias because of my traditional back round, honestly.

I have respect for all fighters and styles, and I consider street fighting a damn good and effective style. It is pure, raw and aggressive, but my respect is only given to those that train because, like I said earlier, a lot of street fighters boast about their fighting skill because of fights they won in the past- this says nothing. It's about what you do and not what you did. On the flip side, I have also sparred a few first to second degree black belts that couldn't do a damn thing . Sure they were able to hit me with beautiful technical skill- but it was less damage then running into a padded wall. Sorry if this is a bit long, but martial arts gets me excited!
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

May 17, 2013, 12:45:22 AM
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Koujiryuu

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Alright, so I'm gonna reply to you in PM because I don't want to derail this thread further.

Henry, or anyone else, if you want to post about herbalism I would still appreciate it.
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May 17, 2013, 05:06:29 PM
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Mind_Bender

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This isn't quite herbalism but it is one of the Chinese wisdoms on Health and Longevity that I just remembered.

A while back I was reading a qigong book and the author was talking about the difference between Eastern and Western culture. He said in China when they eat in a restaurant that will be there for up to 5 hours because they eat very slowly while they eat and converse. They take their time to let the food digest and enjoy their tea as well.

The other thing he mentioned is when the Chinese cook they make sure that they have a lot of different colors and flavors on the plate, because the different colors have to do with the nutrients in the food. They are really about a well balanced diet. Only eat what tastes good unless you are sick or on a monks path. The sickly and monks follow the same proverb 'Eat Bitter.'

If you were not aware, green tea is filled with nutrients for the body and brain. It helps alleviate stress, calm the mind and body and gives one mental clarity as well. Pu-erh is another powerful tea they use in China. There are different grades of it from very basic like you get in cafe's to ones that are almost like psychotropic drugs. According to an article I read about in a local paper, the right kind of pu-erh will make you feel as if you are on a spiritual trip. Supposedly, it also helps open up your intuition and other spiritual abilities and lends to over all healing as well.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

May 17, 2013, 06:42:56 PM
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Koujiryuu

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If you were not aware, green tea is filled with nutrients for the body and brain. It helps alleviate stress, calm the mind and body and gives one mental clarity as well. Pu-erh is another powerful tea they use in China. There are different grades of it from very basic like you get in cafe's to ones that are almost like psychotropic drugs. According to an article I read about in a local paper, the right kind of pu-erh will make you feel as if you are on a spiritual trip. Supposedly, it also helps open up your intuition and other spiritual abilities and lends to over all healing as well.

Yeah, I drink a lot of tea. I get my tea from www.rishi-tea.com. I drink white, green, oolong, black and Pu Erh.

The white I drink is White Peony (Bai Mu Dan), I get whole leaf organic white peony from Costco World Market for about $10 for a good sized bag. I'd recommend it highly. White tea is the least processed and has high levels of flavonoids, antioxidants and ECGC.

Rishi Vanilla Pu Erh is very good. I haven't ever really felt like I'm on a spiritual trip on it though.

I have a section about herbalism from the Qigong study group. I suppose I can post it below this post.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 06:49:42 PM by Koujiryuu »
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May 17, 2013, 06:45:12 PM
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Koujiryuu

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From the continuing training lecture.

c. Tea and Herbalism

Quote
Training Supplements

Qigong, in itself, is an art of self-healing and rigorous training; what is usually talked about little is the concept that certain things can enhance your qigong practice considerably, outside of qigong itself. Just as a body builder crosstrains and drinks protein shakes, so can an internal stylist augment his qi through methods other than qigong.

Here, then, is a short section detailing a couple different qigong "supplements" that are widely used and highly praised for the effects they bring.

Tea

"Firstly, I'll talk about tea. Tea is a great drink for cleaning out the system and ensuring proper qi flow; certain types of qi work on different meridians, clearing out and cleaning the subtle bodies' inner workings."

"Green Tea contains a chemical called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that binds to the enzyme urokinase, preventing it from stimulating tumor growth. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has published articles on the cancer-preventive effects of green tea."

"Researchers believe that tea lowers cholesterol because EGCG combines with bile salts and cholesterol to form an insoluble precipitate."

"There are more chapters on tea in the Chinese Herbal Material Medica (Ben Cao) than on any other herb, including ginseng."

"A cup of drip coffee contains approximately 100 mg caffeine, black tea: 50 mg caffeine, green tea: 20 mg caffeine, bancha tea 0 mg caffeine. (Nevertheless, if you have cardiac arrhythmia, are taking MAO inhibitor drugs, or have any medical condition for which caffeine is forbidden, you must, sadly, avoid even green tea.)"

"Taoist and Buddhist Monks drink tea because it clears and refreshes the mind. If you are anxious or stressed, drink some tea and contemplate the beauty of nature, Drinking tea is meditation."

"Green tea, by far, is the most beneficial tea to drink. It has many, many health benefits, and works on the lung, spleen, and stomach meridians (Oriental Medicine - 12 meridian system). It can also be purchased just about anywhere quite cheaply. However, there are many more teas that are equally beneficial, some of which are available for purchase. A big part of becoming a tea drinker lies in drinking tea that you like- once you find one that you enjoy, stock up on it."
To quote wikipedia:
Quote
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), also known as epigallocatechin 3-gallate, is the ester of epigallocatechin and gallic acid, and is a type of catechin.

EGCG is the most abundant catechin in tea and is a potent antioxidant that may have therapeutic applications in the treatment of many disorders (e.g. cancer). It is found in green tea but not black tea; during black tea production, the catechins are converted to theaflavins and thearubigins[3]. In a high temperature environment, an epimerization change is more likely to occur; however as exposure to boiling water for 30 straight minutes only leads to a 12.4% reduction in the total amount of EGCG, the amount lost in a brief exposure is insignificant. In fact, even when special conditions were used to create temperatures well-above that of boiling water, the amount lost scaled up only slightly.[4]
EGCG can be found in many supplements.

Tea and herbalism
Various herbs have been used in teas and tonics around the world for millennia. In China, it is thought that certain herbs affect the holistic health by acting on meridians. So, a large part of Daoist alchemy was actual external preparations of herbs into tonics and teas, or crushing them with a pestel to be put into a pill. Around the time of the warring states period, these court magicians, "prescription masters" or Fangshi, were employed by the Imperial Court and were often tasked with creating an Immortality Elixir or Pill for the consumption of the Emperor himself. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fangshi
Their work became what is known as Chinese herbalism, and unlike then, many of the herbs and teas they used are readily available today if you know where to look.
Here is a brief section on traditional Chinese herbs and how they affect the Qi. These can all be purchased independently and added to teas or tonics to balance things like Yin or Yang imbalance and energy stagnation.
Courtesy this site.
Quote
Astragalus root

 Astragalus is one of the most popular and important tonic herbs used in the Orient. It is said to strengthen the primary energy and to tonify the three burning spaces. It is famed as a specific energizer to the outside of the body and is therefore beneficial to younger adults, who tend to be physically active. Some people consider Astragalus to be a tonic superior to ginseng for younger people. Astragalus is believed to be strengthening to the legs and arms, and is traditionally used by people who work outdoors, especially in the cold, because of its strengthening and warming nature. As an energizer to the outside of the body, Astragalus is used to tonify the protective energy (Wei Qi) which circulates just under the skin. Wei Qi is the Yang counterpart of the more Yin nutritional energy (Ying Qi) which flows through the twelve meridians and supplies the organs with vital energy. Wei, like Ying, is generated in the Lungs and after the Lungs have extracted Qi from the air and the Stomach and Spleen extract Qi from food. The air and food energies are united in the Lung to generate the "essential energy." Ying and Wei are the two components of the essential energy. Wei Qi circulates in the subcutaneous tissues providing suppleness to the flesh and adaptive energy to the skin. It is the Wei Qi which provides the energy to perspire, produce goose flesh or shiver. If Wei Qi is deficient, exhausted or blocked, environmental forces such as heat, cold, humidity, wind, etc. (the so-called vicious energies") will penetrate through the flesh and injure the flesh, blood and inner organs. Astragalus, in tonifying the Lung, especially its Yang component, helps the body build an abundance of free flowing Wei Qi, thus fortifying the defense mechanism. Astragalus is also a blood tonic (Qi leads blood). It helps to regulate fluid metabolism, and those who consume it regularly are said to rarely suffer from fluid retention and bloating. It is also now considered an excellent regulatory tonic to the sugar metabolizing functions, especially when combined with licorice root.
White Atractylodes Rhizome

White Atractylodes is an important general body tonic which acts generally upon the digestive system and balances the appetite. It is widely used in Chinese herbalism as a potent energy tonic. White Atractylodes has warming properties and is a mild stimulant. As a tonic to the Spleen/Pancreas and Stomach, it is said to benefit digestion and to help regulate fluid metabolism. It is well known and widely used as a very safe, mild diuretic. Upon continued use, White Atractylodes will help regulate the appetite, so it is widely used as a weight control herb. White Atractylodes is also used to strengthen the muscles in general, and the legs in particular. By regulating the Spleen/Pancreas, it helps build energy which is distributed to the entire body. White Atractylodes is considered to be one of the best energy tonics by Chinese herbalists.

 Codonopsis Root

 Codonopsis is a great general tonic used to restore bodily vigor, just like ginseng. Codonopsis has a mild energy, but it is a very powerful Qi tonic. Codonopsis is very effective as a tonic to the "middle burning space" which includes the Stomach and Spleen's unified function. It is excellent as an energy tonic, providing energy to the Lung and Spleen/Pancreas, those organ systems that extract Qi from environmental sources, and thus helps to generate energy for the entire body. It is said that this herb tones up the energy of the Spleen/Pancreas without making it too dry, and nourishes the Yin of the Stomach without making it too wet. The ability to balance the primary metabolic functions is one of this herb's great qualities. It also lubricates the Lungs and its passages, but always appropriately and not in excess. Codonopsis stimulates the production of blood, and is considered an excellent nutrient. It clears the Lungs of excess mucous and detoxifies the blood so that the skin becomes elastic, smooth and radiant.

 Dioscorea Root

 Dioscorea root is widely used as a secondary tonic. Dioscorea, a type of yam, is an important Yin tonic that is said to benefit the spirit, promote flesh, and when taken habitually, to brighten the intellect and prolong life. Dioscorea serves as a Stomach-Spleen tonic, as well as nourishing the Lungs and supplementing the Kidney Qi. This white, brittle herb has cooling properties. Its energy is classified as neutral and it is sweet tasting.

White Ginseng Root 

The root is said to replace lost Qi to the meridians and organs. It is used to benefit all the Qi so that one may live a long and happy life. It tonifies Qi and is adaptogenic. It is an immune modulator, prolongs life, overcomes fatigue, increases blood volume, aids in recovery from illness or trauma, sharpens and calms the mind, stabilizes the emotions, counteracts stress and enhances wisdom. Ginseng is tonic to both the Lungs and the Spleen/Pancreas systems.

 Gynostemma Leaf
Adaptogenic, antioxidant, immune modulating, anti-inflammatory, respiratory tonic, platelet regulator, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-obesity, cardiovascular protectant, anti-aging agent

Licorice Root

Licorice root stands next to ginseng in importance in Chinese herbalism. It is the most widely used of all Chinese herbs. It is known as the "Grandfather of Chinese herbs," as the "Great Adjunct," and as the "Great Detoxifier." It is used as a harmonizing ingredient in a large number of Chinese herbal recipes and is itself an excellent tonic and longevity herb. Chinese licorice root is said to revitalize the “Center,” referring to the “middle burning space,” and in particular to the digestive and assimilative functions associated with the Spleen.  It supplements the energy and strikes a balance into the internal regions of the body.  It is believed to drive out all poisons and toxins from the system and to eliminate side-effects from other herbs used with it. The “Great Adjunct” is said to aid all other herbs in entering their respective meridians and is thus of tremendous importance in the Chinese tonic herbal system. It is also believed that licorice will clean the meridians and allow Qi to flow smoothly. It is also widely claimed that licorice root builds flesh (muscle) and beautifies the countenance. Licorice root is also used throughout the Orient simply because it builds energy. It is now known that this is at least partly due to its remarkable power to regulate blood sugar balance. It is also widely used to sharpen the power of concentration.

 Aged Citrus Peel

 Aged Citrus (Tangerine) Peel is a digestant. It falls into the classical category of “Qi regulating” herbs --- that is, herbs that help Qi to move smoothly and to prevent blockage, particularly in the digestive and respiratory systems. It is not a tonic herb, but is often used in tonic formulations to improve their function. Sometimes strong Qi formulas, such as those being used in Qi Drops, can result in minor stagnation in the digestive tract if a Qi regulating herb is not included in the formula. Aged Citrus (Tangerine) Peel is VERY effective at moving Qi and preventing digestive blockage. There is sufficient Aged Citrus (Tangerine) Peel in this formula to prevent any possibility of Qi blocking.

 Polygonatum Sibericum

 Polygonatum sibericum is used as a Qi and Yin tonic, and is said to have a specific benefit on the energy of the heart and brain. It is used in Shen and Jing tonics to nourish the brain and strengthen the mind. It is a Qi tonic to the brain. It can be combined with Panax Ginseng, Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero), Gynostemma, and various Qi tonics to add important mental Qi power.
Siberian Ginseng
Eleuthero is the equal of Ginseng in its adaptogenic capabilities.  Some authorities think it is stronger. Eleuthero contains saponins which balance the nervous system and endocrine system. Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) also has a huge reputation as a mental tonic and even as a mental stimulant.  It is considered to be faster acting than Ginseng.  Studies have proven that people are more alert after they consume Eleuthero.
Tibetan Rhodiola Root
Tibetan Rhodiola sacra strongly increases vitality. It is good for strengthening the body and mind, resisting fatigue, resisting a lack of oxygen and excessive radiation (including solar radiation), and for prolonging life. It is especially well known for increasing the intelligence of those who consume it regularly. Rhodiola sacra has the action of “supporting and strengthening the human body” and the immune potentiating effects of Rhodiola sacra are, according to some researchers, stronger than those Ginseng (a VERY potent immune potentiator). Rhodiola sacra has a notable restorative effect if one consumes a preparation while the tired body is recovering or is failing to recover from strong or excessive exertion. Tibetan Rhodiola sacra has double-direction adjusting effects on the nervous and endocrine systems. It is good for resisting mental fatigue, and it can improve a person’s memory, power of concentration and work-efficiency.
 Guilin Sweetfruit
 Guilin Sweetfruit (Luo Han Guo) is an excellent Qi tonic to the Lungs. It improves functioning of the lungs and clears mucous and heat from the Lungs. Since the Lungs are central to Qi production, the condition of the Lungs is of the utmost importance to our health and well being. Guilin Sweetfruit is being widely researched because it appears to be a potent immune potentiator.

Different kinds of tea

There are different kinds of tea with different benefits.
They are, in order from least processed to most processed:

White tea
Quote
White tea (Chinese: 白茶; pinyin: báichá) is a lightly oxidized tea grown and harvested primarily in China, mostly in the Fujian province.[1] More recently it is grown in Taiwan, Northern Thailand and Eastern Nepal.

White tea comes from the buds and leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves and buds are allowed to wither in natural sunlight before they are lightly processed to prevent oxidation or further tea processing.

The name "white tea" derives from the fine silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which gives the plant a whitish appearance.[2] The beverage itself is not white or colourless but pale yellow.
White tea is the least processed tea and contains the most ECGC. It is most beneficial to your health and has low levels of caffeine.
A truly great, whole leaf, organic white tea known as Bai Mu Dan (white peony) can be purchased in bulk at Costco World Market for a good price.

Green tea
Quote
Green tea is made from the leaves from Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originates in China,[1] but it has become associated with many cultures throughout Asia. Green tea has recently become more widespread in the West, where black tea has been the traditionally consumed tea. Green tea has become the raw material for extracts which are used in various beverages, health foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetic items.[2] Many varieties of green tea have been created in the countries where it is grown. These varieties can differ substantially due to variable growing conditions, horticulture,[3] production processing, and harvesting time.

Over the last few decades green tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits, with some evidence suggesting that regular green tea drinkers may have a lower risk of developing heart disease[4] and certain types of cancer.[5] Although green tea does not raise the metabolic rate enough to produce immediate weight loss, a green tea extract containing polyphenols and caffeine has been shown to induce thermogenesis and stimulate fat oxidation, boosting the metabolic rate 4% without increasing the heart rate.[6]

The mean content of flavonoids in a cup of green tea is higher than that in the same volume of other food and drink items that are traditionally considered of health contributing nature, including fresh fruits, vegetable juices or wine.[7] Flavonoids are a group of phytochemicals present in most plant products that are responsible for health effects such as anti-oxidative and anticarcinogenic functions.[7] However, the content of flavonoids may vary dramatically amongst different tea products.
This stuff is great! It's Kouji's favorite tea. I really like Rishi Jade Cloud, Ancient Emerald Lily and Dragon Well.

Oolong tea
Quote
Oolong (simplified Chinese: 乌龙; traditional Chinese: 烏龍; pinyin: wūlóng) is a traditional Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) produced through a unique process including withering under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting.[1] Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties.[2] The degree of oxidation can range from 8 to 85%,[3] depending on the variety and production style. Oolong is especially popular with tea connoisseurs of south China and Chinese expatriates in Southeast Asia,[4] as is the Fujian preparation process known as the Gongfu tea ceremony.

In Chinese tea culture, semi-oxidised oolong teas are collectively grouped as qīngchá (Chinese: 青茶; literally "teal tea").[5] The taste of oolong ranges hugely amongst various subvarieties.[2] It can be sweet and fruity with honey aromas,[6] or woody and thick with roasted aromas,[7][8] or green and fresh with bouquet aromas,[9] all depending on the horticulture and style of production.[1] Several subvarieties of oolong, including those produced in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian, such as Da Hong Pao, are among the most famous Chinese teas.
Oolong has less ECGC than white or green tea, but still has some, and it also has more caffeine than both of them. For this reason, it is good to use to wake up with, and good to drink before any moving meditation like Qigong.

Black tea
Quote
Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than oolong, green and white teas. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than the less oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the species are used – the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis subsp. sinensis), used for most other types of teas, and the large-leaved Assamese plant (C. sinensis subsp. assamica), which was traditionally mainly used for black tea, although in recent years some green and white have been produced.

In Chinese languages and the languages of neighboring countries, black tea is known as "red tea" (紅茶, Mandarin Chinese hóngchá; Japanese kōcha; 홍차, Korean hongcha), a description of the colour of the liquid; the Western term "black tea" refers to the colour of the oxidized leaves. In Chinese, "black tea" is a commonly-used classification for post-fermented teas, such as Pu-erh tea; outside of China and its neighbouring countries, "red tea" more commonly refers to rooibos, a South African tisane.
Black tea contains no ECGC as it is removed during oxidation and processing. It also has higher levels of caffeine. However, it still has many antioxidents and catechins that are good for the health.
Protip: Putting milk in tea causes the catechins to chemically bond to lactose and makes them inert, removing all health benefits. So, please don't put milk in your tea, you'll ruin it. Thank kobok for this information.

Pu E'rh tea
Quote
Pu-erh or Pu'er tea is a variety of fermented dark tea produced in Yunnan province, China.[1][2][3] Fermentation is a tea production style in which the tea leaves undergo microbial fermentation and oxidation after they are dried and rolled.[4] This process is a Chinese specialty and produces tea known as Hei Cha (黑茶), commonly translated as dark, or black tea (this type of tea is completely different from what in West is known as "black tea", which in China is called "red tea"). The most famous variety of this category of tea is Pu-erh from Yunnan Province, named after the trading post for dark tea during imperial China.[5]

Pu'er traditionally begins as a raw product known as "rough" Mao Cha (毛茶) and can be sold in this form or pressed into a number of shapes and sold as "raw" Sheng Cha (生茶). Both of these forms then undergo the complex process of gradual fermentation and maturation with time. The Wo Dui process (渥堆) developed in the mod-1970s by the Menghai [6] and Kunming Tea Factories [7] created a new type of pu-erh tea, whose legitimacy is disputed by some traditionalists. This process involves an accelerated fermentation into "ripe" Shou Cha (熟茶) which is then stored loose or pressed into various shapes. All types of pu-erh can be stored to mature before consumption, which is why it is commonly labelled with year and region of production.
Pu Erh tea contains no ECGC as it is removed during oxidation and processing. It also has higher levels of caffeine. However, it still has many antioxidents and catechins that are good for the health.
This is the strongest tea you can get, so if you like strong flavors it's for you. It also has the most caffeine out of any tea, so if you want to replace coffee with tea in the morning, choose Pu Erh. Though, I drink both because coffee is also good for you in ways that tea isn't.


Some teas you may enjoy:
Triple Leaf Decaf Green Tea with Chinese herbs
This one has ginseng and astralagus. It also has no caffeine. If you absolutely dislike tea, I would recommend you just stick with this and drink 1 cup daily to supplement your Qigong. The Ginseng in it is very good for Jing, and the Astralagus is good for Qi of the lungs, organs and Dantian. After a month of drinking a cup a day and doing Qigong every other day I have noticed a great overall increase in my energy body, a greater clarity of energy, less anxiety, and a stronger Yin Qi when doing the microcosmic orbit (I tend to be Yang imbalanced rather easily). The only downside: it pretty much tastes like green beans.
Rishi Tea Organic Jasmine Pearl
A very strong, fragrant green tea that is flavored with Jasmine buds. Very flowery and sweet. A premium green tea. Good for Qi of the lungs, as any green tea is.
Rishi Super Green Sencha
Haven't been able to try this yet, but I have some in the mail. This one is supposed to infuse very green (as opposed to more yellow for the above two), and the greener, the better. See, when tea infuses it also oxidizes, and when it oxidizes, it loses the beneficial antioxidants. So, if you really want to feel and benefit from the ECGC and other beneficial compounds in tea, drinking one like this is best.
Traditional Medicinals Chamomile with Lavender
This one is great! Chamomile has been cultivated as far back as Ancient Egypt (around 2000 BC) for it's healing properties and use as a sedative tonic. This one also contains lavender flowers, which have been used for an equally long time as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent.
I like to use this tea to help me sleep, but I also use to it prepare for any very heavy meditation (such as the macrocosmic orbit). It makes you somewhat sleepy and makes it much easier to reach deep mind states necessary for those exercises. It helps greatly with relaxation.
Chamomile should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, it has been shown to have induce uterine contractions that can lead to miscarriage.
If you add a few shakes of ground cinnamon and a bit of honey to your chamomile tea, it will not only taste great but also works as a potent aid to stomach problems and nausea.
Chaa Organic Mystic Darjeeling
This one is quite good. It is a dark, black tea, so it has no ECGC, although there are plenty of other antioxidants. The best way to describe this tea is "energizing". It has more caffiene than green teas do. I find this one best taken before a workout, yoga, martial arts practice, or anything very physical. It will give you energy, clear your mind and help you focus on your workout.
That concludes the section on herbalism.
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May 27, 2013, 03:26:25 PM
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Shinichi

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I have been introduced to a bit of Ayurveda over the years, though not much. One my absolute favorite ayurvedic treatments, so far, has by far been Oil Pulling, wherein you rinse your mouth with a tablespoon of oil.

http://oilpulling.com/

It sounds distasteful, but trust me, it is very effective. I personally only use Sesame Oil for this, and many say that Cold Pressed is better than Expeller Pressed...but I get what I can. Frankly, Sesame just tastes better to me.

The oil is like a liquid magnet for the toxins in the body, and I have found it has a similar effect on inner energy, too. You just swish it in your mouth for about 20 minutes, then you spit it out, rinse your mouth, brush your teeth, and go about your business feeling better. It takes a little while of daily use to see visible effects, but, it's well worth the discipline. And a tablespoon of oil per day isn't that expensive.



~:Shin:~
~:Completed the 2013 Qi Gong Study Group:~

"There is no such thing as Impossible, it's merely a matter of understanding the mechanisms by which the Will can be made manifest into an objective reality." -- The Wise.