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tips for drinking foul muck!
Member Name: kimgraham
Date: 23/09/01, updated on 23/09/01 (374 review reads)
Advantages: makes you better
Disadvantages: tastes foul, smells disgusting
Those of you who have read my op on accupuncture will know that I had accupuncture for quite a length of time and that it was very succesful! At some point during the treatment, the chinese Doctor suggested that I also try Chinese herbs. The Chinees believe in a very holistic approach. One advantage to the Chinese herbs, is that it is better for the needle phobic amongst you. Chinese herbal medicine is the term for formulae which can be made from stems, flowers, seeds, bark, roots, and leaves of many plants as well as some mineral and animal products. I was very concerned about animal use having seen programmes on bear bile farms in China. Thankfully, it is illegal to use such animal products in this country. They do sometimes use worms and grubs ground up- eurgh!! Apparently they are great fro moving the blood! I told the Doctor she wasn't moving my blood with anything like that!!! As I was a vegetarian at the time, she agreed to use no animal products in my prescriptions.
She wasn't very keen on me being a vegetarian and told me it was adversely affecting my health. She said that at the very least I ought to eat chicken or some other form of meat for one week in six. This is apparently because it is the only way we can get hold of vitamin K in its best form. Vitamin K is essential for the clotting mechanism in the blood, and all new born babies are given an injection of it just after birth. I fought against this very hard (not having my babies injected! Eating the meat!). Eventually after a dose of pneumonia last Christmas, my GP also said I had to eat meat for a quicker recovery. So I have been eating meat ever since, but that is another story and I won't bore you now.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT CHINESE AND WESTERN HERBS?
There are two main differences:
1- A Chinese herbalist diagnoses the patient using the theory of Chinese Medicine, whereas a W estern trained herbalist will use a Western diagnosis. This has not always
been the case. Western Herbal Medicine, like its Chinese counter-part, has a long history. Sadly, many of these traditions have been lost including many of the diagnostic techniques. Fortunately, the knowledge of how the herbs work has survived.
2- the herbs are prescribed differently.In Chinese Medicine, a prescription is usually made up from a combination of herbs, whereas a Western Herbalist will prescribe herbs seperately. You may be prescribed several herbs but they are not combined together into a prescription.
In a Chinese prescrption there can be 1-20 ingredients.
After an initial period of apprehension, I decided to give the herbs a go.
HOW DO YOU TAKE THEM?
The herbs come in three forms.
1- as raw herbs that you boil
2- concerntrated powder which you mix with a small amount of boiling water
3- capsules (for the cowards!!)
Unfortunately, you have to take about 15 capsules at a time, which makes them a more expensive option! I did not fancy taking 45 capsules a day!!
WHAT DO THEY TASTE LIKE?
They taste... foul and smell even worse! I am not good with dodgy medicine at best I even gag on Boots cough mixture! I awaited my first prescription in the post with the greatest trepidation. I had been told to mix the powder with a big mug of boiling water. Now I won't lie to you, I took one large swig after which I promptly ran to the bathroom feeling rather unwell!! Im not taking this again, I thought! It even looks disgusting! A sort of muddy brown colour. Apparently each prescription tastes slightly differently: some more sweet, some more sour. I phoned the practitioner and told her I couldn't possibly take them, they were making me feel sick. She roared with laughter and said she had not realised I was such a wuss. She said to try making it up in a tiny bit of water so it was only a couple of sips.
THe disadvantage to this is that it makes it a rather thick and gloopy, muddy te
xture. She was still on the end of the phone while I did this. Encouragingly she said "Just knock it back!". I looked at it, and the stench was almost enough to strip paint! You have to understand that it was so bad, that my teenage daughters had shut themselves in the hall with pegs on their noses and were watching through a glass door!! Now I knew you werent allowed to eat for a certain amount of hours before or after taking the medicine so I knew I couldn't even take the taste away with a nice chocolate biscuit! "Come on" said the lady "you can do it!". I thought she can't possibly have any taste buds! Eventually she said "you can have a drink to wash it down, as long as it is only water or very weak squash".
I got out my Guinness pint glass, and filled it to the brim with squash! I took the most enormous breath.... I had shot (herb) glass in one hand and the pint of squash in the other, as close to my mouth as I could get it! I threw the herbs to the back of my mouth as fast as I could, and immediately, without stopping for breath, downed the pint of squash. Now beer is one thing, but squash?! I discovered that apart from the initial shock of a very slight taste on the back of the tongue, I hardly tasted anything and it was quite bearable.
This became quite a routine in our household, three times a day for a number of months. We never did get used to that smell though, and everyone in the house disappeared when the herbs came out!
DO THEY WORK?
YES YES YES! I would recommend them to anybody, but you need to find your own technique for getting them down. My health improved hugely. These days I mostly use Chinese medicine in one way or another.
COST - ARE THEY EXPENSIVE?
The prescription itself is not too bad. It depends on the herbs used and I have paid between £8 and £15 for a 10-14 day supply. The consulatation is about £35 and you go fornightly. I had acupuncture on t
he alternate weeks, because my health was very bad. This is not necessary.
Give it a go, you have nothing to lose! It can be used for virtually any ailment! Even things like weight loss and impotence! lol!