Here is a little more on the herbs themselves. In Chinese medicine, a vast array of herbs and animal products such as antler bones and oyster shells are used, each one documented for thousands of years – at least 5,000 years, with very specific properties.

The main difference between Chinese medicine and Western medicine in this regard is that the roots, seeds, and shoots are used in their entirety and combined in ways that elegantly and perfectly support the body. A herbal formula typically has a major action – the emperor herb – and then supporting herbs – the generals and others, usually between ten to fifteen herbs in total. You can purchase herbs in pill form too, such as the magical Hsaio Yao Wan for PMS and emotional lability (it addresses something called liver heat or fire), or the Yin Chaio for colds.

Personally I love the real thing. The full energy of the ingredients is present, and with the wisdom of the plants themselves, addresses the human body and energy system and creates health from imbalance.

The Nei Jing, the Emperor’s Classic, tells us what to do: if hot, cool, if congested, disperse… the energy is the primary target. All kind of complex but fascinating.

My batch will contain Goji berries, Red Dates, Oyster Shell, Os Draconis (Dragon bone), Polygonatum and Fructus Citri among others. I watch it being weighed out and packaged up. Oyster Shell for calming the mind, addressing insomnia, Red Dates for kidney (vital energy) support, and so on.

My favorite topic, actually. I have always said that this would be my career had I twigged to how passionate I would feel about these herbs at an earlier age.

Yours in health,