Eagle Herbs formulas that call for ginseng (人参, 人蔘, rénshēn) include real ginseng, not the cheaper alternative called Codonopsis pilosula (党参, dǎngshēn)*.
Codonopsis root is not a true ginseng, though it does roughly the same thing for the digestion as ginseng. It is cheaper which is good for those who want to save money, but it also requires close to 5 times the dosage to achieve the same effects as true ginseng.
I can’t say how long Codonopsis has served as a low-cost replacement for ginseng, but traditional formula recipes never call for Codonopsis, only ginseng. Continue reading
Wondering how much granulated herbs you should take? Good question!
Short-lived but intense issues: 1 teaspoon (8 capsules), three times daily.
Lingering low-grade concerns: 1/2 teaspoon (4 capsules), 2 times daily. Continue reading
I know, I know. He's not pregnant.
Herbs and pregnant women get along just peachy. China’s population is a good proof of this. However because pregnant women are “taking herbs for two”, we should be particularly careful with anything given to women while pregnant.
Those who have a history of miscarriages or other pregnancy issues should be particularly careful not to take herbs without expert advice. That being said, those with pregnancy issues are exactly the women who can most benefit from Chinese herbal medicine.
If there is one message that this page hopes to convey, it is simply this: consult your locally licensed Chinese medicine professional before taking any of the herbs described on this page under the caution or contraindicated sections. Those listed under the beneficial list are generally okay.
These are guidelines only. We’re trying to be a little more cautious than perhaps we need to be on this page. If you’re seeing a well-regarded Chinese medicine practitioner whom you have reason to trust, all of these herbs are okay to take, but only when they’re prescribed especially for you and your particular needs as assessed by someone knowledgeable about your case and the herbs being used. Continue reading
Herbs rarely get into the breast milk.
Many new mothers have this very legitimate question. Is it okay to take herbs while breastfeeding?
Short answer: yes.
Long answer: there is only one herb that I personally know of that may enter the breast milk. The herb in question is Da Huang (Rx. Rhei). That’s rhubarb root for those of you who enjoy baking. We don’t want to give your nursing baby any of this herb and so you should avoid it until you’ve weaned your little one. It isn’t poison or anything, but can give your infant diarrhea. (Chen & Chen, Art of Medicine Press, 2004)
There may be, over time more herbs that are added to the list of herbs that can enter the breast milk and we’ll do our to stay on top of this concern. There are oodles of herbs that are thought to be worthy of caution, but none that have been actually observed to cause problems.
We’ve answered this question in the “about” section. Please see:
Herbs can taste nasty. But do capsules really help your health?
At Eagle Herbs, we offer Chinese herbal formulas in both capsules and extract powders. The herbal material inside of the capsules is identical to the extract powder. We actually start out with the powder, then optionally put it into capsules.
I believe that the powders work more quickly. They’re also cheaper because there is no labor cost associated with putting the powder into capsules.
But just to give you an example of the difference between how they work is this: a middle aged man with low-grade pain and stiffness in his low back gets a Chinese herbal formula in capsules. Four days later, he reports that the pain has gone away.
About a year later, his low-grade pain and stiffness in his low back returns. This time, he chooses not to have the extract powder put into capsules. He reports relief from the low back pain in four hours. Continue reading
Herbs, like drugs, require no "belief".
Sometimes people tell me that they “believe” in herbs, or that their doctor doesn’t “believe” in herbs.
I wonder if people “believe” in drugs? The fact is, an enormous number of new drugs are derived from natural sources. This is nothing new, people just don’t know about it.
- Asprin came from the bark of a white willow tree.
- Taxol (for cancer) came from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree.
- The anti-viral Tamiflu comes from a Chinese herb called “star anise”.
- A popular anti-malarial drug comes from the Chinese herb qing hao (Herba Artemisiae Annuae)
- Ephedrine, commonly used for asthma comes from an herb that has been somewhat abused and demonized in recent years called Ma Huang (Hb. Ephedra).
- Of course opium (morphine, codeine) come from the opium poppy. Continue reading
Herbs and drugs both have their place.
A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place
At EagleHerbs we really don’t have a problem with drugs. There are times when they’re the right choice, and times when they aren’t.
It’s exactly the same with herbs. I work with about 350 of them and each one has a particular situation in which it most shines.
When we line up the right herbal formula with a given condition, the results can be extraordinary. But it is important to look at the root cause, not just the branch symptoms.
The following list of chest pain scenarios illustrates how each herb has a specific context well beyond the symptom of “chest pain” or “angina”. Continue reading
Some people find it difficult to get the herbs down in tea form. This is completely understandable. Chinese herbs produce some really funky tastes.
However, with a little bit of cleverness, you CAN make your tea taste better. It’s all about the concentration sweet spot. Continue reading