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As you all know I have been trying to conquer my issues with high blood pressure… without getting man-made medicine.  So, I took the advice of one of my friends here in China and decided to go with her to a Chinese traditional medicine doctor, Dr. Yan.  I was excited and a little nervous to find out what was going to happen to me.  I just pictured all this crazy stuff I had seen in the old Kung fu movies and couldn’t wait to see if it was true.

My friend had made the appointment for me  at 2pm and then came to pick me up to take me to the doctor.  She is one of my former students… so her English is okay…. at least enough for me to understand her pretty well.   We arrived 10 minutes early…. and I was shuffled into a door of an old fashion, ancient style building that had been kind of redesign a little in the inside to hold an air conditioner, and some more modern furniture… (although the furniture was wooden and had no padding in the chairs or sofa)… I was then taken thru a series of hallways and doors … until I came to a small staircase, one of those that has the steps too close together.    After walking up 4 flights of stairs..(which I do not think is good if someone is sick) … I was standing in what looked like a makeshift waiting room.   However, my friend and guide told me… that we didn’t need to wait here because I was on the schedule and first in line.    We walked thru a maze of little office like rooms… that were very traditional in appearance.   Down to the wooden desk, stools and more of those hard chairs.

As we sat to wait for this doctor to enter the office … I noticed that the one thing that looked out-of-place .. was the double screened computer that was sitting on the desk.  I am sure they didn’t have those back in ancient China… but otherwise the plants and decor was all traditional.   The doctor came in and looked at me… then put on his white coat and … left the room.. I noticed through the door he was washing his hands.   (I was liking what I saw… they don’t even do that in the modern hospitals here).   He came back and asked my friend in Chinese what was going on.   She explain … from what I could understand of the conversation… that I had this blood pressure problem… and wanted a natural way to cure it.

He motioned for me to come and sit on the stool next to his desk… and put my arm with my hand facing up… on a small blue pillow that was covered with tissue paper.   He proceeded to take my pulse.   (I was kind of giddy… because that is what they always did in the Kung fu movies) ..… he didn’t say much … just stared off into space….. My friend starting telling him .. my issues… my age and weight and everything…. then he turned to me and said……”have you had blood work done before?”   My ass almost fell off the stool… he spoke English!!…. I think I was so shocked that I almost forgot to answer him.    He then proceeded to asked me several questions… Do your hands fill big when you wake up?  Does your head feel dizzy?   How often do you go to the bathroom?  and the strangest question… Do you have a lot of dreams when you sleep? (which … the last few months… I have been dreaming a lot and not able to sleep well).…… he then told me … that I was a little fat….(I knew that was coming… every Chinese person says that…. at least he said a little fat )  He told me to stick out my tongue…. he looked at it.. then said to me…. “I am going to give you some Chinese Herbal Medicine… do you want to try it?”   I said… sure.. He then started saying things in Chinese to the nurse beside him, who was typing in this information into the computer.    The listed consisted of about 18 different kinds of things in Chinese and I had no idea  what it said. I just knew it did not look good.

My friend then grabbed my hand and pulled me down the stair case to the first floor.. where we had to stand in line to pay.   She took control and paid 203rmb …(about $30 bucks) …. then after she paid .. she grabbed my hand and took me to … another big room… in this room… all the action was happening.    The back wall had about 1000 small wooden drawers with handles and Chinese symbols on them that were the entire length of the wall.  In front of that were about 4 or 5 people dressed in lab coats… they were all busy putting large squares of  brown paper on the counter.    Then another person would get an old fashion scale on a stick..but this scale only had one side… and they were pulling a string to test the weight…. and filling it with different things from the drawers and then dump them in little piles on the papers.

Although, it looked kind of confusing… if you stood there long enough you could see a sort of dance they were doing to fill the prescriptions that the doctors had given.  As I was looking at the different piles… I begin to see all kinds of … trees, leaves, flowers, weeds, roots and what looked like coal?…. pile up.   I couldn’t tell how they knew how much to put or what they needed to put.   My friend then told me… that she would run back upstairs because she forgot to ask what things I should and should not eat.   As she raced back up to find out… I continue to watch the interesting performance that was in front of my eyes.    She returned to tell me that the doctor said that I needed to avoid spicy foods, go to sleep by 12pm… and not to eat any intestines of any animals…(that wasn’t something he had to worry about) … she then proceeded to tell me how I was supposed to take this medicine.

Evidently, I am to soak the dried ..tree limbs, grass and things of that nature… in water for about an hour or so… then I am to boil it for about 30 minutes, then drink a small bowl full of the tea… in the morning and at night.  I figure that can’t be so bad….can it?   I did notice that someone’s piece of brown paper had dead bugs on it… I was soo praying that was not mine.

So, as we were standing there… my friend said… hey that one is yours….. I looked and saw.. a largest amount of grass, tree bark, leaves, and flowers on the counter.  I was like … wow… I need to drink all of that…?  She smiled  and said.. one pile is for one day…. it looked like a huge pile of potpourri…. she said.. it will not taste good… so you might want to add some honey… before you drink it.

Nice…. then my name was called…. they had wrapped up my little brown bundles of paper and tied them all together with a red ribbon.

I was then told that … this is for one week… next week I need to get another stack .. and then after two weeks… come back and see the doctor.

Wow… I have to say this was one .. interesting experience…. I am sure not many folks get to visit a traditional Chinese Hospital… in a traditional Chinese building…. with a wall full of traditional Chinese herbs in … well … China…

I am sorry I don’t have photos of the hospital.. but I have included photos of the herbs… and the following is a list of what they gave me.  I had one of my co-workers translate it all into English…   (I am told it will help me with … blood pressure, weight loss, heart health, circulation, to sleep better and to relax) … enjoy!

1) Rhizoma GastraodiaeTian Ma -Calms internal Wind; Calms convulsions; Soothes the Liver; Controls ascending Yang due to Yin Deficiency
2)UncariaCats Claw – The herb can be used to build the immune system..
3)Eucommia Ulmoides Du Zhong – majority of the preliminary data lend support to its use in osteoporosis, arthritis, hypertension with purported actions such as anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

3)LeonurusLion’s Tail, Motherwort -Motherwort is primarily a herb of the heart. Several species have sedative effects, decreasing muscle spasms and temporarily lowering blood pressure. Chinese studies found that extracts decrease clotting and the level of fat in the blood and can slow heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat.

4)mistletoe – Extracts of mistletoe have been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory and to boost the immune system

5)Fry radix scatellariaePu Ji xiao du YinA – to Eliminate toxins in the body.

6)selthealxia ku cao, Heal all herb -Used as an alternative medicine on just about every continent in the world for just about every ailment known to man.  currently being tested to cure HIV, Cancer and Diabetes.

7)magnetiteCi shi -anchors and calms spirit – restlessness, palpitation, insomnia, tremors-yin deficiency, ascending yang – dizziness, vertigo-tonify kidney yin and liver – improve hearing and vision-helps kidney to grasp Qi – chronic asthma

8)Vine of multiflower knotweedshou wu – embellish aperient bowel and elimination of carbuncle, and boosting function smite, strong bones and muscles, filling kidney.

9)Poria cocos Fu ling – used in herbal remedies for insomnia, restlessness, fatigue, sleep disorder, tension, and nervousness.

10)cortex albiziaeHe huan pi -Tranquilize the mind and disperse the depressed qi, activate blood circulation and relieve swelling.

11)Ochredai zhe shi -It is used to treat a variety of ailments, ranging from headaches and dizziness to hiccups, vomiting and upset stomach. The mineral’s high iron content can also help with the generation of red blood cells and hemoglobin. It is a common component of many herbal formulas, and is often taken with white peony root, Pinelli and ginseng.

12)Olibanum – frankincense -herbal remedy, the resin is used for digestion, healthy skin, and other uses. Ayurvedic Indian medicine calls for olibanum in treating wounds, arthritis, female hormonal imbalance, and cleansing

13)Kudzuvine rootAsian ginseng-significant effects in enhancing immunity, preventing and curing cardiovascular diseases and reducing blood sugar, and has unique virtue for coronary heart disease, andina pectoris, sudden hearing loss and osteoporosis suffered by the middle-aged and old-aged.  It also has the function of health protection for reducing blood sugar and blood fat, sobering up and relieving constipation, etc.

14)rhizoma alismatis -Ze Xie -increases urinary excretion. The drug is believed by the Chinese to stimulate the female genitalia. (ah oh.. water pill…)

15)salvia miltorrhiza bungered rooted sage – has become important in the West for supporting cardiovascular health and improving liver function. As a blood purifier, it helps to vitalize and detoxify the blood and is one of the most highly regarded circulatory tonics

16)lotus leaf -relieve pain and/or eliminate the conditions in which migraine headaches thrive

17)Born Hawthorn-used to support the body’s own ability to trigger various mechanisms that can help reduce serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, as well as reduce blood pressure. Cholesterol is a waxy substance used by the body for a number of purposes, including the creation of cell membranes and hormones
18)concha haliotidis – shi jue ming, Abalone shell –It is effective for nourishing Yin and checking exuberance of yang, clearing away the from the liver to improve vision, relieving dizziness due to liver-yang and conjunctival congestion due to liver-heat.