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chinese medicine

 

China's self-proclaimed First Emperor, Shih Huang Ti (2697 B.C.) the Yellow Emperor During this time, stories were circulating that living on some mountainous isles out to sea Should it be eaten, one would immediately attain long life and immortality. An official report

·

he dispatched a whole fleet of ships and 500 young subjects (250 girls and 250 boys) to sail to

the east and not come back till they found the mushroom or herb of deathlessness. One

account says that Admiral Hsu Fu never returned. Another recounts that after reaching their

destination Hsu Fu proclaimed himself king. Many believe that the destination was Japan."

"The Emperor was of course thrilled and with a Taoist named Hsu Fu as admiral, in B.C. 219
·

downfall. The Emperor had decided that all knowledge was going to start with him, so he

burned all of the books in the empire, rewriting the ones he wanted.

•In some of the most secret books were versions of the elixir's formula.

•The formula called for the use of large amounts of mercury, to make the big red pill of

immortality.

•Though not sure of the exact formula (because he had destroyed all of the books) the

Emperor decreed that the pill be concocted.

•The mercury was to increase the power of Shen Qi (the spirit energy0. The problem was

that the mercury is extremely toxic.

•After the Shen Qi was caused to burn brighter and stronger, the toxic effect would kill a

person.

•At this stage a specific formula based on the herb of deathlessness was given to stop the

rage of the mercury poisoning while keeping the Sheng Qi burning bright to bring

about the state of longevity.

•It appears that Shih Huang Ti either didn't have the formula right or didn't get the herb of

deathlessness in time. He sent may servants up into the mountains to find it and that

he himself ventured out to find it. Ultimately, he died searching for the right fungus

elixir for mercury poisoning.

•In the ancient quest for an elixir of longevity, there were five kinds of Chih: Stone chih,

grass chih, wood chih, flesh chih and mushroom chih. Of the mushroom chih there

were supposed to be 120 kinds of these substances. They ranged in potency,

producing a short longevity of 100 years, up to the potent forms which ensured a life

of over 1,000 years.

2

DYNAMIC REVIVAL OF TRADITIONALCHINESE MEDICINE

Two major causes:

1. General program on the part of the People's Republic for preserving its national heritage

2. A realistic assessment of prevailing medical conditions. It had become obvious to the

Communist regime that the 70,000 Western-trained physicians in all of China could

not possible provide adequate medical care for a population then numbered 650

million.

TAOISM

Tao (The Way) is the key to the mysterious intermingling of 'Heaven and Earth', tao means the

way and the method of maintaining the harmony between this world and the beyond, that is, by

shaping earthly conduct to correspond completely with the demands of the other world.

Shih Huang Ti was so obsessed with this elixir and longevity that it finally became his
·

of Man, one fitting into the other as an indivisible entity.

The concept of Tao was subdivided into the Tao of Heaven, the Tao of the Earth, and the Tao
·

highest code of conduct should play an important part in early Chinese medicine, which was

inextricably entwined with philosophical concepts.

It was inevitable that Tao in its dual role as the supreme regulator of the universe and as the
·

YIN AND YANG

Theory of creation--the dual power that arose from the primary state of chaos--the instigator of all

change. The principle of Yin and Yang is the basis of the entire universe. It is the principle of

everything in creation. It brings about the transformation to parenthood; it is the root and source

of life and death. Heaven was created by an accumulation of Yang; the Earth was created by an

accumulation of Yin.

A literal translation for the characters of Yin and Yang:

Those who follow Tao achieve the formula of perpetual youth and maintain a youthful body.
·

Yang stands for sun, heaven, day, fire, heat, dryness, and light; Yang tends to expand , to flow

upwards and outwards.

Yin--the shady side of a hill; Yang--the sunny side of a hill.
·

contract and to flow downwards.

Yin stands for moon, earth, night, water, cold and dampness and darkness; Yin tends to
·

and the wife being Yin.

Yang sends fertility in the form of sun (and rain) upon the earth, hence the man being Yang
·

the mouth and the "lower orifices (anus and urethra) belong to the region of Yin.

Why do not people live as long as the ancients (over a hundred)?

In ancient times those people who understood Tao patterned themselves upon the Yin and the

Yang and they lived in harmony with the arts of divination.

In the general grouping of the orifices, the eyes and the ears belong to the region of Yang, and
·

and not disorderly and wild. By these means the ancients kept their bodies united with their

souls, so as to fulfill their allotted span completely, measuring unto a hundred years before

they passed away.

There was temperance in eating and drinking. Their hours of rising and retiring were regular
·

usual behavior. They enter the chamber of love in an intoxicated condition; their passions

exhaust their vital forces; their cravings dissipate their true essence; they do not know how to

find contentment within themselves; they are not skilled in the control of their spirits. Their

rising and retiring is without regularity. For these reasons they reach only one half of the

hundred years and then they degenerate.

3

EXAMPLE OF YIN AND YANG AND AIDS

According to Chinese medicine, most AIDS victims are already essentially dead by the nature of

their lifestyles.

Nowadays people are not like this; they use wine as beverage and they adopt recklessness as
·

energy or Yin energy.

Ex. The average male is made up of Yin and Yang energies. A male will have more Yang

than Yin. 80 points of Yang and 20 points of Yin. The difference between these

forces is called Qi. 80-20 = 60 points of Qi.

The Universe is made up of positively charged energy or Yang, and negatively charged
·

This means that the difference between Yin and Yang poles Qi = 5 points. This is barely

enough energy to keep the basic functions going. It is certainly not enough energy to enhance

the protective energies of the immune system. In this devitalized state, the body is

susceptible to a large range of opportunistic organisms. HIV just happens to be a prominent

one. It attacks the T-lymphocyte system. This is the Yang or male part of the immune

system, and since this is what is weak this is what HIV attacks.

CLASSES OF MEDICINES

Low

Middle

High

HIGHEST CLASS OF MEDICINES

Tonics which are said to impart strength, vigor and longevity. Fall into the category of remedies

called "fu zheng", or "supporting the normal" (maintaining homeostasis).

Ling zhi (China) or Reishi (Japan)--

A homosexual that has taken on a certain amount of female or Yin energy, say 75 points.Ganoderma lucidum
One of the most famous medicinal mushrooms. It has been used for thousands of years to treat:

liver disease (such as hepatitis)

nephritis (kidney inflammation)

·

high blood pressure
·

arthritis
·

neurasthenia
·

insomnia
·

bronchitis
·

asthma
·

gastric ulcers.
·

It is also said to benefit the heart.
·

In the past,

techniques developed in the last 20 years have not made it accessible and affordable.

Today this is used especially for aging-related and degenerative conditions, such as cancer and as

an immune stimulant.

4

Bai mu erh--

Used in china since ancient times as a Qi and immune tonic, as well as a nutritive tonic for

treating debility and exhaustion.

Also has antihypercholesterolemic properties.G. lucidum was very expensive, because it only grew in the wild, but cultivationTremella fuciformis (Snow Fungus)
·

It is said to enhance beauty
·

gonadal activity
·

reduce fevers
·

heal ulcers.
·

menstruation, dysentery, and gastritis.

It is recommended in China to be taken for weakness after childbirth, constipation, abnormal
·

Also has antihypercholesterolemic properties.
·

of the white fungus for 1-2 hours, then cooking it down into a paste in an earthen pot.

The method of administration is a lukewarm watery preparation made by soaking 3-4 grams
·

popularity might be considerably enhanced in the west.

Mu Erh--

Wood decomposer on branches of standing shrubs and trees.

If the advice to "add enough crystal sugar to take twice daily" is commonly followed, itsAuricularia auricula, wood ear
·

Used for thousands of years in China it is still on of the most often used medicinal fungi.
·

was growing:

1. Mu erh. Said to make the body light and strong, strengthens the will. Used to treat

hemorrhoids and as a stomach tonic.

2. Che erh-grows on Cudrania triloba. Used to treat respiratory diseases.

3. Yang lu erh--grows on Diervilla versicolor. Used to disperse ecchymoses and move the

blood.

4. Shan chün--grows on Cunninghamia sinensis. Relieves cardiac pain

5. T'ao chi sheng--grows on peach. Aborts abscesses and treats diarrhea to cold.

Five kinds of mu erh; each kind was said to take on the properties of the tree upon which it
·

of the throat. It was applied locally for eye irritations because of its high mucilage content

and ability to hold medicated eye water.

A. auricula was boiled in milk, beer, vinegar or any other liquid and taken for inflammation
·

and those planning to conceive.

5

Owing to possible anti-fertility effects it should not be taken by pregnant or lactating women
Cordyceps sinensis

Produce their fruiting structures on caterpillars. They were rare in ancient China, so only the

Emperor had the luxury of using them.

These fungi had the same tonic properties of ginseng

and C. ophiglossoides--"winter worm, summer herb"
·

they were used to build stamina and restore vital energy after exhaustion or prolonged illness.
·

Used to stimulate blood circulation and treat menstrual disorders.
·

elderly.

Used as a lung and kidney tonic and as a nutritional supplement to build vital energy in the
·

cure the habit of opium eating.

It was also used traditionally for impotence, and as an antidote for opium poisoning and to
·

runners who swept the distance events in the World Outdoor Track and Field Championships

in Stuttgart, Germany. The coach credits the success to hard training and a special diet which

includes a "mineral-rich" soup containing dong chong xia cao (C. sinensis).

An article in Newsweek (Sept. 27, 1993) reported on the female Chinese long-distance
·

the stomach of a duck and slowly roasting it over a fire until it was well cooked. The fungus

was removed, and the duck was eaten twice a day for 8-10 days.

Shiitake (Japan) Hoang-mo or Xiang Gu (China)--

The ancient Chinese way of preparing the fungus was to stuff five drams of the fungus intoLentinula edodes
Japanese used it at least as far back as 199 A.D. It was said to be praised by the Emperor Chuai

who was given the mushroom by the Kyusuyu, a native tribe. In ancient China it was known and

revered even before that.

·

needs a boost, from colds to cancer and everything in between.

In the past and currently, it was used for any and all conditions where the immune function
·

anticancer (antitumor) effects.

Numerous scientific studies have confirmed immune system stimulant, antiviral and
·

mushroom).

Hoelen (Chinese) or Tuckahoe (Native American)--

Second most produced mushroom in the world, after Agaricus bisporus (the white buttonWolfiporia cocos
Fu ling--Chinese name of the sclerotium

Fu ling pi--the skin of the sclerotium

Bai fu ling--the inner portion of the sclerotium

·

Used as food and medicine.
·

was also used as a survival food for slaves running from capture.

Sclerotia could weigh 15-30 pounds and Native Americans used it to make a kind o bread. It
·

tranquilizer and diuretic.

Has been used to invigorate the spleen, tonify the stomach, clear dampness, as a sedative,
·

blood sugar. Used as a decoction for coughs, and edema and the sliced, whole sclerotium is

used to treat jaundice and as an antifertility drug to induce menstruation.

The inner white portion is used to strengthen the vital energy, soothe agitation and lower
·

6

Scientific tests have found antitumor properties, immunostimulating activities.
Volvariella volvacea

One of the most widely cultivated edible mushrooms in the world.

--straw mushroom
·

cultivate, with a crop completed from spawning to harvest in 10 days.

In Asia it is an important source of protein. It is one of the easiest of all mushrooms to
·

Used to lower blood pressure and inhibit certain types of tumor cells.
Ginseng (Shi-yang Seng)--the essence of man Panax japonicus, Panax quinquefolius

·

the West Han Dynasty, ginseng is able to "support the five visceral organs, calm the nerves,

tranquilize the mind, stop convulsions, expunge evil spirits, clear the eyes, and improve the

memory".

According to the "Herbal Classic of the Divine Plowman" published around 100 B.C. during
·

The Chinese called it a "Dose of Immortality."
·

effective in the treatment of shock, collapse of the cardiovascular system, hemorrhaging and

heat failure. Ginseng is effective in the treatment of mild hyperglycemia; usually blood sugar

level can be lowered 40-50 mg/dl after continuous administration for 2 weeks. Daily

administration was supposed to restore the yin and yang, increasing the longevity of men or

women.

Significant decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen demand. Reputed to be
·

prerogative. Areas in which ginseng was collected were not open for public use. Many local

residents would risk their lives to steal the herb for their own use or to sell the root to the

wealthy. During the Chin dynasty, a law was passed that anyone caught stealing ginseng

would be beheaded, his helpers would receive 40 strokes with a wooden plank, and their

families and animals sent to government storage areas for disposition.

Astragalus--

For thousands of years the cultivation and harvesting of ginseng was considered to be a royalAstragalus membranceus
·

As an herbal remedy, this plant has been used for high blood pressure and for nephritis.
·

uterus. Usually used in combination with

decoction.

The dried root of this plant was used for anorexia, weakness, rectocele and prolapse of theCodonopsis pilosula, Atractylodes foetida in a
·

macrocephala

For the common cold, combine with Ledebouriella seseloides and Atractylodesin a decoction.
·

For edema and oligouria, combine with Stephania tetrandra, Atractylodes macrocephala and
Glycyrrhiza uralensis

and then decoct.
·

For arthritic pain and numbness, combine with Cinnamomum cassia, Zingiber officinale,
Paeonia lactiflor

a, Zizyphus jujuba and decoct or combine with Angelica sinensis and decoct.
·

hypoglycemic activity.

Kombucha, Manchurian tea

Extracts of Astagalus membranaceus have shown in vitro antibacterial effects, as well as
·

B.C. It was known as "The Remedy for Immortality" or "The Divine Tsche"(Tsche means

tea).

The first recorded use of the tea was during the Chinese empire of the Tsim-Dynasty in 221
·

aceti, Gluconobacter oxydans) and yeasts (Pichia fermentans and Kloeckera apiculata).

It is a tough jelly-like "skin" which is really a complex association of bacteria (Acetobacter
·

popularity in many countries.

7

Over the last 50 years (and probably much longer), Kombucha has enjoyed cycles of
·

Kombu tea is sold throughout Japan and many parts of Europe and is very popular.
·

gout, rheumatism, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, constipation, mental fatigue and low

sex drive.

Health claims include anti-aging effects, restoration of hair, cancer prevention. Treatment for
·

alcohol, much of which is ultimately changed to acetic acid by the bacteria. This gives the

"tea" a sweet and sour taste and smell of fermenting apple cider. The finished tea contains an

average of 0.5-1% alcohol, lactic acid (and other organic acids). If black tea is used in the

infusion, small amounts of caffeine are present. Simple sugar content in the finished product,

even when table sugar is used, is about 3%.

HOW FUNGI WERE USED

Grown in a tea infusion and sugar. The microbes transform the sugar into small amounts of
·

Besides the use of single mushrooms in teas and soups in folk medicine and in hospitals
·

They are made by freeze-drying a tea, creating a powder which is then made into small

pills.

Many products in tablet form that combine a number of herbs in one formula.
·

•Large molecular weight polysaccharides

•Protein-bound polysaccharides

Modern fermentation technology has allowed active compounds such as
·

mushrooms.

WHAT IS GOOD--The active compounds

Bai Mu Erh

semi purified polysaccharides

sterols (ergosterol)

fatty acids

Cordyceps

Protein

Carbohydrates

Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids

Amino acids

Protein bound polysaccharides with known anti-tumor properties

Shiitake

Proteins

Lipids

Carbohydrates

Polysaccharides

Minerals (esp. potassium, calcium)

Ergosterol (a provitamin which converts to vitamin D in the presence of sunlight

All essential Amino Acids (esp. lysine and arginine)

8

Hoelen

Polysaccharides

Protein-bound polysaccharides

Triterpenes and triterpenoids

Ergosterol and other sterols

Fatty acids

Ginseng

Volatile oil

Saponins (panaxosides or ginsenosides)

Antioxidants

Peptides

Polysaccharides

Fatty acids

Vitamins

Astragalus

Glucoside--astragalin

Canavanine

Homoserine

Mu Erh

Protein

Minerals, esp. calcium, phosphorus and iron

Carotene

Polysaccharides (glucans and acidic heteroglycans)

Straw mushroom

Cardiotoxic proteins--volvatoxin and flammutoxin

Ergosterol

Are being extracted from fruiting bodies, spores and mycelium of the most popular medicinal
 

(whose Great Wall stands even today) had many temples erected to the immortals in an effort

to lure those with knowledge of manufacturing elixirs.

 

·

were not one but many immortals and nearby, the 'herb of deathlessness', a magical

mushroom (chih).

 

1

FUNGI AND CHINESE MEDICINE

Ancient China was shrouded in an atmosphere of magic. The concept of a miracle-cure for

mortality had become nothing short of a cult.

·

related that such a plant was seen held in the beaks of raven-like birds that flew to the site of a

massacre in the far western reaches of the empire at Ferghana. They had placed the plant on

the dead men's faces, whereupon the corpses 'immediately sat up and were restored to life'.

The 'herb of deathlessness' was identified as 'the (magic) mushroom that nourishes the spirit

(yan shen chih).

·
 

China's self-proclaimed First Emperor, Shih Huang Ti (2697 B.C.) the Yellow Emperor During this time, stories were circulating that living on some mountainous isles out to sea Should it be eaten, one would immediately attain long life and immortality. An official report

·

he dispatched a whole fleet of ships and 500 young subjects (250 girls and 250 boys) to sail to

the east and not come back till they found the mushroom or herb of deathlessness. One

account says that Admiral Hsu Fu never returned. Another recounts that after reaching their

destination Hsu Fu proclaimed himself king. Many believe that the destination was Japan."

"The Emperor was of course thrilled and with a Taoist named Hsu Fu as admiral, in B.C. 219
·

downfall. The Emperor had decided that all knowledge was going to start with him, so he

burned all of the books in the empire, rewriting the ones he wanted.

•In some of the most secret books were versions of the elixir's formula.

•The formula called for the use of large amounts of mercury, to make the big red pill of

immortality.

•Though not sure of the exact formula (because he had destroyed all of the books) the

Emperor decreed that the pill be concocted.

•The mercury was to increase the power of Shen Qi (the spirit energy0. The problem was

that the mercury is extremely toxic.

•After the Shen Qi was caused to burn brighter and stronger, the toxic effect would kill a

person.

•At this stage a specific formula based on the herb of deathlessness was given to stop the

rage of the mercury poisoning while keeping the Sheng Qi burning bright to bring

about the state of longevity.

•It appears that Shih Huang Ti either didn't have the formula right or didn't get the herb of

deathlessness in time. He sent may servants up into the mountains to find it and that

he himself ventured out to find it. Ultimately, he died searching for the right fungus

elixir for mercury poisoning.

•In the ancient quest for an elixir of longevity, there were five kinds of Chih: Stone chih,

grass chih, wood chih, flesh chih and mushroom chih. Of the mushroom chih there

were supposed to be 120 kinds of these substances. They ranged in potency,

producing a short longevity of 100 years, up to the potent forms which ensured a life

of over 1,000 years.

2

DYNAMIC REVIVAL OF TRADITIONALCHINESE MEDICINE

Two major causes:

1. General program on the part of the People's Republic for preserving its national heritage

2. A realistic assessment of prevailing medical conditions. It had become obvious to the

Communist regime that the 70,000 Western-trained physicians in all of China could

not possible provide adequate medical care for a population then numbered 650

million.

TAOISM

Tao (The Way) is the key to the mysterious intermingling of 'Heaven and Earth', tao means the

way and the method of maintaining the harmony between this world and the beyond, that is, by

shaping earthly conduct to correspond completely with the demands of the other world.

Shih Huang Ti was so obsessed with this elixir and longevity that it finally became his
·

of Man, one fitting into the other as an indivisible entity.

The concept of Tao was subdivided into the Tao of Heaven, the Tao of the Earth, and the Tao
·

highest code of conduct should play an important part in early Chinese medicine, which was

inextricably entwined with philosophical concepts.

It was inevitable that Tao in its dual role as the supreme regulator of the universe and as the
·

YIN AND YANG

Theory of creation--the dual power that arose from the primary state of chaos--the instigator of all

change. The principle of Yin and Yang is the basis of the entire universe. It is the principle of

everything in creation. It brings about the transformation to parenthood; it is the root and source

of life and death. Heaven was created by an accumulation of Yang; the Earth was created by an

accumulation of Yin.

A literal translation for the characters of Yin and Yang:

Those who follow Tao achieve the formula of perpetual youth and maintain a youthful body.
·

Yang stands for sun, heaven, day, fire, heat, dryness, and light; Yang tends to expand , to flow

upwards and outwards.

Yin--the shady side of a hill; Yang--the sunny side of a hill.
·

contract and to flow downwards.

Yin stands for moon, earth, night, water, cold and dampness and darkness; Yin tends to
·

and the wife being Yin.

Yang sends fertility in the form of sun (and rain) upon the earth, hence the man being Yang
·

the mouth and the "lower orifices (anus and urethra) belong to the region of Yin.

Why do not people live as long as the ancients (over a hundred)?

In ancient times those people who understood Tao patterned themselves upon the Yin and the

Yang and they lived in harmony with the arts of divination.

In the general grouping of the orifices, the eyes and the ears belong to the region of Yang, and
·

and not disorderly and wild. By these means the ancients kept their bodies united with their

souls, so as to fulfill their allotted span completely, measuring unto a hundred years before

they passed away.

There was temperance in eating and drinking. Their hours of rising and retiring were regular
·

usual behavior. They enter the chamber of love in an intoxicated condition; their passions

exhaust their vital forces; their cravings dissipate their true essence; they do not know how to

find contentment within themselves; they are not skilled in the control of their spirits. Their

rising and retiring is without regularity. For these reasons they reach only one half of the

hundred years and then they degenerate.

3

EXAMPLE OF YIN AND YANG AND AIDS

According to Chinese medicine, most AIDS victims are already essentially dead by the nature of

their lifestyles.

Nowadays people are not like this; they use wine as beverage and they adopt recklessness as
·

energy or Yin energy.

Ex. The average male is made up of Yin and Yang energies. A male will have more Yang

than Yin. 80 points of Yang and 20 points of Yin. The difference between these

forces is called Qi. 80-20 = 60 points of Qi.

The Universe is made up of positively charged energy or Yang, and negatively charged
·

This means that the difference between Yin and Yang poles Qi = 5 points. This is barely

enough energy to keep the basic functions going. It is certainly not enough energy to enhance

the protective energies of the immune system. In this devitalized state, the body is

susceptible to a large range of opportunistic organisms. HIV just happens to be a prominent

one. It attacks the T-lymphocyte system. This is the Yang or male part of the immune

system, and since this is what is weak this is what HIV attacks.

CLASSES OF MEDICINES

Low

Middle

High

HIGHEST CLASS OF MEDICINES

Tonics which are said to impart strength, vigor and longevity. Fall into the category of remedies

called "fu zheng", or "supporting the normal" (maintaining homeostasis).

Ling zhi (China) or Reishi (Japan)--

A homosexual that has taken on a certain amount of female or Yin energy, say 75 points.Ganoderma lucidum
One of the most famous medicinal mushrooms. It has been used for thousands of years to treat:

liver disease (such as hepatitis)

nephritis (kidney inflammation)

·

high blood pressure
·

arthritis
·

neurasthenia
·

insomnia
·

bronchitis
·

asthma
·

gastric ulcers.
·

It is also said to benefit the heart.
·

In the past,

techniques developed in the last 20 years have not made it accessible and affordable.

Today this is used especially for aging-related and degenerative conditions, such as cancer and as

an immune stimulant.

4

Bai mu erh--

Used in china since ancient times as a Qi and immune tonic, as well as a nutritive tonic for

treating debility and exhaustion.

Also has antihypercholesterolemic properties.G. lucidum was very expensive, because it only grew in the wild, but cultivationTremella fuciformis (Snow Fungus)
·

It is said to enhance beauty
·

gonadal activity
·

reduce fevers
·

heal ulcers.
·

menstruation, dysentery, and gastritis.

It is recommended in China to be taken for weakness after childbirth, constipation, abnormal
·

Also has antihypercholesterolemic properties.
·

of the white fungus for 1-2 hours, then cooking it down into a paste in an earthen pot.

The method of administration is a lukewarm watery preparation made by soaking 3-4 grams
·

popularity might be considerably enhanced in the west.

Mu Erh--

Wood decomposer on branches of standing shrubs and trees.

If the advice to "add enough crystal sugar to take twice daily" is commonly followed, itsAuricularia auricula, wood ear
·

Used for thousands of years in China it is still on of the most often used medicinal fungi.
·

was growing:

1. Mu erh. Said to make the body light and strong, strengthens the will. Used to treat

hemorrhoids and as a stomach tonic.

2. Che erh-grows on Cudrania triloba. Used to treat respiratory diseases.

3. Yang lu erh--grows on Diervilla versicolor. Used to disperse ecchymoses and move the

blood.

4. Shan chün--grows on Cunninghamia sinensis. Relieves cardiac pain

5. T'ao chi sheng--grows on peach. Aborts abscesses and treats diarrhea to cold.

Five kinds of mu erh; each kind was said to take on the properties of the tree upon which it
·

of the throat. It was applied locally for eye irritations because of its high mucilage content

and ability to hold medicated eye water.

A. auricula was boiled in milk, beer, vinegar or any other liquid and taken for inflammation
·

and those planning to conceive.

5

Owing to possible anti-fertility effects it should not be taken by pregnant or lactating women
Cordyceps sinensis

Produce their fruiting structures on caterpillars. They were rare in ancient China, so only the

Emperor had the luxury of using them.

These fungi had the same tonic properties of ginseng

and C. ophiglossoides--"winter worm, summer herb"
·

they were used to build stamina and restore vital energy after exhaustion or prolonged illness.
·

Used to stimulate blood circulation and treat menstrual disorders.
·

elderly.

Used as a lung and kidney tonic and as a nutritional supplement to build vital energy in the
·

cure the habit of opium eating.

It was also used traditionally for impotence, and as an antidote for opium poisoning and to
·

runners who swept the distance events in the World Outdoor Track and Field Championships

in Stuttgart, Germany. The coach credits the success to hard training and a special diet which

includes a "mineral-rich" soup containing dong chong xia cao (C. sinensis).

An article in Newsweek (Sept. 27, 1993) reported on the female Chinese long-distance
·

the stomach of a duck and slowly roasting it over a fire until it was well cooked. The fungus

was removed, and the duck was eaten twice a day for 8-10 days.

Shiitake (Japan) Hoang-mo or Xiang Gu (China)--

The ancient Chinese way of preparing the fungus was to stuff five drams of the fungus intoLentinula edodes
Japanese used it at least as far back as 199 A.D. It was said to be praised by the Emperor Chuai

who was given the mushroom by the Kyusuyu, a native tribe. In ancient China it was known and

revered even before that.

·

needs a boost, from colds to cancer and everything in between.

In the past and currently, it was used for any and all conditions where the immune function
·

anticancer (antitumor) effects.

Numerous scientific studies have confirmed immune system stimulant, antiviral and
·

mushroom).

Hoelen (Chinese) or Tuckahoe (Native American)--

Second most produced mushroom in the world, after Agaricus bisporus (the white buttonWolfiporia cocos
Fu ling--Chinese name of the sclerotium

Fu ling pi--the skin of the sclerotium

Bai fu ling--the inner portion of the sclerotium

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Used as food and medicine.
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was also used as a survival food for slaves running from capture.

Sclerotia could weigh 15-30 pounds and Native Americans used it to make a kind o bread. It
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tranquilizer and diuretic.

Has been used to invigorate the spleen, tonify the stomach, clear dampness, as a sedative,
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blood sugar. Used as a decoction for coughs, and edema and the sliced, whole sclerotium is

used to treat jaundice and as an antifertility drug to induce menstruation.

The inner white portion is used to strengthen the vital energy, soothe agitation and lower
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Scientific tests have found antitumor properties, immunostimulating activities.
Volvariella volvacea

One of the most widely cultivated edible mushrooms in the world.

--straw mushroom
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cultivate, with a crop completed from spawning to harvest in 10 days.

In Asia it is an important source of protein. It is one of the easiest of all mushrooms to
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Used to lower blood pressure and inhibit certain types of tumor cells.
Ginseng (Shi-yang Seng)--the essence of man Panax japonicus, Panax quinquefolius

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the West Han Dynasty, ginseng is able to "support the five visceral organs, calm the nerves,

tranquilize the mind, stop convulsions, expunge evil spirits, clear the eyes, and improve the

memory".

According to the "Herbal Classic of the Divine Plowman" published around 100 B.C. during
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The Chinese called it a "Dose of Immortality."
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effective in the treatment of shock, collapse of the cardiovascular system, hemorrhaging and

heat failure. Ginseng is effective in the treatment of mild hyperglycemia; usually blood sugar

level can be lowered 40-50 mg/dl after continuous administration for 2 weeks. Daily

administration was supposed to restore the yin and yang, increasing the longevity of men or

women.

Significant decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen demand. Reputed to be
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prerogative. Areas in which ginseng was collected were not open for public use. Many local

residents would risk their lives to steal the herb for their own use or to sell the root to the

wealthy. During the Chin dynasty, a law was passed that anyone caught stealing ginseng

would be beheaded, his helpers would receive 40 strokes with a wooden plank, and their

families and animals sent to government storage areas for disposition.

Astragalus--

For thousands of years the cultivation and harvesting of ginseng was considered to be a royalAstragalus membranceus
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As an herbal remedy, this plant has been used for high blood pressure and for nephritis.
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uterus. Usually used in combination with

decoction.

The dried root of this plant was used for anorexia, weakness, rectocele and prolapse of theCodonopsis pilosula, Atractylodes foetida in a
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macrocephala

For the common cold, combine with Ledebouriella seseloides and Atractylodesin a decoction.
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For edema and oligouria, combine with Stephania tetrandra, Atractylodes macrocephala and
Glycyrrhiza uralensis

and then decoct.
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For arthritic pain and numbness, combine with Cinnamomum cassia, Zingiber officinale,
Paeonia lactiflor

a, Zizyphus jujuba and decoct or combine with Angelica sinensis and decoct.
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hypoglycemic activity.

Kombucha, Manchurian tea

Extracts of Astagalus membranaceus have shown in vitro antibacterial effects, as well as
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B.C. It was known as "The Remedy for Immortality" or "The Divine Tsche"(Tsche means

tea).

The first recorded use of the tea was during the Chinese empire of the Tsim-Dynasty in 221
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aceti, Gluconobacter oxydans) and yeasts (Pichia fermentans and Kloeckera apiculata).

It is a tough jelly-like "skin" which is really a complex association of bacteria (Acetobacter
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popularity in many countries.

7

Over the last 50 years (and probably much longer), Kombucha has enjoyed cycles of
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Kombu tea is sold throughout Japan and many parts of Europe and is very popular.
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gout, rheumatism, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, constipation, mental fatigue and low

sex drive.

Health claims include anti-aging effects, restoration of hair, cancer prevention. Treatment for
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alcohol, much of which is ultimately changed to acetic acid by the bacteria. This gives the

"tea" a sweet and sour taste and smell of fermenting apple cider. The finished tea contains an

average of 0.5-1% alcohol, lactic acid (and other organic acids). If black tea is used in the

infusion, small amounts of caffeine are present. Simple sugar content in the finished product,

even when table sugar is used, is about 3%.

HOW FUNGI WERE USED

Grown in a tea infusion and sugar. The microbes transform the sugar into small amounts of
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Besides the use of single mushrooms in teas and soups in folk medicine and in hospitals
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They are made by freeze-drying a tea, creating a powder which is then made into small

pills.

Many products in tablet form that combine a number of herbs in one formula.
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•Large molecular weight polysaccharides

•Protein-bound polysaccharides

Modern fermentation technology has allowed active compounds such as
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mushrooms.

WHAT IS GOOD--The active compounds

Bai Mu Erh

semi purified polysaccharides

sterols (ergosterol)

fatty acids

Cordyceps

Protein

Carbohydrates

Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids

Amino acids

Protein bound polysaccharides with known anti-tumor properties

Shiitake

Proteins

Lipids

Carbohydrates

Polysaccharides

Minerals (esp. potassium, calcium)

Ergosterol (a provitamin which converts to vitamin D in the presence of sunlight

All essential Amino Acids (esp. lysine and arginine)

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Hoelen

Polysaccharides

Protein-bound polysaccharides

Triterpenes and triterpenoids

Ergosterol and other sterols

Fatty acids

Ginseng

Volatile oil

Saponins (panaxosides or ginsenosides)

Antioxidants

Peptides

Polysaccharides

Fatty acids

Vitamins

Astragalus

Glucoside--astragalin

Canavanine

Homoserine

Mu Erh

Protein

Minerals, esp. calcium, phosphorus and iron

Carotene

Polysaccharides (glucans and acidic heteroglycans)

Straw mushroom

Cardiotoxic proteins--volvatoxin and flammutoxin

Ergosterol

Are being extracted from fruiting bodies, spores and mycelium of the most popular medicinal
 

(whose Great Wall stands even today) had many temples erected to the immortals in an effort

to lure those with knowledge of manufacturing elixirs.

 

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were not one but many immortals and nearby, the 'herb of deathlessness', a magical

mushroom (chih).

 

1

FUNGI AND CHINESE MEDICINE

Ancient China was shrouded in an atmosphere of magic. The concept of a miracle-cure for

mortality had become nothing short of a cult.

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related that such a plant was seen held in the beaks of raven-like birds that flew to the site of a

massacre in the far western reaches of the empire at Ferghana. They had placed the plant on

the dead men's faces, whereupon the corpses 'immediately sat up and were restored to life'.

The 'herb of deathlessness' was identified as 'the (magic) mushroom that nourishes the spirit

(yan shen chih).

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