The following traditional recipe comes from Tai Ping Hui Min He Ji Ju Fang (Formulas of the People’s Welfare Pharmacy) compiled by Shi-wen Chen et al. It follows centuries-old Chinese medicine practices not necessarily confirmed in the modern lab. It calls on bupleurum to strengthen liver qi (vital energy) and treat abdominal pain and bloating, dong quai to nourish blood and harmonize vital energy, and Chinese peony to ease spasms and sedate. Licorice contains natural estrogenic compounds.
• 3 parts bupleurum (Bupleurum chinense)
• 1 part mint (Mentha spp.)
• 3 parts dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
• 3 parts peony (Paeonia lactiflora)
• 3 parts white atractylodes (Atractylodes macrocephala)
• 3 parts hoelen (Poria spp.)
• 2 parts licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
• 1 part dried ginger (Zingiber officinale)
• 2 parts moutan (Moutan radicis cortex)
• 2 parts gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
1. Place the herbs in a noncorrodible saucepan with a lid.
2. Cover the herbs with water, bring to a slow boil, then reduce the heat.
3. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours, then strain the liquid into a cup or a storage jar. A typical dose is 2 cups daily.
Kathleen Halloran is former editor of The Herb Companion, Herbs for Health’s sister publication, and a freelance writer living in Colorado. Herbs and recipe provided by Dragon’s Light Herb Company, Denver, Colorado.
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