Herbal Medicine 101 From a Doctor of Chinese Medicine

We’re starting with a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. This is Dr. Daniel Hsu (audience applauds)
from AcuHealth right here in New York City. Thank you for joining us so much.
It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me, guys. There are two main pillars of Chinese medicine. One of them is acupuncture, and the other one is herbal medicine. Now, herbal medicine can be delivered in all kinds of ways. You can have raw herbs and cook them, you can have granular herbs or powdered herbs, and you can have, for topical purposes, you can have herbs in patches. Mm-hm.
Ooh! And a lot of these– I didn’t know about the herbal patches. Me either! Maybe we didn’t see that.
I did not know that! And a lot of these herbs, believe it or not, occur in, they exist in your kitchen. Right. So, ginger and mint, and, you know, garlic is an herb, too. So a lot of times, when you’re eating food, you’re actually using a lot of herbs. And are many of our medicines, they’re plant-based to begin with, like things, right.
Right, exactly. For example, aspirin. Well, the chemical in aspirin comes from the bark of the willow tree, and back in the old days, they used to boil the willow tree bark down and drink it and feel less pain, it’s great. And it even says, doesn’t it even say willow bark in the ingredients? (laughs) Right, sometimes it does that, right.
Yeah, yeah. Sometimes it says willow bark. Chinese herbal formulas are complicated. Sometimes there are 20 or 30 different kinds of herbs. You got some herbs that are the main herbs, that are there for the actual effect. You got some herbs that are there to kind of help out those herbs, or sometimes even mitigate some of the side effects that you don’t want. I got you. And then you got other herbs that are there to deliver it. So these are the raw ones, and this is a granular one. We’re gonna have you guys taste the granular. All right. All right, so– I wanted the pretty stuff that looks like potpourri!
(Bob and audience laugh) You can taste it! I don’t have the potpourri? You’ve got ginger, you’ve got mint, all right, and guess what this is, this is licorice! See, oh, yeah. Oh, you can go light on the licorice. It’s actually pretty sweet. Licorice is kinda–
My older Italian relatives will be right with you there, but not me.
(Daniel laughs) All right, let’s try it. Here’s a scoop for you– Do some herbs have deer antler in them? I’ve heard that. Not, well, we don’t use that kind of stuff. Yeah.
No, no, no. Look, herbs can be plant-based, they can be mineral-based, and sometimes, they can be animal-based. But when they’re animal-based, it’s like a little bit of fat. Just a little bit. Just a little, oops, sorry. Yeah, kids, this is, you gotta consult with your doctor or a practitioner of herbology. Don’t do this at home. Don’t start mixing all kinds of weird herbs and eating them at home. Unless it’s garlic and ginger, that’s all right, but anything else. All right, here we go. Super hot, just kinda sip it, be careful. (glasses clink)
Cheers! Cheers! Sip it, sip it, super hot. Delicious! Not bad? Doesn’t taste like anything. Doesn’t taste like anything.
It tastes like hot water. Yeah.
(audience cheers and claps) (twinkling chimes) (twinkling chimes)

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