Monday, March 16, 2009


Q: I am trying to find the formula Jianpiling which I read about online. The article is entitled " THE USE OF JIANPILING IN TREATING ULCERATIVE COLITIS"
by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon.
Can you help me find it?

A: I don't know when this article was written but the most recent reference in the bibliography is 12 years old (1997).

If you go to the Institute for Traditional Medicine website they say:
"The articles on the ITM website are reviews of literature and not descriptions of work done at ITM; that literature may include traditional Chinese medical reports as well as modern medical reports...."
"The claimed results in Chinese medical journals are often attained through treatment strategies that are unacceptable or impractical here..."

It is my understanding that Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, ITM, has no formal training in Chinese medicine. His PH.D. is in biology. He is not licensed to practice medicine and is primarily a researcher.
His bio on the website reads "Subhuti Dharmananda received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California in 1980. He traveled to China several times, the first visit in 1977 and most recent in 2001, and has collected a large library of books and journals involved with traditional medicine."
Smart man with an interest in Chinese medicine, yes. A doctor, no.

So, the point is that many authors like to get people excited about something that is next to impossible to obtain and as I mentioned before, the information is very old.
The article does not give dosage for the herbs, only vague reference to the amounts of each one. It's possible that the herbs could be mixed up for you but you would have to boil them and drink as a tea. I think that's the best you will be able to do and the results the same as in the article.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mystery Herb

Q: Can you identify this herb?

A: This herb is not commonly used and probably not found in most references on Chinese medicine. The herb is Tian Xian Zi or Hyoscyamus niger, or henbane (Stinking Nightshade) and is toxic. I do not believe it is commonly available and even if it was I would not recommend using it.

For more information, see this Wikipedia article: