Friday, January 29, 2010

Lei Gong Teng Thunder God Vine

Q: Do you know where I can get thunder god vine, lei gong teng, Latin Name Tripterygium Wilfordii?

A: Many people are interested in Lei Gong Teng because of reported positive effects in treating rheumatoid arthritis and tumors. However, lacking in the printed stories is the fact that Lei Gong Teng is a very toxic herb and should never be used in its raw form unless under the supervision of someone trained in its use. The product described in news stories is not the same as boiling up the bulk herb with no knowledge of its use. This herb is not discussed in American Acupuncture Colleges because it is so toxic. It's use is not very common and it is not available commercially for good reasons.
Properties and action: Bitter tasting, highly toxic. Reduces inflammation, detoxifies, kills maggots and larvae, poisons rats and birds (by baiting), destroys oncomelania snails.
Conditions most used for: Waistband ulcers and pruritus.
Preparation: Roots, leaves, flowers or fruits are used medicinally for EXTERNAL purposes in suitable amounts. DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY.

Lei Gong Teng contains a strong neurotoxin. Intoxication symptoms such as burning pain in mouth and throat, excessive salivation, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, etc., usually appear with half an hour of taking this herb. Following this, dilated pupils or even blindness, drooping eyelids, dizziness, dysphasia, cold clammy hands and feet, muscular weakness or cramps, swallowing difficulties and coma, may be manifest. Finally, bradycardia followed by tachycardia and irregular respiration, if not treated immediately, may culminate in respiratory failure and death.
Prevention: Lei Gong Teng is used for EXTERNAL purposes to eliminate and eradicate pests. Do not take by mistake.

Other: Lei Gong Teng will cause infertility in women.

Note: Lei Gong Teng is also known as Lei-Kung T'eng

I suggest using Tung Shueh for muscle and joint pain. This product is good for arthritis and pain relief and is safe to use. It can be found at

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

China Tung Hsueh

Q: I have seen China Tung Hsueh listed under pet remedies. Is it really safe for human beings to take these medicine? I am really worried as this will badly affect my health. Need your immediate reply on the matter.

A: China Tung Hsueh is not per se a "pet remedy" but many people have found that their pet will benefit from it. Many people use the Chinese formula's for pets. See the book Four Paws, Five Directions for example. This is also true of human prescription medicine. They are often used in animals.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

I never thought about pickled peppers before but last night I was having dinner at the home of a Chinese friend when I came across an interesting looking vegetable. I took a taste and thought it was a pickle but moments later after chewing thoroughly and swallowing it I realized to late that it was not a pickle. I asked my friend what it was and she told me it was "La jiao" or in English a hot pepper. What I had eaten was a pickled pepper and it was way too hot for me. I didn't dare eat the rest of them though the noodles they were in were very good.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Run Chang Wan

Q: I have some pain in the lower left abdomen. A friend of mine suggested it might be constipation.
I am wondering if Run Chang Wan might be a short term help. Long term I am not sure what to do. Now I just need to figure out how to help the bowels run more smoothly.
We also have some 'phase two' cleansing tonic, with Cascara Sagarada. I suppose I could try a very small amount of that.

A. Run Chang Wan is a very gentle intestinal lubricant. It is safe for long-term use or for elderly people or those recovering from an illness. Cascara is a harsh laxative. I think the Run Chang Wan is better. You can buy it at East Earth Trade Winds.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pearl Powder

Q: Do you know where to get pearl powder? Are there varying qualities of the stuff?

A: East Earth Trade Winds has mother-of-pearl (margaritifera) available. This is used as a substitute for pearl powder. Pearl powder itself is generally more expensive. The pearls used are not jewel quality so there aren't different grades.