Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Making Tonic Herb Soup

My friend Li is a wonderful cook and always trying new things. Last night we had a tonic soup that was cooked inside a watermelon. The taste was delicious. She used black skinned chicken (bought at an Oriental market), Jujubes, Lotus Seeds, Glehnia, and Lycii. What gave it an unusual and delicious taste was that it was cooked inside a hollowed out watermelon.
Here is how it looked on the stove:

The oil from the chicken reflects the light a bit but you can see the jujubes in the lower right and the lycii on the left. The black skin of the chick is floating near the center. (click on the picture to see larger).

Here's how it looked when served:

 You can see the jujube near the bottom and the white lotus seed just above it.

Here's how you make it.
Cut a watermelon in half and hollow it out (save the inside and mix in a blender for a refreshing drink).
Put the watermelon in a large pan and place water both inside and outside the watermelon.

Add chicken (white or black skinned)
Add 6-8 jujubes
Add 10-15 lycii
Add a couple sticks of Glehniae
Add a few Nelumbinis
Fill the watermelon with water.

The watermelon will act as a double-boiler when you cook it. Bring the water outside the watermelon to a boil then lower and simmer for three hours. Check to make sure the water doesn't evaporate while cooking. Cover the pot when boiling.
You can buy the herbs at the links above.
When done add a little salt to taste and enjoy!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pregnancy and Mien Dream Interpretation - a True Story

Linda, who works at East Earth Trade Winds, is of Mien descent and often tells me about Mien culture - which I find very interesting. I wish I wrote down all the things she has told to me about Mien culture. It would be a very interesting book covering topics such as marriage ceremonies, family relationships, shamans, funeral ceremonies, feng shui, cooking, and life of the Mien before they migrated as refugee's to the USA.

One thing we talk about sometimes is dreams. The Mien have their own ways to interpret them. There's good dreams and bad dreams. All have meaning. Last Friday morning it was quiet in the office for a while and I told Linda I had a funny dream the night before. I was down the street from where I live at a neighbors and doing some yardwork by their fence. I had to climb up a ladder that was against the fence and while on the ladder noticed a fruit tree with branches hanging over on the side I was on. There was some fruit on it and I picked three pieces. I'm not sure what type of fruit it was but it was small, brown, and fig-like. Before I could go on with my dream Linda exclaimed "Your daughter's pregnant!" I asked her why she said that and she explained that dreaming of fruit means a pregnancy in the family. She said if my daughter wasn't pregnant then my son's girlfriend was. She told me both her mother and mother-in-law dreamed of picking fruit and asked her if she was pregnant - which she denied. A month later she found out she was pregnant.

My daughter lives in Hawaii with her husband and I talk to her every 4-6 weeks. She's been married about two years. She's never mentioned anything about wanting children before and I've never broached the subject figuring that's their own business. I told Linda I wasn't sure if I should ask. Linda told me to wait two weeks and then call her.

Three days later on Sunday my daughter calls. "Hi Dad!" she says and before she can say another word I asked if she was pregnant. With a puzzled voice she replied "How did you know?" I told her about my dream and Linda's interpretation of it. I was surprised and pleased that the dream was true. My daughter was surprised also. As for the fruit in the dream? Linda said the brown color means my daughter's child will be a boy.

After I finished talking to my daughter I texted Linda and told her she was right and that I was going to be a grandpa. She replied "I told you so!" and  "Congrats!".

I'm very happy for my daughter and son-in-law. I know they'll be happy with whatever sex the child is. I also need to pay more attention to my dreams.

May 17, 2014. My daughter gave birth to a beautiful, healthy boy in March. The dream interpretation proved true!

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Product Search Feature on eastearthtrade.com

East Earth Trade Winds has added the ability to Shop for products by Manufacturer on their website. This new search function is found on the left hand side of the screen below the "search" function.
This enhances your ability to find the products you want by quickly browsing  a manufacturer's product line.
See: www.eastearthtrade.com

Monday, July 22, 2013

A visit to Bruce Lee's Grave

People may or may not know that Bruce Lee is buried in Seattle, Washington. Recently while in Seattle I had the opportunity to pay my respects. It was a beautiful day. I was visiting an old friend of mine and luckily he knew exactly how to get to the graveyard. We arrived there shortly before the cemetery closed for the night. The sun was setting behind the grave stone so the first picture is a little washed out. 

There is a bench facing the grave with an inscription from Bruce Lee's wife Linda Lee and his daughter Shannon.

Bruce Lee's son, Brandon Lee, is buried next to his father. Both died at a young age. Below are the graves of Bruce and Brandon Lee.

Last year while in Hong Kong I went to visit Bruce Lee's martial art instructor's (Ip Man) grave. There is another posting on this blog about that here: A Visit to Ip Man's Grave

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Miami Heat Chris Andersen Chinese character Tattoo

I'm don't follow basketball but when I see a tattoo of a Chinese word I like to know what it means. This photo of Miami Heat basketball player Chris Andersen appeared in our local paper. The tattoo on the inside of his right arm is very visible (as are all the rest of his tattoo's).

The tattoo didn't look right to me and I couldn't find it in my Chinese-English Dictionary. Here's a close up of the tattoo:

Fortunately a Chinese friend recognized it and told me what it was supposed to be. It is the Chinese word "e" which means "evil"*. After learning what the character was I looked it up. Here's a picture of the correct character from my dictionary. The first character on the left is the simplified character. The one in parenthesis is the traditional character. In either case, the top part of the character looks a lot different than the top part of Chris Andersen's tattoo.

The majority of people will never know the difference but just like misspelled words don't appear in English dictionaries there is no Chinese character such a the one on his arm to be found in a Chinese dictionary.

 The moral to this story is to be very careful if you are going to get a Chinese character (or any foreign language word) tattooed on your body.

*Apparently he has the Chinese word for good (hao) on the other arm.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Google reverses site suspension for East Earth Trade Winds

After weeks of having our site suspended from Google Adwords we are now allowed to advertise again. Google had suspended us for advertising items such as Epimedium, Pe Min Kan Wan, and Flu Away - all products which are legal to import and sell. In the case of Epimedium and Pe Min Kan Wan we have carried these since our inception in 1985. We have carried Flu Away since it was first introduced about 13 years ago.

One of our main complaints was that while our site was suspended from the Adwords advertising program our competitors, including giants, like Amazon, were allowed to sell the exact same products. In our opinion it is unlikely that Google would suspend Amazon from their Adwords program seeing that Amazon must spend millions each week with Google Adwords. In any case, this was an unfair trade restriction. If Google is going to enforce a policy then they should enforce it across the board and level the playing field for all businesses.

While we appreciate being allowed to continue our advertising again we still would like to see Google change their policies regarding banning legal Chinese herb products. We'll be using Yahoo and Bing for our searches now. We hope you do also.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Google Shopping bans Yin Yang Sister's Flu Away

If you've been on Google and want to buy something one easy way to do it is to search for the item you want then select the "Shopping" tab. Merchants submit a "feed" of their products to Google for this service. It doesn't cost the Merchant anything to do this but it is a good way for the Merchant to advertise their products and good for the Consumer to compare prices and services.

Recently we found that Google Shopping is also into banning products. In this case, East Earth Trade Winds found out the Yin Yang Sisters brand "Flu Away"* is not allowed to be in their data feed for products to be listed on Google Shopping. In fact, none of their products can be listed until this product is removed. Surprised? Maybe you shouldn't be. Google Policy-Censors have banned "Epimedium" and "Pe Min Kan Wan" (see previous posts).

Here's a email from the Google shopping team dated 4/15/13 (bold and underlining mine):

Your account was suspended for advertising and selling Flu Away by making problematic claims such as "This easy-to-use formula contains powerful Chinese herbs for fever, upset stomach and sore throat. This product would likely be considered an unapproved drug by applicable regulatory authorities.

Below is the list of items in your account that are currently violating our policies. Please ensure you're not submitting these items.

Once you've submitted your feeds after removing these, we would be happy to review your account again.

The Items are: Flu Away


The Google Shopping Team"

 After removing what I thought were the "claims" and changing the questionable line to read "This easy-to-use formula contains powerful Chinese herbs in a convenient instant beverage that you can easily take with you." We found this wasn't good enough. The Google Shopping Team told us the product had to be removed (bold and underlining mine):

Please check your data feed again. Your item 'Flu Away' is still listed in the data feed. We would not be able to review your account unless this item and the similar ones gets removed.


The Google Shopping Team"

As I pointed out in previous posts Google itself doesn't like to be censored by countries like China but they don't seem to mind censoring what the American public can view or sell. I suggest that people Boycott  the Google search engine. If you are involved in Oriental herbs, the health food field, or just a consumer please pass this information around so that people know that Google Policy-Censors are opposed to Chinese herb products.

*(Flu Away was developed by Author and Acupuncturist Letha Hadady. It contains: honeysuckle, schizonepeta, ligusticum, burdock, forsythia, peppermint, vitex, and licorice.)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Google's War On Chinese Herbs: Epimedium Banned

Google's Policy-Makers seem to have declared war on Chinese Herbs and the supplement/health food industry. East Earth Trade Winds had its Google Adword account suspended in early April, 2013 for advertising violations. What violations? One was having the word "Pe Min Kan Wan" listed on the website (See earlier posting). The other violation? Having the word "Epimedium" on the website, I'm told, is also a violation of their policies. "Epimedium" is short for the botanical name Herba Epimedium Sagittatum (Chinese: Yin Yang Huo 淫羊藿) and is a commonly used herb in Chinese herbal medicine. Epimedium tonifies the Kidneys, fortifies the yin and yang, and is good for pain in the joints and because it is a Yang Tonifying herb it also can be used in formulas for reproductive problems.

This seems preposterous to me. How can you ban the name of a plant that is not only commonly sold in Chinese medicine but legal to import and use?

I pointed out to the Support Rep that the word "Epimedium" was not on the Google Hit List of banned terms.

The response was (bold and underlining mine):

"Unfortunately those list (sic) are not comprehensive. You will have to take my word that you are not allowed to advertise for herbs such as Epimedium, and because the policy for healthcare terms changes so often there is not another list that I am able to send. However, please check the list and make the necessary changes and let me know when that has been completed, so I may continue to chat with our policy team.

T. R. "

Sounds like "Catch-22" T.R.

Another word I believe I could substitute for "Banning" is "Censoring" as in the Google Censors have determined that the Chinese products "Epimedium" and "Pe Min Kan Wan" are not fit for Chinese Herb Stores or Health Food Stores to advertise or sell. They will suspend your advertising account if you are found to advertise these products unless of course you're a major Google Adword Player like Amazon (search for "epimedium" in Google and an ad for Epimedium Extracts at Amazon.com will come up).

Censoring is an interesting term. If you remember it wasn't that long ago that Google pulled out of China because they didn't want their search results censored... but in the USA they seem to have no qualms about censoring and controlling what US businessmen and women may advertise and sell.

Google's done a lot of really cool stuff with the internet but as in my last posting I would like to encourage you to Boycott Google and use Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine instead.

Stay tuned. I'm sure there's more to surprises to come.

Google Bans Pe Min Kan Wan 鼻寧丸

Hard to believe but true. Google has banned Pe Min Kan Wan. Any advertiser that uses Google AdWords and lists this product may have their site banned from Google AdWords advertising. That happened to East Earth Trade Winds. Their Google Adwords account has been suspended since April 1, 2013 because of listing Pe Min Kan Wan as a product on their website. Capricious and Arbitrary? Seems that way. We wanted to talk to the Google Policy-Makers but were told we couldn't do that. Now East Earth Trade Winds has had to list the product as Bi Min Kan Wan in order to be able to list the product on their website (Pe Min Kan Wan is also written in Pinyin as "Bi Min Gan Wan"). Why is Pe Min Kan Wan banned though? It's a is a popular herbal remedy for hay fever and cold symptoms and is also good for sinus problems, sneezing, and cough. Google Policy-Makers don't see it that way though. Not that they've ever taken the time to study Chinese Herbal Medicine. It seems like the Policy-Makers at Google decided that the Pe Min Kan Wan formula is somehow related to the abuse of the Chinese herb ephedra (Chinese: Ma Huang) which is banned in the USA. Apparently the Google Policy-Makers don't research things too well before banning them because there's no ephedra in Pe Min Kan Wan.  
Pe Min Kan Wan contains: Magnolia flower, Xanthium fruit, Isatis root, Pogostemon herb, Chrysanthemum morifolium flower, Saposhnikovia  root, Centepida minima herb, Mentha herb, and Perilla leaf. There's not a speck of ephedra in this product.
We don't agree with Google's policy. We think it is not only a poorly researched decision but also an infringement on our freedom of speech and providing educational information on Chinese Herbal Medicine to the public. As a result we ask you to boycott Google and use Yahoo or Bing or any other search engine instead.
What words will they ban next? Watch for our next posting and find out.

Radix Astragalus (Huang Qi 黄芪)

Radix Astragalus  黄芪

Astragalus, Radix (Chinese: Huang qi; English: milk-vetch root) was called "the senior of all herbs" in the Essentials of the Materia Medica (1694AD). Tonifies the Spleen, Stomach, qi and blood and benefits the immune system (1,2). Research has shown it to lower blood pressure (3) and increase endurance. This herb is considered one of the world's greatest immune tonics and in fact is the principal substance listed in the materia medica for stabilizing and strengthening the protective Qi (immune system). Combines well with Ginseng, Glycyrrhizae, Angelica Sinensis, Cinnamomi, or Paeoniae.
Notes: When Astragalus and Ginseng are combined, they complement each other. Astragalus contributes a quick, ascending quality, which stregthens the exterior and Ginseng prolongs the action, supporting the deeper areas of the body, and also nourishing and protecting the yin. This combination provides the foundation for many formulas, including Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan and Shi Quan Da Bu Wan. You can also combine Astragalus with Codonopsis for the same effects as Codonopsis is commonly used as a Ginseng substitute.
Use 9-30 grams.

(1) Yun Nan Zhong Yi Za Zhi (Yunnan Journal of Chinese Medicine), 1980; 2:28
(2) Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Immunology, 1988 Mar. 25(3):125-9
(3) Intravenous injection of Huang Qi decreases blood pressure in anesthetized rabbits, dogs and cats. Guo Wai Yi Xue Can Kao Za Zhi (Foreign Journal of Medicine) 1977; 4:231

Available from East Earth Trade Winds

Radix Angelica Sinensis (Dang Gui 当归片)

Angelica Sinensis, Radix (Chinese: dang gui 当归片 or sometimes spelled tang kuei) tonifies, invigorates, and harmonizes the blood. Traditionally an important herb for women and used for irregular and delayed menstrual cycles, menopause, PMS, menstrual cramps, has a mild sedative effect, and is good for pain. It also improves circulation by increasing blood flow. Use by itself or combine with Ginseng, antler, Ligustici Wallichii, Rehmanniae, Paeoniae, Chrysanthemum, or Lycii. Dang gui comes two ways, palm-sliced or heads. The palm-sliced is considered a premium grade of Dang gui; however, the heads are more commonly used and are of excellent quality. Use 3-15 grams per four cups water.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park Celebrates Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year was brought in at the Weaverville Joss House. Built in 1852 by Chinese miner's during the gold rush it is the oldest continuously used Taoist Temple in California. Every year there is a Chinese New Year celebration much to the delight of the local community and spectators who come for this event.
Here are some pictures from the event:

Dragon in front of the Joss House Temple. Randy Bashaw, whose Kempo Karate students perform in the event, is pictured in the background

 The Dragon chases the pearl.

 A large crowd showed up for the event.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sore Throat, Laryngitis

Many people get sore throats and laryngitis as this person relates:

Q: "Hi, I'm looking for a Chinese remedy to help cure my laryngitis. I would call but obviously don't have a voice. I've had this for over 3 weeks and need something more than green tea, if there is something you can recommend. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated."

A: Three weeks is a long time. Have you seen a doctor?
Here are some products that may help:





Sunday, January 13, 2013

East Earth Travelogues: A Visit to Ip Man's Grave

Ip Man (sometimes spelled "'Yip' Man" (Mandarin: Ye Wen) has gone done in history as one of the most skillful proponents of Wing Chun Kung Fu. He produced a number of highly skilled Wing Chun practitioners including Wong Shun Leung, William Cheung, Duncan Leung, and Moy Yat. His mostly famous student though was Bruce Lee.
When I was in Hong Kong in August of 2012 I went to pay my respects at his grave.
Ip Man's grave is found on a hillside behind Fung Ying Seen Koon temple in Fanling, Hong Kong. At the time I was staying in Kowloon and Fanling was quite a distance away. Fortunately, Hong Kong has an excellent subway system that is easy to use. I left my hotel early one morning and walked 15 minutes to the subway station. It was quite hot and humid and I was a bit sweaty by the time I got to the station. Fortunately it was much cooler in the subway. From my starting point I had to make two transfers on the subway to get to the train to Fanling. The ride was moderately crowded and at some point the subway train came above the ground so you could see the outlying area. When we arrived at the Fanling station I got off the train and walked on the overpass to Fung Ying Seen Koon temple which is nearby. Ip Man is buried in a graveyard behind the temple. There's a path to the graveyard and along the path are a couple marker's pointing you toward his grave. On this day the paths were covered in branches and leaves left by a typhoon that had passed through Hong Kong two days before. The debris on the path made it seem like you were hiking in the jungle and the high humidity and mosquitoes added to that effect. Other than the few signs pointing in the right direction there's nothing to tell you when you get to the grave. Ip Man did have a large gravesite compared to the others and it was swept clean. All the other graves were covered in leaves. I got the impression that someone goes there regularly to take care of it. Here are some pictures from the trip.

Fung Ying Seen Koon temple

The starting point

 The path blocked by bamboo and littered with leaves.

A sign pointing the way.

More leaves on the path.

Ip Man's grave

 A closeup of Ip Man's grave

Ip Man's picture on his grave.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Actions of the Herbs found in Tung Shueh pills

Tung Shueh is one of the best overall formulas for joint and muscle pain - basically pain that in modern terms is described as arthritis or rheumatism. It is also good for acute and chronic injuries. The name "Tung Shueh (Pinyin: Tong Xue) means "circulate blood." The actions of the herbs found in the Tung Shueh formula are as follows...
Rhizoma Curcuma or Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and is especially helpful for painful shoulders.
Rhizoma Homalomenae: The Chinese name is Qian Nian Jian or "thousand years of health." It is an important herb for treating joint pain that moves in the body or pain that is affected by changes in the weather. Chinese herbalists say that it strengthens the tendons and bones. It has a strong tonifying action and is also used for pain and swelling due to traumatic injuries. In China it is widely used for treating the elderly. It is traditionally combined with Achyranthis.
Fructus Chaemomelis Lagenariae is one of the more effective herbs for relaxing the tendons. It is beneficial for joint pain due to changes in weather and for pain in the lower extremities.
Fructus Psoraleae is helpful for painful or weak lower back and extremities.
Plastrum Testudinis or turtle shell strengthens the bones and is said to be good for weakness of the lower back and knees. It is composed of calcium, collagen (a protein found in connective tissue), lipids, amino acids, and phosphorus.
Angelicae Sinensis is one of the most researched herbs in Chinese medicine. It is traditionally used as a blood tonic but another important action is improving blood circulation and relieving pain. It is used for numbness and pain in the extremities and painful joints. Modern research has shown that it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cortex Cinnamomi is said to disperse cold in the body and alleviate pain. It is used for joint pain caused by wet and cold weather changes and back pain.
Frankicense promotes the circulation of energy in the body. It alleviates pain and is used for joint pain that moves in the body and pain that is affected by damp weather. Commonly used with Myrrha for chronic pain (caused by blood stagnation).
Myrrha circulates the blood and alleviates joint pain. It is commonly used with Frankincense for treating musculoskeletal pain.
Radix Aucklandiae is used to relieve stagnation.
Semen Benincasae is useful for circulating fluids in the body. In Chinese medicine fluid stagnation creates joint pain that feels heavy, distended or swollen.
Radix Morindae is useful for back, leg, and joint pain, as well as, muscle spasms and cramps.
Cortex Eucommiae is good for low back pain. it is also combined with Dipsaci for fractured or broken bones to promote the healing of bones.
Rhizoma Corydalis is one of the most commonly used and the most effective herbs used to relieve pain because it has an excellent ability to activate the Qi and Blood circulation in the body. Corydalis can treat pain in the upper and lower extremities and also be used for traumatic injuries. Research has shown it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Radix Dipsaci is known in Chinese as Xu Duan or "restore what is broken." It is good for sore and painful lower back and knees, stiffness in the joints and weakness in the legs. It is said to promote the growth of bones when used for fractures.
Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae is good for the tendons, bones, and joints. It is often used with Eucommiae for pain and weakness of the lower back and extremities. It is commonly used for sports injuries.
Flos Carthami (safflower) alleviates pain. It is used to disperse blood stagnation and open the channels.

Tung Shueh can beordered at http://www.eastearthtrade.com/tungshuehpills.aspx