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 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: