Sick of being sick, coaxed by Betty & Geri, I let my student take me to the campus clinic. First came payment: 50 cents U.S. That’s full price, as I hadn’t brought proper faculty ID. Seeing the doc NORMALLY COSTS A DIME.
The door sign read “Traditional Chinese Medicine.” The doctor was sweetly round, about 65. She felt my wrist pulse a long, long, long time. She looked at my throat with a conventional plastic flashlight, and checked out my tongue. We discussed my bowels (embarassingly with my student translating), even though my problem is a deep cough.
Rx: Forgoing life’s 3 staples: Coffee, chocolate, spicy food. My lungs are imbalanced–too hot. Counterintuitively, I must drink hot water. And 2 or 3 times a day, take my Chinese meds: A ping pong ball that pops open, Pokemon-like, to reveal a gooey bitter black ball of Yangyin Qingfei Wan. Then I drink 2 tiny tubes of coal-ish, herby lanqin. And 10 ml of a sweet syrup, Qiangli pipalu.
A bit curious (what would Dr. Rosenberg say?), I consulted the National Institutes of Medicine’s great PubMed archive, the National Library of Medicine. At least one widely-cited immunology study mentions lanquin–being tested in mouse pneumonia. More conventionally, it’s used for laryngitis, which I have. Yangyin Qingfei Wan, the nasty chews, are being studied in Asia for preventing lung infection after lung cancer radiation. Its made of figwort root, licorice root, white peony root, dwarf lilyturf root, raw rehmannia root, wild mint herb, moutan bark…etc. Roots & barks. In short, it’s for coughing. Which I’m doing. It’s used here for people with tuberculosis.
Finally Qiangli pipalu–papaverine–a respiratory antiviral, has been tested in the U.S. in infants with RSV (a bit too toxic), as well as against HIV. There are lots of publications. It’s a phlegm eliminator effective against bronchitis.
In a word: Excellent.