Chinese Medicine Kit
I frequently get asked by patients, “What should I have in my home medicine kit?” The answer is never easy–they are things you have never heard of, you won’t remember the their names, nor will you have the ability to pronounce the pin yin even if you are looking directly at the box. However, with loads of optimism, I shall attempt to overcome these difficulties and put together a list with a (hopefully) coherent explanation of each item that are useful to your home medicine kit.
These are all things I have around my house and use. The star symbols below designate importance: (**) means must have, (*) means good to have, and no stars means helpful to some persons but not all.
Please note that while some of these formulas may be helpful to children, this list is intended for adult usage only. Most especially note: if you are ill, it’s important to see your acupuncturist for diagnosis. This list does not in any way, shape or form, replace your clinician’s experience and expertise.
Colds and Flues
Yu Ping Feng San
Use to prevent colds and flues. If you are prone to catching cold, take as a preventative throughout cold/flu season.
Ge Gen Tang
This formula requires attention to your body; unfortunately most people ignore this stage of a common cold. Take when you notice neck stiffness or that your neck has “gone out.” This is wind-invasion and the first step in a cold, or your throat feels tight and your nose is runny. This formula is great for preventing the common cold, but it must be taken before all the usual symptoms show up.
Gan Mao Ling**
Use at the initial onset of a cold/flu. May be taken preventively for exposure to common cold or flu.
Zhong Gan Ling*
Use for severe symptoms of common cold or flu with fever.
Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Tang**
This is for stomach flu. Nausea, vomiting, body aches and fever/chills. This is usually best taken as a powder for this illness. I recommend getting it into your system as soon as possible even if it takes several attempts. It will decrease the amount of time you are feeling nasty.
Treats swelling and pain in the throat and mouth. Used for tonsillitis, pharyngitis, swollen and aching gums, etc. A great herb to have around; it can be a bit comical to “take.”
Nin Jiom Pei Pa Kao
This is a sore throat syrup, which coats an irritated throat to stop cough and relieve pain.
Southern Ban Lan Gen Chong Ji**
Tasty tea packets added to hot water to clear a sore, achy, swollen throat with flu symptoms.
Bloating, Gas, Upset Stomach, Food Stagnation & Other Gastro-intestinal Issues
For those times when you’ve eaten something you know you should not have and the consequence is feeling bloated, distended, gassy, with difficulty digesting, and/or general feeling of discomfort after eating rich, heavy, spicy, or cold food. Note that Curing can be spelled Curring or Culing on the packaging.
Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Tang**
For nausea and vomiting due to food poisoning or morning sickness.
Sprains and Strains
Zheng Gu Shui**
Use this product on acute or chronic pain associated with sprains, bruises, pulled ligaments or tendons and simple fractures. Apply generously to the affected area directly or through the means of a wool or bandage for the duration of 2 hours at a time. The product can be used several times throughout the day, as long as the pain is occurring.
PMS, Irritability, & Breast Tenderness, Menstrual Cramps
Xiao Yao San**
This is the most common female formula for dealing with premenstrual symptoms: PMS, irritability, breast swelling and tenderness, menstrual cramps.
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang**
For menstrual cramps, especially if there is cold in the lower jiao. Personally, I love this formula.
Ching Wan Hung**
This stuff has saved me on several occasions. For first and second degree burns without infection or open wounds. Apply cream and then cover. This can be used for radiation burns too.
Aloe Vera Gel or Fresh Plant*
I’m a fan of this stuff for sunburns. Lavish loads onto burn, repeat several times a day, and you will avoid blisters, pain, and gross peeling.