In the first three sessions, we've learned famous but not expensive herbs. I'm going to introduce another type of Chinese herb: famous and expensive. First, I'd like to introduce a very expensive one over the last decade... Dong Chong Xia Cao (Cordyceps). Undoubtedly, Dong Chong Xia Cao is very expensive and called one of the three major tonics in Chinese herbs. It's also known as 'soft gold'. Of course market, individual pursuit, and rare supply all contribute to its high price. We cannot deny it is indeed a very precious Chinese herb. Let's take a look at its property. It is neutral. As for its medicinal property, some people argue it is warm; some believe it is cold; however, no matter warm or cold, it's generally believed to be neutral. It's now recognized to be neutral, sweet and neutral. Sweet can tonify. Tonify what? It enters the lung, and kidney meridians. In terms of its origin, it's only grown in China and nowhere else. Precisely, it's mainly grown in the Tibetan Plateau, the Qinghai Province. Let's take a look at how it tonifies the body. First, it tonifies the lung. Through tonifying the lung, it can allevaite coughing/asthma, stop bleeding and resolve phlegm. It's mainly used for chronic coughing and asthma, especially cough with bloody sputum or severe hemoptysis. For example, Dong Chong Xia Cao is very effective for bronchiectasis. Secondly, it tonifies the kidney... tonifies both kidney yin and kidney yang, mainly kidney yang through supplementing kidney essence. It can be used for kidney essence deficiency, such as impotence or low back pain due to kidney yang deficiency. So this herb really has great effect. Clinically, other than deficiency of the lung or kidney, it is also used for those with a weak constitution, becuase it can reinforce the body. Actually this function is still related to its effect in tonifying the lung and kidney. Now I'd like to explain more about its application today. Currently, Dong Chong Xia Cao is mainly used in the following aspects: (1) treatment; (2) regulation; (3) prevention. As for treatment, it's most frequently used or best indicated for chronic coughing and asthma. We know chronic coughing and asthma can be caused by many factors, Dong Chong Xia Cao works for all kinds of chronic coughing and asthma. Senile chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary tuberculosis can all be effectively treated with Dong Chong Xia Cao. This is for treatment. In terms of prevention or regulation, it can be used for those with a weak constitution and are susceptible to common colds. A weak constitution is often related to the kidney, or we say heredity, since the kidney is the prenatal base. Susceptiblity to common colds is related to the lung (the lung dominates the skin and skin hair). Dong Chong Xia Cao can tonify both the lung and kidney and therefore has good treatment and prevention effects for those with a weak constitution and susceptiblity to common colds. Thirdly, for regulation after disease or operation, especially for radio-chemo therapy after cancer surgery. It has been proven to benefit cancer patients undergoing radio-chemo therapy. This is the modern application of Dong Chong Xia Cao. I want to mention other issue that we've frequently encountered. Previously we've mentioned that it's best indicatedf or chronic coughing and asthma. Does it fit all kinds of coughing? The answer is No. Since cough in common cold is caused by external pathogens, we need to remove external pathogens to stop coughing. However, Dong Chong Xia Cao mainly tonifies the body and cannot directly remove pathogenic factors. So it can't be used for this kind of cough. Another question... can it be used for people with hypertension? Of course No, because in Chinese medicine, hypertension is often related to hyperactivity of liver yang. For hyperactivity of liver yang, we need to soothe liver yang; however, Dong Chong Xia Cao can do nothing to soothe liver yang, on the contrary, it strengthens yang. If we strengthen yang on the basis of hyperactive liver yang, we are adding fuel to the fire. So it cannot be used for hypertensive population. The third question... can it be used at home for all family members? This is an individual but objective question. Because family members, no matter two, three, five or more people, they all have different constitutions, different ages, different gender, and different physical status, how can they all share one herb? At least they cannot use at the same time and for long. One more question... can it be used for kids? The answer to this question is similar to Ginseng. Generally, Chinese herbs have no gender and age limitations. The principle is that they can be used for any age groups in need and cannot be used for any age groups when there is no need. We should be cautious to use strong tonic herbs for small kids. You can consider Dong Chong Xia Cao if a kid has persistent coughing or asthma due to deficiency of the lung and kidney. However, we don't recommend using it for regulation and prevention in children. Why? It tonifies the kidney and may promote early development and sexual prematurity. Last, can it prevent or treat cancer? This is a hot issue but hard to answer. Why? Cancer occurs as a result of many factors, and can be really hard to prevent. To prevent cancer, your lifestyle is more important than medicine. This is the information I'd like you to know about Dong Chong Xia Cao. Next, I'm going to introduce another precious herb... Ginseng. Undoubtedly, ginseng is known as the king of grasses and the first option to reinforce the body. It's very famous at both home and abroad. Let's take a look at this herb. We've mentioned it falls under the category of family Araliaceae. Its Latin name Panax literally means a miraculous cure, just like San Qi we've mentioned before (same family). In terms of the origin of ginseng, historically there are two places... Shang Dang and Liao Dong. It's now mainly grown in northeastern area of China, mainly Fusong region in Jilin Province. It's also grown in Korean peninsula and some areas in Russia. Now let's come to its functions. This is related to its classification. Ginseng has different names in different classification methods. For example, there are two types in terms of origin... mountain ginseng and garden ginseng (artificial); there are different types of mountain ginseng: authentic wild mountain ginseng are very rare and are not allowed to pick in China; and other three kinds are planted in the wild by organizations or individuals: Zi Hai, Lin Xia Shen and Yi Shan Shen. They all fall under the category of mountain ginseng. By origin, there are two types: mountain ginseng and garden ginseng. By prepraparation method, there are threey types: sun-dried ginseng, white ginseng and red ginseng. We've also mentioned ginseng can be classified by place of planting: Jilin ginseng or northeastern ginseng, Korean ginseng and Russian ginseng. Ginseng is called the king of grasses and the first option to reinforce the body, mainly because of its qi-tonifying function. Its functions and application are focused on two words... tonifying qi. What kind of qi does it tonify? So far we've introduced some Chinese herbs. Some herbs haven't been introduced yet. However, only ginseng deserves the function of Strong reinforcing. Strongly reinforcing what? Yuan-primordial qi. We need to understand the meaning of yuan-primordial qi. The first day of the New Year is called Yuan Dan, the Yuan means 'birth or origin'. The origin of what? The origin of life. So we can say that yuan-primordial qi is the root and base of our body. As a result, the yuan-primordial qi cannot be damaged, otherwise the base will be compromised, endangering our life. Ginseng can reinforce yuan-primordial qi, not just reinforcing yuan-primordial qi but strongly reinforcing. Apparently it can strongly tonify yuan-primordial qi and can be used for qi collapse. In other words, it can bring the dying back to life. We need to be clear that if want to strongly reinforce yuan-primordial qi, we need to (1) use wild mountain ginseng (2) use a large dose. Generally, for mountain ginseng, use the dose of 1-2 g. For tonifying yuan-primordial qi, the larger the dose, the better the effect. Use the dose between 15 and 30 g, and decoct with a high concentration and keep on feeding the patient. This is about strongly reinforcing yuan-primordial qi. Now let's come to the second aspect. What kind of qi does it tonify? Heart qi. We've just mentioned heart qi is the pump for blood circulation. Heart qi deficiency may cause insufficient blood supply and affect the entire body, for example, yawning, a pale face, poor memory, cold hands and feet, lassitude, chest tightness due to insufficient blood supply to the heart. Ginseng is very effective in improving heart qi deficiency. Thirdly, ginseng tonifies lung qi. In this sense, it can both treat and prevent. It has very good effect for coughing or asthma due to lung qi deficiency, especially chronic coughing or asthma. There is a special formula for chronic coughing and asthma called Ren Shen Ge Jie San (Ginseng and Gecko Decoction). Another aspect, it has preventative function. Some people frequently catch common cold due to lung qi deficiency. Ginseng can strengthen lung qi and increase the defense ability against pathogens and minimize the risk of common colds. Fourthly, it tonifies spleen qi. I believe if you have eaten ginseng, you'll experience an increased physical strength, fast walking and a better appetite. Why? Because it tonifies spleen qi. Speaking of which, I'd like to mention that the Ben Cao Gang Mu (The Grand Compendium of Materia Medica) by Li Shi-zhen recorded a story. Two men start at the same time to run for the same distance. One of them ate ginseng, and the other one didn't. At first, the two could run at the same speed; however, after a while, the one who didn't eat ginseng became short of breath and slowed down, whereas the one who ate ginseng had normal breathing and didn't slow down. This indicates that giseng has very good effect in tonifying qi The fifth, sixth and seventh functions are all related to its qi-tonifying effect Tonifying qi to regenerate fluids, blood and supplement yang is very similar to Huang Qi we've just learned. So it's not necessary to talk about in this regard. Ginseng has strong effects and is extensively used; however, all its effects depend on qi-tonifying function. We've mentioned this previously. For mountain ginseng, the dose should be 1-2 g; for sun-dried ginseng, the dose should be 3-6 g, and is not supposed to decoct with other herbs, we call decoct separately. For emergency, a large dose is needed: 15-30 g. We need to keep in mind that according to the principle of eighteen incompatible herbs, ginseng cannot be used together with Li Lu (Radix et Rhizoma Veratri Nigri). In addition, when using ginseng, it's not advisable to eat radish or drink strong tea. However, it does not matter if you did eat radish and drink strong tea. It won't cause side effects but decrease its effects. I'd also like to mention that Ginseng can save you and also kill you. You'll have side effects if you use ginseng when you shouldn't. So you need to be cautious and follow the doctor's instructions. We've introduced two herbs in this session: one is Dong Chong Xia Cao and the other is Ginseng.