It’s one of the main ingredients in Evil Bone Water. Here’s why it’s so awesome.
This photo is from the Evil Bone Water factory. San Qi is in the bowl on the left. (on the right is Cinnamon…the real stuff, not what you find in the grocery store…but that’s for another blog post).
It’s one of the rarest and most expensive herbs in China, it’s notoriously difficult to grow, and for that reason is often excluded from mass-produced topical formulas. But Evil Bone water spares no expense to bring you the very best.
You can see the “standard” c-grade in this photo. It still works, but not as well. San Qi has over 200 bioactive phytochemical compounds, and has been extensively studied in the modern era. The powdered herb can be poured directly into open wounds, has an antiseptic quality and is known for healing massive traumas like surgical incisions and even gunshot wounds without leaving a scar.
It’s most important compounds are called saponins. These have been shown to have beneficial effects in cardiovascular disease, diabetic neuropathy, and atherosclerosis.
Most importantly for Evil Bone Water, they can heal ischemic reperfusion injuries (that’s a fancy term for “bruise”).
Ischemias in the brain are really bad (it’s one type of stroke) but we get them all the time in other parts of our body from daily life. Bonking into a coffee table, overdoing it with yard work or in a martial arts class, even chronic pains like arthritis and fibromyalgia can involve ongoing ischemic damage. Your best friend for these types of injuries is San Qi.
Now we don’t recommend Evil Bone Water for internal use (I know some folks do, and I can’t say I’ve never tried it…but it might have an undesired laxative effect so please just… don’t). And if you have a stroke or serious injury, by all means please seek immediate medical attention. But for those everyday little things… keep a bottle of Evil Bone Water close at hand.
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1 in 10 Americans have Diabetes; 1 in 3 are Prediabetic
The CDC may not have the best reputation right now but they do track this statistic pretty well.
We expect this number to go up because Covid can cause Diabetes.
Diabetes means excess sugar floating around in the bloodstream. You know what loves that sugar? Fungus.
We all have Candida in our body. I can’t tell you how many people have come to me with various issues after another doctor told them they have Candida. That’s like saying “I have hair”. No duh. We all have it. Some more than others but it’s a normal part of our microbiome. It only causes problems when it gets fed too much and grows out of control.
I was also fed too much & grew out of control; no coincidence, I was prediabetic. NGL though that marshmallow was delicious.
This Nigerian study showed a large increase in the incidence & severity of fungal infections amongst diabetic patients. No surprise, the higher their blood sugar, the worse the fungus.
Enter our friend Atractylodes (sounds like: “Attractive-loads”). It’s an anti-fungal powerhouse and the other half of Aquada 二妙 Ermiao “Double Awesome” next to it’s buddy Phellodendron (the one with the berberine).
Phellodendron drops the blood sugar and promotes expression of more insulin receptors. Atractylodes handles the fungus. Then they hug and go watch the sunset together.
In this study some mice were tragically given a lethal Candida infection. Atractylodes kept them alive.
The key component of Atractylodes’ efficacy is its volatile oil. See the little brown flecks in the photo above? Those are oil pockets. The plant only expresses them when it needs to defend itself from high winds (winds of course carry mold spores). So the best quality is grown on the crazy windy Mongolian plateau, and that’s what goes into Aquada.
That oil contains the compound Atractylodin:
Which, in this study, also prevented damage to human kidney cells in the presence of excess fructose (fructose is a sugar).
You don’t need to take these herbs to survive type 2 diabetes, but in combination with diet and exercise it can make the process of getting into remission and staying there so much easier. It can also be used prophylactically if you like the occasional marshmallow.
Slay fungus, express new insulin receptors, eat a cookie on your birthday.
Remember Covid is a “damp plague” and many other “damp diseases” are also associated with persistent viruses including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, MS, yadda yadda and oh look Epstein Barr virus also does it:
Because type 2 gets all the press and variety is the spice of life you’re also at higher risk for type 1 diabetes from Covid and EBV. Type 1 used to be diagnosed exclusively in children; but clinically I’ve seen it in adults, especially after Sars-CoV-2 exposure.
Now type 1 needs to be managed and is lifelong (we’ve treated it in very acute situations and put it into remission, but I don’t recommend trying to do this yourself, it requires close medical observation. Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution is a highly-recommended book for Type-1’ers); but type 2 can be put into remission with proper diet and physical exercise, and conservative supplementation of nutrients such as berberine.
Berberine is readily available as a supplement but most on the market are low quality and can cause nasty side-effects. My preferred way to use it is in a formula called Aquada (in Chinese this is called 二妙 Er Miao which translates as “double awesome”). In addition to berberine from sustainably-harvested 30-year old phellodendron bark it has Atractylodes Lancea grown on the Mongolian Plateau, where it is exposed to all kinds of nastiness due to high winds from Eurasia laden with fungal spores. Like your scoutmaster said, this kind of exposure builds fortitude and character. Atractylodes of this quality is strongly anti-fungal and can resolve a lot of the Dampness that comes along with elevated blood sugars.
Prevention is always best but we’re in the stage of the pandemic where public health agencies are basically throwing hands and giving out more thoughts & prayers than actual help. Long Covid in its various presentations is going to become very, very common. We’re here to help.
Slay fungus, express new insulin receptors, eat a cookie on your birthday.
Now that you’ve dealt with the wind and dampness that caused your wandering pain, it’s time to address Fibromyalgia Stage 2.
This stage is associated with deep, constant (think sleep-interrupting) achiness in the muscles that usually worsen with strenuous exercise. You might also be experiencing heavy and continuous pain in the joints of your neck, shoulders, back, and hips.
And don’t be surprised if you also seem a little forgetful or absent-minded. Although brain fog can pop up during any stage of fibromyalgia, it appears especially prevalent in Stage 2.
In most cases, heavy, achy pain is associated with digestive troubles and chronic fatigue. That means focusing on your microbiome — the collection of microorganisms that call your gut home. Maintaining a healthy microbiome not allows you to fend off the heavy, achy pains of Fibromyalgia Stage 2, but it also offers relief from a host of gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS!
To achieve the optimal microbial environment, you first need to consider what lifestyle factors are discouraging the growth of good bacteria and promoting the proliferation of fungus and other bad pathogens. You’ll need to reduce your consumption of sweet, rich, or sticky foods. Most dairy products and alcohol are going to work against you too.
You should approach probiotics with a good dose of skepticism – we do! And please, no kombucha! On the other hand, you won’t usually go wrong with sauerkraut and kimchi if you tolerate fermented vegetables well. Both are great for encouraging the growth of healthy gut flora that’s needed for good digestion.
You should also be performing abdominal self-massage after EVERY meal.
Next to eating right, taking the right medicines, and being in nature, abdominal self-massage is one of the best things you can do to promote digestive and microbial health. That’s because every time you do it, you’re:
It’s also extremely relaxing and feels really good!
Performing abdominal self-massage is incredibly simple and takes only minutes. But it’s enormously beneficial, especially if you struggle with fibromyalgia pain, IBS, constipation, or bloating.
The Huo Xiang Zheng Qi formula is widely used in Chinese medicine to promote digestive health. It contains a ton of good stuff for eliminating the damp-type heavy, whole-body pain associated with Fibromyalgia Stage 2, including:
This potent gut tea is sold over-the-counter in China to treat damp-type diseases like food poisoning, traveler’s diarrhea, and summer flu. Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Tang can also be used as a summer and autumn drink to increase sweating and thirst and promote healthy fluid metabolism, or in high-exposure environments to prevent the onset of viral “damp plague” type diseases. It’s also excellent for treating the damp-type Fibromyalgia flares associated with new viral infection or other activation of the immune system.
For Fibromyalgia Stage 2, we recommend brewing one or two bags of Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Tang and sipping on it all day long.
Finally, take a small dose of Aquada and Microgard Plus with every meal.
Aquada is a super-premium version of the classical Chinese formula Er Miao Wan or “Double Awesome Pills” that combines Cang Zhu (Red atractylodes) and Huang Bai (Phellodendron) — two of the most potent substances on earth for regulating microbial health.
The berberine in Huang Bai gives Aquada strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, while Cang Zhu provides lots of volatile anti-fungal compounds that restore healthy water metabolism, starve fungus of sugars, and eliminate damp-type heavy pain.
Microgard Plus is an Imperial grade herbal formula containing botanical extracts to promote a healthy and diverse microbiome. It’s traditionally used to relieve bloating, cramps, and fatigue after eating, irritable bowel, food sensitivities, nausea and poor appetite related to excess dampness and what Chinese Medicine calls “food stagnation” — over-consumption of rich, fatty, sweet foods aka the Standard American Diet.
I hope you found this post informative and helpful.
To order our Fibromyalgia Stage 2 Protocol package, head over here: crawford-wellness.com/store/Fibromyalgia-Stage-2-Protocol-Package-p356948268.
If you have any questions about the treatment of fibromyalgia and the relief of heavy, achy pain, please ask away by sending the clinic a message via our contact page.
How can I free myself from fibromyalgia?
This is a question I get from many of my patients struggling to cope with the widespread pain, sleep problems, and fatigue typical of this chronic condition.
Fibromyalgia isn’t so much a disorder as a syndrome that currently affects around 4 million adults in the United States. Although it can hit just about anyone at any time, it’s most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50.
Fibromyalgia usually causes several types of generalized body pain, fatigue, and muscular stiffness. In some cases, these symptoms are accompanied by poor sleep, headaches, numbness or tingling, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, sensitivity to light or noise, digestive upsets and painful periods.
Because individual sufferers can manifest a range of fibromyalgia symptoms, misdiagnosis is common – especially when practitioners fail to take in the bigger picture. Unfortunately, mainstream medicine has – until very recently – either misunderstood or ignored the problem entirely. Many people suffering with Fibromyalgia feel ignored by their medical providers, blamed for overemphasizing the severity of their pain, or pushed away with psychiatric medication.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by different types of pain. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine these indicate different kinds of underlying syndromes, and can be best treated by working in stages. We often make the analogy of repairing a house damaged by storms and left to decay: if you replace the soggy carpet before repairing the roof, it will get damaged again with the next rainfall.
Relieving wandering pain, usually described as pain that affects different points on the body at varying times, is the first stage of treatment. To relieve this type of pain, Chinese Medicine focuses on removing two pathological factors: Wind and Dampness.
Biomedically speaking, the phenomena of Wind and Dampness are the results of multiple pathogens lingering in the body and working together, such as Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) reactivated by the presence of a biofilm-forming bacteria (source). Now, you might think that killing the responsible virus would eliminate the pain. But it’s not that simple—viruses like EBV aren’t really alive, at least in how we generally consider animal cells to be alive. For one thing, they don’t have all the components that make a typical cell typical. And they don’t reproduce on their own – they require our cells to do that.
So, while some viruses like Herpes Zoster or EBV – and it’s looking like SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes long-haul COVID – can go dormant for years at a time, they never really die. They’re always lurking in the background, just waiting for the right conditions to arise which allow them to thrive again.
The conditions which allow this most easily to occur are the presence of biofilm-forming bacteria; in small amounts these are a natural part of the human microbiome; but overgrowth can lead to excessive mucus and viral reactivation.
Our favorite way to address the first stage of Fibromyalgia treatment is with Xiao Chai Hu Tang, a formula that’s more than 2,000 years old and stars Bupleurum Chinense (Chai hu). It is the most commonly used formula in Chinese Medicine for removing lingering pathogens and expelling the Wind that causes fibromyalgia wandering pain. To power it up, we combine it with San Ren Tang to flush lymphatic fluid, transform biofilm, and begin modulating the microbiome of the GI and respiratory systems (remember this includes your skin) to a healthier profile.
Bupleurum Chinense (Chai hu) is a perennial herb native to the grasslands of China, India, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, but the absolute highest quality is sustainably wild-crafted from Tibet. Along with a ton of beneficial saponins, Bupleurum is also associated with some fantastic pharmacological effects:
In Wind Tea, Bupleurum combines with other amazing ingredients – Scutellarie to slay bacteria, Phinelia to bust up biofilms, and ginger to warm the GI tract.
Plant medicines like Bupleurum inhibit the ability of a virus to enter your cells and replicate. But to take fibromyalgia pain relief to the next level, you’ve also got to sweat.
Why? Because sweating helps your body release its own anti-fungal and anti-microbial compounds dermicidin and lactoferrin (source) to keep the microbiome of your skin healthy.
Drinking hot herbal tea is an easy way to do this. But gentle physical exercise, saunas, and breath-holding will make it even more powerful.
I hope you found this post informative and helpful.
To order Wind tea, head over here: https://crawford-wellness.com/store/Wind-tea-Xiao-Chai-Hu-jia-San-Ren-Tang-30-teabags-by-Botanical-Biohacking-p186871642
If you have any questions about the treatment of fibromyalgia and the relief of wandering pain, please ask away in the comments or send the clinic a message via our contact page.
2020 continues to challenge all of us.
For those in the audience who live in the Western US, fire season has come on very strong; nearly 10% of Oregon’s population has been put on evacuation notice; a million acres are burning, and the skies are thick with smoke.
If you’re feeling anxious, irritable, or frightened by the air quality, you’re not alone; and your body is telling you this because of our primal fears of fire. On Tuesday last week when the skies turned red, my first instinct was to run. I have been hearing from many of you how terrified you are, and that after sitting with and releasing those fears, you begin to notice the effects of the smoke on your body.
Headaches, sore throats, a burning feeling in the chest, fatigue, and the emotional stresses I mentioned above are all extremely common. Normally, getting some exercise and producing a good sweat can knock these symptoms out; but that isn’t an option when we want to stay inside and breathe less, not more.
A few helpful tips that may offer some relief:
Look for cracks around doors and windows where polluted air can come in from outside; put painters’ tape or masking tape around these areas.
I’m a fan of moderation in all things…including moderation. When I’m faced with primal stress and fear, it’s important to speak it out loud, and then let it go and have fun. Often this practice can give us enough perspective to get a clear mind and heart. But if you look outside again, it will all come flooding back.
Having simple distractions available in times like these can be a real saving grace. Favorite books; meditative arts and crafts; making music; or just taking an afternoon nap and watching an evening movie can all be a great way to pass the time as we wait for the weather to change.
From my time in Xi’an, I’m well familiarized with using Chinese Medicine to protect the body from smoke and air pollution. The main strategy used there is well represented in our Wind Tea formula which has many ingredients to boost Macrophage function, move and clean Lymph, and cool inflammation in the Lungs and Liver. Start with 1 tea bag per adult per day for mild nasal congestion, and increase up to 5 bags per adult per day for more serious inflammation and fatigue.
When doing research for this email I came across this study from the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy on a formula used to attenuate acute lung injury from particulate matter. It is based on the classical TCM formula Sheng Mai San which we have in powder form (Call the office to order this, it’s not on our web store). Most notably, this will help with the oppressive fatigue brought on by air pollution and can cool & moisten the delicate tissue of the lungs.
Stay safe out there folks. I know this is a hard year. Together, we will make it through.
You can, as always, respond to this email with any questions or comments. I’m listening.
To your health,
Brehan and the Crawford Wellness crew
Dampness continues to be the pathogen on everyone’s mind this year, as an ever-increasing body of research shows the links between Covid-19 severity and Autoimmunity, Blood sugar problems and obesity.
When treating these conditions with TCM the first thing we always regulate is the body’s water metabolism. Are you feeling swollen, fatigued, or lethargic? When you change to a healthier diet do you initially lose water weight? You’re not alone.
The human body’s methods of regulating its fluids are robust and many, but they’re vulnerable to damage. And while we often feel like we are “dehydrated” and have to force ourselves to drink water, what’s really going on is that we are water logged, and our natural feeling of thirst is suppressed.
Would you rather drink from a clear alpine spring, or a tepid muddy pond with an algae bloom? Just as in nature, water in our bodies is cleanest when it is moving. When it sits still it is more prone to the growth of infectious pathogens, and it harbors toxicity from the environment such as microplastics, pesticides and heavy metals.
All of this is treated in TCM as pathological Dampness. And when we’re fighting a Damp Plague like Covid-19, pre-existing dampness can put our lives at risk.
Just as in nature, seasonal changes affect the ways our bodies hold, move, and release water. In Spring and Summer when the trees and plants are growing, blooming and fruiting, we tend to move more, sweat more, and move the circulation of gases, water and blood more into our muscles, skin and extremities. And in Autumn and Winter, we sit more, sleep more and rest; this is when gases, water and blood move back into our core.
What this means is that, if our bodies are not clean and our waters are dirty, it’s harder to eliminate that toxicity in the colder parts of the year. Yes, you can (and I would argue, you must) still move and sweat. But you can’t do it as much when it’s cold outside or you risk nasty things like new viruses moving in through your open pores.
So as we are now seeing the seasons change from Summer to Autumn, it is the Best time to eliminate dampness from your body. How to do it?
Botanical medicine can supercharge all of these lifestyle tweaks, and we’ve made the most commonly used formulas available through the clinic’s Online Store. Here’s a quick guide:
I know there are a lot of options and combining these remedies or making custom blends can seem daunting. You can always schedule an appointment with me to get clear on your best path to health.
I hope you are enjoying Late Summer and staying well. As always, feel free to reply with your questions and feedback!
To your health,
Brehan and the Crawford Wellness crew
As soon as China recognized that an epidemic was beginning, many senior doctors who had worked successfully with infectious diseases such as SARS in 2003 began discussing this new virus. What effects was it having on the bodies of infected patients, and how could it be best treated to prevent loss of life?
But one thing stood out about this new virus: everyone agreed it was to be classified as a form of 湿瘟 Shi Wen which translates best as “Damp Plague.”
I’ve been trying to describe this in more western terms for the last few months here in the newsletter and with patients in the clinic; I know that aside from “mucus-heavy” and “don’t eat sugar” this can be somewhat difficult to understand. But we now have such a replete body of evidence on the way that SARS-CoV-2 aka Covid-19 affects the human body, that I can try to give you a more complete picture.
While Coronaviruses alone have immense affects on the human body on their own, Covid-19 as a damp plague is especially nasty because it is a polymicrobial condition marked by the presence of multiple viruses, fungi and bacterial infections, each working in tandem to colonize the human body and shut down our natural defense mechanisms. Take for example these two articles on mold and fungus as coinfections of Covid-19:
When we talk about Dampness we almost always mean mucus: a complex of proteins and sugars that are naturally present in the body, produced to levels of excess. You need mucous in the right places and amounts to survive, but too much can harbor latent infections and be a sign of excess sugar consumption.
One of the best ways to get Dampness out of your body is to eliminate extra sugars from your diet. Consider a low-carbohydrate diet, a ketogenic diet, or intermittent fasting. These are some of my favorite strategies to use in the clinic, in conjunction with formulas like Aquada and Microgard Plus to balance blood sugar levels and engage lipolysis (the dissolution of excessive sugar intake stored as body fat). There may be some benefit to doing this preventatively as well.
As we’re seeing with Covid-19, it is much more than a respiratory disease. It is causing strokes, skin problems, digestive upset, neurological problems and tremendous postviral syndromes.
As many of you with chronic fatigue will understand, there has been a substantial body of evidence pointing to this as a postviral sequelae of Epstein-Barr virus for many years. While this often gets ignored or downplayed by the conventional medical world, I am hopeful that the body of evidence produced as a result of so many skilled doctors looking at the long-term effects of Covid-19 will validate the stories told by patients of how a simple virus (and whatever critters come along with it) can be detrimental to health. This is one of the major focuses of my clinical practice as TCM has a long and successful history of helping people recover from lingering viral attacks.
The answers for prevention and success are largely simple and based on healthy lifestyle.
Yes, you should wash your hands a lot and wear a mask when out in public. You should reduce or eliminate your intake of refined sugars and any excess carbohydrates. Intermittent fasting *may* be helpful, but some people should not engage in this without medical supervision so please, talk with your medical provider first before beginning any of these things.
Herbs have been safely and successfully used in China to prevent and treat viral damp outbreaks.
To be clear, I am not promoting anything as a cure for Covid! But we are stocked with the most commonly used formulas in China, and we are hearing great reports from our patients working in high-risk scenarios for exposure, or who have contracted a virus and need support to get through it or past the post-viral fatigue etc.
You can begin by visiting our Online Store. Huo Xiang Zheng Qi tea remains our favorite “anti-dampness” lifestyle tea, and as I mentioned above we have many products to restore healthy blood sugar metabolism and mucus levels.
Any questions? Just respond to this email and I’ll be happy to answer.
To your health,
Seeking and providing care for chronic ailments of any kind is rife with uncertainties and unanswered questions. As a patient, you want as close to a guarantee as you can get from your medical provider that the time, money and effort you’re pouring into your recovery is worth it. As a provider, I know that every case is different and that it’s irresponsible to make guarantees of any kind other than that I’ll do my best. Medicine is as much art as it is science; complex conditions may resolve miraculously and simple acute ailments may be frustratingly untreatable. Good training and clinical experience creates expertise and improves outcomes but ultimately it may not be possible for everything to resolve.
So when patients come to me and say they’re looking for a solution for their symptoms of chronic Lyme disease it’s important to get expectations very clear.
As I’ve written before, beyond the 2-week window of acute exposure where antibiotics may be effective we can no longer use the term cure. Instead we use remission. While some patients will have their symptoms evaporate and never return, others may require some kind of ongoing treatment in order to maintain their health. This could be very easy and mild, like following a moderate diet and performing a few minutes of daily breathing exercises; or it could mean that they need to use herbal medicines for a prolonged period of time, treating their bodies to prevent relapse and improve overall health.
While the very existence of chronic Lyme disease is controversial, and many patients are told by their providers that they have “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome” (which I’ve discussed in a different post), their symptoms often do not abate and in fact may worsen significantly over the estimated 6-month recovery window if they are denied proper treatment.
Typically, Lyme patients at our clinic notice significant recovery in one or more areas within the first month of treatment. This can be as significant as a reduction or elimination of pain; less air hunger; the restoration of a functioning and regular digestive system; or heightened mental clarity. With continued treatment, more systems are restored and patients experience more vitality returning to their lives.
In my clinical experience, the longer someone has been infected by Borrelia and its ilk, the longer they can expect to take to recover. This can be prolonged by many factors: age, stress, other injuries or health concerns, and a history of unhelpful interventions such as prolonged antibiotic use or unnecessary surgical procedures.
In some exceptional cases a full course of Lyme treatment can be resolved in as few as one to three months. In most others, it will take six months to three years. Borrelia and its coinfections can cause degenerative changes in every system of the body that require proper treatment, consistency and time to heal.
Seasonal and environmental factors also play a role. Many patients are susceptible to cold, damp climates and especially the mold exposure that can come from living in them. As a matter of course, we always take extra care in the wintertime of the Pacific Northwest to protect the immune system and keep blood circulation to the extremities adequate. The road to remission is not always a straight line and it’s normal to experience plateaus or setbacks along the way back to health.
One of my favorite things in clinic is to let a patient know that I’m considering them in remission. This is like a graduation from care to return to “normal” life and it usually means the patient is able to work, play, exercise and take on new projects. It also means that they’ll be tested by life’s stresses and may need to return to the clinic in the future. Major events like accidents, traumas and new infections can cause symptoms to flare and additional care may be necessary. But when it comes around a second time, it’s usually faster and easier to treat, especially when it’s addressed promptly.
I hope you found this post informative and helpful. If you have any questions please ask away in the comments or send the clinic a message via our contact page.