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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Shou Wu Chih or He Shou Wu for vitality

In kungfu or wuxia movies and TV series (TVB, TCS8 etc), there is always some sort of secret potion to cure an ailment. For instance, Chow Yuen Fatt was severely injured in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and someone had to ride far and wide to get the correct remedial herbs.

Mario games, Xbox Games like Ninja Gaiden too has some potions to collect. To increase vitality or health, some little blue bottled vials, and red bottles for qi / chi!

As a person who has Chinese heritage, I want to rediscover customs, culture, improvements created and practised through the ages. Firstly, the word Chinese itself is a misnomer that I will want to write about in on main topic. In the chinese language (hah misnomer again) well alright, Mandarin or the "scripts of a thousand drawings" (as I prefer to classify the beauty of this ancient and unifying script) - there is no word for Chinese. What we have is "huaren" or "Tang ren" or "Zhong Hua". Essentially what Europe wants to create with a "European Union" was created by people of the Middle Kingdom thousands of years ago. And what the single currency EURO being heralded as a unifying medium of trade, the Middle Kingdom has beaten that too - several thousands of years ago, and crossing the Ts and dotting the Is with a splendid and beautiful script that could be read in different tones, to each different race (think German, French, Spanish). So a single "drawing" of a fish  - can be read as yu (Mandarin chinese), or "he" (Teochew!) or "sakana" Japanese!

I will write more each topic individually and thus will start with herbs and the basic tenet of improving health and longevity.

Therefore, I continue my curiosity with learning and finding out what I have "lost" from my culture. Language, food (not so), martial arts, tea, family values, herbs and more.

So from my research, I found that there is a potent yet forgotten herb called Shou Wu, or Shou Wu Chih, or He Shou Wu, that has been a cornerstone of TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) for ages. It helps to clean the liver and strengthen the it, as well as the kidney. Imagine a car engine. We need to replace the engine oil from time to time. To cleanse it. Alas, we do not!

There are over 10 000 documented Chinese medicinal herbs and plants, and about 50 are classified as the Superior Tonic Herbs. So this herb is one. It nourishes the blood, and fortifies the muscles, tendons and bones. Thus it is known to aid in knee pain, back pain and restoring the hair.

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