Flashcards in SK Week 3 Deck (54)
How are herbs prepared for ingestion?
cleaned, sorted, washed, and cut according to specific standards, which includes sizing the pieces for the final product.
What natural and man-made contaminants can make herbs unfit for consumption?
mold, microbes, pesticides and heavy metals
What is Pao Zhi?
A general term for any type of herb processing. Can be used to:
- increase potency
- direct its actions to a certain place
- minimize side effects
- alter properties
Why are herbs prepared?
Unless one uses quality herbs it is hard to get quality results.
How do we increase an herbs surface area?
Slicing or pulverizing (grounding, pounding, filing)
Why do we want to increase an herb's surface area?
Makes it easier for extraction and digestion
What is it?
Why is salt sometimes used?
What does charring do?
- browning is used to dry herbs for storage and increase the SP-awakening/ST-strengthening action of the herbs
- stir frying with salt directs their actions downward to the KD
- stir frying until charred (tan) increases the herbs hemostatic ability
DRY FRYING WITH LIQUIDS
What actions are increased when using honey, vinegar, wine or ginger juice?
- honey increases an herb's tonifying and moistening actions
- vinegar enhances astringent, analgesic, blood-invigorating and detoxifying actions
- wine enhances its ability to clear blockages from channels, expel wind and alleviate pain
- ginger juice reduces the tendency of bitter and cold herbs to upset the ST. Also enhances some herbs ability to warm the ST and stop vomiting.
What is calcining and what is it used for?
Placing a substance directly or indirectly in the flames until it is thoroughly heated and turns red. Makes the substance brittle and easy to pulverize
Used for minerals and shells
What is Quick Frying and why is it used?
fried at an extremely high temperature until it is dark brown or cracked
this reduces its toxicity or moderates its harsh characteristics
DRY CURING OR BAKING
What is it and what substances are generally dry cured or baked?
slow, mild heat to avoid charring the herb
often used with flowers or insects so they are not destroyed
ROASTING IN ASHES
What is it?
Wrapping the herb in moistened paper, paste or mud and heating it in hot cinders until the coating is charred or cracked and its insides have reached a high temperature
HEAT & WATER
What is Steaming?
After steaming, herbs are dried in the sun.
After steaming Sheng di Huang 9 times, what does it transform to?
Shu di Huang
HEAT & WATER
What is Boiling?
Done in water or some other medium, such as vinegar, to alter its characteristics or toxicity.
HEAT & WATER
What is Quenching?
Substances (usually minerals) are heated and then immediately immersed in cold water or vinegar.
Why is Quenching used?
Facilitates pulverization and moderates their properties
HEAT & WATER
What is Simmering and what is its end product?
Herb is reduced to a thickened liquid or syrup by boiling in several changes of water, collecting the supernatants, and then condensing and solidifying it into a gel.
What are the 7 methods of delivery?
1) Decoction, 2) Drafts, 3) Pills, 4) Powders, 5) Syrups,
6) Plasters, 7) Wines
What is a decoction?
Literally, 'soup' (tang), are solutions and suspensions that are readily absorbed, thus expediting their effect
Often used for acute conditions
What are the general guidelines and rules for using decoctions?
- don't use aluminum pots or cooking utensils (corning ware or porcelain pots are preferred)
- use a tight fitting lid (keep herbs covered so "flavors" don't escape)
- soaking herbs helps the extraction of ingredients when decocting
- bring to boil then reduce heat
What are the 3 solvents used in decoction and what function do they enhance?
- water - most common
- wine - invigorates Blood
- vinegar - astringing
What are the 2 types of heat used in decoctions?
Military Fire - high flames
Civilian Fire - low flames
How long are decoctions generally cooked?
When should herbs be decocted for shorter periods of time and how should they be cooked?
- formulas that Release the Exterior, Clear Heat or contain herbs with volatile oils (aromatic) should be cooked over a high flame for 10-15 min
How should Tonics and other formulas with rich, cloying substances be cooked and why?
over a relatively low flame for a longer period of time (45-60min) to extract as much as possible
How should Toxic substance be cooked and why?
for at least 45 min to reduce their toxicity
Describe the most common method of decoction?
1) decocting the herb twice, using less water the 2nd time
2) both times the herbs are boiled down to 1 cup of liquid
3) discard the herbs
4) combine the 2 cups of liquid
How are herbs generally taken?
- take 1 cup 2x daily, or 2/3 of a cup 3x daily
- decoctions are generally taken before meals