[Herb-students] The thick and thin of it all
alstone at beyondwellbeing.com
Thu Jan 10 17:39:00 EST 2002
I think that the three herbs you mentioned are more on the thick end of
the spectrum where as the leaves and flowers type of herbs are more on
the thin side. Although Sheng Di does clear heat, its a deep (blood
level) heat, not an external acute attack.
If an herb is cloying, its likely thick.
Keep in mind also that there is no database clearing house of which
herbs are thick and which are thin. Its just a tendency. Just
something to consider.
You know, all of these herbs, Sheng Di, Shu Di, and He Shou Wu have a
relatonship with the Kidney Jing and Liver Blood. You can't really get
too much deeper than that.
Fernando Bernall wrote:
> Al, this is very interesting. Would you consider Shu Di a thick herb and Sheng di a
> thin herb? Or He Shou Wu a thick cloying type of herb?
> Al Stone wrote:
> > You probably know that herbs come in a variety of temperatures. There
> > are herbs that
> > are described as very hot, hot, slightly hot, warm, slightly warm,
> > neutral, slightly cool,
> > cool, slightly cold, cold and very cold.
> > But did you know that herbs can also described as thick and thin?
> > This isn't in reference to the shape of the cut of the herbs, but has to
> > do with their thermal
> > nature.
> > A thick cool herb for instance has a cool property, but it is a slow
> > sustained action
> > whereas a thin cool herb is quick to act, but it doesn't last very long.
> > When I learned about this, I couldn't help but think about something I
> > learned in a
> > meteorology class in college called "thermal capacity" which is the
> > capacity of a substance
> > to maintain its temperature.
> > I think this can be best described by looking at something with a high
> > thermal capacity
> > (analogous to the thick herbs) and a low thermal capacity (like the thin herbs).
> > When you boil water and you turn off the heat beneath it, the water
> > remains so hot that if
> > you put your finger into it within the first few minutes, you'll burn
> > yourself. However if
> > you take something wrapped up in aluminum foil out of a hot oven, it
> > will be cool
> > enough to touch in a few seconds.
> > Water has a higher thermal capacity than foil. If water were an herb,
> > it would be thick. If
> > foil were an herb, it would be thin.
> > Clinically, the thin herbs are used for acute conditions that require a
> > strong burst of
> > medicine that will quickly address the pathogenic influence. External
> > conditions of Wind
> > Cold and Wind Heat would be examples of acute pathologies that benefit
> > from thin
> > herbs. Examples of thin herbs would be Ma Huang (Rx. Ephedra) and Bo He (Hb.
> > Mentha).
> > Thick herbs on the other hand are utilized for chronic Deficiencies and
> > other long term
> > pathologies that benefit from their slow, but steady actions. Gan Jiang
> > (Baked Ginger) is
> > an herb that provides a constant warming action that is appropriate to a
> > long term
> > pathology.
> > Although most books don't really mention thick and thin in their
> > assessments of herbs, it
> > is wise to at least be aware that of the importance of lining up the
> > needs of the pathology
> > with the herbs that are best suited to address those needs. External,
> > acute, and Excessive
> > pathologies will benefit from the fast though brief acting medicinals
> > while Internal,
> > chronic and Deficiency type pathologies will benefit from the slower
> > acting but sustained
> > actions of thick herbs.
> > Which herbs are thin, and which are thick? I dunno, what do you think?
> > --
> > Al Stone L.Ac.
> > <AlStone at BeyondWellBeing.com>
> > http://www.BeyondWellBeing.com
> > Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
> > _______________________________________________
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Al Stone L.Ac.
<AlStone at BeyondWellBeing.com>
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
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