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052 Herbs- History, Identification, granules and manufacturing • Eric Brand
Episode 521st October 2018 • Qiological Podcast • Michael Max
00:00:00 01:03:26

Shownotes

It’s easy for us to think that because we have a darned good English version of the material medica that the centuries of herbal knowledge is at our finger tips. But there is a lot of back story to the medicinals that we use everyday in our practices

Where herbs come from, how they are cultivated, how different plants have been used over the centuries; there is a lot we take for granted. Or simply trust our suppliers to have worked out the details of identification and quality. The medicinals we use regardless of whether they are granulated, tableted or raw have a natural history.  This includes not just the process of growth and harvest, but also various kinds of processing as well. 

In today’s conversation we look at the identification, cultivation and processing of the plants we use everyday in our clinical work.

Head on over to the show notes page for more information about this episode and for links to the resources discussed in the interview. 

Transcripts

Eric Brand:

So because they have about two to 300 formulas available off the

Eric Brand:

shelf and another 300 singles or so to modify them a lot of the doctors in Taiwan

Eric Brand:

start with a whole formula, and sometimes they combine multiple formulas together

Eric Brand:

and then add single herb ingredients.

Eric Brand:

Whereas in mainland China, uh, it's mostly done the same way

Eric Brand:

as they deal with the Ragab.

Eric Brand:

Decoction

Michael Max:

hi, you're back for other qiological epic.

Michael Max:

Great.

Michael Max:

I'm glad you're here.

Michael Max:

I'm Michael max.

Michael Max:

And today we're taking a deep dive into herbs, not so much their prescriptive use,

Michael Max:

but more in terms of how could I say this?

Michael Max:

I guess you could say infrastructure.

Michael Max:

It's easy for us to think that because we have a darn good

Michael Max:

English version of the material.

Michael Max:

Matika, that's a centuries of herbal knowledge is at our

Michael Max:

fingertips, but there's a whole lot of backstory to these medicinal

Michael Max:

substances where herbs come from.

Michael Max:

How they're cultivated, how different plants have been used over the centuries.

Michael Max:

There's a lot we take for granted, or we simply trust our suppliers to

Michael Max:

have worked out all the details on identification and quality in a moment.

Michael Max:

We're going to get into this conversation, but first I want to say a quick, thank

Michael Max:

you to those who have sent pictures of where you're listening to the podcast.

Michael Max:

You know, I sit here in the qiological podcast studio, AKA the waiting room

Michael Max:

of young con Chinese medicine clinic and have these conversations with you,

Michael Max:

but rarely do we get a chance to meet.

Michael Max:

So I appreciate the photos and postcards from the different places where

Michael Max:

qiological finds its way into your ears.

Michael Max:

And lately I've been hearing from a lot of students, which was a real

Michael Max:

surprise, as I thought, y'all's would be busy with your basic studies, but

Michael Max:

it sounds like some of you enjoy these conversations, that cover material that

Michael Max:

won't help you pass the licensure exams.

Michael Max:

It gladdens my heart to know that there are new people coming into

Michael Max:

this field who are thirsty for the diversity of the methods that are

Michael Max:

within Chinese and east Asian man.

Michael Max:

Well, okay.

Michael Max:

Enough of this job owning, you probably want to get into today's show.

Michael Max:

I know I do, man.

Michael Max:

I got a great job.

Michael Max:

I get to tell you, I get to have conversations with smart

Michael Max:

people who are so lit up by what.

Michael Max:

I've got Eric brand with me today.

Michael Max:

Eric is a

Michael Max:

self-described herb nerd and he has a PhD in Chinese herbal

Michael Max:

medicine to prove it too.

Michael Max:

I first met Eric in the early part of the century.

Michael Max:

When we're both in Taiwan, he's still there.

Michael Max:

At least we're not traveling to some conference or to teach.

Michael Max:

We're really lucky to have guys like Eric who are fluent in Chinese and can

Michael Max:

go deep into the culture and the modern educational and business relations

Michael Max:

in such a way that he can bring new information to us here in the west.

Michael Max:

Most especially about herbs, which is the topic of what

Michael Max:

we're getting into here today.

Michael Max:

Eric, welcome to qiological.

Eric Brand:

Thanks, Michael.

Eric Brand:

It's really an honor to be here.

Eric Brand:

You've got such a great group of people.

Eric Brand:

I can't believe that I'm on your list here.

Michael Max:

You are, so there you go.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

We met in Taiwan all those years ago.

Michael Max:

You're still there.

Michael Max:

What have you been up to these days?

Michael Max:

I know back when we were hanging out, you were really into herbs and then

Michael Max:

you headed off to Hong Kong for a PhD.

Michael Max:

What are you up to these days?

Eric Brand:

It's been quite a few years since we were hanging out

Eric Brand:

drinking oolong tea together in Taiwan.

Eric Brand:

So I was doing a lot of work with translation.

Eric Brand:

If there's one thing that's sort of a consistent theme here in my life, I

Eric Brand:

guess it's running into good teachers.

Eric Brand:

So around the time that we were visiting together in Taiwan,

Eric Brand:

Really fortunate to be spending a lot of time setting with a phone.

Eric Brand:

Yeah.

Eric Brand:

Nigel Wiseman learning foggy brought me into the hospital

Eric Brand:

to do more clinical medicine.

Eric Brand:

Nigel was teaching me about the translation over time.

Eric Brand:

I started getting into really, really interested in the granules, started

Eric Brand:

meeting a lot of the people at the owners of the granule factories

Eric Brand:

started going around to mainland China throughout Taiwan, visiting

Eric Brand:

all the granule factories, generally trying to learn more about the

Eric Brand:

prepared products and then over time.

Eric Brand:

Generally it tended to move more and more deeply into the herbs.

Eric Brand:

So in Hong Kong, I was really fortunate to encounter my PhD

Eric Brand:

supervisor, professor Jong Jenn.

Eric Brand:

He's really, uh, one of China's very top experts for herbal identification,

Eric Brand:

and I felt really fortunate to have the chance to study with

Eric Brand:

professor chow in the Chinese world.

Eric Brand:

He's mostly known for.

Eric Brand:

Chinese medicine authentication.

Eric Brand:

He did a lot of early work with microscopy the powder analysis of

Eric Brand:

being able to identify Chinese herbs in powder form using just a microscope

Eric Brand:

in the Chinese world, mostly known for a lot of his scientific contributions,

Eric Brand:

but really his passion is that broad, traditional discipline of materia Medica.

Eric Brand:

So it started in front of literature throughout the identification of herbs,

Eric Brand:

traditional macroscopic differentiation.

Eric Brand:

Traditional identification of quality through to poucher natural resources,

Eric Brand:

basically all of the background story of the herbs before they reach you in

Eric Brand:

a dried sliced form and your pharmacy.

Eric Brand:

And so over the last many years, really, I've been focusing more on.

Eric Brand:

You know, the plants and the, and the sliced crew drugs

Eric Brand:

rather than the patients.

Eric Brand:

Exactly.

Eric Brand:

But I've been just having a great chance to jump into that topic.

Eric Brand:

And my teacher has been bringing me throughout China to see farms,

Eric Brand:

factories, or bull markets, and it's been really rare opportunity.

Eric Brand:

So I've been just pursuing that as much as I can.

Michael Max:

Fantastic.

Michael Max:

I've got a few questions about that.

Michael Max:

So you were mentioning.

Michael Max:

Those of us here in the west.

Michael Max:

You know, we get these packages, we got our crude sliced herbs and

Michael Max:

you know, we've done our study and Chinese medicine school.

Michael Max:

So we've got an idea of what Europe is.

Michael Max:

And I hear you say, you've got this teacher in his main thing

Michael Max:

is herb identification and it makes me go what you mean?

Michael Max:

They don't know how to identify it.

Michael Max:

After 2000 years, what are some of the issues around herb identification

Michael Max:

that he's looking at in his pertinent?

Michael Max:

In particular to us as users of these

Eric Brand:

products.

Eric Brand:

In a sense, you could say that herbal identification is relatively mature and

Eric Brand:

that the vast majority of the medicinal products that we use, somebody has gone

Eric Brand:

very, very deep in through the historical events, out literature, through the

Eric Brand:

botanical illustrations in ancient texts.

Eric Brand:

Basically verifying that, you know, what we know as today is Ren Shen was that

Eric Brand:

really the product that was used as wrench in 2000 years ago, which plants in Chinese

Eric Brand:

medicine have had historical changes.

Eric Brand:

For example, something like , you have a lot of adulterants on the market.

Eric Brand:

A lot of confused species, the ancient texts often described by Taiwan

Eric Brand:

with relatively vague terminology.

Eric Brand:

And so clarifying exactly what was the precise botanical identity of by too

Eric Brand:

long, at different points in history.

Eric Brand:

Is it self custody and then figuring out, okay, what, what material is used

Eric Brand:

as by Taiwan in different parts of China throughout different parts of the world.

Eric Brand:

Like for example, in the U S when we encounter zits, how we often encounter,

Eric Brand:

uh, adult Trent as this house, which is called potentilla, chinensis often

Eric Brand:

sold in like Chinatown pharmacies under the name at top, it's an aerial

Eric Brand:

part of a plant versus a purple.

Eric Brand:

This material, if you go to like a typical Chinatown pharmacy in the us,

Eric Brand:

or in, in Holland or in Australia or in Canada, most of the pharmacies that if

Eric Brand:

you just ask for the item that they'll dispense is not actually, so it's hot,

Eric Brand:

but it's a customary regional substitute.

Eric Brand:

That's been used as it's how in Southern China for hundreds of years.

Eric Brand:

But if you go to Taiwan, you find that same plant is sold as.

Eric Brand:

That plant in Taiwan is used as by TOA in Cantonese regions tends to be as desserts.

Eric Brand:

And it's neither by too long, nor is the top.

Eric Brand:

So when we think about what are issues in Chinese herbal identification, it's

Eric Brand:

not that nobody knows what that plant is.

Eric Brand:

We know what that plant is, but it's still widely confused and trade because

Eric Brand:

you have over hundreds of years.

Eric Brand:

Pharmacies being in the habit of scenes.

Eric Brand:

That's how looking like the earth.

Eric Brand:

As you know, I, when I first started studying Chinese medicine, I did an

Eric Brand:

apprenticeship in a Chinese pharmacy, a Chinatown style shop in San Diego

Eric Brand:

where I was filling formulas in the shop for about three years.

Eric Brand:

And the boss in that pharmacy, this is how that he has is, is the Cantonese.

Eric Brand:

But if I was to go with a sample of genuine, authentic, or

Eric Brand:

Navia with Chinese pharmacopeia officials, that's our product.

Eric Brand:

He wouldn't recognize it.

Eric Brand:

He wouldn't believe that that is genuine sets out.

Eric Brand:

He would think that the genuine sits, how is the one that he's

Eric Brand:

been using for the last 45 years?

Michael Max:

So there are some regional differences.

Michael Max:

There are some differences through time.

Michael Max:

How some of these substances have been used.

Michael Max:

And that can create some confusion.

Eric Brand:

Right?

Eric Brand:

And so when, when I did my PhD research, for example, one of the

Eric Brand:

items that we focused on was I basically had two large components.

Eric Brand:

One that I was looking at during the British colonial era, the British,

Eric Brand:

during the time of the Singapore and Malaysia was a British colony.

Eric Brand:

They collected basically all the Chinese medicines sold and Chinese

Eric Brand:

pharmacies and peninsula Malaysia, and brought them back to the UK and

Eric Brand:

store them for about a hundred years.

Eric Brand:

And the last hundred years, nobody has systematically gone through.

Eric Brand:

That whole range of samples to look at how those historical specimens

Eric Brand:

are similar or different to the decoction pieces that we use today.

Eric Brand:

You can see some of the plants that we see as common substitutes in

Eric Brand:

a Chinatown pharmacy in LA today.

Eric Brand:

We're also.

Eric Brand:

Already appearing and substitutes in Chinese pharmacies and in

Eric Brand:

Malaysia a hundred years ago.

Eric Brand:

And then we looked a little bit more closely on some of the ones that are

Eric Brand:

related to issues of risk of low kick acid, because those have a really

Eric Brand:

clear safety component to them.

Eric Brand:

And the very clear example of like confusion of botanical

Eric Brand:

identity and the importance.

Eric Brand:

Correct botanical identity in terms of Chinese medicine safety.

Eric Brand:

And so if we think about the case with Mouton, historically, the

Eric Brand:

descriptions and the botanical illustrations and the ancient benzo

Eric Brand:

texts suggest that Akia spaces were used as Mouton in ancient times.

Eric Brand:

So as you probably know, from all your work with Hong Kong and

Eric Brand:

studying with Shanghai, Lewin, the names . Those two names were switched.

Eric Brand:

So in early, early times they use the name to describe what we today called Mouton.

Eric Brand:

But that Mouton at that early times was derived from Makiah and

Eric Brand:

all the way through to the present day in Japan, they only use the

Eric Brand:

Kabya sources of Mouton, but as TCM practitioners, you know, the primary.

Eric Brand:

Uh, Mouton the Chinese medicine practitioners use is try Mouton and try

Eric Brand:

Mouton is a safe form of Mouton that doesn't contain a risk to look acid,

Eric Brand:

but try Matone has been used to at least since around 1848 it's well-documented

Eric Brand:

at the benzo techs, but try Mouton is actually somewhat of a later form of.

Eric Brand:

And Acadia's forms of Mouton were very rarely used in Chinese medicine today.

Eric Brand:

Akiba is mostly cultivated for the fruit in China, by UHR.

Eric Brand:

And so they keep the plant alive and keep harvesting the fruit rather than

Eric Brand:

cutting it down and using the stamps.

Eric Brand:

And so there's overall much more limited.

Eric Brand:

Natural resources and medicinal material of Akiba derived Mouton in China.

Eric Brand:

And basically what happened in the Ching dynasty is you started to have

Eric Brand:

a substitute from Northeastern China derives from Aristolochia Manchuria,

Eric Brand:

ANSYS squad, Mouton, and Guan.

Eric Brand:

Wu-Tang had abundant natural resources, relatively thick, high yield in stem.

Eric Brand:

And so it became used as a Mouton substance.

Eric Brand:

And it was never recorded in the traditional benzol literature, but

Eric Brand:

by the time they started doing a systematic market surveys in the

Eric Brand:

1960s in China, and trying to figure out what are the Latin names that

Eric Brand:

correlate to all the Chinese names of the products and trade at that time,

Eric Brand:

Guan Mouton was already very prevalent.

Eric Brand:

And so pretty much from like the latter half of the 20th century until

Eric Brand:

after the 1990s, when the dangerous of acid and Mouton were discovered

Eric Brand:

and Guan Matan was eliminated from trade, it was banned from trade.

Eric Brand:

But before that time, it was quite, quite prominent.

Eric Brand:

And so now Butone, it's almost impossible to find it in a normal market today.

Eric Brand:

It's been very effectively eliminated from trade and all that we see as trends.

Eric Brand:

So for my PhD research, I was, I was looking at different

Eric Brand:

historical specimens of Mouton.

Eric Brand:

So taking like Mouton from Japan in the late 18 hundreds, Mouton from

Eric Brand:

the mid, late 18 hundreds in China and different specimens from around a

Eric Brand:

hundred to 150 years ago and figuring out can those historical specimens

Eric Brand:

help clarify the timeline of when.

Eric Brand:

The substitution of Mouton with theorists to look at Gasa

Eric Brand:

containing species emerged.

Eric Brand:

It was great.

Eric Brand:

We even got to go to the British natural history museum found a

Eric Brand:

300 year old specimen of Akia confirmed that what we knew from

Eric Brand:

the Bentel literature was correct.

Eric Brand:

Basically.

Eric Brand:

Well,

Michael Max:

this in-depth look into herbs like you've been

Michael Max:

doing, like you just described.

Michael Max:

Is this something that's commonly done in.

Eric Brand:

You know, in China, you basically have the, the field of

Eric Brand:

Chinese medicine in a way it's sort of split into two branches at the

Eric Brand:

school that I was at in Hong Kong.

Eric Brand:

All of the major universities in Hong Kong have Chinese medicine programs,

Eric Brand:

but the only one that has Chinese herbal pharmacy and Chinese medicine as two

Eric Brand:

separate disciplines within the school was our school Hong Kong Baptist university.

Eric Brand:

And in China, it's very common for them to have.

Eric Brand:

Herbal medicine and clinical medicine as two separate tracks, basically

Eric Brand:

pharmacy and medicine in the west.

Eric Brand:

Basically the only part of the field that we're currently able to really

Eric Brand:

access and study is the medicine side.

Eric Brand:

And so we know when to prescribe versus Shandy, but we don't

Eric Brand:

necessarily know much about.

Eric Brand:

The origin of DUI.

Eric Brand:

We may have the idea that du Hong has, uh, a Dowdy region in Hunan where the

Eric Brand:

best is produced or that we have this concept that shooting Hong is, is

Eric Brand:

processed with wine or it's steamed.

Eric Brand:

And you have this basic idea of, of powder, but exactly

Eric Brand:

how is the poucher executed?

Eric Brand:

What part of China does Dijuan come from?

Eric Brand:

In fact, YWAM has, has been grown from clone from cut-ins

Eric Brand:

for over a thousand years.

Eric Brand:

So de Hong actually, which people will plant de Hong seeds, they'll get reminded

Eric Brand:

of those seeds, plant them in their garden and think, oh, I've got Dijuan growing.

Eric Brand:

But actually the, the medicinal de Hong that we use is not derived from the

Eric Brand:

genetic diversity of seed ground material.

Eric Brand:

It's a selected cultivar.

Eric Brand:

That's been grown by clone in a certain region for.

Eric Brand:

Over a thousand years.

Eric Brand:

And so certain herbs, like there's a whole tradition of cultivation,

Eric Brand:

selection of cultivars and stuff that goes into the background of these arts.

Eric Brand:

Generally in the west, we pretty much are only dealing with.

Eric Brand:

How to prescribe the medicine.

Eric Brand:

And in China, they have a pharmacist that they can rely on to figure

Eric Brand:

out where to get the decathlon, where the good Dijuan comes from.

Eric Brand:

You know, all of that stuff.

Eric Brand:

They have pharmacists who can sort out the raw material supply, but in the west, we

Eric Brand:

kind of need to be a Jack of all trades.

Eric Brand:

We're expected to be the pharmacist and the doctor.

Eric Brand:

And so there's this whole area of verbal pharmacy that thus far hasn't

Eric Brand:

really reached the west because it mostly is still only available in.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

We're basically relying on our suppliers and importers and hoping that they've

Michael Max:

got the background to make sure we're getting the right stuff and in a good.

Eric Brand:

And we are lucky that we are in a field where we have some very

Eric Brand:

good suppliers and very good importer.

Eric Brand:

So you do have some choices of people that are really passionate about sourcing and

Eric Brand:

getting the right material in the field.

Eric Brand:

But of course, depending on a supply chain, anytime you have people that

Eric Brand:

are business people involved, where you have business and academia,

Eric Brand:

sometimes these two things makes perfectly and sometimes not as perfect.

Michael Max:

Yeah, you were talking about visiting granule factories in Taiwan.

Michael Max:

You got a chance to go see all of those.

Michael Max:

Those have been around a while now, and then chance to see

Michael Max:

it in the mainland as well.

Michael Max:

How would you describe the manufacturer of granules in each of

Michael Max:

those two regions and how they're different or how they might be.

Eric Brand:

It's fundamentally similar because the process of making

Eric Brand:

granules is basically replicated in a water decoction so it's not exactly.

Eric Brand:

Rocket science in terms of the core principle.

Eric Brand:

However, it, it does have a tremendous amount of, of modernization and

Eric Brand:

that the level of technique that's applied is actually really inspiring.

Eric Brand:

It's sophisticated in both mainland China and Taiwan.

Eric Brand:

You have some very, very advanced, very sophisticated granule factories and to

Eric Brand:

a westerner who's never seen a granule factory it's really mind blowing to see.

Eric Brand:

That level of technology and scale implemented around an herbal medicine

Michael Max:

product, not to mention a bunch of laboratory

Eric Brand:

equipment, you have whole rooms full of basic equipment, like

Eric Brand:

HPLC or TLC microscopy, but then you also even have things like, uh, you

Eric Brand:

know, UPFC and then people even do.

Eric Brand:

Testing equipment like Q TOF mass, where they're able to take these complex

Eric Brand:

fingerprints, because one of the most complicated things is for whole formulas

Eric Brand:

that have been cooked together, to be able to have the quality control, to measure

Eric Brand:

such complex multi-component mixtures.

Eric Brand:

You have some new generation technologies now that are emerging, that are doing

Eric Brand:

these complex fingerprinting that are still really at the research stage.

Eric Brand:

But for.

Eric Brand:

Understand the complex fingerprints of whole formulas cook together,

Eric Brand:

uh, as well as even identifying down to like the production region of a

Eric Brand:

certain earth, like taking an Arab from different production regions in China

Eric Brand:

and looking at its overall complex chemical fingerprint to try to figure

Eric Brand:

out can the fingerprints even help to clarify where the earth was grown.

Eric Brand:

In some cases, it seems to be able to, so you have a huge amount of

Eric Brand:

technology and sophistication going on in the lab, but if you ask about

Eric Brand:

the basic differences between.

Eric Brand:

Taiwan and mainland China.

Eric Brand:

I would say that one of the key differences is that the industry

Eric Brand:

in Taiwan started very early.

Eric Brand:

Originally granule technology originally was pioneered in Japan

Eric Brand:

and started to become integrated for Japanese compo and became integrated

Eric Brand:

into the Japanese national insurance.

Eric Brand:

And after it became accepted by Japanese insurance.

Eric Brand:

It really opened up the market tremendously.

Eric Brand:

And the first granule factory in Taiwan suntan, the owner of suntan had

Eric Brand:

studied in Japan, brought the granule technology back to Taiwan and Taiwan

Eric Brand:

originally started making a lot of whole formulas for export to Japan.

Eric Brand:

The industry in Taiwan gradually developed around.

Eric Brand:

Whole formulas that have been cooked together and then add

Eric Brand:

in single herb ingredients.

Eric Brand:

And so the prescribing style in Taiwan is very heavily influenced

Eric Brand:

by which products are available.

Eric Brand:

So because they have about two to 300 formulas available off the shelf and

Eric Brand:

another 300 singles or so to modify them a lot of the doctors in Taiwan start

Eric Brand:

with a whole formula, and sometimes they combine multiple formulas together

Eric Brand:

and then add single herb ingredients.

Eric Brand:

Whereas in mainland China, it's mostly done.

Eric Brand:

The same way as they deal with the robber of decoction.

Eric Brand:

So they write out the ingredients and the raw decoction doses, and then they

Eric Brand:

just replicate that in granule form.

Eric Brand:

And in the past, they used to use these small little single dose packets, but now

Eric Brand:

it's increasingly happening in mainland.

Eric Brand:

China is they have these large automated, like sort of a

Eric Brand:

refillable 300 gram tube style.

Eric Brand:

It has a special lid that fits into an automated machine.

Eric Brand:

And so they'll have like an automated system.

Eric Brand:

Each herb has a variable concentration ratio and software that adjusts it

Eric Brand:

in the computer so that the doctor writes down the raw herb dose

Eric Brand:

weight, and then a computer adjusts.

Eric Brand:

It weighs out each individual herb to get the same concentrated equivalent

Eric Brand:

of that raw herb dose weight, mixes it all together and then dispenses

Eric Brand:

it in single doses for the patients.

Eric Brand:

And so basically you have two different styles of prescribing going on.

Michael Max:

I was talking with Andy Ellis here at the beginning of this

Michael Max:

year, they were talking about the so-called five to one concentration

Michael Max:

getting a true five to one.

Michael Max:

Really depends on the substance that you're working with.

Michael Max:

What I hear you saying is over on the mainland, they're aware

Michael Max:

that some things may be they're concentrated two to one or others.

Michael Max:

It might be concentrated 10 to one, depending on how they do it.

Michael Max:

And so they're writing a prescription based on.

Michael Max:

Uh, traditional prescription or whatever the doctor thinks.

Michael Max:

And then they're able to put in a certain amount of granules based,

Michael Max:

not just on weight, but also on its concentration to create what the doctor

Michael Max:

would have otherwise done with raw herbs.

Michael Max:

Is that correct?

Eric Brand:

The doctor is just writing 10 grams of by Shaw.

Eric Brand:

And he wants that 10 grams of bio as though it were raw herbs in a

Eric Brand:

decoction and then the software is figuring out how much of this

Eric Brand:

concentrated extract to dispense, to equate to 10 grams of by shell.

Eric Brand:

Whereas in Taiwan, they're not really thinking about the granule

Eric Brand:

dose based on his driver equivalent.

Eric Brand:

The insurance in Taiwan covers a six gram dose of ground.

Eric Brand:

And they usually give that dose three times per day.

Eric Brand:

And so usually in Taiwan, most doctors are dosing around like 12

Eric Brand:

to 18 grams per day of granules.

Eric Brand:

But they're thinking about that total daily target those.

Eric Brand:

And they're thinking proportionally within that target dose, how much of it

Eric Brand:

is going to be formula a, how much will be formula B, how much of it is going

Eric Brand:

to be the single or modification ABC.

Eric Brand:

And so in Taiwan, In the doctor's head.

Eric Brand:

It's mostly thinking about what's the total amount of granules I'm giving

Eric Brand:

to this person and adjusting it proportionally rather than thinking

Eric Brand:

about what's the raw or equivalent.

Eric Brand:

Of that granule dose.

Eric Brand:

And so oftentimes in Taiwan, you'll see the same doctor when

Eric Brand:

they prescribed raw herbs, versus when they prescribed granules.

Eric Brand:

If you actually do the mathematical calculation, they give a

Eric Brand:

different dose weight when giving raw versus giving granules.

Eric Brand:

But granules is covered by insurance.

Eric Brand:

RA has to pay out of pocket.

Eric Brand:

Granule has a limitation on the total dosage, that's imposed by the government.

Eric Brand:

And so they generally work within.

Eric Brand:

That dose range.

Eric Brand:

And I think that, you know, cost is often a factor for people using

Eric Brand:

granules throughout the world.

Eric Brand:

So if you see practitioners in Australia who are granules are far more expensive

Eric Brand:

than, than there are in America, you know, in America, the granules are maybe

Eric Brand:

half the price or less than an Australia.

Eric Brand:

And so in Australia, The price is very high.

Eric Brand:

And so practitioners tend to use relatively low doses in America.

Eric Brand:

The price is intermediate and people tend to use, uh, you know, doses lower than in

Eric Brand:

Taiwan, but, but higher than Australia.

Eric Brand:

And so, and then in Japan, the granule price is very, it's very high, but

Eric Brand:

the dosage tends to also be very low.

Eric Brand:

So in, in Japan, Typically using only about six grams of granules per person per

Eric Brand:

day, and Taiwan, they're using 12 to 18.

Eric Brand:

There's so much variation, even between regions of what is the total amount

Eric Brand:

of granules that people are using.

Eric Brand:

It's a little bit tricky to make a precise claim that when those

Eric Brand:

ranges correct, you know, I

Michael Max:

think it's incredibly tricky as you pointed out, it has to do.

Michael Max:

With insurance reimbursements.

Michael Max:

It has to do with local economics ESU with local habits.

Michael Max:

I mean, I remember when I first got to Taiwan, I was there like a month

Michael Max:

and a half and I got really, really sick and a friend of mine who was

Michael Max:

also there studying language, said, Hey, I heard about this old Joni.

Michael Max:

Right?

Michael Max:

Let's go see him.

Michael Max:

Let's have him prescribed some herbs for you.

Michael Max:

So we go down and she translates.

Michael Max:

Cause I can't speak at that point.

Michael Max:

And this guy, a fossil he's like in his early nineties, You know, so we talk,

Michael Max:

he takes my Paul's blah, blah, blah, the earth girls dish up some powder.

Michael Max:

And I say to my friend, go find out what they gave me.

Michael Max:

I'm here to learn, go find out where they gave me.

Michael Max:

It turns out he gave me five different formulas, modified with like four herbs.

Michael Max:

I, you know, I looked at this and I just went, man, if I would have attempted

Michael Max:

something like this with my teachers in the United States, they would have been.

Michael Max:

Haven't you been paying attention?

Michael Max:

I thought this guy was like beyond just pull data.

Michael Max:

It's like, what am I doing?

Michael Max:

Well, it turns out I take the herbs and I'm sure that I'm going to

Michael Max:

be in the hospital the next day.

Michael Max:

Cause I was really sick and I get up the next day and I'm 80% better.

Michael Max:

I usually have a dry cough after a cold.

Michael Max:

I cough.

Michael Max:

I have a mouth full of flam and I'm thinking what happened here.

Michael Max:

Right?

Michael Max:

Here's a way of working with herbs completely foreign to me.

Michael Max:

It clearly is effective.

Michael Max:

Right.

Michael Max:

But it's a whole different way of thinking about prescribing herbs.

Michael Max:

And it seems to be a very Taiwanese style.

Michael Max:

So to speak, like you were saying on the mainland, they're really looking

Michael Max:

to replicate a raw prescription.

Michael Max:

So I'm wondering if you can go a little more into how the Chinese doctors in

Michael Max:

Taiwan are thinking when they're thinking about putting together for formula.

Michael Max:

And then modifying it with five

Eric Brand:

different herbs.

Eric Brand:

Well, you know, that's actually kind of, the way I got into granules in the

Eric Brand:

first place is, you know, my interest in granules really came out from being

Eric Brand:

in the hospital in Taiwan, watching how they would prescribe these, this, and

Eric Brand:

basically like what you said and a whole new way of using granules, something that.

Eric Brand:

You had some of the teachers from mainland China would come to do

Eric Brand:

lectures at the hospital and in Taiwan.

Eric Brand:

And they would think that the Taiwanese style of prescribing

Eric Brand:

had completely lost all direction.

Eric Brand:

They thought, oh, you've got, you know, you've got three formulas

Eric Brand:

with 10 ingredients, you have 30 herbs and 12 of them where you

Eric Brand:

are irrelevant for this patient or whatever they say you can't subtract.

Eric Brand:

You can only add, you've got basically.

Eric Brand:

Too many ingredients, losing the clarity and direction of the formula

Eric Brand:

and the Taiwanese doctors would think, no, it's just the opposite.

Eric Brand:

Each formula has a very clear principle.

Eric Brand:

And so they're seeing these three formulas.

Eric Brand:

They're not seeing it as 30 herbs.

Eric Brand:

They're seeing it as three.

Eric Brand:

Principals almost using those three formulas as though they were three single

Eric Brand:

herbs, you know, almost using a shaoyang sun as though it were one herb that

Eric Brand:

courses deliver in supplements the spleen.

Eric Brand:

Right.

Eric Brand:

So when you're often modifying a prescription and you think, okay, the

Eric Brand:

patient has problem, eh, But they've got a little bit of water it's disharmony.

Eric Brand:

That's not their major concern, but if would an earth aren't

Eric Brand:

in balance, it's going to be harder to address main problem.

Eric Brand:

And so it, as a raw prescription, you could just add a little bit of Thai

Eric Brand:

who and Viju, and, but you have to add several ingredients to make it

Eric Brand:

happen, you know, whereas they would just add a little bit of shadow side

Eric Brand:

to just tinker that literacy dynamic.

Eric Brand:

Oftentimes like when I would look at my teacher, I phone, yeah.

Eric Brand:

He would take something like.

Eric Brand:

Mozzarella and one and shy.

Eric Brand:

Let's say he's got somebody who has a chief complaint of constipation, but

Eric Brand:

they don't need to take long-term.

Eric Brand:

Purgatives really, they mostly just have Woodworth and balance that

Eric Brand:

once that's corrected, then the constipation will be back in sort.

Eric Brand:

He would use the Matsa ran one and the shaoyang started together and

Eric Brand:

alter the ratio of the two of them.

Eric Brand:

So when the person still has more constipation, the monster in one

Eric Brand:

proportion is higher and the shaoyang son is lower and he is generally.

Eric Brand:

Change it so that the shaoyang assigned generally gets increased in

Eric Brand:

the monster and one tapers off until he can drop off the Mazzara and one

Eric Brand:

altogether, keep the shaoyang sun.

Eric Brand:

And then the constipation doesn't bounce back.

Eric Brand:

I got really interested in looking at how people use granules just from.

Eric Brand:

That difference between mainland China and Taiwan.

Eric Brand:

And that made me start to talk to a lot of different doctors

Eric Brand:

using granules in both places.

Eric Brand:

And I realized that in Taiwan, a lot of the doctors didn't know what was

Eric Brand:

going on with granules and mainland China, and a lot of doctors in mainland

Eric Brand:

China didn't know really what was going on with granules in Taiwan.

Eric Brand:

And so I discovered it was kind of a fascinating topic to get into.

Eric Brand:

And you realize that there's so much that even with the.

Eric Brand:

The Chinese world, nobody has written a handbook or a book, even in Chinese

Eric Brand:

that really clearly describes some, there's still a lot of misunderstanding

Eric Brand:

in mainland China about things like what does the Taiwanese companies market?

Eric Brand:

Their granules overseas is five to one.

Eric Brand:

What does that mean?

Eric Brand:

And likewise in China.

Eric Brand:

So you have all these different issues of confusion where.

Eric Brand:

These two types of granule products.

Eric Brand:

They're only really encountering each other for the first time overseas because

Eric Brand:

the Taiwanese granules aren't legally able to be sold in China and vice versa.

Eric Brand:

And so these two types of granules never actually encountered each

Eric Brand:

other until they go to Germany or Singapore or Amsterdam, right.

Eric Brand:

As Western consumers, we have the chance to, to choose the, you

Eric Brand:

know, sort of take the best of.

Eric Brand:

Of all worlds in mainland China, the way that the granular prescribing has evolved.

Eric Brand:

Has influenced by the regulations so far, you don't have a place in Chinese

Eric Brand:

regulations for the whole formulas cook together to be dispensed in hospitals.

Eric Brand:

So the single herbs are basically regulated under the same

Eric Brand:

category as decoction pieces.

Eric Brand:

So they're not finished medicines and tell a doctor, prescribes

Eric Brand:

them and compounds them together.

Eric Brand:

Um, whereas in Taiwan, the regulations basically allow.

Eric Brand:

Any formula up through the end of the Ching dynasty, basically any formula

Eric Brand:

over a hundred years old, that's ducted, according to the classical text

Eric Brand:

that can be made into a prescription granular and then also the single arm.

Eric Brand:

So you have some differences, mainland China, a lot more single herbs with

Eric Brand:

different powder choices in Taiwan, a lot more whole formulas that have been cooked.

Eric Brand:

What are your thoughts

Michael Max:

on the signature of a formula that's been cooked together versus a

Michael Max:

bunch of granules that are all made up separately and then mixed together?

Michael Max:

Of

Eric Brand:

course, it's one of the most important and most popular questions.

Eric Brand:

Uh it's.

Eric Brand:

Most challenging questions to answer right now, when we're trying to

Eric Brand:

understand, basically, historically people ducted the Arabs together.

Eric Brand:

A lot of practitioners feel like the most conservative choice is to preserve that

Eric Brand:

interaction in the decoction process.

Eric Brand:

And there are a number of arguments that can be made that suggested it's

Eric Brand:

desirable or important to preserve that, uh, whatever synergy may

Eric Brand:

exist in that decoction process.

Eric Brand:

So for example, let's say.

Eric Brand:

I formula like my long tongue versus matching shirt on top, the two formulas

Eric Brand:

fundamentally the same, except in one case you have wager accentuate in the

Eric Brand:

warm, accurate, free nature of Maha.

Eric Brand:

And the other case you have sugar gal being cold and causing the form that

Eric Brand:

instead of being a warm, accurate formula, now it's a form able to treat lung lung

Eric Brand:

heat just simply by the change of using instead of using Glazer using Shugar.

Eric Brand:

But if you look at the chemistry of that, Yeah, my Hong is a lot of its activity

Eric Brand:

is related to its alkaloids and the solubility of alkaloids in a decoction.

Eric Brand:

And why did he, caution is going to be affected by the pH.

Eric Brand:

And so if you have some herbs that are naturally sour, like a way it's a woman.

Eric Brand:

ShaoYin jaw things that have a lot of organic acids.

Eric Brand:

These will tend to lower the pH of the solution.

Eric Brand:

Whereas if you have a lot of mineral products, like Mouli Longo, a lot of

Eric Brand:

these relatively alkaline minerals still tend to raise the pH of the solution.

Eric Brand:

So you would tend to have more solubility of alkaloids in a more acidic solution and

Eric Brand:

less solubility in a more basic solution.

Eric Brand:

So it may be that in some cases like something like . You know,

Eric Brand:

if you analyze it chemically, this fundamentally, most of the calcium

Eric Brand:

right now is the major value of.

Eric Brand:

Ingestion of the calcium per se, or is it potentially its presence in the formula,

Eric Brand:

in the decoction altering the solubility of some of the other constituents and how

Eric Brand:

to analyze that and how to interpret it.

Eric Brand:

It's a very complex question.

Eric Brand:

So you take a formula that's ducted together and you take a formula mix

Eric Brand:

from singles, put them through HPLC and compare the, the chemical peaks of them.

Eric Brand:

You'll see, there are some differences.

Eric Brand:

In the peaks, but what is the significance of those differences is a very difficult

Eric Brand:

question to answer because the peaks that you're looking at and measuring those are

Eric Brand:

things where you have a pure, analytical reference standard for like, let's say

Eric Brand:

you want to look at how much longly is in Hong and J Tom cook together versus

Eric Brand:

wildly engaged Atomics from singles.

Eric Brand:

And you can look at like the, the Burberry and con.

Eric Brand:

You could even say, okay, you've got hung by in Hong Kong and

Eric Brand:

they both contain bird brain.

Eric Brand:

Right?

Eric Brand:

So you could even look at a few different markers.

Eric Brand:

If you let's say you're looking at that berberine, you have a pure

Eric Brand:

sample of berberine that you can put into the machine and then, you

Eric Brand:

know, okay, that peak is Burberry, but what's that peak next to it.

Eric Brand:

You don't have a pure analytical reference sample.

Eric Brand:

So to identify what is the chemical structure of that peak, even if it's

Eric Brand:

a known chemical it's challenging.

Eric Brand:

And if it's an unknown chemical to then be able to.

Eric Brand:

Isolated characterize that.

Eric Brand:

Even to identify what it is, right.

Eric Brand:

It's potentially a $10,000 research question, you know, in

Eric Brand:

terms of the cost operating costs.

Eric Brand:

And then even you've identified what it is to isolate enough of it.

Eric Brand:

And then to somehow test its pharmacology, to give it to how many rats under how

Eric Brand:

many different models to figure out.

Eric Brand:

No, maybe it treats diarrhea, but does that clear heart fire?

Eric Brand:

Right?

Eric Brand:

What model, what animal model can you use to, to assess that?

Eric Brand:

Right.

Eric Brand:

And so what is the activity.

Eric Brand:

You know,

Michael Max:

you were just saying something about my and my long

Michael Max:

tongue and how adding minerals can change the pH of EduCom action.

Michael Max:

It might even change what is being pulled out.

Michael Max:

So maybe my long acts a little bit differently with the pH that sure gal is

Michael Max:

causing versus the pH that something like.

Michael Max:

Is causing.

Michael Max:

So is my thinking correct here.

Michael Max:

Let me ask you this, that there are certain things that would show up

Michael Max:

on that various equipment that shows active ingredients and such, but to,

Michael Max:

could there be some difference in the character of the moth long when it's come

Michael Max:

out in a more alkaline solution, then when it comes out in say a more acidic.

Eric Brand:

You know, when something like my hung a little bit tricky to fully

Eric Brand:

answer the question, but like, if you look at Jeremiah Hong, the honey process,

Eric Brand:

my home versus the unprocessed, my Hawk.

Eric Brand:

So I unprocessed my home.

Eric Brand:

When you cocked it more, alkaloidal enter the decoction the process model Wong.

Eric Brand:

The honey actually inhibits the ephedra alkaloids from entering decoction.

Eric Brand:

So you would typically expect you wouldn't be surprised to have a different

Eric Brand:

intensity of alkaloid concentration.

Eric Brand:

When , but Jamal hung that moderated effect.

Eric Brand:

Is desirable in the case where it's in my home is used or traditionally, you

Eric Brand:

know, from like the Shanghai Honda.

Eric Brand:

And they recommended removing the notes of my hall.

Eric Brand:

And when we went to like the British natural history museum, we found a 300

Eric Brand:

year old specimen, Amal Hong from China.

Eric Brand:

At that time, all the nodes had been removed, but then we looked at

Eric Brand:

other specimens of from a hundred years ago, like from, for example,

Eric Brand:

that, uh, . And the gold, a gold dress collection of Chinese herbs.

Eric Brand:

That's been preserved since, uh, for about a hundred years in Oregon, the ma

Eric Brand:

there, the nodes had not been removed.

Eric Brand:

And in the modern herbal shop today, you typically will find Mohan without

Eric Brand:

the nodes removed the nodes of Mahwah.

Eric Brand:

If you analyze them chemically, like if you take my Hong and you break open the

Eric Brand:

fractured surface, it's got a little bit of a pink color on the middle of the pit.

Eric Brand:

And the intensity of that pinkness is related to the alkaloid content.

Eric Brand:

If you analyze the joints of my home versus the space in between

Eric Brand:

the joints, the joints have much lower alkaloid content.

Eric Brand:

And so the removal of the nodes in the traditional practice would have

Eric Brand:

increased the potency of the mouth.

Eric Brand:

By wait, but is the action of my home purely related to its effigy

Eric Brand:

and alkalize difficult to say clearly it's definitely related the sinus,

Eric Brand:

you know, effects are related.

Eric Brand:

The sweat promoting effects are related to urination, depends

Eric Brand:

related, but my Hong also has volatile oils and other things in it.

Eric Brand:

And that that's never been fully.

Eric Brand:

Systematically analyze.

Eric Brand:

So a lot of the things that we know, like with chemistry and traditional

Eric Brand:

medicine, it's hard to fully correlate.

Eric Brand:

You could definitely say that the Burberry and in Hong land's related

Eric Brand:

to its anti-diarrhea effect, but there's no scientific model for.

Eric Brand:

Assessing what in Hong, the end clears heart fire, right?

Eric Brand:

There's not a pure correlation between chemistry and traditional actions.

Eric Brand:

And so we look at the HPLC fingerprint of a formula cook

Eric Brand:

together versus one mix from singles.

Eric Brand:

And we say, okay, there are differences.

Eric Brand:

And because of the differences, some people would say it's better to follow

Eric Brand:

the traditional method and keep whatever.

Eric Brand:

Synergy and the decoction process was there.

Eric Brand:

And if you're a chef and you're making a dish, you would know the add in the

Eric Brand:

garlic and stewing the meat with it.

Eric Brand:

It's going to be different than if you were to add the meat and the garlic

Eric Brand:

together at the end and mix it together.

Eric Brand:

And so you have a lot of ways that you think that this interaction

Eric Brand:

of ingredients, it has traditional justification has scientific

Eric Brand:

justification, but at the same time, the scientific justification

Eric Brand:

is a little bit unclear because.

Eric Brand:

When you're dealing with like a whole formula that's been cooked together,

Eric Brand:

you genuinely rely on having a supply chain where the herbs are already

Eric Brand:

dried and available at the same time.

Eric Brand:

When you're dealing with the herbs from singles, you can get it straight

Eric Brand:

from one farm, right after harvest extract the entire amount in an optimum.

Eric Brand:

Decoction conditioned for each year.

Eric Brand:

And so in one case, so let's say like, you want to have your child sign and you

Eric Brand:

wanted to add Hong Shanti and child side.

Eric Brand:

You have a little bit more like lung heat.

Eric Brand:

For example, Hong sheen is going to extract best with a

Eric Brand:

slightly longer decoction time.

Eric Brand:

But in cello, sun is going to need a relatively short decoction time because it

Eric Brand:

needs that short decoction time for that.

Eric Brand:

Herbs to reach the surface of the body, according to the wind being Taliban.

Eric Brand:

Like when he, when they talk about some JueYin, you know, they talk about the

Eric Brand:

prolonged caution will cause the flavor to thicken, uh, into the interior.

Eric Brand:

It needs a short decoction time to rise to the surface.

Eric Brand:

So it'll disperse, right?

Eric Brand:

And so you want a short decoction time for you and shall, but a longer

Eric Brand:

decoction time for hung sheet.

Eric Brand:

So any way you boil the Hong scene with the end child, it's going to be

Eric Brand:

not optimized for the longterm, but will not be optimized for the other,

Eric Brand:

historically people didn't ever.

Eric Brand:

Test this out scientifically, they didn't have nine different pots on nine different

Eric Brand:

fires and boil each verb under optimized conditions and then mix it together and

Eric Brand:

compare that to everything put together.

Eric Brand:

They had a limitation of firewood, a limitation of resources.

Eric Brand:

They just had one pot on one fire.

Michael Max:

We're busy treating people.

Michael Max:

They weren't being researchers.

Michael Max:

They were just treating people.

Eric Brand:

Yeah.

Eric Brand:

So they, I mean, they cooked it together because.

Eric Brand:

They only had one fire in one pot going, it wasn't necessarily because

Eric Brand:

that was systematically tested to be the best way, but that's still

Eric Brand:

the most conservative thing is to preserve that traditional decoction.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

So, you know, back to traditional decoctions, you know, we're talking about.

Michael Max:

The way that they prescribed this stuff in Taiwan, which is a

Michael Max:

whole different mental framework.

Michael Max:

And if you know that framework and you can work with it, you, you can

Michael Max:

actually get some pretty good results.

Michael Max:

And then you've got the thing in the mainland where they've got these

Michael Max:

incredible machines that are going to look at the actual extraction

Michael Max:

ratio, do some fancy footwork with mathematics and computers, and

Michael Max:

be able to create a granulated formula that matches what occurred.

Michael Max:

Formula would have been.

Michael Max:

What about us that are here in the west?

Michael Max:

You know, we don't have these fancy machines and the extraction ratios,

Michael Max:

generally speaking are not five to one.

Michael Max:

How do we know that?

Michael Max:

What we're thinking in terms of dosage actually matches reality when

Michael Max:

the patient drinks it out of the.

Eric Brand:

Going back to what you're saying about the, the five to one,

Eric Brand:

five to one is slightly, it's often a slightly imprecise rule of thumb.

Eric Brand:

The way that the five to one thing really actually started around the world was

Eric Brand:

mostly from Taiwanese granule companies.

Eric Brand:

When people would ask them, what's the concentration of the herbs, you

Eric Brand:

know, trying to attract down, you know, where did this myth of the five to one?

Eric Brand:

Where was the, you know, what.

Eric Brand:

Where did it come from?

Eric Brand:

Right.

Eric Brand:

Andy was telling me originally that, uh, back in the day, the Taiwanese

Eric Brand:

companies would take a decoction.

Eric Brand:

They would make the decoction and then reduce the decoction in volume

Eric Brand:

by tenfold, and then add starch to.

Eric Brand:

To fivefold and they call that five to one.

Eric Brand:

And actually in reality, if you haven't been to Taiwan, you've probably

Eric Brand:

seen the granule bottles in Taiwan.

Eric Brand:

All of the granule bottles in Taiwan have the label that clearly

Eric Brand:

describes the concentration ratio.

Eric Brand:

One gram of this product is D cocktail from 3.4 grams of this driver with, you

Eric Brand:

know, ducted into this concentration mixed with this amount of starch.

Eric Brand:

But when the products are exports to the U S they remove the.

Eric Brand:

Information from the label.

Eric Brand:

And, uh, for a long period of time, customers would ask, well, what's

Eric Brand:

the, what's the concentration.

Eric Brand:

And they would say five to one.

Eric Brand:

That's not five to one in the modern way.

Eric Brand:

We think about one gram of this powder equals five grams of the ROV.

Eric Brand:

And decoction, if you, each of the herbs in Taiwan, every herb has a slightly

Eric Brand:

different concentration ratio because every herb, when you decoction and water.

Eric Brand:

Each of them has different amount of water-soluble components.

Eric Brand:

So something that's got a lot of insoluble fiber, like geesh, Tom, that's a vine

Eric Brand:

heavy vine that has a lot of material.

Eric Brand:

That's going to be discarded after you in the drags, but it's only, only yields

Eric Brand:

a relatively small amount of extract.

Eric Brand:

Relative to the way naturally, it's going to have a much higher concentration ratio

Eric Brand:

than something like pizza, where it has a lot of soluble component and you get

Eric Brand:

a lot of extract relative to relatively small amount of the, of the driver.

Eric Brand:

And so it was, uh, in mainland China, they started making granules much later.

Eric Brand:

And so they only really started doing granules and mainland China in the middle.

Eric Brand:

So Taiwan had already been well established and granules, but

Eric Brand:

it started in the seventies.

Eric Brand:

And so you had two different era in which the technology matured, and then you have

Eric Brand:

two different styles of making the ground.

Eric Brand:

Between Japan, Taiwan and mainland China, you have slight difference

Eric Brand:

where in Japan and the granules used in Japan and mainland China, they

Eric Brand:

first make a decoction and then dry the decoction without any excipients.

Eric Brand:

And then they have a.

Eric Brand:

Pure extract that has no excipient and variable concentration ratio.

Eric Brand:

And then in Taiwan, they add the excipient at the time of the drying in all places

Eric Brand:

you're taking like a large stainless steel pressurized decoction machine.

Eric Brand:

Decoction a large batch of verbs.

Eric Brand:

You're draining the water and evaporate in it in a low pressure, low temperature.

Eric Brand:

So they put it under a vacuum so that the water boils at a low boiling temperature

Eric Brand:

so that they can eliminate the water without exposing it to too much heat.

Eric Brand:

And so then you're eliminating the water and making it into like

Eric Brand:

a very concentrated decoction and that concentrated decoction is going

Eric Brand:

to go through, uh, a spray dryer.

Eric Brand:

That's going to spray that thick viscous decoction into forced warm air.

Eric Brand:

And by the time it falls through that warm air, it's going to be a powder in Taiwan.

Eric Brand:

They add the excipient at the stage of the dry.

Eric Brand:

So when you say

Michael Max:

excipient, you're talking about like, uh, some sort

Michael Max:

of starch that they blow it on to

Eric Brand:

in Taiwan, they use starch as the excipient and they

Eric Brand:

add the excipient to the dry stage.

Eric Brand:

And so that makes.

Eric Brand:

Uh, more or less a single step finished product in mainland China and Japan.

Eric Brand:

They dry the extract first into a pure extract.

Eric Brand:

That's sort of a half finished product stage.

Eric Brand:

And then if you want to make that into like a five to one style granual, you

Eric Brand:

would add excipient and compress it.

Eric Brand:

And they basically like have a.

Eric Brand:

Compresses it into a brick and cuts it into little particles and

Eric Brand:

then saves it so that you have basically a large Colonel granule.

Eric Brand:

The mainland Chinese companies originally never made five to one extracts, except

Eric Brand:

that they wanted to compete with the time when these companies overseas.

Eric Brand:

And they heard that Taiwanese companies made five to one extracts.

Eric Brand:

In fact, I, when these companies, they don't make exactly five to one extracts.

Eric Brand:

Every, every Arab is different, but because of a misunderstanding.

Eric Brand:

Uh, misunderstanding related to the marketing of the time when

Eric Brand:

he's extracts around the world, the mainland Chinese companies.

Eric Brand:

The rest of the world, one's five to one concentration ratios.

Eric Brand:

And so they took the herbs that can be concentrated above five to one and

Eric Brand:

adjust them to an even five to one.

Eric Brand:

And so in that case, if you're adjusting to precise five to one, it's possible to

Eric Brand:

have up to nine, maybe 90% of the herbs at five to one, but you have some herbs

Eric Brand:

that are not able to be concentrated as high as five to one because they

Eric Brand:

don't naturally have like their natural extraction ratio is lower than five.

Eric Brand:

And so you have some herbs that are going to be exceptions and some

Eric Brand:

herbs that are going to be powders.

Michael Max:

What would those exceptions be?

Michael Max:

What are the ones that you cannot concentrate to?

Michael Max:

500.

Eric Brand:

Well, there's several that are going to be used as, as powders that

Eric Brand:

aren't going to be concentrated at all.

Eric Brand:

Like Sanchi actually assigned, she could be made into a concentrated extract

Eric Brand:

because Sanchi often use to stop bleeding when Sanchi is subjected to heat.

Eric Brand:

And decoction the blood stop inability of Sanchia is weakened.

Eric Brand:

And so Sanchi, she is usually used as a crude powder in granular form because.

Eric Brand:

Maintains its ability to stop bleeding.

Eric Brand:

And traditionally son, she usually use like three to nine grams in decoction

Eric Brand:

or one to three grams as powder.

Eric Brand:

But traditionally.

Eric Brand:

Practitioners prefer to use Sanchi directly as a powder.

Eric Brand:

The same is true with like, uh, Tron Bemo Tron bay move because it's valuable.

Eric Brand:

People tend not to use it in decoction.

Eric Brand:

They'll tend to take it as a powder with the decoction you have the

Eric Brand:

gelatin products, like a urge owl.

Eric Brand:

all those things.

Eric Brand:

They can't be the cocktail, or they can be made into a, uh, Extract.

Eric Brand:

Oh, the gel itself is already a very concentrated product.

Eric Brand:

It's already made into a very concentrated gelatin.

Eric Brand:

You can crush it and take it as a powder, but if you were to try to boil

Eric Brand:

a jail in a decoction machine, it's just going to bounce up the machine.

Eric Brand:

And it's not going to be concentrated any more than it already is.

Eric Brand:

So you have some items like that where they can't be concentrated.

Eric Brand:

So you typically see the ones that aren't concentrated.

Eric Brand:

You'll see, like by G the blood stopping or both of those

Eric Brand:

typically not concentrated in Tron bay, Mo Sri, J and Trisha.

Eric Brand:

True.

Eric Brand:

Those two are not very water-soluble those two just use this powders.

Eric Brand:

So there's a, quite a, there's a number of herbs like that, where they're

Eric Brand:

just, uh, done as powder and then the

Michael Max:

minerals.

Michael Max:

How are those

Eric Brand:

done well with minerals?

Eric Brand:

You basically, there are some places that just grind the minerals and there

Eric Brand:

are some places that, uh, replicated decoction process of the minerals.

Eric Brand:

But the, the challenge with minerals is that it's harder to quantify.

Eric Brand:

It's a concentration.

Eric Brand:

So let's say you had like Maha going back to my home.

Eric Brand:

Oh, or Homeland or whatever, you have like a certain amount of effigy and

Eric Brand:

alkaloid naturally in the milewalk.

Eric Brand:

And then if you were to decoction it, you're going to discard all

Eric Brand:

this insoluble fiber and stuff that adds weight to the mile haul.

Eric Brand:

Right.

Eric Brand:

So then naturally, like if you were to take a look at like the, the

Eric Brand:

ephedra alkaloids in the, in the concentrated extract versus in the

Eric Brand:

crude mile or the amount of berberine and hung the NexTraq versus in the

Eric Brand:

crude Hong land, it's going to be more concentrated than, than the raw or.

Eric Brand:

Boiled it down, extracted it and gotten rid of all this drugs.

Eric Brand:

But let's say you have a mineral, you have gypsum and a, in both

Eric Brand:

Taiwan and mainland China.

Eric Brand:

They often replicate the water decoction process with, with Chicago,

Eric Brand:

but you're basically you're crushing.

Eric Brand:

And then boiling it in water and because you've crushed it, right?

Eric Brand:

Some of it is suspended in the water and the amount that gets suspended

Eric Brand:

in the water is going to depend on whether you just throw in one

Eric Brand:

whole lump or whether you crush it.

Eric Brand:

Right.

Eric Brand:

Cause you're going to have a, some of it more of it'll get suspended if

Eric Brand:

it's somewhat crushed up, but let's say you, you boil it in the water and

Eric Brand:

you strain it and you dry the water, the gypsum that you started with.

Eric Brand:

Is chemically about the same as the gypsum that you ended with.

Eric Brand:

And so you replicated the water decoction but did you really make

Eric Brand:

it more concentrated than it was originally hard to say, right?

Eric Brand:

It was the point of the gypsum in your mashing.

Eric Brand:

Should've gone Taiyang to actually ingest crudes mineral gypsum, or was

Eric Brand:

it to somehow influence the decoction environment of some of those other.

Michael Max:

I think a lot of Western herbalists are looking at.

Michael Max:

Putting together a formula based on that five to one and

Michael Max:

trying to think about dosages.

Michael Max:

Well, I mean, how do we think about dosages, right?

Michael Max:

You were saying in Japan, people take smaller dosages.

Michael Max:

It's partly traditional in Australia that take smaller dosages,

Michael Max:

that's economic from Taiwan.

Michael Max:

They take a certain dosage.

Michael Max:

Well, that's kind of because of the insurance system there,

Michael Max:

which by the way, is an amazing.

Michael Max:

Insurance system here in the states.

Michael Max:

We're often trying to think about replicating something

Michael Max:

that looks like cruder verbs.

Michael Max:

There's a lot of variables and a lot of moving parts here.

Michael Max:

Have you got any thoughts for our listeners on how

Michael Max:

to sort all this stuff out?

Michael Max:

Some things to think about are some areas to look and give consideration

Michael Max:

to, as we think about prescribing the right herbs for our patient.

Eric Brand:

First and foremost, just because it's not fully mathematically

Eric Brand:

precise, I wouldn't discard the five to one rule of thumb altogether.

Eric Brand:

It's generally a good rule of thumb because it's going to be about most of

Eric Brand:

your herbs are going to be sort of in the average is going to be too far off

Eric Brand:

of five to one, almost regardless of you know, which company you're using.

Eric Brand:

Many of them.

Eric Brand:

Many of the herbs are going to be not that far off there.

Eric Brand:

So even though it's not mathematically precise, it's still a generally good

Eric Brand:

rule of thumb to roughly estimate the amount of verbs that you, that you

Eric Brand:

would be prescribing in rough form, the individual variation of herbs, batch

Eric Brand:

to batch, and the difference between.

Eric Brand:

Quality grades of herbs in a way it's more, it's more dramatic.

Eric Brand:

Let's say like, if you look at ginseng, that's been grown in the forest just

Eric Brand:

by spreading seeds in the forest.

Eric Brand:

It takes 20 years to reach a tiny little, two gram root size.

Eric Brand:

And if you take Jensen grown in the field, You know, with a six year

Eric Brand:

root can be, you know, 30, 40 grams.

Eric Brand:

And so a 10 gram dose of ginseng would be like a hundred years of plant growth

Eric Brand:

of wild ginseng in the ancient forest.

Eric Brand:

The 10 gram dosage in single fields growing ginseng is just

Eric Brand:

one piece of one six year root.

Eric Brand:

The difference in general.

Eric Brand:

As it's evolved over the centuries.

Eric Brand:

So the difference in one really awesome bachelor gen St versus one really average

Eric Brand:

bachelor, Jen saying that difference is more significant than the difference

Eric Brand:

of whether you're giving 1.2 grams of granules in decoction or 0.9 grams or

Eric Brand:

granules, you know, as long as the, the general dose range is correct.

Eric Brand:

And the general formula construct.

Eric Brand:

As matched to the patient, people tend to get good results.

Eric Brand:

And I would say that nobody has a perfect guide to this in Taiwan.

Eric Brand:

People are just doing what they saw their teacher do.

Eric Brand:

They're just trying to replicate the experience of their teacher until they

Eric Brand:

have enough experience to have confidence.

Eric Brand:

With it, of their own.

Eric Brand:

And the west people tend to the same, many of our teachers came to America

Eric Brand:

before granules were ever used in China.

Eric Brand:

And so they have no experience with granules.

Eric Brand:

So we learn their experience using raw herbs, or we watched the experience

Eric Brand:

of our teachers using granules.

Eric Brand:

But I traveled to different schools and I've seen some TCM schools where they

Eric Brand:

give every patient who walks in the door, eight grams of granules per day.

Eric Brand:

I've seen other schools where they give every patient that walks in the door, 12

Eric Brand:

grads, and I've seen other schools where every patient gets a different weight

Eric Brand:

of granules depending on the supervisor.

Eric Brand:

And so there's all these other factors, right.

Eric Brand:

That are going into people's decisions.

Eric Brand:

But overall, I would say for me personally, I used granules about,

Eric Brand:

you know, 10 to 15 grams, a day, 12 to 18 grams a day, somewhere

Eric Brand:

within that range, you know, for the average or a good rule of thumb, no

Eric Brand:

less than one gram per or per day.

Eric Brand:

Right.

Eric Brand:

So if I've got, you know, a formula with 12 ingredients, I'm probably going to

Eric Brand:

give not really less than 12 grams of that formula, but my something like roadway,

Eric Brand:

that's going to be relatively strong and potent, like what roadway would use.

Eric Brand:

Gunjan those I'm going to be giving less, maybe only a half gram to a gram.

Eric Brand:

Something like , maybe I'll be giving to three grams of those, your average, middle

Eric Brand:

of the road, herbs, like dunk way bite.

Eric Brand:

You, you know, maybe I'll give Graham Graham and a half or so, but I think

Eric Brand:

about the Arabs proportionally in like low, medium high doses, just like when

Eric Brand:

you're dealing with RA, you think of.

Eric Brand:

Low dose range, medium dose range, high dose range.

Eric Brand:

I think about it like that with granules too.

Eric Brand:

And the low dose ones I give a more moderate proportion.

Eric Brand:

The middle is sort of my middle ground and then high I go high, but you know,

Eric Brand:

I just think about it proportionally and I tend to think about a total amount.

Eric Brand:

Per day.

Eric Brand:

We're gonna have

Michael Max:

to wind this down here in just a moment.

Michael Max:

I can't believe this hour has gone by so quickly.

Eric Brand:

That's been a lot of fun to chat with you.

Eric Brand:

I know

Michael Max:

it's always good.

Michael Max:

I want to do this in Taiwan next time I was there recently, but I think you

Michael Max:

were, you were gone at that moment.

Eric Brand:

Yeah.

Eric Brand:

We just missed each other and functional.

Eric Brand:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

Anything on the horizon that you're looking at or focusing

Michael Max:

on something that, uh, you know, like your latest research project or inquiry

Michael Max:

that you'd like to share with us.

Michael Max:

You

Eric Brand:

know, the next big thing is that we're working on doing like

Eric Brand:

a herbal pharmacy education project.

Eric Brand:

So we've recently been able to do some work with, uh, Beijing tolerant

Eric Brand:

to help, to do some, bring some herbal pharmacy education to America.

Eric Brand:

And so that's kind of one of the biggest things that's going to be on

Eric Brand:

the horizon in the coming future is that we're going to start to do some

Eric Brand:

classes in herbal pharmacy to do some.

Eric Brand:

Bring my teacher out to do some teaching.

Eric Brand:

I'll do some teaching and we have some other people doing some clinical classes.

Eric Brand:

Um, but we'll be mostly focusing on from my part.

Eric Brand:

It will be mostly focusing on the, but in some material, medical

Eric Brand:

literature, historical changes in Chinese medicine, powder processing

Eric Brand:

or blood identification, quality discernment, and all of that fun stuff.

Eric Brand:

So we kind of doing a whole little series of herbal pharmacy, CU

Eric Brand:

things, hopefully in the future.

Michael Max:

That sounds great.

Michael Max:

Well, I'll be sure that all your contact, information and website and whatever

Michael Max:

other materials that you'd like to share with the listeners, I'll make

Michael Max:

sure all that's on the show notes page so people can get in touch with you.

Michael Max:

I, I suspect you've got some sort of mailing list somewhere

Michael Max:

that people could sign up for.

Michael Max:

If they want to be kept in touch,

Eric Brand:

I should be better at that.

Eric Brand:

I say, I think the main, maybe the main repository of

Eric Brand:

all of my articles and stuff.

Eric Brand:

Isn't my company, legendary herbs.

Eric Brand:

So I've got the little page called the professional corner there that I've got

Eric Brand:

some articles and I've got a blog that I'm going to be reviving and doing more,

Eric Brand:

uh, more, getting more photos and more, more fun, little articles up there.

Eric Brand:

So the legendary ubs.com places kind of my main little home for articles and staff.

Eric Brand:

And we'll start putting more of the.

Eric Brand:

I need to get involved.

Eric Brand:

Do there's more of these lectures, more of these talks.

Eric Brand:

All right.

Eric Brand:

Well,

Michael Max:

we'll just put a bookmark in it for now and, uh, shades of Jen.

Eric Brand:

Thanks, Michael.

Eric Brand:

It's so wonderful to see you now.

Eric Brand:

See, I said, yeah.

Eric Brand:

Hi, nice to talk to you.

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