Date: Sun, 4 Jun 1995 15:46:39 PST
To: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list <HERB.TREARN.BITNET>
From: Paul Iannone <p_iannone.POP.COM>
Subject: Re: Richters HerbLetter 95/06/04

: The main ingredients are "He Shou Wu" (Polygonum multiflorum), "Dang Gui" (Angelica sinensis) and "Di Huang" (Rehmannia glutinosa). The presence of Angelica sinensis is probably the offending ingredient, one which the HPB has previously prohibited from importation and sale in Canada. The HPB claims that Dang Gui (also spelled "Dang Quai" or "Tang Kuei") is too dangerous for use as a herb because it reportedly can cause death due to respiratory arrest. But because Dang Gui is among the most popular of Chinese medicinal herbs, its import into Canada continues, the dried roots covertly renamed as something else. Dang Gui roots are readily available from herbalists in Toronto's Chinatown. Dang Gui is commonly given to treat female ailments such as irregular menstruation and anemia. It both reduces and stimulates menstrual flow and relaxes the uterus. It also given for a variety nerve and skin diseases, and for arthritis.

Very interesting article. I just reviewed the Third Edition of Tyler, Honest Herbal--what a pile of crap. In its Dang gui article, Tyler focuses on the coumarin content, and then says that it is insufficient to produce any kind of medicinal effect. This kind of reductive straw-dogging is rife throughout Tyler. He reduces an herbal to one ingredient, and then says there isn't enough there to do anything OR that such a chemical is dangerous (when administered in concentrated, isolated form)! Meanwhile, no attention is paid to the research that shows abundant chemical activity in other, less well-known ingredients. I'm sure the Canadian authorities are involved in a similar fallacy.

--Paul || p_iannone.pop.com