I got my first batch of Chinese herbs from the acupuncture clinic this week. The instructor told me she didn’t see a crucial need for me to take them (because I’m appearing quite healthy – yay!), but it certainly wouldn’t hurt if I did. So she gave me the option to try them if I wanted. She put in some herbs for keeping my blood pressure down and boosting my liver function, and said she has another herb to add the next time around that’s for my uterus (I think?), but it may start causing contractions so she wanted to wait until I’m at least 36 weeks. My instructions were to cook them up in 4 cups of water, then divide into 6 parts – drinking 1/6 in the morning and at night for 3 days.
They honestly didn’t smell that bad while still in the brown paper bag – sort of “new agey,” but not nasty. HOWEVER, when I finally got around to cooking them up this morning – LOOK OUT! – oh my, did they ever stink (as did my whole house)! The smell sort of resembled dirt and pot (but not in a good way).
I was disappointed by how much liquid was left after boiling them for 45 minutes too. I figured a lot more would burn off, thus leaving me less to drink. But no. There was still quite a bit remaining that I was supposed to
gag down consume.
I decided to get it over with and take the first swig (while Jody stood by with the camera to capture my reaction – before and after). As you can see by the look on my face, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be (though I think I look like I was going to cry or bust out laughing). I didn’t run to the toilet and hurl and I didn’t spit it back into the glass. ;) I mean, it was not a good-tasting drink by any means, but it wasn’t *that* foul. I think the smell was worse than the taste. So I successfully drank down my first 1/2 cup of Chinese herbal tea today and have lived to tell the tale. :)
Added 10/15/06 8:37 p.m.: Just found this interesting info about wolfberries (which are the red berries in the pic) on Wikipedia: “Wolfberries and Lycium bark have long played important roles in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), where they are believed to enhance immune system function, improve eyesight, protect the liver, boost sperm production, and improve circulation, among other effects. In TCM terms, wolfberries are sweet in taste and neutral in nature; they act on the liver, lung, and kidney channels and enrich yin. They can be eaten raw, consumed as juice or wine, brewed into a tea, or prepared as a tincture.”