It may seem counter intuitive to eat Sheng Jiang – fresh ginger – in summer to stay healthy.  After all, summer is hot and Sheng Jiang is also hot.  However, this is an extremely important concept to master as a practitioner of Chinese medicine because it relates to the storage and dissipation of our very life force.

In summer, our bodies become an open system with our pores opening to deal with the heat.  Because of this both our fluids and our Yang are dissipated throughout the summer.  The external heat of summer opens our bodies and is the season in which Yang is lost.  On the other hand, during the winter our bodies close up in response to the external cold.  It is the season in which Yang is then stored.  Dr. Huang Huang explains this in a short presentation how it is that winter is the time in which hot illnesses proliferate.  With the pores closed, the Yang can get pent up and fail to vent.  This can lead to hot illnesses.

One can extrapolate from these ideas to the whole concept of venting and storage.  When we ask our patients the questions necessary to come to our diagnosis, we must explore both how all the venting systems are working (pores, bowels, urination, menstruation etc.)  Are they shutting in the Yang or leaking the Yang?  The Yang being the life force, this becomes an key question.

I’ve taken an excerpt from teachings presented by Dr. Huang during a course he taught here at White Pine Institute in 2008.  Click here to access this short presentation. This course was took place over 8 days in which Dr. Huang taught about individual herbs beyond the 10 key herbs he is famous for.

He taught on other important herbs from the classic formulas such as Bai Zhu, Fu Ling, Ge Gen, Gan Jiang…..22 herbs in all – giving us such a depth of understanding!  I hope to have all this footage edited soon for everyone to enjoy and learn from.  Below is a list of all the herbs Dr. Huang covered (beyond the 10 key formula family herbs) during this 8 day “herb camp”.   Interpretation is by Andrea Elliot.

Gan Jiang
Xi Xin
Wu Zhu Yu
Ge Gen
Tian Hua Fen
Bai Zhu
Huang Qin
Zi Su Ye
Zhi Zi
Sheng Di Huang
Huang Bai
Zhi Mu
Long Gu
Ren Shen
Mai Men Dong
E Jiao
Dang Gui
Bai Shao
Chuan Xiong
Hou Po
Zhi Shi
Fu Ling