Friday, August 05, 2011


Yesterday and this morning, I became part of a long-standing tradition: I chose Chinese medicine to treat a health condition.

I've ended up over the course of the last 3 months with a really bad cough. I checked with my doctor and she noted that since my allergy meds, taken regularly, have done nothing to remedy the cough, it's fair to assume it's not caused by allergies. But I also have asthma. She thought that the really hot, dry and windy conditions we're experiencing here in Austin (and that I also experienced in Colorado, at least the dry and windy part of it) exacerbate asthma symptoms. She's been hearing a lot of complaints from her patients with asthma. So, she suggested I try an asthma inhaler that reduces inflammation, which I agreed to do. I have tried them before, and they really do improve my breathing.

My asthma herbs & other healthy things
But I also went to see Billy, my acupuncturist, got a treatment, signed up for a weekly series of them for awhile, and got three little paper bags full of Chinese herbs from the Turtle Dragon shop down the street from his office.

Billy prescribed Chinese herbs once before when I had a really bad case of bronchitis, and I recalled mainly that they tasted awful. These aren't the same ones. I brewed them up this morning and to my surprise, they tasted rather good. Well, maybe it was the three slices of fresh ginger I added to them (part of the recipe!). But in any event, the tea was very nice. I will take this medicine 30 minutes after each meal for the next 6 days. Then we'll see about that inhaler.

Chinese herb shop
CC*BY Jimmyhomeschoolmom
So, I'm not Chinese. So I've never been to China. It's still tradition. And I like tradition. And I would love for these treatments to tame this cough. If they don't, well that's ok. Best to try though, before I embrace the western approach. The inhaler contains an ingredient that, according to the mile-long insert in the box, "increases asthma-related deaths." Hmmm. I am pretty sure the inhaler will work, and I'm pretty sure that, odds are, I'm not going to suffer unreasonably with side-effects, but geez, some of them can be real doozies.