Alpinia oxyphylla fruit

chervil2(z5 MA)September 28, 2013

I am interested in learning of personal experiences with using this herb which is in the ginger family. I purchased a bag of dried fruit in a Chinese grocery store that was labelled as black cardamon. From Google I learned that this is not the cardamon that is used for spicing Swedish desserts. I tasted a tea I made from boiling one fruit and find it somewhat bitter and spicy. I read that the dried fruit of Alpinia oxyphylla can be used for treating urinary incontinence as well as other medical conditions.

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HerbDoctor

chervil:

That's one of my favorite herbs for personal use. The way it helps incontinence is by strengthening (by way of warming) the Kidney/Bladder network. If you have accompanying knee soreness, it will eliminate that, too.
Don't take too much because there're usually Spleen network problems associated with the Kidney network that would need attention with other herbs. If you took too much too fast of alpinia, you could dam-up energies of your other systems thereby creating other related symptoms.

Any questions, don't hesitate to ask since I have a lot of clinical experience with it.

HerbDoctor

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 5:46PM
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kaliaman

i disagree. per five element theory the fire element (kidney/bladder) is the mother of earth element (spleen/stomach) aka the child. strengthening the mother makes the child stronger. its a common healing strategy to strengthen one element by strengthening its mother element.

black cardamom has an affinity for and strengthens the Kidney and the Spleen.

i do agree that this herb is best used in formula with other herbs.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 6:13PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

Thank you very much for the valuable information HerbDoctor and Kaliaman. I am still unclear from reading about the specific method of use. The fruit is presented as a dry and hard nut-like substance. Should I boil it and drink the tea, grate it like nutmeg, extract with alcohol? Are there recipes like curries that make this a wonderful spice ingredient?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 8:06AM
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HerbDoctor

chervil:

Put it (maybe 2 "nuts") in a sandwich baggie and hit them with a hammer. Then place the crushed herb into a saucepan with maybe 1 - 1 1/2 cups of water, slowly simmer for a few minutes, turn off the fire and place a lid on it to steep for a few more minutes. Strain and drink. Remember that herbs are food and there's no way you can mess up the preparation UNLESS you burn them. ha, ha

If you drink it for 2-4 days, you'll find that you'll get tired of the taste. At that point, stop taking it and wait a couple more days as it does it work and see how well you do.

HerbDoctor

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 7:40PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

Thank you! I noticed that the nuts are very hard and a hammer will be the right tool. I anticipate getting tired of the taste quickly in contrast to mint tea which I enjoy frequently.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 4:59PM
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kaliaman

a decoction/tea works but whew! black cardamom is uber bitter and not so tasty. its nothing like the taste of perfume-y, delicate and delicious green cardamom which is often included in curries and spice blends.

clients hate the taste and so do i (its an herb i use regularly)...so for this reason, i tincture it.

you could also powder it, mix into a paste with honey and eat a blob whenever you want. dosage runs from 3-9 grams per day, start with the lower end dosage until you see how it works for you. let us know how it turns out!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 7:19PM
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HerbDoctor

Kali:

I capitalized a part of your following quote. Did you really mean to say that?
"i disagree. per five element theory the FIRE ELEMENT (KIDNEY/BLADDER) IS THE MOTHER OF EARTH ELEMENT (SPLEEN/STOMACH) AKA THE CHILD. strengthening the mother makes the child stronger. its a common healing strategy to strengthen one element by strengthening its mother element.
black cardamom has an affinity for and strengthens the Kidney and the Spleen."

I understand what you were trying to say, but there's a slight error. Did you want to correct that statement?

Thanks.

HerbDoctor

This post was edited by HerbDoctor on Fri, Oct 4, 13 at 12:56

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 12:55PM
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kaliaman

yes! fire organs are heart/small intestine. NOT kidneys/bladder. my bad. thanks for catching my mistake!

the point i was trying to make remains the same.. we can treat an organ system indirectly through another.

This post was edited by kaliaman on Fri, Oct 4, 13 at 16:16

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 4:12PM
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HerbDoctor

I agree. The sheng sequence is important. Sometimes I will identify the excesses/deficiencies along the ke sequence as well. I recently finished studying some of the sub-circuitries such as the shao yin, tai yang, tai yin, etc. They add insight, but they're still only theories. When it comes down to it, I often times have to look at the symptomology and use my intuitions. Usually the problems will run along the lines of those different theories anyhow which I view as guidelines. But I don't always rely on them to determine the course of action.

Getting back to Chervil's problem. Since it was just a one herb simple, Chervil, you should be ok as long as you don't over do it. Kali and I both agree that if you take just one herb, it won't necessarily balance the other parts well enough for a long lasting benefit by itself IF YOU TAKE IT FOR VERY LONG. In other words, it can weaken other areas for which you don't have a specific herb. You should still be able to get some short term benefits from it. Baby steps.

HerbDoctor

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 7:09PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

Thank you again for your replies. I appreciate this thread since I am acquiring new knowledge and insights. I am a career biologist that is yearning to become more comfortable with traditional Chinese medicine. I know that acupuncture is very effective. However, the analytical side of my brain wants to know why and how the process works in detail in a language that I understand. I am beginning to realize that I should start studying new terms and concepts. My hope for the future is that our world will embrace the best of Western and Eastern approaches to healthcare.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 7:37PM
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HerbDoctor

chervil:

I may have written about this before, but I'll do it again . . .

Before the revolution of China about 50 years ago, Chinese herbology was the main thrust of treatments with acupuncture supplementing herbs. But since the revolution, the Chinese were encouraged to totally revamp the whole system that existed for 2-3,000 years. As a result, acupuncture became the main treatment with herbology being the secondary/supplemental treatment. But acupuncture is merely an external stimulus, but leaves nothing on which the body can build. Herbology, on the other hand, gives the bio-chemical building blocks needed for the body to heal itself. I'm not saying that acupuncture doesn't work because it often times does. However, it's more limited than herbology.

Just my two cents worth.

HerbDoctor

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 5:47PM
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