18 March 2007

Drugged up on Chinese medicine

As a result of my very rudimentary training in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), I've adopted some very sketchy ways of taking care of myself when I'm sick. For instance, I've been taking these orange pills that one of my professors in China gave me for the common cold--or at least that's what I'm able to make out from the Chinese on the label. Side effects? Possible harmful effects from drug-drug combinations with western drugs? I guess I'll find out soon enough!

In the event that I fall extremely ill, I think I might even pop the little red "emergency pill" that sits on top of my jar of Yunnan Baiyao: the cure-all for minor cuts, scrapes, breaks, and organ failures. Despite having visited the government factory where they manufacture the stuff, and having watched an extremely propagandist film about the history of Baiyao, I still have no idea what its mechanism of action is. It's like magic medicine.

You'd think that I would be more careful about combining TCM drugs (I can't even read half of the label) with anything else I might ingest. But whether it's just the placebo effect or it's really working, all of these things tend to make me feel better in the long run. I guess I'll keep doing it!

While I'm at it, here's a simple remedy: by rubbing a little bit of tiger balm on your temples, you can dispel dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches. This one really works. =)