Herbs: Superior Class
The Divine Farmer's Materia Medica starts with several species of Ganoderma (Reishi or Ling Zhi). There are six species names according to color: Ganoderma viridis, G. rubra, G. aurea, G. alba, G, nigra, G. purpurea. At this point we will not be discussing whether or not these are different species (we'll save that for another article). The main thing to mention now is that our most common species locally is Ganoderma tsugae and that we also have another, usually called G. lucidum that favors Maple trees. This important medicinal warrants its own post in the future.
Tian Men Dong (Asparagi cochinensis) is listed as an herb that treats wind damp and nourishes bone marrow and chi. Shatavari from Ayurveda is perhaps better known (most revered as the "women's Ginseng" of India). We also have the domestic species grown for its vegetative shoots.
Atractylodis is listed. As a primary herb of Chinese medicine, this is one we should learn to cultivate locally. We also have Elecampane as a suitable replacement. I have used Elecampane quite extensively and have found it to be much more useful than what is commonly recognized and have recently read of it being a replacement for Atractylodis.
Rehmannia is listed. It should be grown more locally.
Chang Pu is listed. We have our local wild Calamus.
Wild Yam is listed. This is another to cultivate.
Chrysanthemum is listed.
Licorce is listed. This should be grown more.
Ren Shen (Panax ginseng) is listed. Of course, we have our local American Ginseng. We should also be cultivating the Chinese species.
A species of Buttercup is listed. This warrants further study.
Achyranthis is mentioned. This is an important herb that I have been researching lately. I will post write more on this later.
Du Huo (Angelica pubescentis) is listed. We have Angelica archangelica from the garden and various wild species.
Dang Gui (Dong Quai, etc) is also listed. It should be cultivated more.
Chinese Black Cohosh is listed. We have our native species.
Bupleurum is listed. This is an important herb from Chinese medicine and should be cultivated.
Tree-of-Heaven, an emergent invasive, is mentioned. The part used is not mentioned. The description is quite attractive:
"...boosts qi [chi], replenishes the skin and muscles, brightens the eyes, and makes one wise and intelligent so as to forsee the future..." I have been wanting to learn about this herb for some time, but lack of experience coupled with the poisonous properties have deterred me. It is used as an astringent for diarrhea and is known to cause dermatitis in individuals cutting the tree. We will explore this more later.
Two species of Artemesia are listed.
A species of Plantain is mentioned.
Xi Ming Zi (Semen Thlaspi Arvensis) is listed. This is another important study, as it and relatives are common farm weeds.
Chinese Motherwort is listed. We have our local (introduced) species.
A Gentian species is mentioned.
Cattail pollen is listed.
Chinese Gravelroot is listed.
Astragalus is listed. This is a most important herb of Chinese medicine and should be cultivated more.
Sesame is listed.
There are several others listed and much discussion that can continue regarding the above. Check back for future posts.