I'd just like to take this opportunity to welcome y'all to this silly little community. Now, it started out as a joke, but as DJ Wong pointed out, it looked sad and empty without any posts. So I'm thinking we might as well use it for something. Well, you guys can do whatever you like -- I'm going to use it for something.
Specifically, I'm going to write posts that pertain to what I'm studying in school. Probably. Maybe not. I see no reason to stick to any guidelines unless for some reason a lot of people join and it gets out of hand.
the only silly thing about this is that we're all more or less on each others' friends lists, so there's not much point in posting anything here rather than there. Oh well. Hopefully acupuncturists and bellydancers and librarians from around the world will join, and then it will be a rockin little community. For now, however, I leave you with the following:
We learned about saffron, the spice, in herbs class last week.
It's Hong Hua. Or rather, hong hua is a cheap imitation for Saffron -- but it's such a common substitute that real saffron is never actually used unless specified for. Hong Hua (not saffron) is Spicy and Warm, whereas Saffron is Spicy and Cold. Saffron is much more potent, but it's still less potent per dollar, so to speak.
Other than the difference in temperature, strength, and price, the two are interchangeable. According to Jeffrey, my herbs teacher, saffron is worth the money if you can afford it, but who can? The best compromise is to steep it in a tea, rather than mix it with other herbs. If you're going to decoct it with other herbs, you might as well just use hong hua.
Jeffry's functions for Hong Hua are:
1. For OB/GYN blood stagnation causing pain, amenorrhea, or post-partem issues.
2. For blood stagnation causing angina pain.
3. used in Hong Hua Oil for bruising and local pain
4. In doses of 1 chen or *less*, tonifies blood; if more than 1 chen, breaks stagnation.
Jeffrey notes that saffron is the same (though stronger and cold), and has one additional function: it can be used for eye infections.
So, good stuff. He hinted that saffron was useful as a dietary suppliment (his words: dietelic treatment) but didn't elaborate on its relative strength. I assume that since it's a flower, a certain amount of the volatile oils are evaporated into the air when it's cooked, hence the suggested method of steeping it (dosage for steeping saffron is one small pinch). Anyway, I gather that the small quantities that are necessitated by the cost mean that it's effective mostly in small doses over a long period of time. Hong Hua may be less potent, but if you want fast results, it's no big deal to use 10 chen at a time. 10 chen of saffron would probably cost a few hundred dollars.