Category Archives: Herbs and Supplements

Maximum dosage for wormwood?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, What is the maximum dosage of wormwood I could take? A: The maximum dosage for wormwood should not exceed 2-3 grams in aqueous extract total per day, taken as drops or addition to warm water three times per day. As always, I recommend you consult a natural medicine practitioner to assist…

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Ma huang not safe?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Is ma huang really not safe to use? I have heard it can help asthma. A: The Chinese herb ma huang, also called ephedra, is effective for mild asthma, because it contains the drug ephedrine. However, it cannot be recommended for use because of safety concerns. Japanese chemists isolated ephedrine from…

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Hazards to taking ginseng?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Are there any hazards to taking ginseng? Which variety is the best to use? A: There are actually three different herbs commonly called ginseng: Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), and Siberian “ginseng” (Eleutherococcus senticosus). (The latter herb is actually not ginseng at all, but some herbalists…

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Does Goji juice have real merit?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Does Goji juice (as presented by Dr Mindell and Freelife) have real merit? A: Gou ji—actually, the proper name is Gou Qi Zi—is a well-known member of the traditional Chinese herbalist’s arsenal of herbs and has been for thousands of years. It is the berries from the lyceum tree. (Lycium barbarum…

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Black currant oil for anti-inflammatory properties?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, What do you think of black currant oil for its anti-inflammatory properties? I am sensitive to fish oil and looking for a suitable alternative. A: GLA (gama-linoleic acid) is a non-essential fatty acid with many important roles in the body. Your body usually makes GLA from linoleic acid, which you obtain…

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Safe, natural alternatives to over-the-counter medications?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, What are some safe, natural alternatives to over-the-counter medications? A: This is a very broad question. There are many conditions and many pharmaceutical and natural treatments for these conditions. Generally speaking, pharmaceuticals are derivatives in which active ingredients from natural products have been isolated and synthesized. On the other hand, natural…

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Where to find herb arborvita?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Where can I find the herb arborvita, mentioned in your book Secrets of Longevity as being useful with hair loss? A: The herbs mentioned are from the Chinese arborvitae family and their seeds. The botanical name is Platycladus orientalis and the pharmaceutical name is Cacumen Platycladi and Semen Platycladi. Other herbs…

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