Tuesday, July 1, 2008

When Your Herbal Medicine Tastes Like Ass

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to try an herbal treatment suggested by my acupuncturist. After discussing the treatment with her, I received my herbal "prescription" in the mail -- there were two types of herbs, one for the first half of my cycle and one for the second. Each daily dose came in a plastic vacuum package, which I warmed in a bowl of hot water before cutting into the pack and pouring it into a mug.

The first batch of herbs didn't taste great, but it was drinkable. There was a somewhat pleasant aftertaste that was slightly reminiscent of anise or licorice.

The second batch of herbs has been hateful. Just hateful. I can barely choke down each dose, and the aftertaste must be what sewer water tastes like. Actually, the most accurate way of describing it is to say it tastes old and gray and rotten.

Tonight is the first night I've finished the dosage, versus pouring some of it down the drain in disgust. I succeeded this time by trying not to smell the concoction, gulping it quickly down (it's about six gulps), and by eating a square of dark chocolate as a chaser. So that technique is my tip to you, should you find yourself drinking gray-tasting herbal medicine.

I'm not sure if this stuff will help. I do think it can't hurt. My acupuncturist also recommended a lot of seemingly random diet changes that don't have any basis in Western science. This is all part of "traditional Chinese medicine" (TCM). The thing is, the reason I believe in acupuncture is that there are Western studies that show the benefits. The other TCM stuff, including the diet, not so much. The studies I could find discounted it. And I can't say I'm surprised -- what diet that allows cooked spinach but bans raw spinach could possibly be based on science? So I have tried to improve my diet, but haven't really stuck to the TCM diet suggestions.

In the meantime, I continue to be happy to be off the Western fertility meds. I'm not sure I'll go back.


Mel said...


Annie said...

Ugh, just reading this makes me want to vomit!

caramama said...

Sugar. Lots of sugar. More than just a spoonful to get that stuff down. But then, I add sugar to everything. hehe.

I just can't get behind those kinds of superstitious diet "cures." I think you are right on with trying to eat healthier. And I believe there were actual studies that showed cutting back on caffiene and coffee could help.

Good luck! Sorry the herbal stuff tastes like crap.

nutmeg96 said...

Unfortunately, the instructions for the herbs said not to add anything to them, lest it inhibit their effectiveness. *sigh*

sara said...

The herbs sound really interesting, but yeah that one parts sounds yucky! I've heard of people having success with acupuncture and herbs, so there must be something to it!

alternative medicine said...

Medications could taste awful too. I guess that the taste of herbal medicine is a small price to pay from the side effects of using medicine. I've known of a number of herbal remedies used as fertility tonics and they've been confirmed to contain compounds that are attributive of its tonic properties to reproductive health. With proper administration and expert advise, the minimal risks associated with its intake can surely be prevented.

m said...

I'm just wondering why ALL herbal meds and tisanes seems to taste like anise (which might as well be ass)

I've taken almost a month break from acupuncture (my gal doesn't like to do anything during a two week wait, "let the body take its course, etc. etc) but I am seriously missing it. Looking forward to going back.