Sperb’s Herbs Ep. 12 – Melaleuca Cajuputi (Paperbark)

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Melaleuca Cajuputi, commonly known as Paperbark, is an herb used by many Aboriginal people in Australia. Generally used for pain and congestion in respiratory infections, we will be looking at the traditional uses and modern science of this interesting herb as well as something fascinating about the cultures that use it. Dr. Sperber lived in Australia for four years and lived and worked with the Aboriginal peoples. He brings personal stories and insights into this culture. So join us for this fascinating journey to the herbs of Down Under…

The picture used is not copyrighted as it s over 100 years old. It is available at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Melaleuca_cajuputi00.jpg.


Sperb’s Herbs Ep.10 – Da Suan (Garlic)

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This episode covers a Chinese herb and one of the most widely used culinary powerhouses: da suan or garlic. We will be exploring the healing properties as well as some of the cautions of the “stinky rose.” There may be a mention of vampires, though we will be spending some time on how to make garlic even tastier and healthier. Join us as we explore one of the best tasting herbs in the world!

Chinese Singles

Sperb’s Herbs Ep. 9 – Ai Ye (Mugwort)

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Picture of Ai Ye (Mugwort)

This episode of Sperb’s Herbs looks at a very special herb: ai ye or mugwort. On the surface, this herb does not appear to be super useful or used in a lot of formulas. However, it is beyond a doubt the most important herb for acupuncture. This is because it is the primary herb used in moxibustion. We will explore the properties of ai ye and the importance and use of moxa in this super interesting episode.


Sperb’s Herbs Ep. 8 – Ashwagandha

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Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurvedic Medicine. Sometimes referred to as “Indian ginseng” in the West, it is often referred to as an adaptogen, just like its Asian and American ginseng counterparts. In simple terms, this means it is used as a general tonic and the body “adapts” it to what it needs. While used for many conditions, the science seems a little iffy on its effectiveness. Let’s figure out if this is the case, or does there need to be more research or maybe more acceptance of its traditional uses.


Article on Ayurvedic tastes

Another article on Ayurvedic tastes

An Article on Ayurvedic plant karmas

Article on Ayurvedic gunas

Glossary of Ayurvedic terms

A scientific article on adaptogens

A scientific article on ashwagandha

Chinese Singles

Sperb’s Herbs Ep. 7 – Warm and Release the Exterior Herbs

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This is not only Sperb’s Herbs first discussion of a category of herbs, it also happens to be the first category of herbs learned by most practitioners. Join us as we explore how external conditions occur and how they are treated using Warm and Release the Exterior Herbs. As usual, we will look at traditional sources as well as some of the science surrounding these herbs. Join us for this fascinating journey!

Every two weeks an exciting new episode of the Sperb’s Herbs podcast is recorded. This episode will cover one of the traditional categories of herbs. Besides covering the basics of Chinese herbology including the herbs in the category, and common functions, we will explore the science, pharmacology, evidence, and any potential interactions of the category of herbs. And then there is always something a little quirky about an episode. Whether that is a unique story or an interesting perspective, there will always be something different to learn about.

Chinese Formulas

Sperb’s Herbs Ep. 6– Xiāo Yáo Sǎn (Rambling Powder)

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Xiāo Yáo San, translated as “Rambling Powder,” is one of the most widely used formulas in Chinese medicine. It gently harmonizes the Spleen and Liver and treats a wide variety of modern conditions. But is it always the best choice? Is it over-used by practitioners? Or is it the “wonder” formula? Let’s find out!


Freshman Studies Lecture – Zhuangzi’s BASIC WRITINGS

Great Article on Zhuang Zi

Article on Free and Easy Wandering

Complete English translation of Zhuangzi: The Inner Chapters

Chinese Singles

Sperb’s Herbs Ep. 5 – Dang Gui, Angelica

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Finally, an “A” lister: Dang Gui is definitely one of the all-stars of Chinese herbology. As a cornerstone of many formulas to help build the blood and affect the menses, it is one of the most important herbs in the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Join us as we explore this herb in its traditional context, in current western herbology, and the science behind it.


Sperb’s Herbs Ep. 4 – Kava-Kava

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Kava-Kava, also known as just Kava, has very interesting herbal properties, but is also culturally very important as a medicine, an intoxicant,  and for religious, political, and social purposes. It’s pharmacology has been well studied. And it has been shown to have liver toxicities. Is this herb useful medicinally? Does its benefits outweigh its risks? Let’s find out…

Chinese Singles

Sperbs Herbs Ep 3 – Sha Ren

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Shā Rén, one of the cardamoms, is one of my favorite herbs, for many reasons. Besides being one of the best tasting herbs, it’s actions speak to me by helping to treat dampness and strengthen the spleen. While not necessarily an “A” list herb, please join us as we explore it.

Approved for both California Acupuncture Board CEUs and NCCAOM PDAs! Check it out at https://integrativemedicinecouncil.org/product/sha-ren-amomum/

Support Materials


Cardamom Recipes

Pear Shrub with Vanilla and Cardamom

Pear-Ginger Shrub

Homemade Ginger Beer

How to Make Ginger Beer

Edit: After publishing this page, we were contacted by a website that has a really nice recipe/tutorial on how to make ginger beer. You can find it here: The complete guide on how to make ginger beer


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