Sperb‘s Herbs Ep. 16 – Bai Tou Weng (Pulsatilla)

The Chinese herb Bai Tou Weng (Pulsatilla) is not an A-lister, but it is a useful herb. This episode will cover what it does, its history, and the science and pharmacology behind it. Plus, as something a little different, we are going to discuss “toxins,” both from a modern alternative medicine perspective (spoiler alert: not a fan), and a Chinese medical approach. Some controversy is ahead, so buckle up and join us for a unique episode…

Picture Credit: Ming herbal (painting): Chinese pulsatilla [root]. Credit: Wellcome CollectionAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Sperb‘s Herbs Ep. 15 – Hops

Hops is a traditional European herb with some interesting uses. And it is a major ingredient in beer. This episode looks at both of these in depth and the science behind them. As a relative non-drinker, I was still fascinated with this exploration of beer. And the herb may have some interesting application to my patients. What more can ask for? So, get a frothy mug o’ beer and join us for this fascinating episode!

Picture Credit: Picture credit: Jaroslaw B., CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sperb‘s Herbs Ep. 14 – Ma Huang (Ephedra)

Ma Huang is one of the most useful and absolutely the most controversial herbs in the entire Chinese herbal pharmacopeia. Why is it so important and why has it been banned in most developed nations? We will be exploring these questions as well as looking at the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), which is the legal act allowing it to be banned in the United States. This is one of the most interesting episodes yet of Sperb’s Herbs. Don’t miss it!

Picture from: chinese medicine png from pngtree.com

Sperb’s Herbs Ep. 13 – Yi Guan Jian (Linking Decoction)

This  episode looks at an interesting formula in the nourish and tonify the yin category: yi guan jian or linking decoction. Widely used to help treat lots of different presentations, especially those associated with menopause or menses. We will be looking at the traditional uses and what the science says about them. As for something a little different, we will be exploring Confucianism, as the name of this formula is thought to be Confucian in origin. This episode should be a real corker…don’t miss it!

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

Picture of Melaleuca_cajuputi - Paperbark

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…

To get continuing education units for this podcast, please click here.

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. 11 – Devil’s Claw

Picture of Devil's Claw-Harpagophytum_procumbens

Devil’s claw is our first herb from Africa. It is supposed to help aches and pains, joints, and digestive complaints among many other uses. We will be looking at the history of this herb, what it is supposed to treat, and the science behind it. And for something a little different, we will be looking at sustainability of herbs in the world. I was actually quite surprised by this herb and it will probably change how I recommend herbs to many of my patients. Find out why…

To get continuing education units for this podcast, please click here.

Picture attributionMuséum de ToulouseCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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

Picture of fresh garlic

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!

To get continuing education units for this podcast, please click here.

Sperb’s Herbs Ep. 9 – Ai Ye (Mugwort)

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

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