Slender Acanthopanax Root Bark, Wu Jia Pi
Li Shi Zhen - China Herbalist
According to a story told by China’s most celebrated herbalist, Shih-Chen Li, half a dozen Chinese politicians and scholars prior to his time had lived to be over 300 years old as a result of consuming slender acanthopanax root bark soaked in rice wine, traditionally known as "thorny ginseng wine".
Legends of this sort are taken so seriously by some Chinese people that one famous poet declared that he would "rather have a taste of thorny ginseng wine than be in possession of a cartful of gold."
I had a few bottles of liquid made from this plant and the label said, “good for neurasthenia, insomnia, many dreams, forgetfulness, dizziness, poor appetite, palpitation, coronary heart disease, angina pectoris and a prolonged consumption will cure leucopenia by physiotherapy and chemotheraphy and will slow down aging.”
A report prepared by the Seventh Shanghai Pharmaceutical Factory said that of the 43 cases of leucopenia treated with this herb, 70.4 percent showed effective results, with a rise in white blood cells to normal within an average of 2 weeks. Among the patients treated, 37 cases were caused by chemotherapy and radiation of tumors, three cases were caused by hypersplenism and three cases were due to other causes. The treatment involved an oral administration of 3.6g of this herb each day, for a period of 3 to 15 days. It was also indicated that the treatment showed better results in those cases caused by chemotherapy and among them, two cases underwent a marrow test, which showed signs of proliferation. And according to a statistical report compiled by 10 Chinese hospitals, of the 113 cases of tumor patients with leucopenia caused by chemotherapy and radiation treated by this herb, 13.7 percent showed obviously effective results with an overall effective rate of 74.5 percent. In another report, 100 cases of chronic tracheitis were treated with this herb. The results showed improvements in symptoms, in physical strength and in frequency of attack, with the effect of increasing the function of the adrenal cortex.
Slender acanthopanax root bark comes from a shrub with many fine thorns on small branches and belong to the same family as Chinese ginseng, which is why the Chinese call it “thorny ginseng”.
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