What’s in my Chinese herbal travel kit?

My husband Ajax recently came back from an SCA event with the stomach flu. Apparently other folks who were at the event got it too, so that is the inspiration for this post.

The SCA, if you’re not familiar with the term, is the Society for Creative Anachronism. It is

an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our “Known World” consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more.

It’s a whole lot of fun. The events range in size from small numbers (perhaps at a weekly fight practice) to very large numbers (like the event called Pennsic which has 10,000 people or more).

If you go to SCA events, especially if there are lots of people, you might catch a cold or a stomach bug. How is this different from, say, taking the train to work with people sneezing and coughing around you? It’s not, really, but my husband was the inspiration for this particular post, so I’m running with it. These formulas are great to have on hand at home or while traveling.

Here are some Chinese herbal formulas that can help*:

  • Gan Mao Ling: It’s an early cold formula with some immune boosting herbs. I advise people to take a dose of this before and after events, in case there are sick people around you. This is good at the start of a cold or flu if you have sniffles, mild chills, scratchy or sore throat, sneezing, coughing and nasal congestion. It can be taken throughout the time you are sick or switch to
  • Yin Chiao San if symptoms become more severe. 
  • Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San: These are great for stomachache, traveler’s diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Curing Pills are another great formula for this but it contains gluten and I can’t take them since I’m gluten-intolerant. It’s also good to take if you’ve had too much mead or cordials or other medieval beverages at an event.
  • Enteromend: Speaking of gluten, this is not a Chinese herb formula but it’s made by the Health Concerns herbal company. It’s made up of amino acids to help in case of accidentally eating gluten.
  • Huang Lian Su: This is essential for every traveler!  This helps with food poisoning and dysentery.
  • Yin Care: This is a very versatile topical formula that’s good for bug bites, poison ivy, poison oak, rashes, acne, yeast infections, athlete’s foot and much more
  • Altigen: This is a great formula for altitude sickness and to prevent problems while flying. I wrote another post about it here.

And for the fighters, fencers and combat archers out there (and anyone else who gets banged up at events):

  • Yunnan Baiyao powder is great to use topically for cuts and scrapes. You can pour it directly into a wound and it will stop bleeding. (You can throw away the little red pill that comes in the bottle. That’s for internal bleeding due to gunshot wounds.)
  • Pain patches: I prefer ‘Pain Terminator’ brand patches.  They have Chinese herbs and menthol in them to help relieve pain.
  • Zheng Gu Shui: This is a liquid formula that can be applied topically for pain. It’s very fragrant thanks to the menthol in it. Patches work for smaller areas. If you want to cover a larger area, use this.
  • Great Mender Teapills: This is an internal formula that helps stop pain, bruising, swelling, sprains, heal broken bones and slow healing wounds. I also have a custom formula called Harvest the Training which is based on a Shaolin Warrior formula as part of ‘Hit Fall’ medicine. It’s particularly useful if you’re training for something like 1,000 fights at Pennsic (feel free to ask Ajax how this formula helped him when he did that years ago).
 Swarovski Crystals from earseeds.com

Swarovski Crystals from earseeds.com

How do you get these herbs for yourself? You can find them all online, however, I offer basic herbal travel kits that can be custom-tailored to wherever they’re traveling to. They range between $30-50 depending on the herbs included. When you order them through me, you can be assured that you are getting quality herbs from companies I trust. I am happy to mail travel kits (for a shipping and handling fee) if you live outside the San Francisco Bay Area.

I also make smaller AcuCare gift sets: They are available through me at my clinics or by mail. These are great gifts with some of Angelica & Peony’s Ginger Menthol balm and Warming Menthol balm; Yin Chiao San; Swarovski crystal ear pellets; and Nin Jiom herbal cough drops.

 Acubling (ear crystal from earseeds.com)

Acubling (ear crystal from earseeds.com)

Also remember, getting acupuncture is great to balance and strengthen your immune system, and can help you recover colds and flus more quickly. Acupuncture can also help you heal faster after getting banged up at SCA events, or when you are training for something in particular such as Crown Tournament, Coronet, etc.

*Please note: If you are pregnant, ask if these formulas are right for youAnd If you have a medical condition and take prescription medication, also be sure to ask if these are right for you.

Denise Cicuto