December 16, 2011

Poetry of Bái Jū-Yì (白居易)


Reading Chinese poetry with a warm cup of wū lóng tea seems very fitting these days with the arrival of winter and its short, dark, and wet days. The following are two personal favorites of mine written by Bái Jū-Yì (772-846) of the tang dynasty known for his plain, direct, and easily comprehensible style of verse, as well as for his social and political criticism.

Thoughts, interpretations, and comments are always welcome and encouraged.

花非花
白居易

花非花
雾非雾
夜半来
天明去
来如春梦几多时
去似朝云无觅处

A Bloom is not a Bloom

Bái Jū-Yì

A bloom is not a bloom,
The mist not mist.
It comes at midnight,
And leaves again at dawn.
Arrives like a spring dream, but for how long?
Departs like morning clouds, without a trace.




 读老子                                     
白居易


言者不如知者默
此语吾闻于老君
若道老君是知者
缘何自著五千文


Reading Lǎo Zǐ

Bái Jū-Yì

Those who speak do not know, while the ones that do are silent.
These are the words I’ve heard from the old gentleman (Lǎo Zǐ).
If the old gentleman knew the way,
Then for what reason did he write five-thousand characters.

December 3, 2011

Hú Xī-Shù (胡希恕)- A Case of Prostatitis


On June 11, 1966, a 30-year-old male worker from the capitol airport presented at the clinic.

The patient has suffered with prostate inflammation for over half a year, for which he has taken numerous western medications, and results have been less than ideal.

Current signs and symptoms: lumbar pain, occasional lower abdominal pain, which was sometimes accompanied by sagging, distension and pain in the testicles, occasional painful urination, sticky, milky white colored discharge exuding from the urethra, frequent and scanty urination with a reddish-yellow color, a dry mouth with a desire to drink, a white tongue coating with a slimy root, and a wiry-slippery pulse.

This is a pattern of damp stasis and obstruction, for which treatment should involve disinhibiting dampness, and transforming stasis. Zhū Líng Tāng (Polyporus Decoction) with Shēng Yǐ Rén and Dà Huáng was prescribed.

Zhū Líng 3 qián
Zé Xiè 4 qián
Huá Shí 5 qián
Shēng Yǐ Rén 1 liǎng
Shēng Ē Jiāo 3 qián
Dà Huáng 1 qián

Results: After taking only two packages of the formula, his symptoms were greatly reduced. Because the lumbar pain was still present, Chái Hú Guì Zhī Gān Jiāng Tāng (Bupleurum, Cinnamon Bark, and Dried Ginger Decoction) was added to the above formula.

After a half a month on the formula, all his symptoms were basically gone.

December 2, 2011

Hú Xī-Shù (胡希恕)- A case of Angina Pectoris


On June 14, 1965, a 74-year-old female presented at the clinic suffering from angina pectoris. Her condition had lasted many years, and she commonly experienced severe pain in the anterior chest. Whenever the symptoms would arise, she was unable to lie down, and had difficulty breathing, for which she would take various medications including, nitro-glycerine, and sulphanilamide. In addition, she sweat copiously, had a dry mouth without a desire to drink, dry stools, a thick-white tongue coating, and a wiry-thin pulse.

This is a pattern of phlegm, and thin-fluids obstruction in the chest, with blood-stasis in the collaterals. Treatment should involve transforming phlegm, freeing yáng, eliminating stasis, and freeing the vessels, with a modified version of Guā Lóu Xiè Bái Bàn Xià Tāng (Trichosanthes, Chinese Chive, and Pinellia Decoction)

Guā Lóu 1.5 liǎng
Xiè Bái 9 qián
Bàn Xià 2.5 liǎng
Bái Jiǔ 2 liǎng
Guì Zhī 3 qián
Zhǐ Shí 3 qián
Táo Rén 3 qián
Chén Pí 1 liǎng
Bái Sháo 4 qián


Results: After taking three packages of the above formula, the pain had decreased, and pain was only felt after exertion. 4 qián of Fú Líng was added to the formula, and another six packages were administered. At this point the pain was quite sporadic, so the formula was continued. After one month, the chest pain had ceased, and there was no relapse.