Last week we talked about the new European Union laws banning hundreds of herbal remedies. Since a favorite saying of many Europeans is “The problem with you Americans is…” I feel no compunction giving you my opinions about the entire continent getting itself so thoroughly blindsided by corporate-political footsies.
Stories like the one I’m going to tell you this week and next make me proud to be a Chicagoan. Nobel prize winning Chicago author Saul Bellow said that we reside in the “contempt center of the USA” and, you know, I’ve got to agree. We take to such chicanery as well-placed bribes, cronyism, no-bid contracts, and politicians hay-tumbling with big corporations as naturally as naive folk worldwide take to breathing.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a system of health care based on the late-twentieth-century standardization of medical practices that originated in China some 2500 years ago. Two classic medical texts, the Nei Jing (compiled from 100 B.C. to 100 A.D.) and the Nan Jing (written circa 100 to 200 A.D.) were important early documents that presented the core concepts of TCM, and they have informed generations of scholars and practitioners ever since. These core concepts suggest that disease is the result of imbalances in the flow of the body’s vital energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”), and that the human body is a microcosm of the basic natural forces at work in the universe.