Learn More About Dr. Leung's Research Philosophy

Dr. Leung says "My thinking has changed and I no longer trust research findings on botanicals unless... "
Click to read more about Dr. Leung's research philosophy.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Part 1: Garlic, that Odoriferous Lilly

The beneficial qualities of garlic have been described in many Western books and articles. Indeed, if not for the odors it generates, garlic could become as common a household drug item as aspirin.

Garlic is known scientifically as Allium sativum of the lilly family. It is known in Chinese as da suan and has also been called hu suan, with hu noting its Western origin. It is a strong-scented perrenial herb with long, flat, firm leaves that can be as broad as 2.5 cm (1 in.). Its flowering stem can reach 1.2 m. (4 ft.) high. Its bulb has several parts, or cloves, all enclosed in a thin, white or purplish membranelike skin, and measures up to 3 cm. (1.2 in.) or more thick. Garlic is a native of Europe and Central Asia and now also grows in North America and other parts of the world. It is cultivated worldwide primarily for use as a condiment. The bulbs are collected in the summer after the leaves have withered and are dried in the shade, if necessary.

Fresh garlic contains about 0.2% volatile oil (garlic oil), alliin, alliinase (an enzime that breaks down alliin), minerals (e.g. calcium, phosphorous, iron, and potassium), and vitamins (e.g., thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and C), among other constituents. According to a report by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Chinese garlic contains 70% water, 23% carbohydrates, 4.4% proteins, 1.3% ash, 0.7% fiber, and 0.2% fats. By comparison, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, American garlic contains 61.3% water, 30.8% carbohydrates, 6.2% proteins, 1.5% ash, 1.5% fiber, and 0.2% fats. The vitamin and mineral contents of American garlic are also generally higher than those of Chinese garlic.

Garlic oil contains allicin and other sulfur-containing compounds such as allylpropyl disulfide, diallyl sisulfide, and diallyl trisulfide. Allicin is responsible for much of the pungent odor and taste of garlic. It is generated by the action of the enzyme alliinase on alliin. Under normal conditions, alliinase and alliin are separated from each other inside the garlic bulb. However, when the bulb is cut or crushed, the two are brought together and alliinase turns alliin (a nonvolatile odorless sulfur amino acid) into allicin (a pungent volatile sulfur compound).

Garlic has long been used in Western folk medicine for treating various ills, including arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, colds, coughs, chronic bronchitis, earache, toothache, hysteria, dandruff, and pinworms.

In addition to their use in cooking, fresh and powdered dried garlic, along with garllic oil, are used extensively in seasoning all sorts of processed food and drink products in the Western world.

Come back next week for our second installment of "Garlic, that Odoriferous Lilly", when we will be discussing garlic's effects on the body.

This material is excerpted from Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Chinese Healing Foods and Herbs. Here, Dr. Leung presents general information and home remedies using garlic as well as over 45 other herbs. Garlic information can be found on page 67 – 70. For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Chicory is the root of Cichorium intybus L. (Family Asteraceae) and has the following properties: tonic, digestive aid, apetizer, cholagogue, diuretic, cardiotonic, mild laxative, and antibacterial. It is commonly and traditionally used to treat digestive problems, lack of apetite, liver and gallbladder ailments (e.g. gallstone, hepatitis, jaundice), and spleen problems.

Chicory root contains large amounts of inulin (up to 58% in fresh cultivated root), bitter principles (lactucin, intybin), coumarin glycosides, triterpenes, choline, and others. Inulin is made up mostly of fructose; although not digested by humans, it can serve as a potential source of commercial fructose after hydrolysis.

With its rich aroma and bitter taste, roasted chicory root is frequently mixed with coffee to enhance flavor and to reduce caffeine content. This practice is especially common in Europe.

Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Better Health with (mostly) Chinese Herbs and Food discusses the use of 60 different herbs as healing foods, including chicory on page 15. For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Properties and Uses of Celery Seed

Celery seed is the fruit of the celery plant, Apium graveolens L. (Family Apiaceae). Also referred to simply as celery fruit, celery seed possesses diuretic, digestive stimulant, nervine, muscle relaxant, emmenagogue, and uterine stimulant properties. The most common traditional uses for celery seed are for rheumatism, arthritis, gout, bronchitis, and nervousness.

Celery seed conatains numerous types of chemical components, including coumarin glycosides, flavonoids, phthalides, and plant acids. There is some scientific evidence to support its sedative and muscle-relaxant properties, with the phthalides being the active principles. The seed also has antioxidant effects.

Other parts of the celery plant have been reported to have hypotensive (juice and extract of stem) and antiinflammatory (water extract of stem) activities.

Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Better Health with (mostly) Chinese Herbs and Food discusses the use of 60 different herbs as healing foods, including celery seed on page 13. For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Schisandra is Wuweizi a.k.a. Five Flavored Seed

The dried ripe fruit of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill. and other Schisandra spp. (Family Schisandraceae) are prized for their properties including lung astringent, kidney tonic, male tonic, adaptogenic, detoxicant, antimutagenic, antioxidant, liver protectant, central stimulant, and tranquilizing.

Schisandra berries have been traditionally used for cough, asthma, involuntary seminal discharge, impotence, insomnia, neurasthenia, chronic diarrhea, night sweat, spontaneous sweating, physical exhaustion, and excessive urination. More modern and recent uses include use as a treatment for liver diseases.

Schisandra is known as wuweizi (five-flavored seed) in Chinese because it tastes simultaneously sweet, sour, bitter, salty and pungent when chewed. In addition to its use as a medicine, it is also used as an ingredient in soup mixes.

Schisandra is one of those Chinese herbs without much adequate published English information even though there are many published reports on it in Chinese and Japanese.

It is a well-known tonic, especially for the male. Modern laboratory studies have found some of its constituents (e.g., lignans) to have strong antioxidant and liver-protectant properties. Its extracts and lignans are now being used to effectively treat liver diseases (e.g., viral hepatitis). In the West, silymarin (from milk thistle) is well known for its beneficial effects on the liver. One can soon add schisandra as its equal or superior.

A typical tonic like ginseng, schisandra's actions in the body are subtle. They cannot be readily duplicated in the laboratory. The antioxidant and liver protectant effects of schisandra just mentioned only give you an isolated glimpse of its various pharmacological effects. Believe me, there are too many to list here!

Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Better Health with (mostly) Chinese Herbs and Food discusses the use of 60 different herbs as healing foods, including schisandra on page 83. For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Gotu-kola, or Centella asiatica (L.) Urban (Family Apiadeae) is not to be confused with kola nuts (Cola nitida); the latter contain caffeine while the former doesn't. Gotu-kola is known for its wound-healing, detoxicant, antiinflammatory, diuretic, pain-relieving, and antibacterial properties. Either the leaves or the whole herb is used, with the most common traditional uses being for traumatic injuries, swellings, skin sores and boils, skin eruptions (e.g. measles), sunstroke, fever, and common cold. Other more modern or recent uses include treating wounds, skin ulcers, burns, leprosy, scleroderma, traumatic pain, jaundice, hepatitis, poisoning (arsenic, mushroom, cassava, etc.), syphilis, and mental problems.

Gotu-kola has been used by different cultures worldwide both as a medicine and as a food for centuries. The young plant is cooked or pickled and eaten as a vegetable in Southeasat Asia. It has been used as a medicine for thousands of years in China and India and its use there has been documented for at least two thousand years.

The active principles of gotu-kola are currently attributed to tri-terpenoid glycosides (wound-healing, antimicrobial, sedative, antiinflammatory, etc.) though other components present may also contribute to its total beneficial effects; they include steroids, fatty acids, flavonoids and other polyphenols.

Although gotu-kola is also advocated as an anti-aging herb and an aphrodisiac, so far there has been no credible evidence to correlate such effects.

The raw herb comes in highly variable qualities. Some are extremely dirty, with leaves mostly broken and containing large quantities of mud and dirt. Consequently, one should avoid the powdered herb unles it is from a reliable supplier, because it is a common industrial practice to use inferior quality materials to produce herb powders.

Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Better Health with (mostly) Chinese Herbs and Food discusses the use of 60 different herbs as healing foods, including gotu-kola on page 44.

For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Luffa for Health

Remove the skin, pulp, and seeds from ripe old fruits of Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem. and Luffa acutangula Roxb. (Family Cucurbitaceae) and the remains are what we know as the luffa sponge. Among luffa's many properties, it can be used to promote blood circulation, to disperse fever, to break up phlegm, as a detoxicant, as an antiinflammatory, as an analgesic, and as a tranquilizer.

The most common traditional uses of the luffa sponge are rheumatism, arthritic pain, muscle pain, chest pain, amenorrhea, swollen and painful testicles, hemorrhoids, and inadequate milk flow in nursing mothers. A more recent use is in the treatment of shingles.

Apart from its usefulness as a bath sponge to remove dead skin tissue and to stimulate the skin, I bet you have never heard of luffa having so many medicinal properties and uses. It doesn't look like it conatins more than fibers to do anything to the body besides physical cleansing and stimulation of one's skin. But it has been used in Chinese medicine for at least a thousand years! And some of its uses have recently been substantiated by laboratory findings showing its decoction to have antiinflammatory, analgesic, and tranquilizing effects in mice.

Even though we normally associate luffa sponges only with physical actions on the skin, it is perhaps not too far-fetched to envision that some transfer of beneficial ingredients can occur during the physical contact to give the skin extra benefits other than just physical cleansing and stimulation. Thus, its detoxicant and antiinflammatory properties seem to offer some justification for the use of its powder and extracts in facial scrubs and skin cleansers.

Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Better Health with (mostly) Chinese Herbs and Food discusses the use of 60 different herbs as healing foods, including Luffa on page 59.

For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spice, Medicine, and More: Hot Pepper

It might be called capsicum, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, or tabasco pepper. Regardless of the variety of plant or what it is called, these peppers have one thing in common - their hot, pungent taste. Depending on the variety, the taste varies from mildly pungent to extremely pungent.

Imported within the last few hundred years to China, hot pepper was originally called fan jiao, or "barbarian's spice". (Just as whites used to call all nonwhites savages, the Chinese called all people outside of China barbarians.) Hot pepper was later called la qie, "pungent eggplant", because of its resemblance to the shape of an eggplant, and is now more commonly known as la jiao ("pungent spice").

Botanically, hot pepper is the fruit of Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum annuum or other Capsicum species of the nightshade family. Capsicum annuum is an annual herb up to 1 m (3 ft.) tall, but the other species are usually perennial shrubs. They are all native to tropical America and are now grown all over the world. Some varieties of C. annuum produce hot pepper, while otehr varieties of the same plant yield nonpungent fruits which are known as green pepper, paprika, bell pepper, or sweet pepper.

Hot peppers are widely used in seasoning foods and in folk medicine. The most common forms in which they are used for home seasoning are ground, pickled, and as tabasco sauce. Ground pepper soaked in vegetable oil is also a favorite of many Chinese. In America, extracts of hot pepper known as capsicum extracts, or oleoresin, are widely used in processed foods, including meat products, desserts, baked goods, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. They also used to be popoular components of some topical pharmaceutical preparations for treating arthritis, rheumatism, neuralgia, and lumbago but are now seldom used for these purposes in America. However, one can still find them used in certain commercial preparations for stopping thumb sucking or nail biting in children.

The pungent taste is due to its constituent capsaicin and its derivatives. Their concentrations in dried hot pepper range from less than 0.1% (mildly hot) to 1.5% (extremely hot). Dried hot pepper also contains about 13% protein, 9% fat, 60% carbohydrates, minerals and an exceptionally large amount of vitamin A (close to the amount present in dehydrated carrots). Fresh hot pepper also contains a large amount of vitamin C (several times that in oranges) most of which is destroyed during the drying process. In order to benefit from the high nutritive value of hot pepper one has to have numbed tastebuds, since ordinarily one can hardly ingest enough hot pepper for it to be a worthwhile source of nutrients.

In traditional Western folk medicine, hot pepper is used internally to stimulate appetite and aid digestion, and generally as a tonic. Externally, it is used as a counterirritant in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions.

Hot pepper is a strong local stimulant or irritant to the skin, mucous membranes, and eyes. The smoke of burning hot pepper is especially irritating to the mucous membranes and was once used for torture in the Malay Peninsula. Prolonged contact with hot pepper or its extracts can result in dermatitis. Hot pepper also caused tumors in the livers of experimental rats when the rats were fed a diet that contained 10% hot pepper. All these undesirable effects of hot pepper are mentioned here to remind you to use it with moderation.

In Chinese medicine, hot pepper is generally used in the dried form; the ripe fruit is collected in late summer or early autumn and is usually sun-dried. It is traditionally used to increase appetite, to aid digestion, and to treat arthritis and rheumatism, as in Western folk medicine. In addition, it is used in treating abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, chilblains, ringworm, malaria, poisonous snakebite, bruises, and hematomas.

The use of hot pepper for treating chilblains has been well documented, first in an 18th -century herbal, then n later herbals, and finally in modern Chinese medical journals. In modern usage, for treating chilblains and frostbite, a weak decoction or water extract of the pepper is used before the blisters break. This can be prepared by boiling 30g. (1 oz.) of hot pepper (cut up) in 2,000 to 3,000 ml. (2-3 qt.) of water for three to five minutes and straining off the residue. The liquid is used while still warm to wash the affected areas. Alternatively, an ointment prepared from 30 g. (about 1 oz.) ground hot pepper with seeds, 15 g. (about 0.5 oz.) camphor, and 250 g. (8.8 oz) Vaseline can be used. The ointment is rubbed on the chilblains or frostbite until a local burning sensation is felt. In one report, in a medical journal from northeastern China, of 200 patients treated with a weak hot-pepper decoction once daily for up to eleven days (but mostly for under five days), 188 were reported cured, eight had some response, while four did not respond. Best results were obtained with chilblains or frostbite of the hands and feet.

To treat traumatic injuries such as bruises and sprains causing hematomas (swellings containing blood) or swollen and painful joints, an ointment made with one part dried pepper and five parts Vaseline is used. Prepared by adding the ground hot pepper to the melted Vaseline, which is then mixed well and cooled until it congeals, this ointment is applied once daily, or once every two days, directly to the injured area. In a 1965 report from a journal of traditional medicine from Zhejiang, seven of 12 patients thus treated were cured and three improved, while two did not respond to this treatment. In the effective cases, four to nine applications were usually used.

In addition to uses above, modern Chinese medicine also uses hot pepper externally to treat parotiditis (mumps) and leg ulcers.

The usual internal daily dose of hot pepper is 1 to 2.5 g (0.04 - 0.09 oz.). It should not be taken by persons with any of the following conditions: sores, boils, toothache, eye diseses, or hemorrhoids.

One of the oldest remedies for treating chilblains calls for simply peeling off the skin of hot pepper and leaving it directly on the chilblain.

The use of hot pepper in the treatment of poisonous snakebite is described in a 19th-century herbal. For this purpose, it recommended that the bitten person simply chew 11 to 12 whole hot peppers and the pain and swelling would subside. Blisters would appear and a yellow liquid would exude from the wounded area while the patient was healing. Alternatively, the hot pepper could be chewed into a mash and then applied directly to the woiund with the same effects. Instead of the usual pungent taste, the patient would gind the hot pepper to taste sweet. I wonder how much truth there is in this century-old record. If it were true, the hot pepper must react with the snake venom to change the physiology of the tastebuds.

Hot pepper is readily available in groceries and super markets.

This information is excerpted from Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Chinese Healing Foods and Herbs. This publication includes further information and home remedies using hot pepper as well as over 45 other herbs.

Learn more about hot pepper and read further about Dr. Leung and his writings! Visit www.earthpower.com.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Common Purslane, Uncommon Benefits

Common purslane, or Portulaca oleracea L. (Family Portulacaceae), grows around the world. The aboveground parts are used. In addition to being used as a medicine, it is eaten as a vegetable or salad in many countries, especially in France and the Mediterranean. It is rich in nutrients (although amounts are highly variable depending on the report), including vitamins (A, B1, B2, C, niacinamide, nicotinic acid, alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, etc.), fatty acids (especially omega-3 acids, the highest among leafy vegetables), glutathione, flavonoids, coumarins, dopa, dopamine, and high concentrations of l-noradrenaline (0.25% of fresh herb).

Purslane has several known properties. It is heat disspiating and a detoxicant; it cools blood and stops bleeding. Several traditional uses are known, including headache, stomachache, painful urination, dysentery, enteritis, mastitis, lack of milk flow in nursing mothers, postpartum bleeding, bloody stool, bleeding hemorrhoids, and metrorrhagia. External uses include burns, earache, insect stings, inflammations, skin sores, ulcers, pruritus, eczema, and abscesses. Other, more modern uses include colitis, acute appendicitis, diabetes, dermatitis, and shingles.

By far the most common medicinal use of purslane in China is for the treatment of dysentery and bleeding. Although modern laboratory studies have shown it to have numerous biological effects, such as muscle relaxant (both smooth and skeletal muscles), hypertensive, antibacterial and antifungal, wound healing, antiinflammatory, uterine stimulant and diuretic, they don't explain why purslane is used for its various properties.

Nevertheless, since purslane is rich in conventional antioxidants (vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, gutathione, etc.) and omega-3 fatty acids, and because it has so many traditionally known benefits, it should be utilized more often.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Kudzu (synonym: Gegen) is another name for Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi. and P. thompsonii Benth. (Family Leguminosae). The part used is the root tuber. This is traditionally used for colds and flu and associated fever or headache, stiff and sore neck, diarrhea, measles, thirst, and drunkenness. More recently it has been used to treat hypertension, angina, pectoris, migraine, diabetes, nasal sinusitus, urticaria, psoriasis, and itching. It is also used externally for traumatic injuries.

The first written record of kudzu in China dates back to the fifth century B.C. and its first recorded medical applications date back about two thousand years. The kudzu plant is truly versatile and economic. Its root produces a starch similar to arrowroot starch, which is widely used by Asians (especially Chinese and Japanese) as a food and medicine; the root itself is also eaten in soups or is cooked alone or with other herbs for treating various conditions. Being rich in protein and other nutrients, the whole aboveground portion can be used in making animal feed. The fiber from the vine can be used in making textile.

After being introduced into the United States from Asia a little over a hundred years ago, one of the kudzu vines (Pueraria labata) has now run wild, especially in the Southeast. There, it overruns telephone poles, abandoned houses and cars, and is considered a pest. Instead of viewing it as a natural resource for use as human and animal food, as medicine and as industrial fiber, our government has been spending money to support program after program trying to eradicate it. What else is new?

I remember when I was growing up, kudzu often showed up on our dinner table in the form of a soup, for what my grandma used to call too much "hot air" among us. In Cantonese folk medicine, "hot or feverish air" or simply "hot" conditions are characterized by one or more of the following: headache with a feeling of heaviness in the head, dryness of mouth, bitter taste in the mouth, bad breath, canker sores, blisters in the mouth, swollen gums, dry and uncomfortable feeling in the throat, bloodshot eyes, pain during urination, etc. Many of these "hot"conditions can now be correlated to viral or bacterial infections. Other foods good for these indications include mung bean, chrysanthemum, and watercress. Kudzu root and flower are also used to treat hangovers. Maybe my grandma served kudzu root soup serreptitiously for one of my uncles who was known to hit the bottle once in a while.

Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Better Health with (mostly) Chinese Herbs and Food discusses the use of 60 different herbs as healing foods, including kudzu on pages 54-55. For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit http://www.earthpower.com/.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cucumber: Medicine from the Garden

Common throughout the world, cucumbers are consumed raw, cooked, and pickled, or in other ways. Westerners like them raw in salads and rarely eat them cooked, but peoples in the Far East, especially the Chinese, usually eat them cooked. When I was a child my family only occasionally ate cucumber raw, and always after it had been meticulously washed, because of an age-old Chinese tradition of avoiding raw foods for hygienic reasons.

Known scientifically as Cucumis sativus of the gourd family, the cucmber plant is an annual herb that grows by trailing along the ground or by climbing a support. It is believed to be native to Asia, probably the Middle East. According to Chinese records, cucumber was introduced to China around 100 B.C. (during the Han Dynasty) from countries to the west by way of what later became known as the Silk Route, later taken by Marco Polo. For six to seven hundred years, cucumber bore the name hu gua, meaning "foreign melon", but a later name, huang gua, meaning "yellow melon" is now more commonly used.

Numerous varieties of the plant produce fruits (cucumbers) of different sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors. They are easy to grow and, depending on the variety, range in shape from nearly round (rare) to elongate (common), and in taste from nonbitter to quite bitter, especially at the stem tips. Some cucumbers of the elongate type can reach 1 m. (3 ft) in length, but most are between 10 cm (4 in.) and 30 cm (1 ft.) long.

Like most vegetables and fruits, raw cucumbers contain large amounts of water (95%). The rest is made up of about 1% protein, 3% carbohydrates, minor amounts of fats (0.1%), minerals and vitamins (e.g., A, Bs, and C), none in unusually high concentration. Cucumbers also contain minor amounts of numerous other biologically active constituents. Their bitter taste is due to compounds known as cucurbitacins, one of which has been found to have antitumor effects on experimental animals.

In Western folk medicine, cucumber is considered a diuretic and a laxative. Externally the juice is said to be good for soothing skin inflamations, burns, and irritations, and for treating freckles and wrinkles.

The first recorded medicinal use of the cucumber was in the 7th century. In Chinese medicine, cucumber is considered to have heat-dissipating, diuretic, laxative, and detoxifying effects. Its major uses include the treatment of excessive thirst, sore throat, laryngitis, acute conjuctivitis, and burns. In most Chinese homes, however, whether eaten raw or cooked as a soup, cucumber is used only for keeping cool in summer, when it is in season, or in early autumn to soothe dry lips and throat.

The leaves, roots and stems are also used in Chinese medicine: the leaves and roots for diarrhea and dysentery; the stems for dysentery, urinary disorders and sores. Both fresh and dried forms are used. The leaves and roots are collected in the summer or fall and are sun-dried. The stems are collected in early summer before or at the time of flowering and are dried in the shade.

While the medicinal uses of cucumber stems are of relatively recent origin (18th century), the first recorded uses of cucumber leaves and cucumber roots date back to the 8th and 16th centuries, respectively. They are used both internally (as a decoction) and externally (as a mash), with internal doses for roots and stems of 28 to 56 g. (1-2 oz.) daily. The traditional dose for the leaves is one leaf for a one-year-old child. (Presumably more for older children or adults - but this is not stated.)

Cucumber stems have recently been used clinically in China for treating high blood pressure. Their effectiveness is described in a report of 1973 in which 53 of 64 patients with hypertension responded when treated with tablets of dried cucumber stems. The treatment consisted of taking 12.5 g. (0.04 oz.) of tablets three times daily for one to two months. Side effects were minimal. Only five of the patients experienced a burning sensation in the stomach after taking the tablets; this was reduced or disappeared when the patients took the tablets after meals.

In a report of 1972, decoctions or extracts of cucumber seedlings (with roots and leaves removed) were also effective in treating high blood pressure. Of 62 patients thus treated, 54 responded, half with their blood pressure down in the normal range.

One of the more popular home remedies for treating dryness of lips and throat and preventing laryngitis or sore throat in late summer and early fall is to use a soup prepared from old, well-ripened cucumbers. The soup is prepared just like a regular vegetable soup and drunk often during this period.

In a traditional remedy for treating painful acute conjunctivitis, a well-ripened cucumber is used. A hole is made at one end and the seeds and pulp are removed. It is then filled with Glauber's salt (sodium sulfate). After the hole is sealed, the filled cucumber is hung in the shade for some weeks until white crystals accumulate on the surface. The crystals are then scraped off and used to prepare a solution for eye drops.

Cucumbers are sold at groceries and in supermarkets. The leaves, roots, and stems of the cucumber plant can be obtained from home gardens.

This information is excerpted from Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Chinese Healing Foods and Herbs. This publication includes further information and home remedies using cucumber as well as over 45 other herbs.

Learn more about cucumber and read further about Dr. Leung and his writings! Visit www.earthpower.com.