Last night, after a late night, kerosene-lit, conversation with our boys concerning the state-of-the-farm, I read the most wonderful essay by Wendell Berry. I want so much to simply re-publish it here but don't wish to to so without permission from the author, so I will give you a link and a quote and if I gain permission I will reprint it then.
It's been a long summer . . . but I didn't need to tell you that.
An unprecedented quantity of produce has passed
through my kitchen and been processed into sauces, jams, pickles, purees, relishes,
frozen foods, pastes, dried vegetables, wine, and medicines. All of this in spite of a number of crop failures.
And we’re not finished yet. As a matter of fact the bulk of our most
important crops are just beginning to flow in.
*Bidens bipinnatais listed inOriental Materia Medicaamong the herbs that are cooling and resolve the surface. It is
reported to have the functions of removing wind-dampness, dispersing stagnant
blood, and invigorating blood. This categorization of this herb-along with
those usually indicated for resolving the surface-appears to be in error, as
there is a different section of the Materia Medica reserved for herbs that have
the properties listed for this species of bidens, namely the herbs for removing
wind-dampness (anti-rheumatics). Applications of the herb inOriental Materia Medicainclude rheumatoid arthritis, sprain, insect and
scorpion sting, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis, acute nephritis, stomach ache,
and sore throat. In sum, it has the same uses asBidens pilosa. The substituteDesmodiumspecies are similar to the standard herb known
either ashuluchaorlongshehuang(Desmodium triquetri),
which is applied to treat common cold, sore throat, enteritis, dysentery,
jaundice, rheumatic arthralgia, and other disorders; the overlap in
applications between bidens and desmodium is evident.
A review of uses ofBidens bipinnata(the only species mentioned) inAnticancer Medicinal Herbs(9), includes:
Internal Medicine: "It is
recorded inHandbook of Chinese Medicinal Herbsthat: The decoction of the drug cures dysentery,
laryngalgia, dysphagia, vomiting, cardiac spasm and esophageal dilatation,
and is effective in removing toxic materials, stopping diarrhea, and
clearing away heat. The drug has been used to treat cecitis [inflammation
in the large intestine] in the recent years." For cancer therapy,
15-30 grams per day is decocted and taken orally for esophageal cancer;
for gastric cancer, 15 grams of bidens is combined with a complex formula
for daily administration.
External Medicine: "It is
said inPrescriptions Worth a Thousand Goldthat 'External application of bidens with arctium and
blended with pig fat can cure finger cut.' It is recorded inDictionary of Chinese Materia Medicathat 'The drug, bitter in taste, mild in nature, and
non-toxic mainly cures spider and fly bites through internal and external
application.' It is reported inMateria Medicathat 'Scorpion sting can be cured by external application
of the drug.'"
InChinese-English Manual of Common-Used Herbs(14), underguizhencao,
three species are all listed as source materials:Bidens bipinnata,B. pilosa,
andB. biternata. The applications are:
1.clear away the superficial heat: for common cold
of wind-heat type and prevention of influenza;
2.clear away heat and toxic materials: for sore
throat, appendicitis, snake bite, and centipede bite; and
3.clear away dampness and heat from the
gastrointestines [gastro-intestinal tract]: for diarrhea, dysentery and stomach
ache of heat type.
According toA New Compendium of Materia Medica(12), theBidensspecies have the
following properties (withB. pilosalisted as the main species andB. bipinnataandB. tripartitalisted as having the
Good for diminishing inflammation to cure common
cold, bronchitis, hepatitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia, appendicitis, and
child-fever, eliminating sputum and relieving cough and asthma; also for curing
snake bite or for external applications.