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The Legend of Milk Oolong

One night long ago mother moon beheld a beautiful scarlet comet burning in the sky where before had been only darkness. It seemed to her the most wondrous thing she had ever seen. “Who are you?” she cried. “I am Hong Long, the red dragon. I have traveled far and am weary but yet I have far to go, for indeed my journey never ends.” Mother moon felt great pity for the handsome stranger and her heart opened to him. “Hong Long,” she said, “Why...

History of White Mulberry

A Closely Guarded Secret Our story begins in ancient China around 2700 BCE. The Chinese have discovered and refined the art of silk textiles. The luxurious fabric is wildly popular and merchant kings have grown fat on the proceeds. In fact, the entire Chinese economy is benefiting, from the lowliest peasants laboring in the fields to the Emperor himself. The Chinese are determined to protect the secrets of silk making from rival countries. Among those secrets is the food they feed the tiny caterpillars that...

The History of Tea

Many ancient cultures have brew drinks by steeping plant leaves in hot water. These cultures include the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Celts, Indians and of course the Chinese.  In China the generic term for this was t' (pronounced tay). In Chinese mythology the Chinese emperor Shen Nung, was the first to discover tea. In 2737 B.C. he had instructed all in his court to boil water before its consumption in order to combat the many water borne illnesses prevalent at that time. One day while camping...

History of Jiaogulan

Jiaogulan: A small vine in a huge country! Jiaogulan grows naturally in certain small provinces in Southern China. However, the traditional medicine of Southern China has been largely ignored. Consequently, the authors of the classic Chinese Medicine texts, who were from Northern China, had only passing familiarity with Jiaogulan. Jiaogulan is first mentioned in literature during the Ming dynasty. In 1406 the physician Zhu Xiao described Jiaogulan in a medical text called "Materia Medica for Famine". In this text he simply recommends Jiaogulan as a...