Taste of Chinese Herbs 服中药怎样不苦口？
by: Joe Hing kwok Chu 按此看中文
Taste is acquired or developed, as evidenced that taste varies from culture to culture. For example, in some Asian cultures, bitter melons, used as vegetables, are delicacies. In Western cultures, aromatic bitters are sometimes added to whiskeys.
Some herbs taste bitter. However, adding sugar to herb formulae can sometimes compromise the effectiveness of the formulae. Oftentimes adding sugar can create harmful or opposite effects, as in the formulae for diarrhea treatment or in yeast infection treatment.
The bitter taste of herbs can be lessened by adjusting the temperature of the herb decoction before using it.
Taste buds are most efficient when the temperature of the food is the about the same as that of the body. The temperature of the mouths is usually between 36.2 oC to 37.4 oC. The taste sensation is less when the temperature of the food is either under 36.2 oC or over 37.4 oC. When the temperature of the decoction is maintain between 20 to 30 oC the bitterness will be much less.
Note: If the formulae call for "drinking while warm" for the purposes of sweating, the temperature of the decoction can be over 38 oC but make sure it is taken carefully to prevent scalding.
Reference: Chang Yi Yong, People Hospital, Huai Yang District, Zhou Kou City, Henan Province, China
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