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Ginseng Out at Sea

Image by vhines200 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/vhines200/) under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Image by vhines200 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/vhines200/) under CC BY-ND 2.0.

I haven’t been able to figure out definitively why my supplier (and several others) of Asian ginseng has been out of stock for months. There could be a number of reasons: poor harvest, increased global demand, unresolved price negotiations amongst parties involved, loss or damage of shipment from China, failed inspection of shipment—either leaving China, or entering the U.S. (The FDA inspects imported food products, including herbs.)

The herbal sales rep I spoke with wasn’t sure either. After all, he just works there. He simply cited the possibilities above. But I do understand that [click to continue…]

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Swashbuckling Acupuncture Needles

19th century British acupuncture needles. © Wood Library-Museum

19th century British acupuncture needles. © Wood Library-Museum

 

An anesthesiology museum houses a fascinating acupuncture artifact.

The Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology (so close to hometown Chicago!) has catalogued these early 19th century British acupuncture needles. It’s unclear from their website whether these are replicas or the real thing—used by the English surgeon, James Morss Churchill. The tools were made from [click to continue…]

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