White Tiger Decoction

Powerful and graceful White Tiger Decoction treats what is known in Chinese medicine as the 4 bigs – big fever, big thirst, big sweat, big pulse – and has its place in the Chinese medicine dispensary as an important emergency formula. Apropos for 2022 – the Year of the Tiger.

F61544D3-B9B8-42B6-AB3B-639D19360CAD_1_105_cGypsum, the main ingredient, is a clear white mineral with a crystalline structure made up of parallel fibers, which is pungent, sweet and cold. Some say it is very cold, others slightly cold, but all agree that it has strong heat clearing properties. It’s function can be likened to cleaning a clogged screen, allowing the body to vent the heat that has built up under the clog. We can visualize the image of the parallel crystal fibers – keeping the vertical flow of the meridians, so heat cannot build up. This amazing mineral is can either reduce profuse sweat or promote sweat as is needed.

Gypsum is used together in White Tiger Decoction with honey-fried licorice, rice and anemarrhena which, along with gypsum, are all sweet and/or cool and help replenish the fluids that were scorched by the intense heat and high fever. It is an incredibly effective formula when used appropriately for the correct pattern, including for pediatrics.

I had the chance to use it when my son woke up the first day of the winter break with a fever. His main signs and symptoms were headache, rapid and flooding pulse, body hot to touch, and fever went up to 104.6. I have him White Tiger Decoction and the fever came down from 104.6 to 101 literally within minutes. By the time he went to bed an hour later his fever was below 99. I was amazed that it worked so fast. I am so grateful for the wisdom of the ancients and to have this potent medicine at my finger tips. Chinese medicine rocks!

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Oral-Nasal Virucidal Therapy

For prevention and early treatment of COVID and other viruses, one of the best things we can do is treat the area that the viruses come in and hang out: the nose and throat. Gargling is one way to get to the throat, while a spray will take care of the nose and behind, where the nose and throat meet. This effective method has been shown to reduce PCR positivity and shorten the duration of illness.

There are many options for what anti-viral/microbial agent to use use. Solutions of Betadine (povidone-iodine 1%) and hydrogen peroxide (3%) are highly effective. Grapefruit seed extract has anti-viral and anti-microbial effects, as do many essential oils, like the ones used in Listerine. Obviously, Listerine is great for gargling, but not so great for spraying up one’s nose. Xlear Nasal Spray contains grapefruit seed extract.

The goal is to decontaminate the nose and throat to reduce the viral load that your body has to deal with, and to reduce the transmission of the virus.

2 teaspoons Betadine in 6 ounces of water

Use nasal spray or syringe bulb and spray up nose – snort it to back of throat and then spit it out.

Gargle the rest of the Betadine solution, spit it out – do not swallow.

Finish with Listerine gargle

This method is recommended for early stages of COVID or flu, or if nasal symptoms continue. This can be done up to every 4 hours while you are awake.

This is also recommended after being in contact with people suspected of having COVID – or after a day out around a lot of people, especially close contact in small rooms. This method is being used in other parts of the world and reporting good success.

Neti pot with salt water unfortunately did not prove to be effective for treating viruses in the nose; in fact it was only marginally more effective than just water in a neti pot. Using a neti pot with Betadine solution instead of a nasal spray is an option for this method.

To learn more about Anti-viral effects of gargling, check out my blog post Gargling with Antiseptic Mouthwash Kills Viruses.


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Gargling with Antiseptic Mouthwash Kills Viruses

Gargling is an easy way to reduce infection and transmission of viruses. Antiseptic mouthwashes, like Listerine, effectively reduce oro- and nasopharyngeal (mouth, throat and nose) viral load and inactivate coronaviruses.

The nose, throat and salivary glands are major sites of virus replication and transmission during early stages of coronavirus infection, as well as other respiratory viruses and bacteria. Targeting these areas with mouthwashes and nasal rinses can help prevent progression and reduce transmission of the disease.

While the vaccines aim to prevent viruses from replicating in the lungs, they do not prevent viruses from replicating in the nose, mouth and pharynx, which has a different type of mucosa than the lungs and this area is the first area to be infected.

The easiest thing we can do is to gargle daily for prevention of transmission of viruses and bacteria. Alternatively, gargling can be applied after exposure to someone who is sick or potential exposure after flying or being in a crowded place. This can be helpful for all people regardless of vaccination history.

What to gargle and how often:

The most effective mouthwashes, according to studies, are Providine-iodine (Betadine), Listerine Anti-septic with Essential oils, Cetylpryidinium Chloride containing mouthwashes (Scope, Act, Crest) and Hydrogen Peroxide 1.5-3% dilution.

Our family uses Listerine Naturals Antiseptic mouthwash, the dye-free version that contains Listerine’s original 4 essential oils – eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate (wintergreen oil) and thymol. Listerine original antiseptic claims to have antimicrobial properties and to kill the germs that cause bad breath, and it did really well in the studies. The slightly more effective original yellow Listerine has a percentage of higher alcohol (26% vs 21%) and contains more artificial ingredients than the Listerine Naturals (but less than most of the brightly colored versions such as the Cool Mint). Our family chose Listerine over the other mouthwashes for taste, safety and effectiveness.

For prevention: gargling 1-2 x daily for 30 seconds is recommended.

If there is suspected exposure or after being in crowded areas, extra gargling is a great idea.

For early stage treatment: gargling 3 x daily for 30 seconds is recommended for COVID or flu/cold.

Do not swallow mouthwashes.

Listerine’s active ingredients include 4 essential oils: eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate and thymol. Some research uses the classic yellow or the cool mint. Most contain dyes and other chemicals that I usually try to avoid for my family. The classic original yellow Listerine has less chemicals than most, and there is one that is totally free of dyes. So, I am currently stocking a dye-free Listerine – herbal mint – which contains the 4 essential oils, which is Listerine’s secret weapon.


Here are the ingredients in three Listerine products. Note these three all contain the 4 essential oils and the original has a higher percentage of alcohol.

Listerine Naturals Antiseptic:

  • Active ingredients: Eucalyptol 0.092%, Menthol 0.042%, Methyl salicylate 0.060%, Thymol 0.064%
  • Inactive ingredients: Water, Sorbitol solution, Alcohol (21.6%), Poloxamer 407, Flavor, Benzoic acid, Stevia rebaudiana leaf/stem extract, Sodium benzoate

Listerine Original Antiseptic:

  • Active ingredients: Eucalyptol 0.092%, Menthol 0.042%, Methyl salicylate 0.060%, Thymol 0.064%
  • Inactive ingredients: Water, Alcohol (26.9%), Benzoic acid, Poloxamer 407, Sodium benzoate, Caramel

Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic:

  • Active ingredients: Eucalyptol 0.092%, Menthol 0.042%, Methyl salicylate 0.060%, Thymol 0.064%
  • Inactive ingredients: Water, Alcohol (21.6%), Sorbitol solution, Flavoring, Poloxamer 407, Benzoic acid, Sodium saccharin, Sodium benzoate, FD&C Green No. 3

References: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jmv.26514


To learn about anti-viral nasal sprays, see my blog post Oral-Nasal Virucidal Therapy.


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Cinnamon Twig Formula

Cinnamon Twig Formula, Gui Zhi Tang, is a commonly used formula that is useful for the very initial stages of a cold or flu when there may be mild symptoms such as sneezing, aversion to cold and wind, mild sweating, feeling feverish, lack of thirst or headache. It treats exterior wind cold and harmonizes the nutritive and defensive Qi. Most of the herbs in the formula help the digestion (fresh ginger, dates, licorice, and also cinnamon twig and white peony root), while a couple harmonize the surface (cinnamon twig and white peony root). It’s made up of mostly food type herbs, and is pretty yummy for a Chinese medicine formula.

To take the formula, prepare the herbs with hot water and drink, followed by a warm bowl of porridge.  Wrap yourself up with some blankets until you have a slight sweat. At that time, change into warm dry clothes and discontinue the herbs.

Once the cold/flu goes deeper and there are symptoms such as sore throat, thirst, high fever, cough, different formulas are appropriate.

Cinnamon Twig formula is not just for colds with sneezing, it can be used as a base formula for many conditions, including emotional vulnerability, palpitations, abdominal pain, joint pain, cold hands and feet, hot flashes, when the pattern fits.

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MegaCidin Throat Spray



MegaCidin is a combination of potent herbs and immune-boosting probiotic spores that can support your inner defenses in as little as 30 minutes! Plus, MegaCidin comes in a convenient spray bottle that you can keep with you in the car, at school, at work, or while traveling.

How does it work?

Just spray MegaCidin 1-3 times in your mouth towards the back of your throat 2-3 times per day, in order to activate your oral immune system.

The mucosal tissue inside of the mouth is rich with immune cells that can alert the rest of the immune system to invasion.

Supporting your oral immunity with MegaCidin is like enhancing your inner surveillance team so that your immune system can better identify and respond to foreign invaders.

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Introducing MegaSporeBiotic

MegaSporeImmuneSupportMegaSporeBiotic is a 100% spore-based, broad-spectrum probiotic clinically shown to maintain healthy gut barrier function.  It has been shown to clinically reduce leaky gut by 60%.

This unique all-spore formula effectively RECONDITIONS the gut by promoting microbial diversity and maintaining key health-promoting, commensal gut bacteria. MegaSporeBiotic boasts a 5-year shelf-life, does not require refrigeration, and maintains efficacy during antibiotic therapy.

MegaSporeBiotic contains Bacillus spores, which are naturally designed to survive digestion. The reason for their inherent survivability comes from their bi-phasic life cycle.

This means that the Bacillus spores can transition interchangeably from their dormant form to their active form, depending on the environment. In its dormant spore form, Bacillus will surround itself with an endospore, which is a tough, natural outer shell that protects it from light, heat, pressure, acid, lack of oxygen, and other environmental factors. This key feature is what allows MegaSporeBiotic to survive easily through digestion without the need for enteric-coated capsules or refrigeration.

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Rolling Bale Farm – Custom Lamb Cuts available

Rolling Bale Farm is offering custom cuts of organic 100% grass fed lamb. We shared a whole lamb with a friend last year and it was delicious.

They will be selling out, so get your order in now. Delivery is expected October – November. See the available cuts and price list. They will customize your cuts to your preference.

Local lamb is clean food, deeply nutritious and it is the warmest meat, which is great for Vermont winters. Support our local Vermont farmers and nourish yourself with the healthiest meat available. Save the bones in your freezer and make bone broth!

email Hilary at wolfehammond@gmail.com

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2021 – Year of the Metal Ox

Happy Chinese New Year

Legend has it that the Jade Emperor staged a race across China to determine the order of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. The determined Ox was in the first position, but the sneaky, resourceful Rat hitched a ride on Ox’s back. Ox swam across the river and as they approached the other side, the Rat hopped off Ox’s back onto the bank winning first place, and leaving the Ox as number two.

JPG-Year-Of-The-Ox-2021-8x102020 feels like a year that was hijacked, like the Rat hijacked the Ox. The 12th of February 2021 brings the energy of the Ox  – the Ox is an Earth element animal and 2021 is a Metal year.

The Ox is known for being patient, stubborn, hard-working and deliberate, yet flexible. The image of the Ox slowly plowing the fields is representative of the Ox energy. We can deliberately make a clean slate for ourselves and start fresh.

This Metal Ox year we will want to find balanced between hard work and determination – and – rest and rejuvenation. We need to be flexible and go with the flow, while also being persistent and patient as we work towards our goals little by little. Build stamina but don’t burn yourself out.

Cooperation and communication are important this year. Pause, listen, observe. Pay attention. This includes listening to your own voice and intuition.

Ox years:  2021   2009   1997   1985   1973   1961   1949   1937   1925   1913

Goals and Intentions for the Year of the Ox

Plant your seeds (intentions), work the soil a little each week, be patient, and see what grows and is ready for harvest by the end of the year. Be choosy about what you sow, so as to keep it manageable.

Plant some seeds for your own self-care. If your goal is to improve your health, exercise routine or diet, take it slow and make it sustainable.

Read about Eating Well in the Year of the Ox

Slow and steady wins the race this year!

Wishing you rewarding 2021 and good health, happiness and prosperity for you and your family.

Let’s go 2021!





Here’s a few articles I’ve written recently that you may be interested in:

Moxa Season – Time to Build Qi and Blood

Nourishing Winter Cleanse

Anti-inflammatory Diet, Nightshade family and Elimination Diet

Nutrition Resources

Phu Cuoc Fish Sauce – the Good Stuff



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Eating Well in the Year of the Ox

ZxxxJFXdQ6qD4HtziZBcdA_thumb_c1f3The Ox is an Earth animal according to the 5-element cycle of Chinese medicine. The Earth element relates to the Spleen/Stomach and digestion and assimilation of nutrients. In this cycle Earth generates Metal, which relates to the Lung and breathing. Focus on taking care of yourself by eating well and including breathing exercises or relaxed deep breathing in your daily routine.

Worry and rumination negatively affects the Spleen/Stomach and digestion – don’t get stuck thinking about something endlessly. Put it out of your mind unless you can make a decision – then decide and move forward. This is not always easy to do, but practice and it will get easier. It helps if you are taking care of your Spleen/Stomach energy by eating hearty, warming, nutrition dense foods and avoiding sugar. The relationship between worry and digestion is clear in Chinese medicine; both are related to the Earth element, Spleen/Stomach and damp accumulation.

How to Eat Well in the Year of the Ox

Eat warm cooked foods, whole foods, don’t over eat, limit raw, cold and damp foods. Avoid sugar and limit dairy as they contribute to dampness. Too much grain can also lead to damp accumulation. Eat warm hearty meals with plenty of protein, especially bone broth, soups and stews.

Meat and seafood: Lamb, grass-fed beef, liver, chicken (especially dark meat or breast with the skin), turkey, salmon, trout, sardines, herring, tuna

Root vegetables: Sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga

Shiitake mushrooms, green beans, swish chard, cabbage, kale, winter squash

Pungent vegetables: Garlic, leek, onion, shallots

Warming spices: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, clove fennel, anise, star anise, rosemary, thyme, sage, basil

Fruit: Figs, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranate, cherries, dates, raisins, pear

Nuts: Walnuts, pistachio

Butter, ghee, walnut oil

Oats, rice congee


Chew! Digestion starts in the mouth, so give you digestion a break by chewing well, ideally 30 times.

Eat warm foods. The process of digestion involves breaking food down into a warm soup in the Stomach, then the Spleen can do its job of extracting nutrients. This is one of the reasons that soup and stew is recommended as the most Spleen/Stomach-supportive meals. In Chinese medicine we advise against chilling the Spleen/Stomach. If you only like iced beverages and cold foods, you may have an excess heat pattern.

It is still winter, so eating well for the Water Element and Kidney energy is still relevant. Bone broth is key here.

If you want to want to maximize your nutrition and/or reset your eating habits, try a Nourishing Winter Cleanse.

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Nourishing Winter Cleanse

Any time of year can be a great time do a Nourishing Winter Cleanse to nourish your gut, immune system, blood stream and whole body while eating only the cleanest fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, fish and bone broth. These healthful eating tips can be useful even if you are not up for a full cleanse.

By eating deeply nourishing foods, and not eating foods that cause inflammation and toxic build-up, we can nourish our muscular-skeletal, gastro-intestinal and blood systems, reduce systemic inflammation and bolster our immune system. The immune system starts in the gut. A healthy gut lining means fewer toxins are getting through your gut lining into your blood stream where they can wreak havoc in your joints, arteries, brain, everything!

A healthy gut can process the food you eat efficiently, assimilating the nutrients our body needs and transforming them into the Qi and blood which is the basis for our defensive Qi, aka immune system.

The Spleen is one of the main organs of digestion according to Chinese medicine, and is responsible for transformation and transportation of food. The Spleen likes warmth. Too much raw and cold food is too cooling for the Spleen, especially up here in Vermont in the winter! The Nourishing Winter Cleanse is exactly the opposite of a raw food cleanse. So, a cleanse doesn’t necessarily mean juice fast or raw food diet. Read More »

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