Picture it- February, 2000. Cells phones were no longer just the provenance of rich doctors but also young computer engineers, an adorable sock puppet was telling us that “pets can’t drive,” and the term Cyber Monday was coined because work was the only place any of us had high-speed internet access. A young mathematician turned database programmer was sniffling and hacking over her keyboard considering the idea that it wasn’t normal to spend six months of the year with a head cold. That head cold rapidly progressed to a double ear infection that perforated both of my eardrums. Yuck.
It wasn’t too long after the ear infection that I started to look for a solution beyond urgent care visits for my health issues. Besides catching colds easily, I also had chronic migraines, adult-onset acne and, PMS possibly bordering on PMDD. One afternoon I cornered my yoga-instructor friend and said, “Alice, you know a lot about woo-woo crap medicine. Do you know anything that could help me?” To her credit, she did not balk at my gross characterization of alternative and complementary medicine. Instead she referred me to her acupuncturist.
For my first acupuncture appointment, I arrived 45 minutes late, having been stuck in traffic. I was a ball of fiery rage by the time I walked in. To the acupuncturist’s credit, she treated me despite my tardiness. And she told me, “I think I can help you. But it’s not going to be fast. There is good and there is bad. But the only evil is in trying to force change.”
Audibly I answered, “Uh, ok. Do the needles hurt?”
In my head I responded, “WTF, lady?! I just want better skin. Not some crap advise from a fortune cookie.”
Skip forward, 20 years. A lot has changed. My phone is smarter. I buy pet supplies online, but not from that sock puppet, RIP. And I start online Christmas shopping while the turkey was in the oven. I don’t get sick very often, which I think of as something of an accomplishment considering I live with two elementary-school-aged children. That’s not to say I never get sick. But it’s not the chronic, protracted snot filled misery that it was.
My immune system function has fundamentally changed. It didn’t take 20 years, but it took a while. During that time I got a lot of acupuncture, changed my eating and sleeping habits, moved to a climate more suited to my constitution, and switched careers. Those first several years were like turning an aircraft carrier 180 degrees. But what really pushed my immune system to level up was taking herbs. In particular, I got into the habit of taking herbal formulas with powerful adaptogens like astragalus root and bai-zhu atractylodes, DAILY.
At the beginning of 2020, before the world went sideways, Dave and I met to plan for new product releases for the year. Dave suggested we add the traditional Chinese herbal formula, called Yu Ping Feng San, usually translated as Jade Wind Screen. It has only three ingredients: astragalus root, siler root and bai-zhu atractylodes. It’s traditionally used to improve immune function, indicated for the me of 20 years ago- someone constantly catching every disease that spread in the feted cesspool used as an office.
I threw my whole-hearted support to this plan. Behold, Support System liquid and Support System VZ capsules have arrived! Partly it’s self-serving. It’s super convenient for me to have a product on-hand for my children, husband and extended family. Partly it’s to fill in a hole in our product line. Jade Wind Screen is one of the ten most commonly used formulas in traditional Chinese herbal medicine. But mostly it’s because helping people fundamentally improve their health with herbs the greatest gift Herbalogic can bring to the world. It’s why I started this company.