I first started learning about herbs in 1965. My first interest was Western Herbology. Next I became interested in American Indian herbology, around 1968. I hopped freight trains through most of the Midwest. I carried with me an old German World War one horse hair pack. It was filled with vitamins, minerals, tissue salts and many different types of herbs. Since herbs were my main interest at that time I thought it would be a great idea to introduce and share with people along the way.

In 1973 I started martial art training full-time. The first art that I studied formally was Tai Chi Chuan. Because of the Chinese culture involved, and because I was living in San Francisco's Chinatown at the time, I naturally gravitated toward Chinese herbology. .

In 1986 I became a contributing editor for one of Black Belt Magazines' publications entitled Karate/Kung Fu illustrated. This was about the time I started writing about herbology and martial arts. A visit to my web site at wwwironpalm.com, lists over 60 articles in major magazines I have penned since 1986. I have perhaps shared more authentic five elder martial art herbal lists in these articles than any author to date. In the early 90's I co-authored a book entitled Authentic Five Elder Martial Art Formulas with Dr. Zev Rosenberg. The book sold out and is listed in the Library of Congress. In 1999 I authored an herb book on CD-ROM that covered six traditional formulas. Zev Rosenberg teaches oriental medicine and herbology at San Diego's prestigious Pacific College of Oriental medicine. .

In the early 1990's I produced seventeen best-selling Panther Productions' videotape instructionals. My tapes represented the areas of iron palm and dim mak under the 18 Daoist Palms System. In my dim mak tapes I showed my own personal vast collection gathered over the years. I also showed over a thousand formulas in Chinese in the original monks writing. .

I'm somewhat unorthodox in my approach to sharing this information. On one hand I do not want to see an ancient art lost, and on the other hand I don't want to give the impression that one needs to try these or encourage others to try these. My dilemma was this, what should I do with this priceless information that was bequeathed to me? Should I go to the grave with it and not share it with anyone, or should I attempt to share it responsibly with all the disclaimers over emphasizing that my sole purpose in sharing these is for all of us to have greater insight into what the monks must have thought concerning why these formulas would have 'possibly' worked? While my former teacher did train me in the preparation of classical herbal list formulas, and while I did do much research on my own, nevertheless, I present these for historical purposes only. What do I mean by that? Simply this, a reality one must deal with in Kung Fu is the fact that for an art to be truly internal as my former teacher would say, it needs to contain meditation and herbs. My former teacher always told me that the herbal part was some of the most secretive. Traditionally a student would learn three complete forms a year. By complete, I mean a corresponding two-person form. After about fifteen years of training the student was allowed to learn herbology. Maybe if they were lucky the grandmaster would share a few formulas, albeit, perhaps not always in the original monks handwriting. .

One thing I will not do in this series is share the original monk's handwriting. It is much too rare. What I will do is share the re written formula that my herbalist kindly took the time to breakdown from his perspective for me. This series of CD books will focus on about 200 formulas. We will cover about five formulas per CD. These formulas will all come from Mew Hing's Eighteen Daoist Palms Systems' Sacred Chi Building formulas. I consulted my herbalist of seventeen years before attempting this project. My England representative Mark Hordon and a student Jack were the first to help me with venture capital for this project. It took me building a relationship with my herbalist for about seventeen years to develop the type of communication to where we can undertake a project of this magnitude. In the past, I learned through trial and error that many herbalists were just too incompetent to read authentic five elder martial formulas and decipher the finer points of an almost coded language that was designed on purpose to confuse other systems that would get their hands on these formulas. I picked the herbal lists that my former teacher thought were the best. I wanted to keep that ambiance of authenticity, and do away with too many so-called chefs in the kitchen. .
Because the original herbal lists dated back as far as 690 AD, but most from the 1600's, the Chinese ideograms were much more circular in the older writing. Indeed it took years of pondering these herbal lists with my herbalist to decipher all the finer points. .
Throughout the 1980's I must have read thousands of martial art magazines from around the world in English. I have over 600 books in my own private collection. I know for a fact that one of the biggest voids of knowledge in the martial arts has been lack of information on authentic five elder lineage kung fu herbal knowledge. This is changing. What you are getting in the CD it would be like nothing divulged to the public to study in mainstream martial art history in America. I'm a simple man, a martial artist who has done nothing else since 1973. I've seen the rise in alternative medicine. I personally respect Western medicine and Eastern Medicine, but I think it's very important that everyone understand there are contraindications and side effects when one Willie/Nilly mixes and matches foods or medications. I cannot stress this enough. Some of the external jows will cause a rash on some people and not on others. The internal tonics are not the over the counter ginseng and other types. In most cases they taste very bad. When I asked my herbalist to look at these sacred formulas, I asked him to tell me what they were. He said they could be divided all into two categories internal and external jows and tonics. I said we needed to have consistency. I said we would need to re-write the formulas in more updated Chinese were the average Chinese herbalist in any given city would be able to recognize the ingredient. I also mentioned that we needed a consistent method of preparation for all 200 least we get too complex. I told my herbalist we would need to make weights for each of the formulas that would correlate to make a gallon no matter what the formula. .

I gave my herbalist a copy of the sacred formulas book. I told him I would be in once a month for 20 months and that we would break down five formulas at a time. His job would be to mark a photocopy of the original formula in sequential order in the booklet with a number assigned to each ideogram as one would read in Chinese. In other words top to bottom and right to left. He was then to on a separate piece of paper, give the Latin name, the Chinese name re written, and a weight in Chinese writing. .

I left him with the instructions and said I would be back in a week. I was so excited to see that we had clear communication and everything went as planned. Not only had he given me the original formula with each ingredient circled and numbered, but he also re-wrote the formula for the public so that you can have the privilege of actually having another Chinese herbalist understand what the ingredient is. Often, if you can show them the Latin they have a problem. When I asked my herbalist to give me a Latin name for each ingredient, I knew it would be asking too much to give me the pharmaceutical Latin term. There is a mix and match between pharmaceutical Latin and the Botanical Latin along with some English names and Chinese names. .

When you think of the way that I got these formulas originally in the original monks' hand writing, and when you consider all the work that went into breaking them down and presenting them to you almost on a silver platter, it will make it easier for you appreciate how much work went into making your experience learning Chinese herbology, and especially these five elder martial herbal lists much easier.
Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking that what we present here is a complete breakdown in any stretch of the imagination. Far from it; what we have done is give you the tools to do further research on your own. Remember, all Chinese martial arts are based on philosophy. What this means is the underlying principles of the martial arts are considered to be pseudo science (false science.) Now while science religion and philosophy in of themselves do not hold all the answers, they are indeed dependent on each other to cooperate to find truth. Nevertheless, without knowing the philosophy and without the original formulas to study we would really be in the dark regarding the herbal part of what makes any art internal in the traditional five elder sense of the word. .

I did not want my 20 CD-ROM series to be in any way shape or form like other books on the market that have to do with Chinese herbs. From what I've seen the majority of those types of books although professionally done are mostly over the counter remedies, the study of individual ingredients for in depth studies, or of religious philosophical or medical herbology. Let me stress again that five elder lineage martial herbal lists in the monks' handwriting are a category of their own. .

In this world that we live in, the different foods we eat, the different medications we take, and different shape we are all in… including mental and emotional states; the last thing we need to do is experiment with these formulas in an irresponsible manner. External liniments are one thing, tonics are another. Because all the tonics are made with vodka, obviously one should be 21 years old before even considering working with these herbal lists. Furthermore, no one should ever try these without serious consultation with their Western Doctor, a licensed eastern oriental medicine doctor and a licensed Chinese herbalist. Even then, a second and third opinion would be wise. I asked what the dosage would be for someone of my body type for the tonics and was advised about a teaspoon a week no more. Also, do not mix different types of tonics on any given week. Mew Hing productions its associates and all the people involved in this series of CD books assumes no responsibility for your actions. You are responsible for your own actions. Just because a formula says tonic, does not mean I have them all identified for any legendary 'use.' .

So again in presenting this material to you I know that a lot of grandmasters in other arts will appreciate my attempts to save this rare international treasure of information. Please be responsible! Do not take these formulas lightly. If you're like me, you'll enjoy getting a good Materia Medica that will give you much more in depth information on each ingredient. As you study five element theory, even Yin/Yang and other aspects of the metaphysics behind Chinese medicine and their biology, you'll gain greater insight into the martial arts you study, because you will be understanding how the principles of martial arts philosophy of Taoism combine to bring any type of logic at all as to why these would've worked (according to legend,) 400 years ago for the greatest martial artists that ever walked the planet. .

This introduction will stay the same on all 20 of the CDs. This series is a no-frills introduction into sacred formulas that build chi according to legend from Eighteen Daoist Palms System of Five Elder Kung Fu. The fact that they are on CD-ROM allows us to show you full color at an affordable price. Each owner of a CD is allowed to print one copy for private use if they so choose on their printer. .

For authenticity sake we have left the formulas intact as they were in ancient times. This is so that when you study them from a metaphysical perspective you will be taken back into time and nothing will be watered down. On the other hand, it is no longer the 1600's, we've come a long way in science. Many ingredients that are listed for historical purposes are not kosher or legal in modern times perhaps in some instances. This is why we stress over and over that these books, CD's, articles and videos are for historical purposes only. Knowledgeable healers and experts in Chinese medicine can run with the ball and perhaps be able in time to work together to find suitable alternatives for any ingredients that are no longer appropriate in modern times to use, as well as to intelligently know what to substitute on an individual basis when necessary. .

I've decided to put in the videos and CD's, scanned copies of my herbalist notes so you'll have that extra authenticity of seeing my herbalist's original handwritten notes breaking down these formulas from the original Chinese herbal lists in the monks' handwriting. We hope that you will find this series of sacred formula booklets to be both simple and profound. Without a doubt we know that you would be hard pressed to find these anywhere else. We also know that this will be the greatest authentic five elder martial arts sacred chi building series ever done. .

So in closing may I reiterate once again it is of utmost importance that you put this material into proper perspective. In a multitude of council there is victory. Studying each individual ingredient including Chinese herbology and Taoist culture will give you that extra edge in knowing a little more about the 50% of internal arts called learning Chinese herbs. .

Good luck in your training, and again make sure you understand you don't need to try these to benefit from understanding the deep culture of Chinese herbology. Special thanks to my students who have made this first six CD series possible. I am speaking of Mark Hordon, Jack Goodie, Earl Cranor, Hal Reichardt, William Johnson and Lee Spatz. .

Grandmaster James Patrick Lacy / 18 Daoist Palms. .
Five Elder Monk Mew Hing's 7th generation grandmaster since 1988.

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Mew Hing Productions