“Angel” (Buffy, Season 1)


This is the episode in which we find out that Angel is a vampire. But not just any vampire. A vampire with both a demon and a soul. We also find out that Darla is his sire — and potential unmaker. Up until now her character had portrayed as a teeny-bopper Catholic school girl with a manic penchant for arranging blood drinking parties. Subsequent to this time, she becomes a more refined and complex character, at least insofar as scenes played in flashback are concerned. And doesn’t she come back at the end of Angel, Season 1, precisely to attempt an unmaking of Angel again?

In this episode, Darla tries to turn Buffy against Angel by framing him for the crime of feeding on Buffy’s mother. The doctors apparently diagnose Buffy’s mother with mild anemia and an injury from falling on a barbecue fork. (The doctors must have been from Australia.)

I’m afraid this post is going to be a bit boring and straightforward, since mild anemia has been well known as the first manifestation of being fed on by a vampire at least since Bram Stoker’s inaugural work.

The following discussion is intended for entertainment and theoretical purposes only.

Someone did suggest I try to diagnose Darla with a “Can’t let go of a former partner” syndrome, which is plausible. I’d give a decoction of Da Fu Pi, Pang Da Hai, and Ku Shen. All those herbs are said to help people get over and let go of past disappointments.  Interestingly, they also all go to the intestines to clear damp heat or otherwise disperse insubstantial qi stagnation.

For Buffy’s mother,  a simple modification of Si Wu Tang seems appropriate.  Be sure to use dry-fried Bai Shao, since it is the dry-fried form of the herb which nourishes blood.  The raw form is more appropriate for regulating the Ying Qi (especially when combined with Gui Zhi, at which time it regulates the relationship between Wei Qi and Ying Qi).  I would add Zi Ran Tong for that nasty external injury she received (from the barbacue fork), and to provide iron supplementation for her iron deficient anemia.  I might also switch out Chuan Xiong and replace it with  either Pu Huang or San Qi, which both stop bleeding and invigorate the blood.  As we all know, in cases of accident such as what Buffy’s mother received, it is imperative to staunch the blood flow first.  Thus the final formula would be Chao Bai Shao, Sheng Di Huang, Dang Gui, San Qi, Zi Ran Tong.

Or, one might also try this formula “for the treatment of injury to the neck caused by halberd” found in Bob Flaw’s Secret Shaolin Formulas for the Treatment of External Injury (p28):

Dang Gui, Jin Yin Hua, Lian Qiao, Chuan Xiong, Hong Hua, Sheng Di Huang, Ru Xiang (vinegar processed), Mo Yao (vinegar processed), Sheng Gan Cao, Chi Shao.  The instructions indicate one is to decoct the above ingredients in water and mix with one cup of infant’s urine and sake.

The prescription also notes that one is to sprinkle San Qi Fen and Ma Deng Cao over the site of the injury in order to stop bleeding, and then use a paste to draw out toxins and engender flesh.

As for an ongoing supplementation of blood via acupuncture, I personally favour using the two points on the Stomach meridian known as Xue Hai, or Sea of Blood:  ST 37, ST39.  Sometimes I’ve added ST36 or CV12.  Both the Ling Shu and Jia Yi Jing indicate that in disorders of the blood, one should use the Stomach meridian.  I might combine this approach with a more NanJing based method, and add the two ST points to an initial treatment using PC7 and SP3.  I usually did not use LV8, unless it was clear the person’s blood emptiness was clearly a matter of the LV not storing blood, rather than a more immediate problem with engendering the production of blood via the Stomach.

As for Darla, well, I’m afraid she didn’t stick around after the needles were brought out…

The above discussion was for theoretical purposes only.  If you think acupuncture or herbal medicine may help address someone’s perceived anemia, please see a qualified practitioner.  And avoid barbecue forks.  Using rosemary wood skewers is my preferred option.

Happy Slayage!

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