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 Local News  -   Monday, June 18, 2007

Herbal Essences: Hoschton's Dr. Cool finds a place for Eastern healing in a small Georgia town

Times regional staff

Erin Williamson Times Regional Staff

Dr. Cool stumbled onto Hoschton with his wife, and the two quickly decided it was the perfect place to move their businesses.

Erin Williamson Times Regional Staff

Kudzu root sits sliced in a bowl in the office of "Dr. Cool," Dr. James Liang. The root is used in anti-aging treatment and also for those who are diabetic or insulin resistant, he said.

Erin Williamson Times Regional Staff

Other herbs sit organized in jars in Dr. Cool's office.

If you go

3 L Health and Beauty, located in Towne Center, off Ga. 53 just past downtown Hoschton. Contact: (404) 308-1785.

Step into his shop and Dr. Cool begins his evaluation.

Maybe he'll shake your hand, noting its coolness for signs of circulation problems. Or perhaps he'll examine your fingernails, a sign of good or bad nutrition, or your eyes, for possible symptoms of poor liver function. He may even ask you to stick out your tongue.

Dr. Cool isn't the kind of doctor many would expect to find in a small town.

But he doesn't see it that way. Instead, he sees Hoschton as the perfect place to live and practice, its farmland bursting with natural resources and a climate that helps them thrive.

"In this town we have a lot of native treasures," Cool said.

His patients are getting relief and results from those "treasures" Cool prescribes, and they're sending others to his little shop in Towne Center off Ga. 53.

Dr. James Liang (whose last name translates to "cool") and his wife, Shirley, stumbled on Hoschton by chance and decided they had to make it home.

"Both my wife and I love this town," Cool said.

"We saw those beautiful farms," he said, and moved almost immediately to a small one in Hoschton.

First his wife moved her Buckhead bridal shop to Towne Center. And now, 3 L Health and Beauty boasts bridal gowns and hundreds of herbs.

Return customers

Cool said many of his clients find him after being referred by someone else he's treated. Indeed, that's how Mary Flowers, who works in the same shopping center, came to him.

"He actually helped me get over a sinus infection without antibiotics, which has never happened before," said Flowers, whose husband also sees Dr. Cool.

"I was feeling really, really lousy," she said, and went in for acupuncture and had no sign of sinus problems the next afternoon.

Flowers said she probably never would have believed acupuncture could work until she gave it a try.

(In fact, Dr. Cool practices a form of acupuncture sometimes called "cupping," which uses magnetic suction cups on pressure points instead of needles.)

"I could tell that he was a very learned man, and I wanted to hear what he had to say," she said.

Coming to America

A native of China, Cool attended Emory University's medical school on an exchange program in the early 1980s. There he met his wife, who was a U.S. citizen. They returned to China, where Cool said he practiced medicine for 17 years.

Cool retired and moved back to the United States, opening his business in Atlanta before following his wife's business to Hoschton.

Cool said his goal is to "bring a balance to the body nutritionally," and he uses various herbs to do so. He does not treat emergencies, but focuses on chronic problems such as weight, depression, blood pressure and arthritis.

"Most important, I believe in God. I believe in Jesus," Cool said. "I know he's a healer."

Kudzu gold?

Dr. Cool loves kudzu. Yes, the vine that most would love to see eradicated is something Cool would buy -- if he didn't already have plenty of it available to him in his own back yard. The roots of kudzu can be added to the diet in things such as tea, ice cream or even wine. The root is used in anti-aging treatment and also for those who are diabetic or insulin resistant, he said.

"Good minerals inside the soil produce good herbs," something Cool says makes this area perfect for growing.

His shop also is equipped with a large, wooden filing system that consists of rows of drawers containing categorized herbs of traditional Chinese medicine.

He said ancient Chinese herbalists had a "very simple" philosophy: "They believe a species of a plant growing in a certain place has a purpose."

In essence, the body's natural balance is connected to the earth, Cool said.

"The harmony of the whole world."

Contact: ewilliamson@clickthepaper.com

Originally published Monday, June 18, 2007

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