Turmeric for Osteoarthritis, an Indian and Chinese Herbal Tradition

This chinese herbal remedy helps osteoarthritis If you or someone you know suffers with arthritis, Turmeric is a Chinese herb you have probably heard about but not sure if it will work for you. Turmeric is what gives that yellow color to Indian food, this root has been used for centuries in Indian food and traditional remedies.  The yellow color, often in curry sauces comes from the active compounds known as curcuminoids, or mainly curcumin. 

A recent clinical trial in Italy studied the effects of curcumin on 50 patients with osteoarthritis in the knees.  The effects of supplementing ones diet with this Chinese herb was impressive.  The patients that took the turmeric supplement had a 16 fold decrease of inflammation markers in their blood.  If that wasn’t enough, these same patients were able to reduce their NSAID’s (Non-Sterodial Anti-Inflammatory) usage by 63%.   Remarkable, and these benefits occurred without unintended side effects.  Yes, that is the magic of mother nature and this data is consistent with other human studies done of various types of turmeric extracts. 

“This is great news for people who suffer from osteoarthritis and the physicians who treat them,” said Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit, American Botanical Council an independent herbal medicine research and education organization in Austin, Texas.

So, what is this Chinese herb and how does it work?  First and foremost,  the active ingredient curcumin has been extensively studied around the world.  It has been used for thousands of years in both Ayurveda Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It is the root of the turmeric plant  that is used for herbal remedies. Chinese herbal medicine has always classified turmeric as a blood moving herb, interestingly it also has properties to clear heat from the blood,  break up blood stasis and benefit the gall bladder and help jaundice, most likely because it stimulates bile production.

Turmeric’s popularity has been rising quickly as its reputation for treating chronic inflammatory diseases, some cancers and also Alzheimer’s disease get more media attention.  In 2009 sales of turmeric dietary supplements were up about 23% from the previous year.  This is understandable, who wouldn’t want a safe, effective herbal supplement  to reduce the suffering of osteoarthritis?  Pacific Herbs uses turmeric to a combination of herbs to move blood and reduce pain.  Many of these herbs have been historically used together to reduce pain and improve blood flow. The Pacific Herbs product is called Corydalis Pain Relief Herb Pack and can be found here.

Pharmaceutical labs have been trying to chemically copy the chemical bonds of curcumin for years but it never seems to have exactly the same effect.  When turmeric is used as a whole herb, all the important and beneficial compounds of the plant are present. Science has not yet been able to copy this mix exactly to mimic the same effects.

More studies on curcumin can be found on Pubmed.com and from Dr. Weill here.

Flu Stories – How to Survive and Thrive During The 2018 Flu Season

Survive the Flu with Natural Remedies

We have all experienced it or know someone who has been fighting off this year’s flu.

Officially called “Influenza A” and/or  “Influenza B”,  harmless sounding names. Yet, this is by far the worst flu we have ever seen. It reminds me of  Dr. Seuss naming “Thing 1” and “Thing 2”. Harmless names, yet they destroy your house in about a minute.

I personally have been spared with a few mild symptoms that I immediately abate using the items on “THE LIST” below.

My patients and family members have not all shared in my fortune. I’ve been taking care of many patients for weeks, and many have lingering symptoms, especially that nasty asthmatic type cough. I now have an entire arsenal of flu fighters in my kitchen. Beyond, the personal experiences, I belong to a number of online groups of various health professionals. The remedies and stories from these posts have broadened my treatments and opened my eyes to everything food and drinks, herbal combinations, essential oils and more. I have to admit, I’ve been a little addicted to reading the stories of ravaged flu patients and what’s working and what isn’t.

I decided to combine the hundreds of postings into “THE LIST” of what’s working in the Alternative & Natural Health care community for this years flu bug.

It helped me and I hope it will help you too.

This post would be a book if I went into all the benefits, actions and studies on each of the remedies below. Suffice to say, they WORK! Some items have references. Everything on “THE LIST”  is supported by both research and hundreds of real life use in the past and in the last 6 weeks. These are some of the best remedies for this years flu.

Thank you to all of my fellow practitioners for sharing your stories and natural cures.

Note, you can’t possibly take all of items on THE LIST all at once.  However, the foods can and probably should be eaten daily. Choose a couple from the categories and your body will  thank you. Remember, when buying any vitamin supplement or herb, quality is key. Iif you’re not getting an immediate benefit, it may be the brand. This is especially important with Echinacea and Elderberry, but true for all.

Do your research and buy the highest quality possible, or don’t buy it.


A quick note on the OTC anti-inflammatory drugs. If you must take, choose ibuprofen over acetaminophen. Here’s why. Please research, it may save a life. The need for either varies depending on patient. I don’t recommend these as the Black Box warnings scare the begeezies out of me. I like to protect both my GI system and liver as much as possible. When you have “THE LIST” below you’ve got all the natural anti-inflammatory relief you’ll ever need and NO Black Box Warnings.  (If you’ve never read the Black Box Warnings, please google it.)

OK, let’s dive into THE LIST!


Let’s start with the preventative list.  The old saying; “Prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  The foods and herbs listed are definitely ones to take all winter as this flu will morph and will find those with the weakest immunity.

Clean your cell phone.  Be a little germaphobe and get some Thieves Oil spray for your hands and phone. Use often.

Garlic – garlic raw – garlic cooked – 4 or more cloves daily.  Why skimp?Boil it and make tea, add to every food, shred, dice, chop, chew, shave, just eat it daily.

Kimchi- Sauerkraut – fermented veggies – brined pickles.

Reishi mushroom powder or capsules. Lion’s mane, mitake, shitake are also good but reishi is best.  (Read: The Good Gut by Dr.’s Justin & Ericka Sonnenburg)

Goat milk  or coconut yogurt or kefir

Cod Liver Oil – approx. 1 Tbls. daily

Vitamin D3 – 5000mg daily

Vitamin A – Vitamin K also necessary to absorb Vit D.

Echinacea tincture– should have a little tongue numbing quality otherwise toss it.

Yu Ping Feng San – Jade Wind Screen Formula or Astragalus/ Huang Qi


Stop pretending you should do everything you do in the summer.  It’s winter, slow down. Stay warm. Hibernate a little.

Wear a scarf.  Most colds/flu start at the base of the neck,occiput.

Vitamin C – 5000 mg or more daily.  Lypospheric Vitamin C  is a good option.

Puerh tea

Increase carotinoid protection i.e. improve gut absorption add HCI or pancreatic enzymes

Elderberry Tea

Onset of Flu like symptoms   (these items can also be used for prevention)

Bed #1 best medicine or comfy couch

Oil of Oregano – mix a few drops in water and drink

Great Tea: turmeric, reishi, ginger, pinch of black pepper and honey to taste.

Garlic, lemon, honey tea.  Make yourself real garlic cloves, real lemon, raw honey.

Fire Cider: ginger, turmeric, garlic, onion, thai peppers, horseradish root, peppercorns, citrus and rosemary all infused in apple cider vinegar. Take shots often.

Chicken Soup – homemade is best.

Bone Broth – get a high quality brand

Be conscious of the “Militant Metaphors” as Susan Sontag describes these phrases.  Some metaphors make the experience of illness worse. Consider illness as a reset time. It can be a time of reflection and contrast to better appreciate our wellness.

Hot showers or baths daily. Get water hot enough to raise the body temperature and burn the critters. Epson salt in the bath, of course.

Stay warm with extra clothing layers.

Electrolyte drinks or add liquid mineral drops to any drink.

Lingering Cough with Phlegm

Head over steaming water pot with mint essential oils, lavender, or whatever you have that you love.

Elderberry syrup.

Chinese herb cough syrup – Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa

Qing Qi Hua Tang Wan – Minor Blue Dragon formula

Chinese herbs for cough are tricky and very specific so check with a Licensed Acupuncturist trained in Chinese herbs for the right herbs for your cough.

Pinapple juice for cough and Kiwi’s are excellent


This list is not intended to be ALL inclusive of what may help you.  This is simply a list of what my health practitioner community has been finding extremely helpful during this 2018 bout of flu.

What else:  The common sense things like wash bed sheets and wipe down surfaces, door knobs and cell phones. Wash your hands a lot and drink a lot of fluids to wash away all the dead viruses you killed using the items on the list above.  A little bit of winter sun bathing from a warm car may be a nice reprieve from the bed and the couch. Stay healthy and we will all ride out these pesky viruses getting stronger together.

You may have noticed the flu vaccine is not on The List. The research is profoundly lacking and the virus mutates so quickly.  More information in this excellent article.

Chinese Herbs in Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Chinese Herbs in Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Chinese herbs for Americans that are convenient, taste great and have less packaging. Less packaging is not just environmentally friendly but extremely important to Pacific Herbs. Small packets are used rather than plastic bottles and boxes, or heavy glass jars. Pacific Herbs packets are friendly to the environment especially compared to plastic bottles that can take 500 years to decompose in a landfill.

“We believe as a product manufacturer it is part of our duty to look for the most environmentally friendly packaging we can find.” said Cathy Margolin, Founder of Pacific Herbs. “We found are large size packets are the perfect size and provide an excellent moisture barrier to contain a months supply of our Chinese Herb granules. Our smaller packets 50g contain about a two week supply.”

Most supplement companies and Chinese herb products package their products in capsules full of fillers and use excessive amounts of packaging such as a bottle inside a box. This is simply not environmentally friendly packaging. Companies that make consumer products today should understand the cost of producing excess packaging materials but also the cost to the environment.

Pacific Herbs does not even use capsules for their concentrated herbal granules. No capsules means no unnecessary fillers! Not just good for the environment but also great for our bodies. Often times the fillers used in supplement products today have detrimental side-effects on the body. Nobody really knows because nobody is testing the fillers and how they effect our body.

Pacific Herbs uses Traditional Chinese herbal formulas (recipes) that were written down hundreds of years ago. These time tested herb combinations have hundreds of years of continual use.

Pacific Herbs makes products for menopause symptom relief, pain relief, a natural herbal sleep aid, PMS relief, a stress relief herbal mix and more. Find all Pacific Herb products here.





Build A Healthy Immune System

Build A Healthy Immune System By Eating These Foods Daily

You can build a healthy immune system, if you know the right foods to eat.  Of course vegetables are good for you but have you tried fermented veggies, you know, pickles?  Yes raw pickles are a great option (with no sugar added) for building a health immune system.  You only need a tablespoon of fermented foods everyday to boost your natural immunity and give you a natural energy boost.  Your immune system is located mostly in your gut. If you feed your digestive system, your gut, healthy foods, your gut bacteria in turn grow and thrive. When healthy gut bacteria also known as your microbiome thrive,  you thrive.  Learn which foods will help you stay healthy and avoid colds and flu’s all year long.

Fermented foods like saurekraut, kimchi, yogurt (without sugar), raw pickles, kefir, are a couple easy options.  As little as a tablespoon per day with help feed your gut bacteria exactly what they love to eat.  One word of caution, fermented foods are best in the raw form, not pasteurized.  Sometimes you have to shop with a discerning eye to find these raw foods. Check the labels carefully. Medicinal mushrooms are also excellent at building a healthy immune system.  These mushrooms are high in polysaccharides, the perfect food for your gut microbiome.

For more healthy tips and Chinese herbs to help keep you healthy check out are reishi mushroom, astragalus and another video on how to boost your immune system naturally.

What Are You Drinking

What Are You Drinking? Purified Water or Plastic Water?

Let’s talk about the #1 most important substance you need everyday, to stay alive and healthy.  Clean, filtered drinking water is essential for optimum health and wellness.

What kind of water are your drinking everyday?  Water with plastic chemicals like BPA & BPS known endocrine disruptors or pure filtered water with natural minerals?  Use BPA & BPS free plastic water bottles.

Your body knows the difference between clean water and water with plastic chemicals.

Healthy habits make a healthy body.  Be a water snob and only drink water that has been filtered today.  Be kind to the environment too as individual plastic water bottles are terrible for our oceans and landfills and of course, our bodies.

For more healthy tips and Chinese herbs to help keep you healthy check out How To Balance your Hormones Naturally link and video at https://www.pacherbs.com/balance-hormones-naturally/or visit https://PacHerbs.com

Indoor Air Quality Tip to Healthy Air

Healthy Air Solutions To Avoid Allergies

Do you suffer from headaches, sinus issues or allergies?  Indoor air quality is so important for your health. You don’t know how it is affecting your wellness.  Even in new construction the pressed board used during construction and new carpet can release noxious gasses and fumes.

An easy way to improve air quality is to open your windows.  Alternative medical supplements will not have to be used if you use the simple tip of opening your window especially when you are sleeping. Your lungs prefer fresh clean air.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is always about prevention. When you learn ways to improve your immune system naturally you avoid allergies and improve you healthy.

For more healthy tips and Chinese herbs to help keep you healthy check out reishi mushroom link and video at https://www.pacherbs.com/boost-your-immune-system-naturally/ or visit https://PacHerbs.com



Are Your Chinese Herbs Full of Fillers

Are Your Chinese Herbs Full of Fillers? Pacific Herbs Supplements Have No Fillers

Are your supplements full of fillers? Most vitamins, herbs and dietary supplements on the store shelf are made with inert fillers. The reason for adding fillers to vitamin supplements is because to put any substance into a capsule the encapsulation machines will clog if fillers are not used.

Common fillers are starch, magnesium stearate, sugar or titanium dioxide. Fillers have no health benefits; in fact they may be harmful.

Pacific Herbs takes great pride in offering organic Traditional Chinese Herbs with no fillers.

As part of the safety process in producing Pacific Herbs there is a Specie Authentication process that macroscopically examines the raw herbs and a TLC (thin layer chromatography) authentication that is completed. Testing for pesticides, heavy metal and over 200 possible contaminants.

Certificate of Analysis (COA) tracks herbs from raw to finished product. Purified water is our only solvent. We provide the best Chinese herbs and herbal supplements available.


Balance Your Hormones Naturally

Balance Your Hormones Naturally

Pacific Herbs can help you naturally restore hormonal balance. Suffering from PMS, menopause or peri-menopausal? Traditional Chinese Medicine from Pacific Herbs can help!

A natural alternative for symptoms of hormonal headaches, PMS, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, mental clarity and other hormonal imbalances.

Asian cultures have used this combination of herbs effectively as a natural alternative for years. Pacific Herbs is a great solution to create hormonal balance for women with natural progesterone.

For more healthy tips and Chinese herbs to help keep you healthy check out reishi mushroom link and video at https://www.pacherbs.com/boost-your-immune-system-naturally/ or visit https://PacHerbs.com

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Boost your immune system with foods is the easiest way to stay healthy especially during cold and flu season.

Reishi mushroom is one of the best foods to build your immune system.

Pacific Herbs provides herbal products to improve your immune system from the inside out.  80% of your immune system is in your gut.  Eating foods that feed your healthy gut bacteria can boost your immune system and help you avoid colds and flu during the fall and winter months. A great way to build your naturally immunity with reishi mushroom. Pacific Herbs has reishi mushrooms in concentrated herbal granules that are easy to use in water, coffee or straight in your mouth.

Try our Reishi concentrated granules here.   Reishi mushroom is extremely high in polysaccharides, It is excellent at promoting a health immune response. Recent research shows Reishi/Ling Zhi is a healthy way to feed your microbiome (gut bacteria) to create a healthy immune system and stay well all year long.

Opioid Crisis

Opioid Crisis First Hand Story – How Kids Become Addicts


“She was just 16 and had tried everything for pain relief. Prescribed by her doctors, her pain meds were opioids until she became another victim and…


“I was addicted to prescription pain medicine. It all starts out fun and then somewhere along the road, it just turned into something else. It’s a vicious cycle and it ate away at me for a long time. I’m almost two years sober, now, and it’s not that easy — you have to completely change your way of living.

Michael Nance – died May 30, 2017 age 31 (cause of death, suspected drug overdose)

On a recent trip I met a young woman on a plane.  Seated next to me on the aisle she seemed quite uncomfortable during our trip.  It was a approximately a four hour plane ride and I asked if there was anything wrong.  Turned out a lot was wrong.  She told me her story.

This 19 year old was diagnosed with kyphosis, also known as hunchback when she was 16.  Her spine as a teenager had an abnormally curve.  Three years ago she had 8 small titanium rods surgically placed between several vertebrae, she has been in severe pain ever since.  She has tried everything for pain relief. Her pain medication of choice was a variety of opioids until she became an addicted and couldn’t function in school or everyday life.  After more than a year of addiction, she went to rehab and has been using mostly cannabis to control the pain. She fears being arrested if traveling with cannabis  even though she has a medical cannabis card.  She just doesn’t want to be hassled in an airport or look like a “druggie”. (her words)  This makes traveling very difficult and was the reason she kept getting out of her seat and moving around often when she was seated.

This story is more common that you might think. Opioid addiction and the pain management crisis is a plague across our nation. Many times pain relief is sought by unsuspecting victims of botched surgeries and good intention doctors who have few natural alternatives for pain.  The reasons someone gets hooked on opioid pain drugs are as diverse as the people it effects; young, old, and unintentionally, even kids.

At Pacific Herbs we advocate for using a natural pain relief alternative. We use Chinese herbs, like corydalis root and we advocate for acupuncture.  We have developed a product called Corydalis Natural Pain Relief Herb Pack and it works wonders for many types of pain. It is not addicting and even has an American Medical Association approved billing code. It’s time to consider options for pain management and corydalis is a well studies and proven herb that used in the right combination with other herbs can help those who suffer with pain.

Click here for more information on Corydalis Natural Pain Relief Herb Pack




Chinese cupping glasses

It is Called Cupping and it is Often Used in Chinese Medicine

Phelps Cupping Therapy Chinese MedicineThose red circles you’re seeing on Michael Phelps and other Olympic athletes is from a therapy called cupping.

Cupping is done to help the body move blood strongly to various areas to help healing.   When small round cups are used with suction or fire to remove oxygen in the cup, the suction is strong enough to rupture small capillaries just under the skin. The red circles are the result. This in different than a bruise.  Small capillaries are stimulated by the suction and bring additional blood supply to the affected area, all to promote healing.

Depending on the strength of the cupping the circle marks may last anywhere from 1 day to a week or more.

Cupping has been part of Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years.  Chinese medicine incorporates many modalities including Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, moxabustion, diet, exercise, sleep and life style stress.  Chinese medicine has many other therapies including tui na, qi gong and tai chi which are often practiced to promote optimum health.


A little history: Cupping originated in the Middle East roughly 4000 years ago, but wasn’t mentioned in Classical Chinese texts until about 300 AD, by physician Ge Hong.  The technique had spread all along the silk trade route, including Europe, Russia and Asia.  Lastly,  some say there is reference to cupping engraved on the great pyramids in Egypt.  Either way you view it,  this healing technique has been around an awfully long time.


Healthy Smoothies

Quirky Habits Only Acupuncturists Do

Healthy Smoothies

What is this smoothie fruit doing on the stove, you ask?

Great question.  Let me explain.

As a Licensed Acupuncturists, I have to admit, I have developed some pretty quirky habits. Even after all these years, my family members still give odd stares when I do these things.

For example, I avoid ice water like the plague!

Once while attending a Chinese medicine conference in Austin, on a hot day, a group of us Acupuncturists sat down together to share lunch.  As the waiter arrived to pour freezing cold ice water into our glasses, each of us stopped the gentlemen and said, “Please, no ice!”.

Not the norm, right?

See, Acupuncturists spend a lot of time learning about the digestive system and cold foods and drinks are constricting to the body. Simply put, cold drinks hamper the digestive process. Our internal body temperature is hot by nature, and cooling it off suddenly with cold foods and cold drinks hampers digestion. By the third day of the conference we had trained the staff to bring room temperature water to our lunch table. However, they did give us odd stares as this practice seemed entirely nuts since the outside temperature was 90 degrees.

Besides reducing the cold foods we eat, Acupuncturists have a funny habit of looking at our tongues in a mirror whenever we have the opportunity. We do this because it is the only organ we can actually see (without surgical intervention).  The tongue can tell us a tremendous amount about what is going on inside our bodies. It can tell you if you body is deficient in some area, or excess in another. It can tell us whether we are digesting food well and tell us about various organ systems and even if we are overly stressed.

Another quirky habit I have, (which my family gets a total kick about teasing me about) is my morning smoothie. This reason is, I actually warm up the frozen fruit in a sauce pan rather than use it frozen. As I mentioned cold drinks and foods can damage the digestive system. In the morning, the first thing going into your body should be warm food or a warm drink. This helps jump start your digestive system.  Try it.  You will notice warm foods improve your metabolism and overall digestion. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is one of the most important things you can do to start your day.

Although I like experimenting with a variety of smoothie recipes this is one of my favorites.

Warm fruit in coconut milk (frozen blueberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple or any fruit of your choice)

3 Tbsp. Organic Kelp protein powder

1/3 banana

large handful of organic salad greens

Mix up in a strong blender and you good to go!

Drink at room temperature or even slightly warm.