Are your allergies connected to how well you sleep?
A study conducted by New York Medical College says there is a link between your REM sleep and your allergy symptoms.
We all know getting enough quality sleep is key to good overall health. This first-of-its-kind study is a breakthrough for many suffering from allergies.
“When I started focusing on the new REM-RDI numbers, I was able to connect patient’s symptoms such as fatigue, allergies, nasal blockage or congestion” with REM abnormalities, said Dr. Berson. “This led to the correlation of tired allergic patients having a problem during REM and some patients who were tired and had REM-RDI elevations testing positive for allergies.”
While the new approach can provide patients with sleep issues better diagnoses and new symptoms to look for, Dr. Berson cautions that there is no one-size-fits-all diagnosis.
“Every patient is different and the study aims to provide more clarity on the relationship between allergies and a person’s overall quality of sleep,” said Dr. Berson. “The airway begins in the nose and its anatomic form needs to be properly balanced with its function. This shows that Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctors, as well as allergists and sleep physicians, should be collaborating more closely to help pinpoint sleeping problems patients may be facing.”
If you’re having trouble sleeping try iSleep Herb Pack a combination of herbs used together for over 500 years which will not interfere with any allergy medication you may be taking. iSleep herbs will help quiet your mind and stop the ruminating process. A quiet mind helps you get to REM sleep much faster and longer. Give it a try here, or find it on Amazon here.
What’s the best way to build your microbiome, your gut bacteria?
What’s the best way to build diversity in your gut bacteria?
Your food is your medicine. Here a few really fun to eat and fun to make medicinal recipes to build your those friendly gut bacteria and boost your immune system without costly, ineffective probiotics all grown from basically the same strain of Lactobacillus.
Have fun with these recipes. Tweak them and enjoy!!
Brownies For Your Bacteria
Makes about 16 brownies
(2 grams of fiber per brownie)
The flavonoids in chocolate are a healthy treat. You can indulge in this amazing superfood and feel good about giving this dessert to your kids while simultaneously feeding your good gut bacteria.
6 ounces dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa)
5 TBLS unsalted cultured organic butter
1 cup almond meal
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1 TBLS cacao nibs
2 large organic eggs
1 TBLS vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 TBLS orange zest ( or 4 drops orange oil)
A handful of walnuts optional
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave or double broiler stirring occasionally so chocolate melts but does not burn. Add the almond meal, sugar, cacao nibs, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and orange zest (or oil) and whisk together. Add nuts if desired. Pour into an 8×8 oiled baking pan. (Coconut oil work well.)
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Orange Miso Dipping Sauce for Veggies & Fish
Seeds are a great source of fiber. Eating a variety of seeds is easy as sprinkling them into your oatmeal, salads, cooked veggies or yogurt. This easy sauce makes everything taste scrumptious.
Squeeze juice of 2 oranges & 4 TBLS of orange pulp blended till smooth (about 1 cup total)
2 TBLS unpasteurized miso paste (white or yellow)
2 TBLS Sesame Oil
1 TBLS grated fresh ginger
1 TBLS grated orange peel
Blend all ingredients in the blender and ENJOY!
NOT NAKED POPCORN
Serves 4-5 the best snack
(2.5 grams of fiber per serving)
Your microbiome thrive on fiber and this delicious popcorn gives you plenty!
When you add an assortment the of healthy topping listed below you spice up your
Naked Popcorn with vitamins, minerals and even more fiber all which boost those healthy bugs within. Experiment with your own mix and match toppings. Please do avoid the microwave popcorn. Organic corn kernels are very inexpensive and you can either use a popcorn maker or large pot.
2 TBLS sesame oil or Organic Coconut oil
½ cup organic popcorn kernels
2 sheets nori seaweed crushed
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp wasabi powder
1 tsp cayenne powder (optional) –
OR – Braggs Organic Sprinkles – OR – Lemon & Pepper seasoning OR Truffle Salt OR Fresh parsley, chives, and Tarragon, OR Basil and garlic
Morning Smoothie For a Happy Gut
Start your day with green veggies and hemp protein powder your gut will thank you. This easy smoothie recipe can be modified with season fruit such as pears and peaches. Frozen organic mangos or frozen blueberries are also a great choice. Mix and match as you like and seasonal fruit permits.
1 Organic pear or peach (remove seeds and pit but leave the skin on)
1-2 TBLS organic hemp protein powder
½ cup frozen mango or frozen blueberries
1 cup non-dairy milk (coconut, almond, oat milk you decide)
2 cups leafy greens (spinach, kale, beet greens, or a mix of all)
1 cup plain unsweetened kefir or yogurt (Non-dairy yogurt is preferable)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Super Pre-Biotic Sauerkraut
The simplest form of sauerkraut is just cabbage and salt, which is where we start in this recipe.
Once the salt is added, simply massage with clean hands for 10 minutes or until the cabbage has reduced quite a bit in size and released quite a bit of liquid at the base of the bowl. Now, add some color and flavor.
I like shredded carrots and beets, which provide a vibrant orange-magenta hue. Next come fresh minced garlic and fresh grated ginger and turmeric for big flavor. The result is a perfectly salted fresh vegetable sauerkraut infused with zesty garlic and ginger and earthy turmeric. Mix again to incorporate and you’ve practically made sauerkraut! Mix again to incorporate and you’ve practically made sauerkraut!pack.
Pack into sterilized glass jars and ensure the liquid extracted from all that massaging rises up and covers the kraut for optimum fermentation. Then leave it alone to do its thing. Set it on the counter out of direct sunlight or in a cabinet for 1-14 days (or longer) to let it naturally ferment. This recipe will have a tangy, fresh, garlicky, delicious crunchy taste.
Sea Salt and Lime Homemade Jicama Chips
Directions: Peel and slice jicama into thin slices. Spread out on top of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Season to taste. Coat chips with organic coconut cooking spray.
Place in oven at 400° F for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until crisp.
Enjoy with your favorite low-calorie dip!
Wildish Grain-Free Granola
1 cup organic dates cut into small pieces
2 cups organic chopped walnuts
1 cup organic coconut flakes
1 cup organic sunflower seeds
1 cup organic pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cups dry roasted salted organic cashews
1 cup organic pecans (cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup organic goji berries (optional)
1/2 cup banana chips cut into bite-size (optional)
Directions: Mix together in large bowl and then store in an airtight glass container. Keep in a refrigerator for maximum freshness.
Coming January 17th – Feb 7th on the Rock Your Menopause facebook group
A series of short, informative video FREE to help you balance your hormones (at any age) and learn healthy simple solutions for vibrant health. PS. without drugs.
Three years ago I wrote an article entitled, “New Chinese Medicine Tools to Replenish and Repair Our Gut” for the OM Newspaper. (click here to read) In that article I discussed recent research and ideas on how those practicing Eastern Asian Medicine can identify themselves as experts in helping patients achieve a “healthy gut” and rightfully take their place as part of one of the largest movements in health care today, “The Healthy Gut Movement”.
Over the past three years, a mountain of research has been published on our microbiome. This has inspired every variety of health practitioner to join the bandwagon called “Healthy Gut Movement”. Our foundation, as practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been proven rock solid. Our lineage is profound and what TCM has known for thousands of years, Western science has just begun to understand. Digestion is of utmost importance to a healthy body and healthy mind. A healthy gut is the root to a healthy body.
We know more about the one cell organism that live in and on us than any time in history. We know they greatly affect our health. The increasingly large probiotic supplements sections at health food stores alone tells us consumers are buying into the idea that a healthy gut is important.
Most of us by now understand that bacteria live in and on our skin, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and of course our gut. Our lower colon is the most populated with the largest diversity of these microscopic cells. In fact, they out-number our human cells 10 to 1, which means we are more microbial than human. Dr. Stephen Barrie, is an expert in the field of microbiome. He has spent the last 30 years conducting research, and recently commented, “it is our individual microbiome that is responsible for ALL disease states today”. His mission is to make disease an option. Because in his words, “a healthy body relies on a healthy and diverse biome.” In the interview where he spoke these words, he comments that this statement may shock the masses, but the evidence to prove this statement correct has already been amassed by many experts around the world. (His ebook is a great place to expand your knowledge it’s titled, “Microbiome: All Diseases Begin in the Gut (Short Guide to Fixing Your Gut)” His words echo many of the greatest teachers in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Whole schools of thought were developed in the 12th century stressing “the importance of ‘Preserving Stomach-Qi” as the most important treatment method. Zhang Jie Bin, one of the four great masters from the Ming Dynasty and one of the most important doctors in the history of TCM wrote, “The doctor who wants to nourish life HAS to tonify stomach and spleen.” According to Li Dong-yuan it is of paramount importance to protect the spleen/stomach if people want to stay healthy and to strengthen them once they become diseased no matter what other organs are affected. According to Le Dong-yuan, ‘if the root is sound the branch will prosper’.
Emerging science has proven our gut, our lower colon is acting as our “second brain”. Many would say it is the first brain because our gut bacteria produce hormones, neurotransmitters, serotonin and chemicals that have yet to be identified. Our microbiome effect our daily thoughts, moods, actions and even dictates food cravings. The secret to weight control is now attributed to the types of bacteria you foster. So if you thought you ran the show, think again. The bugs within are more powerful than we know. It reminds me of the scene in “Men in Black” in the morgue where the little alien is seen at the control panel in the head, operating the big body below.
However, we can exert influence on the bacteria within by controlling what goes in and on our body. There is good news, our gut microbiota is malleable we can control our destiny. Our bodies are constantly looking to stay in homeostasis. Whether it’s balancing our blood sugar levels with food intake, or hormone levels with outside stressors. Our body is in a constant state of looking for balance. Our microbiome wants the same type of balance. It’s not coincidental that TCM has taught us the importance of balance with our treatments. Our foundation has always emphasized the primary goal is to bring balance to the body to achieve a healthy mental, physical and emotional state. Although we may not think about “balancing” our microbiome, by balancing everything in the body we help the bacteria within us, to also achieve balance. This microbial balancing act is just another name for treatments performs. Now it’s time we explain it to patients in ways that are more relatable.
How do we keep the bugs balanced?
The worldwide microbiome research confirmed what many of us have always understood. If we nourish our spleen, stomach channels, (our biome) we simultaneously nourish both our physical and mental well-being. So what do your bugs within like to eat and how can we keep them in balance? I recently spent a week listening to a group of experts in the “Healthy Gut Summit”. I want to share with you a few of their best words of advice to keep your microbiome balanced and healthy.
The Top Five Best Practices for a Balanced Biome:
1. Eat a variety of fermented foods. (a least 1 daily)
2. Eat foods high in polysaccharides every day
3. Eat at least 50 grams or more of fiber daily.
4. Individualized diets are best, NO diet is right for everyone.
5. Eat a diverse diet, (seasonal foods are best) this rule is king.
These five best practices may seem common sense to some, but how many of us are doing these five things daily? When talking with your patients about these five best practices let’s not forget our roots. Because everyone’s microbiome is different, the best way to treat individuals is the way TCM teaches us to diagnose and treat, INDIVIDUALLY! Balance the spleen/stomach channels according to each patient’s individual needs. A tonifying treatment, a sedating treatment, and qi moving treatment. You know best for your patients, you decide. The late, great, Giovanni said, “The stomach and spleen could be tonified at the end of each season, particularly at the end of winter, to regenerate the energy.”
Number one in the list of five best practices is fermented foods. In traditional cultures worldwide, fermented foods have played a part of every culture. This history lesson should not be overlooked. Fermented foods play a huge role in feeding our microbiome. Kimichi, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, miso, kefir and other fermented foods provide a variety of healthy bacteria. A daily sampling of new live bacteria from fermented foods makes your gut community more adaptable and diversified. Since diversity has been proven a key factor to a healthy gut ecosystem, there is no substitute for eating a variety of raw and fermented foods. A healthy brain also requires a healthy gut so make smart decisions everyday and if you need some encouragement, track what you eat in an app. This is a great way to give yourself positive feedback, as you can review the past days of food intake easily and feel encouraged that the small changes will have a big impact over time. We can starve or nourish our gut bacteria in as little as two weeks and see measurable changes from stool tests.
Some of the most interesting research in the last few years is that no diet is right for everyone. Just like the same probiotic supplement cannot possibly be the right for everybody. We all have individual sensitivities due to the colonies of bugs within. Some bodies are good at digesting seafoods and algae, others lack these bugs and cannot tolerate a diet rich in seafood. Research from just the last three years has shed light on the many diet programs and detoxing plans in books and online today. Most of these fad programs have little to no effect on improving gut health for the masses. What works for one person does not work for all.
What experts in the field do agree upon is the best way to improve your microbiome is NOT an elimination diet or detox program but rather a diet rich in poly-saccharide foods, high fiber foods, (50 -100 grams daily) and a diverse diet eating seasonally harvested food. The more diverse with vegetables the better. Meat protein should be more like a condiment than a main course. Sugar should be completely eliminated for many reasons and one you may not have considered. Sugar is digested and absorbed in the small intestines. Most of your good gut bacteria live in the lower colon. A diet high in sugar leaves nothing for your gut bacteria to feed on so they will eventually starve if all you eat is sugary foods. What’s worse, when your gut bacteria have nothing to eat they feed on the mucous membrane fence that divides their living space from space human colon cells inhabit. You’ve heard the saying “fences make for good neighbors”. Well, in this case, it couldn’t be more accurate. When bacteria eat away at the fence, this, in turn, creates inflammation. Starving your gut bacteria is a bad idea but unfortunately, much of the processed food eaten today is doing exactly that. Take care of your bugs and they will take care of you. Nourish the spleen/stomach channels to nourish life.
I highly recommend the book, THE GOOD GUT by Dr.s Justin & Erica Sonnenburg. Much of the information in this article is from the Sonnenburg research. I was lucky enough to meet Justin at a conference a few years ago and he is not only brilliant but humble. He often mentions in his talks that his hope is that the research coming from their Stanford lab trickles down to everyone. Their book was written for exactly that purpose. It’s an easy read, a great overview of some of the latest science from the microbiome researchers, and a perfect introduction for patients to their gut health, the gut-brain connection. The information will help you feel more knowledgeable to heal NEW patients as this gut health movement accelerates. It also has some fantastic recipes to create foods both you and your biome will love.
According to Dr. J. Sonnenburg, foods high in polysaccharides are powerhouses of nourishment for your microbiome. Sonnenburg says’s, “The safest way to increase your microbial biodiversity is to eat a variety of foods high in polysaccharides.” We are the lucky recipients of TCM herbal wisdom that understood Astragalus (huang qi) and Reishi mushroom (ling zhi) are two amazing herbs with a high content of polysaccharides.
When you change and balance your microbiome, you change just about everything in your body. Whether you build it or destroy it, the reins are in your hands. This is one key piece of information from the last few years of microbiota research. Balance is key, like everything in TCM. Rebalance your microbiome with herbs, foods, acupuncture and watch your health blossom all year long. Getting educated on the integral role these organisms play in our bodies can vastly improve their healing outcomes. By understanding and building on this knowledge, you will not only improve your health will be learning some of the greatest discoveries and advances in health care today.
Celestrol is a naturally occurring chemical in plants like the Thunder God Vine. It has been researched extensively as an anti-obesity drug, because of it’s action in helping with leptin resistance. However, the molecular mechanism for this activity is unknown. This plant is one of the hundreds commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Celestrol is NOT the magic bullet for weight loss but one study done on rats. Leptin is the hormone that stimulates appetite. Celestrol may help reduce appetite safely. However, when Thunder God Vine is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, it is always used in a combination of herbs, or formula. This naturally occurring substance known as celestrol is only one of many chemicals in the Thunder God Vine. The supplements now on the market that have concentrated celestrol may not be a safe and effective way to take this chemical. It has no historical use and would never be used alone in one of the oldest herbal medicine traditions.
Diabetes Journal August 2018
Our health landscape is changing rapidly and we find ourselves in a new era. An era of degrading food supply, systemic inflammation, and overuse of drugs, including antibiotics. Living in our modern world takes its toll and we see it in our practices every day. Antibiotics are failing, superbugs are on the rise, and digestive health is compromised by food and lifestyle choices. Society is at a new crossroads. On one side, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are currently killing approximately 23,000 people every year and the number of antibiotic-resistant superbugs is climbing. On the contrary, long-standing and pervasive over-prescribing of antibiotics is at an all-time high. Additionally, we are exposed to antibiotic effects by eating many types of meat and using antibacterial soaps. Never before in history have we had to overcome the effects of man-made drugs in the quantities we are seeing today. By having a well-stocked toolbox and the ability to talk about TCM with Western medicine-friendly language, we may be able to lead a worldwide resurgence of healthy modalities to combat superbugs and promote long-term digestive health. I strongly believe we have tremendous healing opportunities in this new era.
Chinese medicine has always been a deeply holistic healing approach. We know acupuncture and herbs have far-reaching effects to heal even the most difficult pathologies. But the focus here is the importance of digestion. Whole schools of thought were developed in the 12th century stressing “the importance of Preserving Stomach-Qi” as the most important treatment method. Digestion is a cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine with a full range of modalities including, healing cuisine, herbs, acupuncture, and Qi Nei Tang, to name a few. Zhang Jie Bin, one of the four great masters from the Ming Dynasty and one of the most important doctors in the history of TCM wrote, “The doctor who wants to nourish life has to tonify stomach and spleen.”
Could simply treating the spleen and stomach with acupuncture along with treating the chief complaint be enough? Although this is an easy approach to include into just about every treatment protocol, I believe there is much more we can do that already falls within our scope of practice. Our place is at the forefront of the “healthy gut” movement. What Western science is “discovering,” we have known for thousands of years and what Western science is giving us are tools which help convince our patients of the critical importance of their digestive health.
Emerging science is proving our gut is acting as our “second brain”. Its ability to constantly transform us is being unraveled by trail-blazing scientists studying human bacteria worldwide. The project, known as the Human Microbiome Project may have something to teach us about the way we practice TCM and Eastern/Integrative medicine today. The Microbiome Project is confirming microscopic bacterial colonies living in our digestive tract have important jobs for both our physical and mental well being. They are confirming what we have always known: If we nourish them, we simultaneously nourish ourselves. Because “for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have existed in a peaceful symbiosis that is responsible for the health and equilibrium of our body. Now, this invisible Eden is being irrevocably damaged by some of our most revered medical advances—antibiotics—threatening the extinction of our irreplaceable microbes with terrible health consequences.”
Trillions of tiny microbes living on our skin, mucosal membranes, and in our intestines are helping us extract nutrients from our food. Others are exerting enormous influence over our metabolism, hormones, cravings, and even our genes. The Microbiome Project is proving healthy gut bacteria is the secret to dramatic weight loss, significant improvements in overall health, mood, energy, and mental function. The dysbiosis of our guts is contributing to systemic inflammation, leading to the rise of obesity, asthma, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and certain forms of cancer. In addition, The Human Microbiome Research Project is also inadvertently proving what Chinese medicine has understood and has practiced for centuries: maintain the health of the spleen and stomach and lower jiao, and you have the basis for good health.
When we nourish the spleen/stomach we indirectly tonify all the other organs.
The good news is that unlike our inherited genes, which are more or less fixed, we can exert a huge influence over our gut bacteria genetics. “We can repair some of the damage to your gut bacteria simply by changing your dietary habits,” remarked Oluf Pedersen who co-headed the Danish portion of theMetagenomics of the Human Intestinal project. When we counsel our patients on their dietary habits, we can be successful at preventing and reversing the top three pathologies of our time. These three include:
1. Obesity – Gut bacteria appear to help food processing functions by producing signaling chemicals that regulate our appetite, satiety, and digestion. People with low bacterial richness are significantly more likely to be obese.
2. Insulin Resistant / Diabetes Those with fewer bacteria diversity are more likely to be insulin resistant and at greater risk for diabetes or heart disease.
3. Cancer – The Microbiome Project is providing insights into new ways in which our bacteria, viruses, and fungi interact with our bodies and increase cancer risks.
Help Your Patients Restore and Repair Gut Flora by Integrating New Tools into Your Practice.
Research has shown that we can reshape, repopulate, and even cultivate beneficial bacteria. As health practitioners, we are the gardeners able to help change the landscape for our patients. So, where do we start? In regards to acupuncture treatments, Giovanni says “The stomach and spleen could be tonified at the end of each season, particularly at the end of winter, to regenerate the energy.”
In addition to acupuncture, we can prescribe dietary supplements such as probiotics. However, I do not believe probiotics supplements (alone) are the answer. Consuming higher and higher dosages of probiotics with one, two, or ten probiotic Colony Forming Units (CFU’s) can cause dysbiosis. Research shows no single probiotic is specific for every individual’s microorganism makeup. Although there may be a benefit to taking a certain strain(s), we have no current tools to decipher which strain is most beneficial for which patient. Long-term benefits are also unproven. Failure to change dietary habits or prescription drug use will prevent healthy bacterial colonies from thriving and will disable them from becoming long-term beneficial communities.
As a health practitioner, I believe the answers for our patients can be found within a variety of modalities including acupuncture, patient education, dietary changes, practitioner tools and herbs to cultivate healthy bacteria. We have a huge opportunity to alter our patients gut flora with these tools.
Support the spleen and stomach in all your treatments. At the very least, add Zusanli St 36 to every treatment protocol or a variety of Sp/St tonifying points. Miriam Lee, the first Licensed Acupuncturist in the state of California, used St 36 in every treatment with every patient.
Ask patients to keep a food diary and go over it with them. For example, have them write about a two- day food “cleanse” where they remove sugar. Instruct patients to observe how their body reacts when they revert back to their normal diet and get patients to commit to a plan.
Give each patient a calendar that includes times of the year to get an acupuncture tune-up. Tell them you will send them an email to remind them. Give them a list of results they will see and feel as they heal. Get them involved in the project. Celebrate the good results.
Limit processed foods and supplements containing emulsifiers. Ingredients commonly called lecithin derived from soy (likely GMO), Datem, (found in commercial bread) Calcium propionate, CMC and polysorbate 80 are creating a host of new absorption problems in our digestive tracts. 11
Explain to your patients why avoiding antibacterial hand sanitizing products is recommended and recognizing bacterial diversity is good. Use safe natural cleaning products in your office. (A small sign next to the bathroom hand soap container can easily do this for you.)
Encourage “playing in the dirt” (i.e. gardening) and playing with your animals (dogs, cats, horses etc.). Our pets spread healthy bacteria which have proven benefits.12
Get patients back to real foods! The perfect diet is a lofty goal for many. Make the goal the 80/20 rule. 80% REAL food, 20% less than perfect/real food. This will still improve the balance of healthy gut flora.
Avoid prescription antibiotics as much as possible.
Don’t eat meat fed antibiotics.
Eat Pre-biotics every day. Prebiotics enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria and can be found in fermented foods such as kimichi, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, miso, and other fermented foods. Add these to your diet to provide a variety of healthy bacteria. A daily sampling of new live bacteria from fermented foods makes your gut community more adaptable.
Try Coconut Milk Yogurt. Not all yogurts are created equal. Some yogurts, although fortified with probiotics, often contain a lot of sugar and not all micro-organisms survive and thrive during processing.
Add Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – 4 tablespoons per day, after meals. This heals the GI tract and kills Candida Albicans and other pathogenic fungi, bacteria, and viruses.13
Use the art Qi Nei Tang and teach it to your patients.
Ask every patient if they have ever had severe food poisoning as this could upset the microbiome balance even 20 years later. The more knowledge you have about your patient’s gut health, the better equipped you will be to recommend treatment protocols.
Be mindful of the tongue coating or lack thereof. We are the only health practitioners trained to look at the tongue coating at every visit and derive our diagnosis partly from the information we attain. Because the stomach function is closely tied to the tongue coating, consider the coating or lack thereof, with utmost seriousness in every visit.
Check Vitamin D levels – Vitamin D3 plays a crucial factor. Low levels can weaken the barrier of the small intestine which contributes to gut irritation and exaggerates the systemic effects of food sensitivities/allergies.
Huang Qi (Astragalus) is an extremely powerful herb used alone or in formulas. Huang Qi’s high polysaccharides content is fantastic for improving overall immune health and the growth of healthy bacteria.14 “The safest way to increase your microbial biodiversity is to eat a variety of polysaccharides,”15 (Other single herbs with substantial Sp/St benefits are codonopsis (dangshen), atractylodes (baizhu), Chinese angelica (dang gui) dioscorea (shanyao), lotus seed (lianzi), roasted ginger (paojiang), longan (long yan rou), and baked licorice (zhi gan cao). 16 Encourage patients to use these herbs in everyday foods such as soups or teas.
Use herbal formulas to support the digestive tract when your diagnosis fits. This is a short list (for brevity) of a few important formulas.
Si Jun Zi Tang (Four Gentleman Decoction)
Liu Jun Zi Tang (Six Gentlemen Decoction)
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (Center-Supplementing Qi-Boosting Decoction)
Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang (Astragalus Center-Fortifying Decoction)
Xiao Jian Zhong Tang (Minor Center-Fortifying Decoction)
Chai Hu Shu Gan San (Bupleurum Liver- Coursing Powder)
Bao He Wan (Harmony-Preserving Pill)
Gui Pi Tang (Restore the Spleen Decoction)
Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang (Saussurea and Cardamon Six Gentlemen Pill)
Cutting edge Western research can give us a new perspective on our ancient wisdom. We know the origins of many diseases are in the gut and in today’s world we can no longer ignore the effects of superbugs, toxic foods, and toxic lifestyles. As we help patients fortify their digestive tracts, disease resistance and long-term health improve. By starting small with each patient, you create a ripple effect which will grow and scale and revitalize an entire community. Encourage active participation from every patient and watch the seeds you plant, grow in time. Imagine the implications as you help society heal one individual at a time.
1. World Health Organization, WHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health April 30, 2014, Geneva
2. Maciocia, G. The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, Churchhill Livingston 1998 pg. 60
3. Flaws, Bob. Li Dong-Yuan’s Treatise on the Spleen and Stomach: A Translation of the Pi Wei Lun, 2nd Ed. Blue Poppy Press, Boulder, Colorado. 2004
4. Nature 508, S61–S63 April 17, 2014 Published online http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v508/n7496_supp/full/508S61a.html
5. Blaser, M. 2014 Missing Microbes, How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, Henry Holt and Co. April 2014
6. Flaws, Bob. Li Dong-Yuan’s Treatise on the Spleen and Stomach: A Translation of the Pi Wei Lun, 2nd Ed. Blue Poppy Press, Boulder, Colorado. 2004
7. Nature Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers pg 500, 541–546 August 29, 2013 Oluf Pedersen MetaHIT
9. Blaser, M. 2014 Missing Microbes, How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, Henry Holt and Co. April 2014
10. G. Maciocia, Foundations of Chinese Medicine, Churchill, Livingstone 1989 pg. 24
11. Food Quality & Safety magazine, Re-Evaluating Additives on the GRAS List by Maybelle Cowan-Lincoln April/May 2013
12.“Some of My Best Friends are Germs”. The New York Times Magazine May 15, 2013. Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Stanford Microbiologist.
13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651080 J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):384-7.
In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. Ogbolu DO1, Oni AA, Daini OA, Oloko AP.
14. Terry Bone, Principals and Practice of Phototherapy, Modern Herbal Medicine 2nd Edition
Elsevier 2013 pg. 381-389
15. “Some of My Best Friends are Germs”. The New York Times Magazine May 15, 2013. Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Stanford Microbiologist.
16. Institute For Traditional Medicine, http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/spleen.htm
No matter how much you crave quality shut-eye, there are many reasons sleep may elude you.
As you get older, it may take longer to nod off and you may have trouble staying asleep. But because the amount of sleep you need—seven to nine hours per night—stays the same throughout your life, fitful nights can leave you cranky, depressed and flat out exhausted. No wonder so many of us rely on sleeping pills—both over-the-counter and prescription.
People, even teenagers are relying on prescription sleep aids more than ever before. Yet, information of the risks of these drugs is often understated. A study by Scripps Clinic researchers links the medications to 4.6 times higher risk of death and a significant increase in cancer cases among regular pill users.
“What our study shows is that sleeping pills are hazardous to your health and might cause death by contributing to the occurrence of cancer, heart disease, and other ailments,” said author Daniel F. Kripke, M.D., of the Viterbi Family Sleep Center in San Diego.
There is another option, a plant-based sleep aid that has been used for thousands of years and has no harmful side-effects.
Plants to help us sleep have been clinically tested in Asia for the past 50 years. Asian cultures have a much longer recorded history than our Western cultures and the use of plants has historical lineage to biblical times. Many herbal books were written on bamboo paper in ancient times. One such ancient book was titled “Prescriptions from the Golden Cabinet”. It may surprise you, but even our ancestors had trouble sleeping and this was a thousand years before electricity, the internet, and modern-day stress. The most common prescription for sleeplessness which our Asian ancestors used was an herbal recipe called Suan zao ren tang. This combination of herbs can be found in iSleep Herb Pack.
The herbs in iSleep Herb Pack work together, this is known as the entourage effect, its where the magic happens. Throughout generations of use, our ancestors discovered which plants have similar effects and which have enhancing effects when used together. It’s a little bit like discovering sugar, flour, eggs and butter and baking powder can make a nice cake. Alone, they don’t taste like cake. But together, there is a little magic.
One of the main herbs in iSleep Herb Pack is zizyphus an herb with sedative properties. This herb is potentiated by other herbs in iSleep, notably Anemarrhena, poria and ligusticum which are believed to increase the nor-epinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain and increase secretion of two cytokines which have been shown to improve non-rapid eye movement sleep. The studies are vast, the results impressive. Throughout Asia, hundreds of thousands of herbal prescriptions are sold annually and the most common insomnia prescription is Suan zao ren tang / iSleep Herb Pack.
There are NO unnecessary filler or magnesium stearate in iSleep Herb Pack. Only 100% herbs from nature.
Here’s what’s you will find in iSleep Herb Pack:
This little seed has a storehouse of vitamins, minerals proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, enzymes and more that are extremely beneficial for those suffering from sleeplessness. Clinical studies and research have shown Ziziphus, (when processed correctly) can help quiet brain transmissions. What this means for the non-sleeper who plays videos in their head all night or just can’t stop the overthinking, NOW YOU CAN. When your mind is quiet your body naturally falls asleep the way nature intended. Ziziphus has slight sedative effects, yet a very safe herb with no lingering side effects. It is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for irritability, sleeplessness, and anxiety.
A nourishing but very mild herb. It is often combined with others for it’s most potent effects. Used in this formula to nourish the yin, clear the heart and eliminate irritability. Insomnia often occurs when the spirit of the heart is restless and rising upward to the brain. This restlessness cause over-thinking when we should be sleeping. Ophiopogon settles the spirit and quiets the irritability. It’s commonly combined with Anemerrhena for insomnia and night sweats.
Poria is most commonly to strengthen the spleen and calm the mind in TCM. Beyond poria’s principal action, this herb is also used to calm the heart spirit.
It is the root of this herb that has properties of clearing excess fire and at the same time nourishing the yin. These are two very important treatment principals and therefore makes this herb a prized possession. Its major chemical constituents include saponines, flavonoids, polysaccharides and alkaloids.
This seed is rich in oil and is excellent for insomnia due to blood deficiency along with excessive worry and forgetfulness. When used with zyziphus it’s actions for calming the spirit are increased. Since it is the oil in this seed which contains the active chemicals responsible for these actions it is essential the oils are not lost during the cooking process. It also nourishes the heart channel and is extremely beneficial for those suffering from sleeplessness and irritability because of its calming effect.
Asian medicine says lack of nourishment to the heart causes sleep disorders such as difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep excessive dreams and disrupted sleep. This sweet herb addresses all of these symptoms. This herb calming effect is said to open the orifices of the heart channel and allow your spirit to be calm and relaxed.
This very popular and common herb in many Chinese herbal medicine formulas is used to regulate blood circulation. In iSleep Herb Pack a small amount is used help circulate and improve the actions of all the herbs in the formula. The entourage effect is important. Like making a cake, it’s not just the sugar, flour, and butter. It’s the spices, the egg, the milk and all the other yummy things that make a cake so wonderful. Same is true of herbal formulas used for centuries. Certain herbs work better when paired together.
The bottom line, iSleep has some of the most important plants used for insomnia over hundreds of years. The major constituents and pharmacological activities of these plants have sedative effects which have been proven safe and effective for millions who commonly experience sleepless nights.
Our goal is to help you get a great night of sleep every night.
Sleep is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle for a healthy body. Adequate sleep is essential for quality of life, work productivity, safe drivers, and workplaces etc.
We need to make sleep a priority every night.
NEW PAIN RELIEVER ALTERNATIVE TO OPIOIDS OR ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS AVAILABLE IN PACIFIC HERBS’ CORYDALIS NATURAL PAIN RELIEF
Bend, OR — Pacific Herbs, an Oregon wellness company, intends to stem the opioid addiction crisis and our reliance upon unhealthy over-the-counter pain relievers like Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen with its Chinese-herb product Corydalis Natural Pain Relief, which just received a coveted AMA code. Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist Cathy Margolin developed a comprehensive line of health products from Chinese herbs that treat everything from anxiety and sleep challenges to women’s issues. Her formulation based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and specifically designed for pain is Corydalis Natural Pain Relief, which is a mixture of corydalis root and other TCM herbs, including turmeric. The synergistic combination of these herbs is especially beneficial when pain is mixed with inflammation, such as back pain or chronic or acute orthopedic pain, as it blocks pain receptors in the brain.
Margolin says, “I’m concerned about our opioid crisis that just prompted the United States Senate to introduce SB 1079, Protecting Americans From Dangerous Opioids Act. SB 1079 lists findings that opioids killed over 33,000 people in the United States in 2015. We need safer alternatives for managing pain.”
Additionally, there is growing evidence that non-prescription medications like Advil and Tylenol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), have serious side effects. Long-term use of acetaminophen can cause liver damage and this drug is one of few over-the-counter products with a black box warning.
Corydalis Natural Pain Relief can be helpful for many types of pain and can be safely consumed long-term without creating other harmful side effects. Studies from the University of California, Irvine have confirmed that this plant root can be effective in managing low to moderate chronic pain, as it has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. Turmeric, one of the herbs in Corydalis Natural Pain Relief, is cited as a welcome alternative to traditional drugs for its anti-inflammatory properties. The formulation of this product is granular which allows quick absorption in the body.
In addition to its healing properties, Pacific Herbs’ Corydalis Natural Pain Relief is recently distinguished by its American Medical Association (AMA)-approved billing code, rendering it an insurable item for many individuals, which is extremely rare for a nutraceutical product. For additional information on pharmacies that carry the product or to order it online, go to www.pacherbs.com.
About Pacific Herbs:
Cathy Margolin is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist and a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine and founder of Pacific Herbs, an herbal wellness company based in Bend, Oregon. She has dedicated her life to bringing the benefits of Chinese herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine to Western audiences. Margolin may be reached at cathy@PacHerbs.com or by phone at 877-818-9990.
PR CONTACT: Chelsea Callicott, firstname.lastname@example.org, 541.410-4162
Flowering plants are smart. They know how to grab our attention and the attention of passing insects. Flowers actually intentionally, flaunt sex. Makes perfect sense really, since it’s the flowers job to manage the reproduction of the plant. Plants produce beautiful flower petals of varying colors and shape to advertise the sexual organs ever so masterly hidden inside. Flowers release powerful aphrodisiac scents, an instinctive incentive for insects to come in and play. Nectar and pollen are the insects’ rewards and the plant benefits from the insects who carry their pollen to other plants which ensures rapid fertilization and reproduction. Flowers are smarter than you might think, but there’s more to flowers than just sex.
As spring weather emerges and flowers begin to bloom, you might want to consider that many flowers are so much more than just look pretty. We have depended on flowers for our food supply, such as rice, wheat, corn and for clothing materials such as cotton and for medicine, continuously for thousands of years. Long before western pharmaceutical drugs, flowers were used as herbal remedies and recorded use goes back to 500 AD. Chinese medicine, for example, has used flowers in herbal remedies to heal a huge variety of afflictions. Here are a few examples:
Lonicerae Flower – (Jin Yin Hua) has been used in Asian cultures for colds, flu, and sore throats. Recently, it was one of the four herbs in a formula to combat the swine flu and has proven its antibiotic properties successfully through years of research.
Viola Flower – (Zi Hua Di Ding) is known as the purple flower earth herb. This herb/flower has both anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects, meaning it can treat fevers and bacterial infections. It has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy to treat snake bites because it can reduce both swelling and toxicity.
Pagoda Flower – or Sophorae flower (Huai Hua) is used to stop various bleeding disorders. Chinese medicine often uses this herb/flower in the treatment of hemorrhoids and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Chrysanthemum Flower– (Ju Hua) This common Chinese medicine herb has over 30 different species and is a wonderful natural eye treatment for dry, irritated eyes. It’s also commonly used for high blood pressure, headaches and other ailments in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Safflower also is known as Carthamus – (Hong Hua) is a red flower used to treat menstrual disorders such as cramps and amenorrhea. It’s known to invigorate circulation and help dissolve clots. Safflower has been extensively studied and found beneficial for use in patients with heart disease and joint pain. This flower also has a high success rate in treating flat warts. (Now that’s a fun herbal remedy fact!)
Lotus Flower – (Lian Zi Xin) I would be remiss not to mention one of the most famous flowers associated with Chinese medicine, the Lotus flower. Eight parts of the lotus plant are used for their botanical medicine qualities. The flower is known to treat bleeding disorders (i.e. bloody noses) and often used for irritability and fevers. The stamen of the lotus flower also has healing qualities. One use in Traditional Chinese Medicine is to reduce excessive dreaming.
Flowers truly have wonderful healing properties and have changed our world more than we imagine. Chinese medicine understands flowers are useful beyond just their sexual appeal of beautiful packaging. (Many more are used in Traditional Chinese medicine than I could possibly have space to mention here.)
I thank the flowering plants for their beauty, but even though flowers are beautiful to look at, I never overlook the fact they also provide us with an abundance of natural herbal remedies.
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.
Turmeric, a common spice in India and an herb used extensively in Chinese Medicine is gaining popularity as the “Alzheimer’s preventing herb”. Dr. Oz, Oprah’s favorite resident MD has a short video on this ancient herb. (watch here) But what Dr. Oz doesn’t talk about is the thousands years plus, of historical medicinal use of this “spice of life”. Chinese herb pharmacopoeia categorizes turmeric as a blood regulator. What this means is turmeric’s most bio-active constituents called “curcuminoids” have been documented as blood movers. As such, it has a wide range of benefits one being an excellent natural anti-inflammatory. Studies show it benefits wound healing and helps speed the remodeling of skin, so it’s great for minor cuts and burns.
In regards to Alzheimer’s disease, turmeric (Curcuma Longa) along with it’s commonly substituted Curcuma Aromatica from the same specie, may slow the progression of this disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain. Turmeric, which, as with many Chinese herbs is seen in at least three different species in the same genus, is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial and antispasmodic. Chinese Medicine has used turmeric for the treatment of depression and for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It reduces cholesterol, helps liver function and stimulates bile production which aids digestion. Turmeric has also been used successfully for inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease. Turmeric should not be used by pregnant women, it’s blood moving qualities make it contraindicated during pregnancy.
Now that Western researchers have conducted a number of well publicized studies on turmeric which prove scientifically it’s many benefits to health. Chinese Medicine is vindicated for what it’s known for generations. Hopefully one day Eastern and Western medicine will cease to be adversaries and form a partnership based on the integration of their knowledge and their mutual goal of improving the health and well being of people everywhere. Until then, enjoy some turmeric in your food often to keep your cholesterol in check and to improve your overall health. Food should be your first medicine.
I found this on the Mayo-Clinic web site, thought it might interest some people.
Can curcumin slow cancer growth?
from Timothy Moynihan, M.D.
Curcumin, a substance found in the spice turmeric, has long been used in Asian medicine to treat maladies ranging from heartburn to arthritis. Now some recent research suggests that curcumin may help prevent or treat cancer.
Curcumin is thought to have antioxidant properties, which means it may decrease swelling and inflammation. It’s being explored as a cancer treatment because inflammation appears to play a role in cancer.
Lab research suggests that curcumin may slow the spread of cancer and the growth of new tumor blood vessels. It may also cause cancer cells to die. In the lab, curcumin has been studied for use in treating or preventing colon, skin and breast cancers.
At this time, there isn’t enough evidence to recommend curcumin for preventing or treating cancer, but research is ongoing. As always, talk with your doctor before using any herbal supplement.