Rou Cong Rong,Cistanche

Libido Herb Better Than Horny Goat Weed Found in Desert

When you’ve only got a desert to work with, how does one become a farmer?

How about grow a highly sought after Chinese herb for fertility treatments that happens to love the desert. That’s exactly what one desert nomad started doing in China’s unforgiving deserts of Inner Mongolia in 2003. The herb he now grows brings in more income than the family ever made before.

The herb is cistanche, a native desert plant that’s always been prized  in the Chinese herb world. Cistanche  (aka – Rou Cong Rong) is used in Chinese medicine to replenish the blood and kidney jing also translated as essence or heredity. Cistanche was first mentioned in the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing a Chinese book on agriculture and medicinal plants written circa 100 AD.  It is commonly used today for impotence and erectile dysfunction and you can find it in Pacific Herbs, Libido Booster for Him.

It’s not Viagra, but the actions from the volatile oils and non-volatile phenylethanoid glycosides (PhGs), oligosaccharides and polysaccharides have proven fertility treatment benefits for premature ejaculation, frequent urination, weakness of tendons, constipation in old age, impotence and even high blood pressure.  Libido Booster for Him has a combination of Chinese herbs used as a fertility treatment to increase sex drive and desire which includes cistanche.

What I find fascinating about this plant is that cistanche cannot grow alone. It is a parasitic type of shrub which only grows on the roots of others.  Saxaul is one such partner and is special in its own right for impeding erosion. You may have heard about the dust storms near Beijing before and during the Olympic games. This is a continual problem for the residents  and certainly for any athletes competing outdoors. China has spent millions on planting trees on the outskirts of Beijing to prevent the desert form encroaching into the metropolitan areas and to reduce the effects of the dust storms. (Approximately 18% of China’s land is desert).  A plant like saxaul has huge value in simply holding the sand in place.

Now that thousands of acres of saxaul and cistanche are growing, it’s not only holding back the encroaching desert it also had the ability to earn families a substantial living. The international market for kidney tonics has been growing and cistanche is known as the “ginseng of the desert”.  Along with the above mentioned actions this Chinese herb is a popular immunity booster, memory enhancer  and known for delaying aging and treating infertility. Overall it’s a kidney tonic, similar to ginseng in that regard.

You probably never thought to look for the fountain of youth in a desert, but this plant is truly just that. Growing in one of the harshest environments on earth, cistanche overcomes the odds with enduring persistence and provides us with compounds which Chinese medicine has used for centuries to restore and replenish kidney essence. This incredible plant provides us energy,  it helps the ecology and the local economy.

Who would of thought you would find something so “green“ in the middle of a desert.

Corona Virus

Corona Virus and Chinese Herbal Medicine Recommendations

Jan. 29, 2020

What we know is that a 100 plus strong team of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) experts were dispatched to Wuhan, China, on January 25, 2020 to examine patients in hospitals with the Corona virus. The attached information has been presented by a number of TCM Doctors and is comprehensive listing of TCM diagnostics and Chinese herbal formulas suggested for treatment of the Corona virus, which presents much like pneumonia in Western medicine. As we know, SARS was treated successfully with Chinese herbal medicine when the outbreak occurred in China in 2002.

The attached information is for practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine. If you are in need of any of these formulas please contact us at Info@PacHerbs.com.

If you are not a practitioner and need any of these herbal formulas please contact us and we can help you find a Licensed Acupuncturist who has herbal training in your area for guidance.

Thank you to the doctors in China who have shared this information. The goal here is to help spread the knowledge of Chinese herbal formulas that are best suited to combat this virus.

Links below

Treating Corona with Chinese herbal Medicine

Sars-Corona-Virus

 

Update: Jan. 30, 2020  We now know for certain the incubation time is 14 days without any symptoms. So no one knows if they are infected or infecting others. Please be cautious. Hand washing with soap and hot water is an obvious precaution. Face masks and goggles are being worn throughout China prevent the spread. 

Sars-Severe Adult Respiratory Syndrome: Formulas for Prevention and Treatment (For TCM Herbalists)

 

Shared by Pacific Herbs

 

 

Prevention of SARS (or Corona to take prior to ANY type of exposure)

 

1.         5 q       Jin  Yin Hua               Lonicerae Japonicae, Flos

5 q       Lian Qiao                    Forsythiae Suspensae, Fructus

3 q       Chan Tui                     Cicadae Periostracum

3 q       Bai Jiang Can              Bombyx Batryticatus

2 q       Bo He                          Mentae Haplocalycis, Herba

2 q       Sheng Gan Cao           Glycyrrhizai Uralensis, Radix  (raw)

Make tea and drink throughout the day for 7-10 days

 

2.         4 q       Cang Zhu                    Atractylodis, Rhizoma

5 q       Bai Zhu                       Atractylodis Macrocephalae, Rhizoma

5 q       Huang Qi                    Astragali Membranacei, Radix

3 q       Fang Feng                   Ledabouriellae Divaricatae, Radix

4 q       Huo Xiang                  Agastaches seu Pogostemi, Herba

5 q       Bei Sha Shen               Adonophorae seu Glehniae, Radix

6 q       Jin Yin Hua                 Lonicerae Japonicae, Flos

4 q       Guan Zhong                Guanzhong, Rhizoma

Make tea and drink twice a day for 7-10 days

 

3.         2 q       Guan Zhong                Guanzhong, Rhizoma

3 q       Jin Yin Hua                 Lonicerae Japonicae, Flos

3 q       Da Qing Ye                 Daqingye, Folium

3 q       Zi Su Ye                      Perillae Frutescentis, Folium

3 q       Ge Gen                        Radix Puerariae

3 q       Huo Xiang                  Agastaches seu Pogostemi, Herba

3 q       Cang Zhu                    Atractylodis, Rhizoma

5 q       Tai Zi Shen                 Pseudostellariae Heterophyllae, Radix

3 q       Pei Lan                        Eupatorii Fortunei, Herba

Make tea and drink twice a day for 7-10 days

 

 

Other preventative measures:

*Chew on Xi Yang Shen (Panacis Quinquefolii, Radix) or make tea to drink throughout the day.

*Xi Yang Shen 1-2 q and Jin Yin Hua 5 q tea to drink once a day.

*Keep warm, don’t catch cold

*Sleep well

*Moderate stress factors

*Drink more water

*Take vitamin C

*avoid constipation

 

Possible exposure to SARS or CORONA (To take if any kind of exposure has occurred)

Soup:

Cong Bai – Green Onion

Fresh Chinese Daikon

½ of a tangerine peel

Sheng Jiang – Ginger – 3 slices

Cilantro bunch, maybe 10 sprigs

Make a soup and drink often

 

Chinese herbal Formulas:

1.

5 q       Huang Qi                    Astragali Membranacei, Radix

5          Jin Yin Hua                 Lonicerae Japonicae, Flos

3          Chai Hu                       Bupleuri, Radix

3          Huang Qin                  Scutellariae Baicalensis, Radix

5          Ban Lan Gen               Isatidis seu Baphicacanthi, Radix

5          Guan Zhong                Guanzhong, Rhizoma

3          Cang Zhu                    Atractylodis, Rhizoma

5          Yi Yi Ren                    Coicis Lachryma-jobi, Semen

3          Huo Xiang                  Agastaches seu Pogostemi, Herba

3          Fang Feng                   Ledabouriellae Divaricatae, Radix

1.5       Sheng Gan Cao           Glycyrrhizai Uralensis, Radix (raw)

 

For prevention and treatment

1.         Tonifies Qi, transforms damp, clears heat and toxins

3          Huang Qi                    Astragali Membranacei, Radix

5          Bai Jiang Cao              Bombyx Batrytiatus

5          Yi Yi Ren                    Coicis Lachryma – Jobi, Semen

2          Jie Geng                      Platycodi Grandiflori, Radix

1          Sheng Gan Cao           Glycyrrhizai Uralensis, Radix (raw)

 

2.         *Clears heat, reduces toxins, drains dampness and dirty Qi, aromatically opens orifices

5          Yu Xing Cao               Houttuyniae Cordatae, Herba cum Radice

2          Ye Ju Hua                   Chrysanthemi Indici, Flos

5          Yin Chen Hao             Artemisiae Yinchenhao, Herba

3          Pei Lan                        Eupatori Fortunei, Herba

1          Cao Guo                      Amomi Tsao-Ko, Fructus

 

3.         Clears heat, reduces toxins, dispels Wind, pushes evil out

5          Pu Gong Ying             Taraxaci Mongolici cum Radice, Herba

*2        Jin Lian Hua –              like Chuan Xin Lian

3          Da Qing Ye                 Daqingye, Folium

3          Ge Gen                        Radix Puerariae

2          Zi Su Ye                      Perillae Frutescentis, Fructus

 

4.         Clears heat, releases exterior, dispels wind, takes out external evil

5          Lu Gen                        Phragmitis Communis, Rhizoma

3          Jin Yin Hua                 Lonicerae Japonicae, Flos

3          Lian Qiao                    Forsythiae Suspensae, Fructus

2          Bo He                          Menthae Haplocalycis, Herba

1.5       Sheng Gan Cao           Glycyrrhizai Uralensis, Radix (raw)

 

5.         Tonifies Spleen, Benefits Qi, Dissolves Dampness, Reduces toxins

3          Sheng Huang Qi         Astragali Membranacei, Radix (raw)

2          Bai Zhu                       Atractylodis Macrocephalae, Rhizoma

3          Fang Feng                   Ledabouriellae Divaricatae, Radix

2          Cang Zhu                    Atractylodis, Rhizoma

3          Huo Xiang                  Agastaches seu Pogostemi, Herba

3          Bei Sha Shen               Adenophorae seu Glehniae, Radix

3          Jin Yin Hua                 Lonicerae Japonicae, Flos

2          Guan Zhong                Guanzhong, Rhizoma

 

6.         Benefits Qi, Expels external evil, reduces toxins, dispels dampness

5          Tai Zi Shen                 Pseudostellariae Heterophyllae, Radix

2          Guan Zhong                Guanzhong, Rhizoma

3          Jin Yin Hua                 Lonicerae Japonicae, Flos

3          Lian Qiao                    Forsythiae Suspensae, Fructus

3          Da Qing Ye                 Daqingye, Folium

2          Zi Su Ye                      Perillae Frutescentis, Fructus

3          Ge Gen                        Radix Puerariae

3          Huo Xiang                  Agastaches seu Pogostemi, Herba

2          Cang Zhu                    Atractylodis, Rhizoma

3          Pei Lan                        Eupatori Fortunei, Herba

 

The three Stages of SARS and the recovery period  – (note, most formulas clear heat, toxins and damp)

1.         Early stage –  starts as a Wind Heat or Wind Cold cough with Shortness of breath

A.        Heat and Toxins attack the Lung

B.        Damp heat obstruction occurs

C.        There is external cold and internal heat combined with Dampness

TX Principal:  Clear heat, open the Lungs, release exterior, open the meridians

Formulas:   Based on Yin Qiao San combined with Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang modified with herbs as appropriate for patient’s condition.

*If there is more Damp Heat blockage give San Ren Tang – (3 seeds Xing Ren, Bai Dou Kou, Yi Yi Ren to drain damp) or Huo Xiang Huo Po Tang (Huo Xiang, Hou Po, Ban Xia, Fu Ling to dissolve phlegm)

*If there is more external cold and interior heat with damp use Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang with modifications

*To assist in reducing toxins can add herbs like Yu Xing Cao, Lu Gen, Jie Geng, Chuan Xin Lian

 

2.  Disease progressing – Congestion in body becomes worse, fever goes up and down, lung condition worsens, coughing with blood. This is more heat attacking the Lung causing External and internal heat congestion combined with Damp Heat toxins, and evil obstructs the Shao Yang Channel.

Tx principal:  Clear heat and toxicity, drain the Lungs of turbid Qi

Formulas:

A.        Heat toxin attacking the lungs – high fever, coughing with blood

Qing Wen Bai Du San with modifications

B.        External and Internal heat congestion with toxicity Qing Fei Jie Du Tang

C.        Damp heat congestion and toxicity Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan with modifications

D.        Damp heat obstruction in the Shao Yang channel

Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang

3.         Cllapse – Shock like state with severe sweating, respiratory failure.  Here there    is heat toxicity obstructing the Lungs, the Evil Qi is much more strong, the Zheng

Qi is severely deficient, there is severe Yin deficiency and  internal obstruction with external collapse “Tou Zhen”

A.        Phlegm Damp obstruction with heat toxicity –

Huo Xue Xie Fei Tang or Yi Fei Hua Zhou Tang

B.        Obstruction of Lung Channel

C.        Damp heat obstruction of the Lungs

D.        Qi and Yin Xu

E.         Evil excess, Zheng Qi deficiency

F.         Internal obstruction – respiratory failure – here is where you need to open

Open the orifices, tonify and consolidate Qi

Sheng Fu Tang with modifications

Tx principal:  Benefit Qi, release toxicity, transform phlegm and damp, open the meridians, resolve dirty phlegm, open orifices, tonify  and consolidate Qi

4.  Recovery stage – Pt is still weak with Qi and Yin deficiency, Lung and Spleen deficiency.  Damp heat and toxins are still in the body

A.        Qi and Yin Xu – tonify Qi, Nourish Yin, transform dampness in the meridians. Qing Shu Yi Qi Tang with modifications

B.        Spleen and Lung Deficiency – Tonify Lu and Sp, clear heat and toxins, clears damp Sheng Ling Bai Zhu San


The Corona virus main cause or disease is damp toxicity, not heat toxicity with dampness.  In treating heat toxicity with dampness, the strategy is usually to clear heat, resolve toxins and dispel dampness. However, when treating dampness toxicity that transforms into heat or retained dampness heat toxin, if you clear heat and resolve toxins using cold herbs to early this will inevitably exacerbate the dampness and lead to cold enveloping heat.  Which then creates an adverse effect on treatment outcomes.  So, in treating this disease, the focus should be on resolving turbidity with aroma out thrusting through the exterior and upbearing and down bearing the spleen and stomach. As dampness is resolved, depressed heat can disperse and toxicity will be unable to form – in this way symptoms will gradually resolve.

Transforming heat can progress into yangming brightness bowel repletion, which would exacerbate lung qi depression and block qi.  Once yangming brightness bowel repletion is significant, dampness can very easily transform into damp toxicity, heat, toxicity and stagnation, eventually leading to severe qi reversal and the onset of MODS.  (Multi organ dysfunction syndrome).

In some of the more severe cases where the patient is already on a respirator or ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) the stomach and chest are always hot to the touch while the extremities are cold.  This is a symptom of sepsis.  So, a key aspect of treatment is resolving dampness, unblocking the bowels and draining turbidity in the early phase. In keeping with the above discussion, we selected Ma Xing Yi Gan Tang,    Sheng Jiang San, D Yuan Yin, Hou pu Xia Ling Tang, Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San and Yin Qiao San as our base formulas and implemented a Chinese Medicine Protocol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese herbs

ReWilding Into 2020

Wishing you All The Best in the New Year!

      Good Health and Happiness and

we look forward to working with you in 2020!

Are you ready to say goodbye to this decade and start a new one?

I’ve been rethinking some of the last 10 years big wins and losses, lessons and life events. Many have made indelible imprints on me but one, I feel compelled to share with you.

I lived in Los Angeles for most of my adult life until 5 years ago when we decided to leap into the unknown world of Bend, Oregon. Moving to a “rural” town from a huge metropolis as you can imagine was both an adventure and challenge. It’s been soooo much more, but the biggest change after 5 years I can now pinpoint as my ability to “ReWild”.

What I mean by “ReWilding” is living closer to natures rhythms, to be grounded through the natural cycles of life and by doing so improving my health and well being.

For example, following a 24 hour cycle more closely. Sleeping closer to when its first dark, waking when its first light (especially in the winter months). Playing outdoors daily, (even if it’s only walking) no matter what the weather. Simple things like eating with the seasons, returning to our roots, returning to ourselves. (I find this easier when I limit my time on social media.) That’s what ReWilding means to me.

Why is “ReWilding” Important?

I’m using this term “Rewilding” loosely, what I want to convey is grounding, or anchoring yourself in the present to reverse the process of 21st century connected lifestyle. When you’re eating, be fully present and enjoy your food completely. When you’re exercising, same philosophy, be there completely, for work and for social engagements same. Our quick moving society often distracts us from the present. Rewilding philosophy is a slowing down to return to ourselves. This not only lowers are stress levels, but releases our creative juices and our intuitive selves.

I know for sure you can ReWild yourself anywhere and everywhere, wherever you may be. It’s like coming home to a place you’ve always belonged too.

For 2020, my wish for you is a little time to discover ReWilding for yourself. The health benefits just might surprise you.

Happy ReWilding,
Cathy Margolin L.Ac. & Team
Founder & Self-Proclaimed ReWilder at Pacific Herbs

Peanut Allergy Breakthrough With Chinese Herbs FAHF-2 A New Botanical Drug

Food allergy herbal formula-2 (FAHF-2) prevents and reverses peanut allergy in an animal model of peanut anaphylaxes.

The food allergy phenomenon has grown to huge proportions in the last decade. Peanut allergies have become increasingly on the rise and drug companies are looking for a novel way of treating people whose only salvation currently may be an Epi-Pen for people for sever, life-threatening reactions. An herbal formula written by a very famous Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor, Dr. Zhang Zhong Jing, nearly 2000 years ago may have the answers we’ve all been waiting for.

This herbal approach is not the same as recent suggestions about building up tolerance to peanuts buy eating a small amount daily over time. The ongoing herbal study for food intolerance and food allergies has passed initial FDA testing in-vivo and in-vitro and is now successfully being studied on human patients with allergies to tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shell fish and sesame allergies. The human studies have been approved by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Institutional Review Board.

Intermittent attacks of abdominal pain, a stifling sensation, irritability, and warmth in the chest (anxiety), diarrhea after eating, and cold hands and feet are all symptoms TCM recognizes as part of the expression of food allergies after someone eats trigger foods. The food allergy herbal formula known as FAHF-2 contains nine well studied Chinese herbs. Peanut allergic mice given FAHF-2 were found to establish a peanut tolerance. This effect was associated with up-regulation of interferon-gamma by CD8+T cells.

Herb quality is absolutely critical to effectiveness and the herbs should be verified through HPLC fingerprinting according to the FDA’s Guidance for Industry Botanical Drug Products. The pharmacological actions of individual herbs comprising FAHF-2 on peanut induced anaphylactic reactions determined all nine herbs were necessary to prevent anaphylactic reactions. Results showed that some individual herbs reduced peanut induced anaphylactic symptoms but no single herb offered full protection from anaphylactic symptoms equivalent to FAHF-2.

‘The herbs had highly variable effects on histamine release, as well as peanut specific serum IgE and IgG2a levels. The herbs also had variable effects on IL-4, IL-5 and IFN-γ levels. A simplified formula comprised of only the most efficacious individual herbs showed only partial efficacy and was not able to reproduce the effects of FAHF-2. This finding suggested that component herbs of FAHF-2 may be working synergistically to produce the curative therapeutic effects produced by the whole herb formula.”1

For more information regarding the nine herbs used in the study please see the link below. To purchase the nine herb formula please contact Cathy@PacHerbs.com. Individual consultations are available upon request.

 

  1. www .ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4118473/

Is The Almighty Coffee Bean Part of Chinese Medicine?

Coffee as Chinese MedicineI’m a coffee drinker alas only in moderation. Now, I’m re-thinking that moderation as I learn more about the benefits of the coffee bean. 

 

A cup of coffee is 2% caffeine and 98% other bioactive ingredients. To say the least, it is a complex beverage. People seem to forget that the coffee bean is an herb. Indeed, the coffee plant belongs to the Rubiaceae family, which is a source of several different Chinese herbs, including the gardenia fruit. Coffee beans medicinal effects have been well known for millenia but some of the first popular evidence was in 1908, when the Indian Materia Medica was first published.  

 

At the proper dosages, the coffee bean has the ability to improve health in several ways. Drinking coffee can increase cardiovascular health and lower the risk of colon cancer, gallstones, cirrhosis, and Parkinson’s disease. A typical dosage for this type of herbal medicine is in the range of 6-18 grams per day, which translates to about 1-3 cups of coffee, depending on how many grams of ground beans are used. Roasting the coffee beans do not detract from the beneficial effects of this herb.

 

The primary active substances in the coffee bean are chlorogenic and caffeic acids. These substances have been shown to have anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects. No wonder the local coffee shop has become our favorite pit stops. Coffee also contains antioxidant phenols that can reduce the risk of cancer.  (Like so many Chinese herbs, many many benefits. Probably a lot we don’t even understand fully, yet.

 

This blog idea was inspired by a study on long-term coffee drinker with type 2 diabetes mellitus.  To quote the study, “long-term coffee consumption is associated with a statistically significantly lower risk for type 2 diabetes,”  (link below) Coffee, just like any other potent herbal medicine, is not necessarily for everyone, as some people may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. But the coffee bean definitelycontains many beneficial vitamins including potassium, niacin and magnesium. 

 

Drinking a freshly brewed cup of this herbal bean can have some wonderful health benefits. Enjoy, but drink responsibly. Dont use coffee and the caffiene to keep your energy high all day long. This is actually a great way to burn our your adrenal glands. Coffee like almost all things is best used in moderation.  

Study Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Mar;73(3):532-8.Consumption of high doses of chlorogenic acid, present in coffee, or of black tea increases plasma total homocysteine concentrations in humans.  Olthof MR, Hollman PC, Zock PL, Katan MB.                   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11237928
supplements for insomnia

Study Links Allergies to Sleep Quality

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.

 

menopause natural relief

Rock Your Menopause

Coming February 2020 – The Rock Your Menopause Challenge!

A program that spotlights the top areas in your life that are sabotaging your hormonal balance. 

Cathy Margolin, Licensed Acupuncturist, speaker, author and “been there – done that”  Menopause Guru has helped hundreds of women balance their hormones naturally at any age and every stage.  Learn healthy, simple solutions so you can sail through Menopause. PS. Without drugs.

Join the Rock Your Menopause Facebook group here!

menopause natural relief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Best Practices For a Healthy Microbiome

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 ki
ng.

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.

boost immune system naturally

What Are The Best Probiotics For A Healthy Immune System?

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.

Acupuncture:

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.

Patient Education:

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.

Dietary Changes:

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.

Practitioner Tools:

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.

Herbs:

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)

Final Thoughts:

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.

———————–

References:

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

8.   Ibid.

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

Corydalis Natural Pain Relief Herb Pack

New Pain Reliever Alternative to Opioids or Anti-Inflammatory Drugs available from Pacific Herbs

Corydalis Natural Pain Relief Herb Pack

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, chelsea.callicott@hotmail.com, 541.410-4162

Sexy flowers, Chinese herbs

Flowers Are Sexy and Smart

 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!)

 

Magnolia Flower – (xin yin hua) How about a flower to treat nasal congestion? This flower is one of the most effective herbal remedies for stuffy noses and chronic sinusitis. 

 

Lotus Flower – (Lian Zi Xin) I would be remiss not to mention one of the most famous flowers associated with Chinese medicine, the Lotus flowerEight 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.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26087234

tumeric chinese herbs

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.