natural remedies for flu and colds chinese herbs

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

Survive the Flu with Natural Remedies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

OK, let’s dive into THE LIST!

PREVENTATIVE LIST

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

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

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

Kimchi- Sauerkraut – fermented veggies – brined pickles.

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

Goat milk  or coconut yogurt or kefir

Cod Liver Oil – approx. 1 Tbls. daily

Vitamin D3 – 5000mg daily

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

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

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

Zinc

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

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

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

Puerh tea

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

Elderberry Tea

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

Bed #1 best medicine or comfy couch

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

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

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

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

Chicken Soup – homemade is best.

Bone Broth – get a high quality brand

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

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

Stay warm with extra clothing layers.

Electrolyte drinks or add liquid mineral drops to any drink.

Lingering Cough with Phlegm

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

Elderberry syrup.

Chinese herb cough syrup – Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa

Qing Qi Hua Tang Wan – Minor Blue Dragon formula

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

Pinapple juice for cough and Kiwi’s are excellent

 

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

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

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

Chinese Herbs in Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Chinese Herbs in Environmentally Friendly Packaging


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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Build A Healthy Immune System

Build A Healthy Immune System By Eating These Foods Daily

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

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

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

What Are You Drinking

Are You Drinking Purified Water or Plastic Water?

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

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

Your body knows the difference between clean water and water with plastic chemicals. Chemicals in our water often cause estrogen dominance which is implicated in the growth of many types of cancer.

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

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

Indoor Air Quality Tip to Healthy Air

Healthy Air Solutions To Avoid Allergies

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

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

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

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

 

 

Are Your Chinese Herbs Full of Fillers

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Balance Your Hormones Naturally

Balance Your Hormones Naturally

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

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

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

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

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

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

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

Pacific Herbs provides herbal products to improve your immune system from the inside out. 80% of your immune system is in your gut. Eating foods that feed your healthy gut bacteria can boost your immune system and help you avoid colds and flu during the fall and winter months. A great way to build your natural immunity with reishi mushroom. Pacific Herbs has a blend of reishi mushrooms with Astragalus (huang qi) in concentrated herbal granules that are easy to add to a cup of coffee or put them right n your mouth and swallow with water or juice.

Pacific Herbs Immune Boost Herb Pack contains only pure, tested and certified Reishi mushroom, which is extremely high in polysaccharides, food for your microbiome. Recent research shows herbs like reishi mushroom can help you increase the healthy colonies of good bacteria creating an internal strong defense and a healthy immune system.

Opioid Crisis

Opioid Crisis First Hand Story – How Kids Become Addicts

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Chinese cupping glasses

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Healthy Smoothies

Quirky Habits Only Acupuncturists Do

Healthy Smoothies

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

Great question.  Let me explain.

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

For example, I avoid ice water like the plague!

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

Not the norm, right?

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

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

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

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

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

3 Tbsp. Organic Kelp protein powder

1/3 banana

large handful of organic salad greens

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

Drink at room temperature or even slightly warm.

sperm builder

Sperm Quality – The New Frontier of Men’s Health

Boost Sperm Quality Naturally

It has been said, we must accept something before we can change it. This is definitely the case when discussing male sperm health.  When it comes to infertility, the focus is placed on women. Men are usually not included when we look at “conception” issues.

Maybe it’s a denial issue, or it feels “UN-manly” for men to seek treatment options when conception issues arise.  What most people have yet to understand is that about 40 to 60 percent of infertility problems today are linked to male-related factors.  What this means is for a couple to conceive, both the male and female have to be healthy. But, we need to come to grips with this new “normal” because compromised sperm health is more common than previously known.

Sperm health is determined by the quantity of sperm a man produces, the structure or morphology and the mobility of the sperm. Problems such as abnormal sperm size and shape, low sperm count, abnormal liquefaction and low motility are all categorized under male infertility. Research varies but some shows a 40% decrease in sperm quantity and quality in the past 50 years. The reasons for the decline are conjecture, but most researchers agree sperm are sensitive to environmental toxins, stress, diet and technology we are using daily. Male infertility and low sperm production can also be effected by genetics, age, testosterone production and testicular pathologies and emotions.

Reliable, long term research on male sperm counts do not exist, unfortunately.  However, in a recent study of British dogs, yes canine, over the last 26 years showed a drop of 1-2% of sperm motility yearly.  Why should we care about a study done on dogs? Declining canine fertility may shed light on human fertility. The importance of this study, is not just the 50% decline in canine sperm but researchers saw a clear connection between environmental chemicals affecting both humans and dogs. Even though male fertility research over the past few decades has shown a downward trend, “there has always been argument about the consistency and accuracy of the findings,” says Richard Lea of Nottingham University School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. Dr. Lea confirmed the presence of chemicals, ubiquitous to both humans and dogs as the link to the decline in sperm quality. Dogs live in our homes and are exposed to many of the same chemicals as humans.  “If you think about it, we are exposed to a [chemical] cocktail. Who knows how many chemicals are out there and what they are doing? It gets even more complicated when you start to look at the effects of mixtures of chemicals,” Dr. Lea said. Hopefully soon, we will have similar human studies measuring sperm health over several decades.

 male infertility boost sperm

The question you may be asking is; how can we help men improve infertility issues?

There are some excellent options beyond prescription medication.  Options to consider are lifestyle changes, (i.e. smoking) reducing exposure to toxins and incorporating  acupuncture and herbal medicines.  Alternative/Functional Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches always start by looking at the entire body and considering the root cause of the pathology. The Classic literature from TCM states: The experienced physician, will always consider the source.  (Li Zhongzi, A Primer of Medical Objectives (Yizong Bidu), 1637)  Therefore, when treat infertility one has to treat the whole body because only a healthy body can produce healthy sperm. TCM theory classifies a lack of sperm or a lack of healthy sperm into one or more possible diagnoses. The three primary diagnoses include:

 

Deficiency Syndrome

 In Western medicine terminology this would be dysfunction in the endocrine system. Men with low testosterone and excess estrogen fall under this diagnosis.

 

Stagnation Syndrome

 The sexual organs are functioning, hormone levels are normal but blood flow to the sexual organs is lacking. Men who experience soft erections or cannot maintain an erection or ejaculation would be categorized as having stagnation in TCM terms.

 

Heat Syndrome

This may be associated with an infection or inflammatory process and can produce abnormal semen quality. Enlarged prostates and sexually transmitted diseases are a few of the Western diagnoses that fall under this syndrome. Boxer shorts, not briefs would generally be a good suggestion for men in this category along with avoiding hot tubs and steam and sauna rooms.

 

We are certainly not the first generation to struggle with infertility. Chinese medicine texts tell us ancient cultures as far back as 200 AD. referenced treatments to help men and women conceive. Some TCM documents list treatment for infertility including complex Chinese herbal formulas often using fifteen herbs or more. Many of these formulas are still used today and include everything from the bark, leaves, root, fruits, seeds and flowers of various botanicals. One commonality found in these formulas is they often contain seeds of the plants. Considering sperm is a man’s seed, this makes perfect sense. The use of professionally prepared herbal medicine to treat male infertility is occurring worldwide. In Taiwan, through their National Health Insurance plan, citizens can receive Chinese herbs daily for every type of illness including infertility. While many fertility issues can be resolved through Chinese herbal medicine, often times the patients overall health improvement is the primary goal.

 

Lifestyle modifications should also be considered to keep sperm healthy and happy in our technology driven world. The use of laptop computers are often overlooked in men’s health discussions. Laptops emit radiation and heat and should not be on a man’s lap if he is trying to optimize his sperm health.  Laptops can be used on a table, not a lap. This is especially important for those men who fall under the category of “Heat Syndrome”.  Cell phones are another 21st century hazard. The risk is real for men who carry a phone in their front pant pocket all day, every day.  Dr. Davis, an award-winning scientist discusses the health risks and concerns associated with cell phones and sperm motility in her book Disconnect. According to Dr. Davis, “When using phones, distance is your friend, because radiation exposure falls off dramatically the farther away from the brain or body you use your phone,” Dr. Davis noted. “If you read the fine print warnings that come with all smart phones today they are quite clear, phones should not be used next to the brain or body, or kept in the pocket.”  Leg and arm bands are safer options for carrying cell phones.

Sperm awareness needs to be addressed in men’s health circles today. The number of men seeking treatment options is rising and reproductive issues are no longer just a “woman’s problem”.  Getting the correct diagnosis is critical but more importantly make sure you treat the whole individual. Herbal treatment, acupuncture and life style changes are excellent options and more common throughout Asia than the West.  Hopefully, men everywhere will begin considering these viable treatment options. Whichever type of treatment a man chooses, the journey begins with the acceptance that male infertility exists.