Melanoma herb Borage supplement

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Effective for Skin Cancer

A research group at the University of  Graz in Germany showed a Chinese herb has efficacy against black skin cancer also known as malignant melanoma. 

This type of cancer accounts for 80% of skin cancer deaths. When detected early it is well treated but few treatment options have yet to be effective.  

New research shows Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a promising candidate against malignant melanoma. A plant used in Chinese Herbal Medicine has been successfully tested on skin cancer cells and mice. 

They started by analyzing hundreds of plant extracts. Team member Kretschmer, said,

 “We started out from the question as to which plants are used in TCM as a cure for cancer-like diseases and whether an active substance for fighting cancer can be obtained from them,” explains project team member Kretschmer. “The concept of cancer varies partly between TCM and Western medicine, which is why all remedies used in TCM against cancer and cancer-like diseases were of interest to us. In a pilot project, the group created a database with several hundred potential plants. Dried samples from a selection of 76 of these plants were used to produce 253 extracts, and these were tested on various cancer cells. The researchers identified one plant that seemed promising enough for further studies. The scientific name of the plant is Onosma paniculata Bureau & Franch, a member of the Onosma genus.”

The active ingredient was successfully tested.

“We tested a substance called β-β-dimethylacrylshikonin, which we had obtained from the plant, directly on malignant melanoma cells and were able to prove it had an effect,” says Kretschmer. The substance destroyed the cancer cells. These favourable results encouraged the research team to carry out the first in vivo tests. Naked mice suffering from skin cancer were treated with the drug by injecting it directly into the tumours to see if there were any side effects. “That was successful as well; we saw no side effects and the tumours responded to the treatment and died.” The researchers observed both apoptosis, which is a controlled cell death, and necrosis, which is uncontrolled cell death.

Increased efficacy

“We then tried to modify the substance to see if we could improve its efficacy even further,” notes the researcher. Among several modifications, they found one particular shikonin derivative that proved to be particularly effective.
In theory, the substance is suitable for the development of a drug, but there is still a long way to go before such a drug becomes available. “This will require larger-scale studies, and the route of administration is still an undecided issue.” Two follow-up projects are already in the pipeline.

Kretschmer emphasizes that TCM served only as a source of inspiration for new active compounds. It is still unclear how exactly the plant works in TCM. “There is no clear idea of how this plant develops its beneficial effect in TCM. It is uncommon in TCM to use just a single plant, normally it is a combination that can be prepared in different ways,” relates Kretschmer. The plants are usually prepared as infusions and boiled twice for a long time. “When we prepare our plant in this way, we no longer see the anti-tumour effect in the cell culture test,” explains Kretschmer. “TCM also knows another preparation method using oil, which is then applied to the affected areas of the skin. This oil contains a higher concentration of the active shikonins.”

In the course of the project, the researchers also found a way to phytochemically verify the identity of different plant species with a similar morphology. “There are roots that look very similar to those of the plant we are investigating, and we have found that these species are often sold under false names in China.” This is a problem because some of the plants offered for sale contain substances that can be harmful. Kretschmer and the research team found a method using thin-layer chromatography that helps to distinguish between the plants and is simple enough to be used e.g. in pharmacies. The research project ran for four years and was completed in early 2019. The team cooperated with the Medical University in Graz and the Helmholtz Institute in Munich.

Publications

Kretschmer, N.; Deutsch, A.; Durchschein, C.; Rinner, B.; Stallinger, A.; Higareda-Almaraz, J.C.; Scheideler, M.; Lohberger, B.; Bauer, R.: Comparative Gene Expression Analysis in WM164 Melanoma Cells Revealed That β-β-Dimethylacrylshikonin Leads to ROS Generation, Loss of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential, and Autophagy Induction, in: Molecules 2018, 23

Durchschein, C.; Hufner, A.; Rinner, B.; Stallinger, A.; Deutsch, A.; Lohberger, B.; Bauer, R.; Kretschmer, N.: Synthesis of Novel Shikonin Derivatives and Pharmacological Effects of Cyclopropylacetylshikonin on Melanoma Cells, in: Molecules 2018, 23

Jahanafrooz, Z; Stallinger, A; Anders, I; Kleinegger, F; Lohberger, B; Durchschein, C; Bauer, R; Deutsch, A; Rinner, B; Kretschmer, N.: Influence of silibinin and β-β-dimethylacrylshikonin on chordoma cells, in: Phytomedicine 2018, 49

http://scilog.fwf.ac.at/

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
Progesterone supplements

Hormonal Balance Estrogen & Progesterone

Today we’re seeing a tremendous number of women and men who are struggling with hormonal imbalances. Breast cancer to prostate enlargement, PCOS, and menopause symptoms are easily recognizable hormonal symptoms but what about symptoms such as cold hands, irritability, mood swings, pre-menopausal bone fractures, sluggish metabolism (fatigue), thyroid dysfunction, fibrocystic breasts, anxiety, fibroids, irregular menstrual cycles, insomnia and to name just a few?

All of these symptoms can be related to hormonal imbalance and a state known as “Estrogen Dominance” which refers to as a cumulative load of estrogen effects that outpace progesterone.

So how does someone become “estrogen dominant” and how does estrogen affect our overall health? Understanding the causes requires first a look at the most common places we find estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen (E1) is produced mainly in the ovaries. Progesterone is produced mainly from the outside lining of a mature egg released from the ovaries. Women who take or took birth control pills have a unique situation in that they do not ovulate, therefore they miss out on 90% of their body’s ability to produce progesterone. (HRT and even bio/identical hormones also have effects for brevity this article will not cover.) Without progesterone, estrogen can easily dominate. The progestin in birth control pills does not act like natural progesterone our bodies produce. Natural bio-mimicking progesterone can be created from certain yams and soy plants. However, natural progesterone cannot be patented, which is where progestin comes in.

Estrogen can also become a dominant hormone through the exposure to xeno-estrogens (chemicals that act on estrogen hormone receptors). Our environment is loaded with xeno-estrogens in unprecedented amounts. Xeno-estrogens are known endocrine-disrupting chemicals and can be found in:

Body-care products, including ones like sunscreens we coat on our bodies.
Pesticides in our food supply
Hormones used to plump up animals in our meat supply chain
Hormones in our milk supply
Unfiltered tap water can contain synthetic estrogen from birth control pills
Microwaving food in plastic containers releases xeno-estrogens
Some non-stick coated cookware release xeno-estrogens
Plastic water bottles contain xeno-estrogen chemicals
Processed food can contain propyl-paraben a well known endocrine disruptor (Propylparaben is in 49 widely-available processed foods 1)

We can solve this, right? We can drink filtered water, eat only organic meat and vegetables, change some lifestyle habits and our hormones will go back into balance, problem solved. Theoretically, this approach should work, IF the body can detox/eliminate the accumulated toxic estrogen load. Often this load is stored in fat and obesity becomes another factor.

If you see patients with estrogen dominant symptoms, lifestyle changes alone are often not enough to bring the body back into balance. This is where patients need our help. (Additionally, there are other causes of xeno-estrogens this article does not have space to include: i.e. exposure to household chemicals, building chemicals, years of hormone therapy use including bio-Identical/bio-mimicking hormones and even a person’s gut bacteria aka. microbiome.1

Some considerations

Modalities we can incorporate into our health regimes include ways to release the toxic load of estrogen and create a safer by-product during the break-down or detoxing process. Imbalances of hormones directly affect the liver which tends to be on overdrive when symptoms of estrogen dominance are present. Food, herbs and a few well-known supplements are excellent choices to help this process. Improving liver function is fuel for the detoxification process. Consider what “Functional Medicine” has been teaching; when the liver breaks down estrogen (and xeno-estrogens) by-products termed metabolites are formed. Creating a safer estrogen by-product or metabolite should be part of the overall detoxification plan. Excretion of metabolites can be impaired by poor methylation and abnormal gut flora.

A few ways we can help our patients optimize liver function and the detoxification of estrogen:

Chinese herbs formula Jia Wei Xiao Yao San AKA Relax Herb Pack – This popular Chinese herb formula sold worldwide for stress and anxiety outsells all other Chinese formulas, year after year. Stress dramatically affects liver function through continual overproduction of cortisol, rather than progesterone. Since both hormones are derived from the precursor hormone pregnenolone, a situation known as pregnenolone steal develops. When the body determines cortisol is more important to make than progesterone, estrogen dominance can flourish. Treat the liver stress and the downstream effects will improve.
Methionine – This supplement provides sulfur (not the same as sulfa drugs) and acts as a cellular cleanser. It literally donates methyl groups for the biochemical reaction that rids you of poisons and harmful estrogen by-products. Foods can also donate methyl groups a few good ones are beets, legumes, eggs, broccoli, leafy greens, nuts and sunflower seeds.
Methylcobalamin – A form of B12, this supplement also provides a “methyl” group which helps the estrogen detoxification process. Keep in minds, antacids, some diabetes medications, certain cholesterol-binding medicines and alcohol can wipe out your supply of methylcobalamin.
Calcium D-Glucarate – This is not the same as plain calcium. Toxins must combine with water-soluble substances to leave your body. This supplement combines with estrogen to help move it out.
Reishi Mushroom and other Chinese Medicinal Herbs – Reishi is high in poly-saccharides which feed the body’s microbiome, this in turn benefits liver metabolite breakdown.
Fermented foods such as miso soup, tempeh, kombucha, fermented vegetables i.e. pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi. (For more suggestions see my blogs at http://www.PacHerbs.com/blog/)

Keep in mind, reaching hormone balance can be accomplished faster with the elimination and avoidance of xeno-estrogens. However, most functional medicine doctors will agree, diet, supplements, exercise and lifestyle-based strategies are equally important. Establish realistic patient lifestyle goals and together you will be successful in treating the root causes and symptoms of estrogen dominance and create lifelong habits for balanced hormones.

 

References:

1. Microbiome Researcher, Rob Knight Ph.D. The American Gut Project http://americangut.org/
2. Environmental Working Group. http://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives/generally-recognized-as-safe-but-is-it
3. More great info on the human microbiome https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DTrENdWvvM

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

Best Foods To Boost Your Immune System

Best Foods To Boost Your Immune System

 

Boost your immune system naturally with foods. It’s easy and less costly than purchasing a probiotic supplements that is killed by stomach acid before it can work. High fiber foods are a better choice and will also help you lose weight. High fiber foods take more energy to break down and increase bowel movements. One of the best immune boosting foods is BUCKWHEAT!

American’s don’t tend to eat buckwheat very often but it’s extremely popular in Japan, one of the healthiest and oldest societies on the planet. Buckwheat is not a wheat,  so don’t worry  if you follow a gluten free diet.  It’s actually a seed. Buckwheat breads are an easy way to add this high fiber food to your diet. Buckwheat soba noodles are another great immune boosting food option.

Buckwheat, just like reishi mushroom are high in polysaccharides which is the food your gut bacteria like to eat. When you feed your healthy gut bacteria the foods they like, they build your immune system naturally.

Healthy gut bacteria boosts your immune system. Add healthy foods like buckwheat and reishi a couple times a week for a month and you’ll notice the difference.

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

 

 

 

Secrets of the Supplement Industry Revealed

Secrets of the Supplement Industry Revealed

Nature Made Vitamins issued a NATIONWIDE RECALL on its gummy vitamins!

Chinese herbs

They issued the recall fearing Salmonella and/or Staphylococcus Aureus contamination.

Do you know what’s really in your pills and capsules?

Find out at this FREE webinar.

“How To Choose A Quality Supplement” 
I give you the insider secrets the supplement companies will never tell you!

Nothing is taboo – fillers, testing myths – synthetic vitamins.  I’m letting the cat out of the bag and it’s completely FREE!

Why You Want To Avoid Magnesium Stearate

Why You Want To Avoid Magnesium Stearate

Not all supplements are created equal!

U.S. adults surveyed in Dec. 2014 said “taking vitamins” was in their top five wellness habit plans for 2015.  Yet, many supplements have flowing agents which suppress your natural killer cells, a key component of your immune system.  As the vitamin and supplement industry grows into one of the fastest growing industries worldwide, it’s time for the big companies to come clean about the ADDITIVES in dietary supplements. (1)

Continue reading “Why You Want To Avoid Magnesium Stearate”

Can Cinnamon Help Protect You From Cancer?

University of Arizona College of Pharmacy Researchers and the UA Cancer Center say a compound found in cinnamon is a potent colorectal cancer preventor.

New research suggests eating cinnamon may help prevent colorectal cancer, at least in mice.

Previous research has linked this spice to blood pressure reduction and blood sugar control.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used both the cinnamon tree bark and cinnamon tree branches for over a thousand years.

The bark of the tree is known as Gui Zhi and used in Chinese herbal formulations as a warming and dispersing herb. It helps protect against catching a cold and it can facilitate at warming the Qi, or energy of the body.

Researchers at Arizona College of Pharmacy found the compound that gives cinnamon its distinctive smell and flavor, cinnamaldehyde, also seems to protect rodents against colorectal cancer.

“This is a significant finding,” UA Cancer Center researcher Dr. Donna Zhang, said in a press release. “The next steps are to see if the spice alone can protect against cancer, and see if results can be replicated in people.”

“Can cinnamon do it, now that we know pure cinnamaldehyde can?” he said. “And can we use cinnamaldehyde or cinnamon as a weapon to go after other major diseases, such as inflammatory dysregulation and diabetes? “

Chinese herbs like cinnamon have always been used in TCM with other herbs in synergistic combinations. Using this Chinese herb or any others as a single herb should only be done under the care of a professional trained in Chinese medicine or herbal medicine.  In TCM, Chinese herbs are most often combined to enhance or create an entourage effect for the desired action and to minimize any potential side effects.  Should you have any questions about cinnamon or other Chinese herbs,   get in touch with Cathy at Pacific Herbs for a free consultation at 877-818-9990.

Preventing Breast Cancer Is Possible

Breast cancer awareness means different things to different people.  For the month of October, you can’t even turn on a football game without seeing a goal post wrapped in hot pink or football players wearing pink socks.

But let’s get real.  Breast cancer, like all cancers are better prevented than cured.  I think we can all agree we would rather NOT get cancer during our life time.  But the reality is, many don’t feel we have a say in the ‘Dis-Ease’ process.

We get handed illness – we don’t choose illness.Breast Cancer Awareness

Can we hand ourselves HEALTH?   I believe we can!

Prevention is the cure!  Every day, we can give ourselves health.  In the foods we eat, the thoughts we focus on and the life we create.

Regarding specifically ‘Breast Cancer’ check out one way to focus on health Continue reading “Preventing Breast Cancer Is Possible”

Are Herb Supplements Still Bio-Active If They Have Fillers?

Most plants and herbs are naturally “Bio-Active” meaning they are digestible by humans and our gut (our large and small intestines). Recognizing the chemicals nutrients from plants is not as easy for your body today because often we eat and swallow herbal supplements with tons of “non-bio-active” fillers.

Just like your eyes understand these words because you have been trained in English language, your intestines can decode the language of plant chemicals that come through our guts. But when man-made chemicals arrive, i.e. fillers in herbal supplements such as magnesium stearate, a man-made chemical, then bio-activity slows to a crawl. Your body is not good a deciphering these new man-made chemicals that is has never seen before. It’s like trying to read English without ever learning the alphabet. You simply have no idea what they letters mean.

On the contrary, when herbs and plants are ingested,the curative are more powerful because all the plant chemical constituents become more BIO-AVAILABLE to our human genome. Our bodies, for thousands of years have ingested these chemicals and our bodies can decipher plant chemical make-up.

How do we know this? The research is overwhelming. Chemical pictures via computer programs using high performance liquid chromotography reveal marker chemicals in various herbs. These chemicals, for example, astraglaside #4 in Astragalus (huang qi) is higher in concentration in after boiling astragalus (huang qi) in a pot of hot water for 30 minutes than when testing the raw root material.

If we take it a step further and we cook the herbs in hot water boiling process and start to break down the fibrous plant material the plants will release even more chemical constituents with curative powers. The ancient Chinese knew this and therefore always boiled their herbs and drank the water as a tea, rather than eating the roots or leaves raw.

This tradition survives today. Boil your herbs and enjoy freshly released bio-active compounds and bio-availability of a matrix of healing herbal compounds. If you don’t have time to boil your own, Pacific Herbs line of herbs in granules have already been cooked and concentrated and have all the bio-active compounds you need to stay healthy. Check out the easiest way to get Bio-Active herbs here.

No Pink Pill Needed: The Original Viagra is Horny Goat Weed A Famous Chinese Herb

Couple on beach

Are you searching for a natural Viagra?  

The Chinese herb known as Epimedium has been used to boost libido and increase sexual desire and performance for generations.  

Now that the “Pink Pill” was just approved women have their own viagra with a long list of side-effects. Using an natural alternative like Libido Boost Herb Pack for Him and Her is both effective,  safe and without side-effects.  For many this is a dream come true.

Researchers at the University of Milan, Italy say Epimedium (Horny Goat Weed) has what everyone who experiences erectile dysfunction needs.  Additionally the Chinese herb, Epimedium (AKA horny goat weed) has fewer side effects than Viagra and certainly the new Pink Pill viagra for women.

This natural aphrodisiac has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for centuries and is well known for increasing blood flow and freeing up bound testosterone.  This promote natural erections and sex drive.  It has been confirmed by these Italian researchers that icariin, a compound found in horny goat weed has the same effect as sildenafil, the active component in Viagra.  This icariin blocks the enzyme which controls blood flow to the penis.  Once an erection is achieved the icariin helps maintain that erection by inhibiting PDE5, (phosphodiesterase-5).

 

Horny goat weed is the only Chinese herb which has demonstrated the PDE5 inhibitor effect.

If a drug was made from Horny Goat Weed it would be even more effective than Viagra.

 

However, since Horny Goat Weed is a natural plant it is not patentable. Like so many other Chinese herbs we know about there are less side effects than most prescription drugs. 

Horny goat weed is found in the wild in China, Asia and Europe and the highest quality we could find is available here.  As with all our herbal products our Chinese herb granules and thoroughly tested and standardized to 5:1 ration minimums.  This means a higher potency than most products which fail to disclose any information regarding their potency ratio’s.

 

Journal reference: Journal of Natural Products, DOI: 10.1021/np800049y