HRT Replacement therapy that works. Chinese herbs have always been used to help balance the bodies natural thermostat.

The Womens Conference, Health, Wellness and What? Menopause?

Womens conference, health wellness, menopause and womens healthI just returned from a night at the Women's Conference in Long Beach, the premier convention for women.  Our 1st lady of California, Maria Shriver  does a fantastic job and in fact tomorrow First Lady Obama will be speaking.   What I love about the conference is that's it's predominantly women attending, (4000 tonight), great women's products, and great speakers.  One exception, I saw a  lone male strutting around topless. (ok he was part of a dance group) All the women I saw were  goo goo eyed over him.   Ok he had a great body but posing for pictures with him??…a bit over the top for me.  Maybe because he was the only walking testosterone in the building.

What Donna Karan and her Urban Zen organization are doing is quite amazing.  I was very impressed to hear about the level of internal healing that is coming from her pursuits at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.  Urban Zen brings yoga and an entire Complementary Medicine program to  hospital patients and personnel.   Changing the face of the hospital environment.  Kudos to her and her vision.

I spoke with a lot of interesting folks.  Someone dared tell me there was no herbal cure for menopause symptoms such as hot flashes. She believes HRT therapy is completely safe, regardless of the studies show cancer rates sky rocketing for women on artificial hormones.  Clearly she had not done her homework and knew nothing about Chinese herbs or Chinese herbal medicine.  I hope I cleared up some of her misconceptions. Chinese herbal medicine is the oldest documented medicine on the planet and has been used continuously for over 2000 years. 

It's easy to understand why Americans don't know this.  Our media is dominated with prescription drug commercials and promises of a new pill or vaccine.  Herbs cannot be patented so drug companies want to keep us in the dark ages.   But the light continues to shine.  Alternative medicine messages, including Chinese herbs, naturopathic medicine and yoga booths dominated the Women Conference.  Messages like Donna Karan's are meeting a welcome and receptive audience.  You can't stop change and you can't hold down women.  They want safe answers for menopause symptoms and natural solutions to preventing breast cancer.  

Also, an amazing organization called The Breast Cancer Fund, the only organization giving truly preventative advise.   That topic is another blog, coming soon. 

Thanks for reading. 

Herb & Vitamin Fillers – is there a recommended dose?

pill questions markLabels on most herbal products in the US provide little to no information regarding  the amount of fillers ie. starch, otherwise known as excipients.  Excipients are  inactive substance used as a carrier or any ingredient that is added to adjust the intended dosage. Often excipients are used to  achieve a uniform  5 to 1 herb ratio.  (Basically a diluents).  Excipients are also used to improve administration such as making capsules or  pressed pills.

Currently, there is no technology to make capsules or pressed supplements without using these fillers. Current FDA labeling requirements for dietary supplements do not require the manufacturer  to list the amount of excipients. This leaves room  for lots of speculation and ambiguity regarding the strength of the products.  How much product in the bottle is filler and how much is vitamins and/or herbal extract? There is no set answer for this question simply depends on the manufacturer  and many are not disclosing this information on their labels.  

Gel-Caps and individual packet herbs are the only modalities which do not need to contain excipients.  There are over 750 additives (includes excipients) which  have been approved  by the Food and Drug  Administration (FDA) for  our food & supplement products. Excipients  toxicity and safety has been a controversial subject for more than a decade. Some research suggests excipients destroy immunity by bursting T-Cells and block nutrient uptake. This topic is too broad to discuss here.   I mention this, only to bring awareness that the issue exists. 

There are compelling reasons for these theories and  further  research is clearly warranted.  There is simply too much we don’t  know about  how excipients interact in our bodies. Excipients usage in Chinese herbal products ranges anywhere from 35% to 50% of a 100 gram bottle of extract, the same percentages apply for capsule herb products.  Dextrin is a common excipients along with non-GMO potato starch or  corn starch (corn is the most genetically altered food).  Again, the amount of excipient  used is  not currently required on product labels. Advantages of adding excipients are they extend the shelf life of Chinese herb products. Chinese Herb tea pills were traditional made without  an excipient.

The natural clumping of  the herbs was beneficial in this delivery system.  Unfortunately the shelf life is very short. Remember herbs are natural products and without preservatives they do turn rancid when exposed to air.  One side effect of adding excipients has turned into a benefit  for  people who prefer  to swallow their herb granules by  placing granules  on their tongue and swallowing with water. The use of  excipients makes this easier by reducing the natural stickiness of  the herbs.