Natural Sleep aids

Top 4 Reasons For Insomnia and How To Fix Them

I’ve been getting a lot of compliments about how well some folks are sleeping when using iSleep Herb Pack. There seems to be nothing quite like a rejuvenating night of sleep and once you get it, you really fall in love with the feeling and want to share it.

For those people who are accustom to a night of sleeping in short 1-2 hour spurts,  a 6-7 hours, “Out like a light” is truly heaven sent.  

Personally I can not function without at least seven hours of horizontal non-activity.  If you are someone who struggles with insomnia, let me explain how Chinese medicine views insomnia and how Chinese herbs have been used to help those who suffer.

There are 4 main patterns for insomnia in Chinese medicine.

1.  The first and most common reason for insomnia is due to “over-thinking”.

Termed Shen (spirit) disturbance. This is an overactive mind. Day time is the time to make plans, work and be active with your eyes open and your mind busy.   Night time, (or whenever you are trying to sleep) is the time we close our eyes and shut off our brains.   Too much thinking at night is unhealthy.  The mind needs to time to rest just as the body needs it’s rest.  This is where iSleep can be extremely beneficial because the herbs like zizyphus naturally calm the mind and stop the over-thinking process.     

 

2. Insomnia due to panic, anger and excessive worry.

This pattern is especially worrisome because of it can easily become habitual.  Emotions that are not addressed during the daytime hours may haunt us at night. We should try to deal with emotional problems during our waking hours but if you need a little help with this pattern of insomnia, iSleep Herb Pack is a very calming formula and in Asia this group of herbs is commonly used for excess stress and worry during the day.  I know of some care givers who use iSleep to keep their aging and care dependent family members in a calm state during the day time hours.  It is perfectly safe to use  1 packet of iSleep everyday if needed.

 

3. Insomnia due to yin deficiency. 

This is very common in menopause age women.  This kinds of insomnia is caused mainly by excess heat.   What commonly happens in as women (and men) with age is comparable to what happens in a car with a broken radiator.  The car begins to overheat because there is a lack of coolant circulating.  Our coolant dries up as we age and if we don’t replace it with yin nourishing foods and herbs often the result is yin deficiency insomnia.   (BTW, night time is also known as yin time.)  Nourish your yin our Menopause Relief Herb Pack and you will begin to sleep better almost immediately. Some women (and yes men too) will use our Menopause Relief during the day and iSleep at night.   There are no contraindication to using our herbal products this way.

 

4.  Insomnia can have a nutritional component.

For the extremely weak or elderly often times a poor diet prevents the blood from properly nourishing the heart.  This type of insomnia is call Qi & Blood deficiency.   In this case, it is necessary to  repair the body with proper nutrition and supplementation.  This pattern of insomnia will often subside once the heart, kidneys and spleen are properly nourished. Eat well during the day because your body will be fasting for at least 8-10 hours when you are getting proper rest.

 

Although this is not a complete gamut of sleeping pattern difficulties in Chinese medicine these patterns are the most common.  Often times it is a combination of these 4 that can persist.  Chinese herbs have been used effectively for these patterns for centuries.  If you would like to see more information on the studies behind the herbs in our iSleep insomnia aid please click here.

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.

Is Green Tea Good For Menopause

Is green tea good for menopause?

Is Green Tea Good For MenopauseYou may be wondering, is green tea good for menopause? Most of us have heard that green tea is good for us, but why? The answer is that drinking green tea provides many health benefits, including:

  • Heart health — drinking tea is associated with lowering one’s risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Bone health — antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of green tea help diminish bone loss
  • Oral health —  green tea is a natural flouride source which helps decrease tooth decay
  • Weight loss — the catechins in green tea produces thermogenesis (heat in the body related to burning calories)
  • Cancer prevention — the catechins in tea prevent cell mutation and reduce tumor formation​

But you may also be wondering, is green tea good for menopause? The answer is yes! Green tea can help balance your hormones.

  • Good for Menopause! — The biochemicals in green tea can change a woman’s estrogen metabolism, and as you may know, estrogen dominance is undeniably linked to breast cancer.

Researchers, led by Dr. Barbara Fuhrman of the NIH’s (National Institutes of Health) Cancer Institute, tested urinary estrogens and metabolites among 181 Japanese American women from California and Hawaii. Of these healthy women, 72 were postmenopausal. Along with urinary testing, personal interviews were taken, and each woman’s consumption of green tea, black tea, coffee and soda were recorded, measured, and adjusted in respect to caffeine consumption.

Amazingly, postmenopausal women who drank green tea daily had 20% less urinary estrone and 40% less urinary estradiol levels (meaning these women metabolized estrogen better). It was found that black tea did not produce the same results as green tea, and interestingly, caffeine consumption did not change the results.

Even more interesting, and perhaps concerning for pre-menopausal women, was the result that the estrogen levels of pre-menopausal women did not respond to green tea at all.

So, now that you know the answer to is green tea good for menopause, what does it all mean?

Is Green Tea Good For MenopauseWhat should you do with this information?

Well, if you are postmenopausal, drink green tea! It will help metabolize estrogen and can help in the prevention of breast cancer.

If you are pre-menopausal, drink green tea! Even though it will not have the same cancer-reducing results, green tea still has wonderful health benefits. Try other, more natural remedies for PMS symptoms, instead of using the birth control pill (which increases risk of breast cancer).

If you are experiencing symptoms of the change in life we call “menopause” (technically it is “perimenopause”), drink green tea! Remember to steer clear of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) because it too is associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Instead, try Menopause Relief Herb Pack for uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweating, insomnia, headaches, and mood swings.


Join the Rock Your Menopause 7 day challenge, for FREE!

Want to learn more? Get free Menopause Relief advice straight to your inbox with the Rock your Menopause 7 Day Challenge!

What’s discussed in the 7 Day Challenge?

  • Eastern Medicine health tips you don’t hear about.
  • Why green and clean beauty products.
  • How to find a fondness for fiber.
  • Why a daily BM is a must.
  • The difference between PRE and PRO-biotics.
  • How to find fermented foods you’ll love & why you need them.
  • Why eating hormones is off limits.
  • Explore the pro’s & con’s of bio-identical vs HRT hormone therapy.

Head over to RockYourMenopause.com and sign up for the free challenge now!


References

Fuhrman BJ, Pfeiffer RM, Wu AH, Xu X, Keefer LK, Veenstra TD, Ziegler RG. Green tea intake is associated with urinary estrogen profiles in Japanese-American women. Nutr J. 2013 Feb 15;12(1):25.
Yang CS, Wang X, Lu G, Picinich SC: Cancer prevention by tea: animal studies, molecular mechanisms and human relevance. Nat Rev Cancer2009, 9(6):429–439.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath and holds a Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences. His focus is upon science-based natural health solutions. He is the author of 20 books on natural health and numerous print and internet articles. His work can be found at http://www.caseadams.com.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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

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 definitely contains 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
Organic Chinese herbs

Diet Theories for Health: Chinese vs Western

fruits_and_vegetables2A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (thinking of Star Wars) a physician traveled with a bags of herbs, a few gold needles and a thousand ounces of gold.  Ok,  this physician  didn’t have a thousand ounces of gold, but he did have gold acupuncture needles and lived on earth.  What he also had was a belief that every single human life was more precious than a thousand ounces of gold.  His name, Sun Shu Mao (581-682 AD) and because of his beliefs he wrote a book called One Thousand Ounces of Gold Classic.  In this book he described diet using specific foods  and Chinese herbs to cure illnesses such as goiter, night blindness and beriberi.  Today we understand the science behind curing these diseases, iodine for goiter, Vitamin A for night blindness and B-1 for beriberi. But do we understand the system of foods and Chinese herbs to treat illnesses some1400 years later?

The Chinese have used food and Chinese herbs, basically the human diet, to treat seemingly incurable diseases as far back as written records on bones and turtle shells.  We now have studies that prove that foods and Chinese herbs are effective in treating nearly every affliction known to man. It is a Western concept  that  the word “diet”  refers almost exclusively  to a  weight  loss system. A Chinese diet  may or may not  focus on weight loss, but it’s primary intention is to treat an ailment.   A Westerners “diet” focuses on protein, calories, carbohydrates, vitamins and other nutrients, whereas a Chinese diet  focuses on the:  Five Flavors, Five Energies, Movements and Organic Actions of Foods.  The basic concept is, if I feel cold, I should eat something warm.  If I feel hot, I should eat  something cold. (don’t  we all do this?) This might sound basic, but it can get a little technical, so stay with me.

 

The Chinese categorize foods into five flavors. Flavors are important for both food and Chinese herbs because each flavor effects  a certain internal organs.  The five flavors are, sweet, sour, bitter, salty and acrid or pungent.  If you tend to indulge on the sweet and salty foods and miss out on the health benefits of the bitter, sour and pungent foods, you should expand your spectrum of  tastes.  Sweet foods act  on the stomach and spleen, obvious examples are honey, sugar and watermelon.  Americans  are more likely to consider candy and  ice cream sweet. This article will not cover processed foods, so think about barley, mung beans and sunflower seeds, these sweet foods help neutralize the toxic effects of other  foods. If you haven’t yet tasted mung beans give them a try, if your diabetic  it’s excellent food for your constitution. Since space prohibits my listing all foods in each category you can check out: Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchfordif you’d like more information on this topic.

 

Sour  foods such as vinegar, olives, lemons and adzuki beans can obstruct  movement and are helpful in treating diarrhea.  Bitter foods can help reduce body heat.  Examples of bitter foods are radish, sea grass and coffee. Most Westerners probably don’t consider coffee a bitter tasting food, try munching on an UN-roasted bean, you may be pleasantly surprised.  Salty foods help soften hardness which explains why kelp and seaweed are commonly used for goiters.  Acrid or pungent foods such as the Chinese herb peppermint or ginger promote energy circulation.  A strong, fresh peppermint  tea often produces a slight sweat on the forehead.

 

When referring to the five energies of foods, Chinese theory simply means foods ability to make you feel hot or cold.  But energies are categorized even  further into cold, cool, neutral, warm and hot.  This is a very important aspect of food because a “balanced diet” will be different depending on a persons constitution.  For example a person with a  cold constitution will need more hot foods.  If a person suffers from cold rheumatism and the pain is worse on cold days, it makes sense to give this person hot foods such as a soup made with Chinese herbs such as ginger, red pepper, green pepper or cinnamon. Understanding  the energies of foods to create a balance diet  is of the utmost importance.  Often herbs are more effective and faster acting than foods and for this reason herbs are commonly used in Chinese cooking.

 

This subject is vast and I’ve only covered  two topics relating to Chinese herbs, food and diet theory thus far.  The other main differences between the Western diet and the Chinese concept of diet are: Movements of  Foods in the body and Actions of Foods.  To learn more on these concepts see part two of this article.

 

Although, I may have simplified how a Chinese diet focuses on the five flavors  and five energies of foods you can see that from the Chinese viewpoint the word  “diet” has almost nothing to do with weight loss and everything to do with how foods effect our bodies. This may be a completely new view of diet and nutrition to you, but Sun Shu Mao wrote about  Chinese herbs and healing foods approximately 1400 years ago. Asian cultures have proven these food and herb theories and seeing that history always repeats itself, it’s time to reiterate it today.

 

For more information see Part II of this article.

titanium dioxide danger

Titanium Dioxide Proven to Negatively Affect Your Gut Microbiota

New research from the University of Sydney reveals titanium dioxides negatively impacts gut microbiota.  Many diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer are linked to healthy gut microbiome.

Although you might not ever intentionally consume titanium dioxide it is commonly found in processed foods, vitamins and many dietary supplements. Check the ingredients in your vitamins and supplements to find out whether you’ve been unknowingly consuming titanium dioxide.  This just-released research from Australia presents pivotal evidence on the effects of titanium dioxide on our gut microbiota. Co-author of the study Assoc. Professor Macia said, “this study investigated the effect of titanium dioxide … and how it promoted the formations of biofilms.” Biofilms are bacteria that stick together and often impenetrable by antibiotics and many drug therapies. Biofilms have been reported in diseases such as colorectal cancer.

Many vitamin and herb manufacturers use titanium dioxide as a filler or excipient in over the counter dietary supplements.  Everything from your melatonin for sleeplessness to your multi-vitamins may contain small amounts of this toxic chemical.  The Univ. of Sydney study showed even nanoparticles of titanium dioxide have a harmful effect on our gut bacteria.

One of the founding principals of Pacific Herbs and reason for launching this herbal business was to bring the purest and most potent herbs to consumers. Pacific Herbs products have never contained any unnecessary fillers or excipients, and would never add titanium dioxide under any conditions.  Check your bottles of supplements in your kitchen.  Find out the truth, hopefully, they don’t contain this nasty chemical. If they do, return them to the place of purchase and use that money to buy pure products that will improve your health not harm it.

More information here.

See University of Sydney study 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celestrol

Thunder God Vine – Celestrol May Help in Leptin Resistance

Celestrol is a naturally occurring chemical in plants like the Thunder God Vine. It has been researched extensively as an anti-obesity drug, because of it’s action in helping with leptin resistance. However, the molecular mechanism for this activity is unknown. This plant is one of the hundreds commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Celestrol is NOT the magic bullet for weight loss but one study done on rats. Leptin is the hormone that stimulates appetite. Celestrol may help reduce appetite safely. However, when Thunder God Vine is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, it is always used in a combination of herbs, or formula. This naturally occurring substance known as celestrol is only one of many chemicals in the Thunder God Vine. The supplements now on the market that have concentrated celestrol may not be a safe and effective way to take this chemical. It has no historical use and would never be used alone in one of the oldest herbal medicine traditions.

Newsweek Article

https://www.newsweek.com/traditional-chinese-medicine-thunder-vine-obesity-1104718

Diabetes Journal August 2018

https://www.newsweek.com/traditional-chinese-medicine-thunder-vine-obesity-1104718

 

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 osteoarthritisIf 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.

best chinese herbs turmeric ginseng

Turmeric is Not Just Spice Anymore

turmericTurmeric,  a common spice in India and an herb used extensively in Chinese Medicine is gaining popularity as the “Alzheimer’s preventing  herb”.   Dr. Oz,  Oprah’s favorite resident MD has  a short video on this ancient herb. (watch here) But what Dr. Oz doesn’t talk about  is the thousands years plus, of historical medicinal use of this “spice of life”.  Chinese herb pharmacopoeia  categorizes turmeric as a blood regulator.  What this means is turmeric’s  most  bio-active constituents called “curcuminoids”  have been documented as blood movers.  As such, it has a wide range of benefits one being an  excellent natural anti-inflammatory.  Studies show it benefits wound healing and helps speed the remodeling of skin, so it’s great for minor cuts and burns.

In regards to Alzheimer’s disease, turmeric (Curcuma Longa) along with it’s commonly substituted  Curcuma Aromatica from the same specie,  may slow the progression of this disease by  removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.  Turmeric, which, as with many Chinese herbs is seen in at least three different  species in the same genus, is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial and antispasmodic. Chinese Medicine has used turmeric for the treatment of depression  and for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  It reduces cholesterol, helps liver function and stimulates bile production which aids digestion. Turmeric has also been used successfully for  inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease. Turmeric should not be used by pregnant women,  it’s blood moving qualities make it contraindicated during pregnancy.

Now that Western researchers have conducted a number of well publicized studies on turmeric which prove scientifically it’s many benefits to health. Chinese Medicine is vindicated for what it’s known for generations. Hopefully one day Eastern and Western medicine will cease to be adversaries and form a partnership based on the integration of their knowledge and their  mutual goal of improving the health and well being of people everywhere. Until then, enjoy some turmeric in your food often  to keep your cholesterol in check and  to improve your overall health.  Food should be your first medicine.

I found this on the Mayo-Clinic web site, thought it might interest some people.

Can curcumin slow cancer growth?

Answer

from Timothy Moynihan, M.D.

Curcumin, a substance found in the spice turmeric, has long been used in Asian medicine to treat maladies ranging from heartburn to arthritis. Now some recent research suggests that curcumin may help prevent or treat cancer.

Curcumin is thought to have antioxidant properties, which means it may decrease swelling and inflammation. It’s being explored as a cancer treatment because inflammation appears to play a role in cancer.

Lab research suggests that curcumin may slow the spread of cancer and the growth of new tumor blood vessels. It may also cause cancer cells to die. In the lab, curcumin has been studied for use in treating or preventing colon, skin and breast cancers.

At this time, there isn’t enough evidence to recommend curcumin for preventing or treating cancer, but research is ongoing. As always, talk with your doctor before using any herbal supplement.

Buy Curcumin concentrated granules here!