Turmeric, 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?
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.
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!
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
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.
Increase carotinoid protection i.e. improve gut absorption add HCI or pancreatic enzymes
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.
Chinese herb cough syrup – Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa
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 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.
Corydalis, a plant used in Chinese medicine has been found to effectively treat low level chronic pain says researchers at University of California, Irvine. Roots such as corydalis have been used for over one thousand years in Asia. “Our study reports the discovery of a new natural product that can relieve pain,” says Olivier Civelli, PhD, Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, Irvine, “This analgesic acts in animal assays against the three types of pain that afflict humans, including acute, inflammatory, and neuropathic or chronic pain.”
Corydalis is commonly used for headaches, menstrual pain, stomach pain and back pain. This Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) plant is one of the 13 herbs in PMS Relief Herb Pack made by Pacific Herbs. Interestingly, Corydalis is non-addicting and can be used long term safely and does not appear to lose its effectiveness the way that conventional opiate drugs do. The researchers found it a very effective option for those who suffer from low-level chronic pain.
Asian cultures have hundreds of studies on this Chinese herb root proving both safety and efficacy of using corydalis.
Corydalis is a great natural pain reliever! Pacific Herbs sell the highest quality Chinese herbs available and Corydalis is just one of the many Chinese herbs we stock. Corydalis is well known and used throughout Asia for headaches, backaches and menstrual cramps. Commonly used in combinations (or formulas) of herbs, Corydalis is found in both our PMS Relief Herb Pack and Cordalis Natural Pain Relief Herb Pack.
Please note: Corydalis Natural Pain Relief Herb Pack should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women or by anyone with an irregular heart rhythm. Although corydalis comes from a natural root it may have interactions with medications such as hypnotics, sedatives, cancer medications and anti-arrhythmic drugs.
Not every Chinese herb is right for everyone. Pacific Herbs encourages you to check with a licensed Acupuncturist trained in Chinese herbal medicine and discuss how acupuncture and a comprehensive herbal formula can improve your health and vitality.
View our Cordalis Natural Pain Relief Herb Pack here.
Find a licensed acupuncturist near you at: www.TryAcupuncture.com
UCLA researchers have just published a new study on Chinese herbs. They have been researching a Chinese herbal formula they called TSY-1 to increased telomerase activity in normal blood cells but decreased it in cancer cells.
This combination of Chinese herbs has been used in China for many years to treat aplastic anemia, a condition where the body stops producing enough new blood cells and myelodysplastic syndrome or preleukemia; both are associated with telomerase abnormality.
Telomerase is an enzyme responsible for the production of telomeres. The results indicate that telomerase-based treatments may play an important role in treating both blood cell deficiency and cancer.
The five-year study, led by UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member Dr. Jianyu Rao, measured the ability of TSY-1 to affect telomerase activity in cancer cells lines. Rao’s team used various approaches, including assays of telomerase activity, measurement of cell growth, and gene expression profiling of TSY-1 treated cells, to determine how it acts. The results showed that the target of TSY-1 activity is the TERT gene. TERT is the major regulatory component of telomerase activity.
The findings provide the foundation and support for further clinical studies to demonstrate the clinical benefit of the Chinese herbs in treatment for cancer and blood cell deficiencies.
The study is published online in the journal OncoTarget Link to PDF of study here
For Chinese herbs like the ones used in this study contact us at 877-818-9990 or info@PacHerbs.com
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.
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:
In Western medicine terminology this would be dysfunction in the endocrine system. Men with low testosterone and excess estrogen fall under this diagnosis.
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.
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.
In the business world when economic times get tough a business that weathers the storm is a true survivor. A standout, that must have incredibly popular products that make people come back for more even when unemployment is high and people are unwilling to spend. A business that survives must have proven itself worthy of providing great products at a fair price. Products that people simply can’t do without. When a business does this for 70 to 100 years or more we are all impressed. The stamina, the fortitude and adaptability to survive for so many years must mean this business has some incredible products which we all crave. Ford Motor Company and Kodak come to mind, some of the oldest American businesses.
But what do you think about a business that has survived providing the same products for 341 years? It is truly unheard of in America. We have only been an independent nation for 240 years and no single business has survived since revolutionary days. Yet, a Chinese herb pharmacy called Tong Ren Tong is still in business after 341 continuous years. They still sell Chinese herbs, just as they did in the year 1669. In fact, in Beijing they operate from the same location since 1702 !
They are a household name in China, Hong Kong and much of Asia. They operate pharmacies, drug retailers and various joint ventures throughout 13 countries in Asia. Wouldn’t you be a household name if you were 345 years old? The picture above is me standing in front of their Hong Kong store. (No pictures were allowed inside)
Tong Ren Tang was the supplier of medicinal Chinese herbs to the royals of the Qing Dynasty, from 1669 until their collapse 1911. They have succeed in weathering the storms of Chinese government takeovers, communism and now globalization and prescription medications. Tong Ren has been successful for hundreds of years because Chinese herbs work, it’s as simple as that. Chinese herbs worked 300 hundred years ago and they work today for all kinds of illnesses. Whether your buying ginseng or reishi mushrooms Tong Ren has the herbs and they know how to prescribe them for everything from the common cold to cancer.
When you have incredibly popular products that work well, are needed by the masses and provide real value at a fair price your business will survive regardless of the economic times and government takeovers. Chinese herbs have proven to be that commodity. Chinese herbs are medicine that continues to heal people, even centuries after they were first introduced.
On November 16, 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland, patient using medical cannabis addressed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) in hopes of creating new policies regarding cannabis worldwide.
“The current international policies on cannabis are outdated and are having a detrimental impact on patients in the United States and worldwide,” says Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and representative of IMCPC. “New policies should take into account new clinical research, product safety protocols for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution, and global patient needs.”
Millions of people worldwide are using legally using medical cannabis. Countries including Canada, Israel, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Croatia, Mexico, Uruguay, Romania, Germany, Jamaica, Australia, and Switzerland have medical cannabis programs and dozens of other countries are reviewing legislation.
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.