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.

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 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
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 osteoarthritis If 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!

natural remedies for flu and colds chinese herbs

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

Survive the Flu with Natural Remedies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

OK, let’s dive into THE LIST!

PREVENTATIVE LIST

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

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

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

Kimchi- Sauerkraut – fermented veggies – brined pickles.

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

Goat milk  or coconut yogurt or kefir

Cod Liver Oil – approx. 1 Tbls. daily

Vitamin D3 – 5000mg daily

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

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

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

Zinc

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

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

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

Puerh tea

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

Elderberry Tea

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

Bed #1 best medicine or comfy couch

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

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

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

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

Chicken Soup – homemade is best.

Bone Broth – get a high quality brand

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

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

Stay warm with extra clothing layers.

Electrolyte drinks or add liquid mineral drops to any drink.

Lingering Cough with Phlegm

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

Elderberry syrup.

Chinese herb cough syrup – Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa

Qing Qi Hua Tang Wan – Minor Blue Dragon formula

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

Pinapple juice for cough and Kiwi’s are excellent

 

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

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

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

Chinese Herbs in Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Chinese Herbs in Environmentally Friendly Packaging


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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

supplements for insomnia

Plants Medicinals vs Prescriptions to Promote Peaceful Sleep.. What’s the difference?

“My 88 year old husband was prescribed Ambien for insomnia.  After the first dose, he fell while getting up to go the  bathroom, gashed his head and had to go to the emergency room for  stitches.  A year later, I gave him a half-dose (again prescribed) and within minutes, his legs collapsed on him.  I had the hardest time getting him into bed. 

Ambien?  Never again!

Your experience reminds us that sleeping pills may pose a serious risk for older people who have to get up at night to go to the bathroom. This is a dilemma, because many seniors suffer from insomnia. Even over-the-counter sleep aids sleep aids that contain the sedating antihistamine diphenhydramine ( advil PM, Nytol, Sominex, Tylenol PM etc.) may also contribute to unsteadiness, urinary retention and similar host of side effects such as rebound  next day sleepiness and cognitive impairment.  Older people should be careful with sleeping pills like Ambien.  Other side effects may include reflux, next-day memory impairment, dry mouth and dizziness.”1

For those among us who experience  occasional  insomnia, you may have already tried a plethora of sleeping aids.   The story above illustrates some of the dangers of the prescriptions on the market.  Drugs such as the benzodiazepines approved as sleep aids, estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane), and temazepam (Restoril) have serious side effects.  As with all these medications  daytime sleepiness, cognitive impairment, dizziness, unsteadiness, sleep-walking, sleep-driving, memory lapses, and hallucinations have all been reported as a result of sleeping pills. If you have only mild insomnia,  relying to heavily on sleeping pills can cause dependency and  if abused may worsen your sleeping problems. 

There are several non-prescription drugs sold over the counter for sleeplessness which contain the antihistamine diphenhydramine.   Brands such as  Benadryl, Nytol, Tylenol PM, and Sominex,  which block the action of acetylcholine (anticholinergic effect) and are used as a sedative because they causes drowsiness.  However, these may  also contribute to unsteadiness and urinary retention.  There’s also a fairly new drug out called zolpide, a sedative,  it’s a inexpensive generic version of the drug Ambien. Generally it’s not prescribed for more than 10 days and is usually taken intermittently as needed to avoid problems with addiction or habituation, loss of effectiveness, and rebound phenomena. “The most common side effects of zolpidem are drowsiness, dizziness, and a “drugged” feeling, which probably reflect the action of the drug. Other side effects include confusion, insomnia, euphoria, ataxia (balance problems), and visual changes.” 1

The difference between  drugs and taking an herbal medicinal are both the actions and side effects.  Addiction is not a concern with natural medicinals. 

Plants used in Chinese herbal medicine have been clinically tested  and studies throughout  Asia for the past 50 plus years.  Their usage goes back to 2nd century. One such medicinal  known to have a soothing  and calming effect on the body and promote sleep is  Spiny jujube or (zizyrus spinosae semen).  Spiny jujube has been well documented for use when occasional insomnia is an issue.  One study on rats showed spinosae significantly increased the rate of sleep onset and exhibited a synergistic effect with 5-HTP.2   “These results suggest that spiny jujube potentiated pentobarbital-induced sleep via a serotonergic mechanism.”  Translation, you sleep without being put into a drug induced state.  This herb and others are the answer to a peaceful nights sleep, without  all the side effects of  prescription or OTC drugs.

References:

1. http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new029research.html

2.  Zolpidem   http://www.medicinenet.com/zolpidem/article.htm

3.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

4.    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16755056?ordinalpos=9&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

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6. http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new029research.html