How Long Can You Last? The Test of Time

Chinese herbs Tong Ren TongIn 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.  


Cannabis Talk at WHO Meeting, Worldwide Legal Goals

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.

See our Cannanabidiol Oil here

Continue reading “Cannabis Talk at WHO Meeting, Worldwide Legal Goals”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garcina Cambogia is Not Chinese Medicine

fat in pinkThere is no SKINNY PILL!      Sorry if this shocks you.
If you are shocked by the above sentence, you may also be surprised to learn

Garcina Cambogia is NOT Chinese Medicine!

Shocking?

I hope you don’t think Chinese Herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a magic
formula for weight loss. It can certainly help, but there is no magic pill.

Don’t waste your money on Garcinia cambogia.

Continue reading “Garcina Cambogia is Not Chinese Medicine”

Summer Kickoff Sale – 20% Off

Chinese herbal remedies

Pacific Herbs is celebrating summer

with a 72 hour – 20% OFF sale. (code: summer15)

 

Pacific Herbs Logo

Pacific Herbs has BIG NEWS!


We’re excited to share all our BIG NEWS.

 

During my recent trip to China I was lucky enough to be introduced

 

to an incredible Chinese doctor who saw a need for tested, pure, authentic

Chinese herbal medicine.  This incredible woman has won many distinguished awards

from the Chinese government and medical associations.

 

In the picture below I’m standing next to  Dr. Zhou.

I was incredibly honored and inspired to meet a revolutionary woman who’s DONE IT!

From a 12 year old farm worker with little or no education, to a distinguished Medical Doctor

and Chairman of the Board.

CEO TianJiang

Dr. Zhou Jialin’s dreamed this new Chinese herb pharmaceutical factory into existence. Her dream began 30 years ago and science and technology has made it a reality. The computer testing equipment alone costs millions.  I can honestly say I was blown away!  video here

Dr. Jialin’s integrity to produce the safest, cleanest herbal extracts has been vital to her success.
There is so much to tell, I hardly know where to begin. Our first video tour is ready. Watch it here!

You can see a pictures of the brand new, state-of-the-art facility on the

Pacific Herbs facebook page and at PacHerbs.com

She is a shining example of how a small dream can become a reality, helping millions.

She is truly an inspiration to us all, to BECOME our dreams and revolutionize health care.

 

Our other EXCITING announcements: New iSleep packaging has

arrived packed with tasty granules from TianJiang Pharmaceutical

and no unnecessary fillers.  Try it today!

(Same great taste with the same efficacy and formula as our previous package.)

Thank you for indulging me in a long news update.

 

Please feel free to pick up the phone if you have any questions on safe use of herbs.

 

Call me, I offer phone consults Noon- 5 PST  –  877-818-9990

 

Looking forward to helping you BE WELL and enjoy the summer.

Cathy Signature

Cathy Margolin L.Ac., Dipl. OM  – Founder of Pacific Herbs

Pacific Herbs Logo
P.S. Connect with us on Instagram: pacificherbs

P.S.S. Sale code is:  summer15   (no caps – no spaces) 

 

Women , You Can Balance Those Hormones

I see so many women struggling with hormonal balance today.  From age 15 to age 80 it seems everyone has symptoms. Some patients are breast cancer survivors others are dealing with menopause symptoms. Hormonal imbalances are not always just PMS & hot flashes, some of my patients have cold hands, irritability, mood swings, pre-menopausal bone fractures, sluggish metabolism (fatigue), thyroid dysfunction, fibrocystic breasts, anxiety, fibroids, irregular menstrual cycles, and /or insomnia to name just a few?

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

So how does someone become “estrogen dominant” and how does estrogen effect our overall health? Understanding the causes requires first a look at the most common places we find estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen (E1) is produced mainly in the ovaries. Progesterone is produced mainly from the outside lining of a mature egg released from the ovaries. Our modern world has bio-mimicking hormone disruptor’s just about everywhere, the water we drink, the food we eat, the buildings we live in. Estrogen can also become a dominant hormone through the exposure to xeno-estrogens (chemicals that act on estrogen hormone receptors).

Xeno-estrogens are known endocrine disrupting chemicals and can be found in:

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

 

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

 Lifestyle changes will help the toxic overload of estrogen but, unfortunately this is often not enough to bring the body back into balance.  Considerations these tips for help with reducing your toxic estrogen load.

Creating a safer estrogen by-product or metabolite should be part of the overall detoxification plan.

1. Chinese herbs formula Jia Wei Xiao Yao San AKA Relax Herb Pack – This popular Chinese herb formula sold worldwide for stress and anxiety outsells all other Chinese formulas, year after year. Stress dramatically affects liver function through continual overproduction of cortisol. When the body over produces cortisol, estrogen dominance can flourish. Help the liver with stress and the downstream effects will improve. In Chinese medicine we always treat the liver first when there are signs of stress and estrogen dominance.

2.  Methionine – This supplement provides sulfur (not the same as sulfa drugs) and acts as a cellular cleanser. It literally donates methyl groups for the biochemical reaction that rids you of poisons and harmful estrogen by-products. Foods can also donate methyl groups a few good ones are beets, legumes, eggs, broccoli, leafy greens, nuts and sunflower seeds.

3. Methylcobalamin – A form of B12, this supplement also provides a “methyl” group which helps the estrogen detoxification process. Keep in minds, antacids, some diabetes medications, certain cholesterol binding medicines and alcohol can wipe out your supply of methylcobalamin.

4.  Calcium D-Glucarate – This is not the same as plain calcium. Toxins must combine with water-soluble substances to leave your body. This supplement combines with estrogen to help move it out.

5. Reishi Mushroom  – Reishi is high in poly-saccharides which feed the body’s microbiome, which, in turn, help your metabolism including liver metabolism.  Since your liver is your main detoxification organ, you need to do everything possible to keep it working optimally. Get into the habit of feeding your body foods that help every organ perform better. (Check out organic coffee & tea with reishi here)

6.  Fermented foods such as miso soup, tempeh, kombucha, fermented vegetables i.e. pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi.

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

References:

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

Chocolate Benefits More Than Our Taste Buds

Chocolate can be irresistible!  Isn’t it ironic that chocolate has come to symbolize Valentine’s Day, a day we celebrate the heart, and chocolate is surprisingly beneficial for our hearts?    You may have heard studies say dark chocolate has flavanol which has attracted major interest as a non pharmaceutical option for high blood pressure.

The cacao bean (the source of all chocolate) is a natural remedy which has been used since ancient times for it’s  health benefits.  Only in recent years do we have the scientific research to support what so many people knew through the ages.  Native Aztec and Mayan people ate cacao nibs to relieve depression, help with asthma and some say they used it as a powerful aphrodisiac.  Chocoholic’s worldwide can rejoice now that studies prove the effects on lowering blood pressure and the beneficial antioxidants cacao contains. In fact, greater antioxidant capacity than red wine and blueberries, walnuts or artichokes according to the USDA.

The polyphenol known as flavanols in cocoa can help promote dilation of blood vessels and thereby reduce hypertension. The Cochrane International database  after investigating the effect of chocolate or cocoa on systolic an diastolic blood pressure concluded that chocolate faired better than a placebo at lowering blood pressure.

The best cacao is that which is minimally processed, therefore retaining the nutritional power which can be diminished through heat and processing.  As with Chinese herbs, chocolate is best unadulterated.  The fewer the fillers the better. Steer clear of milk chocolate and white chocolates. P.S. Cocoa butter doesn’t increase blood cholesterol, so eat up.

Can Chinese Medicine Heal Your Gut?

Heal Your Gut with Chinese MedicineUsing traditional Chinese Medicine to heal gut issues

Our rapidly changing world is challenging our health, in particular our digestive health. In this era of a degrading food supply, systemic inflammation and overuse of drugs (i.e. antibiotics), the landscape of our guts has been altered. As a result of antibiotic overuse, superbugs (a.k.a. deadly antibiotic resistant bacteria) are on the rise. The question is, can we heal our gut and reverse the damage already done? A solution you may not have considered is Acupuncture and Eastern /Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A Licensed Acupuncturist/Chinese Medicine doctor is well trained to help you repair and improve your digestive health and gut bacteria.

The real definition of Alternative Medicine:

Never before in history have we had to overcome the effects of man-made drugs in the quantities we are seeing today. Would you believe, this is not the first time in history that doctors needed to find a cure for the gut? A cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine is a healthy digestive tract. Solutions for digestive health were pondered over 800 years ago when many TCM books and theories were first written on the importance of the stomach, pancreas and the entire digestive system. Chinese /Eastern medicine approach is very different than the Western medicine approach. Eastern medicine relies upon several holistic healing methods including healing cuisine, herbs and acupuncture and lifestyle modifications. Licensed Acupuncturists in the U.S. are trained in these theories and can help you get your gut back on track.

With the advent of the worldwide Microbiome Project science is confirming microscopic bacterial colonies living in our digestive tract have important jobs for both our physical and mental well being. Chinese/Eastern medicine has always known if we nourish our gut, we in turn nourish ourselves. Today we are at a crossroad, we can no longer ignore our guts. Because, “for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have existed in a peaceful symbiosis that is responsible for the health and equilibrium of our body. Now, this invisible Eden is being irrevocably damaged by some of our most revered medical advances—antibiotics—threatening the extinction of our irreplaceable microbes with terrible health consequences. “ 1

Chinese/Eastern medicine teaches the connection between a healthy gut and a healthy body. Here are 10 reasons why a Licensed Acupuncturist/Doctor of Oriental Medicine is the best health practitioner to help you heal your gut.

1. A Licensed Acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine will counsel and treat your particular health challenge with several modalities, foods, acupuncture treatments, herbs and counseling. (Check that your Acupuncturist is comprehensively trained and received a Masters or Doctorate degree in Oriental Medicine or Chinese Medicine, not just a few weekend courses.)

2. Acupuncture treatments received quarterly can improve your general health and digestive health by strengthening your spleen and stomach channels. (In Western medicine terms this is your digestive system.) The World Health Organization has approved acupuncture treatments for worldwide use and throughout Asia acupuncture is covered by national health insurance policies. The U.S. is lagging behind but quickly catching up, as California Insurance providers are now mandated to cover acupuncture treatments.

3. Acupuncture treatments including ear protocols can help reduce food cravings. This is especially important since processed foods are the most commonly craved foods. Processed foods and supplements contain emulsifiers which are harmful to your gut. Limiting ingredients commonly called “lecithin” derived from soy (likely GMO), Datem, (found in commercial breads) Calcium propionate, Cmc and polysorbate 80, is a first step at repairing gut absorption problems. 2

4. An Acupuncturist will tell you to avoid antibacterial hand sanitizing products. Eastern medicine recognizes bacterial diversity is good. There are safe, natural cleaning products for your body and surroundings. (Ok, you can do this on your own but it took an Acupuncturist to tell you this and get your attention on this subject.)

5. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbal remedies can boost your immune system and reduce or eliminate the need for prescription antibiotics.

6. An Acupuncturist will tell you to avoid meat fed antibiotics. (Again, possible without an Acupuncturist, but more importantly, a Licensed Acupuncturist is trained in nutrition and can help you look at your food journal and together you can create a healthy eating plan.)

7. Acupuncturists can teach you which Pre-biotics foods to eat every day and counsel you on what foods are right for your body. Prebiotics foods are commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and food is medicine. Prebiotics enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria and can be found in fermented foods such as kimichi, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, miso and other fermented foods. A daily sampling of new live bacteria from fermented foods makes your gut community more adaptable. (Hint, Eastern medicine doctors are trained to know this stuff.)

8. Ask an Acupuncturist if Chinese herbs can help you. There are many traditional herbs used throughout Asia and Chinese/Eastern medicine to support healthy gut bacteria. For example;
Astragalus (also known as Huang Qi) is an extremely powerful herb used alone or in formulas. Huang Qi’s high polysaccharides content is fantastic at improving overall immune health and the growth of healthy bacteria.3
Other beneficial herbs for the spleen and stomach channels are codonopsis (dangshen), atractylodes (bai zhu), Chinese angelica (dang gui) dioscorea (shan yao), lotus seed (lianzi), roasted ginger (paojiang), longan (long yan rou) and baked licorice (zhi gan cao). 4

9. A Licensed Acupuncturist, trained in herbs will know which Chinese herb formula can best help you. Treating a compromised or weak digestion with herbs should be done by only individuals who are Licensed professionals. Look for a Licensed Acupuncturist and/ or Oriental Medicine Doctor’s (DOM) trained in herbs to prescribe a custom or patent herbal blend such as the following. Oneherbal combinations for a compromised gut is Si Jun Zi Tang also known as Four Gentleman Decoction.

 

As we learn more about our gut bacteria and the origins of our immune systems we must explore all the healing options. Using traditional chinese medicine to heal gut problems can be a valid and effective solution. In today’s world we can no longer ignore the effects of superbugs, toxic foods and toxic lifestyles. Licensed Acupuncturists / DOM can help you fortify your overall health and vitality. Many insurance plans cover acupuncture visits and in California insurance companies are required to cover Licensed Acupuncturists. Don’t wait another day to improve your overall health and vitality. TCM is one of the world’s oldest systems of medicine, is proven effective and has treatment protocols for today’s biggest health challenges.

 

References:

1. Blaser, M. 2014 Missing Microbes, How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, Henry Holt and Co. April 2014

2. Food Quality & Safety magazine, Re-Evaluating Additives on the GRAS List by Maybelle Cowan-Lincoln April/May 2013

3. Terry Bone, Principals and Practice of Phototherapy, Modern Herbal Medicine 2nd Edition Elsevier 2013 pg. 381-389

4. Institute For Traditional Medicine, http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/spleen.htm

“Some of My Best Friends are Germs”. The New York Times Magazine May 15, 2013. Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Stanford Microbiologist.

Chinese Herb Prices Are Skyrocketing

The global Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) industry has naturally felt the impact of inflation throughout past years; in 2010, however, herbs used widely in TCM experienced much higher price increases than usual. The rate of inflation in China is now at its highest level in over 2 years,1 and the country’s various enterprises, including its market for herbs, are feeling the brunt of this situation. For example, TCM products sold in 2010 in China—especially in Northern and Eastern Chinese cities, such as Anguo and Shanghai—most of which were medicinal herbs, doubled in price (on average).1-3 Prices of certain ingredients and particularly popular herbs have risen considerably higher.1-7

Many factors are being blamed for the elevated prices, including cogent market demand, the Yuan’s increasing strength, weather/climate changes, herbs being cultivated more than wild collected, general economic proceedings, recent public health crises, and herbal supply shortages.1-7 Approximately 85% of the total amount of Chinese traditional medicines in the market are said to have seen surges in price, according to various online reports referencing a recent pronouncement by the China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CATCM).3,4 Other reports by CATCM found that the cost of over 25% of herbal medicines at least doubled in the second half of 2010,2 and that some raw herbal materials and finished herbal medicine products have supposedly seen price spikes as steep as 700% over the past year.3

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-12172173

Touring in Taiwan? Stop to See A Chinese Herbal Medicine Factory

A New Chinese Herb Factory in Taiwan, Taiwan is gaining popularity with tourists. 

 

Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai, second left, listens on Sunday to a man telling the story of traditional Chinese medicine at a tourist factory that opened in the Guantian District’s Industrial Park.

Photo: Yang Chin-cheng, Taipei Times

Herbal medicine is for everyday life, not just for sickness, staff at a Chinese medicinal herb tourist factory said as it opened in Greater Tainan’s Guantian District Industrial Area on Sunday.

Tainan Mayor William Lai said Taiwanese are health-conscious and understand that taking medicinal herbs, even when healthy, is good for the body as a whole.

The Tian Yi factory combines relaxation, food and Chinese medicinal knowledge, specializing in knowledge of how Chinese medicine can be incorporated into everyday life.

General manager Chen Hui-chua said the new Chinese medicinal tourist factory is the third among 14 tourist factories in the municipality.

The factory has its roots in a renowned and venerated Chinese medicinal brand that was better at making medicine than carrying out marketing, Chen said, adding that it was the city’s hope that the factory could help bridge tradition-steeped Chinese medicine with a health-conscious modern world.

“Even if the tastes of Chinese medicine do not agree with everyone, we hope that healthy drinks and teas will eventually be embraced by the younger generation,” Chen said.

The factory is divided into four sections, including a gallery illustrating the development of Chinese medicine over the past 5,000 years, as well as the personal stories of traditional Chinese medicine doctors of old, Chen added.

“There is also an display that explains the process of making Chinese medicine and common concepts of when to use them” Chen said.

“There is a section where tourists can experience what it felt like to be a traditional medicine doctor in the old days,” she said.

“There is also a dining area, where people can try meals that incorporate Chinese medicines,” Chen added.

The meals are a joint effort by the factory and the National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, she said.

A New Chinese Herb For Breast Cancer Chemotherapy

Recent research has isolated a compound from the Chinese herb called Dichroa febrifuga or Chang Shan, we in a laboratory setting has been used successfully to treat breast cancer cells.   The study lead researcher Mei Ling Jin show the compound known as halofuginone caused the breast cancer cells to die and inhibited the growth of  new cancer cells.   

The results of the study mean halofuginone is a very promising chemotherapy for breast cancer patients. 

The study was published in the International Journal of Oncology.

Reference:  Halofuginone induces the apoptosis of breast cancer cells and inhibits migration via down regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9. Mei Ling Jin, Sun Young Park, Young Hun Kim, Geuntae Park, Sang Joon Lee Department of Microbiology, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Republic of Korea. International Journal of Oncology (Impact Factor: 2.66). 10/2013; DOI:10.3892/ijo.2013.2157 Source: PubMed

‘Tis the Season for Chinese Herbs as Food

Goji berries a famous Chinese herb     Traditional Chinese Medicine theory believes that each season has a different energy to it, and as such, we should replicate the energy of that season in order to maintain balance within ourselves. During this season, as our responsibilities grow and we find ourselves searching for more energy, protection for our immune system should be at the top of our lists.  One way to do this and improve digestion is with a few common Chinese herbs.  There are a large number of herbs that can be easily found in your local grocery stores. Here are three to get you started.

 

Gou qi zi, more commonly known as goji berries, has become a staple at most local grocery stores, and in many different trail mixes. This potent Chinese herb has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, (TCM) and has been used as a remedy for everything from anemia to increasing immunity. It’s both high in Vitamin C and also contains many antioxidants. Including them in your diet is simple – sprinkle them on your cereal in lieu of a sweetener, or have them as a snack in the afternoon when you’re looking to increase your energy. Studies are also beginning to suggest that they can even help to inhibit cancer growth and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimers.

 

Sheng jiang, more commonly known as fresh ginger, is a savior for anyone who has ever experienced nausea, an upset stomach due to overeating, or the onset of a cold. Fresh ginger is used in a significant number of Chinese herbal formulas and is known for its ability to simultaneously stimulate the appetite and to calm the stomach. It is believed to ease nausea by increasing digestive fluids while absorbing and neutralizing toxins and stomach acid. Add several slices of ginger to water and bring it to a boil for tea, or even include it in your favorite chicken soup recipe at the first signs of sneezing or coughing.

 

Rou gui, more commonly known as cinnamon bark, not only marks the holiday season but can also aid in keeping you warm as the temperatures drop. It’s an excellent way to tonify your Kidney energy as well, which serves as a storehouse of energy for your entire system. Use it as a garnish to your hot chocolate or apple cider, or even include it in your holiday snack mix.

 

The beauty of Chinese Herbal Medicine is that even if we can’t slow our schedules to accommodate the downturn of activity reflected in the natural world around us, we can look to the natural world to provide us with support as we move through this time of year.