Turmeric for Osteoarthritis, an Indian and Chinese Herbal Tradition

This chinese herbal remedy helps osteoarthritisIf you or someone you know suffers with arthritis, Turmeric is a Chinese herb you have probably heard about but not sure if it will work for you. Turmeric is what gives that yellow color to Indian food, this root has been used for centuries in Indian food and traditional remedies.  The yellow color, often in curry sauces comes from the active compounds known as curcuminoids, or mainly curcumin. 

A recent clinical trial in Italy studied the effects of curcumin on 50 patients with osteoarthritis in the knees.  The effects of supplementing ones diet with this Chinese herb was impressive.  The patients that took the turmeric supplement had a 16 fold decrease of inflammation markers in their blood.  If that wasn’t enough, these same patients were able to reduce their NSAID’s (Non-Sterodial Anti-Inflammatory) usage by 63%.   Remarkable, and these benefits occurred without unintended side effects.  Yes, that is the magic of mother nature and this data is consistent with other human studies done of various types of turmeric extracts. 

“This is great news for people who suffer from osteoarthritis and the physicians who treat them,” said Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit, American Botanical Council an independent herbal medicine research and education organization in Austin, Texas.

So, what is this Chinese herb and how does it work?  First and foremost,  the active ingredient curcumin has been extensively studied around the world.  It has been used for thousands of years in both Ayurveda Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It is the root of the turmeric plant  that is used for herbal remedies. Chinese herbal medicine has always classified turmeric as a blood moving herb, interestingly it also has properties to clear heat from the blood,  break up blood stasis and benefit the gall bladder and help jaundice, most likely because it stimulates bile production.

Turmeric’s popularity has been rising quickly as its reputation for treating chronic inflammatory diseases, some cancers and also Alzheimer’s disease get more media attention.  In 2009 sales of turmeric dietary supplements were up about 23% from the previous year.  This is understandable, who wouldn’t want a safe, effective herbal supplement  to reduce the suffering of osteoarthritis?  Pacific Herbs uses turmeric to a combination of herbs to move blood and reduce pain.  Many of these herbs have been historically used together to reduce pain and improve blood flow. The Pacific Herbs product is called Corydalis Pain Relief Herb Pack and can be found here.

Pharmaceutical labs have been trying to chemically copy the chemical bonds of curcumin for years but it never seems to have exactly the same effect.  When turmeric is used as a whole herb, all the important and beneficial compounds of the plant are present. Science has not yet been able to copy this mix exactly to mimic the same effects.

More studies on curcumin can be found on Pubmed.com and from Dr. Weill here.

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!

Build A Healthy Immune System

Build A Healthy Immune System By Eating These Foods Daily

You can build a healthy immune system, if you know the right foods to eat.  Of course vegetables are good for you but have you tried fermented veggies, you know, pickles?  Yes raw pickles are a great option (with no sugar added) for building a health immune system.  You only need a tablespoon of fermented foods everyday to boost your natural immunity and give you a natural energy boost.  Your immune system is located mostly in your gut. If you feed your digestive system, your gut, healthy foods, your gut bacteria in turn grow and thrive. When healthy gut bacteria also known as your microbiome thrive,  you thrive.  Learn which foods will help you stay healthy and avoid colds and flu’s all year long.

Fermented foods like saurekraut, kimchi, yogurt (without sugar), raw pickles, kefir, are a couple easy options.  As little as a tablespoon per day with help feed your gut bacteria exactly what they love to eat.  One word of caution, fermented foods are best in the raw form, not pasteurized.  Sometimes you have to shop with a discerning eye to find these raw foods. Check the labels carefully. Medicinal mushrooms are also excellent at building a healthy immune system.  These mushrooms are high in polysaccharides, the perfect food for your gut microbiome.

For more healthy tips and Chinese herbs to help keep you healthy check out are reishi mushroom, astragalus and another video on how to boost your immune system naturally.

What Are You Drinking

What Are You Drinking? Purified Water or Plastic Water?

Let’s talk about the #1 most important substance you need everyday, to stay alive and healthy.  Clean, filtered drinking water is essential for optimum health and wellness.

What kind of water are your drinking everyday?  Water with plastic chemicals like BPA & BPS known endocrine disruptors or pure filtered water with natural minerals?  Use BPA & BPS free plastic water bottles.

Your body knows the difference between clean water and water with plastic chemicals.

Healthy habits make a healthy body.  Be a water snob and only drink water that has been filtered today.  Be kind to the environment too as individual plastic water bottles are terrible for our oceans and landfills and of course, our bodies.

For more healthy tips and Chinese herbs to help keep you healthy check out How To Balance your Hormones Naturally link and video at https://www.pacherbs.com/balance-hormones-naturally/or visit https://PacHerbs.com

New Study Says Chinese Herbs May Aid Bone Marrow

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

Chinese cupping glasses

It is Called Cupping and it is Often Used in Chinese Medicine

Phelps Cupping Therapy Chinese MedicineThose red circles you’re seeing on Michael Phelps and other Olympic athletes is from a therapy called cupping.

Cupping is done to help the body move blood strongly to various areas to help healing.   When small round cups are used with suction or fire to remove oxygen in the cup, the suction is strong enough to rupture small capillaries just under the skin. The red circles are the result. This in different than a bruise.  Small capillaries are stimulated by the suction and bring additional blood supply to the affected area, all to promote healing.

Depending on the strength of the cupping the circle marks may last anywhere from 1 day to a week or more.

Cupping has been part of Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years.  Chinese medicine incorporates many modalities including Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, moxabustion, diet, exercise, sleep and life style stress.  Chinese medicine has many other therapies including tui na, qi gong and tai chi which are often practiced to promote optimum health.

 

A little history: Cupping originated in the Middle East roughly 4000 years ago, but wasn’t mentioned in Classical Chinese texts until about 300 AD, by physician Ge Hong.  The technique had spread all along the silk trade route, including Europe, Russia and Asia.  Lastly,  some say there is reference to cupping engraved on the great pyramids in Egypt.  Either way you view it,  this healing technique has been around an awfully long time.

 

Secrets of the Supplement Industry Revealed

Secrets of the Supplement Industry Revealed

Nature Made Vitamins issued a NATIONWIDE RECALL on its gummy vitamins!

Chinese herbs

They issued the recall fearing Salmonella and/or Staphylococcus Aureus contamination.

Do you know what’s really in your pills and capsules?

Find out at this FREE webinar.

“How To Choose A Quality Supplement” 
I give you the insider secrets the supplement companies will never tell you!

Nothing is taboo – fillers, testing myths – synthetic vitamins.  I’m letting the cat out of the bag and it’s completely FREE!

Healthy Smoothies

Quirky Habits Only Acupuncturists Do

Healthy Smoothies

What is this smoothie fruit doing on the stove, you ask?

Great question.  Let me explain.

As a Licensed Acupuncturists, I have to admit, I have developed some pretty quirky habits. Even after all these years, my family members still give odd stares when I do these things.

For example, I avoid ice water like the plague!

Once while attending a Chinese medicine conference in Austin, on a hot day, a group of us Acupuncturists sat down together to share lunch.  As the waiter arrived to pour freezing cold ice water into our glasses, each of us stopped the gentlemen and said, “Please, no ice!”.

Not the norm, right?

See, Acupuncturists spend a lot of time learning about the digestive system and cold foods and drinks are constricting to the body. Simply put, cold drinks hamper the digestive process. Our internal body temperature is hot by nature, and cooling it off suddenly with cold foods and cold drinks hampers digestion. By the third day of the conference we had trained the staff to bring room temperature water to our lunch table. However, they did give us odd stares as this practice seemed entirely nuts since the outside temperature was 90 degrees.

Besides reducing the cold foods we eat, Acupuncturists have a funny habit of looking at our tongues in a mirror whenever we have the opportunity. We do this because it is the only organ we can actually see (without surgical intervention).  The tongue can tell us a tremendous amount about what is going on inside our bodies. It can tell you if you body is deficient in some area, or excess in another. It can tell us whether we are digesting food well and tell us about various organ systems and even if we are overly stressed.

Another quirky habit I have, (which my family gets a total kick about teasing me about) is my morning smoothie. This reason is, I actually warm up the frozen fruit in a sauce pan rather than use it frozen. As I mentioned cold drinks and foods can damage the digestive system. In the morning, the first thing going into your body should be warm food or a warm drink. This helps jump start your digestive system.  Try it.  You will notice warm foods improve your metabolism and overall digestion. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is one of the most important things you can do to start your day.

Although I like experimenting with a variety of smoothie recipes this is one of my favorites.

Warm fruit in coconut milk (frozen blueberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple or any fruit of your choice)

3 Tbsp. Organic Kelp protein powder

1/3 banana

large handful of organic salad greens

Mix up in a strong blender and you good to go!

Drink at room temperature or even slightly warm.

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.  


Health Practitioners, Are We Really “Doing No Harm”?

It has been said, If you’re going to really succeed in your business,
you have to stand for something important. 

And the toughest part of all that?

Well, for me, truthfully all of it is tough.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Who am I to do this?”. . .(I’m still asking!)

“Who am I to help the sick, the aging, the dying and

set them on a path toward wellness?”

If you’ve ever asked this same question then please keep reading.

Continue reading “Health Practitioners, Are We Really “Doing No Harm”?”

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.