A recent study in Great Britain queried people as to why they went to medical herbalists, a category of herbalists who have training much like Registered Herbalists of the American Herbalists Guild, people with the NCCAOM Oriental Medicine Diplomate designation or other trained herbalists. Most of the patients had not initially sought out herbalists, but Continue reading People Use Herbalism Because It Works Better
This is the season of holiday meals and parties, when indigestion raises its ugly head. There are a variety of causes and patterns, so not everyone will fit the same remedies. If you tend to feel excessive heat in your stomach and upward rising energy, go with cooling herbs like peppermint, gentian and artichoke leaf. If your stomach feels cold, unable to mount the fire to digest, Continue reading Natural Remedies for Indigestion
Adding herbs to lifestyle changes doubles the likelihood of lowering blood sugar in people with metabolic syndrome and according to the study will prevent progress to Type 2 diabetes unlike lifestyle changes alone. Three proprietary Chinese formulas included Jiangtang Bushen, Xiaoke huaya and Tang Kang yin. The ingredients were not specified but when I searched Pub Med I found that the lead researcher has done positive research on American ginseng saponins, puerarins from kudzu, glucosides from bai shao and berberine from coptis for the problem. Herbs such as rhemannia, jiaogulan and mai men dong are also traditionally used for diabetes, depending upon the Chinese medicine pattern. And I suggest that Continue reading Chinese Herbal Formulas May Prevent Diabetes
Hypertension is a silent disease which can be lethal. An estimated 60 million Americans suffer from the disease. It causes strokes, heart attacks,heart failure, kidney disease, arterial aneurysm and varicosities, headaches, vision problems and has many secondary effects.
In 90-95% of high blood pressure, the American Heart Association says there is no one identifiable cause. This kind of high blood pressure is called primary hypertension or essential hypertension. It is usually a combination of factors, such as: Continue reading Herbs and Hypertension
This study only looks at one mechanism, but it is quite interesting, and found that Chinese herbal patents (OTC herbal formulas, confusingly referred to as “TCMs”) helped produce nitric oxide to widen blood vessels. All of the herbal patents tested reveal nitric oxide bioactivity. Many of the TCM extracts contain a nitrite reductase activity greater by 1000 times that of biological tissues.
Scientists help explain effects of ancient Chinese herbal formulas on heart health
New research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston suggests that ancient Chinese herbal formulas used primarily for cardiovascular indications including heart disease may produce large amounts of artery-widening nitric oxide. Findings of the preclinical study by scientists in the university’s Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM) appear in the Sept. 15 print issue of the journal Free Radical Biology & Medicine. Continue reading How Chinese Herbs Help the Heart
Each month herbalists are encouraged to submit articles to the Herbal Blog Parties, hosted by various herbalists. The August party had as its theme sweet ways to use herbs, including herbal honey’s, glycerites, elixirs, electuaries, melomels and the like. If you need definitions, go down to Kiva Rose’s article which has an overview.
While we generally want to keep sugars low in our diet, there are legitimate uses for sweet herbs. Sugar in its various forms is used in a variety of traditional medicines. In Chinese medicine it strengthens the Spleen/pancreas function (in judicious quantities) and formulas often use dates, honey, longan fruit, or licorice to engage the digestive function. Ayurveda makes medicinal honey and ghee preparations like Chayawanprash. Continue reading The Sweet Herbal Blog Party
Turmeric is an extraordinary herb. An orangey-yellow root that looks something like a riotous ginger, turmeric is beloved in Indian culture for its abilities to soothe the GI tract, reduce inflammation, stop bleeding and fight infection. In China, huang jian “yellow ginger” is used to move qi and blood and to stop internal wind, which means it is a great circulatory tonic while being antispasmodic, valuable properties for arthritis indeed!
By itself turmeric is bitter, dry, spicy, and warming. Dry turmeric is more warming and somewhat less aromatic than the fresh root that I find in Indian grocery stores but both are strongly anti-inflammatory and I find tinctures made with dried root to be stronger. Continue reading Turmeric, Sweet Turmeric
Only veterinary acupuncturists can work on animals, but acupuncture works on seizures in both people and animals. In fact Chinese Medicine is very good on neurological problems.
There are many causes for seizures in animals. The overall incidence of seizures in dogs is estimated at 1 percent, but goes up to 15-20 percent in purebred dogs. Continue reading Chinese Medicine Treats Seizures in Dogs
I was listening to Jeffrey Yuen speak about how heat turns into fire toxins unless the body damps it down, and it suddenly hit me why people with long term heating emotions might eat the way they do.
In Chinese medicine, the seven emotions are considered causes of disease. If you are feeling chronically stressed or anxious, it can cause a condition of internal heat in the body. Heat can turn into fire, which can harass the heart, causing anger or mental illness, depending upon the situation. Fire, if unaddressed, can turn to fire toxin, a truly toxic situation that can lead to abscesses, ulcerations and even cancers.
What does the body do to prevent this? Fire can be cooled, but the human body lacks internal refrigeration. So the more likely response is to dampen the fire with fluids. Fluids in the body are generated primarily by food and drink.
And what kinds of foods do we look for when we eat emotionally? Sweets, breads, chocolate, ice cream, perhaps with a glass of milk- all the foods that tend to generate dampness when consumed. We rarely have cravings for bell peppers or mustard greens or shitake mushrooms when we are emotionally spent.
Turmeric has been used as a major anti-inflammatory herb, and is considered a panacea herb in Ayurveda. Now research, both in vitro and in vivo, shows that it may have another benefit. The May, 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition reported the discovery of researchers at Tufts University in Boston that that mice given curcumin experienced a reduction in the formation of fat tissue and the blood vessels that feed it. Curcumin is the major polyphenol in the spice turmeric.
Fatty liver is now recognized as the most common cause of abnormal liver function tests in the western world. Around one in five persons in the USA has a fatty liver and it is poised to be as big a disease as diabetes. Fatty liver is usually associated with abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Fatty liver may be associated with or may lead to inflammation of the liver. This can cause scarring and hardening of the liver. When scarring becomes extensive, it is called cirrhosis, and this is a very serious condition which can lead to liver failure. Continue reading What is Fatty Liver and How Can Chinese Medicine Help?
We all know people who push themselves until they collapse with a flu, or who suddenly come down with a disease when faced with a wedding where they would come face to face with an ex. We have seen people with chronic stress develop autoimmune disease or chronic fatigue. Perhaps disease is the body’s way of dealing with stresses that might otherwise overwhelm it. Perhaps we should reconsider the adaptive value of disease.
In febrile disease we should look at the value of fever and how it can help. In children over one year of age, fever has the value of increasing the temperature to fight the pathogens, making the child tired enough to get sleep and to challenge the immune system and strengthen it. So what should the strategy be? Continue reading Darwinian Disease: What is the Adaptive Value of Illness?
The Shenzhou Vll spacecraft successfully lifted off from China carrying traditional Chinese herbal medicine to prevent the astronauts (taikonauts) from getting motion sickness.
Taikong Yangxin, or “space heart-nourishing” capsules, are “made of more than 10 types of Chinese herbs and have proven to be effective in improving the astronaut’s cardiovascular condition,” according to Li Yongzhi, director of the medical arm of the country’s astronaut training centre.
She told Xinhua News Agency that TCM pills are superior to western motion sickness cures because they do not have side-effects. The herbs will be taken in granule form which can be diluted with water and taken to treat motion sickness during the space flight.
Astronauts Yang Liwei, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng, who flew in 2003 and 2005, took the herbal medicines before and after their spaceflight but not during it.
Li said the pills on the spacecraft will be particularly useful for the two astronauts who are scheduled to carry out the extra-vehicular activities. “The medicine will boost their physical conditions and improve their adaptability in an extreme environment,” she said.
Li said that the herbal pills, which have previously been found effective in rats, will be mass-produced for market sales in the future. Ingredients have not been disclosed but it is likely that they contain ginger and Chinese hawthorn.