Welcome to Acupuncture and Herbs by Karen Vaughan, L.Ac., Registered Herbalist (AHG)
Karen VaughanKaren Vaughan Acupuncture and Herbs253 Garfield Pl Apt 1RBrooklyn
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I have been concerned about electromagnetic radiation for some time, long before the cell towers and cordless phones invaded our lives. I live in an old house with unshielded wiring. I have been using MRET technology and tubular cell phone headsets to shield my family and clients.
I have been writing for some time about the positive benefits of coffee. Coffee is not caffeine, it is a complex aqueous herbal beverage with flavanoids, bitters, chlorogenic acid, trigonelline, polysaccharides, ogliosaccharides, essential oils, 5% of the daily magnesium and 2% of the daily potassium needs, plus vitamin E and niacin. There is also caffeine, which varies range from 58 to 75 mg in a typical espresso, and from 70 to 130 mg in a small coffee. In boiled but Continue reading…
After all kinds of abdominal surgery, cesarean sections, or prostate surgery. constipation can be a painful and debilitating side effect, resulting in vomiting, nausea, abdominal bloating, lack of appetite and general discomfort. It can last for a week or more, although it should resolve in a few days. Many patients consider it more troublesome Continue reading…
The number one cause of death in the US is medicinal drugs, accounting for approximately 784,000 deaths anually. In-hospital adverse reactions to properly prescribed medicines is 2.2 million per year. So why is our instinct to pop a pill when there are physical methods like acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic, osteopathy and massage that may be less dangerous, cheaper and more effective?
December 7th 2005 – In Praise of Physical Medicine
Copyright Karen S. Vaughan, L.Ac., MSTOM
We live in a country where the number one cause of death is medicinal drugs, accounting for approximately 784,000 deaths anually. In-hospital adverse reactions to properly prescribed medicines is 2.2 million per year. Dr. Richard Besser of the CDC Continue reading…
I was interviewed recently on the subject of hangover prevention and care in Well and Good, NYC. The best way of course is to not drink too much. But read the article here.
Four ways to fight holiday hangovers–according to an acupuncturist
Park Slope acupuncturist and herbalist Karen Vaughan isn’t immune to holiday excess. She loves to make her own eggnog and her calendar is chock-a-block with holiday parties, but Vaughan, who has a Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine, knows better than most how to navigate through this season of alcoholic merriment without a long-running hangover.
It concerns me when people say that they take kava kava or valerian each night to get to sleep. Although the herbs are very useful and probably more attuned to human biology than synthetic chemicals, the fact remains that it is not healthy to drug yourself to sleep each night, even herbally. Occasionally, to get over the rocky parts of life, fine. But we know that pharmaceutical sleeping medication interferes with the dream states and the quantity of REM sleep. While the herbs are more benign, I would be surprised if they did not Continue reading…
Pain can be caused by physical or emotional blockages to the free flow of blood and energy. Gate theory says that a little pain can block out larger amounts of pain.
July 26th 2006 – Copyright by Karen S. Vaughan.
There are different nonpharmaceutical ways to deal with the pain.
According to gate theory, a little pain drives out a larger pain, up to a certain threshold. So for instance I might drive my index fingernail into my thumb when pain starts to get too bad. Continue reading…
Baking soda alkalizes the body and may prevent disease:
“In 1918 and 1919 while fighting the ‘Flu’ with the U. S. Public Health Service it was brought to my attention that rarely any one who had been thoroughly alkalinized with bicarbonate of soda contracted the disease, and those who did contract it, if alkalinized early, would invariably have mild attacks.”
The article below by Mark Sirius, OMD who has written a book on sodium bicarbonate, is drawn Continue reading…
In a time of darkness and cold, we especially appreciate the power of a small flame. As I sit here in the evening watching the flicker of candlelight, the bitter cold seems farther away. The waning moon yields little light out my Continue reading…
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…
“Blinded by the fruit, we often ignore the full range of a plant’s possibilities. We’re never more than a stone’s throw away from a cup of coffee, yet few of us have ever tasted amertassa or kuti, the green and black equivalents of coffee leaf tea. Or kish’r, the drink made from the coffee cherry itself. Nor have we simply eaten the coffee cherry, which some say has flavors of watermelon and jasmine.”
Endometriosis is a painful condition where the tissue normally inside of the womb, the endometrium, is found in other parts of the body. The endometrial cells build up blood for pregnancy, which is shed during menstruation. However if this tissue is found outside of the womb, it can cause bleeding in areas where blood is not supposed to be shed and it can cause major pain and inflammation. Typically Continue reading…
This is the time of year when we see a lot of sinusitis. There are several causes, and many things that can get rid of the condition.
It helps to understand how sinuses work. The sinuses form a kind of cup that serves to lubricate our respiratory tract. Sinuses work like an overflowing teacup, filling with a thin liquid that moves up with the cillary action of small hair like cells and drips down your nose and throat, lubricating the tissue and providing mucus, potentially a designer antibiotic fluid that can fight off infection, prevent abrasion and protect tissues. The problem comes when the fluid is cooked down and is too thick to flow. This is considered pathological Phlegm in Chinese medicine. The problem isn’t usually that you make too much mucus, it is that the mucus has cooked down and exerts pressure on your sinuses, nasal tract and lungs. Continue reading…
For vets and others in NYC, CRREW run a clinic by donation that treats PTSD with ear acupuncture. It is on the Lower East Side at the University Settlement House, 184 Eldridge Street (corner of Rivington and Eldridge streets) on Wednesdays at 5:40-7:00 in the conference room. The F train Second Avenue stop is closest to University Settlement House.
Wendy Henry and I run the clinic. We have been working through CRREW (Community Relief and Rebuilding through Education and Wellness) since 9/11 using acupuncture and related techniques to help people suffering from PTSD. We have worked on 9/11 rescue workers, Katrina survivors, residents of Lower Manhattan and veterans. CRREW also has worked in Vietnam and Cambodia. Other notable founders and volunteers include Laura Cooley, Marcella Robinson and Rachel Kaplan. All workers have trained at the Lincoln Hospital drug treatment facility in the NADA technique and are licensed acupuncturists.
Vets who want something besides talk therapy are especially welcome. When events are overwhelming physical treatment can sometimes reach you when words are inadequate. One fireman who spent time being treated with us said that we opened him up to the point that he could discuss and deal with the horrors of digging through the pile at 9/11.
In 2008, 14 times as many US veterans died from a lack of health insurance than the US military death toll in Afghanistan the same year. Even with the VA, 1.5 million veterans lack access to health care. We all need to reach out to veterans in need.
CRREW has been running auricular acupuncture clinics and events since 9/11, working with residents and rescue workers. We extend the invitation to vets who are finding the transition to civilian life to be difficult.
A recent report report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy indicates that 25% of hospitalized H1N1 victims in a California study were morbidly obese versus 4% of the US population and more than half were obese. It did not collect data on whether the heavy patients had other underlying conditions although the analysis found that probable. Now the question is, is obesity an independent risk factor or a proxy for other conditions that make flu infection worse? Continue reading…
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…
1. Pasture raised or wild meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and any natural animal fat
2. Vegetables, including leaves, stems, bulbs, roots
3. Fruits and berries (includes avocados and olives)
4. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, coconut, etc.
5. Herbs and spices
(in order of importance)
1. Sweeteners, including sugar (white, brown, organic, whatever), maple syrup, rice or agave syrup, etc.
2. Vegetable oils other than extra virgin olive, avocado, palm, and coconut.
3. Cereal grains and flour or grain products (bread, pasta, pastries, etc.) Especially avoid glutinous grains like wheat, barley, rye or triticale.
4. Dry legumes (beans and peas, including soy and peanuts)
5. Dairy products. If you take them, use goat or raw or both
(thanks to Rachel and Donald Matsez, authors of The Garden of Eating)