Cancer and Chinese Medicine - Part 2

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP

Nutrition - The Biggest Weapon Against Cancer

It is always amazing to me that patients receiving conventional treatments for cancer (chemotherapy and radiation) are given little to no information about what to eat. I know because I always ask if there was any nutritional counseling that went with the other therapies and more often than not, the answer is no. This shows an alarming lack of understanding about how important what we eat is to our health, and especially in the case of cancer.

I think that the correlation between what we eat and our overall health is understood by many industries, and certainly by many informed people, but the cancer industry (and I say that because it has turned into an industry), seems to be decades behind. Now, without getting into why that might be (which would be a whole other article), let's just say that there is a tonne of evidence to suggest that our food can both give us cancer and help keep us healthy so that we never get cancer. Food is also a powerful weapon in detoxing the body and healing from a cancer that already exists.

Foods to Avoid

Sugar

In my opinion, the number one thing to know concerning diet and cancer is to stop eating sugar. Completely. It is literally the food that cancer eats. The tests that Western medicine uses to find and diagnose cancer in the body, called PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) scans, actually inject glucose - a type of sugar - and watch the cancer gravitate to it because sugar is what cancer eats. Eliminating sugar from your diet is the most important thing to do if you are either struggling with cancer, or having health issues in general. Sugar is a poison to the body, and most people in the developed world eat far too much of it. Now, let me be clear, I am talking about refined sugar which is in a huge amount of our foods, especially processed foods. There are naturally occurring sugars in things like fruits, and although we need some of these, it is a good idea to cut back when you are trying to heal from cancer. Refined foods of all types should be avoided whenever possible, and refined sugar is the worst of all.

Chemicals

We also have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of chemicals used in our foods, many of which are untested on human beings and cause harm to not only us, but pollute the earth we live on, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Our food becomes more and more processed all the time with the addition of these dangerous chemicals, and our bodies are not designed to deal with them. There are also the dizzying amounts of chemicals in other products that we use in our homes, like makeup and personal care products, soaps and detergents, cleaning products, gardening products, etc.. not to mention toxic chemicals that are the byproducts of industries which are released into our soil, water and air.

It is a good idea BEFORE you get sick to have a look at how many of these chemicals you have in your home and are coming into contact with on a daily basis so that you can eliminate any that are not absolutely necessary. I would always recommend eating fresh, local, organic food (more about that below), using completely natural beauty and personal care products free of toxic ingredients, make sure the water you are drinking is as clean as possible and limit any environmental toxins that you can. All these toxins combine to place a huge burden on our immune systems which we need to be at full strength to keep us disease free.

Eat Real Food

Because of the philosophy of living as harmoniously with nature as possible, this obviously bleeds into the foods we consume as well. I believe that many of our current health problems as a society are due to the UN-natural nature of the foods that we eat. Small farms are disappearing and being replaced by large-scale factory farms, our soil is depleted of essential vitamins and nutrients, and men in hazmat suits spray toxic herbicides and fungicides on the foods we are supposed to confidently feed our families. It is becoming increasingly difficult to even understand food labels, and corporations spend billions of dollars to keep what is actually IN our foods off the labels, which is certainly a worrying trend and not designed to make us feel confident about what is being put into our food.

My solution is to keep it simple. Eat as few processed foods as possible (this means anything in a box or can that has been altered from its natural state), eat as many fresh, local and organic foods as possible. Keep your diet mostly plant-based, especially if you have cancer. If possible, grow as much of your food as you can in a backyard or front yard garden. Vertical gardens are awesome for this! If you have limited space or live in an apartment, make friends with a local farmer, or frequent a farmers market. Also, take time to lovingly prepare meals for you and your family. Energetically, this is important too. Be mindful and thankful to the food you are eating for sharing its life force with you. Being grateful is also a powerful tool and beneficial to your health and the way you feel.

Acid & Alkaline Foods

Disease thrives in an acidic environment and cancer is no exception. As a culture, we eat a disproportionate amount of acidic foods (as you will probably see the list below) and precious few alkaline ones. Use the information below as a guide and a good way to begin is to slowly start replacing acidic foods with alkaline ones. It may seem hard at first (because who doesn't love a burger every once in a while?), but you will soon notice how much better you will feel, as that you will no longer have the cravings for the fatty, sugary foods that are so acid forming once they have been out of your system for a while. I promise you will definitely feel a difference!

Acidic Foods

**Note - there are different ways to measure the acidity and alkalinity of foods, but this one - from Energise for Life - makes the distinction of measuring a foods acidity and alkalinity AFTER it has been ingested - therefore, how it is affecting your body. If you would like to have a copy of a good few charts detailing acid and alkaline foods, you can find them here - Energise For Life.

Below is a list of acidic foods. If dealing with cancer, cut out as many of these as possible (I would recommend ALL) and introduce alkaline foods as an alternative. Remember, cancer thrives in an acidic environment.

Acidic Foods

Look yummy? *sigh*, I know. But these foods are highly acidic. Try eating some cucumber instead!

MEAT

  • Bacon
  • Beef
  • Clams
  • Corned Beef
  • Eggs
  • Lamb
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Organ Meats
  • Venison
  • Fish
  • Oyster
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Sausage
  • Scallops
  • Shellfish
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Veal

DAIRY & EGGS

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Whey
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts & Seeds!
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Chestnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Oils!
  • Cooked Oil
  • Solid Oil (Margarine)
  • Oil Exposed to Heat,
  • Light or Air
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Ice Cream
  • Sour Cream
  • Soy Cheese
  • Eggs

FRUIT

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Grapes
  • Mango
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tropical Fruits
  • Berries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cranberries
  • Currants
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Orange
  • Pineapple
  • Plum

NUTS & SEEDS

  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Chestnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts

DRINKS

  • Alcohol
  • Black Tea
  • Coffee
  • Carbonated Water
  • Pasteurized Juice
  • Cocoa
  • Energy Drinks
  • Sports Drinks
  • Colas
  • Tap Water
  • Milk
  • Green Tea
  • Decaffeinated Drinks
  • Flavoured Water

SWEETENERS

  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Carob
  • Corn Syrup
  • Fructose
  • Processed Sugar
  • Saccharine
  • Sucrose
  • Sucralose
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup

OILS

  • Cooked Oil
  • Solid Oil (Margarine)
  • Oil Exposed to Heat,
  • Light or Air

SAUCES

  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Soy Sauce
  • Pickles
  • Vinegar
  • Tabasco
  • Tamari
  • Wasabi

OTHER

  • Mushrooms
  • Miso
  • White Breads, Pastas,
  • Rice & Noodles
  • Chocolate
  • Chips
  • Pizza
  • Biscuits
  • Cigarettes
  • Drugs
  • Candy

Alkaline Foods

Some super yummy alkaline foods. They look fresh, cleansing and delicious, don't they? ;)

VEGETABLES

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Chilli
  • Capsicum/Pepper
  • Courgette/Zucchini
  • Dandelion
  • Snow Peas
  • Green Beans
  • String Beans
  • Runner Beans
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Wakame
  • Kelp
  • Collards
  • Chives
  • Endive
  • Chard
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Potato
  • Coriander
  • Basil
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot
  • Beetroot
  • Eggplant/Aubergine
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Watercress
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Broad Beans
  • New Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish

FRUIT

  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Fresh Coconut

GRAINS & BEANS

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Brown Rice
  • Chia/Salba
  • Kamut
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Spelt
  • Nuts & Seeds!
  • Almonds
  • Coconut
  • Flax Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Oils!
  • Avocado Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Flax Oil
  • Udo’s Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Lentils
  • Lima Beans
  • Mung Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Red Beans
  • Soy Beans
  • White Beans

GRASSES

  • Wheatgrass
  • Barley Grass
  • Kamut Grass
  • Dog Grass
  • Shave Grass
  • Oat Grass

NUTS & SEEDS

  • Almonds
  • Coconut
  • Flax Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds

OILS

  • Avocado Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Flax Oil
  • Udo’s Oil
  • Olive Oil

BREADS

  • Sprouted Bread
  • Sprouted Wraps
  • Gluten/Yeast Free
  • Breads & Wraps

SPROUTS

  • Soy Sprouts
  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Amaranth Sprouts
  • Broccoli Sprouts
  • Fenugreek Sprouts
  • Kamut Sprouts
  • Mung Bean Sprouts
  • Qionoa Sprouts
  • Radish Sprouts
  • Spelt Sprouts

This comprehensive list of acid and alkaline foods came from a great chart I found from energiseforlife.com There is an 8 page PDF that you may download with more information which can be found here - Acid & Alkaline Food Information.

Water

Water is also something that I don't think people think about enough in terms of health. I think there is a misconception that if we are drinking bottled water and not water out of the tap that we are somehow safe from many pollutants that may be in our waterways and make their way into water processing plants. Unfortunately, this has been shown not to be true, and many bottled waters' are just as unhealthy as drinking straight out of the tap. If you must drink tap water, find out from your local city or town, what they are adding to it. Is there flouride in it? What levels of certain contaminants are acceptable as far as they are concerned? Do some research. If you have a water filtration system, again, do your research and get one that filters out as many undesirable chemicals as possible. Water is incredibly important for our health and it is worth the effort to be drinking the healthiest and cleanest water possible. The good news is, that there are many good water filtration systems out there that will allow you to enjoy clean, healthy water which is essential for a strong, healthy body.

Emotions

Expressing emotions freely is just as important to our health as a strong, flexible body.

I really feel that the emotions do not get enough attention or recognition for the role they play in our health. This is another area that seems often entirely left out of the diagnostic as well as the healing process in Western medicine. In Chinese medicine, the emotions are just as important as what is physically happening in our bodies. The two are inseparable and when someone is going through the intake process with a doctor of Chinese medicine, there are a lot of questions inquiring about a person's emotional life. You may be wondering how much of a role the emotions can play in a disease as devastating as cancer. My answer is - a HUGE one.

In my experience with my own cancer patients, the emotions are often where it starts. Complex and serious diseases often begin with extremely stressful, difficult, and emotionally devastating events that the body is simply not able to cope with. Preceding almost every case of serious disease I have treated, there was either one or a series of extremely stressful/emotional or difficult events that the patient had to contend with. I have made this observation over and over again. The body can handle a lot, but it has its limits, and the way we live along with the pressures and stresses we are under often are too much for our bodies and psyches to bear which can result in disease and illness.

In terms of how this relates to the emotions I want to be clear, it is not HAVING emotions that can make us sick, in Chinese medicine, it is how we deal with our emotions that is the key. In modern culture, at least in North America, we are not taught what I like to call "emotional intelligence". We spend decades in school learning how to live in this world, but I find that so many of the most important things that we need to be healthy and happy in our lives are missing. How to express our emotions in a healthy way is one of them. This expression is important not only to our health but to our happiness and well-being as well. So often our emotions can come out in hurtful or destructive ways to ourselves or the people around us, or worse, they are held in where they fester and eventually turn into disease. So, find healthy ways to express the emotions you are having. Write, talk to a friend, acknowledge them, process them in a healthy way and let them go. They are taking up precious space, that, once they are dealt with and let go, can be replaced with lovely things like love and light, happiness and feelings of joy and gratitude.

Managing Stress

Stress is something we hear about a lot and I believe is also a huge factor is our health and well-being. Stress is something I ask every single patient about both in our initial consultation, and at almost every visit. I give it a one to ten scale and ask patients to rate where their stress is in relation to that scale. Most people are at the top end, and many have become resigned to living there. Stress is difficult to avoid, but what we do have control over is how we deal with it. Managing the stress we are feeling is the key, not eliminating it altogether. I am not even sure if that is possible considering the world we live in. I have seen patients doing everything right - eating the right foods, exercising, sleeping enough, really taking care of themselves and still they get sick. Those cases very often lead back to stress. You can't work hard to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle but be in an unhealthy relationship that is driving you crazy or going to a job that you hate every day and still expect to be the picture of health. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work like that. In Chinese medicine, as in life, it is all about balance.

One of my keys to managing stress is meditating. Now the thought of meditating can be intimidating for some people and I understand that. This doesn't mean having to give up all your worldly possessions, shaving your head and going to live in a cave in the Himalayas. That is totally cool if that is how you want to do it, but what I am talking about for the rest of us is just taking some time for yourself every day to sit quietly and try to empty your thoughts. In our hectic, modern lives, we hardly ever get a chance to do this. Stop. Listen. Relax. Breathe deeply. Meditating is like a gift you give yourself. It benefits your brain, your nervous system, your heart and your psyche. Think of it as preventative medicine. I think we all need to start thinking about medicine and health differently and Chinese medicine can teach us how to do it. Do small things every day. Tend your garden (the body and spirit), and disease will never develop. Disease cannot thrive in a healthy garden.

If you would like to read about a bit of a hardcore immersion into meditation (and the amazing benefits that it yielded) you can read about my two intense Vipassana meditation retreat experiences. They are not quite the shaving your head and disappearing into the Himalayas, but they were definitely the most intense meditation experiences I have ever had. They were also the most edifying and positively life-changing experiences of my life.

 


Documentary - Cancer Is Curable Now

This is a very interesting documentary about curing cancer with non-conventional (non Western) treatments. Is this even possible? YES, and it has been going on all over the world for years. There are many, many alternatives to the standard Western treatments of radiation and chemotherapy. Cancer is big business, especially in the United States, so many of the other treatments available for cancer are suppressed so people don't find out about them. Most of these treatments are safer, less expensive and way less destructive than conventional treatments. If you know anyone with cancer, this is definitely something they should see. Everyone of course has the right to choose what treatment they would like, but it is important to make an informed decision and get all the information about what it out there.

Many of these treatments use the philosophy that if you rebalance the body and give it what it needs then it will heal itself. (This is also the Chinese medicine philosophy). This is so often why conventional treatments may work temporarily but the cancer inevitable returns. It is because it is dealing with the symptoms (the cancer), and not the reason the cancer developed in the first place.

There is a lot of excellent information in here, and hopefully this will introduce some of you to some treatments that you did not know about. It all seems like common sense to me, but I will let you be the judge. Knowledge is power. :)

Documentary - Cancer is Curable Now

 

Natural Laundry Soap : Chinese Medicine Living9000 Needles : Chinese Medicine LivingChinese Herbs : Chinese Medicine Living


Six Acupuncture Points For Better Memory

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP

Many people suffer with memory loss, and acupuncture happens to have many protocols to help increase your memory as well as your ability to focus and think more clearly. Of course, one of the reasons that acupuncture is so effective is that the thorough intake and diagnostic process means that each person is having the treatment tailored to their specific and unique imbalances. But, there are certain organ systems and meridians that tend to govern our ability to remember and our cognitive function. The spleen affects for short term memory, concentration and our ability to think analytically. The kidney is responsible for short term memory and how we retain information. And the heart influences our long term memory and how quickly and efficiently we are able to access information stored in our brains (and elsewhere). In Chinese medicine theory the Shen or spirit is what governs our consciousness, emotions and thinking. Disturbances in the Shen (which are very common) will manifest with symptoms like insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, an inability to focus, unclear thinking, poor memory and forgetfulness.

Below are six acupuncture points for better memory. If you are not able to get to an acupuncturist, not to worry, you may use acupressure (putting pressure on the points instead of using needles) to stimulate them. A good way to do them is in order from the bottom of the body moving upwards (this is how they are ordered here) and press on each on both sides of the body (bilaterally) for about 30 seconds each. The Du 20 and Si Shen Cong points are not bilateral. You may do this set a couple of times a day to help improve your memory and be able to think more clearly, and I think we can all use a little more of that!

Acupuncture Kit : Chinese Medicine LivingSilver Bodhisattva Earrings : Chinese Medicine LivingNatural Laundry Soap : Chinese Medicine Living

Ok, let's begin. First point is..

Kidney 1

The kidney meridian begins on the bottom of the foot at kidney 1 and runs all the way up and terminates under the clavicle at kidney 27. You would normally not needle this point as it is just too sensitive. Applying pressure or using other things like moxa are the ways in which we normally stimulate this point. Stimulating kidney 1 floods the body with kidney energy that has many beneficial effects including improving memory, strengthening bones and improving hearing.

Kidney 1 Acupuncture Point : Chinese Medicine Living

Heart 7

Heart 7 is a very powerful acupuncture point located on the wrist just inside the tendon of flexor carpi ulnaris. The heart meridian begins in the axilla (the armpit) and runs down the inside of the arm to terminate at the corner of the nail bed of the pinky finger. Stimulating this point helps with sleep problems like insomnia and with mental issues like anxiety and depression.

Heart 7 Acupuncture Point : Chinese Medicine Living

Lung 7

Lung 7 is also a powerful point and is located on the side of the wrist 1.5 cun from the wrist crease. A cun is the width of your thumb, and is considered your body "inch" and is the measurement we use to find all the important anatomical locations on the body. The lung meridian begins up under the clavicle and travels down the inside of the arm to terminate at the nail bed of the thumb. Stimulating this point is good for relieving headaches, tooth aches, sore throat, asthma and for helping to release sadness and grief.

Lung 7 Acupuncture Point : Chinese Medicine Living

Pericardium 6

Pericardium 6 is located on the inner forearm. The pericardium, in Chinese medicine, is considered the protector of the heart, so all points on the pericardium also affect the heart. It is located between the tendons of palmaris longus and flexor carpi ulnaris two of your thumb widths from the wrist crease. Be sure that you apply pressure in between the tendons - some people's tendons are closer together than others. The pericardium meridian begins one inch lateral to the nipple and travels down the center of the inside of the arm terminating at the tip of the middle finger. Pericardium 6 has a very strong action on nausea and vomiting and also treats conditions of the heart (where the Shen is seen to reside) like regulating the heart qi and calming the Shen.

Pericardium 6 : Chinese Medicine Living

Si Shen Cong

Si Shen Cong are a group of four acupuncture points located on top of the head. They belong to a group of points, called "Extraordinary Points". For reference, Du 20 (below) is located at the centre of this group of four points. Each is located one "Cun" - or the width of your thumb away, forward, left, back and right to Du 20. Si Shen Cong has a strong stimulating effect on all aspects of the Shen . They are also used for headache, vertigo, insomnia, epilepsy and of course, poor memory. They also help to clear the mind and calm the Shen. You may find also, that these points, as well as Du 20, are a little sore when you apply pressure.

Si Shen Cong Acupuncture Points : Chinese Medicine Living

Du 20

Du 20 is also a powerful point for the brain, and has a calming effect on the Shen. It has a very strong raising function which makes it good for prolapse of organs (bladder, uterus, vagina) and hemorrhoids. It can both increase Yang (fire energy) in the body or subdue it. It is located at the vertex of the head. The easiest way to find it is to gently fold over the ears back to front and from the top where they come to a point when you have folded them, connect that line to the top of the head and that is where you will find Du 20. The Du meridian starts below the tip of the coccyx, at the midpoint between the tip of the coccyx and the anus and runs up the midline of the body and terminates on the inside of the upper lip where the frenulum joins the upper lip and gum.

Du 20 Acupuncture Point : Chinese Medicine Living

Our formidable memories are one of the things that make us unique amongst other animal species. Stimulating these points, eating a diet high in nutrients and minerals, getting plenty of rest and supplements like Ginko Biloba which increases blood flow to the brain are god ways to keep your brain healthy. Keeping the brain active and engaged is perhaps the most important way to keep a healthy mind. Reading, doing crosswords and other puzzles and social interaction are a good way to keep your mind sharp and your memory strong for years to come.


 These lovely images came from The Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman


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Chinese Water Chestnut

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

When I was growing up, Chinese water chestnut was one of the most popular street foods sold by food vendors. They are white in colour after the skin is peeled and sold strung together on a long stick. Most people and children like water chestnut during the hot summer because they are juicy, crunchy and very refreshing to eat and they have a delicate flavour and are mildly sweet in taste. It is best to eat them after being peeled and chilled in water (to prevent turning brown) in the fridge. It is definitely a much healthier alternative than other snacks such as lollypops or ice cream cones.

water chestnut healing properties

Chinese water chestnut is widely used in oriental cuisines. They can be sliced thinly to add to salads, stir-frys, vegetarian/meat stews or desserts. They can also be finely chopped and added to meat balls or stuffing to give it a softer texture and some crunchiness. Water chestnuts are ground into powder to make pudding, a popular dessert for dim sum lunch. The powder can also be used as thickener to add to soups, desserts, and sauces and glazes to give them a transparent look.

The healthful effects of water chestnut known to Chinese medicine are that they are cold in nature, sweet in taste and act on lungs and stomach. Water chestnuts can clear heat, relieve indigestion, promote urination, relieve hypertension, cure sore throat and hemorrhoids, stop coughing and clear phlegm. They are also effective in helping children to relieve skin rashes when having measles. Nowadays, water chestnut is found to be good for people wishing to lose weight because it has almost zero fat, releases water retention and is high in potassium. It is also used as a beauty food to promote better skin.

The following recipe is a common spring/summer drink for households with children. Modern children are eating too many highly processed foods such as chips, French fries, biscuits and baked goods which are causing their internal body systems to have too much heat. The symptoms of overheating are indigestion, lack of appetite, constipation or difficulties in passing stools, skin rashes or acne eruptions. Together with the immense summer heat, foods with cooling properties are necessary to balance out the system and not become sick. This recipe can help to soothe and rebalance the internal condition and can be taken regularly without restrictions. For parents who want their children to maintain good health throughout the summer, keeping the drink handy in the fridge instead of soft drinks is the best approach. And children will love it too because it is sweet in taste and very refreshing, and they will feel good after drinking it.

water chestnut recipe

You can easily find sugar cane already cut into short sections and conveniently packaged with the fresh Imperatae root available for sale in the vegetable section of most Chinese super markets. If the fresh root is not available, you can just do without it. The root is for getting extra cooling and detoxifying effects.

Please search our website www.nourishu.com for other delicious recipes using water chestnut.

Sugar Cane & Water Chestnut Drink

SYMPTOMS:

Skin rashes or measles.

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

This recipe is for reducing internal heat and can help to alleviate pain during a measles outbreak. It can also be used regularly to detoxify the spleen, prevent rashes and for clearing internal heat during the spring and summer seasons.

INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh/Dried Rhizoma Imperatae 鮮茅根 – 60 gram (optional)
  • Carrot – 450 gram
  • Water chestnut – 300 gram
  • Sugar cane  – 500 gram

1.   Chop sugar cane into smaller pieces. Cut carrots into thin slices. Wash water chestnuts.  You can either keep or remove the skin as you wish and crush them open with the back of a knife. Rinse the fresh root.

2.   Put all ingredients in a big soup pot half full of water (about 3 liters) and cook over medium heat for one and a half hours until about 6 cups of water are left.

3.   Strain and drink tea. The water chestnut can also be eaten if desired.

water chestnut and sugar cane drink

USAGE

Can be drunk regularly for the whole family.

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Burdock for Liver Health

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

It is spring again and is a crucial time to pay attention to our liver health according to Chinese Medicine because the liver is most active in spring.

Liver is the detox engine of our body. It is a part of the digestive system for making cholesterol to digest fatty foods and to dispose of waste products from our blood stream. The liver is also responsible for maintaining the equilibrium of our overall health and should be well taken care of to avoid life-threatening diseases.

The most damaging things to liver health are alcohol, medicine and sorrow. Alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs and supplements are all chemicals which can have unhealthy results to the liver. Mixing them can create toxins and can be poisonous. If you have to take drugs, it is best to take them with at least a one hour interval between each one. Toxins cause our liver to overwork and they can also scar and harden liver tissue. Sorrow, sadness and depression can cause stagnation of liver energy which can inhibit proper liver function.

We should also be careful of what we breathe in. When cleaning with aerosol sprays or cleaners, or any other form of spray such as paint or air fresheners or cosmetic products, we must make sure that the room is ventilated and cover our nose with a mask to prevent breathing in toxic chemicals. When using insecticides, make sure the skin is covered because the chemicals can get into the body through our skin. All toxins require the liver to filter them out therefore over-working this important organ.

The liver does not complain until it is too late. We should be aware of symptoms of problems and check our liver through blood tests regularly.  The symptoms include lack of energy, lack of appetite, indigestion, acid reflux, milky eyes, dark yellow urine, flaky rash, itchy skin, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and fluid retention. Poor digestion leading to leaky gut syndrome will cause toxins to get into the blood stream, making the liver work harder.

Burdock for Liver Health

The purpose of a liver supporting diet is first ‘to do no harm’. Avoid alcohol and toxins including drugs. Secondly, eat food made from scratch with good oil and not too much seasoning and sauces and with little and simple cooking so that the food can be easily digested and absorbed. Eat small amounts of high quality protein and increase the intake of green vegetables for fibre and essential minerals.  Drinking good clean water will also help the body to flush out toxins and keep the liver healthy.

The following is a soup recipe that is best for our liver in spring, when liver energies are at their peak.

Burdock

Burdock contains a number of nutrients important to liver function. They include vitamins B1, B6 and B12 which are essential for the function of phase 1 liver detoxification's pathways, vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant and sulphur which is essential for a number of important phase 2 liver detoxification pathways in which potent toxins created by phase 1 detoxification are neutralized. Burdock also contains other substances such as arctiin which act to improve liver and gallbladder function.

Burdock has many other health benefits and is believed to be the main reason why the Japanese hold the world record for longevity because burdock is a staple in their diet. Please visit our website www.nourishu.com to find out more information and recipes using burdock.

Burdock, Carrot and Pork Soup

Burdock for Liver Health

SYMPTOMS

High cholesterol

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lower blood lipids
  • Detoxifies
  • Promotes liver health

INGREDIENTS

(4 to 6 servings)

  • Fresh burdock 新鮮牛蒡 -  one piece (about 500gm)
  • Carrot 紅蘿蔔 – 2 to 3 (250gm)
  • Green radish青蘿蔔 – one large (250gm)
  • Honey dates 蜜棗 or dried figs - 3
  • Apricot kernel 南北杏 – one handful (about 15gm)
  • Citrus Peel (chen-pi) 陳皮 – one piece (pre-soaked and with white tissue removed)
  • Pork shoulder cut with bone  or bone-in chicken breast – 300gm (pre-cut into large pieces)
  • Ginger – 2 slices

1.   Wash pork, put in boiling water to cook for a few minutes, remove and rinse.

2.   Peel carrot and radish and cut by rolling cut into pieces.

3.   Peel burdock and cut into thin slices.

4.   Rinse other ingredients and put all into a soup pot with about 3 liters of water. Bring to a rolling boil, remove foam and reduce heat to medium low and let it simmers for about 3 hours to about 6 cups of broth left. Add more water (boiling hot) to the cooking if necessary.

5.   When done, add salt to taste and serve soup with some meat, burdock and carrot. Burdock is a good source of fibre.

Burdock for Liver Health

USAGE

No restrictions and suitable for all ages.

 


Happy Earth Day!

Chinese medicine is all about our harmonious relationship with this wonderful planet. Today is a day to celebrate how amazing it really is and help us remember to cherish it forever and always. <3


Taro Root for Immune Health

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Taro is a widely cultivated tropical Asian plant with edible broad peltate leaves and a large starchy tuber. It is also widely grown in the Pacific islands, West Africa and Amazonian regions of South America.

Taro root is high in calories, low in fats and protein, free from gluten, high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. It contains B-complex vitamins such as B-6, folates, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. It provides healthy amounts of  important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. In addition, the root has high amounts of potassium, an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Taro is very starchy but it has slow digesting complex carbohydrates therefore can help gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Cooked taro is also high in vitamin E, which can protect cells from oxidation by free radicals, protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Taro Root - Immune System Recipe

Raw taro is slightly toxic. When cutting the root, the white starch can cause skin irritation and itchiness to some people. Therefore, it is recommended to handle taro wearing gloves and never eat taro raw. When selecting taro root, pick the ones lighter in weight because they are starchier, cook faster and melt easily which is ideal for certain dishes such as stuffings and desserts.

Chinese medicine regards taro as neutral in nature, sweet and pungent in taste and it acts on stomach and large intestine. Its health benefits include improving the immune system, reducing signs of aging, improving lung health and reducing abnormal cell growth. Therefore, it is commonly used for preventing and treating tumor growth. It is also highly recommended for people going through chemo therapy or radio-therapy to help in detoxification and recovery.

Taro root is very common in Asian cuisine and can be found in most Asian grocery stores. It is used in making chips, fries, taro net, bread, desserts, stews, soups, fried rice, stuffing and even ice cream. The best way to prepare taro is to cut it into the size and shape according to your recipe and then put it on a plate to steam or just cook. You can then add taro to mix in with the rest of the recipe towards the end and the taro will turn out perfectly. The following is a recipe to show you how to prepare a quick and delicious dish, that also happens to be great for your health.

Taro Root Recipe - Nutritional Therapy in TCM

Taro Chicken in Coconut Cream

Therapeutic effects

Detoxifies, improves complexion, boosts the immune system, improves overall health.

Ingredients:  (3 to 4 servings)

  • Taro root – 600 gm

  • Boneless and skinless chicken thigh – 2 pieces

  • Coconut cream – one cup

  • Minced ginger – one spoonful

  • Minced garlic – one spoonful

  • Green onion – 2 (chopped)

  • Cooking wine – 2 spoonfuls

Instructions

1.  Wash chicken, cut into bite size pieces, rinse and drain. Mix chicken with salt, pepper, one spoonful of cooking wine, a pinch of potato starch and one spoonful of oil.

2.  Cut off taro skin, rinse and cut into match-box size pieces. Put taro on a plate and steam over high heat for about 10 minutes to taro is cooked. You can test by sticking a chop stick or a fork through a few pieces. If it can get through easily, it is cooked. Remove from heat and put aside.

3.  Warm 2 to 3 spoonfuls of oil in a non-stick skillet. Add ginger and garlic and stir until golden brown. Remove skillet from heat, discard the brown ginger and garlic and keep the oil. Reheat skillet with oil and add in chicken pieces to slightly brown on both sides. Then add one spoonful of cooking wine and half a cup of water. Cover with lid and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

4.  Mix in coconut cream and taro and let it cook for a few more minutes to mix well.

5.  Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle in green onion to serve.

Taro Root Chinese Medicine Recipe

Usage

For people with weak digestive systems, eat taro sparingly because it takes longer to digest.


Happy Valentine's Day <3

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

~ Buddha

Happy Valentines Day from Chinese Medicine Living. <3

 


Chinese Cabbage – The King of All Vegetables

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Chinese cabbage is similar is size and shape to a football. There are a few outside leaves that are pale green, but most of the inside leaves are pale yellow with white stalks, thus it is commonly known as “wong bok” (yellow white). Chinese cabbage is a night shade vegetable grown mainly in the northern parts of China in colder temperatures. It is readily available, very inexpensive and keeps a long time, and therefore was a common staple for the peasants. Chinese cabbage is also popular and grown in Japan and Korea where it is known as nappa cabbage and is mostly used in making hot pot and kimchee.

Chinese Cabbage Recipe

Chinese cabbage is sweet in taste, neutral in nature and has a high nutritional content. For each 100g of cabbage, it has 37mg of vitamin C, 140mg of calcium and 50mg of potassium. It also contains vitamin A and K, and many trace minerals including selenium. Each cup of cabbage juice has as much calcium as a cup of milk and its calcium to potassium ratio is ideal for easy absorption. The vegetable is high in fiber so is good for promoting digestion and can prevent constipation. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can lower internal heat, clear phlegm and cough, is a diuretic, detoxifies and prevents cancer growth. The vegetable is filling but low in calories; therefore is good for people wanting to lose weight. It can also lower blood pressure to prevent heart diseases and muscular degeneration. It is also known for helping to treat skin disorders, eczema and jaundice by using the juice on the affected areas.

The story of how Chinese cabbage became famous is quite incredible. It was said that the Empress Dowager Cixi of the Qing Dynasty at around 1900 became very ill in her old age and was having respiratory failure, high fever, lack of energy and was unable to eat or drink, urinate or move her bowels. No doctor or medicine was able to help her. Upon the advice of a monk she was fed only Chinese cabbage juice and soup which saved her life. She was nursed back to health by eating mostly food made with Chinese cabbage to replace her usual diet of delicate, expensive, highly refined, meaty and rich foods. After her recovery, she praised Chinese cabbage as the king of all vegetables.

Chinese Cabbage Recipe

The lesson learned was that eating only the “good” food can be deadly and a healthy diet should be balanced with less meat and more vegetables, and a lot of roughage to keep things moving through the body. The value of food cannot be determined just by the price alone because the cheapest food can be so good for our health. In today’s world where many people are being overfed and under nourished, Chinese cabbage is an excellent option. It is also tasty, cheap, and quick and easy to prepare.

There are many ways of preparing Chinese cabbage. You can make it into a soup in less than 15 minutes with thin slices of meat or mushrooms or both. You can add it to a stir-fry, serve it as a side dish, add it to a stew, put it inside a dumpling or make into cabbage rolls. The possibilities are endless.

Chinese Mushrooms Cabbage Recipe

To make it as a side vegetable dish, you will only need to stir-fry it with some minced ginger and garlic and season it with salt and pepper. If you want to top up the tastes a bit, you can add some cooking wine, sesame oil and oyster sauce. The following recipe is a grand version to demonstrate what else you can add to the vegetable to make it an outstanding dish with additional tastes and health benefits. All the ingredients are optional and the quantity of each ingredient can vary according to availability and your preference. This recipe is also perfect for turning it into a soup by boiling everything in water for about 20 minutes. You do not need to add oyster sauce and potato starch to the soup to keep the soup natural tasting and clear.

Chinese Cabbage Recipe

Mushroom & Chinese Cabbage Stir-fry

Ingredients (for 4 to 5 servings)

  • Chinese cabbage – half (or one small one)
  • Dried small shrimp – 1 to 2 spoonfulls
  • Goji-berries – 2 spoonfuls
  • Ginger – 3 slices (minced)
  • Garlic – 3 cloves (minced)
  • King oyster mushrooms – 3 to 4
  • Shiitake mushrooms – 3 to 4
  • cooking wine – 2 spoonfuls
  • sesame oil – one spoonful
  • oyster sauce – two spoonfuls

Chinese Cabbage and Mushrooms Recipe

Directions

  1. Cut cabbage into halves lengthwise and then cut the half into sections. Rinse a couple of times and strain.
  2. Rinse dried shrimp quickly, strain and put aside. Soak goji-berries for 15 minutes, rinse a few times and put aside.
  3. Remove stems from mushrooms, rinse and cut them into slices.
  4. Warm 2 spoonfuls of oil in a stirring pan or wok, add ginger and dried shrimp to stir for a couple of minutes until the aroma of shrimp comes out.
  5. Turn up heat, add cabbage and stir to cook until the leaves are withered (about 5 to 6 minutes). No need to add water because the cabbage will release a lot of juice. Add salt and white pepper to taste and mix well. Put cabbage aside and keep the juice separate in another container.
  6. Warm 2 spoonfuls of oil in the pan and add garlic to stir for a few moments. Add mushrooms to stir-fry for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add goji-berries, cooking wine, sesame oil, oyster sauce and about 3 spoonfuls of the cabbage juice to the cooking and stir to mix. Use another 2 spoonfuls of the cabbage juice to mix with one spoonful of potato starch and add it to the cooking and stir.
  8. Return the cabbage to mix into the mushrooms and put everything on a plate to serve.

Chinese Cabbage Mushroom Recipe

Usage

Chinese cabbage belongs to the cruciferous vegetable group so people with hypothyroid (under active) should not eat too much of this vegetable.


Rejuvenating 4 Super Herbs Chicken Soup - Winter Recipe

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

In Chinese Medicine, eating according to the seasons is vital to health and longevity. Eating well in winter is necessary to provide enough reserve and energy to our bodies to fight the extreme coldness. Besides, winter is also the time when our bodies are going through a lot of rejuvenation and renewal processes. Therefore, it is important to feed our bodies with sufficient nutrients as fuel and building blocks in order for them to do a good job keeping us healthy. Remember, it is quality that counts and not quantity, and you reap what you sow.

The traditional TCM nourishing foods which use a combination of high quality foods and herbs makes a significant difference in terms of effectiveness and potency. There are recipes which are very specific in targeting special health needs and can deliver desirable functional health benefits. By combining the synergetic effects of both foods and herbs, there is nothing else that is as effective. That is why there is little wonder why some Chinese people can live long and healthy lives, and look so much younger than their age.

The most popular and effective form of TCM nourishing food is soup. Soup in winter is especially warming and welcome by most people. Besides, soup can be nutrient dense, easy to make, easy to take, easy to digest and absorb, and suitable for all ages. You can make a large batch at a time and serve for more than one meal; therefore soup is very economical and practical. The ingredients for soup can vary according to availability and your liking; therefore it is easy to make and is always delicious as you can customize it to your liking. Recipes are just there to provide general guidelines and its not necessary to follow them precisely.

My personal favourite winter soup is cooking either chicken or pork or mutton with the following four superior herbs. It is the soup that my family enjoys about twice a month throughout the winter and keeps everyone healthy. You don’t have to use all of the four herbs together if they are too much for you. It is very common to use just goji-berries and Chinese yam to make other soups for regular consumption. Please visit our website www.nourishu.com to find other recipes using just the two herbs. Please also note that these herbal soups should not be taken when you have a cold or flu because they will nourish the viruses making them stronger and more difficult to get rid of.

Rejuvenating Winter Herbal Soup

Dang Shen (Codonopsis root)

Is sweet in taste and neutral in nature. It improves digestive health, improves blood deficiency, promotes energy, enhances qi, improves overall body functions and improves immune function.

Astragalus (Huang Qi)

Is sweet and slightly sour in taste and warm in nature. It improves immune function, circulation, digestion and overall health. It is used to fight diseases including cancer and to prevent aging. There are researches which have confirmed that astragalus can boost telomerase production.

Goji-berry (Chinese Wolfberry)

Is sweet in taste and neutral in nature. It benefits liver and kidney health, improves deficiencies, promotes blood and regulates blood sugar, improves vision and overall health.

Chinese Yam (Shan Yao)

Is sweet in taste and neutral in nature. It improves digestive health, lung functions and immune function, and strengthens kidney health and cure related deficiencies.

Rejuvenating 4 Super Herbs Chicken Soup

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

Improves blood and qi, promotes energy and circulation, is anti-aging, improves immune functions and benefits our vital organs and improves overall health.

INGREDIENTS (4 servings)

  • Dang-shen  黨參 - 10gm

  • Astragalus (huang qi) 黃耆 - 10gm

  • Goji-berry / Chinese Wolfberry (gou ji zi) 枸杞子 - 30gm

  • Chinese Yam (shan yao) 淮山 - 30gm

  • Skinless chicken breast – one piece (bone in)

  • Ginger - 3 slices

  • Citrus Peel (chen-pi) 陳皮- one piece (pre-soaked and with white membrane removed)

  • Red dates – 5 to 6

Optional ingredients to add more taste and health benefits:

  • Lean pork or pork shoulder blade with bone - 120gm (cut into a few pieces)

  • Dried scallop - 4 to 5 (to promote yin)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak herbs for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse a few times.
  2. Wash chicken breast and pork, remove obvious fat and put them in boiling water to cook for a few minutes with foam bubbling to the top, remove and rinse.
  3. Put all ingredients in a soup pot with about 3 liters of clean filtered water. Bring soup to boil for about 5 minutes, remove foam and reduce heat to simmer for 3 hours. Add extra hot water to the cooking if necessary. You should get at least 6 cups of nutrient dense broth.
  4. When ready, add sea salt (Celtic or Himalaya) to taste and serve. Eat some meat with soup. Goji-berries and Chinese yam can be eaten as well. If you are not intending to eat all of the meat, after finishing the broth, you can break up the meat and add another 4 to 5 cups of water to cook for the second time, for about another 20 minutes over medium high heat. You can get at least two more cups of really yummy broth from it before discarding the ingredients.

Rejuvenating Winter Herbal Soup

USAGE

Not suitable when suffering with a cold or flu.