Uplifting Kidney 5 Herb Tea - For Treating Kidney Stones

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

A Bit About Kidney / Bladder Disease in Chinese Medicine

Kidney deficiency is the cause of many illnesses and over 80% of people have a certain degree of kidney deficiency. Cold hands and feet, a lack of energy, ringing in the ears, sexual dysfunction, joint pain, menstrual disorders, prostate problems, back pain, hearing impairment, premature aging, and incontinence are some typical examples.

Winter time is the best season to preserve and promote kidney health. Eating black colored food such as black beans is good for the kidneys. Salty taste benefits the kidneys but too much can damage kidneys too. Kidney stones are formed by a buildup of substances which crystallized into stone-like deposits. Diets high in protein and lack of exercise will result in severe overall net calcium loss and increase the amount of calcium presented to the kidneys. Western doctors’ advice in reducing the burden and workload on the kidneys is by eating a diet low in meat, high in carbohydrates, restricted salt and drinking plenty of water to dissolve smaller stones. And by avoiding peanuts, chestnuts, soy, asparagus, spinach, corn, and eggs as well as eating more celery, apple, pear, and beans will help to keep your kidneys strong and avoid problems like stones in the future.

The symptoms of a kidney infection are a sore throat, fever, lower back pain, tiredness, fatigue, thirst and loss of appetite. When there is edema (swelling), the volume of urine decreases and so does the blood pressure. Infections of the urinary tract are more common in females than males. It could be due to poor hygiene or food allergy. Bacteria grows more easily in alkaline than in acid urine and vitamin C can promote acid urine and also improve immunity.

The food treatment for kidney infection should include a low-sodium and high protein diet such as fish, meat, egg and soy products. Water intake should be increased. Diuretic foods such as watermelon, winter melon, black bean, broad bean, see qua, and small red beans are effective in expelling dampness. Corn silk and corn kernel cooked with water to make tea can alleviate urinary tract or bladder infections. Grape juice can treat female urinary tract infections. Avoid spicy foods, garlic, and chives.

The other kidney dysfunctions include frequent urination, nephritis, leucorrhoea in women, and nocturnal emission and spermatorrhea in men.

According to Chinese medicine, kidney problems are caused by yang deficiency, as well as spleen and heart deficiency. Seminal emission is induced by excessive fire due to yin deficiency, weakness of kidney qi or the descent of heat-dampness. Treatments include nourishing kidney yin, removing fire, clearing heat and dissipating dampness.

Uplifting Kidney 5 Herb Tea Recipe

SYMPTOMS

All symptoms of weak kidney function.

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

Uplifts stomach and kidney energy.


Huang Qi or Astragalus Root

Dang Shen or Radix Codonopsis

Shan Yao or Chinese Yam

INGREDIENTS

  • Astragalus (huang qi) 黃耆 - 30gm
  • Dang shen 黨參 - 9gm
  • Morinda Root (ba ji tien) 巴戟天 - 9gm
  • Chinese Yam (shan yao) 淮山 -  9 gm
  • Cimicifuga  (Sheng ma) 升麻 – 9gm

DIRECTIONS

1.   Rinse herbs and put together with 6 cups of water and cook over medium heat to one cup of tea.

2.   Drink tea only.

USAGE

Not suitable when you have a cold or flu.


Winter Recipe - Mutton & Carrot Soup

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Symptoms

Blood and qi deficiency which manifests as lack of energy, dizziness and headache, numbing of extremities, lack of appetite and night blindness.

Therapeutic Effects

  • Nourishes the spleen and liver to promote blood and qi
  • Improves eyesight
  • Improves appetite
  • Strengthens and tonifies the body

Winter Kidney Recipe : Chinese Medicine LivingChinese Yams

Ingredients

(2 to 3 servings)

  • Mutton - 640gm
  • Carrot - 320gm
  • Chinese yam (shan yao) 淮山 - 80gm
  • Ginger - 5 slices
  • Honey dates - 5

Chinese Red Date Recipe : Chinese Medicine LivingChinese Red Dates / Honey Dates - This image from katjuju.com

Directions

1. Wash mutton and cut into pieces and stir-fry them slightly with cooking oil and ginger.

2. Cut carrot into pieces. Rinse herbs.

3. Put all ingredients into a pot with adequate water (about 10 cups) and bring to a boil for a few minutes. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 3 hours.

4. Add seasoning to serve. Drink soup and eat some meat only.

Usage

Not suitable for people with hot liver syndrome which manifests as red, itchy eyes.

Lamb Carrot Winter Soup for Kidneys : Chinese Medicine LivingThis delicious image from meichubang.com

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If you would like a downloadable information sheet that will tell you all about how to live in harmony with the Winter Season in Chinese Medicine, you can find it here - The Winter Season in Chinese Medicine.

 


Chrysanthemum & Licorice Tea for Liver Detoxification

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Liver/ Gallbladder Disease

The liver is the sole organ in promoting and detoxifying the blood. Promoting liver health is similar to promoting blood. Spring is the best season to address liver health because it is the beginning of a new cycle of growth and the liver needs to produce more blood to support the growth. To protect and improve liver health, we need to observe the following guideline:

1. Drink More Water

Water is important to keep fluid moving and to clean out toxins from the body. Water helps in digestion, circulation of nutrients and detoxification of blood. The more toxins we can clean out of the body, the lesser burden it will be for the liver. Green color foods can increase the detoxifying function and mung bean is the best choice. Cooking mung beans in boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes and drink the green water regularly throughout spring and summer is best to support detoxification and can cool down internal heat.

2. Eat A Regular, Balanced Diet

Both overeating or under eating can cause abnormal production of digestive enzymes and bile by the liver, therefore affecting its normal function. Foods should be bland in taste in spring and not too hot or spicy. It is best to eat more fruits and vegetables.

3. Not Too Much Alcohol

Moderate drinking can uplift liver yang energy but too much alcohol can damage the liver by giving it too many things to detoxify.

4. Stay Positive and Be Happy

Anxiety, anger, sad and worry are the emotions that can cause suppression to liver energy and damage the liver. Controlling these emotions can give positive and uplifting energy to the liver so that it can work at its best.

5. Get Adequate Exercise

Light outdoor exercise in spring such as hiking, jogging, and tai-chi can promote blood circulation which is good for promoting liver function.

6. Eat Foods That Benefit The Liver

Foods such as chrysanthemum, animal's liver, goji-berries, angelica, etc. can lower liver heat and enrich the blood. Eating some sour taste foods can help to promote liver health but overdoing it can suppress liver energy.

The Liver in Environmental Illnesses

The importance of the gut flora in ill health is becoming increasingly obvious as it is implicated as a cause of an increasing number of illnesses. The health of the gut has a substantial impact on the health of the liver as everything absorbed from the intestines passes through the liver so that harmful substances can be detoxified before the rest of the body is exposed to them.

In one study by doctors at Biolab UK, 61% of sufferers of undiagnosed chronic illnesses with predominant fatigue were found to have overgrowth of both bacteria and yeast in the gut1. As a result of their normal metabolism, these micro-organisms produce waste products that in increased amounts can be harmful to the liver and the person’s health as a whole. Yeast in particular produce a large amount of ethanol (drinking alcohol) which is highly toxic to the liver, in fact, alcohol is the single most toxic substance to liver cells. As well as producing increased amounts of toxic substances for the liver to deal with, yeast or bacterial overgrowth also causes damage to the intestinal lining causing 'leaky gut'.

Increased gut permeability results in even more potentially toxic substances from the gut being absorbed to put further stress on the liver's detoxification pathways. A study of liver disease in alcoholics found that only the patients with a leaky gut developed cirrhosis of the liver2. This points to the possibility that in people with gut dysbiosis, not only is there chronic ingestion of alcohol but the leaky gut caused by bacterial and/or yeast overgrowth leads to more severe effects on the liver from the alcohol produced. If the liver is overwhelmed by toxins from the gut and from chemicals in everyday use it won't function correctly and may even become damaged and inflamed. As a result, not all toxins entering the liver are detoxified and gain access to the bloodstream to travel anywhere in the body. These toxins and the excess of free radicals (highly reactive forms of oxygen) caused by poor liver function can cause direct damage to tissues and also initiate allergic or auto-immune reactions. Un-neutralized toxins are also expelled into the bile in this situation and can further damage the intestinal lining, setting up a vicious cycle in which gut dysbiosis and leaky gut cause poor liver function which in turn worsens the gut dysbiosis and leaky gut.

As mentioned earlier, the liver requires large amounts of energy and nutrients to function efficiently. If the liver is overwhelmed by toxins, these nutrients can become depleted and the liver will function inefficiently resulting in numerous symptoms and problems throughout the body. Many of these nutrients can be replaced by supplementation, improving the functioning of the liver. There are also a number of herbs and other methods that can heal a damaged liver and improve detoxification functions.

Herbs for the Liver

Milk Thistle (Silymarin)

Milk Thistle for Liver Health : Chinese Medicine LivingThis lovely image from medicinalplantsindia.com

The milk thistle plant contains silymarin and related flavonoids which are some of the most potent liver-protecting substances known. These flavonoids are powerful antioxidants so protect the liver from damaging toxins and free radicals. They also stimulate healing and the production of new liver cells and cause the liver to increase production of glutathione, the bodies most important antioxidant and detoxifying substance. Silymarin has been proven to both protect liver cells and repair existing damage in animals intoxicated with mushroom toxins, medicines, heavy metals or toxic organic solvents3. Human studies have also shown decreased mortality in patients with alcoholic liver damage who are treated with silymarin3. Milk thistle is commonly available in capsule or tincture form and a common dose would be 200mg 2/3 times per day. For hepatitis and cirrhosis doses of 400mg or more 3 times per day are common.

Burdock

Burdock for Liver Health : Chinese Medicine LivingThis lovely image from commonsensehome.com

Burdock contains a number of nutrients important to liver function. These 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. Phase 2 pathways requiring sulphur include those utilizing glutathione. Burdock also contains other substances such as arctiin which act to improve liver and gallbladder function.

Dandelion

Dandelion for Liver Health : Chinese Medicine LivingThis lovely image from smallfootprintfamily.com

Clinical studies have shown dandelion extract to have protective effects against lipid peroxidation and free radicals, both damaging products of a poorly functioning liver4. Like burdock, dandelion contains a wealth of nutrients important to liver function, especially the B vitamins. It cleanses the liver and increases the production of bile. Dandelion is often used as a herbal treatment for all liver diseases of the liver including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and jaundice.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is an infection or inflammation of the liver due to viruses of "A", "B" and "C". Drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated seafood can result in hepatitis A. It can easily spread through person-to-person contacts. Hepatitis B is usually contracted from bad blood or infected needles or sexual activity. Hepatitis C is always acquired from blood transfusions. The major symptoms are fever, flu-like symptoms, weakness, poor appetite, fatigue, dark urine and light-colored stools. Most people who got hepatitis can eventually recover with proper nutrition and complete rest. However, liver disease caused by alcohol can lead to death.

Chinese medicine sees hepatitis as damp heat invasion causing spleen dampness, liver energy congestion, blood coagulation, disharmony of liver and spleen, and liver-kidney yin deficiency. An Infectious virus, excessive alcohol consumption, and irregular eating habits can impair the normal functions of the spleen, therefore affecting liver and gallbladder's ability to regulate bile. Bile will then deposit in muscles, skin, bladder, creating yellowish eyes, face and urine. Treatments focus on clearing heat, removing dampness, harmonizing spleen, and nourishing yin. Herbs commonly prescribed are capillaris, atractylodes, aconite, persica, and carthamus.

Jaundice

Jaundice is a yellowish pigmentation of the skin. Jaundice is often seen in liver diseases such as hepatitis or liver cancer. It may also indicate obstruction of the biliary tract, for example by gallstones or pancreatic cancer. Turmeric in yellow curry is effective in treating jaundice.

The diet for people with liver disease should be low in protein, low fat and avoid raw fish and shellfish. Avoid spicy and highly processed foods. Sweet potatoes can lower the yellowish color in the skin. Foods that are diuretic, such as job's tear, are useful in removing dampness. Drinks made of bitter melon and dates are tonics for the liver. Dandelion and burdock are effective in cleansing the liver and the bloodstream. Licorice is used for treating viral hepatitis. Honey can promote proper functioning of liver cells, lower liver fat and promote proper circulation of blood and lower blood pressure. Green pepper and bitter melon are best for releasing liver fire with symptoms of red and dry eyes. White turnip soaked in vinegar can promote bile movement and help to secrete gall bladder stones and kill cancer cells.

Gallstones

Gallstones are formed by stagnant bile flows, secreted by the liver and passed to the gallbladder for storage. First, it formed sludge and then stones. When the stones are small, they will pass through into the intestines and out. If they are large and got stuck in the bile duct, they will cause a sharp, stabbing sensation. Most elderly people have gallstones due to excess cholesterol, high sugar and fat diet and overweight. Women on the pill are more likely to have gallstones. The symptoms are bloating, upper abdominal discomfort, flatulence and food intolerance.

Diet plays an important part in preventing the formation of gallstones and reduces the frequency of their attacks. The preventive diet consists of fruits, vegetables, fiber, no sugar, and little saturated or unsaturated fat. A vegetarian diet is recommended. Lemon juice with olive oil before bedtime will help to eliminate gallstones. Apple juice, pear juice, and beet juice are good for cleaning out the system. Sour white turnip promotes the production of bile and prevents the formation of gallstone. Walnut and celery can help to pass out small stones and so is sour plum juice.

Chrysanthemum & Licorice Tea

Chrysanthemum Flowers for Liver Health : Chinese Medicine Living

Chrysanthemum Flowers 

SYMPTOMS:

Eyes with white secretions at both corners of the eyes, especially upon waking up in the morning.

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS:

Lowers liver heat and clear toxins in the eyes and liver.

Licorice Root : Chinese Medicine LivingLicorice Root : This lovely image from Mountain Rose Herbs

INGREDIENTS:

  • Chrysanthemum (ju hua) 菊花 – 30gm
  • Licorice (gan cao) 甘草 – 15gm

1.   Rinse herbs and cook both ingredients with 3 cups of water over medium heat down to one cup of tea (about 15 minutes).

2.   Strain and drink tea.

USAGE:

No restriction.

The beautiful featured image photo by Marisa Harris on Unsplash


Oyster Noodles for Osteoporosis

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition of weakened bones caused by an imbalance in bone building and bone repair, which is usually accompanied by aging. It is a common problem affecting women after menopause when their bodies are not generating enough estrogen to build bone. People with low calcium intake, physically inactive, smoking, a small frame or very low body weight have a higher chance of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis may lead to easy bone fractures at the wrist, hip and spine, and eventual immobility.

Osteoporosis Recipe : Chinese Medicine Livingthis image from  cdn.nof.org

The Bandage Approach

After many decades of subscribing drugs and calcium supplements to treat osteoporosis by modern medicine, there is enough clinical evidence to show that these interventions did not work. The results showed not only no improvement in preventing bone fractures but worse, it caused serious side effects such as nausea, abdominal cramping, flatulence, diarrhea, severe constipation, inflammation and ulceration of the esophagus, chest pain, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, etc. It clearly demonstrates once again that the bandage approach used by modern medicine is doing more harm than good.

The fact is that by increasing bone mass artificially makes bones more brittle and makes fractures more likely when there is a fall. And when injecting a heavy dosage of calcium into the body, it can cause "calcium in the wrong place" such as calcification of joints and arteries causing heart disease which is so dangerous.

Leaking Calcium

To treat osteoporosis, it is the underlying problem of leaking calcium which needs to be addressed. Diet and other health problems should be the main concern in diagnosis and treatment. A diet that is highly acidic can upset the body's PH balance. To compensate, the body’s natural response will draw calcium from bones to neutralize the acidity. When the acidic condition persists, severe bone loss is the result. Stress is the main cause of depleting calcium from our bodies. Many people living very stressful lives are suffering from adrenal fatigue. The fight or flight response of the body will produce large quantities of the stress hormone cortisol in order to cope. Calcium is the main ingredient used to make cortisol, so it uses up calcium and depresses bone repair and bone formation. Calcium loss can also be a side effect of pharmaceutical drugs treating other health problems.

The Best Defense

The best defense to prevent and fight osteoporosis is through diet, exercise, and sleep. Exercise promotes better blood circulation which in turn promotes healthy metabolic functions of the body including the repair and building of bones. Weight lifting exercise is found to increase bone mass. Eating a healthy diet which is slightly more alkaline than acidic can prevent calcium loss. Fruits and vegetables are mostly alkaline. Meats, dairy products, soft drinks, coffee and tea are acidic, so milk is bad for bone not just cardiovascular health. Sleeping the eight hours sleep, especially at night is vital. The body detoxifies and makes new blood, repairs and builds bones at night.

Dark leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, turnip greens and cabbage are rich in calcium and vitamin K and are best to promote strong bone. Other foods with vitamin K include spinach and collard greens. Parsley, green olives, basil and thyme also have vitamin K. Garlic, onions and egg are rich in sulfur which is needed for healthy bones. Onion is found to be more effective than drugs to prevent osteoporosis. Egg yolks and organ meats such as liver are rich in vitamin K2. Canned salmon and sardines with bones, soy products, sesame seeds and almonds are all good for bones. Soy products, which are high in isoflavon, can reduce bone loss or even increase bone density. Shrimp is high in vitamin B12, which aids bone density and is crucial in the generation of new cells. It is also a good source of vitamin D, an essential ingredient for bone strength. Your best source of vitamin D is sunshine. You don’t need more than 20 minutes out in the sun to get all your vitamin D for the day.  Other food sources of vitamin D include salmon, mackerel, tuna fish, sardines, eggs, beef and cheese. Reduce sodium intake and use herbs and spices for natural flavoring. Selenium protects bones. The best source of selenium is Brazil nuts, which contain a whopping 544 micrograms in just one ounce. You can also get selenium from red meat, tuna, eggs and walnuts.

Chinese medicine sees osteoporosis as blood deficiency and blood coagulation, kidney and spleen deficiency. Food treatments are for promoting kidney health, improving blood production and circulation.

Oyster Noodles Recipe

SYMPTOMS

Blood deficiency syndrome of osteoporosis, constipation with hard stool, dizziness, dry lips and mouth, fatigue, fever, blurred vision, muscle spasm, pale complexion, and insomnia.

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

Act on the kidneys to produce bone marrow, energy (qi), and blood.

He Shou Wu : Chinese Medicine LivingHe Shou Wu Root
This lovely image from www.stemcellnutrition.net

INGREDIENTS

  • Chinese cornbind (he shou wu) 何首烏 - 10gm
  • Fresh oysters -100gm
  • Rice noodles - 50gm
  • Salt, soy sauce or miso

Oysters for Osteoporosis : Chinese Medicine Livingthis delicious image from www.tastewiththeeyes.com

  1. Cook cornbind with 3 cups of water over medium-low heat and boil down to 1 cup of tea and strain.
  2. Cook rice noodles in hot water for a few minutes and put noodles through cold water bath and drain.
  3. Wash oysters a few times, and then use a spoon of salt and then a spoon of corn starch to wash them again. Rinse clean and drain.
  4. Re-boil cornbind tea, add oysters and bring to a slow boil. Add noodles and seasoning to serve.

Oyster Noodles for Osteoporosis : Chinese Medicine Livingthis pretty image from www.dishinanddishes.com

USAGE

Eat as or with meal. No restrictions.

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**Featured image from foodamentals.com

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Chinese Silk Pulse Cushions : Chinese Medicine Living


Cooling Cucumber Salad - Summer Recipe

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP

Cucumbers are an important part of Chinese medicine food therapy and are packed with a multitude of health benefits. They are also the perfect food for summer. In Chinese medicine cucumbers are sweet, affecting the spleen, and cooling - helping the body stay cool in the hot weather. They have a high water content and are very moisturizing, helping you stay hydrated in the hot summer months. Cucumbers are also excellent detoxifiers, cleansing the body of impurities which build up no matter how hard we try to avoid toxins in our food and the environment. Cucumbers are great in a salad, delicious pickled, an excellent addition to any juice, and adding a few slices to your water will pack an extra punch of hydration niceness whether you are working out at the gym or on the beach doing yoga. Below is an impressive list of cucumbers health benefits.

Health Benefits

  • Clears heat from the body; resolves fevers from summer heat and helps to prevent heat stroke
  • Detoxifying
  • Anti-inflammatory (most inflammations are due to heat)
  • Cleanses & purifies the blood
  • Strengthens the spleen
  • Relieves thirst
  • Benefits the heart
  • Moistens the lungs
  • Moistens and cleanses the large intestine
  • Strongly alkalizing
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Treats depression
  • Benefits the skin - cucumbers speed healing in the skin and the juice speeds the healing of burns and wounds
  • Aids digestion
  • Stimulate hair growth
  • Treats kidney and bladder infections
  • Promotes urination
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Anti-cancer
  • Aids constipation
  • Relieves bad breath
  • Promotes joint health
  • Benefits the eyes (placing cucumber slices over the eyes calms hot, puffy, dry or irritated eyes).
  • Kills tapeworms!

Cooling Cucumber Salad - Summer Recipe

Cooling Cucumber Salad : Chinese Medicine Living

Ingredients

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 medium white onion (you can also use red onion)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (2oz)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Cooling Cucumber Salad : Chinese Medicine Living

Directions

*You can make this tasty salad with the skin on or peel it off, its up to you. There are many health benefits to eating cucumber skin but as cucumbers are sensitive to pesticides, always try to buy organic, or soak them in a little apple cider vinegar which will neutralize the pesticides.

  1. Peel and cut the cucumbers lengthwise, then slice into 1/4 inch slices (or thinner if you like)
  2. Slice the onion in half, then slice thin
  3. Add cucumber and onion to a bowl and mix
  4. Add salt (I like pink Himalayan salt) & pepper to taste
  5. Add the vinegar
  6. Mix thoroughly and serve

This dish actually gets tastier the longer it sits, so you might want to make it a couple of hours before you plan to eat it for maximum deliciousness. ;)

Enjoy!

Cooling Cucumber Salad : Chinese Medicine Living

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If you would like a downloadable information sheet that will tell you all about how to live in harmony with the Summer season in Chinese Medicine, you can find it here - The Summer Season in Chinese Medicine.


Black Sesame Dessert for Constipation

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Black Sesame Dessert for Constipation

Black Sesame Seeds : Chinese Medicine Livingthis pretty image from anediblemosaic.com

Symptoms

Difficulty in eliminating the bowels due to lack of energy after prolonged sickness or old age, swelling of abdomen, lack of appetite.

Therapeutic Effects

Lubricate dryness, nourish liver and kidney, relieve heat in blood, strengthen lung energy and improve qi, darken hair and promote yin energy.

Huang Qi : Chinese Medicine Living

this lovely image from humboldtherbals.com

Ingredients

  • Astragalus (huang qi) 黃耆- 24gm
  • Black sesame - 120gm
  • Honey - 40gm

Black Sesame Dessert : Chinese Medicine Living

Directions

  1. Rinse astragalus and simmer in 3 cups of water for about 45 minutes to 1 cup of tea. Strain and set aside.
  2. Rinse sesame and put in a grinder with half cup of water and grind to a paste.
  3. Cook the paste with the astragalus tea and add honey to serve.

Eat 2-3 times a week until symptoms are gone.

Enjoy!

Happy

*the lovely featured image from Miss Wong's Kitchen

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Peace Love & Acupuncture Button : Chinese Medicine Living


Strengthen Spleen and Remove Dampness Soup

By NourishU

Symptoms

Weak digestion, lack of appetite and loose bowels.

Therapeutic Effects

Promotes spleen and digestive health, relieves dampness in the digestive system (stomach & spleen).

Chinese Medicine Fuzzy Melon Recipe : Chinese Medicine LivingChinese Fuzzy Melon

Ingredients

(6 servings)

  • Pork bones 豬骨 – 240gm
  • Fuzzy melon 節瓜 – 480gm
  • Chinese Yam (shan yao) 淮山 – 10 slices (5ogm)
  • Job's Tears (yi yi ren) 生薏仁 – 90gm
  • Dangshen (dang shen) 党參 – 90gm
  • Pitted red dates 紅棗(去核) - 6
  • Ginger 生薑 - 3 slices
  • Citrus Peel (chen-pi) 陳皮 – one piece (pre-soaked and with white tissue removed)

Chinese Yam : Chinese Medicine LivingChinese Yam

Directions

  1. Rinse pork bones and put in boiling water to cook for a few minutes. Remove and rinse.
  2. Rinse herbs and put all in a soup pot with pork bones and about 3 litres of water. Bring to boil and lower heat to medium and cook for  one hour.
  3. Peel melon and cut into large pieces and add to the cooking. Continue to cook for another hour and add more water if necessary.
  4. When done, add salt to serve. Eat melon with soup.

Chinese Red Dates : Chinese Medicine LivingChinese Red Dates

Usage

No restrictions.

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Would you like to learn more about the Spleen in Chinese Medicine? Check out these downloadable info sheets available on www.learnchinesemedicine.com -

The Spleen - Theory in Chinese Medicine

The Spleen - Nutrition in Chinese Medicine

The Spleen - Dampness in Chinese Medicine

The Spleen - Patterns in Chinese Medicine

The Spleen Associations in Chinese Medicine - Poster


Liver Flush Immune Elixir Recipe

The ReFresh Cookbook - Ruth Tal with Jennifer Houston

This recipe is from one of my favourite cookbooks, that comes from one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto - Fresh. It was a wonderful place to eat with a diverse menu of fresh, raw, vegan (and non vegan) dishes that tasted delicious and you knew were amazing for you. You can learn a little bit more about them and their vision here.

This juice recipe is one I have recommended to patients for years and have made for myself many times. It is especially helpful if your liver is congested - you are experiencing a lot of anger and/or frustration or you are having any menstrual problems like cramps.

Some Signs of Liver Stagnation

  • Pain along the sides of the body
  • Anger (that is overwhelming, inappropriate or not easily controlled)
  • Frustration
  • Sighing
  • Hiccups
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Extreme stress that is difficult to manage
  • Mood Swings
  • Sensation of having a lump in your throat

Women

  • Menstrual cramps where the pain is dull, distended, localized, sharp or stabbing in quality
  • Blood clots
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Urinary problems
  • Depression
  • Sciatica
  • Infertility

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or if you just want to do some regular liver maintenance I would highly recommend this delicious juice to help your liver get its energies moving. Here is the recipe straight out of the book.

Liver Flush Immune Elixir

Formerly called Bukowski's Liver Flush after the prolific poet and devout alcoholic Charles Bukowski, this combination is spicy, sweet, and intense. You can gradually increase the amount of beet juice in this recipe as you become accustomed to its detoxifying effect on your body. Beet juice has powerful cleansing benefits to the liver, kidneys and blood. Be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 inch ginger root
  • 2 medium beets, scrubbed
  • 1/2 lemon peeled
  • 2 large pink grapefruits
  • 2 shakes cayenne pepper
  • 20 drops milk thistle

Method

Juice the ginger first. Follow with the beets and lemon. Finish with the grapefruit. Stir in the cayenne pepper. Drop in the milk thistle. Pour into a tall glass. 

**CAUTION!!**

Something I want to be sure to note to the uninitiated, is that drinking beet juice has a direct effect on your poop and will make it bright red, looking like blood. I say this because of the number of times that I have had patients call me in a panic sure that they were dying because they were bleeding from the inside. It can be scary indeed.

 

The lovely featured image from foodgawker.com

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If you would like a downloadable information sheet that will tell you all about how to live in harmony with the Spring Season in Chinese Medicine, you can find it here - The Spring Season in Chinese Medicine.

 


Black Bean & Licorice – Best Detox Combination

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Nowadays, detoxification is the centre of attention when it comes to sickness prevention, health promotion and treatment of all kinds of illnesses including cancer. It is not hard to understand why we all need to detoxify for better health because we are living in such a toxic world with the air, food and water being highly polluted. Together with the industrialization of food and the modern healthcare approach of overusing toxic pharmaceutical drugs, our body is constantly bombarded by toxins. It is only a matter of when our body succumbs to the toxic effects and fails to function properly. Cancer is a typical example and is happening far too often to too many people now. I agree with the doctor who said `` if you breathe, you need to detox``.

If we understand the importance of detoxification, we will also understand that detoxification is not just a spring time event or a once a year exercise. It is necessary to flush out toxins from our body on a continuous and regular basis. This means that rather than taking a drastic detox program in a short period of time, it is better to take a more regular and gentler approach. The effect will be far better and easier for the body to handle.

Chinese medicine is big on detoxification. Making detox teas regularly for the whole family is a common approach towards sickness prevention and cure. It is especially important for young children and teenagers throughout their various development stages. The results are they have better digestive function, much more balance internally and therefore become calm and less agitated. They have less skin related problems therefore feel more confident and with better self-esteem. Besides homemade detox tea, it is also very common to find tea houses, herbal shops and retail stores selling all kinds of detox teas rather than coffee or unhealthy drinks. The most popular ones are the five flowers tea and cooling herbal tea. The homemade detox teas have more variety, milder in taste and nature, and are using more food ingredients such as beans, sugar cane, water chestnut, carrot, winter melon, lotus leave, etc., therefore are more delicious and easier for children to take regularly.

Black bean and licorice tea is one detox formula that I recently found in TCM literature which has very high rating and with lots of documentation to back up its efficacy. It is praised as the best detox tea for taking out almost all toxins from our body from all sources including toxins from pharmaceutical drugs and herbs. The only toxin that it cannot remove is cortisone. That is why we have to be very weary when taking cortisone injection. My understanding is that our body can only tolerate up to two cortisone injections in one life time. Any more than that will cause a lot of havoc to our body.

Black Bean & Licorice Detox Tea : Chinese Medicine Living

Black bean is known to be the worlds healthiest food. It is high in protein and calcium and good for promoting bone health. It is low in calories and sugar and is good for managing diabetes. Black bean can lower blood pressure and blood lipid and can prevent heart disease. It can also soften blood vessels, lubricate skin and prevent aging. Black bean provides special support for digestive tract health and promotes a healthy colon. Black bean is also high in selenium which plays a role in liver enzyme function and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body, reduces inflammation and decreases tumor growth.

Black Bean & Licorice Detox Tea : Chinese Medicine Living

Licorice has been used in food and as medicine for thousands of years. It is also known as "sweet root," and has been used in both Eastern and Western medicine to treat a variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold to liver disease. It acts as a demulcent, a soothing, coating agent, and as an expectorant, meaning it helps get rid of phlegm.

Black Bean & Licorice Detox Tea : Chinese Medicine Living

In TCM, licorice is neutral in nature, sweet in taste and attributes to all twelve organs. It is a general drug, one of the most ancient herbs and is highly praised and frequently used for enhancing the overall immune response throughout the body. It improves the taste of other herbs, harmonizes and prolongs their effects in formulas and benefits all of the vital organs and their meridians. It invigorates vital energy, clears heat and toxins for skin infection, sore throat and food poisoning. It eliminates phlegm, relieves cough, relieves spasm, alleviates pain and moderates the potency of drugs. That’s why licorice is often found in many herbal remedy formulas. However over consumption can also result in adverse effects.

The following is a simple formula putting black bean and licorice together to make a great detox tea for regular detoxification. It is slightly sweet in taste and is easy to take. It is highly recommended for people of all ages.

Black Bean and Licorice Detox Tea

Black Bean & Licorice Detox Tea : Chinese Medicine Living

Ingredients (for about 6 servings)

  • Licorice – 65gm
  • Black bean – 300 gm
  • Water – 2000 cc

Directions

1. Rinse beans and soak for over 4 hours or overnight (keep inside a fridge).

2. Bring water to a boil in a big soup pot (to prevent boiling over). Add beans and soaking water in and bring to a boil again. Lower heat to medium and let it cook for about 15 minutes.

3. Rinse licorice briefly and add to the cooking. Lower heat and cook until beans are soft (about another 30 minutes).

4. You can take the tea only or eat beans with tea or you can discard the licorice and put beans and tea in a blender to mix into a smoothie.

Black Bean & Licorice Detox Tea : Chinese Medicine Living

Usage

You can take one to two servings per day and keep the rest in the fridge.

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Chinese Silk Pulse Cushions : Chinese Medicine Living


Cloud-Ear Mushroom - For Spring Detox

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

Spring is in the air and it is time for many households to start their spring cleaning projects around their homes and gardens. Our body, after a whole winter of inactivity and over indulgence in greasy and highly dense food, should also be in great need for a good spring cleaning.

On the subject of cleansing and detoxifying our body, you may find yourself being overwhelmed by too many product advertisements in health magazines, newspapers, online newsletters and blogs and you may find it hard to decide where to start and what product to use. I think the best approach is to have a good assessment of your body condition first and then use it as a guideline to help determine your right course of action. This, together with your honest answers to how much time, money and effort that you would like to put into the exercise, are the determining factors on how successful you can be. I think it is only sensible to take a longer time and more moderate approach rather than going through some drastic regimens of extreme and punishing diets which can only kill your will power and good intension. May I suggest just changing your food choices to more healthful ones as a start which may take longer to see the effects but at least more doable and enjoyable?

Cloud Ear Mushroom Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Overall, if you can manage to feed yourself with more good clean and nutritional fluids such as good clean water, freshly squeezed fruits and vegetables juice and homemade broth, cut down on meat consumption, eat a little bit less and do sweat inducing exercises daily for about 45 minutes, you are on the right path to spring clean your body for better health.

On healthy food choices for detoxification, vegetables with high fiber content would be the best choice. Chive, garlic stem, daikon, bok-choy, watercress, yu-choy, collard green, kelp and seaweed are good in cleansing our stomach and digestive tract. Mushroom, beans and seeds are other good detox agents. Most mushrooms have anti-oxidant properties and are effective in fighting tumors and abnormal cell development. Beans and seeds are effective in helping the body to eliminate abnormal retention of water and waste products.

Mushrooms have a good reputation for delivering great health benefits. Most western people know about Asian shiitake mushroom and consume it regularly but they may not know about another black mushroom called cloud-ear mushroom.

Cloud-ear mushroom is smaller in size, thinner, more fragile and very different than shiitake. It is more a fungus than mushroom and the shape is like human ear. They are grown on wet tree trunks and cluster together like a stack of clouds. They are known to be very effective in cleaning the lungs, reducing plague and cholesterol. They are commonly used in Chinese home cooking because they are easily available and affordable. They are mostly sold dried therefore can be kept for a long time. They can be fully rehydrated after soaking for about 15 minutes and a little can turn into a lot so very easy and economical to use.

The mushroom itself is almost tasteless, just needs a few minutes to cook but its slippery and crunchy texture makes it a very unique culinary ingredient. Even with longer time cooking will not change its texture. Therefore, cloud-ear mushroom is best for putting in a stir-fry, quick soup recipes and vegetarian stew. You can also put it in salad or some appetizer dishes after quick cooking in hot water.

Last week, I was so pleasantly surprised when I found fresh cloud-ear mushroom for sale in Chinese supermarkets in the Greater Toronto area. They are now being farmed in some Ontario mushroom farms together with many other exotic species. I am so happy to be able to use them fresh in many recipes now.

Whenever I buy cloud-ear mushroom, my 95 year old mom (living with me) will tell her story again on how her father made them all eat a bowl first thing in the morning before breakfast when they were young and how much he loved and cared for them. They were using the dried ones then and have them soaked in an open pot overnight on the roof-top terrace to get some morning dews before cooking with a little sugar to make it tasty for children. This is the kind of breakfast that will make so much difference to our heath compared to eating a bowl of sweet cereal. However, I think this is a hard act to follow and I truly admire the grandfather whom I had never met.

The following is an easy stir-fry recipe which I have put together just for demonstration. I used ingredients I have on hand. Crunchy and easy to cook ingredients such as onion, zucchini, cucumber and sweet peppers go well together with this mushroom. You just vary them according to your liking.  Sometimes I put the mushroom in vegetable soups and finish the soup with egg wash to make it a little bit fancier. I have also come to notice some Chinese dim-sum restaurants are using cloud-ear mushroom in their appetizers other than just in their usual steamed chicken.

Cloud-Ear Mushroom with Chicken Stir-Fry

Cloud Ear Mushroom Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Ingredients

  • Cloud-ear mushroom
  • Asparagus
  • Red onion
  • King mushroom
  • Chicken breast
  • Minced ginger and garlic

Cloud Ear Mushroom Recipe : Chinese Medicine Living

Directions

  • Rinse and cut ingredients to desire thickness and length.
  • Rinse and slice chicken breast thinly. Season with salt, pepper, cooking oil, soy sauce, potato starch and sesame oil.
  • Heat wok, add mined ginger and garlic and stir briefly. Add onion and other vegetables to cook for a couple of minutes. Then add mushrooms and mix in seasoning to taste. When the cloud-ear mushrooms starting to make popping sound, sprinkle in a little cooking wine and a little water. Mix and cover with lid to cook for a few minutes.  Then put everything aside.
  • Heat wok with a little oil and add minced ginger and garlic to stir-fry chicken slices. When about 70 % cooked, sprinkle in cooking wine and return mushrooms & vegetable to the cooking to mix the ingredients. Put everything to plate when chicken is completely cooked.

Cloud-Ear Mushroom - For Spring Detox : Chinese Medicine Living

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If you would like a downloadable information sheet that will tell you all about how to live in harmony with the Spring Season in Chinese Medicine, you can find it here - The Spring Season in Chinese Medicine.