Diet and Nutrition in Chinese Medicine

Nuts as Weight Loss Aid

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013

This news does not surprise me, as in Ayurveda nuts are in the category of Rasayana–foods that promote health and longevity. They benefit the deepest  layers of the body, Ojas, commesurate with what Chinese Medicine calls Jing or Essence. As such you will find nuts in many “aphrodisiac formula” and are also considered medicinal food for the nervous system. Nuts are so satisfying and dense, its not for nothing that we called them in the old days “nut meats.” Perhaps that is why they may function as a weight loss aid when eaten as a snack. Eat nuts and...

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Autumn in Chinese Medicine

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013

Autumn Fall Autumn in Chinese Medicine is the time of falling, hence its secondary name. Spring up, Fall down.  In fact we even use the word autumn to describe a period in the human life span, the autumnal years, a period of beautiful maturity that is also verging on decline. In Autumn the celestial Qi, which is another way of describing the effects of the sun, moon, stars, and of course the weather (that in turn is a function of the effects of the sun in terms of the seasons), recedes in Autumn from its full bloom of summer....

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Posted by on Oct 14, 2013

  “Good Digestion, Good Sleep, Good Prognosis.”  –Old Chinese Medical Adage:   The digestive tract is the inner core of the body. Good digestion is one of the foundations of health. Our body’s very cells are built from the food that we eat and the oxygen that our lungs extract from the air around us. If our digestion is weak, incomplete, or damaged, our bodies do a poor job of assimilating  the nutritive elements found in our foods. Poor digestion can be a function of several  factors: an inborn weakness in the digestive tract due to bodymind type;  the...

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Are Your Bladder Infections from Factory Farmed Meat?

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013

  Chinese Medicine excels at the treatment of bladder and other Urinary tract infections. I am yet, thank God, to meet a Urinary infection that did not respond to Chinese Herbal Medicine formulas such as Ba Zheng San/Dianthus Formula, or Si Miao Wan/Four Marvels Formula. Perhaps because of their non-wide spread use the bacteria have just not caught on yet. But what I really think is that thanks to the fact that Chinese Herbal Formulas combine from 5-15 medicinal substances in one prescription, that the bacteria have no defense; its like attacking an enemy with an artillery barrage, a...

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Using Spices in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine to Protect Your Digestive Fire in Summer

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013

In summer we sweat and our yang energy or heat keeps getting dispersed and exhausted. On freezing cold days you feel cold, but on boiling hot days you sweat and become exhausted. In winter in every culture people eat heavy high-calorie foods, but in summer switch to lighter food. That is in part because our digestive fire weakens in summer because the yang is at the surface.Conversely, in summer, because it is so hot, we eat lots of cooling juicy food like fruit and more raw food. Raw food is cooling, because your body has to provide the fire...

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Springtime Tea from Somalia with Cardamom and Mint

Posted by on May 3, 2013

Food and drink like language and music spreads between cultures without rules. But within any given tradition, within any given culture, its as if there are unspoken rules that govern change; creativity is allowed, but to a point. In the world of food or music, for example, once you change a thing enough it is no longer what it started out to be. This can lead to certain kinds of conformity.  For example, in my grandmother’s Russian Jewish culture there were two kinds of gefilte fish–sweet without garlic, but with sugar, and spicy, without sugar, but with black pepper...

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Goji Berries in Chinese Herbal Medicine

Posted by on Mar 24, 2013

I got to thinking about Goji Berries in Chinese Herbal Medicine  recently, when someone wrote in to ask whether Goji berries are best eaten raw or cooked? The following is my response to the following question sent in. Eyton, I received a box of dried fructus lycii, (goji berries)from a friend and on the back of the box it says ‘this product needs to clean and cook thoroughly before consumption. However, other google references to the berries say they can be eaten like raisins. Do these berries have to be clean(ed) and cooked? Thanks, Joe   Goji Berries in...

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Ayurveda and Fruits: Match Food to Your Dosha and the Season

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013

What foods match your dosha? Fruits are naturally sweet sour and refreshing. Some fruits, like apples, also have an astringent or drying property, depending on variety, macs more than fiji, for example. Your mouth feels a bit dry after a bite of apple, or quite dry after a bite of unripe banana–this is the astringent flavor. Pomegranates are another great example of this, as are  persimmon, especially if not perfectly ripe. Some fruit are more sweet than sour, like ripe figs, dates,  bananas, some fruits are especially cooling, like watermelon, ripe bananas or oranges. Some fruits can be less...

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Come in from the Cold Ayurveda Winter Tea

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013

Tonight it was quite cold for San Diego and I walked to my friend’s house and then we went out again, so when we came back in I made an Ayurveda winter tea.  We put on a small kettle and I placed in the tea pot: Fresh Ginger Slices, 5 Cloves 4 Cassia Twig 1 inch, broken Ginger Powder, 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder ½ tsp Cumin ¾ tsp Thyme ½ tsp Black Peppercorn 5 and then poured in about 2 cups of water just off the boil. Now Thyme is an excellent herb for winter for the lungs, it...

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What’s Wrong with Red Bull and other Energy Drinks?

Posted by on Jan 3, 2013

Great article today in NY Times today on energy drinks. One of the operative quotes: “…one thing is clear, interviews with researchers and a review of scientific studies show: the energy drink industry is based on a brew of ingredients that, apart from caffeine, have little, if any benefit for consumers….” So the question is, why not just have an espresso? Is it something about the can, the macho power workout imagery suggested by names like Red Bull or Monster? Or is it the blatant fake advertising and, according to the experts in the article, undocumented pseudo-scientific claims...

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Grass Fed Milk, Cultured Butter, Butter in Ayurveda

Posted by on Jan 1, 2013

If you eat butter, let it be from cows that exercised in the fresh air and sun and ate grass in summer pastures, not soybeans and grains in barns.  I really like the Organic Valley brand Pasture Butter (and also Grass Fed Milk. )  As the cows graze on grass over the long summer days, they produce a milk that  provides higher levels of vitamins, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), and balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fats. And because they are out in the fields, their milk has the flavor of the terrain, like single origin chocolate or wine, what’s...

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Wakame Sea Vegetable with Turnip, Pear, and American Ginseng

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012

    Wakame is a delicate, mild tasting, low calorie sea vegetable with a succulent texture. A favorite food in Japanese and Korean cuisine, it is traditionally cooked in miso soup, served on its own as a cold side dish (sunomono), or cooked with foods like kabocha squash. It can be adapted into American cooking in salads, soups, stews, as a side dish, and even added into raw sauerkraut. It compliments grains from barley and quinoa to rice and millet. Wakame looks black in the package, but turns a delicate green color when cooked, brighter if blanched briefly in...

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Winter Wisdom: Chinese Medicine

Posted by on Nov 1, 2012

Winter Wisdom of Chinese Medicine The Nei Jing/Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which presents the cutting edge medical wisdom of its time, is full of brilliant advice for both prevention and cure.  Chapter 2 describe how to adjust our lifestyles to match the natural rhythm of the  seasons.   Winter is the season for “storage” in Chinese Medicine.  It is the storage of winter that allows for the “bursting forth” of Spring. As in nature so in humankind. Storage of what?  Storage of Qi, Blood, Yin, and Yang.  How? To store means to hold on to what you...

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Grass Fed Pastured Dairy Cattle Milk is Healthier and Tastes Better

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012   Briefly, Organic Valley’s Grass Fed Cow’s Milk is healthier, containing Omega 3’s, is not homogenized, and tastes much better. It smells and tastes what the free range milk in my small village in India tasted like, or like the milk on the farm in Putney, Vermont I spent i summer on. Coming soon, “Is Milk “Bad” for You? The answer, in brief– No, unless you have a damp cold condition/elevated Kapha imbalance with symptoms like chronic phlegm, sinus congestion, overweight…. Remedy. No milk for a while. Definitely no cheese. But if you take milk, heat it with...

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Juiced Watermelon with Lime, Ginger, and Salt

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012

Alternative to Iced Drinks in Hot Weather Protect the Agni/ Yang in Summer: Juiced Watermelon with Lime, Ginger, and Salt The other day was quite hot (for SD!), and I swam at the beach after walking down from the top of Torrey Pines, and got home overheated and thirsty. I could still feel the sun hot on my head, even though I had worn a hat. I needed a lot of fluid and to cool down healthfully. An excellent alternative to iced beverages in hot conditions like that is juiced melon, especially watermelon. I juiced mine with fresh ginger...

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