Living with the Seasons in Chinese Medicine

Peppermint and Gotu Kola Ayurvedic Cooling Summer Tea

Posted by on Jun 2, 2012

Cooling Teas of Summer: Peppermint and Centella Asiatica (Brahmi, Gotu Kola, Pennywort) There are lots of ways to hydrate and cool off in summer, without damaging the Agni/digestive fire/Spleen Qi which is actually weaker in the hot weather than in the cold weather. In cold weather the Agni fires up in the core to keep us warm, but in the hot weather it is dispersed to the surface as we sweat. That is why we can eat heavier food in the winter than in the summer. So it is important to be careful about too much cooling food in...

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Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic

Posted by on Feb 25, 2012

I am very excited to have just received my copy of the new, comprehensive and annotated translation of the seminal text of Chinese Medicine, The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic. I have studied this text before in various incomplete or limited translations, but this is the first complete and fully annotated translation by someone with both native level English and classical Chinese proficiency, along with excerpts from all the major commentaries, monographs and articles by Chinese and Japanese scholars over the past 1600 years. Familiarly known as the Su Wen, or Inner Classic, this text, like the Torah in Judaism,...

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Acupuncture in the Seasons and for Prevention of Illness

Posted by on Feb 8, 2012

While Acupuncture is most often used in the USA to treat an illness that has already occured, since ancient times acupuncture has been used to prevent illness. There are specific discussions on this topic in the Nei Jing, or Yellow Emporer’s Classic.   In general, it is recommended that even health people receive acupuncture quarterly, before the change of each season, to help the body adjust to the natural climactic changes and prevent disease. This is the practice of chrono-biological acupunture, and I have found it especially helpful for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and critical for people...

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Dandelion and Chicory Greens: Vegan Fast Food

Posted by on Jan 28, 2012

My idea of fast food: real food, made easily. Too many of my vegetarian and vegan friends are what I call “grilled cheese vegetarians.” Though they avoid meat, they also seem to avoid green vegetables and eat lots of bread and soy cheese or vegan sausages. I was on a meditation retreat a few years ago in Quebec, and it was surprising: lots of beans and grains and dairy, too, even ice cream, but zero green vegetables. Chinese medicine says: Protein for strength, Grains for energy, Green Vegetables to keep it all clean. Luckily, walking around the extensive uncut...

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Celery Root, Burdock, Brocolli, and Sea Food Miso Soup for Dinner

Posted by on Dec 23, 2011

Chick Pea Miso Soup with Celery Root and Scallops Ingredients 1 cup scallops or other sea food 1 cup chopped celery root 1 cup chopped burdock root 1/2 cup white, brown, or fresh shitake mushrooms 1 cup small broccoli florets 4″ piece of kombu sea veggie, cut into pieces with a scissor 4″ piece of wakame sea veggie, ditto 1-2 slices ginger root 2-3 chopped scallion 2 quarts water 1 tbsp chick pea miso paste or mellow white if unavailable 1 tbsp sweet white miso paste or more to taste a dash of white pepper if desired Directions 1)...

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7 Steps for a Healthy Winter from the Yellow Emperor

Posted by on Dec 23, 2011

Practical Advice for Winter from the Yellow Emperor’s Classic 1)In winter, get plenty of rest, more than your normal amount. Cast away Puritan guilt and Cowboy pride about getting by on lack of sleep. Leave martyrdom to the religious fanatics. 2)In Winter cultivate meditative lifestyles, do Tai Qi or Yoga in a warm sunny room, meditate every morning for 15 minutes or more, be kind to your friends and loving to your family. Winter is dominated by the water element, and water is soft. 3)Conserve your sexual energy a little more in winter, depending on your age and constitution....

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Winter in the "Nei Jing", the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Chinese Medicine

Posted by on Dec 23, 2011

To stop for a moment and meditate on the passage of time, to feel time moving inside you, is to practice the value of the winter season, when movements appear underground, when earth’s energy has gone downward and inward. The sun too is on holiday low in the horizon, and cool Venus appears triumphant in a dazzling triangle alongside Jupiter and the waxing and waning Moon in mid-winter. To stop for a moment and meditate on the passage of time, to feel time moving inside you, is to practice the value of the winter season, when nature’s In the...

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Lassi Summer Yogurt Drink

Posted by on Sep 2, 2011

Lassi Summer Yogurt Drink is made from blending yogurt, or kefir, with water and spices, or fruit. While many Indians, especially vegetarians, eat yogurt with spiced foods at lunch time,  and drink yogurt mixed with water, during the day, year round,  it is especially beneficial in Summer and hot weather, because of the cooling property of its two chief ingredients, yogurt and water. Yogurt is Sattvic, but Heavy: Mix with Water to Improve Digestability Ayurveda considers  Yogurt Sattvic, balancing between Rajas and Tamas.  But Yogurt is aggravating to both Pitta and Kapha, because it is sour and because it is...

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Staying Healthy with the Seasons: Fall in Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda

Posted by on Oct 23, 2010

Fall, the Hinge Between Summer and Winter In Chinese medicine, Fall and Spring are seen as the “hinges” between Summer and Winter. The seasons are a kind of love dance between heaven and earth. In Summer, Gaia (Mother Earth) opens like a flower, her energies are at their maximum, she flourishes and reaches up to embrace her cosmic lover. In Winter, she withdraws, taking her energies back into the core of her being. It is a time of maximum Yin, whereas Summer is a time of maximum Yang. A Time of Wind Fall and Spring, like hinges, are full...

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Rose Water in Summer

Posted by on Aug 19, 2010

Chill Your Mood with Rose Water in Summer.   The Reason for Rose: Pathological Heat in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine   Rose water and rose essence has been used for millennia to take the edge off of heat in Summer. Heat in both Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine is associated with hot temper, irritation, and irritability. Indeed, in the already hot pressure cooker that are large urban areas,  tempers flare in summer months. The riots that took place in the inner cities of the USA in the sixties were all in summer, not winter, not spring, not autumn. Pathological heat...

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Keeping Naturally Cool in Summer

Posted by on Jun 26, 2009

Are you keeping naturally cool in summer? In Classical Chinese Medicine summer is the season of maximum “yang,” a time of extreme heat, light, and activity; in summer our energy circulates centrifugally; it is closer to the surface and our radial pulse wave rises to the surface, just as it does when we fight off an external attack . It is a time of extremes. Extremes can be dangerous We can choose our response–do we seek respite from the heat and dry gently, with shade and fluids, or drastically, with freezing air conditioning and ice filled “Big Gulps.” Summer’s...

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Teff n’ Quinoa Gluten Free Pancakes Recipe

Posted by on Jan 26, 2009

  Teff n’ Quinoa Gluten Free Vegan Pancakes Recipe Autumn and Winter are ideal times for the warming, grounding quality of of pancakes. But why use pre-packaged, over-salted, sugary, low-fiber pancake mixes whose pre-ground grains may or may not be fresh, when it’s so easy to make it yourself. Here is today’s recipe– spicy like my mom’s spice cake, low-fat, naturally sweet without sugar, and with as little salt as you want.. If you like salt, add some! You control what goes in to the mix. So use some quality sea salt if you need to. Trader Joe’s has...

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Immunity Boosting Foods and Recipes for Winter

Posted by on Jan 3, 2009

Although winter is a time of colds and flus, in Ayurveda it is actually considered the best season for improving immunity. One reason is that our digestive fire, Agni, is higher in cold weather, so we are better able to absorb the heavier foods that can nourish us at our tissue’s deepest levels (dhatu). Immunity Boosting Foods Immunity boosting foods are those that are full of Prana– freshly made and well prepared, organic, easy to digest, and pure. Tailored to our individual body-mind type (prakruti), age, and the season, they fill the body with Prana without creating toxins (ama)....

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