TCM Principles for Weight Loss
In TCM, no matter what therapeutic approach is applied, there are always guidelines behind it. These basic principles are derived from different diagnostic theories, such as the eight principles or organs (zang fu) theory. According to the TCM understanding of obesity, the underlying principles for weight loss treatment are:
1. Harmonize the stomach to promote fat digestion
Hawthorn helps promote digestion.
A majority of obese people consume an excess amount of greasy foods such as sweet cakes and fried meats. The stomach will have trouble digesting these foods, and thus they will be detained in it. Symptoms such as distention in the gastric and abdominal areas, backward flow of stomach contents into the mouth, foul breath and a greasy coating on the tongue may be present. Herbs like hawthorn, malt and radish (seed) can be used to promote the secretion of digestive fluids and help the digestion of fatty materials in the stomach.
2. Activate the blood to remove the stasis
Chinese angelica helps promote blood flow.
High levels of lipids (fats) in the blood that lead to sclerosis of blood vessels are regarded as a phenomenon of blood stasis in TCM. Methods of activating the blood flow and removing blood stasis not only promote the blood flow, they can also help to lower the lipid content in the blood and decelerate the sclerosis process. Herbs most commonly used in this way are Chinese angelica, Szechuan lovage, red sage root, red peony root and notoginseng.
3. Relieve chest stuffiness to eliminate phlegm
Trichosanthes (gua lou) helps the lungs get rid of phlegm evils.
From a TCM viewpoint, fatty tissue is a kind of turbid phlegm. The excessive phlegm associated with obesity leads to shortness of breath during exercise, chest oppression and dizziness. In more severe conditions, when both phlegm and heat evils accumulate, individuals will present with an impulsive, easily provoked temper, high blood pressure, a distending headache and insomnia. A yellow and greasy fur usually covers the tongue. Herbs like trichosanthes (gua lou), Chinese chive bulbs, peel of various citrus fruit, mandarin orange peel and trifolicate orange enhance the lungs to disseminate and liquefy the phlegm evils.
4. Remove the stagnation of the liver and gall bladder
Capillary Artemisia (yin chen) helps with proper functioning of the liver and breakdown of fats.
The liver plays an important role in qi (vital energy) circulation, as well as the enhancement of food digestion and blood flow. The gall bladder secretes bile and aids in the digestive process. Proper functioning of the liver and the gall bladder assists the break down of fat. Herbs most commonly used to assist this process include capillary Artemisia (yin chen), zedoary rhizome(e zhu), turmeric (jiang huang) and cassia seed (jue ming zi). This type of treatment is effective for individuals who suffer from a fatty liver and gall stones.
5. Induce diuresis (excretion of urine) and eliminate dampness
Indian bread (fu ling) helps induce diuresis.
Obesity involves the disorder of fluid metabolism. When there is dysfunction of distribution or excretion of body fluids, symptoms can present such as swollen eyelids, edema (retention of fluid in the tissues), obesity or other conditions. Inducing diuresis (excretion of urine) is a direct way to promote the elimination of excessive dampness. Herbs most commonly used in this way are wax gourd, water-plantain (ze xie), Indian bread and plantain seed.
6. Induce purgation by promoting bowel movements
Rhubarb (da huang) is commonly used to promote regular bowel movements.
An obese body gathers too much turbid waste and fatty tissues. The large intestine is usually under-functioning and constipation can also add to the problem. Promoting regular bowel movements reinforce excretion and eliminate body wastes. Herbs commonly used to promote regular bowel movements are rhubarb, bushy knotweed (hu zhang) and fleeceflower root (shou wu).
The above principles aim to expel excessive evils contributing to obesity. Several principles are usually combined in real practice. However, if individuals are under-functioning in the spleen and kidneys, then tonifying treatments should be considered. They help to build up the qi (vital energy) inside the body as well as facilitate expelling evils.
Article by ShenNong
Based on this article, we recommend one of the TCM formulas that has more success rate shown in the performance of the functions required in the process of weight loss, the
And also, mainly for those intolerant to cafeine: DIET by Jade Herbal
Today we receive mixed signals from doctors about how to treat common colds and flu. The fear of widespread antibiotic resistance has many people avoiding the doctor altogether when they get sick. Left with over the counter medicines to treat symptoms so that we may continue working or school, it often can take up to two weeks for a cold to resolve. Chinese herbs and Acupuncture can be a valuable resource in the prevention of colds and flu and can also help us recover from them quickly and easily.
It is possible to use Chinese medicine to prevent the infections of colds and flu altogether or when caught early, to prevent them from turning into full-blown infections. Studies have shown that certain acupuncture points are effective in boosting the immune system. Herbal medicine can be prescribed to enhance your immune system. When people around you are getting sick, taking preventive herbs will increase your ability to fight off illness and remain healthy.
Yu Ping Feng San: https://www.eqilibrium.net/en/yu-ping-feng-san.html
Five Mushroom Formula: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/five-mushroom-formula-peoples-herbs.html
Panax Ginseng: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/ginseng-ren-shen-pian-en.html
If you do happen to catch a cold or the flu, Chinese herbs can help lessen the severity and speed the recovery time of illness. If you take action at the first signs of a cold or flu, such as sore throat, earache, fatigue or body aches, herbal medicine will help to relieve symptoms and repair your immunity so that your body can fight off the infection.
Commonly used flue and cold treatment formulas:
Yin Qiao San: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/yin-qiao-san-pian.html /
Herbal Sentinel Yang: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/herbal-sentinel-yang-giovanni-maciocia.html
Herbal Sentinel Yin: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/herbal-sentinel-yin-giovanni-maciocia.html
Expel Wind Cold: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/expel-wind-cold-giovanni-maciocia.html
Expel Wind Heat: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/expel-wind-heat-giovanni-maciocia.html
Qing Qi Hua Tan Tang: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/qing-qi-hua-tan-tang-blue-poppy.html
Xiao Chai Hu Tang: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/xiao-chai-hu-tang-blue-poppy.html
It is common knowledge in Chinese medicine that it is possible to recover from an illness and be stronger for it. Using acupuncture and Chinese herbs during the recovery stage of infection is a good way to ensure you are completely over the infection and that your immune system is intact and ready to fight off the next bout of sickness that makes its way through your home or work environment. Symptoms like lingering cough or phlegm or an irregularity in your elimination are common complaints after a severe bout with the flu.
Shi Quan Da Bu Tang: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/shi-quan-da-bu-tang-blue-poppy.html
Ganoderma Lucidum: https://www.eqilibrium.net/en/ganoderma-lucidum-seta-lingzhi-reishi-en.html
Five Mushroom Formula: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/five-mushroom-formula-peoples-herbs.html
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/liu-wei-di-huang-wan-blue-poppy.html
The Benefits of an Alternative
Chinese medicine was developed to treat many different illnesses, but made particular advancements in its medical history when doctors began to look specifically at the treatment of viral and bacterial infections. Now, the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine is combined with what modern acupuncturists know about viral infections such as the flu. Complimentary and alternative medicine is receiving a lot of attention right now because of the fear of a wide-spread flu outbreak. With the benefits of vaccines uncertain, people are wisely looking for other ways to protect themselves against serious illness during the cold and flu months. It is our hope that, after reading this article, you now know that it is easy to use Chinese herbs as an effective way to prevent and treat colds and flu.
Seasonal allergies and Tradicional Chinese Medicine
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, that familiar tickle in your nose and throat that signals the arrival of spring pollen very soon; sneezing, mildly congested or a runny nose, or perhaps some mild burning of your eyes or itchiness of your skin. All these symptoms, from a Chinese Medical point of view, point to the climactic influence of the spring season - Wind.
Chinese medicine views seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms as being primarily caused by the pathogenic influence of wind. Wind is qualified by symptoms that occur quickly, are rapidly changeable, affect mostly the upper part of the body, and occur at a very surface level - for example, mucous membranes and skin.
From the perspective of Chinese medicine, those of us with underlying deficiencies, often of the spleen, kidney, or lung, are especially susceptible to invasion by wind, and, therefore, conditions like seasonal allergies.
Luckily, there are many natural options to help relieve allergy symptoms.
Chinese herbal medicine is A very effective choice, and can be combined with acupuncture for faster results.
One of the most effective TCM formulas is AllerEase; Formula explanation:
In Chinese medicine, people who contract airborne allergies, ipso facto, suffer from a defensive qi vacuity. Since the defensive qi issues from the middle burner, this defensive qi vacuity is mostly due to a chronically vacuous and weak spleen failing to engender the lungs and defensive qi. Because of the close recipirocal relationship between the spleen and kidneys, there may also be a kidney qi vacuity. In either case, external wind evils may take advantage of this vacuity to enter the body where they obstruct the lungs’ diffusion and downbearing. Because the patient’s spleen is habitually vacuous, there is a tendency to phlegm dampness. This phlegm may be hidden or deep-lying, meaning that, during ordinary times, it is not apparent. However, whenever the lungs’ diffusion and downbearing of fluids is inhibited, this phlegm backs up and spills over, thus becoming apparent as mucus.
Therefore, this formula is based on the saying, “The spleen is the root of phlegm engenderment; the lungs are the place where phlegm is stored.” Within it, Codonopsis, Astragalus, Coix, and Disocorea supplement the lungs, spleen, and kidneys, the three viscera which govern water metabolism in the body. Terminalia and Schisandra secure the lungs and specifically stop runny nose. Ledebouriella and Schizonepeta relatively gently dispel wind evils from the exterior while not damaging the defensive qi. Flos Magnoliae and Mentha open the orifices and free the flow of the nose, thus relieving nasal congestion. Periostracum Cicadae dispels wind and stops itching. Platycodon guides the other medicinals to the lungs and also transforms phlegm. Dry Ginger warms the lungs and transforms phlegm. The combination of Coix and Alisma seeps dampness via urination and, therefore, helps Atractylodes eliminate dampness. Licorice harmonizes all the other medicinals in the formula at the same time as helping fortify the spleen and supplement the qi.
Thirty-three patients with wind cold allergic rhinitis and an underlying lung-spleen vacuity were given a single course of treatment with this formula and then followed for six months. In six cases, their symptoms disappeared and did not recur for the full six months of the study. In 23 cases, their symptoms recurred after more than three months but less than six months. However, repeat treatment was able to eliminate their symptoms. Only four cases got no effect. Thus the total effectiveness of this formula was 87.8%.
One of the most ancient TCM formulas used for allergies is Yu Ping Feng San:
CLINICAL STUDIES AND RESEARCH
1. Prevention of respiratory tract infection: According to one study, Yu Ping Feng San was evaluated for its effect in preventing recurrent respiratory tract infection in 32
children who have had a history of frequent infections. The treatment protocol was to administer Yu Ping Feng Pian for 14 weeks prior to winter. The study reported an
overall effectiveness of 96.9%. Furthermore, the study noted that there was an increase in IgA, but no significant changes to IgG or IgM.8
2. Allergic rhinitis: According to one study, the use of Yu Ping Feng San was associated with good results to treat 495 patients with allergic rhinitis characterized
by deficiency of the exterior. Of 495 patients, the study reported significant improvement in 293 cases, improvement in 120 cases, and no effect in 79 cases. The
rate of effectiveness was 84. Information was unavailable on 3 individuals who did not complete the study.
3. Immunostimulant: Administration of Yu Ping Feng San has been associated with increased immunity. According to one study, the use of this formula increased IgG and IgA in mice. Another study reported that the use of this formula for 2 to 3 months increased NK cell count and activities.
4. Antiviral: According to one in vitro study, Yu Ping Feng San has demonstrated inhibition on the replication of influenza A viruses.
Another of the most basic formulas used during allergy season is Jade Screen ( based on Yu Ping Feng San). This formula is incredibly simple and elegant: expels wind (Ledeboureilla root), supports the lung system (Astragalus root), and supports the spleen system (Atractylodes). The simplicity of this formula also makes it highly adaptable for each individual patient's presentation.
Jade Screen™ is a formula specifically designed to treat the manifestations of allergic rhinitis. The problem is becoming more and more common, partly because of an increasing genetic predisposition to allergy and partly through heavy atmospheric pollution in cities. Although this formula contains the classical prescription “Jade Wind-Screen Decoction” (Yu Ping Feng San), its main emphasis is not on tonification but on expelling Wind and restoring the diffusion of Lung-Qi to stop sneezing and nasal discharge. In addition to herbs which expel Wind and target the nose, there are three herbs which are included for their anti-allergy effect: Dan Shen, Wu Wei Zi and Wu Mei.
A deficiency of the Kidneys is often at the root of atopy (the tendency to allergic diseases such as atopic eczema, allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis). The formula is aimed primarily at treating the Manifestation (i.e. Wind in the nose) rather than the Root. To treat the Manifestation and the Root simultaneously, the formula could be combined with the Herbal Sentinel (Yang or Yin).
Nasal irrigation with saline can be extremely effective at washing allergens out of the nasal passageways and preventing an immune response. Additionally, the saline helps to moisturize the nasal membranes and control swelling. Goldenseal and/or grapefruit seed extract are great additions to the traditional saline wash.
One of the best choices for effective and side effect free treatment is acupuncture. Acupuncture works incredibly well because it not only relieves current symptoms, but also balances the immune system and corrects underlying deficiencies to help prevent symptoms from recurring. Regular treatments are most effective during allergy season, ideally starting acupuncture therapy a few weeks before symptoms hit their peak.
Supplements can also be of great support to your system this time of year. Quercitin can help to normalize the histamine reaction, Bromelain thins mucous and reduces nasal passage swelling and inflammation, and good quality probiotics help to normalize large intestine and gut function and, therefore, support the immune system as a whole.
Remember, there's no reason to suffer this season. Try some of the many natural options available to you to find relief from allergy symptoms!
Chinese health includes phytotherapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine for the treatment of Wuhan coronavirus
The formulas below can be used for any respiratory infection, be it 2019-nCoV, pneumonia or the flu.
People who have been in contact with potential patients and whose immune system is weak are recommended "Yu Ping Feng San", adding Astragalus (Astragalus Membraneceus).
Plant-based health protocol for the early stage of the disease
When the virus has already been incubated and the infection is installed, showing the first symptoms, the Protocol advises, among other solutions, a modification of the formula "Huo Po Xia Ling Tang" together with the preparation "Xiao Chai Hu Tang".
For the middle phase it is advisable to add the formula "Huang Lian Jie du Tang".
“TCM-cured patients of novel coronavirus infection discharged from hospital”. Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-03 20:35:14|Editor: huaxia.
“TCM plays key role in treatment”. By Wang Xiaodong in Wuhan | China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-07 08:11.
“100 more traditional Chinese medicine workers dispatched to Wuhan”. Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-27 21:13:37| Editor: huaxia.
“Chinese Herbal Medicine Treatment Protocols for Wuhan Pneumonia”. Shelley Ochs. TCMinBeijing. Enero, 2020.
Qi is no longer a strange word to many in the West, thanks to people like Dr. David Eisenberg. His book, titled “Encounters With Qi,” describes his experience as the first American physician allowed to visit China after President Nixon’s efforts to open communication between the United States and China.
Definition of Qi
First, it means the energy that circulates around us. For different seasons, different qi is dominant. For example, there is wind for the spring, heat for the summer, dampness for the late summer, and dryness for the fall. In the winter, we feel there is a cold qi in the air.
Second, it refers to the energies that manifest inside our bodies. We can feel them. Blood and fluids circulate in the body as if there is wind moving them around. Some people feel coldness in their extremities, sometimes to the point that they have to wear socks to sleep.
Some people feel heat as if they are having a fever, menopausal hot flashes, or the heat that follows chemotherapy for breast or prostate cancer. When people have too much dampness in the system, it manifests as swollen joints, a thick greasy coating on the tongue, diarrhea, or a sense of heaviness in the body.
Third, qi means emotions. When someone is very angry, we say this person has a “sky-rocketing anger qi,” and when a person is very happy, we say he is bathed in the joyful qi. Indeed, the emotions are forms of energy, and therefore forms of qi.
Fourth, it means the air. When people breathe, we say they breathe in qi and breathe out qi.
Fifth, it means the energy that maintains the functions of every organ. Therefore, the heart has the heart qi, the liver has the liver qi, the blood has the blood qi, and the digestive system has its qi. When it moves in the right direction, sufficiently, and with balanced properties, we have a healthy body and a peaceful mind.
Trouble With Qi
When qi is in trouble, the body gets sick and becomes dysfunctional. For example, when qi moves in the wrong direction or becomes rebellious, people may feel nauseous and short of breath, or they may vomit, wheeze, and cough.
When qi is collapsing, people may have trouble controlling their bowels and bladder, or have prolapsed organs. When the properties of qi are out of balance, people experience all kinds of symptoms, including chills, fever, tremor, swollen joints, night sweats, high blood pressure, depression, mania, or agitation and anxiety.
Qi circulates in every level of our bodies, from the surface to the inside; it reaches everywhere and leaves nothing untouched. It moves inside channels that we call meridians. The structure of meridians is still too microscopic to be visible using modern technology.
But the forefathers of Chinese medicine had the technology or the natural ability to visualize and map this energetic level of human existence. They discovered that if we experience emotional distress, our internal energy is affected, causing blockages and misdirected qi.
If the condition is not corrected, it may cause further damage by developing into severe pain, a tumor, blocked arteries, cancer, or degenerative changes, and the like. As you can imagine, the human body has many places where energy can get blocked.
When qi is deficient, it may cause weakness, slow metabolism, aging, and organ failure. And when it finally disappears, we die.
Therefore, to promote good health, prevent illness, and slow down the aging process, we must take good care of our qi.
There are two kinds of qi. One is inherited from our parents at the time of conception. It is called prenatal qi and is mostly stored in the kidney meridians. Prenatal qi is used in reproduction and then passed to offspring. The second is postnatal qi, which is mostly obtained from food and air, thanks to the functioning of the lung and spleen meridians.
To maintain prenatal energy, protect, preserve, and replenish it as much as you can. To maintain postnatal energy, one should eat a healthy and balanced diet, avoid excessive eating or drinking, sleep well, and adopt a moderate level of physical exercise. Consider meditation and appropriate qigong practice. Managing one’s emotional stability is the key to keeping the energy channels open and energy flowing smoothly.
Herbal remedies, when used properly, can help, in particular, to supplement deficient qi. Acupuncture can be an effective tool to help unblock the energy channels, redirect and facilitate energy flows, and balance energy properties when it is used skillfully based on a thorough and accurate evaluation.
So ask yourself, “Did I take good care of my qi today?”
Herbal formulas to complement Qi:
HE SHOU WU
YU PING FENG SAN
Along with the bold yet delicate taste that shiitake, maitake, cordyceps and reishi mushrooms add to soups and other dishes, these gourmet delicacies are prized as herbal medicines. Traditional Asian healers have used them for centuries to strengthen the immune system and promote longevity. Recently, an Extract from a different mushroom altogetherâ, from the Coriolus (Coriolus versicolor) mushroom --was identified as a possible ally in the fight against cancer. While mushrooms other than these may well have specific health-promoting actions, they haven't been as thoroughly researched for medicinal purposes.
Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) mushrooms are low in calories and are a good source of potassium, phosphorous, iron, selenium, Protein, Vitamin D2 (ergosterol, a plant sterol that is converted to vitamin D when exposed to ultra-violet rays), thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, as well as all essential Amino acids, enzymes, fiber, and nucleic acid derivatives. In ancient China, herbalists utilized shiitake for a host of ailments including colds, flu, headaches, measles, gastrointestinal distress, and liver problems, as well as for improving circulation and increasing vitality. Ancient physicians prescribed shiitake to boost chi, or life energy. Now, shiitake are a subject of intense research, and the medicinal capabilities attributed to the shiitake mushroom are so prized that it is now among the most cultivated of the worldâ€™s edible mushrooms.
Maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms are also packed with nutrients and have long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They are rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, vitamins B and D2, and niacin, as well as amino acids and fiber. Maitake mushrooms contain a protein-bound polysaccharide compound called beta-glucan, which has been identified as an active constituent responsible for its immunity-enhancing, anti-tumor properties.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) mushrooms also contain beta-glucans and are one of the few known sources of another polysaccharaide group called triterpenes, which are also thought to have potential immunomodulating, anti-tumor, and Antioxidant activities. Reishi varieties also contain vitamins including D2, minerals, and unsaturated fatty acids. Reishi mushrooms have also been touted for immunity-enhancing and regulating activities.
The Coriolus versicolor mushroom contains one of the most-studied mushroom extracts. Since the early 1970s, more than 400 studies have evaluated the extract, PSK (polysaccharide krestin), for its anti-cancer properties. Another polysaccharide found in the Coriolus mushroom, called PSP (polysaccharide peptide), also appears to have cancer-fighting properties. And, like Maitake, PSK extract is high in immune-boosting beta-glucan.
Another medicinal mushroom, the cordyceps species, also contains immune-boosting beta-glucans and triterpenes. The cordyceps grows out of caterpillar larvae in the Himalayas, and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cough and wheezing and to reduce fatigue and calm nervousness. Although the cordyceps species has been touted for its potential to enhance physical performance, scientific evidence does not support these claims.
All of these healing mushrooms contain polysaccharides, powerful compounds that help in building immunity. Polysaccharides and other compounds in mushrooms may also lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots, prevent heart disease, treat diabetes, relieve bronchitis and sinusitis, and possibly fight cancer cells and increase the potency of cancer treatments.
Specifically, mushrooms may help to:
Improve risk factors for heart disease, such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Shiitake and maitake mushrooms contain polysaccharides called lentinan, which may have potential cardio-protective effects, such as cholesterol lowering properties; and other polysaccharides found in reishi and a variety of other mushrooms also may have additional cardio-protective benefits. Several studies in animals have shown the potential of these mushrooms for improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels. For example, in a 1987 study done with rats with high blood pressure, those fed a diet containing shiitake and maitake mushroom powder for nine weeks experienced a decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol levels while no differences in cholesterol levels were seen in control groups. However, the cholesterol decrease was seen in HLD-cholesterol (â€œgoodâ€ cholesterol) and triglycerides, and the mushrooms did not seem to affect LDL-cholesterol (â€œbadâ€ cholesterol) levels in the rats. (1) In a similar experiment in 1989, hypertensive rats fed maitake mushrooms for eight weeks experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure but no changes in cholesterol levels compared to control groups; and those fed shiitake mushrooms for eight weeks showed significantly lower cholesterol levels but no change in blood pressure compared to the control group. (2) A 1996 study compared the levels of cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides in cholesterol-fed rats with or without fortification with 20% maitake mushroom powder. In the maitake-fed rats lipid levels were consistently lower, and the weights of extirpated liver and Fat pads were significantly less. Researchers concluded the maitake mushroom powder appears to alter lipid metabolism by inhibiting the accumulation of liver lipids and the elevation of serum lipids, but further research is needed to determine whether the effect is the same in humans. (3) Another animal study in 2001 found rats fed maitake, shiitake or enokitake mushroom fiber for four weeks showed lowered serum total cholesterol, higher fecal cholesterol excretion, and improved LDL (â€œbadâ€ cholesterol) levels compared to the control group. (4) Other mushrooms, such as the oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus), have also been the subject of studies that indicate cholesterol lowering effects in animals. However, studies are needed to determine the efficacy of medicinal mushrooms for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure in humans.
Treat diabetes. The fruiting bodies of maitake mushrooms contain polysaccharides that appear to have a hypoglycemic effect, possibly by activating insulin receptors, which may be beneficial in regulating type 2 diabetes. Preliminary clinical evidence indicates maitake mushroom extracts may help to reduce symptoms of type 2 diabetes, including reducing blood sugar levels. In a 2001 study, diabetic rats and control groups were fed diets containing either 20% maitake or control diets for 100 days. After 10 weeks, fasting glucose levels were significantly lower and insulin levels were significantly higher in the group fed maitake compared to the control diet alone. (5) And in a 2002 study of insulin-resistant mice, a water-soluble extract of maitake mushroom (FXM) was shown to be as effective as the conventional diabetic medication glipizide. (6) A 2007 study in humans had similar findings when testing oyster mushrooms. In the six-month study, 89 diabetic patients included oyster mushrooms in their diets for 21-day periods (7 days with mushrooms, 7 days without mushrooms, 7 days with mushroomsâ€”the quantity of mushrooms was not described). Blood pressure levels, plasma glucose levels, and other factors were measured at the start of the study and after each 7-day period. Eating oyster mushrooms seemed to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as significantly lowering blood glucose levels. These levels increased when mushroom was withdrawn and decreased again after restarting eating mushrooms. (7) Also in 2007 in Taiwan, a randomized, double-blind, Placebo-controlled study evaluating the efficacy of an extract of Agaricus mushroom (Agaricus blazei Murill) found that using the extract in conjunction with the conventional medications metformin and glipizide was more efficacious than conventional medications alone. In the study, 72 diabetic patients aged 20 to 75 who had diabetes for more than one year and had been treated with the conventional medications for more than six months were enrolled and randomized to receive either mushroom extract or placebo daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the group receiving mushroom extract showed significant improvement in Insulin resistance compared to the control group, and there was a 20% increase in plasma concentration of the glucose-regulating Hormone adiponectin in the treatment group compared to a 12% decrease in the control group. (8)
Fight cancer. The immunomodulating effects of medicinal mushrooms have been touted for their ability to strengthen the immune system during cancer treatment, improve survival rates and inhibit the spread of the disease. The Coriolus mushroom has shown particular promise in combating breast, lung, stomach and colon cancers; the maitake mushroom and cordyceps mushroom also have shown positive anti-tumor activity. PSK extract has been used as an adjunct to chemotherapy to improve response and survival rate in cancer patients. Hundreds of studies, most of which have been in Japan, have demonstrated this potential use of medicinal mushrooms and their extracts. A 1993 study showed that when PSK was combined with conventional surgery and radiation for lung cancer patients, those receiving the PSK extract had a 5-year survival rate of 39% for stages 1 and 2 and 22% survival rate for stage 3, compared to survival rates of 16% for stages 1 and 2 and 5% for stage 3 without the PSK. (9) A 1997 study found that when used as an adjunct to cancer therapy, PSP seems to improve immune function by increasing white cell, natural killer cell, and antibody levels. (10) A 1998 review of studies evaluating PSP to treat cancer, patients with esophageal, gastric, and lung cancers taking PSP while also undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy concluded that PSP helped to alleviate side effect symptoms and prevent decline in immune status. (11) A 2000 review of the Japanese studies of PSP and PSK done since the 1970s found PSP significantly improved quality of life, pain relief and enhanced immune status in 70% to 97% of patients with stomach, esophagus, lung, ovary and cervical cancers. The review also found that PSK and PSP boosted immune cell production, ameliorated chemotherapy symptoms, and enhanced natural killer cell production and function. (12) However, a 2008 review of the immunomodulating effects of mushrooms indicates the majority of studies evaluating the beneficial effects of mushrooms have been of low quality and lack standardization. The researchers claim no scientific basis exists for the use of mushrooms or mushroom extracts in the treatment of human patients, but say there is significant potential for higher-quality studies to understand the potential of mushrooms to treat humans. (13)
Preliminary research indicates the beta-glucan found in maitake mushrooms also has anti-tumor activity. The research suggests that maitake mushrooms can prevent metastasis of experimentally induced tumors as well as prevent tumor occurrence in normal cells. (14-16) The immune-enhancing and anti-tumor properties of cordyceps and reishi mushrooms, which are likely due to the beta-glucan and triterpene polysaccharides, also are studied for their potential to treat cancer. Studies in animals with cancer have shown that cordyceps mushrooms improve immune response, reduce tumor size and lengthen survival time. (17-20) A preliminary study in 36 patients with advanced-stage cancers found that taking cordyceps orally after chemotherapy treatment for cancer may improve quality of life and cellular immunity. (21) A 2003 study found that a specific reishi mushroom polysaccharide extract, Ganopoloy, stimulates immune function in advanced cancer patients. In the study, 34 patients with advanced-stage cancers took 1,800 mg of Ganopoly three times a day before meals for 12 weeks. Patients in the treatment group showed increases in interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-6, Interferon-gamma, and natural killer cell activity. However, there was a concommitant decrease in IL-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. (22) A 2005 review of studies indicates reishi mushrooms seem to inhibit proliferation of several human cancer cell lines in the laboratory, including, lung, liver, breast, prostate, cervix, and bladder, as well as lymphocytic leukemia. These extracts also seem to have direct cytotoxic activity against human breast, liver and cervical tumor cells, mouse sarcoma. (23) Further high-quality research is needed to establish safety and efficacy in humans.
Relieve viral infections, such as common colds, flu, bronchitis and sinusitis. A 2004 review of the beneficial effects of edible mushrooms found the immune-enhancing properties of mushrooms help to protect against cold, flu, and infections by inhibiting viral replication. However, research is lacking in this area. Studies are needed to determine the potential use of mushrooms and their extracts to treat viral infections.
Cordyceps is a rare and exotic medicinal mushroom, known in China for centuries. One that reportedly
has a number of far reaching medicinal effects. Most people in the West have come to know this rare
herbal medicine in only the last twenty years or so. During that time, modern scientific investigation into
its seemingly miraculous range of healing powers has proven what Chinese practitioners have noted for
centuries: That it works well in combating a myriad of medicals problems.
Much of what is known about Cordyceps sinensis we owe to the research of Dr. Georges Halpern, a physician and professor emeritus with the University of Hong Kong, and author of several books about Cordyceps.
Research suggests that Cordyceps may improve the BIO ENERGY status of animals humans. This would happen because Cordyceps improves the internal balance mechanism, thus making the utilization of OXYGEN more efficient. These properties may account for the overall physical enhancement, the added endurance, and the anti-fatigue effects which are seen in humans using the Cordyceps supplement.
1. Cordyceps Improves the Respiratory Function
Several scientific studies have demonstrated the benefits of Cordyceps sinensis in alleviating the symptoms of several respiratory illnesses including chronic bronchitis and asthma (Reference 2, Chapter “Effects on the Respiratory System”, pages 429-432). In a double blind, placebo controlled study with 30 elderly volunteers Cordyceps significantly improved the maximum amount of oxygen these people were able to assimilate (Reference 4).
2. Cordyceps increases cellular Oxygen Absorption by up to 40%
(Lou Y, Liao X, Lu Y. Cardiovascular pharmacological studies of ethanol extracts of Cordyceps mycelia and Cordyceps fermentation solution. Chinese Traditional and Herbal Drugs 1986;17(5):17-21,209-213) Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases improvement of 40% after Cordyceps supplement. (Wang WQ. J. Administration Traditional Chinese Med 1995;5 (supp;):24)
3. Cordyceps Improves the Functioning of the Heart
Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of Cordyceps sinensis on heart rhythm disturbances, such as cardiac arrhythmias and chronic heart failure (Reference 2, Chapter “Effects on the Cardiovascular System”, pages 436 – 441).
An even more vigorous study was conducted using “in vivo” mouse model induced acute Pulmonary Edema (Pneumonia) which causes systemic lack of oxygen, acidic body, and death. Research results show that animals taking Cordyceps had a significantly greater survival rate of 20% mortality vs. 80% mortality in 30 minutes. This is a startling 400% improvement. (From Wan F, Zhang S. Clinical observations of fermented Cordyceps sinensis (Cs-4) in antitussive, expectorant, and antathematic effects. Collection on the Basic Medicinal and Clinical Studies of Submerged Culture Cordyceps sinensis. Beijing, Nanchang, China:Jiangxi TCM/IMM, 1985:35-39)
4. Cordyceps Helps Maintain Cholesterol
Four excellent studies have demonstrated that Cordyceps sinensis helps to lower total cholesterol by 10 to 21% and triglycerides by 9 to 26%. At the same time it helps to increase HDL-cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) by 27 to 30% (Reference 1, Chapter “Effects on blood lipid metabolism and arteriosclerosis”, pages 299 – 301).
Blood Cells – Improves Blood Cell Viability & Function.
Genetic – Promotes DNA Repair
Liver Protection - Improves Liver Functions, helps with Hepatitis and Cirrhosis Sub chronic and chronic hepatitis on related liver diseases are more prevalent than most people think. Liver is the living filter of the human body, cleaning the blood and all other fluids of impurities. There is no way for you to survive, much less feel healthy, without a functioning liver.
Research clinical trials on 33 patients with Hepatitis “B” and on another 8 patients with cirrhosis taking Cordyceps supplement showed 71.9% improvement on “Thymol Turbidity Test” and 78.6% improvement in” SGPT Test” both of these are enzyme test showing improving functions of the liver. (Zhou LT, Yang YZ, Xu YM, Zhu QY, Zhu YR, Ge XY, Gao JD. Short term curative effect of cultured Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc. Mycelia in chronic hepatitis B. China J Chinese Materia Medica 1990;15(1):53-55)
5. Chronic kidney diseases improvement
(3) Chronic kidney diseases improvement of 51% after only one month with Cordyceps supplement.(Jiang JC, Gao YF. J Administration Traditional Chinese Med 1995;5(suppl):23-24)
6. Cordyceps Reduces Tumor Size in Cancer Patients
Several clinical studies have been conducted in China and Japan with cancer patients (References 1 and 2). The studies were done with CSE (Cordyceps sinensis mycelium) using a therapeutic dose of 6 grams per day (= 4 capsules twice daily). In one study with 50 lung cancer patients administered CSE in conjunction with chemotherapy, tumors reduced in size in 46% of patients. A study in cancer patients with various types of tumors found CSE (6 g/day for over 2 months) improved subjective symptoms in the majority of patients. White blood cell counts were maintained and tumor size was significantly reduced in about half of the patients. Researchers in Japan reported that CSE enhances the general reactivity of the immune system in individuals with cancer. To discover this, they subcutaneously injected mice with cancerous (lymphoma) cells and then orally administered CSE. This lead to a reduction of tumor size and prolongation of the host survival time. CSE also improved the antibody responses.
7. Immune System
Increases NK cell activity, makes more MUSCLE – Increases Power, builds better/younger cells.
Recharge the Protective Army of NK cells – Your body’s ability to fight infections and tumors depends on the availability of Natural Killer (NK) Cells. These are essential first lines of defense for our body’s protection mechanisms commonly known as the Immune System.
Several scientific studies of Cordyceps have especially focused on Natural Killer (NK) cells and Cordyceps effect on them and cancer formation. One such in-vitro study demonstrated Cordyceps adding significant enhancement of NK cell activity in normal individuals as well as leukemia stricken individuals. (Liu C, Lu S, Ji MR, Xie Y. effects of Cordyceps sinensis on in-vitro natural killer cells.
Chinese J Integrated Traditional Western Med (Chung-Kuo Chung His I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih) 1992;12(5):267-269) showed that natural Cordyceps enhanced the NK cell activity of normal patients by 74% and increased the NK activity of leukemia patients by 400% and similar improvements of NK cell activities was found in big melanoma cancer (Xu RH, Peng XE, Chen GZ, Chen GL. Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on natural killer activity and colony formation of B16 melanoma. Chinese Med J 1992;105(2):97-101)
8. Improvements in the Immune System
The improvements in the Immune System were so impressive that Dr. Zhu at the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 1998 stated: “Because of the above profound influence on immune functions, natural Cordyceps products have been used in many clinical conditions in patients with altered immune functions.”
The First Anti-Aging Supplement Known to Mankind
It’s An Anti-Aging Fighter with clinical research proof in controlled studies which showed that elderly patients suffering from fatigue and some senility related symptoms reported. (1) Improvements in the reduction of fatigue 92%, of feeling cold 89%, in dizziness 83%, after taking Cordyceps for 30 days. Patients with respiratory/breathing problems felt physically stronger and some were able to jog for 600 ft. (Cao A, Wen Y. J Applied Traditional Chinese Med 1993;1:32-33)
10. Cordyceps Protects against Free Radical Damage
Several studies have shown that Cordyceps sinensis protects against the damages caused by free radicals, and as such has powerful antioxidant properties (Reference 1, Chapter “Äntisenescence and Oxygen-Free Radical Scavenging Activity”)
11. Cordyceps Reduces Fatigue
Several studies with animals have demonstrated that Cordyceps sinensis increases the cellular energy production and oxygen supply. A double blind, placebo controlled investigation showed a marked reduction in fatigue in elderly patients when they were given three grams of Cordyceps daily. In another study, Cordyceps sinensis improved shortness of breath and reduced fatigue in patients suffering from chronic heart failure (Reference 1, Chapter “Improvement of physical performance and quality of life”, pages 293 – 295).
12. Cordyceps Helps Discomforts from Tired Legs
Several studies have shown that Cordyceps sinensis improves the flow of blood in the body by relaxing the smooth muscles of the blood vessels allowing them to expand. Cordyceps also improves the functioning of the heart and lungs (see above). Cordyceps therefore prevents or reduces the contraction of blood vessels which interferes with the flow of blood vessels in the legs, the main cause of tired legs (Reference 2, Chapter “Effect on the Cardiovascular System”, pages 436 – 441).
13. Endurance & Stamina
Reduces muscle Soreness, Enhances Recovery, Promotes Better Oxygen efficiency,
Increases ATP Synthesis, Promotes Faster Energy Recovery, Reduces Fatigue, Improves Physical Function, Provides More Stamina.
15. Cordyceps Improves Stamina and Athletic Performance
Several studies with animals have shown that Cordyceps sinensis increases the cellular energy production and oxygen uptake ( Reference 1, Chapter “Improvement of physical performance and quality of life”, pages 293 – 295). A study with mice demonstrated their improved swimming capabilities after six weeks of Cordyceps supplementation compared with a control group (Reference 3, page 260).
16. Cordyceps radically increases cellular energy
Cellular energy, which is also known scientifically as the ATP/IP ratio. Cordyceps has been clinically proven to increase cellular Bio-Energy by as much as 55% (Reported XU C.F et al in ZHU J-S, Halpern GM, Jones K. The Scientific rediscovery of a precious ancient Chinese herbal regimen: Cordyceps sinensis: Part I. J Alt Comp Med 1998;4(3):289-303.)
17. Cordyceps Combats Sexual Dysfunction
Three separate Chinese double blind and placebo-controlled studies with over 200 men with “reduced libido and other sexual problems” showed remarkably similar results. On average, 64% of the Cordyceps sinensis users reported significant improvement at the conclusion of the experimental period compared with 24% of the placebo group. In another double blind, placebo controlled study conducted with 21 elderly women with similar complaints, 90% reported improvements of their condition following the use of Cordyceps, compared with none in the control group (Reference 1).
18. Hormones – Adrenal Thymus, Mitochondrial energy.
Dramatic Natural Improvements are seen in endocrine hormone levels, in fertility, and in Sexual Libido for men and women.
19. Sexual Function
Improves Libido and Quality of Life in Men & Women, Fights infertility, Increases Sperm Count, Increases Sperm Survival.
(1) Research on animal studies shows cordyceps increases natural sex hormones(Wan F, Guo Y, Deng X. Chinese Traditional Patented Med 1988;9:29-31)
(2) Prevention and improvement of adrenal glands and thymus hormones, and infertile sperm count improve by 300% after cordyceps supplement.(Huang Y, Lu J, Zhu B, Wen Q, Jia F, Zeng S, Chen T, Li Y, Xheng G, Yi Z.. Zhongchengyao Yanjiu 1987;(10):24-25)
(3) Human clinical studies involving both men and women of 189 patients with decreased libido and desire showed improvement of symptoms and desire of 66% (Wan F, Guo Y, Deng X. Chinese Traditional Patented Med 1988;9:29-31) and
(4) Another double blind study by the Institute of Materia Medica in Beijing, China showed a woman improvement of libido and desire at 86%. (JIA-SHI ZHU, M.D., Ph.D. The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, Vol.4, Number 3, 1998, pp.289-303)
(5) The most dramatic physical proof came from Fertility Study (Guo YZ. J Modern Diagnostics Therapeutics 1986;(1):60-65) involving a clinical research of 22 males showed that cordyceps supplement increased clear evidence of 33% increase in sperm count, decreased 29% incidence of sperm malformations, and a 79% increase in survival rate after 8 weeks of cordyceps supplement.
PREVENTION & TREATMENT OF COLDS & FLU
Over the centuries, traditional medical practitioners have used herbs to ward off infections and relieve cold and flu symptoms. But which of these herbs are most effective? Most appropriate? Most safe? Which are used to prevent colds and flu and which relieve symptoms?
Using herbal formulas to prevent and treat colds and flu is one of the best-developed and most successful aspects of traditional Chinese medicine. Specific treatment practices and formulas have been handed down unbroken from the earliest schools to the modern universities of China.
PREVENTING COMMON COLDS & FLU
In Chinese medicine, prevention of colds and flu is addressed by tonifying the organ system (the physical and energetic aspects of the organ) most affected by what are called in the medicine, "external wind attacks" (e.g., wind cold attack or wind heat attack). In the case of colds and flu, that would be the Lungs. Additionally, those organ systems that help build a person's defense against external attacks will be strengthened. That would include those organs that contribute to building the immune system including the Lungs, Spleen and Kidneys (perhaps, even the Liver). Lastly, if a person has pre-existing conditions that are exacerbated by contracting a cold or flu, such as asthma or other respiratory diseases, correcting imbalances in those areas will also be addressed.
The best time to start preventive measures is long before the cold/flu season. For most people, that would be in early fall. However, it's never too late to start a prevention program. For some people it would be advisable to start a prevention program in August. Such cases would be those with respiratory diseases, compromised immune systems, and those who have a history of easily contracting colds or flu.
Top Antiviral Herbs in Chinese Medicine
Huang Qi - Astragalus
Effective Herbal Formulas in Chinese Medicine
Deficiency Pattern: Most people with chronic illness fall into the Deficiency category. They are the targets of cold and flu during every seasonal change and in every flu season. Their energy is low, their immune systems are weak, and they have trouble recovering from prolonged illness. Women with a Deficiency condition often catch a
cold before every menstrual cycle. When Deficiency-pattern people are hit by cold or flu, they should use specific formulas to boost immune system:
Wind-Heat Pattern: Symptoms of the Wind-Heat pattern include: fever; headache; sweating; a running nose with yellowish-colored mucus; dry mouth; thirst; sore throat; productive coughing with thick yellowish phlegm; a thin, yellow tongue coating; and a floating and rapid pulse. Cold and Flu Formula (Yin Qiao San) is one of the most popular herbal formula to treat the Wind-Heat pattern:
Wind-Cold Pattern: Symptoms of Wind-Cold pattern include: aversion to cold; mild fever; absence of sweat; chest congestion; sneezing; running nose with clear mucus; itching throat, or a cough with clear mucus; a thin, white tongue coating; and a tight pulse.
Among others, Cinnamon Decoction (Gui Zhi Tang), Minor Blue Dragon Decoction (Xiao Qing Long Tang), and Cnidium and Tea Formula (Chuan Qiong Cha Tiao San) are also widely used:
The famous immunological effects of ginseng have been confirmed and defined by a recent study. Ginseng is believed to have beneficial effects against human diseases, and its active components, ginsenosides, may play critical roles in its diverse physiological actions.
Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access Journal of Translational Medicine have shown that the herb, much used in traditional Chinese and other Asian medicine, does have anti-inflammatory effects.
What are the powers of ginseng? Ginseng roots contain multiple active constituents including ginsenosides, polysaccharides, peptides, polyacetylenic alcohols and fatty acids that have been shown to have different effects on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism as well as on the function of neuroendocrine, immune, cardiovascular and central nervous systems in humans.
Previous studies have shown that ginseng and its active components are potent immunomodulators. Their immunomodulatory effects are mostly due to its regulation of cytokine production and phagocytic activities of monocytes/macrophages and dendritic cells, as well as activation of T- and B- lymphocytes.
Ginsenosides, the steroid saponins, are major biologically active compounds of ginseng . Over 30 ginsenosides have been identified to date. Studies indicate that ginsenosides and their metabolites are responsible for many of the diverse physiological actions including the anti-inflammatory effects of ginseng .
Allan Lau led a team of researchers from the University of Hong Kong who identified seven ginseng constituents, ginsenosides, which showed immune-suppressive effects.
He said, “The anti-inflammatory role of ginseng may be due to the combined effects of these ginsenosides, targeting different levels of immunological activity, and so contributing to the diverse actions of ginseng in humans”.
The scientists treated human immune cells with different extracts of ginseng . They found that of the nine ginsenosides they identified, seven could selectively inhibit expression of the inflammatory gene CXCL-10.
Lau concludes, “Further studies will be needed to examine the potential beneficial effects of ginsenosides in the management of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases in humans”.
Uniquely, the researchers were able to holistically test the ginseng extract's immune effects by using sophisticated purification technologies to identify individual constituents and define their bioactivity using genomics and bioactivity assays. After that, they reconstituted them back into a whole extract with definable individual ginsenosides for re-confirmation of effects. This potentially opens up a vigorous methodology to study medicinal herbs with state-of-the-art technologies.
[ Journal of Translational Medicine 2009, 7:34
With the joy of the Christmas season some small problems also appear; stress, anxiety, digestion problems, and after all, left over pounds.
To get by a little better this holiday season, we propose a small survival guide:
When visiting family members or them coming to visit us, take the following formula in the dose of 2 tablets before arrival. Repeat the dose if the visit is too long: https://www.eqilibrium.net/en/less-stress-jade-herbal.html
The visit will be quite more peaceful!
After a copious meal where you are obviously convinced to overeat, take 2 capsules of the following formula: https://www.eqilibrium.net/en/bao-he-wan-blue-poppy.html
After the holiday season is over it is not even worth a visit to the scale, we already know what will it tell us after so many Christmas treats, chocolates, etc., so to avoid heartbreak we can take one of the following formulas even before starting Christmas:
And by the way, in the case of any family member suffering from flu-like states and since we don't want to ruin Christmas with a flu, it is better to prevent it with a protective formula of the immune system, there are many, here are two or three that never fail:
How Does TCM View Obesity and Its Causes?
As early as in the Han dynasty, TCM practitioners recorded the symptoms, mechanism and risk factors of obesity. The Suwen (The Book of Plain Questions) states in chapter 28: "If obesity occurs in the nobleman and rich people, they must be over consuming heavy and greasy foods." Similar to the modern understanding of obesity, associated risk factors include undesirable eating habits, under exercising, body constitution and mental state. The ancient Chinese also knew obesity has close links with metabolic disorders such as diabetes and other conditions such as stroke or chest pain.
The spleen is said to be at the root of all phlegm production.
TCM does not treat "excess weight" per se; rather it deals with the underlying body condition that may have led to the excess weight. Once the body's balance is restored, the metabolism will process food properly and excess weight should no longer be a problem provided correct foods are eaten in moderate quantities. Specifically, TCM holds that fat or adipose tissue is mostly due to phlegm and dampness evils. The spleen is said to be at the root of all phlegm production and is involved in the transportation and transformation of body fluids and foods. If the spleen becomes damaged by eating too many sweet foods and getting too little exercise, it will fail in its duty to move and transform waste fluids and foods. Instead these metabolic wastes will gather, collect and transform into dampness evils. If dampness evils endure over time, they will congeal into phlegm, and become fat tissue.
TCM takes a holistic approach to obesity by focussing on the underlying changes in the body. According to TCM principles, development of obesity is due to the following pathological changes.
1. Dyspepsia causes stomach heat and poor spleen functioning
Over consumption of heavy, greasy and spicy foods or alcohol facilitate production of heat evils in the stomach. Meanwhile, inadequate exercise after eating these types of foods damages the spleen function. The over-heated stomach will ripen an excessive amount of food.Therefore, the stomach will digest food easier and make an individual feel hungry, but the spleen cannot handle an excessive food load causing it to under function and be unable to carry out its transformation and transportation functions properly. As a result, the spare metabolic products turn into turbid fluid and phlegm which intermix with blood and qi (vital energy) filling up the organs, bones and muscles.
2. Exogenous evils giving rise to obesity
Invasion of exogenous evils or over consumption of greasy foods leads to poor transformation and transportation functions of the spleen. Dampness evils then begin to accumulate in the middle burner, which is part of the triple burner (the passage through which water, food and fluid are transported). When dampness and turbid fat enter these passages, they are further distributed by the lungs, allowing penetration into all the organs internally. Additionally, exogenous evils can also penetrate the skin, subcutaneous tissue and muscles through the body's surface giving rise to obesity.
3. Qi (vital energy) stagnation causes turbid phlegm accumulation
For those who are emotionally disturbed, experience trauma, have menstruation problems or are elderly, the liver can fail to regulate qi (vital energy) flow which in turn affects digestion and blood flow. The resulting sluggish qi (vital energy) and blood flow tend to block the meridians. Therefore, in these people, dampness is likely to endure in the body. Over time, this will congeal into phlegm and result in obesity.
4. Kidney essence exhaustion leads to disharmony
Lifestyles, which consume kidney essence, such as being sexually over active can lead to the excitation of the internal ministerial fire. The excessive ministerial fire is a kind of "evil fire" which makes the body produce an over abundance of heat. This "evil fire" affects the middle burner, leading to a malfunction of the stomach and spleen. When this persists over a long period, the vaporization processes in the bladder and triple burner are impaired causing more evils to accumulate and worsen the obesity condition.
From TCM experience, the clinical status of a person with obesity can change leading to a complex diagnosis during consultation. The above causes of obesity can appear together or separately. In short, the fundamental causes of obesity are spleen and kidney deficiencies, which manifest as an overflow of body fluids, accumulation of dampness and phlegm evils and stagnation in blood flow. Sometimes stomach heat and qi (vital energy) stagnation are associated. Moreover, improper vaporization of body fluids by the triple burner may also appear. All of these factors play an important role in the development of obesity.
The pathological changes in obesity:
Traditional Chinese Medicine Formulas to Lose Weight:
Anyone can get cancer at any age; however; about 77% of all cancers are diagnosed in people aged 55 and older. Since this article focuses only on cancer prevention through diet we need to emphasize the importance of including lifestyle risk reductions in your cancer prevention program as well. We hope the information contained in this article helps you in your quest for maintaining a healthy cancer-free life.
HERBAL AND NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT
• Reishi (Ganoderma), shiitake and maitake mushrooms - contain polysaccharides- plant chemicals that have been found to be effective in preventing tumor growth and in strengthening the immune system. Maitake mushrooms stimulate immune function and also inhibit tumor growth. Shiitake contains the polysaccharide lentinan which is known to boost the activity of the immune system. Shiitake fosters many immune-enhancing activities including stimulation of macrophages, increased cytotoxic activity of macrophages, increased production of interleukin-1 and -2, increased T-lymphocyte production, and enhanced CD-4 cell function.
• Astragalus: A 1990 study found that taking astragalus daily increased the body’s ability to kill cancer cells by tenfold. Shi Quan Da Bu Wan, a Chinese formula containing astragalus and ligusticum, has been proved most effective in enhancing cellular immunity, specifically interleukin production by the body.
• Ginseng (Panax) - can not only stop the growth of malignant liver cells in the test tube, but can turn them back to normal. In animal studies panax ginseng has been shown to inhibit metastases to the lung and liver and to reduce elevated platelet and fibrinogen levels caused by the tumor cell lines.
• Atractylodes- contains 3 cancer-inhibiting components which have demonstrated the strongest activity against esophageal cancer.
• Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) - inhibits many viruses including tumor viruses and the HIV virus by inhibiting reverse transcriptase. It is also anti-inflammatory and induces cell death in a number of cancer cell lines including two sarcomas and cervical cancer. (Yance, 1999)
• Codonopsis stimulates the growth of red blood cells, enhances T-cell trans formation and stimulates phagocytosis.
• Coenzyme Q10 (CoQlO) - is recommended for anyone with cancer who is on the chemotherapeutic drug Adriamycin. Adriamycin depletes CoQlO levels in the heart muscle, which can lead to heart damage (this is a serious side effect of this drug). When CoQlO is administered in conjunction with this drug, heart damage does not occur.(Yance, 1999)
• Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) - contains glycyrrhizin which posses blocking ability against tumor-promoting agents. A recent study in Japan demonstrated that glycyrrhizin can inhibit liver cancer caused by hepatitis. (Yance, 1999; Kumada, 2002)
• Chai Hu Shu Gan San (Minor Bupleurum Formula) . This formula has been found extremely effective at inhibiting cancer by enhancing the immune system, inducing apoptosis and inhibiting angiogenesis. It is most useful in breast and liver cancers, but can also be used to treat colon cancer. Bupleurum saponins exhibit anti-inflammatory activity similar to prednisone. (Yance, 1999)
• Medicinal plants that have exhibited antitumor action due to modulation of programmed cell death and arrested proliferation are trichosanthes, soy, garlic, ginger and green tea.(Thatte, 2000)
• Asparagus- has a cleansing effect on the lymphatic system and kidneys. It contains protein compounds called histones which are believed to act as cell-growth normalizers on cancer-cell division.
• Avocados- are perhaps the best overall source of essential fatty adds and glutathione and are a great source of protein. Avocados are easily digested, making them an ideal food for people recovering from surgery or for the very sick
• Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, apples, grapefruit, apricots and cherries - contain D-glucarate. a natural compound produced in small amounts by humans and some plants. It encourages the detoxification of environmental carcinogens and estrogenic tumor promoters.
• Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, carrots and green onions contain a potent anticancer compound called sulphoraphane which according to scientists at John Hopkins medical school greatly increases anti-cancer enzyme systems in cells. They also contain isothiocyanates which enhance glutathion S-transferase, which helps in carcinogen excretion. Broccoli sprouts contain up to 100 times more sulforaphane than does broccoli itself. Another compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables called indole-3-carbinol has been shown to increase the excretion of a form of estrogen called 2 hydroxyestrone, which is linked to breast cancer.
• Broccoli and onions - contain quercetin. a flavone which has a cancer inhibiting effect by preventing a defect in the tumor suppressor gene p53. Quercetin also inhibits the tumor producing PGE-2 series by blocking proflammatory reactions in the body.
• Broccoli contains dithiolethiones which trigger the formation of glutathione S transferase, which may prevent carcinogens from damaging a cell’s DNA.
• Carrots, sweet potatoes, collard greens, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, fresh pumpkin, kale, spinach, mangos, papayas and yams - contain beta-carotene which is considered one of the most promising anti-cancer agents. In one study the more beta-carotene men got in their diet the less lung cancer they developed. It may also prevent a second tumor in patients who have been cured of an initial cancer but now stand at an increased risk of developing new cancers in the upper part of the digestive tract. Carotenoids are best assimilated if taken with a fat such as flaxseed oil or olive oil.
• Garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots (album vegetables). According to the National Cancer Institute garlic is one of the best foods for protection against cancer. It contains the anti-cancer mineral selenium . which stimulates white blood cell production and induces apoptosis (cancer cell death). Alliums contain compounds that stimulate the production of enzymes that neutralize the free radicals linked with cancer. Alliums contain saponins.which prevent cancer cells from multiplying and they also contain allyl sulfides which increase the production of glutathione S-transferase and other enzymes that enhance carcinogen excretion.
• Garlic, onions, Brazil nuts. whole grains and greens - contain selenium. which causes cancer cells to die before they spread, repairs damaged DNA, protects against free radicals and aids the body’s natural detoxification process.
• Green vegetables, chlorella and spirulina - contain chlorophyll which is an antigenotoxin that inhibits the mutagenic activity of certain chemicals. According to one study published in the journal Mutation Research in 1989, chlorophyll proved to be a more effective antimutagen than all known anticancer vitamins, including vitmains A, C and E.
• Potatoes - are a rich source of alpha lipoic acid – a powerful antioxidant which strengthens and regenerates other antioxidants in the body, especially vitamin E. Biochemist Richard Passwater, Ph.D. suggests that lipoic add may even inhibit the activation of the gene that triggers cancer growth in cells. Potatoes also contain a diverse amount of polyphenolic compounds and protease inhibitors and are a great source of vitamin C.
• Red peppers, fresh orange juice, broccoli, apple juice, green peppers, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, papaya and fresh strawberries contain vitamin C which fights free radicals. Vitamin C appears to offer some protection against all cancers.
• Tomatoes, watermelons, red peppers, and carrots contain lycopene which may explain a recent Italian study that found that people who ate raw tomatoes at least 7 times a week halved their risk of several cancers compared to those who ate tomatoes no more than once a week.
• Tomatoes, green peppers, strawberries and carrots - contain p-coumaric and chlorogenic acids which hook onto nitric oxides in the foods we eat and spirit them out of the body before they can form cancer causing nitrosamines.
• Watercress, Chinese cabbage and turnips - contain phenethyl isothiocyanate which can prevent nicotine-induced lung cancer.
• Citrus fruit peels - contain a remarkable anti-cancer substance called D-limonene.Small bits of organic orange peel go well in salads or can be added to any tea. Be sure to cover the tea as it seeps so that the aromatic oils don’t escape.
• Cranberry- contains the anti-cancer constituent, proanthocyanidin. which has an anti-oxidant capability ten times greater than that of vitamin E.
• Figs - contain benzaldehyde which has been shown experimentally to decrease drastically the uptake of thymodine and adenine which leads to a decreased level of ATP within cancer cells, while having no effect on normal cells. It appears it can arrest tumor progression and have a paralytic effect on tumor growth.
• Fruit - contains caffeic acid which enhances production of enzymes that make carcinogens more water-soluble. Fruit also contains ferulic add which binds to nitrates in the stomach preventing production of carcinogenic nitrosamines.
• Grapefruit - contains the flavonoid naringenin which slows the growth of human breast cancer cells.
• Grapes, many berries and some nuts contain a phytoalexin component calledresveratrol which has shown cancer chemopreventive activity. Resveratrol has been found to act as an antioxidant, antimutagen and anti-inflammatory. It has also been shown to inhibit the development of breast cancer and induce antiprogression activity in human myelocytic leukemia.
• Pomegranates, grapes, strawberries, raspberries and nuts contain ellagic acid which blocks the body’s production of enzymes used by cancer cells. In one study an extract of Concord grapes was shown to be as effective as the cancer drug methotrexate in slowing tumor growth. Ellagic acid is particularly effective in the inhibition of lung cancer caused by tobacco.
• Red grapes (especially the seeds), blueberries, blackberries, cherries and grapes-contain oligomeric proanthocyanidins. known as OPC’s, which help to protect DNA from free radicals due to radiation and chemicals and slow down the mutation of cancer cells.
• Tangerines - contain tangertin which inhibits cell-endothelial adhesion, a very important step in the metastatic process of cancer.
USEFUL GRAINS, LEGUMES AND OTHER FOODS
• Barley, bran. brewer’s yeast, brown rice, chicken, dates, green leafy vegetables, legumes, lentils, milk, mushrooms, oranges, split peas, root vegetables, salmon, tuna, wheat germ, whole grains and whole wheat contain folic acid which increases the production of white blood cells crucial in the defense against cancer. Folic acid in dark green leafy vegetables, oranges and liver may act together with vitamin B12 to prevent injuries to lung tissue and retard the development of cancer among cigarette smokers.
• Eggs - preferably organic eggs, are one of the best protein foods for people with cancer. Eggs contain all eight essential amino acids and are rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, glutathione, sulfur and phospholipids. They are best prepared slow cooked or poached. One or two can be eaten once or thrice a week.
• Fish. A recent study has shown that omega-3-rich fish oils impede angiogenesis and reduce tumor invasiveness. Although a diet high in animal protein is not recommended for some people moderate portions once or twice a week can contribute to a well-rounded diet.
• Fiber from fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Since 1980 25 out of 32 studies have shown that fiber protects against colon cancer.
• Olive oil - does not oxidize easily and is also a good source of squalene. the most potent inhibitor of angiogenesis. Buy only unrefined cold-pressed polyunsaturated vegetable oils but do not use them in cooking.
• Sardines, spinach and peanuts - contain CoQ10 which protects against cancer by strengthening the immune system and zapping free radicals.
• Soybeans, chickpeas and other legumes - contain protease inhibitors which reduce certain enzymes in cancer cells.
• Soy products. Fermented soybean products such as miso, shoyu, tempeh and natto contain cancer prevention properties that exceed that of unfermented soybeans, soy milk and tofu. Fermented soy products are rich in isoflavones, including genistein, which has been shown to block the growth of a number of cancers.
FOODS TO AVOID
• Avoid beef. pork and lamb; processed meats and liver. In a large study at Harvard it was shown that the relative risk of colon cancer in women who ate beef, pork, or lamb as a main dish every day was about two-and-a-half times that of women who ate such foods less than once a month. Processed meats and liver were also associated with increased risk, whereas fish and chicken without skin were related to decreased risk. The conclusion was that a high intake of animal tat increased the risk of colon cancer.
• Avoid all processed fats and oils or any foods containing processed oils including hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated products. Trans fats or hydrogenated oils found in margarine and vegetable oils are linked with an increase in breast cancer. Avoid canola oil, safflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, sesame oil as well as margarine. Avoid all commercial cookies, crackers, snack foods, frozen foods, deli foods, mayonnaise, fried foods and all foods labeled “partially hydrogenated.”
• Avoid frying, barbecuing or broiling meat, poultry or fish - especially when using polyunsaturated fats such as safflower or corn oil as it can produce potential carcinogens called heterocyclic amines which have been linked with many forms of cancer. If you do occasionally fry food, use olive oil or butter and do not cook to a point where your food becomes burnt or blackened.
• Avoid refined carbohydrates such as white sugar and white flour. They can cause abnormally high levels of blood glucose, a common factor in cancer. The excess glucose feeds the fermentation process of cancer cells and suppresses the immune system. Elevated glucose levels are seen three to eight times more often in people with active cancer. A study on diet and breast cancer showed a relationship between an excess of starch intake (refined pasta and bread) and breast cancer.
• Cancer patients should avoid coffee. For those in good health, however, organic coffee is fine in moderation.
• Cancer patients should avoid alcohol. Alcohol depletes glutathione levels and stresses the liver. For healthy individuals a glass of organic red wine with a meal is fine. Wine is a rich source of two very important anti-carcinogens – PCOs and resveratrol.
• Do not smoke. Countless studies have shown significant increase in the risk for cancers of the lung, bladder, esophagus, stomach and pancreas in smokers as compared to nonsmokers.