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
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.
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!
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps one deal with a tense situation in the office, study harder for an exam, keep focussed on an important speech. In general, it helps one cope. But when anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it has become a disabling disorder.
1. ANXIETY IN WESTERN MEDICINE
The anxiety disorders discussed in Western medicine are:
• generalized anxiety disorder
• panic disorder
• obsessive-compulsive disorder
• post-traumatic stress disorder
• social phobia (or social anxiety disorder)
• specific phobias.
Each anxiety disorder has its own distinct features, but they are all bound together by the common theme of excessive, irrational fear, worry and dread.
A chronic state of anxiety is usually called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The essential characteristic of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an excessive uncontrollable worry about everyday things. This constant worry affects daily functioning and can cause physical symptoms.
GAD can occur with other anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, or substance abuse. GAD is often difficult to diagnose because it lacks some of the dramatic symptoms, such as unprovoked panic attacks, that are seen with other anxiety disorders; for a diagnosis to be made, worry must be present more days than not for at least 6 months.
Physical symptoms may include:
• Muscle tension
• Cold, clammy hands
• Difficulty in swallowing
• Gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea
• Irritability, feeling on edge
A panic attack is defined as the abrupt onset of an episode of intense fear or discomfort, which peaks in approximately 10 minutes, and includes at least four of the following symptoms:
• a feeling of imminent danger or doom
• the need to escape
• shortness of breath or a smothering feeling
• a feeling of choking
• chest pain or discomfort
• nausea or abdominal discomfort
• dizziness or lightheadedness
• a sense of things being unreal, depersonalization
• a fear of losing control or "going crazy"
• a fear of dying
• tingling sensations
• chills or hot flushes.
2. ANXIETY IN CHINESE MEDICINE
"Anxiety" is a modern term that does not have an exact equivalent in Chinese medicine. I shall discuss the view of anxiety in Chinese medicine according to the following topics:
a) Chinese Disease Entities Corresponding To Anxiety
There is no Chinese medicine term that corresponds exactly to what we call "anxiety" but several ancient Chinese disease entities closely resemble anxiety. The two main disease entities that correspond to Anxiety are:
• "Fear and Palpitations" (Jing Ji)
• "Panic Throbbing" (Zheng Chong)
Both these conditions involve a state of fear, worry and anxiety, the first with palpitations and the second with a throbbing sensation in the chest and below the umbilicus. "Fear and Palpitations" is usually caused by external events such as a fright or shock and it comes and goes: it is more frequently of a Full nature, "Panic Throbbing" is not caused by external events and it is continuous: this condition is usually of an Empty nature and is more serious than the first. In chronic cases, "Fear and Palpitations" may turn into "Panic Throbbing". In severe cases, "Panic Throbbing" may correspond to panic attacks. Despite the name "Fear and Palpitations", such states of fear and anxiety may occur without palpitations.
b) Rebellious Qi Of The Penetrating Vessel (Chong Mai)
There is a third Chinese condition that may correspond to anxiety and especially to panic attacks and that is the condition of Rebellious Qi of the Penetrating Vessel (Chong Mai) causing the symptom of "internal urgency" (li ji).
One of the most common pathologies of the Penetrating Vessel is rebellious Qi and "internal urgency" (Li Ji): this has been recognized since the times of the "Classic of Difficulties" (Nan Jing). Chapter 29 of the "Classic of Difficulties" says: "The pathology of the Penetrating Vessel is rebellious Qi with internal urgency (li ji)."
"Internal urgency" indicates a feeling of anxiety and restlessness: in severe cases, there may be panic attacks with palpitations. On a physical level, it may also be interpreted as an uncomfortable, tight sensation from the lower abdomen radiating upwards towards the heart.
Palpitations is frequently associated with the anxiety or panic attacks deriving from rebellious Qi of the Penetrating Vessel because this vessel flows through the heart. This type of anxiety or panic attack may also be accompanied by a throbbing abdominal sensation which is also due to rebellious Qi of the Penetrating Vessel in the abdomen. From this point of view, Rebellious Qi of the Penetrating Vessel could be considered as a form of "Panic Throbbing" (Zheng Chong).
Rebellious Qi of the Penetrating Vessel causes various symptoms at different levels of the abdomen and chest. It causes primarily fullness, distension or pain in these areas. By plotting the pathway of the Penetrating Vessel, we can list the possible symptoms of rebellious Qi of the Penetrating Vessel starting from the bottom:
• Cold feet
• Fullness/distension/pain of the lower abdomen
• Hypogastric fullness/distension/pain
• Painful periods, irregular periods
• Fullness/distension/pain of the umbilical area
• Fullness/distension/pain of the epigastrium
• Feeling of tightness below the xyphoid process
• Feeling of tightness of the chest
• Feeling of distension of the breasts in women
• Slight breathlessness
• Feeling of lump in the throat
• Feeling of heat of the face
• Anxiety, mental restlessness, "internal urgency" (li ji).
c) "Palpitations" In Chinese Diagnosis
On the subject of "palpitations", it is worth explaining what this term indicates. If we ask most Western patients whether they have "palpitations", most of them will reply in the negative because they think that by "palpitations" we mean "tachycardia", i.e. a rapid beat of the heart. In reality, "palpitations" denotes simply an uncomfortable, subjective sensation of the heart beating in the chest: it has nothing to do with the speed or rate of the heart.
Therefore, when I want to ask a Western patient about this symptom, I do not ask "Do you get palpitations?" but ask instead "Are you sometimes aware of your heart beating in an uncomfortable way?" If we ask in this manner, we will see that palpitations is a more common symptom than we think.
3. DIFFERENTIATION AND TREATMENT
a) Heart And Gall-Bladder Deficiency
Palpitations, anxiety, timidity, easily frightened, lack of self-assertion, easily discouraged, cannot sit or lie down, insomnia, waking up early in the morning.
This person is timid, shy and lacking in drive. He or she is easily discouraged and finds it difficult to make decisions. The anxiety is mild.
Tonify the Heart and Gall-Bladder, calm the Mind.
HE-7 Shenmen, HE-5 Tongli, BL-15 Xinshu, Ren-14 Juque, G.B.-40 Qiuxu, ST-36 Zusanli.
Three Treasures remedy
Breaking Clouds tonifies and lifts Qi and strengthens the Heart and Gall-Bladder.
b) Heart-Blood Deficiency
Palpitations, anxiety, dizziness, pale face, insomnia, poor memory, tiredness.
Tongue: Pale and Thin.
Pulse: Choppy or Fine.
This person is most likely to be a woman, pale, depressed and anxious. The anxiety is mild and she hides it well.
Nourish Heart-Blood, calm the Mind.
HE-7 Shenmen, Ren-14 Juque, ST-36 Zusanli, SP-6 Sanyinjiao.
ii. Herbal therapy
GUI PI TANG
Tonifying the Spleen Decoction Variation
Three Treasures remedy
Calm the Shen
Calm the Shen is a variation of Gui Pi Tang and it nourishes Heart-Blood and calms the Mind.
c) Kidney- And Heart-Yin Deficiency With Empty Heat
Palpitations, anxiety that is worse in the evening, mental restlessness, insomnia, night-sweating, feeling of heat in the evening, five-palm heat, dizziness, tinnitus.
Tongue: Red without coating
Pulse: Floating-Empty and Rapid.
This person is more likely to be middle-aged. The anxiety is marked and is experienced more in the evenings. In women, this type of anxiety is markedly aggravated with the onset of the menopause. There is a characteristic restlessness and fidgetiness.
Nourish Heart- and Kidney-Yin, clear Empty Heat, calm the Mind.
HE-7 Shenmen, Ren-14 Juque, KI-3 Taixi, Ren-4 Guanyuan, SP-6 Sanyinjiao, HE-6 Yinxi, KI-7 Fuliu.
ii. Herbal therapy
TIAN WANG BU XIN DAN
Heavenly Emperor Tonifying the Heart Pill
Three Treasures remedy
Heavenly Empress nourishes Heart- and Kidney-Yin, clears Empty Heat and calms the Mind. Please note that although this remedy is part of the Women's Treasure range, it is equally suitable for men as it is a variation of Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan Heavenly Emperor Tonifying the Heart Pill.
d) Lung- And Heart-Qi Stagnation
Palpitations, anxiety, a feeling of distension or oppression of the chest, depression, a slight feeling of a lump in the throat, slight shortness of breath, sighing, sadness, chest and upper epigastric distension, slightly purple lips, pale complexion.
Tongue: slightly Pale-Purple on the sides in the chest area.
Pulse: Empty but very slightly Overflowing on both Front positions.
This person is anxious but also worried and sad. They will tend to be pale and speak with a weak voice. The anxiety is experienced in the chest.
Move Qi in the Heart and Lung, relax the chest, calm the Mind.
HE-5 Tongli, HE-7 Shenmen, P-6 Neiguan, Ren-15 Jiuwei, Ren-17 Shanzhong, LU-7 Lieque, ST-40 Fenglong.
ii. Herbal therapy
BAN XIA HOU PO TANG
Three Treasures remedy
Open the Heart
Open the Heart moves Qi of the Heart and Lungs and calms the Mind. It has a special action on the chest and it is therefore particularly indicated when there are chest symptoms such as a feeling of tightness or oppression of the chest.
e) Heart-Blood Statis
Palpitations, anxiety, insomnia, agitation, poor memory, chest pain.
Tongue: Purple on the sides (chest area).
Pulse: Wiry, Choppy or Firm.
This person will tend to be middle-aged. The anxiety is experienced more in the evening and often also in the middle of the night, when they might wake up with a panicky feeling.
Invigorate Heart-Blood, eliminate stasis, calm the Mind.
HE-5 Tongli, P-6 Neiguan, Ren-14 Juque, Ren-15 Jiuwei, LIV-3 Taichong, SP-6 Sanyinjiao.
f) Phlegm-Heat Harassing The Heart
Palpitations, anxiety, insomnia, dreaming a lot, feeling of oppression of the chest, sputum in the throat, slightly Amanic@ behaviour.
Tongue: Red, Swollen with sticky-yellow coating.
In this case, the anxiety is marked, to the point of agitation. The person may be hyperactive and slightly chaotic.
Resolve Phlegm, clear Heart-Heat, calm the Mind, open the Mind's orifices.
P-5 Jianshi, HE-8 Shaofu, Ren-12 Zhongwan, ST-40 Fenglong, ST-8 Touwei, G.B.-13 Benshen, Ren-15 Jiuwei, Du-24 Shenting.
ii. Herbal therapy
WEN DAN TANG
Warming the Gall-Bladder Decoction
Three Treasures remedy
Clear the Sould
Clear the Soul clears Heat and resolves Phlegm from the Heart and Lungs and calms the Mind.
Settling the Soul
Settling the Soul clears Heat and resolves Phlegm from the Heart and Liver, calms the Mind and settles the Ethereal Soul.
By Giovanni Maciocia
The main symptoms are:
And scanty dark urine;
Pain in the genital area;
Low back pain;
Fatigue and depression;
The prostate is a reproductive gland located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder.
The prostate is the main producer of male semen.
To diagnose prostatitis, a physician must examine the patient's urine and the prostate through the rectal examination. He may also need to Recollect a sample of prostate fluid for analysis.
Prostatitis can be bacterial, nonbacterial acute and chronic.
The most common is non-bacterial. Symptoms may include frequent urination and pain in the lumbar region.
The causes of this type of prostatitis may be stress and irregular sexual activity.
The treatment for this type of prostatitis may include anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, diet changes, fluid intake, and ejaculating frequently.
Acute bacterial prostatitis usually results from a bacterium or virus, or sexually transmitted diseases. Symptoms may include fever, pain in lower back, frequent urination and pain during urination, small amounts of urine and iregular urination.
These types of prostatitis are usually treated with antibiotics, fluids, and treatment for constipation.
Chronic prostatitis may be bacterial or the result of inflammation of the prostate.
Symptoms include frequent bladder infections, frequent urination and persistent pain in the abdomen or back.
This type of prostatitis is usually treated with antibiotics, dietary changes and supplements.
A treatment with excellent results is the herbal formula Ba Zheng San .
The actions of this formula in TCM are: Clear Dampness, heat and clear toxins. Purging pathogenic fire and relieve the stranguria.
This formula is used primarily to treat symptoms caused by heat in the Lower Jiao, aggravated by strangury hematuria, dysuria, abdominal distension, layer of yellow or red tongue and slippery pulse.
Among the modern treatments are included: urinary tract infections, cystitis, pyelitis, urolithiasis, prostatitis, kidney stones, etc.
The ingredients are:
Da Huang, Gan Cao, Che Qian Zi, Zhu Ling, Qu Mai, Zhi Zi, Hua Shi
Antibacterial effect: this formula has been shown to have a bacteriostatic effect on gonococcus with minimum inhibitory concentration less than 20 mg / ml. At 100 mg / ml, the formula can kill the gonococcus in 10 minutes, but the formula does not directly inhibits elcolibacillus urinary pathogens, which makes is to inhibit the adhesion of pathogens of urinary tract colibacillus and epithelial cells and therefore has the effect treatment of urinary tract infections caused by urinary pathogens colibacillus.
When administered to mice with cystopyelonephritis (bladder inflammation) Ba Zheng San increases urination and eliminates pathogenic bacteria in the urinary tract in the kidney. This formula can also increase the survival rate of rats infected with Proteus colibacilus mice.
Ba Zheng San has a bacteriostatic effect on the following bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus coli, Bacillus Proteus bacillus Flexner, Shiga Bacillus, Serratia marcescens, etc.
Prevention of urinary calculi: in vitro experiments showed that Ba Zheng San can inhibit or prevent crystallization and prevent the calculation of calcium oxalate is formed.
106 cases of various urinary tract infections were treated with Ba Zheng San in clinical studies. The results showed that the formula is effective in treating various types of urinary tract infections and prostatitis.
Adaptogenic herbs have unique properties that help soothe the soul while also providing the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity when needed. Adaptogenic herbs work to improve the body’s ability to adapt to stress, giving you energy, yet also allowing for clarity and calmness.
For centuries, adaptogenic herbs have been used to prevent and treat a wide variety of conditions. Known to help regulate the adrenal system, they can reduce levels of cortisol, the hormone that the adrenals produce during times of stress. prolonged high levels of cortisol due to chronic stress can be detrimental, leading to a wide range of health concerns, including poor sleep, autoimmune diseases, depression, anxiety, common colds and flu, hormone imbalance, cancer, thyroid conditions and digestive problems.
If you google "adaptogens, pubmed studies," thousands of entries will show up. The herbs that fall into this category have been used for thousands of years, but it was only in the late 1940s that a Russian scientist adopted the word "adaptogenic" to categorize them. A study published in 1999 defined an adaptogenic compound as a non-specific remedy "that increases resistance to a broad spectrum of harmful factors (stressors) of different physical, chemical and biological natures."
Some of the most common adaptogenic herbs are:
Other hierbas adaptogenic herbs present in various formulas:
Dang shen (codonopsis pilosula, c. tangshen)
Licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra, g. uralensis)
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)
Schisandra (schisandra chinensis)
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
JADE HERBAL products are safe and easy to use. The formulas are based on well-known traditional herbal combinations and have been specially adapted to our Western way of life.
Presented in 500mg tablets, with a concentration of 5: 1, which means that each tablet is equivalent to 2500mg.
The dosage is variable depending on the condition to be treated, as a minimum dose we advise 2 to 3 tablets, 2 times a day.
The Shen of the Heart plays a prominent role in memory partly by itself and partly because it coordinates the Yi of the Spleen and the Zhi of the Kidneys which also play a role in memory.
The Shen of the Heart plays a role in memory in the sense of memorizing but especially also in intrinsic memory (see below).
Information that we have to consciously work to remember is known as explicit memory, while information that we remember unconsciously is known as implicit memory. Implicit memory is not always unconscious as it includes what we call "muscle memory" which in psychology is called "procedural memory" (see below).
When we are trying to intentionally remember something (like the names of acupuncture points or a list of dates for a history class), this information is stored in our explicit memory. We use these memories every day, from remembering information for a test to recalling the date and time of a doctor's appointment. This type of memory is also known as declarative memory, since we can consciously recall and explain the information.
Some tasks that require the use of explicit memory include remembering what we learned in a class, recalling a phone number, writing a research paper, and remembering what time we are meeting a friend, etc.
There are two major types of explicit memory:
1. Episodic memory: These are our long-term memories of specific events, such as what we did the day before or our high school graduation.
2. Semantic memory: These are memories of facts, concepts, names, and other general knowledge information.
Things that we do not purposely try to remember are stored in implicit memory. This kind of memory is both unconscious and unintentional. Implicit memory is also sometimes referred to as non-declarative memory, since we are not able to consciously bring it into awareness.
Procedural memories, such as how to perform a specific task like swinging a baseball bat or sewing, are one type of implicit memory since we do not have to consciously recall how to perform these tasks. While implicit memories are not consciously recalled, they still have an influence on how we behave as well as our knowledge of different tasks.
Some examples of implicit memory include singing a familiar song, typing on our computer keyboard, daily habits, driving a car, riding a bicycle, sewing.
Riding a bicycle is another great example. Even after going years without riding one, most people are able to hop on a bike and ride it effortlessly.
The Shen of the Heart plays a role in both extrinsic and intrinsic memory but it is especially the one that is responsible for intrinsic memory, which the Yi of the Spleen and the Zhi of the Kidneys are not.
Heart-Blood deficiency and Heart-Yin deficiency are a common cause of poor memory.
Palpitations, dizziness, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, poor memory, anxiety, propensity to be startled, dull-pale complexion, pale lips.
Tongue: Pale, Thin, slightly dry.
Pulse: Choppy or Fine.
Key symptoms: palpitations, insomnia, poor memory, Pale tongue.
Points: HE-7 Shenmen, Ren-14 Juque, Ren-15 Jiuwei, Ren-4 Guanyuan, BL-17 Geshu (with moxa), BL-20 Pishu.
Method: all with reinforcing method. Moxa can be used.
Palpitations, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, propensity to be startled, poor memory, anxiety, mental restlessness, dry mouth and throat, night sweating.
Tongue: no coating, deep midline crack reaching the tip.
Key symptoms: palpitations, mental restlessness, night-sweating, tongue without coating.
Points: HE-7 Shenmen, Ren-14 Juque, Ren-15 Jiuwei, Ren-4 Guanyuan, HE-6 Yinxi, SP-6 Sanyinjiao.
Method: all with reinforcing method, no moxa.
THE YI OF THE SPLEEN
The Chinese character for the mental aspect of the Spleen is Yi which can mean "idea" or "intention".
The Yi resides in the Spleen and is responsible for applied thinking, studying, memorizing, focusing, concentrating and generating ideas.
The Post-Natal Qi and Blood are the physiological basis for the Yi. Thus if the Spleen is strong, thinking will be clear, memory good and the capacity for concentrating, studying and generating ideas will also be good.
If the Spleen is weak, the Yi will be dull, thinking will be slow, memory poor and the capacity for studying, concentrating and focusing will all be weak.
The Spleen is responsible for memory in the sense of studying, concentrating, focusing and memorizing data in the course of one's study or work.
Note that the Chinese character for "Yi" is based on the "heart" radical. This indicates two things. Firstly, it indicates that the memory of the Spleen depends also on the Heart. Secondly, it refers to the Shen's coordinating and integrating function in respect of the Hun, Po, Yi and Zhi.
Poor appetite, slight abdominal distension after eating, tiredness, lassitude, dull-pale complexion, weakness of the limbs, loose stools, poor memory, thin body, scanty periods or amenorrhoea.
Tongue: Pale, Thin and slightly dry.
Pulse: Choppy or Fine.
Key symptoms: tiredness, slight abdominal distension, scanty periods, Pale tongue.
Points: Ren-12 Zhongwan, ST-36 Zusanli, SP-6 Sanyinjiao, BL-20 Pishu, BL-21 Weishu, Ren-4 Guanyuan, BL-17 Geshu (with direct moxa).
Method: reinforcing method. Moxa is applicable.
THE ZHI OF THE KIDNEYS
The word Zhi has at least three meanings:
1. it indicates "memory"
2. it means "will power "
3. it is sometimes used to indicate the "five Zhi", i.e. the five mental aspects Shen, Hun, Po, Yi and Zhi itself.
In the first sense, the Kidneys influence our capacity for memorizing and storing data. Some of the ancient doctors even said that the Yi of the Spleen and the memory of the Kidneys are almost the same thing, except that the Yi is responsible for memorizing in the course of studying and the Zhi of the Kidneys is responsible for the storing of data over the long term.
Tang Zong Hai says: "Zhi indicates Yi with a capacity for storing [data]".
The character for Zhi is indicated below. It is composed of Shi on the upper part and the "Heart" in the lower part.
Dizziness, tinnitus, vertigo, poor memory, hardness of hearing, night-sweating, dry mouth and throat at night, lower backache, ache in bones, dark-scanty urine, infertility, premature ejaculation, tiredness, lassitude, slight anxiety.
Tongue: normal-coloured without coating.
Key symptoms: backache, night sweating.
Points: Ren-4 Guanyuan, KI-3 Taixi, KI-6 Zhaohai, KI-10 Yingu, KI-9 Zhubin, SP-6 Sanyinjiao, Ren-7 Yinjiao, LU-7 Lieque and KI-6 Zhaohai in combination (opening points of the Ren Mai).
Method: reinforcing method, no moxa.
In the sphere of thinking, remembering and memorizing there is considerable overlap between the Yi of Spleen, the Shen of Heart and the Zhi of Kidneys. The main differentiating factor is that the Spleen is responsible for memorizing data in the course of one's work or study.
For example, it is not uncommon for someone to have a brilliant memory in his or her field of study or research (a function of the Spleen), and yet be quite forgetful in daily life (a function of the Heart).
The Heart and Kidneys also contribute to this function, but they are also responsible for the memory of past events and implicit memory. In particular, the overlap between the Yi and the Shen in thinking activity is very close, so much so that the "Ling Shu" says in chapter 8: "The Heart function of recollecting is called Yi".
In turn, the memorizing function of the Yi is so closely related to the Zhi of the Kidneys that the same chapter continues: "The storing [of data] of the Yi is called Zhi".
These passages confirm that Shen, Yi and Zhi are a continuum.
Memory and sense of Self
In modern psychology, "memory" is more that just the ability to store facts and information in our brain. It is actually an essential part in which our consciousness exists, works and manifests itself and working memory plays an important role in our consciousness.
Even the thought "I live in the present" requires short-term memory. Even the immediate present requires involves memory - what we know about the one present moment is basically what is in our working memory.
Working memory allows us to know that the "here and now" is "here" and is happening "now". This insight underlies the notion, adopted by a number of cognitive scientists, that consciousness is the awareness of what is in working memory.
LeDoux says: "The self is in part made and maintained by memory and both implicit and explicit forms are involved."
Thus, in a broader sense, Zhi is much more than "memory" in the sense of being able to remember past events. The Zhi (together with the Shen) contributes to our working memory and also to the long-term memory. Together with the Shen of the Heart, this contributes to creating our consciousness and sense of self.
Treatment of poor memory
Memory can be stimulated by treating:
Heart (Shen): HE-7, HE-3, BL-15, BL-44 Shentang
Kidneys (Zhi): KI-3, BL-23, BL-52 Zhishi
Spleen (Yi): SP-3, BL-20, BL-49 Yishe
Du Mai (Brain/Sea of Marrow): SI-3/BL-62, Du-16, Du-20.
The Du Mai and memory
Another factor in memory is the Du Mai for three reasons.
1) It flows through the Heart and therefore affects Shen.
2) It originates from the Kidneys and therefore affects Zhi.
3) It is the vessel through which the Kidneys' Sea of Marrow reaches the Brain.
The three main points are Du-11 Shendao, Du-20 Baihui and Du-24 Shenting.
The Lungs and memory
However, remember that there are other factors at work in memory, e.g. the Lungs affect memory by regulating the amount of Qi reaching the head.
Thus LU-7 and LU-3 are important for poor memory due to Qi not reaching the head.
The "Explanation of the Acupuncture Points" says that LU-3 can make Qi rise to treat forgetfulness, sadness and weeping due to Qi not rising to head.
Forgetfulness is an important indication for this point: this is forgetfulness due to clear Qi not rising to the head. According to the "Explanation of the Acupuncture Points", this point treats forgetfulness by stimulating the ascending of Qi of both Lungs and Heart.
Phlegm and Blood stasis in memory
Finally, it is important to remember that memory is affected by Full conditions, especially Phlegm and Blood stasis obstructing the Brain. This happens especially in the elderly.
In particular, Phlegm is a common cause of poor memory: when it is, poor memory is accompanied by dizziness and a feeling of heaviness and muzziness (fuzziness) of the head. The tongue is swollen.
Points for Phlegm obstructing the Brain and affecting memory are: Du-20 Baihui, Du-24 Shenting, ST-40 Fenglong, LU-7 Lieque, Ren-9 Shuifen, Ren-5 Shimen, BL-22 Sanjiaoshu, P-5 Jianshi.
 Joseph Ledoux, The Emotional Brain, Simon and Shuster, NY, 1996, p. 278.
 An Explanation of the Acupuncture Points (Jing Xue Jie), pp. 26-7.
 Ibid., p. 27.
By: Giovanni Maciocia
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.
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: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/yu-ping-feng-san-blue-poppy.html
Panax Ginseng: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/ginseng-ren-shen-pian-en.html
Five Mushroom Formula: http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/five-mushroom-formula-peoples-herbs.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
Siberian Ginseng (eleutherococcus): http://www.eqilibrium.net/en/ginseng-siberiano-eleutherococcus.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.
Safe and effective treatments for Thyroid Disorders
There are two main thyroid disorders: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone. Typical symptoms of hyperthyroidism include: high blood pressure; fast heartbeat; moist skin; increased sweating; tremor; nervousness; increased appetite with weight loss; diarrhea and/or frequent bowel movements; weakness; eyes that seem to bulge out of their sockets; and sensitivity of the eyes to light. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is under-active and produces too little thyroid hormone. Typical symptoms of hypothyroidism include: hoarse voice; slowed speech; puffy face; drooping eyelids; intolerance of cold conditions; constipation; weight gain; dry hair; dry skin; and depression.
Thyroid Disorders in Chinese Medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine, both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are considered to be a Yin/Yang imbalance. In Chinese philosophical and medical theory, Yin and Yang are the essential components of the material universe. Everything that exists is Yin or Yang (generally a combination of both in a characteristic balance). The Yin principle is dark, moist, receptive, female, sinking, and its electrical charge is negative. The Yang principle is light, fiery, active, male, outward-expanding, and its electrical charge is positive. A very basic principle of Chinese medicine is to keep the Yin and Yang in balance, since the balance of Yin and Yang represents the healthy state of the body. A treatment intervention by traditional Chinese medicine (which includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy) is designed to bring the Yin and Yang back to a normal balance. In Western terms, an overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormone alters the body s chemical balance and causes hyper- or hypothyroidism. In Chinese terms, when Yin is deficient it cannot control the Yang energy from escaping outward and upward, and this "reckless" movement of Yang brings about the characteristic symptoms of hyperthyroidism. When Yang is deficient, it simply cannot produce the vital energy necessary to keep the body functioning well, and symptoms of hypothyroidism result.
Recent research, by both Western and Chinese scientists, offers several exciting theories to reinforce ancient ideas about Yin and Yang balance in the body.
Patterns and Treatment of Thyroid Disorders in Chinese Medicine
Hyperthyroidism Three patterns of Yin Deficiency are differentiated for hyperthyroidism: Kidney Yin Deficiency with Excess Heat; Heart/Liver Yin Deficiency; and Heart/Kidney Yin Deficiency. In the pattern of Kidney Yin Deficiency with Excess Heat, typical symptoms are: enlarged, soft, smooth thyroid; anxiety; anger; aversion to heat; flushed, warm face; dry mouth with a bitter taste; increased appetite; bulging eyes; tremor; increased volume of bowel movements, a red tongue body with a dry, yellow coating; and a wiry, rapid pulse.
In the pattern of Yin Deficiency with Heart and Liver Deficiency, the symptoms are: enlarged, swollen, soft, smooth thyroid; heart palpitations; anxiety; insomnia; increased appetite with weight loss; dry throat; a red tongue body with a yellow tongue coating or no coating; and a thin, rapid pulse.
In the pattern of Yin Deficiency with Heart and Kidney Deficiency, common symptoms are: enlarged, swollen thyroid; hand tremors; dry mouth and eyes; heart palpitations; increased appetite; irregular period or amenorrhea (for women); impotence or low sex drive (for men); weakness of the knees and lower back; a red tongue body without coating, and a deep, thin, rapid pulse.
Kidney Yin Tonic (Liu Wei Di Huang Wan) is the herbal formula most commonly used for the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Other herbal formulas, such as Heart Yin Tonic (Tian Wang Xin Bu Dan) are also used, depending on the specific pattern.
Hypothyroidism Two patterns of Yang Deficiency are differentiated for hypothyroidism:: Spleen/Kidney Deficiency, and Heart/Kidney Deficiency. In the pattern of Yang Deficiency with Spleen and Kidney Deficiency, the key symptoms are: lassitude; sleepiness; poor memory; dizziness; ringing in the ears (tinnitus); weakness of the lower back and knees; aversion to cold; dry skin; dry hair; constipation; edema; impotence (men); irregular periods (women); pale, puffy tongue body with tooth marks along the edge; white, sticky tongue coating; and a pulse that is deep and thin or deep and slow.
In the pattern of Yang Deficiency with Heart and Kidney Deficiency, the characteristic symptoms are: heart palpitations; chest congestion and pain; sleepiness; feeling cold; pale, tender tongue body with a white, slippery coating; and a deep, slow pulse.