Baby Lima Bean with Spinach Gratin

Here’s a favorite recipe of mine that i usually make in the early spring. spinach was on sale at greenlife yesterday, and i remembered this dish. The beans and baking add a heavy, warm, substantial nature to the dish, balanced by the lightness of the fresh spinach greens. The caramelized onions add a natural sweetness and the vinegar gives it that ‘je ne sais quoi’ (that perfect touch of ‘I don’t know what’). You may not be familiar with Kombu. It’s a sea vegetable, sold in the macrobiotic section of natural food stores, such as Earth Fare or Greenlife. When cooked with beans, it aids their digestibility and also adds valuable trace minerals we normally would not include in a daily diet. 100g provides 800mg of calcium,…

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Case Study: Chinese Herbs for Flu

Here’s a little story of a colleague who desperately emailed me earlier this month about an acute stomach flu, seeking suggestions: I got really really suddenly & violently ill last night - I'm doing much better today. My husband has a final exam in 4 days and it would be really nice if I managed to not pass this on to him.Three nights ago I stayed with my parents for the night. I was woken shortly after midnight to the sound of pretty wretched vomiting [from her mother]. Last night it was my turn, so it looks like this has a 2 day incubation period. Which would have my husband puking tonight or tomorrow night instead of studying. bad! Her main symptoms were simultaneous vomiting & diarrhea…

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How Chinese Medicine Treats Autoimmune Disorders

Here's an interesting paper written by a CA practitioner about how Chinese Medicine addresses autoimmune disorders, particularly chemical sensitivities. KBAutoimmune Disorders, Multiple Chemical Sensitivitiesand Chinese Medicineby Matt Van Benschoten, O.M.D., L.Ac. the AuthorDr. Van Benschoten is a graduate of the California Acupuncture College of Los Angeles, with 28 years of clinical, research, and teaching experience in acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and medical Qi Gong. He is the author of more than fifty papers on acupoint diagnostic methods, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS, autoimmune disease, breast cancer, mercury toxicity, and indoor mold exposure. His clinical practice focuses on multi-drug resistant infections, immune dysfunction, and environmental illness.

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Chinese Medicine for Cold and Flu Prevention

I've been getting questions about flu vaccines and Chinese herbs for flu.The decision to vaccinate is a personal one. One must weigh the risks of side effects from the vaccine against the risk of contracting the flu. For those who are weak, frail or immune deficient there is a stronger argument to vaccinate. Those who are healthy and could mount a strong defense against the flu might want to forgo the vaccine and the risk of side effects incurred.Chinese medicine can support you in 2 ways:Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can strengthen your overall health and immune function, better preparing you to ward off an attack.Chinese medicine can treat the flu symptoms should you contract it. Patients are generally pleased, even amazed by the results of acupuncture and…

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Could Women Use Smaller Vaccine Doses?

The decision to vaccinate is a personal one. Do your own research and weigh the side effects and disease risks against the benefits of the vaccine. Keep in mind that those who are immuno-compromised, weak or frail are in a higher risk group than healthy young and middle aged adults. The authors of this NY Time's Op-Ed piece contend that clinical studies are showing that women produce as many antibodies to half the dose of flu vaccine that men do at the full dose, and that the rule holds up for other diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A & B and herpes simplex. If women were given a lower dose they might suffer fewer side effects than they do at the higher dose. In the…

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Common Cold Remedy

Dr. Tan, with whom I study, recommends this implausible remedy for common cold. I'm assured it is effective. You must do it early, when you first notice symptoms:1 clove garlic1 lemon, juiced1 shot hard alcoholYou eat the clove of garlic, mix the lemon juice into a glass of water and drink it and the shot of alcohol. You can do this in any order, but you might want to do the garlic first, and follow it with the lemon water. Or you could chop the garlic into small pieces, and then swallow it like a pill using the lemon water. Go directly to bed, and when you wake the cold symptoms should be relieved or gone. You must do this in the early stage.This NY Times Really?…

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Cinnamon Oil is Antiseptic

  Here's an interesting one: essential oils have antiseptic properties and have such medical uses as hand cleaners in physicians offices to preventing post surgical infections (rather than antibiotics) in hospitals. Intrigued, I googled around on the subject and found a few additional recipes to the Thieves Oil discussed in the Time's article. I made one up using lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus and tea tree oils (12 drops or so each/ 4oz of water in a mister bottle) that I use as a hand sanitizer in my clinic. The one I made also seems to be keeping the ants out of the kitchen. I mist the counters with the spray. Last year someone some recommended cinnamon for ants, so i got a few 12" sticks and placed them…

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Reducing Breast Cancer Risk: Excercise, Veg Diet & Limited Alcohol. New York Times Article

Here's a short piece from the NY Time's Science section about a study showing that living a healthy life style decreases breast cancer risk. This study emphasizes maintaining a normal body weight.Obesity dramatically increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer by 50-100%, the risk increasing "the older the woman gets and the longer she remains obese." (1) The reason being is that the abdominal fat cells convert steroid (fat soluble) hormones to estrogen. In the breasts, the additional estrogen created binds to the breast cells, promoting "cell division and potentially tumor growth." (2) Cancer cells are abnormal cell growth: the additional cell division cause the tumor growth. Adipose tissue (fat) contains an enzyme, aromatase, that converts steroid hormones into estrogen. After menopause, the ovaries and pituitary…

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Studies Show Childhood Stress & Trauma Increase Risk For Auto Immune Diseases & Asthma

There have been some interesting studies published recently showing a positive correlation between childhood stress & trauma and auto immune diseases and asthma. Deepak Chopra has been discussing the findings of one of these studies on auto immune diseases on various news channels lately. I have pasted abstracts from a few of these studies published in Psychosomatic Medicine below for your perusal. As an acupuncturist, this information has peaked my interest.There are a couple of reasons I wanted to learn more about these findings. First, as a holistic medicine (meaning one that treats the whole: mind/body/spirit, and considers the organism to be inseparable or part of its surrounding environment) Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) theory has long recognized the relationship between emotions and diseases. In fact, TCM considers…

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Castor Oil Packs

I've recently been researching Castor oil packs. Many holistic practitioners recommend them, and they have some intriguing uses. Castor oil comes from the Castor bean. It's use was popularized by early new-ager, psychic and medical intuitive, Edgar Cayce. You might find wikipedia's entry on him of interest: . From the point of view of Chinese Medicine, Castor oil seems to have the ability to move Qi, Blood and Phelgm (congealed fluids). This is seen by the claims to dissolve tumors and nodules and to improve Liver function, including treating cirrhosis.Uses include bursitis/arthritis/joint pain, improving digestion/constipation, treating the liver/gallbladder, including cirrhosis and hepatitis, reducing menstrual cramping and dissolving tumours and nodules. I've seen claims of improving sleep/insomnia and relaxing facial wrinkles. You can find Castor oil in…

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