Weekly Drop of Wisdom: Loss of Appetite? You Might Need a Break

Weekly Drop of Wisdom: Loss of Appetite? You Might Need a Break

Now just because I write about all these healthy things, doesn’t always mean I do everything right. I too like many of you have ups and downs. My emotional roller coster often times affects my desire to eat. I have noticed that after treating a guest that presents with these similar feelings within a few treatment, appetite returns.

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What is Ayurveda?

Also known as: Ayurvedic medicine Ayurveda is the traditional medicine of India, which originated there over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda emphasizes re-establishing balance in the body through diet, lifestyle, exercise, and body cleansing, and on the health of the mind, body, and spirit. In North America, Ayurveda is considered a form of alternative medicine. Like traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda is a whole medical system, meaning that it is based on theories of health and illness and on methods of preventing and treating health conditions.

An initial assessment with an Ayurvedic practitioner may last an hour or longer. The practitioner will ask detailed questions about your health, diet and lifestyle. He or she will listen to your pulse. Unlike mainstream medicine, 12 different pulse points are assessed in Ayurveda. The Ayurvedic practitioner also examines the tongue; its appearance is believed to provide clues about areas of the body that may be out of balance. The appearance of the skin, lips, nails, and eyes is also observed. After the assessment, the practitioner will determine an individual's unique balance of doshas, or metabolic types. One dosha is usually predominant and may be imbalanced, usually due to poor diet and unhealthy habits.

The practitioner also determines your prakuti, also called your constitution or essential nature. From there, the practitioner can create an individualized treatment plan, which often includes diet, exercise, herbs, yoga, meditation, and massage. The treatment plan generally focuses on restoring balance to one particular dosha.

Diet: Recommendations are individualized to a person's dosha and the season. Foods can either balance or cause imbalance to each dosha. See a list of foods thought to balance each dosha. Cleansing and detoxification: This may be done through fasting, enemas, diets, and body treatments. Herbal medicine: Examples of Ayurvedic herbs are triphala, ashwaghanda, gotu kola, guggul, and boswellia. Yoga Meditation Exercise: Individualized to a person's constitution Massage: Medicated herbal oils are often used.

In India, there are many undergraduate and postgraduate colleges for Ayurveda, where the training can involve up to five years of study. Outside of India, some people who have been trained in another health profession (e.g. medical doctor, nurse, naturopathic doctor) study Ayurveda before or after their training. Other practitioners attend Ayurvedic college only. Currently, there are no national standards for the certification training or licensing Ayurvedic practitioners in the United States or Canada. If you are interested in consulting with an Ayurvedic practitioner, it is important to seek a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and learn about his training.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is one of the most essential elements of Traditional. Chinese Medicine, and provides an important compliment to acupuncture treatment. While acupuncture stimulates the flow of energy and blood, herbal formulas are designed to nourish and replenish deficiencies in the metabolic, endocrine and immune systems.

In Western medicine pharmaceutical drugs are prescribed to treat a specific disease. Chinese herbal formulas, however, are individually compounded to treat the whole patient and their particular underlying disorder or deficiency. The formulas, which may contain up to 15 different herbs, generally contain both herbs to naturally increase general health and to deal with the specific ailment.

Genital Herpes in TCM

Genital herpes is an acute inflammatory disease caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus. This virus has become extremely common because of its ease of transmission. Sexually transmitted diseases(STDs), including genital herpes, are on the increase in the United States both among heterosexual people and among homosexual people. An estimated 40 million Americans are thought to have genital herpes, with more than 500,000 new cases expected each year. Some typical signs and symptoms of genital herpes include: small, fluid-filled sacs (vesicles), lesions around the genital area, shallow and painful genital ulcers, redness, marked edema, and tender lymph nodes in the inguinal area. In the United States, approximately one in every five 30-year-old white females has the herpes simplex virus, which is a member of the family of viruses responsible for chicken pox, shingles, and infectious mononucleosis. In traditional Chinese medicine, genital herpes is discussed in the categories of "hot sores" (re chuang) or "genital carbuncle" (yin chuang). Because sexual contact is the primary factor in contracting genital herpes, you are more likely to get herpes if you or your partner have multiple or casual sexual partners. Traditional Chinese medicine does not have a "germ theory" of disease, but perceives pathogens as environmental factors such as cold, heat, dampness, dryness, etc. The internal organs of the body are divided into Yin organs and Yang organs. Each organ system tends to be more or less susceptible to the various pathogenic environmental factors, as well as being susceptible to characteristic emotional disturbances.

The most common pathogenic factors are dampness and heat, and also the emotion of anger. The key internal organs are the Liver and Gallbladder (Yin/Yang partners), and the Kidneys (with their Yang partner, the Urinary Bladder). The overall Chinese medicine diagnosis of genital herpes is active toxic damp heat. Within this larger category, three specific patterns are differentiated: damp heat pouring down; toxic heat accumulation; and Liver and Kidney deficiency.

Blistering and erosion of genital tissue, plus burning and itching are the key symptoms of the pattern of damp heat pouring down. Outbreaks are considered to be precipitated by the over-consumption of candy and sugar, which promote the formation of active damp heat. Recurrent outbreaks are due to poor dietary habits, including the eating of hot, spicy foods, heavy, greasy foods, and alcohol. The leading Chinese herbal formula to treat this pattern is Damp Heat Clearing (Long Dan Xie Gan Wan).

Erosion of genital blisters and fever are the key symptoms for the pattern of toxic heat accumulation, in which the outbreaks are triggered by unexpressed anger and emotional upset, as well as the over-consumption of hot, spicy foods. A time-tested Chinese herbal formula for this pattern is Toxin Clearing (Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin). This is a powerful formula for the acute stage of genital herpes.

The Liver and Kidney deficiency pattern has less fluid-filled blisters, but is characterized by frequent outbreaks, back pain, and joint soreness. The recurrent outbreaks are caused by constitutional weakness, stress, fatigue, episodes of cold or flu, menstruation changes, and seasonal changes. A renown formula for this pattern is Water Fire Balance (Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan). This is also an excellent preventive formula for recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes.

Leading Herbs for Genital Herpes

This section contains a list of Chinese herbs which are of proven effectiveness in dealing with damp heat conditions such as genital herpes, urinary bladder infections, skin conditions, etc. Several of these herbs have scientifically documented anti-microbial effects. When used externally, the herbs are boiled, and the liquid is then strained off and used as a wash to the affected area. When taken internally, the herbs are usually used in a formula with other herbs and can be taken as capsules or as raw herbs that are boiled in water. It is best to consult with a Chinese medicine practitioner or an herbologist before using herbs to treat any condition.

Woad Root (Ban Lan Gen). As a top antiviral herb, woad root has a very broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Studies have shown that woad root has an inhibitory effect against Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella flexneri, Salmonella typhi, and Salmonella enteritidis, and hemolytic Streptococcus.

Philodendron (Huang Bai). As one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine, phellodendron has been proven to have properties of inhibiting and containing bacterial, viral and yeast infections. It is a powerful herb for stopping genital itching.

Dittany Bark (Bai Xian Pi). As one of the most popular herbs for external use, dittany bark works wonderfully for many skin problems ranging from itching and eczema to inflammation.

Sophora (Ku Shen). Renowned for "clearing up heat, drying up dampness, reliving itch and destroying worms" in classical Chinese herbal medicine texts, sophora is extensively used for external applications. This bitter-flavored and cold-property herb is widely used to treat furuncles, carbuncles and genital itch in women.

Wild Chrysanthemum Flower (Ye Ju Hua). This autumn blooming flower has a property of clearing heat and relieving toxicity. It has shown an inhibitory effect in vitro against Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella spp., and some ECHO viruses.

Smilax (Tu Fu Ling). As a leading herb of relieving toxicity and eliminating dampness in Chinese medicine, it is widely used for recurrent ulcers and skin lesions due to damp-heat.

For more references on the herbs quoted in this blog visit www.chinesemedicinecure.com

Using Herbs to treat Cancer: Traditional Medicine in a Modern World

The simple fact that plants are a major source of many drugs is not a surprise to most. Penicillin comes from mold, coumadin from sweet clover and aspirin from the bark of the white willow. Many of the most effective cancer drugs are also plant derived such as Vincristine (from periwinkle), Etoposide (from mayapple) and Taxol (from the pacific yew tree). In China and Japan, the mainstream medical opinion is that supplementing chemotherapy with traditional herbal formulas can improve survival rates and life expectancy of cancer patients. Skeptics might doubt any herbal effect but for cancer patients, it raises a very simple question, “What does the research say?”

Coriolis versicolor, the common turkey tail mushroom, has over 400 published studies including several long term human clinical trials confirming its cancer killing, anti-metastatic, and immune enhancing effects. (1-9) It is referred to as a Biological Response Modifier as it improves the patients own anti-tumor response (10). Researchers at the St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco reviewed several randomized clinical trials and agreed with the Japanese Ministry of Health that this common mushroom significantly improves survival rates and lifespan for gastric, esophageal, colorectal, breast and lung cancers (9).

Coptis chinensis (Huang Lian) is a favorite herb of traditional Chinese medicine for signs of infection associated with heat or inflammation. Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) have demonstrated effects on hepatoma, gastric, colon, and breast cancer cells in the lab. Researchers also discovered that the whole herb is more effective than the single major constituent, berberine (11). A phase one clinical trial is currently underway on the effects of Huang Lian on solid tumors at MSKCC.

Artemisinin annua (Qing Hao), commonly known as sweet wormwood, has recently gained fame as the best treatment for quinine resistant malaria. A University of Washington study shows Artemisinin selectively kills several cancer cell lines in the test tube. It worked against breast cancer cells but was most effective for aggressive forms of pancreatic and leukemia cell lines (14,15). Artemisinin damages cell membranes by reacting with iron, high concentrations of which are found in both the malaria parasite and quickly dividing cancer cells. Researchers observed cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy were still killed by aremisinin (16).

Oldenlandia (Bai Hua She She Cao) is used traditionally for snakebite or any conditions of heat due to toxin. The Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy published an article in 2004 that showed oral doses of Bai Hua She She Cao inhibited lung cancer growth and metastasis in rats and eight other cancer cell lines in the test tube (12).

In the near future, America’s healthcare will be very similar to what is found in China and Japan: an integrative system that takes the best of all worlds for the benefit of the patient. Clearly, herbs can be potent medicines and in the case of the turkey tail mushroom a clinically proven complementary option for stomach, colon, lung and throat cancer.

When searching for an Acupuncturist, look for one that prescribe Chinese herbs. I intern in a clinic where Dr. Fudi prescribe patients with Chinese herbal decoction. These decoctions are often mixtures of single herbs to treat a number of symptoms. There are over 10,000 medicinal herbs in Chinese medicine. Homeopathic medicines and Ayurveda are also alternative options. However Chinese Herbs are the best.

Reference: Www.SacredLotus.com