Discussion of winter

Discussion of  Winter / Kidneys

As mentioned in prior discussions, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses terms and ideas to explain physiological, biological, spiritual, metaphysical and environmental manifestations that are around us. As such, when discussing the kidney, we are depicting the Shen (Chinese word for kidney) which encompasses all of the above, and as well as some of the physical western medical kidney definition.

A chapter in the ancient Nei Jing Su Wen text describes and gives insight into the four climatic seasons and how they both harm and harmonise our bodies. To be in harmony within the winter season, the Nei Jing states that winter is the essential time to “close and store”. We are instructed to not disturb the yang Qi energy, thus one must go to bed early and rise late (one must wait for the shining of the sun). In addition, to be in harmony with winter, we have to adopt the posture of stillness and conservation. We should sleep and rest more; our state of mind should be quiet and reflective. Nei Jing says, “Avoidance of the cold and seeking warmth is of the utmost importance. During winter, we should refrain from sweating as it causes the Qi to be scattered rapidly.

Important aspects of the TCM Winter

Winter is the most important time to tonify and strengthen the TCM kidneys and kidney function. In the darkness of winter, the emotion of fear can damage the kidney, so avoiding fear and fearful events are advisable. The kidneys are said to store Jing (life essence) which is the essential product for longevity and long life. Wasting Jing can lead to premature aging and age related illnesses.

During winter periods we should cook foods for longer periods at a low constant temperate and use less water to cook with. Hence the use of slow cookers are ideal and so is the use of fermentation to store foods for a later date.

Activities and substance that harm the kidneys [according to the Nei Jing Su Wen text] are varied and peculiar to some. These include excessive salt (some good salt ill nourish kidney, such as Celtic). A lack of water will cause damage to the kidneys and urinary bladder. Too many consecutive pregnancies for females (without appropriate time to recover) and excessive ejaculations for males will place a taxation on the kidneys.

Activities and substance that harm the kidneys [according to the Nei Jing Su Wen text] are varied and peculiar to some. These include:

  • excessive salt (some good salt ill nourish kidney)
  • lack of water will cause damage to the kidneys and urinary bladder; and
  • too many consecutive pregnancies for females (without appropriate time to recover) and excessive ejaculations for males place a taxation on the kidneys.

 

Functions of the TCM Kidney

  • Stores essence (Jing)
  • Governs birth, growth, reproduction and development
  • Produce marrow and fill the brain
  • Controls bones [osteo conditions]
  • Governs water
  • Controls the receiving of qi
  • Opens to the ears [hearing and tinnitus ]
  • Controls the lower two orifices
  • Houses the will power

 

Foods to support the Kidney include

Cinnamon ,  Clove, Ginger, Onion

Watercress, Celery, asparagus, carrots

Rye, Barley, oats quinoa, Miso soy sauce, Salt

Bone broth, Warm slow cooked soups, Roasted nuts

Dark beans, Kidneys, Dried foods, Chicory root, burdock root

 

Coughs and Autumn Herbs

 

Autumn herbs and their influence on usherbs

As previously mentioned, eating within the seasons is important to maintain balance. As autumn is upon us, I will extend upon this idea. Along with eating foods which correspond to the season, looking at ailments which afflict us is imperative; these can include coughs, colds and dry skin. The element for autumn resonates with the metal element and is allotted the lung organ. When the Lung vitality has been deteriorated, the body’s defence system will become faulty and cough, colds and dry skin can manifest. Of cause there are many types of coughs and colds that can be identified, however, to keep things simple, we shall explore the ones which are closely affected by autumn and how we can assist these.

An herbal perspective for addressing these symptoms which work along the lung meridian would be through the use of herbs such as Jing Jie (Schizonepeta), Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi ), sang bai pi (Cortex Mori Radicis), gan cao Radix Glycyrrhizae. Other herbs that can be included in cooking include Chuan Bei Mu (Fritillary bulb), Yi Yi Ren (Job’s Tears) and even Ren Shen (Ginseng).

Over-the-counter herbal formulations which can also treat coughs include Zhi Sou San (Stop Coughing Powder) which is made up of Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi), Jing Jie (Herba Schizonepetae), Zi Wan (Radix Asteris), Bai Bu (Radix stemonae), Bai Qian (Rhizoma Cynanchi Stauntonii), Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae) and Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae). Other formulas such as Yin Qiao San or Gan Mao Ling (for coughs and sore throat), Gui Zhi Tang or Ge Gen Tang (for cold) can also be used. A favourite at the Macuarie Street clinic is the Fritillaria Loquat Syrup (Chuan Bei Pi Pa Gao) for those persistent coughs.

For those of you who wish to try your hand at making your own immune booster and cough remedy, why not have a go at the Master Tonic which was discussed in a previous blog.

Foods and helpful remedies include

Honey: can be standalone remedy or mixed with either garlic or turmeric. Honey has great antibacterial properties and soothes the throat.

Turmeric: can be used as a standalone remedy or in combination with a warm drink mixed with warm to hot milk. Turmeric contains curcumin which is an active agent with strong anti-viral, anti‑bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Garlic: Used as a cure for all ailments in many different cultures. Garlic can stand proud as a cure for all. Garlic has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties due to the active agent, allicin. It can also be one of the most effective home remedies for a dry cough as well as boosting your immune system to help fight infections that cause a dry cough.

Thyme: contains compounds which relax the throat muscles involved in coughing and lessen inflammation.

Master Winter Tonic

Benefits of the “Master Tonic”12669721_1110319842341025_2762615236024923652_n

Just wanted to share some of my thoughts on how powerful this tonic is!

This tonic is a “super cleansing tonic”, a powerful antibiotic destroying both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It’s a potent anti-viral and anti-fungal/yeast formula. The super tonic will increase blood and lymph circulation to every part of the body. It is so effective that it is said to be the cure for colds and flu! The herbal preparation can also be used as a formulation against Candida.

Benefits of each Ingredient

Garlic is a well known and used broad spectrum antibiotic which in contrast to prescribed antibiotics, will leave friendly bacteria alone. Garlic will promote and increases healthy gut bacteria and is a wonderfully powerful anti-fungal. Onion has a similar, but milder action to garlic but together can work synergistically.  Horseradish is a persuasive vegetable for opening and clearing the sinus and lungs. Whilst Ginger and Turmeric contain some really powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Cayenne and hot chilies are powerful circulatory propellants. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for its health giving qualities, too many to mention here, keep a tune for another write up for the virtues of ACV.

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Ingredients and Directions: Always use organic and as fresh as possible:

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar12592348_1110319919007684_5372215537890258044_n

Whole head of chopped Garlic

4 large white Onions

2 Habanero Chili RED & GREEN

Two large knobs of grated Ginger

½ a large grated Horseradish12654512_1110319889007687_9219310293349946932_n

4 Turmeric root chunks

Teaspoon Wasabi,

2 table spoons of raw honey

¼ lemon ¼ lime

Dried Cinnamon 2 sticks

Dried chilli flakes12645095_1110319905674352_3552159946684747657_n

Ground cayenne pepper

Black, white and red peppercorn

 

Method:

Best to make on the day of the New moon

Slice, Chop, grate or blitz Ingredients: More processing will lessen time for soaking no rules on the size you cut

Massage ingredients (with gloves)

Place the ingredients into contains12647008_1110319932341016_3049945476366336962_n

Pour Apple Cider Vinegar until all ingredients are submerged

Leave it in a dark place until the Full Moon (14 to 28 days) or as long as needed, as longer brewing will result stronger potent mix.  Agitate the mixture when possible

Strain and bottle, store in a dark corner for as long as needed, Master Tonic lasts indefinitely.

Notes: Left over ingredients can be dried and made into powder for a master tonic spice or great for soups. You can store the tonic in a cupboard for extended periods, there will be no need to refrigerator. Left overs can also be mixed with olive oil for a salad dressing or even thrown into stir fry.

Recommended Usage:

For sore throat, gargle a bit in the mouth and swallow. For an illness, such as a cold or flu, take about 2 droppers full or a Tablespoon every couple of hours. For daily immune support drink 2 droppers full/ 1Tablespoon every day. Build up tolerance to a shot glass full.

The biggest obstacle is the initial tasting, general advice is to start off small and build up to a small glass full. Now make a “prepared it myself” badge and be proud that you are looking after your own health.

Rice Porridge / Congee / Jook: Food Therapy

Rice porridge is one of my favorite foods and one of the most versatile bases to start or finish a meal. Rice porridge aka congee or jook lends it self not only to Chinese medicine food therapy and but it also fantastic day to day health supplement. Rice porridge can be either savory or sweet, can be vegetarian or vegan , can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack. Rice porridge can be used whilst recovering from illness, improving ones health or just a wholesome meal.  The recipe below is only a general multi usable idea, if you would like an individual recipe or modification please feel free to contact me   Dollarphotoclub_64040248

You will need

1 Cup of Long grain rice (Jasmine) cooked fresh or left overs
8 cups of cold water
pinch of sea salt (himalayan salt is my preference0
Optional extras  – Some form of protein / vegetables / Chinese herbal ingredients -Ideas will be included at end of post

Choose a deep thick base pot, something that will conduct heat evenly. Some form of earth ware is ideal as teflon has some issues but that is for another discussion.
Wash the rice well in a pot of water (make sure to discard rice water in your herb garden or worm farm as they will love you for it) then rinse till water is clear.  Add the 8 cups water, pinch of salt and uncooked washed rice grain to pot.  Bring the water and rice to a boil before lowering the heat to a slightly rolling simmer.  Stir occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking together or to the bottom of the pot. Stirring is important as to prevent the sinking rice grains from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning – NOT SO TASTY..

Again please keep an eye on your congee

So your rice porridge is ready?
The grains should be completely broken down into water , at this stage consistency is personal preference.
With herbal ingredients: scoop a cup of congee into a pot adding chosen ingredients and cook for further time. To finish off fine julliene of fresh ginger, thinly sliced scallions and sesame oil can be added.

rice porridge

congee

some ideas  which can be added / combined or experiment with

add spring onion, mint, chrysanthemum, dandelion, parsley, ginger  sea weed

Can combination with mung bean, lentils, chick peas

strength and tonify body with  : Huang Qi, Ginseng , jujubee,  Dang gui

Can be used with all the meats, lamb, chicken, beef, pork or fish

As a dessert can add honey, brown sugar, apricot, dried dates or fig

 

bon appetit

Deer Velvet, Why should you consider it ?

deer-sidebarDeer Velvet, Why should you consider it ?

  • Maintain good joint care and improve mobility
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular health
  • Help preserve a healthy cholesterol balance
  • Maintain the body’s general well being
  • Fortify the body’s natural immune system
  • Improve the body’s strength, stamina and athletic performance
  • Assist reduce the effects of ageing
  • Provide a natural source of proteins, amino acids, minerals, glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Omega -3
  • Assist recovery from injury

The use of deer velvet or Lu Rong has a long, safe history of traditional use in a number of cultures around the world. Traditional Chinese Medicine has used deer velvet for thousands of years as a yang tonic to tonify Qi and Yang. Deer Velvet was used as an aphrodisiac but recently be also useful in times of fatigue, physical exhaustion and stress.

Each year the male deer’s grow a set of antlers which are covered with soft skin with short furry hair, which resembles velvet in texture and hence the term ‘velvet antler’. Harvesting of deer antler is done under strict quality control methods to ensure animal health and welfare, no animal is harmed in the harvesting of its product. When completed the males are released straight back out onto the farm to carry on with their day.

Building blocks for the body

Muscle growth and joint health.mountain_red_product_image

Over 396 active ingredients are contained within deer velvet; these include a variety of proteins, lipids, minerals, trace elements, growth factors, growth hormones and glycosaminoglycans.

IGF 1 and IGF 2
Substances required for cellular growth and the regulation of a variety of cellular processes. Supports tissue growth, organ health, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to support muscle growth, the regeneration of nerve tissue and encourage the absorption of Chondroitin.

Proteins & Amino Acids
Aids in tissue growth and repair also essential building blocks of the body.

Collagen
Connective tissue within the body for the promotion of healthily skin and hair. It is also the vital structural protein component of bones, tendons, ligaments and cartilage, providing elasticity.

Lipids
Essential for cell growth and energy storage within an active body. Lipids build cell components and boost energy levels to enhance cellular activities.

Glucosamine

Basic nutrient used in the production, maintenance and repair of joint structures including cartilage, bone, tendon, ligaments and joint fluids.

Chondroitin
Chondroitin gives cartilage elasticity and helps prevent the destruction of cartilage by enzymes.

Prostaglandins
Chemical regulators produced in all tissues that support nerve conduction and cellular health, and maintain tissues such as the lining of the stomach, supporting blood clotting and involved in the stimulation of cells into action.

Phospholipids
Constant supply of phospholipids repair the structural damage caused by free radicals, pathogens and toxins which your body requires.

Minerals

Deer velvet acontains calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, magnesium, sodium, zinc, copper, iron, selenium and cobalt