Tag Archives: acupuncture

Find healing herbs right in your kitchen!

You don’t have to go very far to keep yourself healthy. Eating right (stick as close as you can to Mother Nature), and exercise (walking is free) are two of the cheapest things you can do, and when you need a boost, just open your kitchen cabinet (or look in your yard) for some of the best, natural ways to help.

Though, the FDA doesn’t make any claims to herbs healing, and you should not use this information to treat yourself when a doctor is needed, we do know that foods are necessary for survival.  The herbs listed here are foods.  Foods provide healing.  Certain foods help certain areas of the body.  They may aid in many ways.  Use at your own discretion.  I, in no way make claims to them, but offer you suggestions.  You can decide if it is for you.

Hippocrates, called The Father of Medicine, who laid the cornerstone for modern medicine (431 BC), said “Let foods be thy medicine.”

Dr. Victor G. Rocine, (circa 1930s) a Norwegian homeopath states, “If we eat wrongly, no doctor can cure us; if we eat rightly, no doctor is needed.” I do believe that doctors are needed, though, as many things can go wrong for many reasons, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take care of ourselves, naturally, too.

Cayenne can stimulate every system and cell of the body, but primarily, the digestive and circulatory systems. It can help with feeding the heart, lowering  blood pressure and  cholesterol, cleansing blood, relieving pain, inducing sweating, healing ulcers, has stopped hemorrhaging, easing congestion, and rebuilding damaged tissues.  It has been shown to inhibit cholesterol absorption.  The redder the pepper, the more vitamin A, and the mildest form, paprika, has the highest content of vitamin C. It contains beta-carotene, and is high in minerals, such as, iron, sulfur, calcium, and magnesium.  Cayenne can boost the powers of garlic, making it a fantastic home remedy antibiotic.

Cinnamon can help lower blood sugar.  I can, personally, attest to this.  I use it, daily, to keep me from being a pre-diabetic.  I have been pre-diabetic before, had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy, and it runs in both sides of my family. I do not want diabetes.  When I take 2000 mg, daily, I can keep my sugar below 100 – it was 89.  I stopped taking it for about three months, had my sugars tested and they read 131.  Alarmed, I went back on it and tested about six weeks later, and it had dropped to 99.  I will never stop taking it, again.  The best cinnamon to use is the Ceylon variety.  It is lower in coumarin, which in high doses, may be toxic.  It is high in anti-oxidants, is an anti-inflammatory, has helped in neurodegenerative diseases, and can aid in weight loss.

Garlic has been beneficial to the immune, digestive, respiratory, urinary, and circulatory systems. It is high in iodine and sulfur, protein, and vitamins A and C. Hippocrates used it to treat infections, wounds, intestinal disorders, and toothaches, and it has been shown to have antibacterial properties.   Louis Pasteur, 1850s, first recognized this.  It can work on both internal, and external infections.  Many times, it is coupled with cayenne.  Garlic has been known to keep mucus moving through the lungs; therefore, can aid in bronchial issues and asthma. It can help with worms, and as an enema (mixed with water) can help eliminate pinworms.

Ginger/ginger root has been used in Chinese medicine for years.  It aids in digestive disorders, nausea, fever, coughs, can forestall flu, thin blood, and is used in many Chinese formulas to tell the other herbs where to go.  Externally, it can help treat dandruff, the oil can cool inflammations, ease earaches, and help in motion sickness. Studies conducted in Japan, have shown that ginger can block cell mutation that can lead to cancers.

Dandelion, though not typically an herb used in the kitchen, and many people keep trying to kill this wonderful herb, is one of my favorites.  It belongs to the sunflower family.  It furnishes large quantities of nectar and pollen, necessary for feeding young bees.  (Kill dandelions, kill bees?)  They are high in vitamin A, potassium (which makes the leaves taste bitter), aids in the flow of bile, and cleanses the liver and toxicities.  Best of all, they are everywhere, and are free.  You can eat the leaves, cooked, raw, or as tea.

Parsley is a good blood purifier. and stimulator for the bowels.  It is high in iron, copper, and manganese, vitamins A, B, and C.  When dried and used as tea, it has a diuretic action.  It builds blood and stimulates brain activity.  It can allay the kidneys, but too much can irritate them, as well.  Mixed with garlic, it can help high blood pressure.

This blog was meant to get you interested in how you can help yourself, and by no means is an all inclusive listing.  I would suggest obtaining a book on natural remedies to further your knowledge.   Doing so will make you proactive in your health, and to me, that is the first major step. You are what you eat!

Mary has a private practice in Acupuncture and other alternative practices.  She is the owner of Rapha-El Alternative Therapies, LLC, and dba BeautifyNaturally Facial Rejuvenation and BodySculpting.




What actually is ‘Qi’, anyway?

Most people have at least HEARD of the word Qi, and many are now associating it with energy (a loose translation), but do you know that there are several types of Qi in Oriental Medicine, and that they have specific jobs?  Qi is fundamental to Asian medical thinking.  Ted Kaptchuk, OMD, in his book, “The Web That Has No Weaver” (which I highly recommend) explains it this way, “..we can perhaps think of Qi as matter on the verge of becoming energy, or energy at the point of materializing.”   Matter is energy frozen in light.  So, let’s distinguish, in this blog, the different forms of Qi, and what their purpose is.

Chinese medicine (or Oriental/Asian medicine) refers to all Qi of the body as Zheng Qi (Normal), or Zhen Qi (True).  This is what it is called before it becomes the other types of Qis in the body, with specific functions.  A comparison could be that when you were in utero, the cells that begin the process of creating you have not yet deciphered what they will become, i.e. heart cells, stomach cells, skin cells, etc.  There are three sources of Zheng Qi; Yuan Qi (Original/Prenatal), which is in part responsible for your inherited constitution, Gu Qi (Grain), derived from the foods you eat – and only good foods can create this Qi, and Kong Qi (Air) which is taken from the air we breathe in.   The combining of these three Qis create the Normal Qi, and it permeates the entire body.

What are the functions of Qi?

As I stated above, there are several divisions that take place with Zheng Qi, creating the specific Qis, with specific functions.  Zheng Qi is referred to as the Qi of the body that everyone refers to when they are talking about Qi.  Qi is in constant movement and ascends, descends, enters, and leaves the body.  It is inseparable from movement.  There are five major functions of this Qi within your body.

1.  It is the source of all movement in the body, and accompanies all movement.  Sometimes this can be a hard concept to follow, but an example could be your Blood.  Blood is a substance that will just lie there if it does not have Qi to push it along.  Blood and Qi cannot be separated; Blood nourishes Qi, and Qi moves Blood.   The development of your body happens because Qi is there to move that development along.  Qi expands with the growth of your body.  Qi is harmonious in Nature, but when it is blocked, it creates disharmony, or stagnation.

2.   Qi protects the body.  When it is healthy (harmonious, and in balance), it protects us from external influences (which we call EPIs – External Pernicious Influences), and combats them if they do enter.  They will only enter if our Qi is weak.  You know that when your resistance is low, you will get sick.

3.  Qi is the source of transformation in our body.  Remember that I said ‘good foods’?  You cannot eat junk food and expect good Qi to come from it.  It can only be created from good foods (bad foods are simply eliminated).  It combines with the Air Qi to create other substances, like Blood, sweat, and tears (how’s that for a classic!), and urine.

4. Qi governs the body’s Substances and Organs, and keeps them in place.  Basically, without that function, everything would fall out, or prolapse.

5.  Qi keeps the body warm.  This is your body heat.

I hope that this helps you understand what is referred to as your Qi.

Mary E.K. Denison, L.Ac., M.Om, NCCAOM, CCP www.BeautifyNaturally.com www.mitzi.byregion.net