Category Archives: Chinese Medical Theory

How Chinese medicine works.

How Long Does it Take to Reverse Hair Loss with Chinese Herbs?

Customer writes:

 hello I’ve just ordered my second bottle of Return to Spring formula and I was wondering how long it takes to grow your hair back. My hairline is receding but it looks like little hair is starting to grow.

There is information located on the  Hair loss article relating specifically to this. If some hair is starting to come back after just 6 weeks or so, that is a good sign that you are dealing with hair loss due to Kidney Deficiency and that this is the correct product; most people do not see new hair growth for a few months. You should be thinking at least 6 months to a year, but I have no idea what your specific situation is or the level of your deficiency.

Kind Regards,
Catherine Browne, LAc, MH, DiplAc

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Constant Sinus Drainage and Running Nose – What Herbs Will Help?

Website Visitor Asks:

I HAVE A CONSTANT SINUS DRAINING, MY EAR CANAL STAYS FULL ALL THE TIME, WHICH CAUSES BALANCE PROBLEM. I’VE TRIED ALL MEDICAL MEDS, AN DIET RESTRICTIONS, IS THERE ANY HERBS, OR ANY COMBINATION OF HERBS. OR TEAS THAT MAY HELP. THIS IS NOT RECENT, I’VE HAD THIS PROBLEM FOR ABOUT 30 YEARS. I CONSTANTLY BLOWING MY  NOSE, AN CONSTANCE RUFF VOICE. THANK YOU.

Hi,

What you are describing is often described as Internal Dampness according to Chinese Medicine. Most often, the root of this Dampness is related to Spleen Qi Deficiency. The Spleen energetic system in TCM is not the same as the spleen organ of Western medicine; rather, it is a functional organ system that fits in to the larger theories of Chinese medicine. The Spleen is the Organ overseeing the “transformation and transportation of foods and fluids”, thus insuring that nourishment and fluids are utilized efficiently in the body.

The Spleen can be damaged by inappropriate dietary choices, chronic worrying, or ongoing exposure to damp conditions. You could also have a familial (genetic) disposition leading to Spleen Imbalances which I suspect in long standing Dampness developing very early in life. Many of the influences of our modern Western culture lead to Spleen Qi dis-harmonies including the over consumption of iced drinks, cold foods, raw foods, fried foods, and sweets. The Ageless Herbs formula Restore the Middle Way formula is a Spleen Qi Tonic and addresses these issues.

Kindly,
Catherine Browne, LAc, MH, Dipl.Ac

What is the Difference Between Detoxing the Liver and Soothing the Liver?

Website Customer Asks:

I bought the peaceful warrior to detox the liver in the past what is the difference between Free and Easy Wanderer and Peaceful Warrior?

Our Peaceful Warrior formula is used to detox the Liver and contains several very bitter and cold herbs. Bitter herbs stimulate bile flow and removes “Toxic Heat” , or “Liver Fire”, according to Chinese medicine. A Liver Detox has its place, but is too cold energetically to use over a long period of time as it would disrupt the Yin/Yang balance of the body and possibly damage the Spleen. It should be limited to 2-4 months use, and should only be used once per year (ideally in the Spring as this is the Wood Element Season). Exposure to toxins is a common culprit with Liver Fire.

Our Free and Easy Wanderer formula is more neutral (not so cold) and can be taken over a longer period of time to soothe Liver Qi Stagnation. Liver Qi Stagnation is a much more common condition; very few patients come in to clinic without an element of Liver imbalance in the states. Since anger and frustration can lead to Liver Qi Stagnation, it is no surprise that our stressed out society suffers from this condition.

Hope this clarifies,

Catherine

Adrenal Fatigue and Kidney Deficiency

Website Visitor Asks:

Why is adrenal fatigue called “Kidney Deficiency” in Chinese medicine? I know the adrenals sit atop the kidney’s, but I have had my kidneys tested and they are fine.

Hi,

In Chinese medicine, organ systems encompass a complex functional system rather than just the organs themselves. Practitioners trained in Chinese medicine look for patterns of imbalance to determine the underlying “Root” causes that must be addressed in order to bring the body back in to balance. Within this system, the adrenals are part of the Kidney energetic system.

Moreover, the whole syndrome involved with adrenal fatigue, or adrenal exhaustion, points to the depletion of “Essence” that is stored in the Kidneys. Essence is also referred to as “Jing” and is a substance that must be protected and preserved in order to have a prolonged life of good health and wellness. One can have a genetic pre-disposition to an Essence Deficiency, or can burn through the available Essence through poor lifestyle habits; in our culture, the latter is more likely.

Because we are only allowed only a certain amount of Essence at birth, exhausting it can be devastating for our health. This is why those with adrenal fatigue have such a difficult time recovering, often suffering for many years if they do ever fully recover. It is much better to avoid adrenal exhaustion by moderating stress, sleeping well, and eating well, but if you have already been diagnosed with adrenal exhaustion than Kidney Tonic Herbs are one of the best ways to begin to restore your health.

Wishing You Well,

Catherine

Weight Loss and Raw Foods Diets

Website Visitor Writes:

I have been trying to lose weight through a raw foods diet for almost five months now  with mixed results; while my weight dropped about 4 pounds in the first few months, I haven’t lost any more weight and my energy level is dropping. Additionally, I am finding that my digestion is becoming irregular. I would appreciate any guidance!

Hi, When speaking of raw foods, a basic Chinese medical theory comes in to play; in Chinese medicine, the Spleen is the organ system in charge of the ‘transformation and transportation of food and fluids’. The Chinese concept of ‘Spleen’ is not merely an organ that helps to cleanse the blood like a large lymph gland, but functionally, the Spleen is central in the utilization of foods.

Chinese medicine is very practical  in regards to the way the body actually functions. In Western medicine, many of the theories and deductions that have been formulated relate to the way that information has been gathered; through the lifeless, stagnant cadaver and the dissection of the lifeless body. Chinese medical theory is based on the living organism and a myriad of interrelated functions.

Raw foods diets are not typically seen in traditional systems such as Aurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine, and lack the empirical proof of supporting life over a number of generations.  Those going through juicing fasts will often comment that the process is ‘cleaning their system out’. Often, this translates to loose bowel movements removing waste; what is actually occurring is that they are damaging their Spleen function.

Many people become frustrated when trying to live a healthy lifestyle or lose weight because of these contradicting philosophies. If we try to utilize historical uses of herbs and foods to avoid reductionism thinking, we can see that raw foods and juices are best used in moderation. Unfortunately, raw salads, juice, fruits, and iced drinks are a staple in many diets that are reputed to help people improve their health, and possibly maintain a healthy weight. Actually, raw foods best play a minor role, while cooked grains, legumes, steamed vegetables, nuts, and fish would be more beneficial in an overall strategy for sustainable weight loss.

I would suggest utilizing a Spleen Qi tonic to reverse the damage done and to promote healthy weight loss. Please let me know if you have any questions.

My Best,

Catherine

©Catherine Browne 2010