Tag Archives: medicine

Making Natural Herbal Burn Remedy

Our burn remedies contain a famous ancient Chinese herbal medicine for burns called Zi Cao Gen, or Purple Herb Root, along with other cooling herbs and pure essential oils of lavender. You can see that the root at the top right is truly a dark purple color, and the salve is a beautiful hue of red as a result.

 

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Wind Cold Damp Invasion Chinese Medicine

A Website Visitor Asks:

inever had any type of sinus problems, live in new york and went to visit someone in the mountains, the air was colder and i felt something in the air get in my body and from then on i have been severly congested,  cannot sleep at night, constantly blowing nose, mucous is white, no tinges of yellow or green, had some coughing not much, but when i did cough it was deep and some mucous came very minute amount of a yellow and green tinge looked up the causes for this and found stagnant yang qi, wind and dampness etc.

what can be reccommended,  i am into acupunture and chinese herbs, tried the traditional but perhaps i will get some acupunture.  what herbs can you reccommend, i need both nasal passages clear, it is either one or the other that is clear and it shifts from one nasal passage to another,  thanks

Sounds like a Wind-Cold-Dampness Invasion; I would suggest that you consider a warm soup of broth with green onions and ginger. Pick up some mullein tea bags at your local health food store for the congestion. You could also dilute some cinnamon, lavender, and thyme essential oil in olive oil and add it to your bath (5% EO).

Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Removal and Chinese Medicine

A Website Visitor Asks:

Can Kidney Yang Tonic help with  hypothyroidism, after the thyroid has been removed?

That is an interesting question. In Chinese medicine, the “Kidney” is an energetic organ system relating to various functions, and the energetic channel that acupuncturists utilize and is also part of the system. Hypothyroidism is typically related to the Kidney Yang Deficiency in TCM, and if you have indications of Kidney Deficiency, than the tonics will be of benefit. Note that one indication, such as hypothyroidism, is not enough to make a diagnosis of Kidney Deficiency; you would have several that begin to form a pattern. Take care when utilizing a Kidney Yang tonic such as our Ancestor Treasure formula. What we typically do in clinic in this situation is utilize Yin Valley and Ancestor Treasurer formulas together. Please peruse the Yin/Yang article to understand how to balance Yin and Yang in the body, and why it is important.

Kidney Failure Dialysis and Chinese Herbs

Website visitor asks:

My mother has chronic kidney disease and the doctor wants to do dialysis. They also said she has to much phosphorus in her body which limits her food choices. What vitamins/herbs would be good for her to take and to strengthen her kidney function.

Hi,

I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I have had the opportunity to assist quite a number of patients in clinic who were in kidney failure or approaching kidney failure, and they responded very well to acupuncture.

Supplements are another thing all together in this situation, as you never want to overstress the kidneys when they are failing; the time for herb tonics would be years before this stage when symptoms of imbalance begin to appear. I wish that I could pull some miracle out of my hat for you, but this has gone beyond a self treatment situation. You may be able to find a local licensed acupuncturist who also prescribes herbs who can work together with your mothers prescribing physician to work out a smart plan for her.

Kind Regards,
Catherine

Can Herbal Remedies Help Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Diarrhea Predominant IBS?

Website Visitor Asks:

Making inquiries about herbal treatment for ibs. My daughter is 24 and has been suffering with diarrhea predominant IBS for about 3 years. We are not sure how it started, gastric flu or glandular fever but it is really ruining her life. Constantly worrying where the nearest toilet is. Symptoms are worse during the time she has her period and she gets very bloated.


Conventional western medicine has been less than useful so we would like to know if herbal remedies would help.

Hi,
We are certainly able to treat IBS effectively in clinic, and herbs are a big part of the treatment plan, but Chinese medicine addresses it many different ways; the ability to differentiate the individual’s imbalance is what makes TCM so effective. If your daughter is able to fill out the online evaluation form fully, I will try to help guide her.

Getting worse during her period could point to Liver Qi Stagnation, and the bloating could be Spleen Qi Deficiency. The diarrhea predominance in IBS often points to a condition called Damp Heat Draining down and we often use Peaceful Warrior and Restore the Middle Way formulas to address this.

Kind Regards,
Catherine

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

How Fast Do Herbs Work?

Website Visitor Asks:

How long does it take to see a difference using your herb formulas; I have been suffering with fibromyalgia for many years and started taking the Ageless Herbs Minor Blue Dragon formula a few weeks ago and cannot tell a difference.

Hi,

Fibromyalgia is often more difficult than other conditions, but any chronic health condition is going to take time to reverse. I wish that all healing was instantaneous! This would be especially helpful in our rural community acupuncture clinic where the patients are not familiar with natural healing and often have unrealistic expectations.

The FAQ’s page outlines more of what you should expect with natural healing. It is often said that it takes 1 month of natural therapies for each year of affliction, so chronic conditions it can take a long time. This rule does vary greatly from person to person, and I have seen people heal faster expected many times.

I totally understand your frustration and have been known to be a bit impatient myself, but healing is a process; “it takes as long as it takes”, one of my teachers used to say. Addressing emotional issues can also help speed up the process greatly, especially with something like fibromyalgia as emotions are directly related to health issues in Chinese medicine.

Warm Regards,
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

Chinese Herbs for COPD

Website Visitor Writes:

Hi Catherine,

I saw my doctor last week and diagnosed me with COPD. My breathing has been labored for many months now and it’s getting worse. I know that there is no way to cure COPD; my doctor said it would likely just continue getting worse even though I quit smoking 20 years ago. I am just wondering if there are any Chinese herbs to slow the progression.

Hi,

Don’t be so certain that COPD is your slow death sentence! I have seen the symptoms related to COPD reversed hundreds of times in clinic using tonic herbs and acupuncture.

Our website has been receiving dozens emails from people reporting how herbs have restored their quality of life through better breathing. Two people reported being able to get off there oxygen for most of the day after only a few months use of White Tiger Return lung formula.

The great thing about Chinese tonic herbs is that they are a way to restore health to the lungs, not just address symptoms temporarily. I actually developed the formula for my asthma patients in acupuncture clinic many years ago, but started having good results with COPD more recently.

Typically, patients with COPD use the formula non-stop for 6 months and adopt a maintenance level of 1 month on and one month off the formula; patients usually report improved breathing within 3 weeks time. I have yet to have a patient who took a full course of treatment and did not improve dramatically, so you should feel hope and optimism related to you health! Find a Community Acupuncture Clinic in your area for affordable acupuncture treatments (sliding scale $15-35).

Best Regards,

Catherine