Tag Archives: qi

Ma Huang: quite literally a miracle?

A website visitor asks:

Do you have a product with pinyin: ma huang? The ingredient helped with my energy level, my appetite and my sex drive and was quite literally a miracle. Then I think it was taken off the market. Now I am reading it is back with specific parts of the plant removed. Is it still effective? It seems if the FDA is requiring the active compound to be removed it will no longer be useful. I am confused and looking for a solution.

In traditional Chinese medicine, ma huang was not used an energy stimulant, it was used for lung and breathing problems. The misuse of the herb as an energy stimulant is what led to it being removed. You would do better to utilize Qi tonics such as our Sea of Qi formula and benefit your health rather than utilizing ephedra this way. It is said that using stimulants is like stealing vitality from your future health; ask anyone with adrenal fatigue. By utilizing a Qi Tonic, you are actually helping to build your energy and support the organ systems that help you maintain healthy energy levels.

Oh! I like that reasoning! That makes perfect sense! Thank you!! I will go find the appropriate Qi  tonic and be grateful to hang onto the healthy energy I have!
Thank you so much. grins

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Uterine Fibroids Preventing Conception and Chinese Herbs

Website Visitor Inquires:

I am 34 and I recently had a small 2.5 sm submucusal (inside uterus) fibroid surgically removed. Apparently I have another small one (2 cm.) on the outer side of the uterus which nobody really worries about because it doesn’t interfere with pregnancy.

I have been trying to get pregnant for 1 year – after surgery, we have been trying only 1 month.  I tried acupuncture for fertility before knowing I had the fibroid and I am afraid it actually triggered the fibroid as I started bleeding more and more after each treatment, so now I am scared of acupuncture. I do believe in Chinese herbs and acupressure though. I was wondering if you could recommend me a liver cleanse that wouldn’t interfere with my trying to conceive plan but would help shrinking the remaining fibroid. I do not believe I am atypical fibroid patient though, I am very thin (96 pounds for 5’5”) – my cycles are regular.

I firmly believe that my fibroids came from the anger I hold inside.  Everything started getting worse and worse after I got extremely upset  seeing everybody around me getting pregnant while I was struggling so  much – I used to cry  days and nights and hate the people who got pregnant. Now, thank G-d, I am calmer and I am trying to have faith in G-d and that He il help me having a baby, but helping myself won’t hurt.

Any suggestions are extremely appreciated, I am sorry for the long and confusing email but I am so confused myself and I am looking for help.
 Thank you and have a great day.

Hi,

If you fill out an online evaluation , I can help guide you. Chinese medicine relies on patterns of imbalance to determine the best way to bring the body back in to balance, thus normalize reproductive functions according to TCM. There are not clear patterns allowing me to discern specific imbalances according to Chinese medicine from what you have written beyond Liver Qi Stagnation (which is indicated by the anger and typical with uterine fibroids).

I would suggest that you read our fertility article and uterine fibroid article to understand how Chinese medicine works to improve fertility. You will not be able to use the herbs in the second half of your cycle if you are not on a reliable type birth control (barrier is best because hormonal birth control creates more Liver Qi Stagnation). The woman with the quickest results take a break from trying to get pregnant and use the herbs full time in an effort to bring the body in to balance and becoming ready to conceive.

Typically, if there were Blood and Qi Stagnation of the Lower Jiao, you would have cramping associated with menstruation, clots, or dark/purple bleeding and that would indicate that Stasis in the Lower Palace formula is indicated, but it does not sound like you are experiencing this.

We use the Free and Easy Wanderer with great success in clinic for the Liver Qi Stagnation. With fibroids, you likely also have Internal Dampness and the Restore the Middle Way formula would be indicated, but would use the three formulas together hoping for any significant improvement.  I would also note that acupuncture could not create uterine fibroids.

Kindly,
Catherine Browne, LAc, MH, DiplAc

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

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