Winter Wonder Walnuts

In the cold of winter, a great herb to consider is the walnut. It is a rich source of fat that keeps the body warm and as a healthy snack, stifles hunger. But walnuts are more than a food; they have many valuable medicinal uses, too. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), walnuts gently tonify Kidney…

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Wild Cherry Bark and Sweet Cherry Stems as Medicine

Recently Michael and I witnessed the incredible scene of cherry blossom season in Japan. It is truly a remarkable sight. Clouds of pinkish-white flowers adorn dark branches that hang over green parks. blue waters, or frame distant structures. Crowds of locals stream through such areas, picnicking or strolling beneath their ancient glories, day and night.…

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Which Ginseng Should I Take?

When I began to study herbs, my first class discussed the difference between the many ginsengs. It was information overload at that stage of my learning, but since then I’ve used them all. If the prospect of selecting the right ginseng for a specific set of symptoms seems overwhelming, this blog is for you. Why…

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Jujubes

Wen Dan Tang

In honor of the near end of Liver/Gallbladder time of year, here’s another favorite formula of mine: Wen Dan Tang. It has many uses, especially as a sedative and expectorant, but it is specifically sa …

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Curculigo Leaves

Two Immortals

We are in the depth of Kidney time now and will be for about another three weeks. This is when Kidney energy is supposed to flourish. However, if there’s any kidney imbalance now, then those symptoms …

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summer tcm watermelon cucumber seasonal herbs

Two Foods to Help You Keep Cool This Summer

Summers seem to be getting hotter and hotter so staying cool – and keeping your cool – can be more difficult. But don’t fret! There are many fabulous herbs, some even easy to find or grow foods, that can help you cool off during such hot summer days. These herbs also help with what Traditional…

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Turmeric: For Best Results, Use It Properly

Turmeric has become increasingly popular over the last decade, first for blood purification and then for joint pain. As it’s hit the mainstream, its uses have narrowed at the same time. While turmeric is a fabulous herb with many beneficial applications, it’s also quite powerful and can strongly imbalance the body if over-used or misused.…

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Triphala Fruits

Triphala and Ghee for Dry Eyes and Other Eye Problems

Triphala consists of three phytonutrient-rich fruits Emblica officinalis (Amla, or Amalaki) also known as Phyllanthus emblica; Terminalia bellerica (Vibhitaki); and Terminalia chebula (Haritaki). Each of these eliminates all types of excess from the body. Amla clears the liver, Vibhitaki the excess of mucus, lymph, fluids, including excess cholesterol, and Haritaki treats the nervous system. All three fruits…

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Treating Gum Disease with Astringent Herbs

Unfortunately, too many people think about their teeth only in crisis stage. A common pre-crisis symptom is receding gums. This is a widespread condition when the gums pull away from the teeth, forming gaps and eventually exposing the bone structures that support the teeth. Over time, this will lead to the formation of pockets of…

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The Salty Flavor: Seaweed

To finish up the flavors for the year, we have one left – salty. Most herbs that are salty are subtly so. Yet salty can include herbs with mineral salts, such as nettles. Here I want to discuss a true salty herb: seaweed. Seaweed is not unknown as a medicinal herb. Irish moss and bladderwrack…

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The Bitter Flavor in Herbs

The flavor of an herb is different than its taste. Taste is subjective while flavor is a major indicator of how an herb affects the body and thus, how it’s used. In other words, there is a direct correlation between flavor and physiological function. Basing an herb’s properties on its flavor was a way that…

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TCM and Western Clinical Tongue Diagnosis

When was the last time you visited a doctor and the first thing asked of you was to show your tongue? Western medical practice of tongue diagnosis as part of a routine clinical examination seems, like many Western clinical practices, to have become a relic of the not-too-distant past. Instead, it survives as a standard…

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Symptom-Specific Herbal Protection from Viruses

We are in cold and flu season, which especially hits during the summer-to-fall and winter-to-spring months. How do you prevent catching a cold or flu and if you do get it, what do you do? Thankfully some powerful herbs you can take right now to protect yourself. Herbal Prevention Herbal approaches for staying well include…

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Staying Healthy This Winter

Whether you live in balmy, tropical Hawaii, or sub-zero, frosty Minnesota, the energy of winter is the same: storage. At this time winter’s cold drives your life fires deeply inward, collecting itself like a hibernating bear for the coming Spring. The Chinese believe that the water element rules winter, which is associated with the Kidneys,…

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