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28Jan/10Off

Story of Yunnan Baiyao (part 3)

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(cont'd from part 2)

Yunnan Baiyao is best known to stop bleeding - A haemostatic medicine. however, because it contains many activating elements with complicated medical reactions, there are many uses other than stopping bleed:

Haemostatic medicine

Yunnan Baiyao is very effective with bleeding diseases and injuries. It can accelerate the haemostatic process and shorten the span of disease. There was research explaining the major role of Yunnan Baiyao is to shorten time for blood clotting and increase thrombin, while also leading blood platelets to gather and release. The haemostatic use of Yunnan Baiyao is very wide including bleeding through injuries, bleeding in digestive system, respiratory system, brain bleeding and a lot more.

Recovery of inflammation

Yunnan Baiyao can suppress the inflammatory elements. It's effective on improving blood circulation and vascular permeability. During treatment, it works to relieve swollenness and bruises. Besides, it helps suppress the activity of bacteria and prevent the wounds from further inflammation.

Cure immune system disease

Yunnan Baiyao catalyze the secretion of adrenal cortex hormones, hence it helps healing the immune system.

Fight against tumors and cancers

In 1980s, the research bureau in United States discover that there are some elements in Yunnan Baiyao that helps treating tumors and cancers. In Japan there are some successful stories curing tumors and cancers using Yunnan Baiyao. However, it's still waiting for further research to prove that.

Pain relief

The improvement of blood circulation and recovery of inflammation results a pain relief for injuries, dysmenorrhea and inflammatory pain. The relief of angina can be cause by the use of Yunnan Baiyao on increase of vascular notorious blood flow. Also Yunnan Baiyao can slow down heart beats, adjust blood pressure and reduce the vascular oxygen consumption.

22Jan/10Off

Nosebleed cont’d

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(cont'd from last post)

Well, other than Perilla leaf, which is probably not easy to find any fresh ones around. There is another patent formula that stops bleeding. It's a very famous medicine invented about a hundred years ago and commonly used during wars. For nosebleed, the use is a little different:

Mandarin pronunciation: Yun Nan Bai Yao (Meaning "Yunnan province white medicine"), also known as Yunnan Baiyao.

Description: To use this medicine to arrest a nosebleed, break open two capsules, pour the loose powder onto a cotton swab, then apply directly to the wound. Or, the powder can be inhaled or snuffed into the bleeding nostril. Apply direct pressure immediately, pinch and hold the nose for ten to fifteen minutes.

Caution: Pregnant woman MUST NOT use this medicine or it can cause miscarriage.

Dosage: It comes in boxes of 16 capsules, with instructions on  dosage.

(source: Chinese Herbal Medicine Made Easy, by Thomas Richard Joiner)

18Jan/10Off

Single-herb formula for Athlete’s Foot, Part 2

(cont'd from Part 1)

This is another single-herb formula to heal athlete's foot.

MI TUO MENG (Galena)

Ingredient:

10-15 grams of Mi Tuo Seng (buy it powdered)

Description:

This single-herb raw formula is best for Athlete's Foot. It absorbs fluid, drains sores, ulcers, and damp skin eruptions, reduces swelling, and eliminates leukoderma. (deficiency of pigmentation in the skin, especially in patches)

Analysis:

Mi Tou Seng drains pus and eliminates ulcers and different forms of leukoderma.

Preparation:

It can be used topically as powder. It can also be sprinkled on the infected area, or mixed with water to make a paste and apply to the infected area. Use as needed until the infection is clear.

Note:

This formula is for EXTERNAL use, do not use it internally!

(source: Chinese Herbal Medicine Made Easy, by Thomas Richard Joiner)

18Dec/09Off

Ginger healing: hair loss, common cold and flu

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In western culture, I don't see ginger as a common food but more for seasoning . But in Chinese or Asian community, ginger plays a very critical role in cooking. It's because of both its great culinary and medicinal value. It's commonly used for seafood cooking especially steaming fish in order to get rid of the fishiness. Its medicinal value is even more important. Chinese use ginger to heal many diseases. Ginger root is the major one we always use, but ginger skin, ginger leaves and even dried ginger all have different medicinal uses.

Chinese consider cold or flu to be an attack of "coldness" inserting our skin and other organs and reach the inside our body. The property of ginger is "warm" (yeah, it's spicy so you can tell), which helps open up the tiny pores of skin again to release the "coldness" that got us sick. So whoever starts to get a cold or flu, just make some hot tea with ginger boiled and drink it. It's going to help a lot. There's always a typical recipe we use in our own family - hot ginger coke. You boil a can of coca-cola with a few slices of ginger and then drink it before going to rest. It works pretty much every time for us.

Very few people know that hair loss and alopecia can be healed by ginger as well. It's also based on the theory of refreshing the pore on the skin. There are few ways of healing alopecia and hair loss with ginger:

1. Ginger skin (dried by baking) and Ginseng 30 grams each.  Grind them into powder. Cut some ginger slices to smear the hair losing area with the powder. Do it every other day.

2. Grind a piece of fresh ginger, heat it up and smear it on the head 2-3 times. Make sure you don't burn your skin though.

3. Probably the easiest way: Cut a few slices of ginger and smear some alcohol (like brandy) on your head. About 2-3 times a day. Or another way is put a few slices of aged ginger into a glass of alcohol for 2-3 days, then smear these ginger slices onto the area of alopecia or hair loss every day, normally 2-3 weeks hair will grow again.

There are even more complicated ginger uses for hair loss, I just provided these three ways. I hope it helps certain people. Ginger still have plenty of medicinal uses. And since it's a pretty easy thing to find in the market, I'll try to bring up some more uses later on.

27Oct/09Off

6 signs to tell that you’re healthy again by Dr. Ni

Last post I talked about some rules of thumbs from Dr. Ni. I've been reading a speech he gave in Los Angeles a while ago. Certain things I kind of mentioned in my blog before that are quite similar. I'll take part of the speech that talked about how traditional Chinese doctor of Northern China decide whether you're healthy or not and translate for you guys:

  1. Sleep well without any interruption and wake up in the morning. However, if you can't sleep because you argue with your husband or wife, that's normal.
  2. Normal appetite. That doesn't mean a good appetite that keeps you eating. That means it's just about right enough to satisfy you. Not an appetite that keeps you want more food.
  3. The first thing wake up in the morning is a bathroom break to take a deuce. Breakfast after that.
  4. 5-7 times urination per day. Urine volume should be large, color should be light yellow.
  5. No matter what season or where you are, head/face/body stay cool, while limbs like hands feet, arms and legs are warm.
  6. In the morning, male have an erection while female has a sensitive breast as well.

When you take Chinese treatments whether it's herbs or acupuncture, once all these 6 good signs appear, that means you're quite healthy. If not, that means you're in a wrong medical direction.

If I found something more that's interesting in the speech and I can translate (actually that's quite a difficult task), I'll continue.

22Oct/09Off

Make alternative healing become mainstream, discussion part 4

I continued reading the Chinese article written about American's health by an acupuncturist. His words are pretty strong, and there may be some bias too. But honestly I have found some of those interesting and convincing.

He said overweight is basically a tough health issues among Americans. One of the major cause of this is drinking too much milk! (Well, when we see "Got Milk?" all the time, we can't imagine someone actually point out milk is one of the cause of overweight, which leads to a lot of health problems. Next to milk is fast food, which we probably already knew. Milk is making most people grow big like cows, which may be what it was intended to do. It seems to be better now since low fat milk and no fat milk are available. But many people still like whole fat milk, and use half and half for other foods and beverage.

Another problem is drug abuse. He's not talking about the illegal drugs, he's talking about over-the-counter drugs. Like taking sleeping pills to help sleeping, like taking painkillers whenever we feel any unbearable (or even bearable) pain. These are what causing depression and kidney problems.

Some people also rely on vitamins when they found their stamina is declining. They don't blame on overweight or lack of exercise. Instead, they think they're lacking of vitamins and take multiple vitamins for that. However, taking too much vitamins is going to feed the bad cells, like cancer. Some cancers like prostate cancer and breast cancer can come from that. If we don't change our diet and habits, all of the above would definitely do us more harm than good.

He made a strong statement on chemotherapy. Although I think it's bias, I can't really argue with him. He said if chemotherapy can really treat cancer, let's try to find a healthy young man to take chemotherapy for six months and see how he's going to be. He said this young man is definitely going to be weak as if he's going to die. If we use chemotherapy on cancer patients, we can see how effective it's going to be. If that's the case, why do we spend that much money on these services? He also said he's happy to see President Obama and some authorities starting to find out there's a new direction. If alternative healing really becomes mainstream, it's going to change the whole world, not just America.

Chinese have a saying to describe Western medicine: "Cure the head when there's a headache; Heal the feet when they feel pain." That may be a little bias, but somehow this is the impression among Chinese. However, Western medicine has a much organized system to follow while Chinese medicine is not organized very well. That's what making traditional Chinese medicine hard to promote. Hopefully this will change someday. When we think about it, if a few needles can heal some diseases, why do we need pills?

19Oct/09Off

Make alternative healing become mainstream, discussion part 3

In part 1. I posted an article written by a few wise medical authorities called "Alternative Healing is mainstream". In part 2, I showed my support to the integration of alternative healing and making these healing methods more popular. I'm not even a doctor myself, but I know a few TCM doctors who can give thousands of examples on how Healthy Check works with "the power of simple, low-tech and low-cost" as said in the article. One of the examples I heard was from an acupuncturist. There's a middle aged guy whose three coronary arteries are already congested. He was arranged to have a coronary artery bypass surgery. However, in a physical check right before the operation, they found that one of his kidneys totally malfunctioned, so the operation got canceled to avoid the risk of dying in the operation room. However, after he went home, his friend knew about his situation and then recommended him an acupuncturist. The day when he came to the acupuncture office he was so painful on the chest, and couldn't stop the shallow and difficult breaths and of course, very nervous. The acupuncturist just had him lay down, just right after a few needles pinched into the acupoints, the chest pain is gone. After a deep breath, he told the acupuncturist that he never felt that well with his heart. 20 minutes later after pulling off the needles, he's so happy that he just knew he's already much better. He told the acupuncturist that usually he had to stop and take a breath every 10 steps. Just right after this treatment he could already walk without stopping at all. He was so surprised that acupuncture can be so efficient. When he found out the bill was just $50. He was even more amazed. If he take the surgery just for a reduction of pain, it's going to cost him $50,000. And even after the surgery, the congestions still occur, and he knows few years later he'll have to do it again. 10 days later, he faxed and told the acupuncturist after the last session and take some herb medicines, his chest pain is totally gone, and he can walk like usual and can even do some exercise. He went to the hospital and had check up. Suddenly there were no more congestion in the coronary arteries.  He immediately questioned why American medical system never use acupuncture to treat heart problems. Because it's efficient and much more affordable. There's no side effects and no need to cut a hole on your chest. This is just one of the stories the acupuncturist talked about. The point of this example here is not about how great this acupuncturist is, it's about how this example tells the new hope of the future. The economy can recover much quicker if our burden of medical expense is relieved by alternative healing methods, and President Obama probably already knew that. Alternative healing may be used as an option for bargain against the American medicines.

17Oct/09Off

Make alternative healing become mainstream, discussion part 2

In the last post I posted an article written by a few wise medical authorities called "Alternative Healing is mainstream". To save our country in long term, or even in the short-term, I do hope President Obama will put some efforts on promoting alternative healing methods, while he's still fighting for healthcare of all public against the medical companies. Again, the huge medical expense can be reduced by just switching healing methods, especially the huge expense paying the medical professionals who take care of the chronic disease patients. A lot of studies already prove that traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, acupressure and Qi Gong can relieve those chronic pain. As Healthy Check being much more cost effective compared to the expensive medical care in America, President Obama should really find out a way to intergrate both Chinese and American medical system so that we can make medical insurance more affordable. Honestly, if more resources can be put on alternative healing research including Healthy Check and natural ways of healing from other countries, it's going to change the health of western world from the basis and save the medical budgets for at least 80%. We already the average life span of Asians are longer than Americans and Europeans. The longevity is not based on the cutting edge medical technology and equipments, it's based on the natural healing and health protection. Of course, we know Western medicine has their incomparable value, especially in the surgery areas. However, there's an old saying that said, "Prevention is always better than cure." And alternative healing is definitely great in terms of preventive medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine especially recommends, "Cure before the disease." It means not just to have a regular physical check, but cure yourself regularly with decoctions, diet, exercise, acupressure, Qi Gong etc. It's just a matter of whether Americans can believe these or not.

Health insurance policy for retired seniors now is ridiculous. It's like you either a very poor senior with no properties, no income and nothing to get healthcare, or you retire rich that you don't ever have to worry about your healthcare. For most people in the middle class, who own something but getting old, the health insurance is so ridiculously hard to afford. If this direction keeps going wrong like that and the medical companies keep making profits for investors without thinking what medicines are really for, someday, or even now, America will be so screwed.

15Oct/09Off

Make alternative healing become mainstream, discussion part 1

My mom has been struggling getting an affordable health insurance lately after she got laid off from where she works at the age of 62. That reminds me the movie "Sicko" which talks about how the greedy medicine companies and doctors trying to keep their profits and ignore the health needs of Americans. This year President Obama has been fighting against some republicans and the powerful medical businesses for an affordable insurance proposal for everyone. It's a big challenge for Obama because the stubborn rich medical business profit takers are very powerful in Congress, let alone the noise from medical professionals. In fact, not all doctors or medical professionals are that greedy, over 65% of them support Obama's proposal. It's just those medical companies don't want to give up certain profits because many of them are public companies that have to make money for the investors, as well as saving some profits for research and development of even better medicines and equipments. However, these companies a sacrificing the health of public because of these financial issues. When one company does that, others have to follow, and then the medical cost goes up ridiculously every year.

While President Obama's proposal is getting stuck right now, certain people are trying to save the health of everyone by studying about "alternative healing" and "Integrative medicine". I'm going to paste an article written by these wise doctors last year. It's really, really worth to read if you're also thinking our health insurance system is ridiculous.

'Alternative' Medicine Is Mainstream
The evidence is mounting that diet and lifestyle are the best cures for our worst afflictions.

By DEEPAK CHOPRA , DEAN ORNISH , RUSTUM ROY and ANDREW WEIL

In mid-February, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Bravewell Collaborative are convening a "Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public." This is a watershed in the evolution of integrative medicine, a holistic approach to health care that uses the best of conventional and alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture and herbal remedies. Many of these therapies are now scientifically documented to be not only medically effective but also cost effective.

President-elect Barack Obama and former Sen. Tom Daschle (the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services) understand that if we want to make affordable health care available to the 45 million Americans who do not have health insurance, then we need to address the fundamental causes of health and illness, and provide incentives for healthy ways of living rather than reimbursing only drugs and surgery.

Heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer and obesity account for 75% of health-care costs, and yet these are largely preventable and even reversible by changing diet and lifestyle. As Mr. Obama states in his health plan, unveiled during his campaign: "This nation is facing a true epidemic of chronic disease. An increasing number of Americans are suffering and dying needlessly from diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma and HIV/AIDS, all of which can be delayed in onset if not prevented entirely."

The latest scientific studies show that our bodies have a remarkable capacity to begin healing, and much more quickly than we had once realized, if we address the lifestyle factors that often cause these chronic diseases. These studies show that integrative medicine can make a powerful difference in our health and well-being, how quickly these changes may occur, and how dynamic these mechanisms can be.

Many people tend to think of breakthroughs in medicine as a new drug, laser or high-tech surgical procedure. They often have a hard time believing that the simple choices that we make in our lifestyle -- what we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke cigarettes, how much exercise we get, and the quality of our relationships and social support -- can be as powerful as drugs and surgery. But they often are. And in many instances, they're even more powerful.

These studies often used high-tech, state-of-the-art measures to prove the power of simple, low-tech, and low-cost interventions. Integrative medicine approaches such as plant-based diets, yoga, meditation and psychosocial support may stop or even reverse the progression of coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, prostate cancer, obesity, hypercholesterolemia and other chronic conditions.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that these approaches may even change gene expression in hundreds of genes in only a few months. Genes associated with cancer, heart disease and inflammation were downregulated or "turned off" whereas protective genes were upregulated or "turned on." A study published in The Lancet Oncology reported that these changes increase telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes that control how long we live. Even drugs have not been shown to do this.

Our "health-care system" is primarily a disease-care system. Last year, $2.1 trillion was spent in the U.S. on medical care, or 16.5% of the gross national product. Of these trillions, 95 cents of every dollar was spent to treat disease after it had already occurred. At least 75% of these costs were spent on treating chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, that are preventable or even reversible.

The choices are especially clear in cardiology. In 2006, for example, according to data provided by the American Heart Association, 1.3 million coronary angioplasty procedures were performed at an average cost of $48,399 each, or more than $60 billion; and 448,000 coronary bypass operations were performed at a cost of $99,743 each, or more than $44 billion. In other words, Americans spent more than $100 billion in 2006 for these two procedures alone.

Despite these costs, a randomized controlled trial published in April 2007 in The New England Journal of Medicine found that angioplasties and stents do not prolong life or even prevent heart attacks in stable patients (i.e., 95% of those who receive them). Coronary bypass surgery prolongs life in less than 3% of patients who receive it. So, Medicare and other insurers and individuals pay billions for surgical procedures like angioplasty and bypass surgery that are usually dangerous, invasive, expensive and largely ineffective. Yet they pay very little -- if any money at all -- for integrative medicine approaches that have been proven to reverse and prevent most chronic diseases that account for at least 75% of health-care costs. The INTERHEART study, published in September 2004 in The Lancet, followed 30,000 men and women on six continents and found that changing lifestyle could prevent at least 90% of all heart disease.

In Today's Opinion Journal

That bears repeating: The disease that accounts for more premature deaths and costs Americans more than any other illness is almost completely preventable simply by changing diet and lifestyle. And the same lifestyle changes that can prevent or even reverse heart disease also help prevent or reverse many other chronic diseases as well. Chronic pain is one of the major sources of worker's compensation claims costs, yet studies show that it is often susceptible to acupuncture and Qi Gong. Herbs usually have far fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals.

Joy, pleasure and freedom are sustainable, deprivation and austerity are not. When you eat a healthier diet, quit smoking, exercise, meditate and have more love in your life, then your brain receives more blood and oxygen, so you think more clearly, have more energy, need less sleep. Your brain may grow so many new neurons that it could get measurably bigger in only a few months. Your face gets more blood flow, so your skin glows more and wrinkles less. Your heart gets more blood flow, so you have more stamina and can even begin to reverse heart disease. Your sexual organs receive more blood flow, so you may become more potent -- similar to the way that circulation-increasing drugs like Viagra work. For many people, these are choices worth making -- not just to live longer, but also to live better.

It's time to move past the debate of alternative medicine versus traditional medicine, and to focus on what works, what doesn't, for whom, and under which circumstances. It will take serious government funding to find out, but these findings may help reduce costs and increase health.

Integrative medicine approaches bring together those in red states and blue states, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, because these are human issues. They are both medically effective and, important in our current economic climate, cost effective. These approaches emphasize both personal responsibility and the opportunity to make affordable, quality health care available to those who most need it. Mr. Obama should make them an integral part of his health plan as soon as possible.

Dr. Chopra, the author of more than 50 books on the mind, body and spirit, is guest faculty at Beth Israel Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ornish is clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Mr. Roy is professor emeritus of materials science at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Weil is director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

13Oct/09Off

How to find out if you pick the right medicine or a right doctor

I recently read a Chinese article written by a traditional Chinese medicine doctor and found it interesting. It's about how we know if we find the right doctor, right treatment or right medicine. Of course, this doctor didn't say he's the best. Rather, he respect whatever treatment or whoever we believe in. The point he's trying to make is to tell us how to indicate by ourselves that we're really getting proper treatment and are going on the right direction. I'll try to translate what he said here.

There are so many diet supplements, Qi Gong classes, and certain doctors are exaggerating how good their treatments are. All these various methods, classes, medicines and supplements are making people wondering which one is working for them. It really doesn't matter which method people believe and insist on trying, as long as it benefits the patient, any kinds of treatment should be respected. However, if those treatments are not working and makes the patients waste a lot of money and most importantly, miss the best timing for the cure, that's going to be the worst.

Actually, there's a simple indication in general to differentiate what works and what doesn't. And the plan is to continue the treatment if the indicator shows that it works, stop the treatment if it's the opposite. Here is the indicator: a healthy person always feel warm with the limbs, and relatively cooler on the face and the head. If limbs are getting cold, that means sickness is already there in the body. So when we don't feel well for whatever reason, the limbs will be colder than usual. Then after you start the treatment with medicines / vitamins / diet supplements / exercises / herbs / Qi Gong / surgery / chemical therapy / acupuncture etc, if your limbs are feeling even colder, that means those treatments fail. If your limbs are starting to feel warmer, that means those treatment works, and you're on the right track of recovery.

So sometimes whenever a person tells you that "I'm taking XXX supplement", ask this person if his/her limbs feel colder or warmer after taking it. If the answer is colder, that means this supplement is not just fail on this individual, it even "feeds" the potential disease like cancer and virus. Same theory, if the Qi Gong master or the TCM doctor or the acupuncturist makes the limbs feel from cold to warm, that means they're good for the patient and fit the needs. If it's the opposite, the patient better switch to some other treatments.