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The real pandemic of these modern times is not SARS Co-V2, aka COVID-19. The real pandemic is the reason for this superficial pandemic which is riding high because of the real pandemic. The real pandemic is poor health of the human society in general, which then has affected the health of the other creatures on this earth. Look around you, or you may even be one of them……so many people struggling with their life due to diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, cancer, neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia, mental diseases and generalized states of physical and mental fatigue, anger, fear, and so on; the imbalances are numerous.
The root of the real pandemic, poor health, has two outstanding major components combined with other factors which are mostly due to these two major ones. The first cause of people’s poor health is their daily food intake. The second major factor, which results from the first one not being proper, is the consumption of modern medications. When will this really be realized and internalized by people? Why isn’t this taken seriously? When will there be a mass awakening to this dilemma? People will say they know this, but do nothing about it. Not doing anything about it is the same as not knowing, it is ignorance. Ignorance, in the long run, is not bliss. It leads people to multiple mistakes and misfortunes. Ignorance can be temporary bliss, but it results in being taken advantage of and in being controlled by others who do not care about your or anyone else’s welfare and will result in misery for the person who stays unaware.
This original cause of the intake of poor substances, which many times can hardly be called food, is not because the person is poor, not because real food is not available, not because it doesn’t taste good. The real cause is because people either do not believe what they are eating is so bad or because they do not make the effort to change their ways and they fall prey to their addictions which were obtained because they were chasing an illusion that this substance would make them happy. This illusion is often encouraged by modern advertising, which amounts to brain-washing for the monetary benefit of the agent generating the belief. Ah, effort. Too busy making money, too busy raising kids, too busy for this, too busy for that. All excuses. If a person does not have their health, they can forget everything else. Cook your own real food.
As for availability, look at the large, organic produce section of many supermarkets and grocery stores. Produce abounds in America. Farmers markets, co-ops, direct regenerative farmers, health food stores, YOUR OWN BACK YARD, patio or balcony or house or apartment! Raise it. By all means, get rid of packaged substances, get real!
As for being too poor—- whole produce is very affordable. Don’t buy all the packaged junk and one can afford many whole vegetables!
The second component of the real pandemic is the over consumption of medications. This society probably really needs, at the most, 10% of the available medications being produced by pharmaceutical companies, 5% is probably more like it. When illness arises, seek a natural cure. But before illness arises is when it must be treated. That treatment is the person’s daily food intake. Minimize medications. The best is none. Being able to die without taking prescription drugs during ones lifetime is the way it should be. It shouldn’t be the exception. Yet, when people over 65 are not taking any medications, most medical doctors and even colleagues are surprised. It is the acceptable norm in this country that people are on medications, especially over the age of 65. How ridiculous. Find the truly healthy people. They take no pharmaceuticals.
Now let’s discuss this superficial popular current pandemic of COVID-19. Not a problem if one addresses the real pandemic first. Prevention is the best medicine. However, there are natural ways to treat the early stage of this infectious disease should one catch it, as well as other similar infectious diseases. Traditional Chinese Medicine has been treating infectious diseases for centuries, not just decades.
The venerated “Chinese God of Husbandry,” Sheng Nong, studied and experimented on himself the effects of many plant, mineral and animal substances around c. 3494 B.C, which is about 5,515 years ago, and recorded many of his findings. He is credited with identifying hundreds of medical (and poisonous) herbs by personally testing their properties, which was crucial to the development of traditional Chinese medicine.
The dynasty system and meticulous recording have helped to preserve the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), scripts of old China. Some important medical writings are Shang Han Lun (Discussion of Fevers), Huang Di Nei Jing (The Internal Book of Emperor Huang), and Sheng Nong Ben Cao Jing (The Pharmacopoeia of Sheng Nong—a legendary emperor). The Chinese pharmacopoeia is extensive. Some of the active ingredients from Chinese herbs have been used in Western drugs; for example, reserpine.
Fast forward a number of centuries, Tao Hung-Ching (A.D. 452-536), collected ancient records for “The Book on Herbs by Sheng Nong.” His greatest contribution was his own study of herbs. This book includes a discussion of 365 different herbs originally attributed to Sheng Nong. Tao Hung-ching later added a supplement to this work entitled “Ming I Pieh Lu” which covered 365 more herbs used by well-known physicians in the Han and Wei dynasties. Both volumes were then combined with a commentary under the name of “Pen Tsao Ching Chi Chu”. This study could rightly be termed the first commentary on Chinese materia medica.
The Huang Di Nei Ching, the oldest and one of the most important Chinese medical texts, is an anthology of material compiled by unknown authors in the early Han dynasty. It is based on contemporary philosophical concepts interwoven into a system of internal medicine. The book describes the energy, or Qi, quality of internal organs; reviews anatomy, physiology and hygiene; classifies symptoms and signs of disease; and delineates the proper administration of therapy, either acupuncture, moxibustion or massage. The theory of the five elements with their geographical correlations, the methods of diagnosis and the eight rubrics were integral parts of this medical system. I
It is interesting to note that these classical medical theories appeared in written form about the same time that Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, wrote his 87 essays on medicine.
During the ninth to fifth centuries B.C., the “Shu Ching” (Book of Odes) compiled by unknown authors during the Chou period first discussed natural medicines. Then came many, many more along the centuries. But another great physician and herbalist cannot be overlooked. That is Zhang Zhong Jing and his famous work the “Shan Han Lun” on the signs and symptoms and treatment of febrile diseases. The importance of his contribution to medical science and thought cannot be overemphasized. This is still one of the works the Oriental Medicine doctor and herbalist studies and uses extensively today.
Now, in the current times, there are over 20,000 known substances, mostly plant, some mineral and a few animal, that are discussed in the Chinese Materia Medica. The average acupuncturist may study over 1000 of these in the U.S. and in China the average herbalist will study around 2000. The average number of herbs in an Oriental Medicine school in the U.S. will have 500 different herbs. Acupuncture Plus Works, Inc., in Vacaville, California has over 800 different individual herbs in its pharmacy.Traditional Chinese herbal medicine is very powerful when prescribed correctly by a well-studied herbalist of Chinese medicine and it is successful at treating many colds, flus, viral infections and other pathogenic contagious diseases. The medicine has centuries of experience with it.
Some of the problems that exist for the Western scholar in identifying with Chinese medicine have been discussed by Porkert in his book “Medicine in Chinese Culture” published in 1975. He emphasized that in order for the Western investigator to completely understand traditional Chinese and modern medicine he/she must have knowledge of four separate disciplines. He/she must
Be conversant with Chinese philology.
Be thoroughly familiar with the Chinese medical classics Nei Jing, ShanHan Lun and Ben Tsao.
Know the various scientific methods as defined in the West.
Be widely acquainted with various medical procedures and problems.
Be familiar with the Chinese culture and the classics: the “Four Books” and the “Five Jing.”
Be aware of the development of Chinese Traditional Medicine to modern times.
Fast forward to 2021 in the United States. Chinese herbal medicine works. It also works for infectious diseases such as viral and bacterial diseases. There are acupuncturists/TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) herbalists all over the United States prescribing Chinese herbal medicine every day.
Just this year, 2021, in the United States, there was an FDA-approved clinical study of an herbal formula called Modified Qing Fei Bai Du Tang (an ancient formula used for centuries for the treatment of certain types of infectious diseases in China and more recently in the West), for COVID-19: A multicenter controlled trial at UCLA and UCSD by Andrew Shubov, MD, Gordon Saxe, MD, PhD, MPH and Lan Kao, DACM, DiplOM, LAc. Dr. John K. Chen, Pharm D. and a Chinese medicine herbalist, was involved in designing this study. You didn’t see this in any social media or TV or newspapers, etc., but this has occurred. So our own FDA is taking a look at Traditional Chinese herbal medicine. The methodology, details, and results of this study were published at the nih (National Institute of Health) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8510827/ You can also just go to the nih.govwebsite and search by the name of this clinical trial as mentioned here. You will find a lot comes up on it.
This trial was also published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), known as the MACH-19 clinical trial study. You can access this article online if you go to the JAMA website. It was published in JAMA November 23/30, 2021 Volume 326, Number 20.
We don’t really need any of these trials to prove the efficacy of or to use these formulas. But the modern society is seemingly hung up on the ways of only the current viewpoint of conventional Western Medicine. We are always up against the large corporations and the folks holding the monetary power and thus controlling what the majority of people see. You must take it upon yourself to do extensive research of ALL kinds. I’m not intimating in any way that all of allopathic medicine and the pharmaceutical sector is evil. They are doing some good things too. We must be wise, see the situation in battle, know who the true enemy is and then set up self defense and attack strategy as a very wise general would do. Don’t forget that the enemy could be you. Self reflection is a part of all understanding.
Let’s start the coming year with self reflection. Happy Journey for the New Year!
Yours in health and budou,
Dr. (Shihan) Mary Bolz
Master of Science Oriental Medicine
Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
6th Degree Black Belt Okinawan Karate & Kobudou
Dr. (Shihan) Mary Bolz
Master of Science Oriental Medicine
Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
6th Degree Black Belt Okinawan Karate & Kobudou
By Dr. Bolz
This is a time when we must search—-search deep into our very own souls…. to realize our own true nature. To realize the nature of nature and understand our own true purpose in this life on earth. Then we must ACT.
This is not a time for complacency, for hate, for antagonism; but a time when universal love must be realized. We can be the conduit of love, or we can be the conduit of hate. We can create good health or we can destroy our health by how we live, think, act. We can be complacent and just grumble about the world or we can be a tool of change and a beam of light.
The major way to be a beam of light and hope is to let go of the money concept first. This must be the first step, in all aspects; individuals, businesses, corporations, non-profit organizations, any entity or group formed by humans. For all groups, whether profit or non-profit, the real goal needs to be something other than financial. That is, the goal must be based on philosophy. The first and foremost goal must have a philosophical backbone and one which is beyond the benefit of the members of the group. It must have a true philosophical base which is for the well-being of this planet and its atmosphere and the panoramic view for the common good of all. “All” includes vegetation and self-moving creatures, including insects. “All” includes humans, but humans as only one of the species with all other species being equally important.
Humans, egotistically believing they are the superior species is the first mistake which humans make and is the mistake that is leading to the destruction of themselves ultimately. All species of vegetation and moving creatures are equal in their right to survive and flourish. Humans are only one of the species; not THE species. That dictator relationship which humans are assuming with the other species and of the earth, has been and is detrimentally destructive because it is a false premise and is not based on reality. We humans need to respect all forms of life. For example, if you don’t like that bug or spider, or whatever, in your house, gently scoop it up and gently take it outside where there is some vegetation, don’t kill it. They are trying to survive as much as you are. Killing insects indiscriminately is killing humanity, yourself included, because humanity cannot survive alone, humanity needs the insects to survive.
When a group of humans want to set up an organization; they must first have a goal as to what type of benefit, for the sake of service to the species and to the ecosystem that they would like to pursue. The system and the species can be varied, the goal may be for the benefit of a small group or the benefit of multiple groups and it must also be in cooperation with mother nature and must be nurturing and flourishing to the members of the group.
After the goal is determined, then the plan can be studied and devised as to how the financial plan will work to obtain the goal, the strategy of making a profit so the goal can be obtained. For example, take a look at the founder of the well-known founder of the Panasonic brand, Matsushita Electric Company. Mr. Matsushita Konosuke declared the real goal of creating this organization was to pay taxes to the government. Why? Because supporting the government is benefitting the people, the entire society. Government is one of the means that helps people and the environment through various social programs such as health and safety for the common good, protecting and preserving lands and resources of this earth from clean water to clear air, etc. So the goal was set up by Mr. Matsushita and he and his comrades had to construct the plan and then carry out the plan to be financially profitable in order to pay taxes to the government. He has written many books about this in which he declares that the philosophical purpose comes first and expounds on the thinking and actions it takes to accomplish one’s goals. His books have been used by many companies in Japan and he is considered a good role model for establishing successful business.
Mr. Matsushita was very successful in building his group as he had many people on board who understood his philosophy. They were happy and worked hard, they cooperated among each other because they could see and understand the goal and could see it was beyond just their individual selves. They didn’t work just for their own salaries, they worked first because there was a philosophical and ethical base for the sake of the country and all living in it. They didn’t worry about their own next financial wage increase. They knew it would result later. They trusted their leader because the leader had a philosophy that was anthroposophical and the leader operated as part of the team and did not behave as a dictator. Trust and cooperation always produces the most productive results and when it is built upon a premise other than money, it is sustainable. Any organization or individual that works for the greater good of the group, (the group doesn’t have to be human), or a larger goal than only themselves, will be able to create a strong foundation and will be sustainable. If the purpose is only financial, the foundation is weak and sooner or later, it will crumble. This is true from the smallest core group like individual families, to larger groups such as institutions and corporations, to countries, to the collective groups of countries and beyond.
So how can more sustainable groups be initiated? Just as life begins with one single cell, so it is that the sustainable action begins with one single human individual, and then the idea and action is noticed by others who are curious and some will follow that single individual because they like that person’s philosophy and work. Have you ever observed other species in nature, such as cattle herds or chickens or other animals? It is always one individual that has another idea to see what is beyond their own herd or flock and takes action. Take for example, the cow that finds its way out of the fenced pasture or feedlot through a small hole or weak wire in the fence. It gets out and then others are inspired and they follow. Or, the hen that flies over the chicken yard fence and then soon others begin to follow. It starts with one individual who explores and dares. So it is with humans. Now if that one individual has a strong philanthropic purpose which he or she pursues, others will be curious, and just like cattle and chickens, will follow and get involved. Therefore, the beginning starts with you, the individual.
So we as individuals must first decide our true “ikigai.” “Ikigai” is a Japanese word meaning “reason for living,” according to the dictionary translations. However, there is always, in the Japanese language especially, a cultural insinuation in words. Culturally, this word implies a reason for living according to a human’s given ability. This implies each individual MUST make use of their endowed gifts and abilities and must have an “ikigai.” It is also a social responsibility. Please remember that your “ikigai” must not be based on the ultimate purpose of financial gain. It must be a higher purpose beyond your “self” and it is okay, and even necessary, that financial sustainability then follow.
Being a leader doesn’t mean you start something with the intention of being a leader. It means you follow and act on your “ikigai” for your own sake. For example, you may have the purpose to help reduce air pollution, save fishes, help the handicapped, there are thousands of purposes, you get the idea. But you have to do it because you are passionate about it and YOU believe in it. Later, you will find others who are like-minded and will help you and then they will join you. It will happen, it is the way of nature, it never fails.
Now, before you can accomplish this, you must have good health first. If you yourself are not healthy and strong, you will not be able to carry out your “ikigai.” So if it is health you need now, then getting healthy is your “ikigai.” This leads to that subject of how to be healthy.
What is it that creates or destroys your health? It is the food you eat and the drinks you drink and some other factors in your lifestyle. One of the first rules to create good health, is to NOT rely on the current medical system in place. You can consult the members of the system (doctors, nurses, etc.), but do NOT rely on them. You must create your own health through the food you eat. The food you eat is what produces all your cells and physiological processes, including your thinking.
Going back to our first premise, that the goal should not be financial, then we must not make our food choices based on the price of the product. It must be based on whether it is real food first of all, how and where the food was produced, whether it is whole and fresh, and whether it will enhance or destroy your health. The problem with what most people accept as food, is that it is not. The common food supply chain and availability of the food is obtained with the purpose of making money; that is the first and foremost goal of most of the food originators and processors today. Secondly, they do take in consideration if the product will immediately kill the consumer or not (that is the extent of their understanding of producing a safe product.) So remember, when the first goal is to make money, the purpose is wrong and is not sustainable.
Many people complain that the system makes it so hard to eat real food. It is true that if you want true organic, whole food that is not processed, you must go out of your way to find it and purchase it, it costs more and you have to cook it yourself. You are very busy working, you don’t have time, you are exhausted, you are too poor to buy good food. These are all excuses; you have been brain-washed by the system and it is time you realize it.
Let’s address these factors:
Time: We all have the same 24 hours every day, so we prioritize to accomplish the tasks which we believe are the most important for us. Cut out the things you do that are not essential to creating your good health or that may even be destroying your health. Identify and examine that unhealthy activity and replace it with finding and/or growing and cooking your own meals. Prep is key! You can cook your own whole, organic meals or parts of meals ahead of time, even supply yourself with 5-days worth of prepped meals for your work week. We do have refrigerators and freezers these days that make this possible. You can enjoy immediately cooked and served meals on your days off. Enjoy. Creating your health by creatively cooking is fun. You have an “ikigai” of good health so you will have a larger “ikigai” later.
Exhausted: Self-induced stress may be exhausting you, or lack of exercise or other reasons; identify the causes and stop them. Get going on your cooking and your exhaustion will turn into exhilaration as you get involved.
Too poor: If you get rid of all the cheap, unhealthy packaged goods, you can afford whole, intact, organically-grown, real food. Cut down quantity, get rid of the “plastic” junk that big business is labelling as food. Eat less quantity, go for quality; all people can afford good food. It is an ingrained mindset that the poor people have to eat junk. It is you that is chasing the junk. Walk to the good sources, if you have, to obtain the real food; the exercise is good for you. Remember the stories of how long and far Abraham Lincoln walked to read a book?
“Seek and ye shall find” is true; it takes effort, but if you look for it, you will find it. Effort is what creates happiness and health. Laziness does not. You must be ambitious and not accept the status quo, because in these times, the status quo has been created with the wrong “ikigai.” Step out. Observe. Think. Act.
You may think that this does not sound like anything “normal” or it sounds weird and could never possibly taste good. But before you decide that, read on and then do a little experimentation.
Do you want to be really healthy and get the maximum benefit from the food you eat? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to reduce your blood pressure without taking medication? Do you want to cleanse or get rid of toxin from your body? In a nut shell, do you want to be healthy and robust and feel light and alive? Then read on, and as I said, do some experimentation. Life is dull if one never experiments, researches, dreams or is willing to dive into something beyond the “same ole”, “same ole.” Curiosity and openness are the trademarks of a vibrant life.
Sea vegetables have been in the diet of numerous countries since ancient times, but one country which has and does really utilize them the most, is Japan. Long coastlines and a rich, abundant variety of sea vegetables have made it possible for the Japanese to take full advantage of this source of food. Marine algae play a vital role in Japan’s coastal fishery industries also. Seaweeds were mentioned in the famous ancient Japanese anthology, compiled in the eighth century, called the Manyoushu and is filled with interesting information about the daily lives of the Japanese of the sixth and seventh centuries. Of the roughly four thousand poems in the collection, about one hundred mention seaweeds. In ancient times seaweeds were burned for salt, and were the main food that saved them from famine several times in more recent history during the 1700‘s and early 1800s.Throughout the stages of Japanese history, seaweeds have continued to be popular with most of the people. The complexities and cosmopolitan nature of the modern Japanese diet might seem to suggest that such old-fashioned foods as seaweeds are on the way out. But the production and consumption figures give lie to this fact.
There are dietary applications of the sea vegetables, of course, but did you know there are medical applications as well? Indeed, there are a variety of sea vegetables in the Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM) pharmacy. They are used in designing medicinal formulas, along with the thousands of land plants in Oriental medicine. When living in their natural habitat, sea vegetables are composed of from 80 to 90 percent water; dried, they contain only from 10 to 20 percent water and consist of from 80 to 90 percent carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. In this state, they contain only from 1 to 2 percent fat. Vitamins, nucleic acids and pigments similar to those found in land plants occur in sea vegetables too. Sea vegetables contain a high percentage of minerals and vitamins as well as characteristic mucilages.
The polysaccharides of the thick, soft cell walls of seaweeds are specialized in structure to control entry and exit of inorganic ions. This is very important because of the high concentrations of salt in the seawater environment. A characteristic mucilaginous cell-wall framework surrounding both sides of the cellulose protect the fronds, which, because of their soft walls, would naturally suffer damage as a result of the constant swaying motion of the sea. In addition, these mucilages admit ions needed for the plant’s survival and reject unnecessary ones.
Sea vegetables can be a source of proteins. Nitrogen content of sea vegetables ranges from 1.5 to 7.6 percent dry weight. When raw protein is calculated by multiplying nitrogen content by 6.25, the protein range becomes from 10 to 48 percent. Since they grow uncultivated, this protein source could be used as food and could help solve the food crisis, and particularly improve the diets of the one-third of the population of the world today suffering from protein deficiency. But not much nutritional research is currently being conducted on their utilization for this. According to research done by Seibin and Teruko Arasaki, protein purified by alkaline extraction from some of the seaweeds harvested along the Japanese coast has an almost constant nitrogen content of from 11 to 14 percent. Amino acids in these proteins are about the same as those in ordinary proteins and the amino-acid composition is actually better than that of land plants. Interestingly, this amino-acid composition closely resembles ovalbumin—egg-white protein. There is a great food source in the sea, not just for Japanese and Koreans, but could be for many people. We don’t need GMO (genetically modified organisms) grains and vegetables to feed the world and ultimately destroy nature; we have natural sources, such as sea vegetables right before us.
There are some twenty to thirty types of free amino acids in fairly large amounts in seaweed ethanol extracts. In addition, there are some special amino acids peculiar to seaweeds. Because of their saline seawater environment, taxonomically, seaweeds fall between bacteria and higher plants and, then assumed, to have a special metabolic system, which probably requires the presence of at least the ten known kinds of amino acids peculiar to them. Seibin and Teruko Arasaki have found many peptides–including glutamic acid and aspartic acid–in aqueous extracts from Laminaria japonica.
High vitamin and mineral content are the most outstanding nutritional features of sea vegetables. Almost all edible Japanese sea vegetables contain fairly large amounts of vitamins B1, B2, C, and Beta-carotene. Though there is no vitamin A in them, Beta-carotene has the same effects as this vitamin found in land plants. The type of sea vegetable you are familiar with in sushi rolls, Akakusa-nori, commonly called nori, is a virtual storehouse of vitamins with a vitamin A content twenty times that of green peppers, ten times that of spinach. Its vitamin C content is about the same as that of tomatoes but four times that of apples. Nori provides ample amounts of Vitamin B1. (This means, with its high Beta-carotene and B1 content, it is great for the eyes and hair, when consumed!)
The better the color and flavor of the nori the higher its vitamin content. Since dried or toasted nori must be stored out of the sunlight and in a dry place, it loses none of its vitamin C through breakdown.
Sea vegetables contain more minerals than any other kind of food. Mainly because of the action of their surface tissues, polysaccharides absorb freely and selectively inorganic substances from seawater. An extremely wide range of minerals accounts for up to 38 percent of their dry weight. All of the minerals required by human beings, including calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, iron and zinc, are present in sufficient amounts. In addition, there are many trace elements in seaweeds.
Deficiency of iron is one of the causes of malnutrition and anemia brought on by reduction of food intake for the sake of weight loss. The iron content of sea vegetables is from two to more than ten times that of egg yolks and spinach.
For centuries, the Chinese have treated goiter, caused by an iodine deficiency, by means of iodine obtained from kombu (Laminaria) harvested from the waters around Japan, especially the vicinity of the northern island Hokkaidou. Brown algae are very high in iodine content. one gram of kombu daily would provide the 0.1 to 0.2 milligrams required by a normal adult or the 0.2 milligrams needed by children and pregnant women. In Japan, because of the regular consumption of seaweeds, there is no need to iodize table salt, as is done in the United States and Canada.
Sea vegetable polysaccharides, which are very different from land-plant polysaccharides, cannot be digested by the enzyme alpha-amylase. Because of this, they provide the human system with no calories, but fish and shellfish have an enzyme that decomposes them for the sake of energy. The soft cell walls of the sea vegetables regulate intestinal action in the human, when consumed, without damaging intestine walls. In terms of amino-acid composition, seaweed protein is similar to that of egg whites and legumes; but we are not certain of the digestibility of this protein. Low in fat, sea vegetables have more of such vitamins as A, B1, B2, B6, B12, and C; pantothenic acid; folic acid; and niacin than fresh fruits and land vegetables. A wonderful food, low in calories, very high in nutrient value.
Modern medicine tends to regard the ancient Chinese and Japanese tradition of medical uses of sea vegetables as mere folklore. What it is missing! What it is doing to the populations of the world, selling them synthetic chemicals, called medications, instead of using what nature has given us! A huge shame. Modern medicine has been able to convince the majority of the population that only they have the answers and everything else is folklore. The practitioners of modern medicine are missing out on really helping their patients with natural methods that work and that have no risk of side effects or long-term damage to the health of the person.
Though modern research on the medical use of sea vegetables is still in an early, undeveloped stage, sea vegetables have been shown to contain antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiprozoal and antineoplastic elements. In addition, they are toxic to certain insects and fish. The antibiotics they contain help preserve the ecologocal system of the sea and must be studied for use in prventing that system from falling into the polluted state that large-scale use of chemicals has created on the land masses of the world.
Sea vegetables have an anthelmintic and blood-cholesterol reducing effect on the human body when consumed. Thyroxin and similar substances with thyroid hormonal actions are especially widely distributed in the sea vegetables. Sea vegetable polysaccharides have been shown to have blood anticoagulant actions similar to those of heparin. Japanese have long held that sea vegetables are effective at preventing tumors. Recent research has shown these effects in a variety of different studies. Besides being antibacterial in function, sea vegetables are anthelmintics (effective against parasites). One more thing, sea vegetables are antihypertensive in nature, especially Laminaria japonica (kombu).
In summary: Sea plants contain ten to twenty times the minerals of land plants and an abundance of vitamins and other elements necessary for human metabolism, making them an excellent source for food and medicine. Certain ones actually remove radioactive and toxic metal wastes from the body. (No wonder they are used in the traditional Oriental medicine pharmacy).
Sea vegetables have a cooling thermal nature, salty flavor, soften hardened areas and masses in the body, detoxify, moisten dryness, transform phlegm and remove residues of radiation in the body. They also help to build fluids in the body and improve water metabolism, act as lymphatic cleansers, alkalize the blood, alleviate liver stagnation and beneficial to the thyroid. Sea vegetables are useful in reducing excess weight and for lowering cholesterol and fat in the blood. Sea vegetables in general are used to treat swellings, nodules, lumps, goiter, swollen lymph glads, edema, chronic cough with heat signs such as yellow or green phlegm. In addition to containing a wealth of minerals, vitamins, amino acids; they are especially good sources of iodine, calcium and iron.
Know your source of the sea vegetables you purchase. As with land plants, it is important where seaweeds originate, because certain areas of the ocean are polluted with heavy metals. But since no body of water can be pristine now days, it is helpful to know that wherever sea vegetables grow, they do not simply absorb and concentrate toxins. Rather, they detoxify and transform a certain amount of toxic metals, converting them to harmless salts, which the body excretes through the intestines.
I can’t include them all here. There are numerous, with the different varieties of sea vegetable. One that all Americans are likely familiar with is nori, because they have eaten it in sushi rolls, like nori-maiki sushi and California roll.
Here is a very simple recipe for an awesome, refreshing summer dessert.
3-4 tablespoons of agar-agar flakes
4 cups of organic apple juice (best to squeeze your own, from locally sourced apples)
1/2 cup of organic raisins (grown in California, local!)
2 cups of fresh, not canned, not frozen, fruit; such as strawberries, any berries, peaches, whatever is in season.
1 teaspoon of real, natural vanilla or almond extract, or squeeze of an organic lemon
Soften the agar in the juice in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, add the raisins. Simmer five minutes until the agar is all dissolved. Stir in the fresh fruit and flavoring. Pour into a mold or a glass pan and allow it to set. It will set without refrigeration, but to store it, you should keep it in the refrigerator. This will make 6-8 servings. So good in the summer!
Other sea vegetables to learn to cook with are kombu, wakame, hijiki, arame and dulse.
A variety of sea vegetables are available for sale at Acupuncture Plus Works, as well as a recipe source. You can look online or at local health food stores also. Happy hunting and experimenting with some life from the sea.
Which human internal organ do you think this is? If you think it is the heart, you are right.
There is an old saying, “You gotta’ have heart” which alludes to a meaning that situations in life take a lot of love and patience and even forgiveness. Another one,” cold hands, warm heart.” Yet another, “He’s gotta lot of heart.” which means he (or she, of course) has courage and perseverance. You can hear this phrase about fighters in the martial arts or boxing ring and about fighters in other areas of life. Have you ever seen a sumo wrestling match and noticed that the wrestlers make a motion with their hands before and after the round? The wrestler is actually writing the Japanese character for “kokoro” or “heart” in the air with his hands. The heart, also translated as mind or spirit from the Japanese language, has been an important part of the samurai spirit in Japan and still is to this day. In the Japanese language there are hundreds of phrases with the word “heart” in them in the every day language. Do these phrases just pop up, or what is it about the heart that makes it so predominant in our lives? Well, there is a lot of real meaning behind those phrases, they don’t always just pop out of nowhere nor are they “weird” or just “old wives tales.” Let’s take a look at the function of the heart according to Traditional Eastern Medicine.
Eastern medicine is based on nature and seasons are a prime example of the cycle of nature. Just like the seasons, the internal organs of human and animal’ bodies have their cycles. Each internal organ functions constantly, but has an affinity or susceptibility to each season., in other words there is correspondence between certain organs of the human body and certain natural phenomena, the seasons being one of these. Understanding these correspondences is based on the Five-Element theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This system is typical of the ancient Chinese thought, as well as Japanese thought and other Asian countries. The five elements are: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The term element is not the same as the term used in chemistry. If you equate those that meaning with these five elements, you are going to think, “Are you kidding? There are a lot more than five elements!” That is true for that meaning of elements. It is difficult to translate the original term for this theory from the Chinese and Japanese. One wonders how “they” came up with that English translation even. The Chinese (also Japanese) characters for this is “go gyou” (Japanese pronunciation) which literally means “five going” or “five guidances.” A “Gyousha” in Japanese is a person who is “going somewhere” but that going implies a person looking for enlightenment, self-perfection, self-improvement, or how to live correctly in this life. It does not imply a person’s financial or material success. At any rate, it is extremely difficult to get an exact translation, perhaps we can say the five “guidances” or and use the term the “five elements” because that is standard in English textbooks when learning the Oriental Medicine theory.
While there are many sets of correspondences with the five elements, at this time we are listing only those related to the seasons and certain internal human organs. Wood corresponds to spring and to the liver and gallbladder. Fire corresponds to summer and the heart and small intestine. Earth corresponds to no season or to all seasons, actually, it corresponds to the ending portion of each season, one of the most commonly known being “Indian summer” and “late fall.” Metal corresponds to autumn and the Lungs and Large intestine. The Water “element” corresponds to water and to the kidneys and bladder.
Since this is still summer, we are going to be talking about the heart and small intestine and how you can better take care of them through the summer season and beyond.
In Traditional Oriental Medicine, the most important heart functions are those of governing blood and “housing the Mind.” These two functions complement each other;. If the blood is adequate in quality and supply, the Mind will be in a good state and the person will feel mentally happy and vital. Conversely, if the Mind is happy and emotionally stable, this helps keep the heart and thus the blood, strong and functioning smoothly. It is commonly known in the West of the relationship between mental-emotional stress and heart attacks.
Another function of the heart in TCM is that controls the blood vessels. Blood vessels depend on the Heart Qi (Energy) and blood. If heart Qi (energy) is strong, the blood vessels will be in good shape, and the pulse will be full and regular. If the Heart Qi is weak, the pulse may be feeble and irregular.
The Heart manifests in the complexion. The state of the Heart and blood can be reflected in the complexion. If blood is abundant and the heart strong, the complexion will be rosy and lustrous. If blood is deficient, the complexion will be pale or bright-white. If the heart has heat, the complexion will be too red. If blood is stagnant, the complexion may be bluish-purple.
How does the heart “house the mind?” According to Chinese medicine, mental activity and consciousness “reside” in the Heart. This means that the state of the heart and blood will affect the mental activities including the emotional state. Particularly affected are: mental activities, (including emotions), consciousness, memory, thinking, and sleep. So if the heart is strong and blood plentiful, there will be a a balanced emotional life, a clear consciousness, a good memory, keen thinking and good sleep. Restless sleep is a disturbed heart. Adequate nourishment from the blood is important to the heart.
The Heart “opens into the tongue.” The tongue is considered to be the “offshoot” of the Heart. The heart controls the color, form and appearance of the tongue, and is especially related to the tip of the tongue. The condition of the heart also affects speech and abnormalities may cause stuttering or aphasia. The heart also influences talking and laughing. An abnormal condition of the heart may cause a person to talk a lot. On the other hand, too much heat inside may result in aphasia.
Blood and body fluids have a common origin. Sweat is one of the body fluids which comes from the space between skin and muscles. a person who is hemorrhaging should not be subjected to sweating and a person who is sweating profusely should not have drying herbs or food, nor should bleeding technique in acupuncture be used. A person with deficient Heart Qi or heart energy may be prone to spontaneous sweating, and if there is a deficiency of heart fluids (yin), the person may be prone to night sweats. Blisters and sores on the tongue can be an indication of too much heart “fire” in a person.
The heart is related to “joy” within the Five-Element correspondence scheme. Therefore a happy state of mind is obviously beneficial to the Mind and the body. However, when joy is excessive it becomes a cause of disease and it can injure the Heart. Yes, excessive joy can be a cause of disease. Excess joy, in the sense of excessive excitement can injure the Heart and makes its function slow down. Remember, more is not better! The Japanese phrase, “Chuu you de are,” means “go the middle of the road,” or “all things in moderation.” This comes from the Chinese philosopher Confucius, originally. So a little bit of the flavor and food that the human organ has an affinity for is good for it, too much and it becomes a poison. This is important to remember, because it seems that the American concept is that if it is good for you, then more must be better. Not! Remember, even too much joy damages the heart. Remember the phrase, “too much of a good thing.” Have you ever done that and then paid for it? So you know what I am talking about.
Great advances in medical technology, diagnostics and surgery have offered no help to the incidence of heart and vascular disease, nor has a great reduction in the number of deaths from these degenerative diseases occurred. This is because of the lack of prevention; excessive and incorrect dietary habits and a lack of exercise are the main culprits.
What specifically does the season of summer mean to the heart and how can you take care of your heart, especially through the summer months? Lucky you, nature set up things so beautifully, so perfectly. Have you noticed that certain fruits and vegetables and even fish have their “season?” If you haven’t, go visit the local farmers markets. Vacaville’s farmers market is every Saturday morning from 8:00 a.m. until noon in the summer months. Take advantage of the beautiful days, the chance to walk, browse and talk with local farmers and merchants, and the chance to buy fresh produce in season and eat it while it is still fresh!
Each human internal organ has a specific flavor that affects it and foods with a bitter taste stimulate the function of the heart. Foods in this category include green leafy vegetables such as kale, endive, escarole, lettuce, watercress, dandelion greens, collard greens, rhubarb, radish and okra. In the East, grains are and have been the main stable of the basic human diet. This is more balancing than eating too many fruits or meats. The grain of summer is corn , it is in season now, and guess what? The heart has an affinity for corn and corn is especially good for it. Funny how nature has it all set up! That is why always eating with the seasons ensures better health, not just because the food is fresher and more nutritious then, but also because that is what the body needs more at the time of the year. Another staple of the season is beans, especially green beans and that is the correspondence in the five element system with the heart and also the small intestine. So eat your fresh green beans. Simmering and steaming vegetables is best in the summer. Do not overcook them and do not eat them raw for the most part. Depending on the vegetable, you will want to steam or boil anywhere from 2 to 7 minutes. Barbecuing steak and other meats outdoors in the heat of the summer is a good way to get heart attacks. This will tax the heart too much and bring in excess heat into your system. Try grilling your favorite fresh vegetables in season and corn! Fabulous, beautiful corn. In Japan, the outdoor markets always have grilled corn on the cob in the summer when it is in season. You buy it right there and eat it, while you are shopping. It is delicious! Eat heavier meals in the morning and at lunch. Eat light meals for the evening. This will make you feel lighter in the heat of the day, maintain your energy, and aid in weight loss.
Avoid excessively salty foods, fatty foods, simple sugar in any form, and coffee. Eat whole grains, small amounts of lean meats and better yet, fish. It is best for the heart not to eat anything with legs, as far as larger animals, including chicken and turkey. They all have saturated fat and this is what is turning into plaque in the arteries of so many Americans and causing heart disease. It is true, wild salmon is good for the heart. None better than wild Alaskan salmon. Mae sure it is wild. Farmed salmon, all farmed fish, are fed special feeds by the farmer and they get abnormally fat. Eggs, if the chickens are raised on pasture especially, and are given no antibiotics or chemicals, like most all commercial chickens are, are very nutritious. Yes, they have cholesterol, but it is not eating cholesterol that makes your arteries hard, it is saturated fat. Americans would do well to eat a lot more deep greens, and cook them. Raw salads are difficult to digest and one does not get enough vegetables when eating them raw as a salad. Cooked vegetables are more dense in nutrition and more bioavailable for the human being. Drink light herbal, green and black teas and exercise! If you are trying to break habits, such as smoking or overeating, walk or take an invigorating swim or cold shower!
What kind of common herbs can you take for the heart? There is hawthorne berry. Boil one quart of water and pour this over two grams of hawthorn berries and let them steep in the pot for 30 minutes. Drink a cup twice daily or one half cup four times daily. Try this instead of coffee! Another herb that is a general tonic and rejuvenator is ginseng root. However, many American’s conditions are already too hot for this root. It should be used carefully. Avoid carbonated drinks and energy drinks with it. If you are going to take some, you will probably be safer with American ginseng root. It is better to see a qualified Traditional Chinese Medicine herbalist. It is a very “yang” root and there are many varieties. Many American people are hot inside and Chinese or Korean ginseng is the wrong herb for most. The borage plant, the leaves or flowers is another herb that can strengthen the heart, but more on the emotional level. The flowers can be eaten or made as tea, and have been used for centuries even in the West to help with sadness and melancholy.
The heart has a special relationship with its paired organ, the small intestine. Some herbs for the small intestine include comfrey root, licorice root, fennel seed, and anise seed. You often find the last three listed here in Chinese cooking. Comfrey root is tonifying and healing for the lining of the intestines and needs to be used for one to two months for this purpose. Boil one tablespoon of root in two cups of water for 20 minutes and drink one or two cups every day. If you have problems with gas or indigestion, fennel or anise tea can help. Simmer (a low boil) one teaspoon per cup for 20 minutes and drink when needed. Licorice root is a harmonizer and is used in many traditional Chinese herbal formulas along with other appropriate herbs and it goes into all twelve meridians of the body. It helps soothe the digestive system and is a mild laxative. If you ever use licorice root, you should see it as the root. It should look like wood, sliced. Anything other than that, don’t use it. All those processed over-the-counter herbs and supplements are not the way to take any herbs, really.
Acupuncture can stimulate and promote the circulation of Qi (energy) in your body. There are specific points for the heart, as well as all the other organs in your body.If you haven’t thought about acupuncture for keeping healthy or for getting healthy, you really should. It is amazing how well this medicine is put together and is just as relevant for healing and preventing disease as it was centuries ago. Have a wonderful summer, take time to relax and develop good relationships with your coworkers, family and friends, and remember to take care of your heart! Joy!
Our lives are a gift, a gift from the heavens, a gift from the earth, a gift from the universe. Do not expect, demand or think that you are owed a life or anything in it. We have done nothing to cause life to happen. It is a gift from the universe, we did not create life, we did not create earth and we did not create the heavens. So we must regard life as precious and most of all, treat it as a gift. When we treat life as a gift,we know our place in the universe. Then we will appreciate and we will take care of our life, the life of other humans, animals, plants and the earth and sky of which we are subject to and reliant on. Knowing our place, we can then do what we need to do and we will be in harmony within ourselves and with our surroundings. continue reading