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Category: Chinese Medicine Articles

August 14, 2019

Supporting Local, Organic Chinese Herb Farming in the AIMC Herb Pharmacy

 

 

The movement to grow Chinese herbs organically and locally is an important step towards creating a sustainable herbal medicine on our planet.

 

For many Chinese trained herbalists here in the West, the question of the ethics and sustainability of using herbs grown in China and flown to the US, rather than local herbs, is a big one. The Chinese Herbal Materia Medica has an incredible array of amazing healing plants. However, as the popularity of Chinese herbalism is rapidly growing throughout the world, we need to examine whether or not is sustainable for us to continue using them. Right now, the vast majority of Chinese herbs are grown in China, and supplying the whole planet with herbs grown in just one country is not feasible in …

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August 6, 2019

Stay Cool and Beat the Heat with the Benefits of Watermelon

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In Chinese Medicine, watermelon is used medicinally to help cool and clear summer heat.

Now that we’re in the height of summer, many of us are looking for ways to stay cool and beat the heat. One classic summer food that can help us do just that is watermelon. Everyone knows how sweet and refreshing a juicy slice of watermelon on a hot day can be, it’s a summertime ritual for many of us.

In Chinese Medicine, watermelon is used medicinally to help cool and clear summer heat. It nourishes fluids and helps promote urination, making it an excellent medicine for clearing heat from the body. It also has a sweet calming nature for the spirit.

Here’s a cooling summer recipe for a Watermelon Salad:

1 small watermelon, sliced into cubes and seeds removed
½-1 cup jicama, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

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July 23, 2019

Back Shu Points: How a Needle in My Back Helped My IBS

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Instead of choosing points on my abdomen or along the intestinal channels, Dr. W selected ones parallel to my spine called the back-shu (shu) points. After the successful treatment, I found my Western

“Please lie face down,” Dr. W instructed before exiting the room. The big wooden door swung shut, and I scrambled up to the treatment table feeling a twinge of excitement, as I scurried to shed my sweater. My first face down treatment, I thought, the white table paper crinkling beneath me in anticipation. I’d sought out Dr. W primarily for his orthopedic expertise, but as I filled out the intake form that evening, a nagging pain in my lower abdomen compelled me to include a brief saga of some persistent digestive issues I’d experienced since childhood. To my surprise, not once during the back and forth of our consult was I questioned about my intestinal woes. As I lay there waiting for him to return, …

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June 13, 2019

Eat Your Dandelion Greens for Liver Health

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Cursed by North American lawn growers, but celebrated by herbalists all over the planet, Dandelion greens are a highly nutritious and tasty food.

With Spring in full bloom, one of our most prized medicinal plants is now in the height of its season- Pu Gong Ying, or Dandelion. Cursed by North American lawn growers, but celebrated by herbalists all over the planet, Dandelion greens are a highly nutritious and tasty food.

They are rich in minerals and Vitamin A. Many of us in North America often shy away from bitter, nutritive foods such as Dandelion. Our palate is so out of balance with sweet and salty, we have lost our taste for other flavors such as sour and bitter. However, the bitter greens of Spring are an important way to attune ourselves to the season and get the Liver and Gall Bladder moving after the stillness of winter. Check …

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June 12, 2019

Eating the Bloom and Bounty of Summer

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With Summer, season of Fire upon us, we only need to step out our doors to see the reminder everywhere: Summer is the season of Flowering.

With Summer, the season of Fire upon us, we only need to step out our doors to see the reminder everywhere: Summer is the season of Flowering. We see this in the beauty of our gardens and the bright wildflowers that are still so alive in our local hills. The Nei Jing tells us that the movement of Summer is growth and flowering. Of all the parts of a plant, flowers pertain most to the Fire element. They are light and yang in nature, they lift and brighten our spirits and bring us joy. Flowers in TCM are mostly used to affect the upper parts of the body, where the shen (spirit) resides. Their fragrance is opening and moving.

Many of our local flowers can …

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April 12, 2019

The Benefits of an On-Site Herbal Pharmacy at AIMC

Practitioners and patients of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TMC) know that the key to a well-rounded approach to health and healing often includes multiple modalities. Two of these modalities that go hand-in-hand are acupuncture and herbal formulas. The combination of acupuncture and herbs is a powerful one. That is why it is so important for the practitioners, students, and patients at Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) to have access to a full-service, on-site Chinese herbal pharmacy.

What is an Herbal Dispensary?

An herbal pharmacy is a place where practitioners have access to herbal formulas based off of traditional recipes that date back thousands of years. The typical Chinese herbal pharmacy contains fresh herbs like fresh ginger and red dates, raw herbs in …

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October 5, 2018

Eight things I learned about Qigong: Continued from August 13th blog post*

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*See August 13th blog post I practiced Qigong for two months. Here are eight things I learned. for the four previous things I learned about this practice.

5. Prepare to let go
2017 was a tough one. It marked the end of a relationship, the second year of a move and finally admitting to myself that I wasn’t happy working behind a desk. Then, during the last few months of the year, a blow of chronic illness quite literally brought me to my knees. For a couple long months I cobbled together all that I could to get through each day, and at night, I fell apart again and again and again. Cutting my losses, I filed for disability, packed my bags and booked a plane …

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August 7, 2018

The Delightful Importance of a Chinese Herb Garden

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Purple Perilla (Shiso) Leaf (Zi Su Ye or Zi Su Zi), in the AIMC Student Garden

As acupuncturists and herbalists in training, the students of AIMC learn hundreds of herbs, sometimes up to 20 new herbs per week. This is a huge task for anyone! And though we often have the opportunity to touch and smell the dried herbs in our classes, it is so much more fresh and immediate to witness their growth. It is wonderful that while located in a dense urban environment, AIMC has a small Chinese herb garden right outside our door.

Some may wonder, what is the purpose of growing Chinese herbs outside of Asia?

This medicine after all, was developed over 1,000’s of years in China and surrounding countries. …

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June 22, 2018

What is Qi?

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Qi is fundamental to Chinese Medicine. It moves with the blood through the meridian channels, and its flow can be influenced by stimulating various acupuncture points. Qi can flow smoothly or it can become deficient, stagnant or even rebellious. If you’ve ever felt under the weather in any way shape or form, chances are your qi fell into one of said pathological states. But what exactly is qi? And more importantly, how does it manifest in our everyday lives?

When acupuncture school first piqued my interest, I pretty quickly realized how little I knew about qi. Sure, I’d heard qi tossed around before; someone emerging from a yoga class, glowing, raving about the qi of the instructor. But if you’d asked me to define it, I …

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May 11, 2018

What is Moxibustion?

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What is Moxibustion?
By: Katie Scarlett

Knowledge and acceptance of acupuncture is on the rise, but few people know that the Chinese term for acupuncture includes moxibustion. The word is “Zhen Jiu” (針灸) meaning “acupuncture-moxibustion”.

Moxa is made from ground mugwort, artemesia argyi, which is can be rolled into a stick or cone, and burned above or directly on the skin to stimulate and warm the acupuncture points and meridians. Mugwort is an excellent material for lighting on fire. It burns cleanly and slowly, allowing the heat to evenly penetrate the muscles and tendons thereby increasing blood circulation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), moxibustion is an especially important modality for treating cold and deficient conditions. (Chen, 2001).

“Mugwort is an excellent material for lighting on fire. It burns …

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Medicine College, Berkely

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