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Category: Nutrition Articles

July 8, 2023

Staying cool with TCM-inspired foods and movement this summer

According to EAM, there are many ways you can care for your body during summer by balancing and supporting the fire element.

Summer sunshine, warmth, and longer days are finally here! In East Asian Medicine (EAM), summer is associated with the fire element, which makes sense given the warmer temperatures, longer time that the sun is out, and our overall warmer feelings in our body. Summer is also the most Yang time of the year, meaning it is the time that is most bright, active, warm (compared to winter, which is the most Yin time of year, meaning it is dark, slower, cooler). With all of this in mind, it is especially important to be taking care of our bodies in a way that keeps the fire in balance, not too much, or not too little. According to EAM, there are many ways you can care for …

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October 12, 2022

A Look at the History of Ējiāo (Donkey Hide Glue) and Its Vegan Substitutes

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In recent years, Ējiāo treats have become more popular. Dive deeper into its history, medicinal properties, and vegan options.

Before the Tang Dynasty, Ējiāo was Cattle Hide Gelatin; and Vegan Options Are Readily Available Today as Ējiāo Substitutions.

Ējiāo is a medicinal that plays a role in many important formulas that are commonly prescribed for our patients.  In Herbology I we are familiarized with the Latin translation of Ējiāo, Asini Corii Colla, to mean “donkey hide glue.” However, Asini Corii Colla, is not a literal translation of the word ējiāo and reveals assumptions based on the recent history and current production of the medicinal. Try pasting the characters for ējiāo 阿膠 one at a time into Google translate to see what you get. 阿= A 膠= gelatin.  The word ējiāo simply means “gelatin” and is by no means specific to one type of animal.  Historical …

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June 27, 2022

The Kitchen Herbalist: Summer Solstice Sun Tea

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Tea made by the power of the sun to nourish, cool, and relax us in the summer heat.

What is Sun tea?

Sun tea is tea that has been made using the power of the sun. Instead of steeping herbs in hot water, you put the herbs & water in a vessel under the sun to infuse. Any combination of tea-appropriate plants can be used in sun tea, either fresh or dried. The most important thing is to place the herbs in a safe, clear container in direct sunlight for at least an hour. In choosing your container, we suggest using glass, as plastic containers can leech chemicals into the tea.

Making the perfect sun tea is more of an art than a science; no precise ratios of herbs to water are needed. To get more flavor, you can start the brew with a high …

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June 13, 2022

The Kitchen Herbalist: Food to Beat the Summer Heat

Chinese medicine offers some dietary advice that can help us keep cool and prevent heat illness, protect the Heart and support the spirit.

While we anticipate this to be the hottest summer on record due to the planet’s imbalanced climate, Chinese medicine offers some dietary advice that can help us keep cool and prevent heat illness, protect the Heart and support the Shen or spirit. It’s intuitive to many Americans to reach for iced drinks when the temperature climbs, but it turns out that this can make the body overheat as your system struggles to warm up the fluid to body temperature. Instead, choose room temperature water, perhaps with a squeeze of citrus juice or a few cucumber slices added, as well as cooling teas such as peppermint, chrysanthemum, nettle and hibiscus.

Enjoy a trip to the seasonally abundant farmers’ market to seek out cooling …

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December 10, 2021

Community Care Zine, Winter 2021

Practical applications of East Asian Medicine for life beyond the treatment room.

This Zine serves as a bridge that connects East Asian Medicine traditions with your daily life practices – so that we may all find the way to health and happiness[…]May the offerings within these pages enrich and inspire you to align yourself with the nature and medicine that we hold so dear.

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November 2, 2021

Recipe: Qiu Li Gao, Autumn Pear Paste

Join the AIMC Herb Pharmacy manager to learn how to make Pear Paste for nourishing Autumn dryness.

Join AIMC Berkeley’s Herb Pharmacy Manager, Le Jiang, to learn how to make a nourishing pear paste for the Autumn. Pears are known for their moistening and cooling properties in East Asian Medicine. With the addition of other yin-nourishing herbs and the tonifying properties of honey, this delicious paste is the perfect salve for fall’s dryness.

Qiu Li Gao (Autumn Pear Paste)

Ingredients:

The raw herbs are available through the AIMC Pharmacy; ask your practitioner for a “prescription” of them next time you visit our in-person or telehealth clinic!

Pears ———————————– 2000g
Luo Han Guo (Monk Fruit) ——– 1 piece
Sheng Jiang (Ginger) ————– 70g
Chuan Bei Mu (Fritillaria Bulb) — 15g
Fu Ling (Poria) ———————– 25g
Bai He (Lily Bulb) ——————– 15g
Mai Dong (Ophiopogon Tuber) — 15g
Ge Gen (Kudzu Root) ————— 30g
Hong …

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May 10, 2021

Green Tea for Summer

Japan & China have rich tea traditions-- explore the medicinal and flavorful reasons for its popularity & learn to (properly) brew some for yourself!

The ancient Chinese character for tea displays the radical for grasses on top, a pictogram of a mouth, and the radical for a tree1.

Believe it or not, in the Chinese Medicine conception of the seasons, we’re already in the beginning of summer! Spring’s bright yellow-green shoots have matured into full leaves and the era of flowers is giving way to a season of lush green (and yellow grasses, as is the case in California summers).

As the days get longer and hotter, and we full an internal pull toward more social and playtime and less sleep, it’s appropriate to make some changes that will protect our yin and body fluids so we can fully enjoy the warmth, abundant energy, and yang of summer. …

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October 26, 2020

An Immune Boosting Change for Your Diet & A Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Our immune system starts in our gut, so learn how to treat your gut well to be ready for cold & flu season!

Eating Well for Immunity

Fall is here and it’s time to support our immunity! How well we take care of ourselves in the weeks leading up to the coming cold and flu season can greatly enhance (or weaken) our resistance to illness. Once we begin to fall ill, it can be too late! Wise use and nourishment of our inner resources can help us stay healthy, and diet is one of the foundations here. Even just cutting out white sugar, which reduces white blood cell activity by almost 50% for up to 5 hours after eating it, can do marvels.

Fall is the season of the Lungs and the Metal element, and the Lungs control our Wei (Protective) Qi, which acts like a forcefield around our bodies …

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September 24, 2020

The Kitchen Herbalist: Baked Pears for Fall Lung Health

This simple recipe for baked pears can help support our Lung Qi & Yin.

A Note About the Metal Element

As we enter the fall season, the energy of the Lung & Metal element emerges: the air becomes cool and crisp, our skin and lungs– like the leaves on deciduous trees- may start to feel more dry, and the sun shares less sunshine with each passing day.

We may be in touch with a sense of grief or the poignancy of small, fleeting, beautiful moments as the days shorten. This is a time of year for reflection and for being in touch with that which we find truly important, special, and inspirational. This sensibility aligns well with the Jewish New Year celebrated annually around the same time as the Autumnal Equinox.

This year, I imagine that the aspect of grief will …

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August 1, 2020

The Kitchen Herbalist

Blueberries & Sweet Cream

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Blueberries are a wonderful summer food high in antioxidants and support Heart, Kidney, and Brain function.

Welcome to the August edition of the kitchen herbalist. Here, the AIMC herbal pharmacy director Athene Eisenhardt shares seasonal recipes based on the wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine.

Blueberries are a wonderful summer food high in antioxidants and support Heart, Kidney, and Brain function. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), all three of these organs are related. The Heart can be likened not only to the heart organ but also to the central nervous system, which includes the brain.

The brain is in turn fed and nourished by the Kidney essence. And, together, the Heart-Kidney axis helps properly regulate our nervous systems’ ability to respond to traumatic events and shock. The beautiful midnight blue color of these berries is a give away that they help nourish the …

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