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Category: Nutrition Articles

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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June 20, 2020

Flower Essences at the Summer Solstice

Gentle Messages for the Heart

Flower Essences: Gentle Messages for the Heart Ruler

Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest and brightest day of the year. Summer is the
season of Sun and Light, and the Heart. In Chinese Medicine, the Heart is the Ruler that sits on our inner
throne and ensures harmony in our world. Just as in ancient China, when it was rare to actually glimpse
the revered Emperor, our own Heart Ruler is a behind the scenes presence that rules not through force,
but gently, effortlessly, through the quality we refer to as Wu-Wei. Thus, we approach the Heart Ruler
gently and reverently. For this reason, the Heart channel and Heart Back Shu points were classically
forbidden to needle. The approach is too direct. Approaching …

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May 7, 2020

Recipe from the Herbal Pharmacy: Pickled Burdock Root for Spring Health

Burdock root is a beautiful spring food that is both nutritive and detoxifying. In TCM, we use Burdock seeds, Niu Bang Zi, to vent early stage cold and flu from the body and treat sore throats. The root, able to penetrate more deeply into the body, cleans the blood and vents out deeper held toxins and impurities.

In springtime, the bodies’ energy is moving up and out from the deep yin storage time of winter. Just like plants, our energy is now moving upwards and outwards to create new growth. When this happens, we can see pathogenic energy that was hidden in winter come to the surface along with it. This could look like a replay of old illnesses, old emotions, or old fears and thoughts….

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March 23, 2020

A Community Guide for COVID-19

A holistic collection of resources for coping with all aspects of COVID-19 from anxiety to building immunity.

This is our growing collection of links to connect you with the best information out there. As an integrative medicine college, we know that MDs, Herbalists, community, movement, and mindfulness all have a role to play as we face this unprecedented health challenge. Check back often as we will update it as new information and resources come to light.

 

Public Health Information Support Your Immune System For Acupuncturists & Herbalists Tools for Fear & Anxiety Mutual Aid Resources

 

Public Health Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
National Institute of Health
Free & Low-cost Healthcare Finder for Alameda County

 

How to Take Care of Your Immune System:

Midwife & Herbalist Dr. …

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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 9, 2019

Hydration

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We all think hydration is simple, right? Just drink plenty of water. But staying well hydrated also means our bodies need to actually ABSORB all the water we’re drinking.

We all think hydration is simple, right? Just drink plenty of water. But staying well hydrated also means our bodies need to actually ABSORB all the water we’re drinking. Imagine a dry, cracked piece of earth in the desert. When it rains, that earth is so parched and hard that it cannot absorb any water. It all runs off the surface.

Our bodies are the same. If we don’t “prepare our soil” properly, all the water we drink just runs right through, and our tissues are still parched and dry. In TCM, we use yin tonics- herbs that are moistening and demulcent, in order to help moisten the body on a deep level and help it to “hold” the water. On a cellular level, yin tonics …

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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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