July 8, 2023
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 …
June 27, 2022
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 …
June 13, 2022
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 …
December 10, 2021
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.
November 2, 2021
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)
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
October 26, 2020
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 …
September 24, 2020
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 …
August 1, 2020
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 …
June 20, 2020
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 …
May 7, 2020
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….