The discomfort of indigestion is so common in today’s society that it's almost considered normal. Instead of using medication to suppress symptoms, wouldn’t it be wiser to properly combine foods in order to remove the causes of indigestion?
According to Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and other alternative medicine, if you combine the wrong foods, your body will become acidic and unbalanced, and actually will secrete enzymes that cancel each other out. This causes bloating, gas, weight loss and fluctuations in energy levels. In can also lead to slowed or impaired digestion, causing food to ferment in the stomach or toxins to be released in the intestines.
Proper food combinations are based on the idea that there are foods groups that digest well with each other and others that don't. So what is food combining? What food is a protein and what food is a starch? Let’s take a look.
Food Combining Categories
The heart is the most important human organ. Without it pumping, we couldn't sustain life. Many are mindful of how diet and exercise affect heart health, but aromatherapy offers complementary support with essential oils. Throughout history, aromas have been used to emotionally and physically care for our hearts.
Recent research confirms what many have intuitively known about aromas and essential oils. Essential oils may prevent heart disease, and exposure to aromatherapy has demonstrated a beneficial effect on heart rate and blood pressure. One study in young women showed an association between essential oil inhalation and lower blood pressure, pulse rate, and stress level.
Beyond physiology, heart is the home for feelings. Our hearts know—beating faster when reunited with a loved one and sinking into our chests upon hearing bad news. Joseph Campbell wrote, "The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature." Whether you are looking to boost circulation, connect deeper with a lover, or find peace in grief, you can use nature to support your heart. It's February, the month of love, so here are some ways to emotionally open your heart and physically support its functioning using essential oils.
As inflammation continues to be a wellness buzzword in 2017, more and more people are getting curious about how cultures around the world have combated it since ancient times. These recipes from Sacred Medicine Cupboard: A Holistic Guide and Journal for Caring for Your Family Naturally take their cues from Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine to present easy, homegrown ways to bring the body back into balance.
Cayenne and Ginger Anti-Inflammatory Salve
Makes about 8 ounces
Are you worried about how much time you’ve been spending on your phone? Chances are, you’re not alone. One 2017 study found that on average, Americans spend five hours per day on their mobile device. The concept of smartphone addiction has been around for a while, and there is now a growing body of evidence that implicates a variety of harmful consequences for young people.
Related to this is an uptick in information regarding what happens to us when we cannot use our phone. Nomophobia is a term coined in 2010 by YouGov to refer to the fear of being without your cellphone (the "mo" stands for "mobile"). The idea is gaining more traction as research is being done to investigate the rising levels of anxiety that appear to surface when we don’t have access to our smartphones. Researchers at Iowa State University even published a paper in 2015 dedicated to learning more about nomophobia, including developing a questionnaire to help measure it.
Noticing similar trends, some industrialized countries have made strides in attempting to address smartphone addiction. Last year, France passed a law that protects workers from feeling obligated to respond to their devices after work hours, dubbing it the "right to disconnect."
While it seems unlikely that similar laws will be coming to the United States anytime soon, there are small but effective things we can do on a regular basis to chip away at our smartphone addiction and decrease our nomophobia.
"I remember drinking some kind of nasty liquid for about two weeks, feeling constantly hangry, and finally giving in to a double-fudge brownie my co-worker brought in," my 29-year-old patient Kayla told me during our initial consultation. Almost-constant cravings, low energy, chronic anxiety, and low libido were among the problems Kayla struggled with. A close look at her blood work showed insulin resistance, elevated inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP), and estrogen dominance: all signs of hormonal imbalances.
As a doctor who helps women balance their hormones, I take an individualized approach to my patients to treat their root cause and teach them the skills to care for their body. But one tactic that works for nearly everyone is a professionally designed detoxification plan as an effective hit-the-reset-button for your hormones and so much more.
This is what the word "detoxification" really means.
Keeping your blood sugar balanced is ridiculously important: Unbalanced blood sugar contributes to energy slumps, hanger, irritability, low libido, or fat storage. One lifestyle practice that can improve your body’s response to insulin (the hormone responsible for blood sugar management) is—you guessed it—yoga.
As a diabetic health coach and yoga instructor, I try to integrate yoga into my schedule daily. I used to be the "all-or-nothing" type: I was either dedicating 60 minutes to my practice or, if I didn’t have time, not practicing at all. In recent months though, as a midday reset from being behind the screen of the computer and my phone, I give myself the space to practice right in my apartment, even if I only have time for 15 minutes.
These yoga poses have helped balance my blood sugar by helping to reduce stress, strengthen muscles, stimulate hormonal secretion of the pancreas, build up the immune system, promote better sleep, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve energy levels.
1. Sun salutations.
Sun salutations are a sequence of eight moves strung together. It begins with standing mountain pose at the top of your mat and moving through upward salute, forward bend, half-standing forward bend, plank pose, chaturanga, upward-facing dog, and downward-facing dog. Sun salutes involve movement of the whole body, which strengthens and lengthens the muscles, ultimately helping to increase insulin sensitivity in the body. Try going through the cycle 5 times, connecting your inhale and exhale with each movement.
Whether or not you’re conscious of it, your body is under dual control. Sure, your body is self-regulating—but you also have a good amount of power over your body. Whether you pay attention or not, you breathe in and out automatically; it’s a basic survival mechanism. But anytime you want, you can intervene and breathe a different way, faster or slower, deeper or shallower. Because the body operates as a whole system, your interventions aren’t local—a different style of breathing could be linked to a panic attack at one extreme and a mindful yoga practice at the other. Which means that every intervention has the possibility of moving you away from your natural state of wellness.
Apparently, millions of people have done just that. The signs are obvious in dozens of ways—poor sleep, chronic lifestyle diseases, obesity, anxiety, and depression head the list. The healing response is compromised by a huge disruption like pneumonia or polio, but these devastating events are becoming rarer and more curable. The real threat to healing comes from the daily interventions we make that have negative or unforeseen consequences; these are the raindrops that can eventually cause a flood.
Because everyone’s life is a mixture of good and bad choices, everything in life must be viewed as either raising your state of wellness or lowering it. Our cells, all the way down to the genetic level, tolerate our indulgences but are paying the price for them as well.
So what’s the solution? Use the body’s dual control as a tool of healing. In the most basic terms, there are two kinds of healing going on in every person right now:
As inflammation continues to be a wellness buzzword in 2017, more and more people are getting curious about how cultures around the world have combated it since ancient times. These recipes from Sacred Medicine Cupboard: A Holistic Guide and Journal for Caring for Your Family Naturally take their cues from Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine to present easy, homegrown ways to bring the body back into balance.
Cayenne and Ginger Anti-Inflammatory Salve makes about 8 ounces
Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga and one of the oldest existing systems of health. In Ayurveda, it's believed that all persons are made up of the same primary elements that exist in nature: fire, water, earth, air, and space. These are all present in each of us in different quantities, and this unique make-up—called our dosha or constitution—is what dictates our individual characteristics and experiences. Ayurveda teaches us how to make choices that are ideal for our body and mind, according to our dosha.
Still, even if you don't know much about Ayurveda and have no idea what your constitution is, there are simple ways that you can bring Ayurvedic lifestyle practices into your daily routine.
1. Use a tongue scraper.
In Ayurveda, health is closely linked with the presence or absence of toxins in the body. Using a tongue scraper first thing in the morning, before brushing your teeth, is considered an excellent way to remove toxins and bacteria that accumulate in the mouth while you sleep. ...
Translated simply as ‘knowledge of life’, Ayurveda (a Sanskrit term: Ayur = life, Veda = knowledge) is an ancient Indian holistic philosophy that shows you how to live a healthy, wholesome and more fulfilled life by balancing your mind, body and spirit. At the core of Ayurveda is you, the individual, and your unique set of physical, mental and spiritual characteristics—known as dosha in Ayurvedic practice.
By taking your dominant dosha(s), Ayurveda offers insights into which foods, herbs, and lifestyle activities will enhance the quality of your life, and which ones won’t; leaving you empowered to make choices that will protect your physical health, your mental balance, and your spiritual wellbeing.
The first time I heard of Cordyceps sinensis was on the can of a Steven Seagal energy drink. (Yes, such a thing really exists). Although the vile brew didn't give me the butt-kicking abilities of an action star, it did leave me curious about the fungus that supposedly had an effect on energy levels.
Cordyceps is considered a medicinal mushroom that increases energy, stimulates the immune system, and acts as an overall tonic to the body. It is one of the more famous Chinese herbs, but has only gained attention in the West over the last few decades.
In addition to its reported health benefits, this fungus is known for its unique way of reproducing. It develops inside insect larvae, killing and mummifying the remains before popping out of the ground as a fruiting body. This horror movie action makes cordyceps one of the coolest mushrooms around.
Let's take a closer look at this fascinating fungus. We'll start with some basic facts, where we'll see that truth really can be stranger than fiction! Next we'll move on to health benefits and information on supplements. Finally we'll end with some cordyceps controversy, harvesting the wild fungus on the Tibetan Plateau.
Cordyceps contains 77 micro- and macronutrients, more than 80 types of enzymes essential amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, etc. However, amount of vitamins and minerals is not large, so the products can not cause overdose symptoms. But the key to all "Fohow" products is synergic manufacture principle - the fact that several components of the overall product performance exceed the performance of each of them separately. An effective choice of product components ratio potentiated operation is reached. Moreover, absent of adverse toxic effects mean that the product is safe to use.
American pharmacologists identified unique active substance from Cordyceps (cordicepin, cordiceps acid, adenosine, adenine, etc.) and found they affect the immune system. Although the higher funguses have a large variety of substances, the most important part of their effectiveness is based on polysaccharides. It was found that the biologicaleffectiveness of Cordyceps is associated with a unique polysaccharide complex. During the experiment, the polysaccharide concentration has been increased and the possibility of increasing the antioxidant and immunoregulating effects from 10 to 15 times have been achieved (Liu, P. and co-authors, 2004). All this determine the theraupetic efficacy of namely liquid Cordyceps, in which due to modern technology a polysaccharide concentration reaches the unique level (Aleksejev V., 2003).
Nature provides an amazing array of resources to improve our health and boost our immunity. Mushrooms are a type of fungus that are enjoyed by people all over the world and renowned for their nutritional benefits. In recent years, scientists have studied the medicinal benefits of the Cordyceps Sinensis mushroom and its effects on ameliorating the negative effects of stress on the body and brain among other things.
Mushrooms have been used as food, medicine, poison, and in spiritual/religious rituals across the world since at least 5000 BC. They have used in tonics, soups, teas, prepared foods, and herbal formulas to promote health and longevity. The mushroom fungus Penicillium was the raw material used to create the antibiotic, penicillin, which transformed the medical world.
This product will help to detoxify the body, cleanse the blood, improves the quality of blood, normalizes weight, improves the skin condition and helps to form healthy eating habits.
The experts of Fohow company developed a special health recovery program "Fohow Fitness".
Participation in this program can give you:
In order to achieve maximum results for the detoxification and rejuvenation of the body is necessary to follow these steps:
Protect your body from the inside by eating healthy.
The good news is you don’t have to search far and wide or spend hundreds of dollars to acquire foods that curb illness;
just look around your kitchen.
Below are seven disease-fighting foods you can find at home.
Garlic and onions – Forget the not-so-pleasant smell and pay attention to the immense benefits of onions and garlic. Both contain bioflavonoids and allyl sulfides that may minimize the risks for cancer and heart diseases. Various studies have proven that these may have significant impact on lowering the risk of prostate cancer, minimizing the development rate of pre-cancerous tumors in the large intestines, detoxifying blood cells, fortifying blood cells’ ability to resist DNA damage, reducing calcium deposits and arterial plaque in coronary arteries, and preventing unhealthy blood clotting.
Ginger – Ginger is one of the simplest, most effective antidotes you can use. Its healing properties are hard to dispute; it’s been providing relief to people since the ancient times. As a matter of fact, ginger has been used as a cure for diarrhea and inflammation in China for more than 2,000 years. This flexible rhizome is packed with protein, carbs, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, and does more than curing morning sickness. It aids in strengthening the immune system, improving bone health, aiding digestion, treating nausea, alleviating pain, increasing appetite, reducing excess gas, and preventing several types of cancers.
Mint – More than a breath freshener, mint can also provide relief from asthma, headaches, fatigue, and nausea. It’s also effective in soothing discomfort caused by indigestion and inflammation as well as maintaining clear, pimple-free skin. Mint can also help improve mental alertness and cognitive function.
Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits do more than boost the immune system. A good source of fiber, they help regulate glucose levels and lower cholesterol. One study showed that bypass surgery patients were able to lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels by consuming red grapefruit. Citrus fruits are rich in potassium, which aid in fluid regulation, muscle contraction, and mineral balance. Adding these delicious superfoods to your diet will help your body absorb nutrients better, maintain clear, supple skin, and regulate weight.
Turmeric – The curcumin found in turmeric may have a significant effect in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and soothing pain caused by arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory properties are also linked to cancer prevention and treating uveitis (inflammation of the iris). Other health benefits include lower cholesterol levels, better immune system, and improved cognitive function.
Beans – Beans are a nutrition powerhouse. These legumes are rich in antioxidants, protein, fiber, complex carbs, copper, folate, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, potassium and other beneficial nutrients. They can assist in reducing and/or maintaining weight, keeping the heart healthy, aiding digestion, and balancing blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon contain antioxidants that remove free radicals from the body, which means you’re less likely to develop chronic diseases as well as suffer from premature aging. Its anti-inflammatory properties can ward off autoimmune diseases and regulate blood sugar levels, which reduces the risk of diabetes. Remember, however, to take only small amounts of the usual cinnamon (cassia) you have in your house. Adding too much may have a negative effect on your health, unless you’re ingesting ceylon cinnamon, or what they consider the “true cinnamon”.
The avocado is a rather unique type of fruit.
Most fruit consists primarily of carbohydrate, while avocado is high in healthy fats.
Numerous studies show that it has powerful beneficial effects on health.
Here are 12 health benefits of avocado, that are supported by scientific research.
1. Avocado is Incredibly Nutritious
What we refer to as “avocado” is the fruit of the avocado tree, called Persea americana (1).
This fruit is prized for its high nutrient value and is added to all sorts of dishes due to its good flavor and rich texture. It is the main ingredient in guacamole.
These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health conscious individuals. It is often referred to as a superfood… which is not surprising given its health properties (2).
There are many kinds of avocados, and the shape (from pear-shaped to round) and color (from green to black) can vary between them. They can also weigh anywhere from 8 ounces (220 grams) to 3 pounds (1.4 kg).
The most popular type is called Hass avocado.
This is what a typical avocado looks like:
It is often called “alligator pear,” which is very descriptive because it tends to be shaped like a pear and have green, bumpy skin… like an alligator.
The yellow-green flesh inside the fruit is eaten, but the skin and seed are discarded.
Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.
Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving (3):
Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium, and are low in saturated fat. I personally don’t think that matters, but this is one of the reasons they are favored by many “old school” experts who still believe these things are inherently harmful.
2. They Contain More Potassium Than Bananas
Potassium is a nutrient that most people aren’t getting enough of (4).
This nutrient helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells and serves various important functions.
Avocados are actually very high in potassium… with a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving containing 14% of the RDA, compared to 10% in bananas, which are a typical high potassium food (5).
Several studies show that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure (6).
Bottom Line: Potassium is an important mineral that most people don’t get enough of. Avocados are very high in potassium, which should support healthy blood pressure levels.
3. Avocado is Loaded With Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Again, avocado is a high fat food.
In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence.
But they don’t just contain any fat… the majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid.
This is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component in olive oil and believed to be responsible for some of its beneficial effects.
Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer (7, 8, 9, 10).
The fats in avocado are also pretty resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making avocado oil a healthy and safe choice for cooking.
4. Avocados Are Loaded With Fiber
Fiber is another nutrient found in relatively large amounts in avocado.
Fiber is indigestible plant matter that can contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes and is strongly linked to a lower risk of many diseases (11, 12, 13).
A distinction is often made between soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber is known to be able to feed the friendly gut bacteria in the intestine, which are very important for the optimal function of our bodies (14).
A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount.
About 25% of the fiber in avocado is soluble, while 75% is insoluble (15).
Eating Avocados Can Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world (16).
It is known that several blood markers are linked to an increased risk.
This includes cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood pressure and various others.
The effects of avocado on some of these risk factors has been studied in 8 human controlled trials.
These are studies where people are split into groups… one group is instructed to eat avocados, while the other is not. Then researchers see what happens to their blood markers over time.
These studies have shown that avocados can (17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23):
Unfortunately, all of the human studies were small (13-37 subjects) and short-term (1-4 weeks), but the results were impressive nonetheless.
6. People Who Eat Avocados Tend to be Healthier
One study looked at the dietary habits and health of people who eat avocados.
They analyzed data from 17,567 participants in the NHANES survey in the U.S.
Avocado consumers were found to be much healthier than people who didn’t eat avocados.
They had a much higher nutrient intake and were half as likely to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that are a major risk factor for heart disease and diabetes (25).
People who ate avocados regularly also weighed less, had a lower BMI and significantly less belly fat. They also had more HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.
However… correlation does not imply causation and there is no guarantee that the avocados caused these people to be in better health.
Therefore I don’t think this particular study carries much weight.
7. The Fat in Them Can Help You Absorb Nutrients From Plant Foods
When it comes to nutrients, the total amount of them is not the only thing that matters.
We also need to be able to absorb them… move them from the digestive tract and into the body, where they can be used.
Some nutrients are “fat soluble,” meaning that they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilized.
This includes vitamins A, D, E and K… along with antioxidants like carotenoids.
One study showed that adding avocado or avocado oil to either salad or salsa can increase antioxidant absorption by 2.6 to 15-fold (26).
So… not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you are eating.
This is an excellent reason to always include a healthy fat source when you eat veggies. Without it, a lot of the beneficial plant nutrients will go to waste.
8. Avocados Are Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants That Can Protect The Eyes
Not only do avocados increase antioxidant absorption from other foods, they are also high in antioxidants themselves.
This includes nutrients called Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are incredibly important for eye health (27, 28).
Studies show that these nutrients are linked to a drastically reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common in the elderly (29, 30).
Therefore, eating avocados should have benefits for eye health over the long term.
9. Avocado May Help Prevent Cancer
There is limited evidence that avocado may be beneficial in preventing cancer.
One study showed that it may help reduce side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes (31).
Avocado extract has also been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells (32).
However, keep in mind that these studies were done in isolated cells and don’t really prove anything about what happens in a living, breathing human.
10. Avocado Extract May Help Relieve Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries. There are many types of arthritis, and these are often chronic problems that people have for the rest of their lives.
Multiple studies have shown that extracts from avocado and soybean oil, called Avocado and Soybean unsaponifiables, can reduce symptoms of arthritis of the bones, called osteoarthritis (33, 34).
Whether avocados themselves can have this effect, and not just the extract, remains to be seen.
11. Eating Avocado May Help You Lose Weight
There is some evidence that avocados are a weight loss friendly food.
In one study, people were split into groups. One group was instructed to eat a meal that contained avocado, the other a similar meal without avocado.
Then they were asked a series of questions related to hunger and satiety.
The people eating the avocado felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next 5 hours (35).
If this holds true in the long-term, then including avocados in your diet could help you naturally eat fewer calories and have an easier time sticking to a healthy diet.
Avocados are also high in fiber, and very low in carbs, two attributes that should also help promote weight loss, at least in the context of a healthy, real food based diet.
12. Avocado is Delicious and Easy to Incorporate in The Diet
Not only are avocados healthy, they’re also incredibly delicious and go with all sorts of foods.
You can add them to salads and various sorts of recipes, or you can simply scoop them out with a spoon and eat them plain.
They have a creamy, rich, fatty texture and blend well with various other ingredients.
A notable mention is guacamole, which is arguably the most famous use of avocados. It includes avocado along with ingredients like salt, garlic, lime and a few others depending on the recipe.
An avocado often takes some time to ripen and it should feel slightly soft when ripe. The nutrients in avocado can oxidize soon after fleshing it, but if you add lemon juice then that shouldn’t happen as quickly.
If you’re serious about adding avocado to your diet, then I highly recommend that you watch this video about how to pick, prepare and eat avocados.
At the end of the day, avocados are an awesome food. They’re loaded with nutrients, many of which are lacking in the modern diet.
They are weight loss friendly, heart healthy and… last but not least, taste incredible.
What more could you ask for in a food?
How to Buy Avocado
Get to know the types of avocado
The first thing you need to know when buying avocado is its origin.
The produce and its quality may vary depending on your geographical location and on the season.
This is why you may find different types of avocado on the market.
If you are going to use an avocado for an immediate purpose, choosing a ripe, ready-to-eat avocado would be the best choice.
However, if you are going to buy avocado in advance, it would be better if you buy the firm types and then have them ripen and ready-to-eat at home.
Be mindful about the attributes of the avocados that you are going to buy
This means that the fruit is too ripe.
Dark blemishes, bruises, dents, and brown spots should also be avoided when choosing an avocado.
Potential health risks of consuming avocados
Although avocado is greatly beneficial for your health, you should take into consideration its side effects and be cautious about your daily avocado intake.It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.
If you are taking blood-thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin), it is important that you do not suddenly begin to eat more or less foods containing vitamin K, which plays a large role in blood clotting.
For this reason, always make sure to ask your doctor for help prior to eating avocado and mixing it with medications.
Substances called saponins, found in avocados, soy and some other plant foods, have been associated with relief of symptoms in knee osteoarthritis, with further research planned to determine the long-term effects of isolated extracts.
Avocados also contain substances that have antimicrobial activity, particularly against Escherichia coli, a leading cause of food poisoning.
Avocados may even have a role to play in cancer treatment, with some research finding that phytochemicals extracted from avocado can selectively inhibit the growth of precancerous and cancerous cells and cause the death of cancer cells, while encouraging the proliferation of immune system cells called lymphocytes. These phytochemicals have also been seen to decrease chromosomal aberrations induced by cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy drug.
When it comes to daily consumption, it is recommended that you eat somewhere between a half to a full avocado per day.
It is high in calories, which means that eating more than one avocado per day may cause harmful symptoms to your body, such as diarrhea or nausea.
Even though it may not seem like much, one full avocado is just enough for your body to get the most benefits from the fruit.
Avocado is a very potent, incredibly nutritious, and filling plant.
It is rich in many minerals, vitamins, and different plant compounds, and is also beneficial for heart health and prevents arthritis.
In case you are a person leading a healthy lifestyle, you can easily incorporate avocado into your diet.
With all these great health benefits, is it no wonder that avocados are becoming such a popular choice for healthy dishes.
Why not try some on your next salad or use them to top off a sandwich?
Or make sure that guacamole is on the table when you’re serving chips or veggies as a side dish?
You may be surprised at how healthy you will feel inside and how great your skin looks outside once you start adding avocados to your everyday diet.
Treatment and diagnostics methods
The doctor examines the patient: observes its appearance, behaviour manner, finds out details about the state of health during the survey. The doctor can be interested in all aspects of life of the patient: food preferences of the patient, what kind of weather he endures worse what psychological background is prevailing and so forth. The unique method of diagnostics is pulse diagnostics: all basic organs are projected at three points on arteries of wrists. Probing pulse and analyzing character of a pulsation the doctor receives the information on a condition of organs and the basic systems of an organism. Except pulse diagnostics the doctor can receive the information from survey of a morning portion of urine: the slightest details in a deposit, foam, colour of urine can tell much about inner condition of the patient. Often it is useful to make researches by the European methods: ultrasonic, MRТ, laboratory analyses.
Include correction of a diet, a way of life, a medicine and procedure.
The dietology, as well other sections of the Tibetan medicine is based on the theory of 5 elements. Disease — is balance frustration of elements in a body. It is possible to regulate it, prescribing products with different properties. Properties of a product are defined by what elements are prevailed in it. If disease is connected with “fire” lack — “warm” products are useful if it is a lot of “fire” — than cold. Without knowing properties of products, patients often do not suspect that the use of such familiar and habitual products actually worsens their condition. For example, frequent error of people with excess weight is their preference in a diet of raw vegetables is an error. Excess weight is more often connected with weakening of digestive heat, and raw vegetables and fruits weaken it even more. In spite of the fact that they refer to the low-calorie products, some patients even continue to gain weight, not to mention that fact that in strategic prospect it will even more weaken digestive fire that will strengthen a disbalance.
The dietology of the Tibetan medicine is good because the foodstuff is recommended to the person depending on a concrete situation. That is, the universal diet does not exist. People have different constitutions, and are in different situations, therefore it is impossible to find something obviously useful to all and always. In can be such period in life when it is necessary to emphasize cool qualities but when the condition changes, it is necessary to use products with other qualities.
The doctor of the Tibetan medicine seldom recommends something very special, more often is recommended to exclude products which are definitely harmful from the diet, and to take more those products which promote recovery.
2. A way of life
We are influenced not only what we eat but also how we move, how much we sleep, whether our work is connected with constant conversations or not; is our intimate life active or not and so on. Our activity influences balance of organism and can be a part of disease. The doctor of the Tibetan medicine reveals possible negative factors of a way of life during survey and recommends to eliminate them, or if it is impossible, to compensate. For example: person’s occupation is connected with constant speech activity (teachers, singers) often wind disorder arises that can be expressed in insomnia, disorder of concentration, etc. The doctor’s recommendations can eliminate risk of disease and help to recover. Such patients are recommended to put sesame oil on crown of the head before going to bed, have a good dinner before performance, to use aromas type “Agar-35”. It is interesting example of the patient whose disease has been caused almost exclusively by his way of life. (See “Cases from practice. 3”).
It is the basic tool of the doctor of the Tibetan medicine. Medicines of the Tibetan medicine are multicomponent mixes basically from vegetative raw materials: herbs, seeds, fruits, wood, flowers. Minerals and fauna components can be included: horns, bones, bile, etc. The doctor does not think out medicine by himself that is not that we see in national tradition of herbal medicine where personal experience of the expert, his “feeling of each herb” helps to select a certain mixture.
The combination of components is made on a scientific basis in medicines of the Tibetan medicine where the quantity of each component is strictly proved. The scientific basis of creation of medicines, as always in the Tibetan medicine is the theory of 5 elements. Knowing the structure of elements in each component the big summary tables were made up where qualities of each substance were compensated or amplified by the qualities of other substances. This section — “the internal structure” of substances was always the most closed part of the Tibetan medicine. The ways of processing of raw materials are also refer to this. It’s not always possible to include at once the collected raw materials in medicinal composition: it is often necessary to remove preliminary poisons, to change physical and chemical properties of a plant, mineral or animal component. For example, poisonous aconite it is very dangerous even in contact with skin. The Tibetan doctors have learnt to remove its “rough poisons”, having kept curative force of a plant. For this purpose aconite’s root can be cooked in broth of other plant, or soak in the cow’s urine.
Some spices can be infused for three days in milk, or in broth that strengthens and makes their influence deeper. Minerals can be pounded in a powder and infuse in lemon juice for some days, or to bake at high temperature, and then immerse in various liquids. Mineral substances and metals sometimes can be processed for weeks before they become suitable for a medicine, and other substances are involved in their processing.
Medicines can include very different quantity of components. Few-componental — 3-5; “medium-componental: from 5-6 to 18-20. There is variety of the classical 25 componental. Rare medicines from herbs to 35-37 components often include mineral or metal.
The top of the Tibetan pharmacology are the most difficult medicines of a class “Rinchen” — “the Jewelry” consisting of precious metals, minerals, possessing improbably multilateral effect. They consist of 70 to 140 substances. They are taken in a particular treatment, usually at a full moon and a new moon, 2-4 times a month. (The PHOTO of Rinchen)
Procedures — is a very big context section of the Tibetan medicine. It includes “soft” procedures — massage with oil, compresses; and rough — blood-letting, cauterisation of points with moxa, acupuncture.
In initial recommendations it is said that the doctor should appoint a diet at first and correct a way of life; if it didn’t helped — to give a medicine if it didn’t helped either — to appoint a procedure.
In our fast world all possible ways of correction are applied simultaneously.
5. “Secret” methods.
The method which is applied in the Tibetan medicine in especially hard cases could be named in scientific language the informational one. The modern science has already precisely established that sound fluctuations change properties of water — information carrier. Since ancient times doctors of Tibetan Medicine used sound combinations — mantras which were recited over the water and was given to the patient. There are a lot of medical mantras. There are mantras for all diseases. Doctor can give such “mantra-water” if he has received transmission from the authorized teacher.
The iconic mushroom commonly known as Reishi (in Japanese) or Ling Zhi (靈芝 in Chinese) is probably the most respected medicinal mushroom in Asia. The earliest mention of Ling Zhi was in the era of the first emperor of China, Shinghuang of the Ch’in Dynasty 221-207 B.C.E. Once reserved for royalty to extend life and improve health, this polypore mushroom is strikingly beautiful. Deep reddish brown and saucer-shaped, often emerging from a branch-like stem, its smooth upper surface looks lacquered when wet. Because of this glossy appearance, Western mycologists called them “varnished conks” for many years (conks are mushrooms that have pores instead of gills on their undersides, such as maitake and turkey tails). While reishi mushrooms have historically been prepared as teas or infusions, other modern preparations include capsules, tinctures, and fractionated extracts of mushrooms, mycelium, and spores. Reishi is also added to chocolate bars, candies, energy drinks, and even coffee blends!
“Reishi” is a common name for a complex of closely-allied species of the Ganoderma genus. Until recently the name reishi referred to the species Ganoderma lucidum; however, new DNA barcoding and phylogenetic techniques have revealed that this name had been inappropriately applied by taxonomists to what is in fact a group of close relatives. These new techniques are now revealing that “reishi” mushrooms once all thought to be Ganoderma lucidum may have been misclassified. This misclassification is understandable, as all these morphologically-similar species naturally grow on old or dead tree trunks and all display remarkable glossy cap surfaces that can vary in color from bright red to black according to their age and environmental factors. Although these species (G. tsugae, G. oregonense, G. carnosum, and G. oerstedii, and G. resinaceum) have 98-100 percent commonality of DNA using the common “ITS genetic region,” they are now considered separate species.
Because of its rich history and long tradition of medicinal use, Ganoderma lucidum (in the strictest sense) is now one of the few mushroom species whose DNA has been fully sequenced (16,113 genes). Others are button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) with 10,438 genes and oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) with 12,330 genes (Joint Genome Institute). Reishi is remarkable for its diversity of genes coding for cytochrome P450 enzymes. These enzymes not only afford this species a broad arsenal for producing secondary metabolites for digesting nutrients, but may also confer benefits to human health such as enhancing the degradation of toxins and free radicals and increasing the liver’s metabolic efficiency. The variety of these enzymes, among more than 400 active constituents that have been found, indicates to me that mushrooms such as reishi are like miniature pharmaceutical factories that can produce hundreds of medicinally-interactive compounds. Through trial-and-error and observable outcomes, our ancestors narrowed the field of edible mushroom candidates to just a few with remarkable, health-supporting properties. Today, reishi stands out as one the most valuable of all polypore mushrooms in nature for the benefit of our health. Many naturopaths and doctors prefer organically-grown reishi from pristine environments because they are more pure.
Reishi has been called the “panacea polypore,” in part due to a widespread popular belief that this mushroom can help alleviate certain age-related diseases. Although many such claims are exaggerated and unsubstantiated, a number of studies have documented a range of medicinal effects.
In 2000, a group of Merck pharmaceutical scientists at the Centro de Investigaci´on B´asica, Merck Sharp & Dohme in Madrid, Spain tested the mycelial extracts of 204 species of mushrooms for their antimicrobial properties (Suay et al., 2000). The mushrooms showing the most activity were “reishi” species (G. lucidum, G. resinaceum and G. pfeifferi) of which 73 percent of the strains showed activities against the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. However, while extracts of the reishi species group all strongly inhibited Bacillus bacteria, they were curiously inactive against other disease-causing bacteria and fungi. That these Ganodermas are species specific in their antimicrobial activities suggests a unique mode of activity, a benchmark test that attracts medical researchers interested in new antibiotic drug discovery.
In my work with the U.S. Defense Department’s BioShield BioDefense program, ethanol and water extracts of the living mycelium of Ganoderma resinaceum inhibited virus replication as measured by the viral yield reduction (VYR) assay of Flu A (H5N1) aka “bird flu,” and Flu B viruses. Notably, a “traditional” hot water extract of the fruitbodies arising from the same mycelium demonstrated no notable antiviral activity (Stamets, 2008).
A review of the scientific literature reveals that many of the traditional medicinal claims can now be validated, especially the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, the anti-cancer claims have yet to achieve the credibility of comparable studies on Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) mushrooms (see Turkey Tail post). In a recent critique of reishi studies published through 2012, the authors concluded:
Our review did not find sufficient evidence to justify the use of G. lucidum as a first-line treatment for cancer. It remains uncertain whether G. lucidum helps prolong long-term cancer survival. However, G. lucidum could be administered as an alternative adjunct to conventional treatment in consideration of its potential of enhancing tumor response and stimulating host immunity. (Jin et al. 2012)
While such conclusions presume similar sample preparations and consistent taxonomic identification from study to study, one common theme emerges. The species in the taxonomic constellation of “reishi” mushrooms consistently activate, in vitro and in vivo, human immune cells: macrophages, NK and cytotoxic T cells, on a dose-dependent basis. Moreover, in the previously-mentioned comparison of peer-reviewed studies on reishi and cancer, the authors conclude that the adjunct use of reishi may augment chemotherapeutic drugs to treat cancer and may extend their effectiveness. This is particularly important since a common concern among oncologists is that the antioxidant properties of medicinal mushrooms may interfere with chemotherapeutic drugs. Addressing this issue, Simone et al. (2007) reported:
[280 peer-reviewed studies] have consistently shown that non-prescription antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with cancer therapeutic modalities. In addition, nonprescription antioxidants and other nutrients enhance the killing of cancer therapeutic modalities, decrease their side effects, and protect normal tissues, and in 15 human studies, 3,738 patients actually had prolonged survival.
Although the trends are promising and reishi mushrooms exhibit a number of interesting medicinal properties, modern scientific techniques have yet to affirm its traditional “panacea polypore” status. For now we can state that reishi use is generally safe and has high antioxidant value. While we cannot yet state that reishi mushrooms extend the disease-free period of cancer patients, reishi remains as an excellent candidate for augmenting chemotherapy, according to some cancer researchers. Since funding of clinical studies is either industry-based or from grants — few and far between — the jury is still out on the usefulness of reishi, the “mushroom of immortality,” for extending life. That said, I for one, join our ancestors in being drawn to this mushroom and regularly ingest it in many forms.
Financial Disclosure: Paul Stamets, author of Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms and educator of mushroom cultivators world-wide, is also the Founder of Fungi Perfecti, LLC — a company that supplies mushroom related products including whole, encapsulated powders, and extracts of mushrooms.