Apr 242019

This is a handout for a brief talk I did in April 2019 at a Butte College yoga class:
Natural Medicine for Digestion, Stress and Trauma. It is only an brief introduction to the subject of easily accessible herbs for digestion, stress and trauma, geared towards the college student or lay person.

Jun 152018

Spring seems to be my favorite time to talk about Chinese Medicine Food Therapy and how one can tailor their diet to the season for healing. In May 2018, I did a lecture on this topic and am posting my notes and recipes here:
Spring: Time to Tame the Liver
Summary Table of Spring Foods discussed
Five Element Chart

Recipes, etc.
Anti-Aging Brain Mix recipe
Raspberry-Lime Aqua Fresca
Ban Lan Gen Chong Ji
Dandelion Flower Syrup
Stir-fried Watercress with Almonds and Ginger
No-Cook Mint Syrup
Mint Syrup (cooking required)
Rose Hips Lemonade (with Hibiscus)

References for recipes are in the documents themselves.
This is an update to notes in my Spring 2013 Newsletter.

Mar 142016

I have understood for years that patients can use their Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for purchasing dietary supplements or herbal remedies that I recommend for treatment. This is the case also for Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA). As a licensed Acupuncturist in the state of California, I am called a “primary care provider” and it is within my scope of practice to “prescribe” herbs and supplements.

However, I have been told by many patients that they have been told that my supplement or herbal prescriptions would not be covered by their HSA or FSA. What I did in the past was give patients a “superbill”, which is a insurance bill or form. It shows my licensing information, my NPI# (National Provider Identifier), and has CPT codes for procedures performed (in my case, acupuncture), and diagnosis codes (for example, cervicalgia, lumbago, sciatica, knee pain, etc). However, now I have a formal form that I can give patients along with a superbill, which will be signed by me to give to the insurance company, or service company of your HSA or FSA.

For reference, this form can be found here:
Reimbursement Form

Aug 202015

Just started carrying this product in my office: Nutricology’s Caricol® Papaya Concentrate. I have had many patients throughout the years who have had great results using papaya, or its main active ingredient, papain for digestive complaints. Papain is a known digestive enyzme, and is in many natural digestive enzyme products nowadays (including another product I have carried for years).

So this specific product caught my attention, because:
1. It is a liquid, papaya concentrate “made from the pulp of certified organic, GMO-free, tree-ripened papaya”
2. The papain is “naturally concentrated by means of a propriety production process which originated at the Lotus Buddhist Monastery, Big Island, Hawaii”, and
3. The company notes on the box that “a portion of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to the monastery” that originated this process.

After learning all this, I thought this is a product I can get behind! For specific details on this product, including research relating to its effects on IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), constipation and diarrhea, see: More information can be found at the distributor’s site, Nutricology.

Other interesting info about papain is that it has been used for years in meat tenderizer products, was sold in topical preparations in the past for wound debridement (removing dead tissue)1, and has been used as a home remedy for insect bites and stings2.


Jul 292015

The latest issue (July 2015) of Dr. Julian Whitaker’s Health and Healing Newsletter (article not available online) has an article about back pain. It discusses the pros and cons of painkillers, and points out that getting an MRI or CT scan often times becomes a “Gateway to Surgery”. He suggests “waiting until you’ve given conservative treatment a chance to work”. He then has a nice summary of modalities to try for “Safe, Lasting Pain Relief”. This list includes Acupuncture, “one of the best-studied alternative therapies for pain relief”, amongst Stem Cell Therapy, Prolotherapy, High-Intensity Laser, Chiropractic, and Supplements (“such as curcumin, boswellia, omega-3 fatty acids, UC-II (type II collagen), bromelain, astaxanthin and ginger”).

I must note that three of these supplements or herbal remedies are from Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal medicine: curcumin, boswellia and ginger! I also just happen to carry a great arthritis herbal formula (patients love the results they have!) and amongst other ingredients, it has curcumin, boswellia and collagen. (I cannot advertise the product or its price, since the product is sold only by qualified health care professionals).

Dr. Whitaker also has on his website a nice article highlighting the many conditions Acupuncture Benefits, last updated in August 2014.

May 092014

It seems like every season, whether it be Spring or Fall, or Summer or Winter, various patients have symptoms of hayfever or environmental allergies – this need not be the case!! Allergies are a symptom of our immune system needing support so that we can handle exposure to the environment, whether it be from pollens or animal dander, molds or mildews, or even dust. Our standard medical system of allopathy does us a disservice by prescribing anti-histamines, which suppress symptoms and suppresses the body’s natural response to exposure, hence making the condition worse in the long-term. The best long-term solution is to stimulate our body’s natural ability to handle the exposure so that it does not respond to a substance like it is a toxin – a healthy body should tolerate exposure and handle it gracefully, and not respond to pollens and dust like they are toxins!

For more information, see my document on how I treat allergies naturally:
Treating Hayfever or Environmental Allergies with Natural Medicine

Jan 282014

Commentary, Jan 28, 2014:
Just received a few calls about a Chinese herb, Corydalis, that evidently Dr. Oz had on his show today – it is a strong herb for pain, but in Chinese Medicine, we never treat with just one individual herb – this herb (and most others) is best used when a practitioner has helped diagnosis the pattern of disharmony leading to the specific pain that an individual has, and then based on that diagnosis, prescribes an herbal remedy or formula (or combination of herbs) to treat that pattern of pain or disharmony. So yes, I have this herb in many formulas, but the best solution to treating pain with Chinese Medicinal herbs is to have it based on your particular situation – this is the way to heal the body, with the result being pain reduction, not by taking one individual herb for pain as shown on Dr. Oz!

Dec 122013

Obtained online circa 4/13, I can no longer find this on the Smart Publications website, but this is an excellent summary or monograph of the research done on GoJi Berries, aka Gou Qi Zi in the Traditional Chinese Medicine Materia Medica (Lycium Barbarum):
GoJi Berries Monograph

Another great summary of the benefits of this herb, or berry, is:
Ray Sahelian’s GoJi Berry Information

Additionally, information of the brand of GoJi Berries I carry in my office can be found at:
Dragon Herbs GoJi Berries
The founder of this company, Ron Teeguarden, is a scholar in the field of Chinese Medicine and his company carries some of the best products around!

Dec 042013

Healthy Cocoa – what a concept?!?!?

EnerHealth Botanicals Cocoa MoJo is now carried in my office. It is a ‘great way to enjoy yummy Cocoa while supporting your immune system… especially during the winter’1. This is an organic non-dutched (no alkaloids) cocoa powder with organic coconut palm sugar and organic extracts immune-boosting medicinal mushrooms. The coconut palm sugar has a low glycemic index (of 35), making this a nice dessert treat even for diabetics and others who are watching their sugar intake. The medicinal mushrooms extracts in Cocoa Mojo are:

√ Cordyceps Sinensis – this is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herb that I call the ‘Ginseng for the Lungs’; it is a ‘Lung Tonic’ and is used to treat many respiratory disorders. It is also effective in the prevention and treatment of a variety of cardiovascular disorders, and is also a strong immune stimulant, being antineoplastic (anti-cancer) as well. Additionally, research has shown it is renal-protective (for example, it can help kidney problems such as chronic renal failure).2,3

√ Ganoderma Lucidum aka Reishi mushroom – this is another TCM herb, used to calm the mind, strengthen the Lungs and the body in general, and it also known to be antineoplastic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial (see this excerpt from a TCM professional reference).

√ Coriollus Versicolor aka Turkey Tail mushroom – now widely known to have anti-cancer effects, more research has shown direct antioxidant effect as well.4,5

√ Agaricus Blazei – this is a Brazilian mushroom, researched highly in Japan, that has demonstrated antineoplastic abilities in many research studies, along with immunomodulatory effects.6. It is also known by its Japanese name of himematsutake.

2Clinical Manual of Oriental Medicine, 2nd edition, Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine. research summary.

More references for medicinal mushrooms:
1) Hobbs, Christopher. Medicinal Mushrooms – An Exploration of Tradition, Healing, & Culture. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995.
2) MycoHerb Clinical Guide for Practitioners. Golden Mirror Press, 2008.
3) Review of Medicinal Mushrooms Advances: Good News from Old Allies, Solomon P. Wasser, HerbalGram. 2002; 56:28-33 American Botanical Council (article online).

Dec 032013

I now have some great new products available and all of them are food items to help support a healthy diet! These products are from Dr. Mao Shing Ni, affectionately known as Dr. Mao. Dr. Mao co-wrote one of the first Chinese Medicine dietary therapy books years ago, called the “Tao of Nutrition”, which is basically considered a classic text in this field today. Dr. Mao has written many others books about health from a Chinese Medicine perspective as well. Dr. Mao is now more widely known since appearing on the Dr. Oz show in recent years. Dr. Mao’s most recent book is the “Secrets of Longevity Cookbook”. (See my book review also.)

1) One recipe published in this cookbook is his Hot Herbal Cereal. This recipe, modified slightly, is now available pre-packaged for easy preparation from Dr. Mao as “Dr. Mao’s Beautiful Hot Herbal Cereal“. This is a gluten-free combination of over 20 ingredients that has been eaten in his family for generations. As he says in his cookbook, this is a ‘one-stop, complete-nutrition meal’! It benefits the heart, immune system, digestion, helps metabolism and moods, and is also anti-inflammatory.1 The ingredients are:

Whole grain brown rice, mung beans, dried chestnuts, long-grain white rice, white lotus seeds, black rice, oats, green lentils, red lentils, black beans, millet, black sesame seeds, dried fox nuts, small red beans, red kidney beans, white beans, green split peas, black-eyed beans, yellow split peas, lima beans, pink beans, pinto beans, poria cocos, wild yam root.

2) Dr. Mao’s Longevity Spice Blends: These are special herb and spice blends, also published in the “Secrets of Longevity” cookbook2 , created by Dr. Mao for his patients to incorporate into their diets and then made available pre-packaged as well. There are many blends, and the following list are those that I am carrying in my office at this time:

Digestion Spice Blend: Without proper digestion, your body isn’t able to absorb the nutrients from the healthy food you are eating. This blend supports healthy digestion, helping ensure regularity, absorb nutrients, and relieve heartburn, gas, and bloating.

Anti-Inflammatory Spice Blend: This spice blend helps combat inflammation, making it very helpful for arthritis support and muscle pain.

Sexual Health Spice Blend: Hormonal and sexual support for both women and men is supported by this blend.

Metabolism Spice Blend: The herbs and spices in this blend help increase your energy level and boost the function of your metabolism, making it good for healthy weight management. This blend can be helpful for insulin resistance and pre-diabetes care.

Heart Spice Blend: The herbs and spices in this spice blend are an all-around heart support, helpful for heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes conditions, and diabetes.

3) Anti-Aging Brain Mix
I originally came across this recipe in Dr. Mao’s book, “Second Spring”, published in 2009, and have shared it with my patients since then. And Dr. Mao has also made this available pre-packaged (with slight modification). This is a nice medicinal ‘trail mix’ combination to snack on daily, and wonderful for your health and brain too! Ingredients: walnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, dried goji berries, dried apricots, and dried blueberries.

1 Ni, Dr. Mao Shing. Dr Mao’s Secrets of Longevity Cookbook. Kansas City, MI: Andrews McNeel Publishing, Inc., 2012, p. 77.
2 Ibid, p. 47-49.

Mar 132013

I purchase all of my Chinese raw, dried herbs, which I use in customized formulas and tinctures both, from Spring Wind Herbs. This company is considered the premier supplier of quality Chinese herbs and is owned by Andrew Ellis. All herbs are tested for pesticide residues, and increasingly more and more are even available as USDA Certified Organic. I usually try to purchase the organic version also, unless the cost difference is extremely high (but typically isn’t the case at all).
For more information, see
Spring Wind Herbs or
Spring Wind Herbs Quality

Mar 132013

Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is the world standard of herbal medicine and these guidelines are used, amongt testing for heavy metals, pesticides and bacteria, by Evergreen Herbs, a family-run business with 3 generations of Chinese herbal scholars bringing quality medicine to practitioners and patients alike. Keep in mind also that most herbs are coming from Taiwan, so why the quality is so high. Evergreen Herbs and Herb Safety

The formulas are fantastic and bring my patients much healing! The pharmacology tomes written by John Chen and Tina Chen are a boom to phytomedicine worldwide and research is the basis of this materia medica. Order book: Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology from Evergreen Herbs or Amazon.

Feb 072013

Red Yeast Rice Extract is a supplement used in natural medicine to help reduce cholesterol levels. However, it is one of the few over-the-counter supplements that should be used under the direction of a natural medicine healthcare provider! It can affect the liver, so liver enzymes should be routinely monitored via blood chemistry panels. Additionally, it can have the serious side effects of myopathy and/or myalgia (muscle weakness and/or muscle pain) and peridontal disease. These side effects are the same as with statin drugs, but to a lesser extent (statin drugs originally came from research on Red Yeast Rice). To counteract the possible side effects of Red Yeast Rice Extract, one MUST take CoQ10 with it, as with statin drugs.

Therefore, in my office I only sell a product of Red Yeast Rice combined with CoQ10 (in one bottle). Additionally, I typically will try safer natural remedies first to lower cholesterol and resort to using Red Yeast Rice Extract only when other efforts have failed.

Reference for the skeptics:
Dr. Weil’s comments on Red Yeast Rice for Cholesterol Control

For more info on CoQ10, please also see my general CoQ10 post for the CoQ10 Monograph (research summary).

Jan 312013

Announcing that I am now carrying the brand line of IncrediWear, which is a local Chico company that makes braces and socks. I have received many testamonials from patients about these braces really helping joint pain in the past few years, so this is why I decided to start carrying these products. The braces are great for arthritis and joint pain and inflammation, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, and also help improve circulation (as shown by their thermography analysis). They are made with special technology combining bamboo-charcoal and/or germanium. There is a sock line especially for those with diabetes plus another line to support the feet and other joints during sports or athletic events (hikers and bikers will love these products too). Come and check them out, and support two local companies at the same time too!! If I don’t have in stock what you need, I can always order it quickly – for more info on this product line, see IncrediWear Products.

Here’s an article in one of our lovely, local Chico-area magazines Upgraded Living, about IncrediWear, and its Chiropractor founder,
Jackson Corey.

May 242012
Traumeel Creme

This natural, analgesic, anti-inflammatory homeopathic remedy can help ease most musculoskeletal pain due to trauma/injury (including surgery). This includes most arthritis pain and nerve pain such as sciatica and neuropathy (also includes nervines – herbs to calm nerves). Although I have many strong Chinese herbal formulas for pain in my clinic, I often initially recommend this product since it very often (I estimate 90% effectiveness) gives immediate relief with regular use. I have seen this ‘cure’ severe cholicky gallbladder pain, ulcerative colitis pain, etc.

This product comes in a topical creme (with no odor – no menthol or camphor), or internal use drops. (alcohol-based) or tabs (sublingual).

It is a very safe replacement for over-the-counter NSAIDS (non-steriodal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, tylenol, naproxen, etc.) and can even replace presription pain medications such as Vicodin, Norco) without the side effects plus it actually helps heal tissues whereas NSAIDS do not!

May 2012: Newly introduced Traumeel Combo Pack – great deal!