May 092014
 
DogwoodBud1

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

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.

References:
1http://www.enerhealthbotanicals.com/cocoa-mojo.html
2Clinical Manual of Oriental Medicine, 2nd edition, Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine.
3Panaxea.com research summary.
4http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23627468
5http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-stamets/mushrooms-cancer_b_1560691.html
6http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17639159

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).

Sep 162013
 

Two Chinese herbal formulas I commonly recommend to boost immunity are Evergreen Herbs Immune + and Zand Astragalus Formula. Immune + is based on a very commonly-used formula Yu Ping Feng San, which is especially used to help those who easily catch common colds or flues, or are commonly affected by seasonal allergies. Zand Astragalus is a very similar formula.

Catching colds or flues easily, and/or having seasonal allergies means that the immune system is weak and needs to be strengthened. These formulas are also ideal to strengthen the immune system when going into the winter season or when one knows they will be exposed to others who are ill from a common cold or flu, or when one is oing into a hospital or convalescent situation where others could be ill. Both of these formulas will also tend to help poor energy too.

Both of these formulas contain Astragalus (Huang Qi) and Reishi mushroom (Ling Zhi, or Ganoderma), both of which research has shown are immunoprotective. Research has also shown that Astragalus can have an antibiotic effect, is anti-asthmatic and is nephroprotective (protects the kidneys) as well. Reishi has anti-cancer properties and a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity.

More information on the two main herbs in these formulas can be found at these sample monographs from the premier resource of the Chinese Herbal Materia Medica, Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology, by John Chen and Tina Chen: Huang Qi and Ling Zhi/Reishi

Astragalus is also in the Evergreen Herbs Cordyceps 3 formula. Cordyceps is especially known to treat chronic respiratory disorders; I call it a ‘Ginseng for the Lungs’ since it is also used for its ginseng-like ‘anti-aging’ qualities. Speaking of Ginseng, Panax Ginseng (Ren Shen) is in this formula as well. So Cordyceps 3 is an excellent formula for aging, poor energy or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and many other conditions as well that need immune-system support, including cancer.

Aug 062012
 

Here are recommendations for Cleansing and Detoxifying from Air Pollution (that I wrote back in the summer of 2008 when our area was surrounded by forest fires for weeks).

Forest fires are very common in the summer in our area of the Sierra Nevada foothills, so we are again being exposed to heavy amounts of smoke in the air in August 2012… here’s More Natural Medicine Recommendations for Smoke Exposure.

Also see my Pear and Rock Sugar Elixir recipe for soothing the lungs and taming a cough (with or without phlegm).