May 19, 2010


Thought for the Day

May 13, 2010

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds

is America’s Sean Connery

Sean Connery

Thought for the Day

May 11, 2010

“Free Bird”
Lynyrd Skynyrd

is the redneck “Stairway to Heaven”

Led Zeppelin

Herbal Formulae that Contain Ginger

July 17, 2009

I have taken many post graduate courses on Acupuncture and Traditional Asian Medicine. So this post is a supplement to the previous post on Ginger. I think I will post on the herb and later post on formulae that contain the herbs and the indications for them.

In Asian Medicine, particularly TCM, individual herbs are for the most part not used by themselves. Herbs (and sometimes animal parts) are used together to increase the effectiveness of the ingredients or to eliminate the side effects of a single ingredient.

Ginger is considered a “warm” herb, it is used in “cold” diseases. So, if you are hot all the time or if you have symptoms of heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD then ginger should not be taken alone.

Ginger is found however in formulae for gastrointestinal disturbances and in upper respiratory problems.

The formula Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang (Pinellia Decoction to Clear the Heart [Epigastrium]) is indicated for acute and chronic gastrointestinal disorders and indigestion. It contains Pinellia, Scutellaria, Ginseng, Ginger, Licorice, Coptis, and Jujube.

Wu Mei Wan (Black Plum Pills) is taken to expel parasites, to warm the internal viscera, and to combat dysentery. The pills contain Black Plum, Asarum, Ginger, Coptis, Dang Gui (also known as Dong Quai), Aconite, Zanthoxylum, Cinnamon Twigs, Ginseng, and Phellodendron.

These formulae are usually made by an herbal medicine company in the form of pills or powders or they are made up by a Traditional Pharmacy that would be found in a “Chinatown” or “Little Tokyo” in a major city. I get the formulae from reputable companies since the FDA has passed new guidelines stating that a facility that creates the formulae has to be up to certain technical standards which needless to say amounts to tens of thousands of dollars that I don’t have.

The last formula is one you can make at home, we use it at our house and I have cooked up batches of this “soup” and have given it out to my patients. (That was before the guidelines were passed.)

Now, you will have to make it for yourself. This formula is for the common cold or upper respiratory infection which has certain symptoms: a feeling of coldness or chills, watery eyes, runny nose, clear or white mucus, pale tongue, a watery coat or a thin white coat on the tongue, stiff neck, headache; not all the symptoms have to be present but this should be the prevalent pattern.

Do not ingest this formula if you have a feeling of heat, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, stuffy nose, yellow or green mucus, red tongue, yellow coat on the tongue, dry coat on the tongue, sweating; this formula will make it worse. You have been warned.

So, here is the fun part. Take 1 scallion and dice it fairly thin and put it in a small pot. Add 2 teaspoons of prepared soybeans and 1 teaspoon of diced ginger, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let the soup sit for 10 minutes and then eat the soup.

You can use 3 scallions, 6 teaspoons of prepared soybean and 3 teaspoons of ginger for a day’s worth of soup, just put the rest in the refrigerator and heat it up later. The soup should be eaten 3 times per day for 3 days to clear up the condition so you should just probably save yourself the time and use a larger pot, 9 scallions, 6 tablespoons of prepared soybean, and 3 teaspoons of diced ginger for one pot.

The formulae are taken from the books by Dr. Geng Junying from the Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. They are published by New World Press in Beijing.

If there are any questions, please let me know in the comments section. I hope you have a great weekend. We’re going swimming at my parents’ house this weekend. 🙂

The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). The article is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician. The information provided by this website is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with your physician, and should not be construed as individual medical advice.

Herb of the Week

July 16, 2009




This will be the first post in a series that could go on forever.  I am going to post on herbs once each week.  I have been neglecting this blog and the 2 people who have ever read it.  So, here goes…

Ginger, Zingiberis officinale or Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens, is a root vegetable that has been cultivated for at least 3000 years.  It was originally native to Southeast Asia and is related to turmeric and cardamom (which will be written about in future posts.)

First of all, ginger is useful in relieving nausea and vomiting as seen in the April 2005 Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  The study also showed that it was safe to take ginger during pregnancy.

Another study showed that ginger relieved nausea caused by chemo theraphy by 40% in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study funded by the National Cancer Institute.

In the study, 644 cancer patients were randomly assigned to one of four groups. They were given a placebo, 500 mg of ginger, 1,000 mg of ginger, or 1,500 mg of ginger in addition to antiemetic medication to prevent vomiting. The participants took the ginger for six days, starting three days before the start of their chemo cycles.

Those who took 500 mg to 1,000 mg of ginger a day had the best results. This was rated on a subjective scale from not nauseated to extremely nauseated. 500 mg of ginger is equal to a quarter teaspoon of ground dried ginger.

Ginger has anti inflammatory properties. Ginger has compounds in it known as gingerols (clever name, no?) These substances are very helpful in protecting from free radical damage and in this study from the February 2005 Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine it was shown that ginger combated the production of the pro-inflammatory chemicals that were produced by the body’s own cartilage and immune cells.

I’m going to try to keep the word count down on these posts as I don’t want to bore you with the details. But how do you incorporate more ginger in your diet to combat the gastrointestinal disturbances and/or the inflammation that may afflict you, the reader? I’m glad you asked. 🙂

Here are some links to one of my favorite celebrity chefs, Martin Yan and his recipes:

Forest Garden Stir Fry
This recipe also contains garlic and chili peppers which I will write about in weeks to come. These herbs also have potent health benefits.

Mrs. Yan’s Weekly Chicken Soup
This recipe also contains garlic but also ginkgo nuts (if you want to use them) and Chinese Wolfberries (gou qi zi) which I definitely will be writing about later as they are one of the best antioxidants found in nature.

This recipe looks really good, I’m going to have to have the Missus make it:
New Beijing Lamb
This recipe contains ginger, garlic, and vinegar. I will write about vinegar sometime later.

Here is a recipe from Chef Ming Tsai:
Gingered Beef with Leeks and Asparagus
The leeks and asparagus are also very good for you as well. I will get to them in future posts.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions for me.

The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). The article is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician. The information provided by this website is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with your physician, and should not be construed as individual medical advice.

July 6, 2009



Homeopathic ER

July 6, 2009

Catholics and the Election

November 5, 2008

As most of us know, there was an election yesterday and Barack Obama won the presidency. As many of us know, there were not a few bishops who spoke out and informed Catholics that they may not vote for an Pro-Abortion Candidate. One bishop, His Grace Archbishop Chaput of Denver, CO spoke the loudest during this campaign.
Archbishop Chaput

I have read that Catholics who went to Mass weekly voted for Senator McCain over President-Elect Obama 54% to 45%. I wonder how many are placing their immortal souls in danger for voting this way when our bishops have been clear that one may not vote for such a candidate with out proportionate reasons. And, to paraphrase Archbishop Chaput, what campaign promise is proportionally greater than the horrid slaughter of 4000 babies per day?

I did some searching and found which states have the highest proportion of Catholics in their population. Here they are from the USCCB website:

1. Rhode Island- 59.5%
2. Massachusetts- 42%
3. New Jersey- 41%
4. New York- 37.1%
5. Connecticut- 36.6%
6. Nevada- 32.3%
7. Illinois- 30.1%
8. Delaware- 29.7%
9. Wisconsin- 29.5%
10. California- 28.6%

Guess who these states elected to the Presidency?

President-Elect Obama

Why did I choose percentage over total population? Because to win a state, one has to have the majority of votes, one has to have a higher percentage over the other candidate to win the electoral votes of the state.

Kurt Warner at the Dome

November 3, 2008

I have always liked Kurt Warner. He is a class act. He does great work for charity and puts his money where his mouth is.
Kurt in Rams Uniform
He is unstoppable at the Dome in St. Louis.

Unfortunately, he plays for the Cardinals, and the Cardinals are from Phoenix!
Kurt Warner in Cardinals Uniform

He threw for over 300 yards and for 2 touchdowns. The Rams on the other hand, did not fair so well.

If God Doesn’t Destroy…

August 9, 2008

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If God doesn’t destroy (your least favorite city) He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!” I’m not sure if this is actually a prudent thing to say, or even think.

Here is the story on why God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah:

And the Lord said: The cry of Sodom and Gomorrha is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous.

I will go down and see whether they have done according to the cry that is come to me: or whether it be not so, that I may know. And they turned themselves from thence, and went their way to Sodom: but Abraham as yet stood before the Lord. And drawing nigh he said: Wilt thou destroy the just with the wicked? If there be fifty just men in the city, shall they perish withal? and wilt thou not spare that place for the sake of the fifty just, if they be therein? Far be it from thee to do this thing, and to slay the just with the wicked, and for the just to be in like case as the wicked, this is not beseeming thee: thou who judgest all the earth, wilt not make this judgment.

And the Lord said to him: If I find in Sodom fifty just within the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake. And Abraham answered, and said: Seeing I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord, whereas I am dust and ashes. What if there be five less than fifty just persons? wilt thou for five and forty destroy the whole city? And he said: I will not destroy it, if I find five and forty. And again he said to him: But if forty be found there, what wilt thou do? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of forty. Lord, saith he, be not angry, I beseech thee, if I speak: What if thirty shall be found there? He answered: I will not do it, if I find thirty there.

Seeing, saith he, I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord. What if twenty be found there? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty. I beseech thee, saith he, be not angry, Lord, if I speak yet once more: What if ten should be found there? And he said: I will not destroy it for the sake of ten. And the Lord departed, after he had left speaking to Abraham: and Abraham returned to his place.
Genesis 18:20-33

Notice that Father Abraham pleads with the Lord not to destroy the cities. This almost sounds like a story line in a joke, “what if 50… what if 30… etc…” Do we plead with the Lord not to destroy San Francisco, or do we secretly relish the thought of another “Big One” in that city especially when it hosts some of the most Anti-Christian displays in the world? What about New York, Las Vegas, Hollywood, New Orleans or my favorite, Chicago? 😉

Also re-read the story, the Lord says He will not destroy the cities if he can find 50, 45, 30, 20, or 10 righteous people therein. He only can find Lot and his little family, these are the only righteous people in Sodom-Gomorrah. And, as we read later, they really weren’t that great after all either.

Do you really want to know why these cities are not being destroyed?

Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in New York

Orthodox St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco

The Little Sisters of the Poor who operate in San Francisco

Need I go on, or do you get the point? We must remember that there are more than 50 righteous people in almost every city in this country. We should pray that these people produce fruit 30, 60, 100 fold and grow like a mustard seed.

Then maybe your/my favorite city will not be the new embodiment of the wicked cities of old like Sodom, Gomorrah, Tyre, and Sidon but “a city set on a hill.” A model for all others to follow. So yes, even this “downstater” thinks that there are at least 50 righteous people in Chicago 😉 . And I pray that they transform the whole of Chicagoland.