Archive for July, 2009

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.

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Herb of the Week

July 16, 2009

Ginger

Ginger

Ginger

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

欽頌榮福,天主聖父,及聖子,及聖神,吾願其獲光榮。
闕初如何,今玆亦然,以迨永遠,及世之世。亞孟。

Trinity

Homeopathic ER

July 6, 2009