Tag Archives: Chinese Herbal Medicine

How to Obtain the Magic Healing Power of Herbs: If Only You Are Willing to Wait

When I was in college, I took a course on child education. We did an experiment with two children to test how patient they can be and what their motivation is when it comes to rewards. Our subjects were twin girls at the age of 5. They didn’t know why they were coming in or what was going to happen. Our experiment began with separating the twins into 2 different rooms. One room had our subject Stacey, and the other had her sister Valerie. They couldn’t see, or hear each other between the room which validated that they won’t copy each other and there are no other influences. This experiment we were testing is called the marshmallow test. By tempting the child with a marshmallow on a plate you explain that if they are willing to wait 10 minutes without eating the marshmallow, you will be rewarded a second marshmallow at the end of the 10 minutes. But if the subject eats the marshmallow before the 10 minutes are up, there will not be a second marshmallow.

The experiment began when the instructors explained the rules to the girls in their separate rooms and the instructors placed the giant, delicious marshmallow in front of them and then left the room. We were able to monitor them through a tinted window but they weren’t able to see us. We watched the instructors leave the room and as they did, the girls’ eyes were locked on the marshmallows. Stacey would try and distract herself, avoiding the temptation by poking the marshmallow, looking at other things, playing with her fingers. 5 minutes have gone by and she is still avoiding the temptation. She would lie on her hands just staring at the marshmallow, until the 10 minute mark hit and the instructor came and congratulated her with praise for being patient and gave her a second marshmallow. Now as for Valerie, the minute the instructor walked out, Valerie was poking and prodding the marshmallow, all her focus was on that marshmallow. She would sit and pick it up lick at it but not eat it, then place it back on the plate. As far as 7 minutes into the experiment the temptation was too much and she was ready to chow down on the delicious treat, which we could see she thoroughly enjoyed. At 10 minutes the instructor came in and asking, “What happened to your marshmallow?” as Valerie shrugged with innocence. And she clearly didn’t get a second marshmallow.

With two opposite results, we found that some kids have the patience to wait to reap the benefits of a greater reward while others want what they want then and now getting the satisfaction when they please. This shows in their personality where Stacey is more introverted, patient, and shy and Valerie more boisterous, extraverted, and is confident in what she wants. Now you may be asking what does this story has to do with herbs?

More and more over the years, patients ask me about our herbal treatments, how it works, what the process is and the most prominent question is, “how long is this going to take?” For years this question asked over and over again and the answer is always, “I don’t know.” So many factors go into the healing process it is impossible to know the exact amount of time it will take for you to get better, and anyone who is in the health care profession that claims to know how long a treatment will take or how long it will take for you to heal then they are obviously lying and fabricating the idea that your problems will go away fast which it doesn’t.

When it comes to health and specifically herbal treatments, time is your enemy or your friend whichever way you want to look at it, but time is a major factor. Everyone expects magic herbs that will all of a sudden heal their ailment in a moment’s notice. But the reality of it is this, whatever time it took you to acquire this ailment or illness is about the same amount of time it will take to cure it or even longer!

Unless you like the concept of western medicine where they will cure your symptoms by giving you magic antibiotic pills that will make things worse in the long run but take care of your current symptoms right away then go for it! There is your “magic” cure. But when it comes to herbal medicine, the herbs work to build your immune system to work with your body, not against it, and after years of mistreating, years of poor eating, and years of bad habits, it will take a long while to build that immunity back.

The herbs start by detoxifying the body. If we have to put a time frame on it, usually 3 months is about when the detoxification process is at its peak, that is if you are eating right, exercising, drinking water, sleeping well, not in stress, and taking the herbs to detox on a regular basis. In 3 months any one of the factors I mentioned can be interfered with so that time gets extended to 5-6 months. Right there you are at 6 months into the healing process.

The second part of the process is building your immune system back up. If you are still continuously making the better, healthy choices then your immunity builds up to heal whatever your health problems are. But if you are still in the detoxification process than it will still take longer for you to build the immunity.

As time drags on you are wondering, will I ever get better? The answer is up to you! It is your choices, your habits, and your willingness to achieve optimal health. You are the one that wants to get better, so work toward it! For examples sake you won’t simply get a marshmallow just because you asked for it! It requires patience.

Patience is a rather difficult virtue to obtain this day and age. Everything is so fast paced, fast food, fast cars, fast commercials, fast schedules who has time to be patient? You’ve got better things to do rather than work with your ailment or illness. But it is that very mindset that gets you in trouble in the first place. Have you ever had a project where you worked through it real fast but the outcome of the project was only half –assed and not as great as it could have been if you were to take time and do it right? The same applies to health. The more you tend to your health and the more time and effort you put into it, the more likely you will get better fully.

It’s easy to fantasize that there is a magic cure that can make things better right away, but with patience, you will find that when you work toward improving yourself, let the herbs take its course, and let time heal your wounds then and only then will you achieve optimal health. The old saying goes, good things will come to those who wait. Just wait…and you will get the marshmallow, maybe even two!

Your Kidneys and Traditional Chinese Medicine

In our April 2017 newsletter, I spoke of the five major detoxification organs which include: the liver, kidney, lungs, intestine and skin. I focused mainly on the skin and the Lungs. It recognizes the link between the skin and lungs as an overreaction to allergens.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, the liver and kidneys are the organs that “age” us. For this reason, almost all longevity herbs used in Chinese medicine are liver and kidney tonics. Without a clean, efficient liver and healthy kidneys, toxins and waste products are not filtered out of the blood, which then becomes heavier and more sluggish. This causes poor circulation and reduced oxygen and nutrient carrying capacity. As a result, tissues fed by the blood are undernourished which leads to spleen

deficiency. This month, I want to share with you about how to take better care of your Live and Kidneys.

Liver detoxification methods:

A) Eat a lot of organic vegetables and fresh local fruits every day. It’s suggested four cups of cooked vegetables and 2 cups of fruits. To prevent any female menstrual concerns it s not allowed to have any cold or raw fruits or cold drinks 2 weeks prior or during it’s menstruation. During the two weeks prior to the mensuration is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Women beware.

B) Take bitter teas with DL Pills to stimulate liver bile (Liver Flush) and to decongest the liver. The liver and the kidneys do a great job of filtering out the bad stuff and getting rid of it through our feces(poop) and urine(pee). The more it stinks the more toxic it is inside. Our newest pill #2 is meant to stabilize the liver yang (fire). It is used primarily if the eyes energy is weak, redness or swelling around the eyes. Another symptom of liver congestions is pain in the right side below the rib cage or any acid or indigestion. Liver fire also creates cravings and for women it is used for PMS (2 weeks prior to period). As you flush it is best to eat the rice congee with ginger as an intestinal cleanser in the morning. The fiber excretes the bile with stools to be eliminated. Otherwise, the toxins stay in the large intestine for too long and sticks to the intestinal wall. Bitter teas are usually prescribed, and it is recommended to take quarterly, each quarter of the year for 2 weeks. Especially if you tend to enjoy your alcohol or are regular restaurant eater.

Kidney detoxification method:

The method of promoting kidney detoxification is very simple, as long as every day you drink 6-8 8 ounce cups of clean water, the toxins from urine can be discharged. It is recommended to use a better water filter that removes fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals and more. Unfortunately, with our often busy life style, drinking clean water is not a needed life habit, rarely people drink enough water.

The signs of Kidney deficiency includes weakness and soreness of lower back, weakness in knees and legs, pain in heels, losing hair, bad teeth, tinnitus, Spermatorrhes, impotence, irregular menses, dizziness, blurred vision and premature aging and frequent urination or lack of urination. The word deficient is lack of or laboring. What can it be? Therefore we must watch what we eat or drink and know what herbs to take. Any time a deficiency is there it has caused an effect to our internal ecosystem.

There is so much conflicting information about food and diet that it becomes nearly impossible to know what the ‘best food’ to eat really is, or if certain foods are ‘good’ for you or ‘bad’ for you. In Chinese medicine, there are not ‘good’ foods or ‘bad’ foods; there are appropriate foods for each individual and inappropriate food for a specific individual, just as there are appropriate herbs for each individual depending on what their health needs are.

The woman who tells her age is either too young to have anything to lose or too old to have anything to gain.

Our health is a reflection of how we take care of ourselves. It is a lot of work but it is worth it.
Love, Juli

Detoxification Organs

We are on the final month of the five major detoxification organs: Liver, Kidney, Lungs, Skin and Intestines. The intestines are vital organs in the gastrointestinal tract of our digestive system. Their functions are to digest food and enable the nutrient released from that food to enter into the bloodstream. Our intestines consist of two major sections: the small intestine and the large intestine.

My busiest time for treating the intestines is when most people celebrate with all the barbecue meats, beers, pops, tons of fruits and massive weight gain or fatigue. It’s time to clean out yeast and detox the five major organs. You are what you eat, what goes in must come out.
All I care about is your poop and pee. It is a pound of poop a day or base it on your body weight of every 12 pounds is one ounce of poop, if you weigh 160 pounds you need 1 pound. Start by eating fiber such as: green vegetables (4 cups cooked) and low fructose fruits of (2 cups), Haiga Rice or whole grains. Please note to not add too much fiber too quickly, it can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change. Also, drink plenty of clean water. Fiber works best when it absorbs water, making your stool soft and bulky. If your tongue is really coated white especially in the mid to back of the tongue, it’s Candida. You must take the Taifu Plus and E15 (extra strength detox) to help clear it out of your system.

Digestive problems are known as a Pixu condition. Food allergies may develop when food is not digested properly and causes fermentation activated by yeast in the bowel. This process further increases the amount yeast in the digestive tract. The increase level of yeast causes the increased permeability of the wall of the intestine (leaky gut syndrome). The yeast then enters the blood stream and settles in the different parts of the body, including the lungs, the vagina, the kidneys, and the brain, and other organs. This can cause problems such as yeast infection of the vagina (candidiasis); allergy, sinus infections, asthma, meningitis, and chronic fatigue are common examples.

Eating food high in sugar or food turning into blood sugar rapidly enhances this problem. Food high in sugar causes fermentation, resulting increase of yeast population in the digestive tract. It causes the blood sugar to rise initially and drop rapidly to under the normal healthy level. The drop of blood sugar causes the production of serotonin to go down and causes depression or mania. The decrease of serotonin causes the production of histamine, asthma and headaches.

You Are What’s Important To You

Your health is a reflection of how you take care of yourself. When I got married to Kaz, he made a funny joke that, “I better not get fat.” In return, he better not become bald (please don’t tell my husband). I kept mind of it, I love myself, and the chances that I will get fat isn’t a worry. I knew that if I became fat, it was because I didn’t take care of myself, I didn’t eat right. Growing up, we only ate at home. Eating out was unheard of, and having a snack meant eating fruit or vegetables. That was my upbringing and although here and there I do eat out and snack on junk food, it isn’t a bad habit. I learned to stop and do my best to stick with our Bland Diet Sheet. Is food important to you? I think the new sensational food fads are over rated. You will constantly hear of new findings in science about diets, and diet interventions. I don’t believe in special diets like the protein diets or all fruit diets or even juicing. If weight is the problem, stop eating bad and create a balanced meal. Start changing your life style. Science has nothing to do with our eating habits, it is our own discipline. And when you don’t feel well do something about it.

Food is highly important for our own existence. For survival needs, people everywhere could eat the same food, to be measured only in calories, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins. But people of different backgrounds or cultures eat very differently. You might say that different cultures have different food choices. (The word choice is used here not necessarily in an active sense, granting the possibility that some choices could be imposed rather than selected.) We see how food habits change and seek to explore the reasons and consequences. You are what you eat! What may work well for one may be bad for others.

The Chinese diet has a long, complicated history, based on thousands of years of Chinese medicine. Chinese culture is based on the philosophy of “yin” and “yang”, as well as the “Five Elements.” From medicine, and martial arts, to dance, and cooking Chinese culture is built on a foundation of balance, harmony, contrast, and adapting to change.

Part of that balance can be implemented with food. Each organ is tied to an element and a taste. For example, bitter is tied to the heart and fire. Sweet: spleen/earth, sour: liver/wood, spicy: lungs/metal, salty: kidneys/water.) In building a healthy meal, all five of these tastes should be incorporated. That is said to keep the body in balance, which in turn protects it from disease.


The Chinese New Year 2017

The Chinese New Year is a celebration of family tradition, cultural foods and happiness. My greatest memories of this holiday are of the shared stories behind the tradition. Family tradition is knowledge that has been and continues to be passed down through the generations by visual and oral means, rather than via book learning or google searches. There is no gender divide in the role of passing on this knowledge, although it would be correct to say that it is mostly done by women and grandparents, who adopt the role of care givers in most traditional households.

Every culture in the world has their own folk medicine tradition and various herbal remedies for treating illnesses and diseases. Folk medicine is a compilation of formulae used by the general public to treat certain conditions without reference to a complete system of medicine. In some publications, folk medicines are called “secret formulae.” As a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, many patient complain about the bitter taste of the herbs, but such taste can be acquired or developed. Here in the United States, we are spoiled by our pallets. If it doesn’t taste good, we won’t want to eat it, and we salt before we taste. We have to train our kids early on that bitter is good and that it can bring healing. In addition, many conventional physicians have no knowledge or understanding of Chinese Herbs, Cupping, or Gua Sha, so these treatments are automatically assumed to be ineffective or outright bad. This is in part because TMC isn’t science proven by lab rats or clinical studies, it is proven and experienced by humans.

According to Chinese tradition, one cannot achieve a state of good health without first creating a harmonious relationship with Nature or Tradition. If you feel you’ve lost control of your health or other important parts of your life, Chinese New Year is a wonderful time to regain your balance. In the West, the New Year often brings a renewed focus on diet and exercise. In the East, however, the Chinese New Year brings a renewed perspective of the whole person: body, mind and spirit. In traditional Chinese medicine, we think of health and wellness in terms of balance. Everything — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual — is connected. Your physical well-being impacts your spirit. When I see patients who have been in chronic pain for many years, their quality of life has been severely impaired. This impacts their spirit. Many lose the sparkle in their eyes, and brightness in their voices. Disease is perceived as a disharmony (or imbalance) in the functions of the interaction between the human body and the environment. Therapy is based on which “pattern of disharmony” can be identified. It is also known to be the most difficult aspect of practicing TCM.

Taifu Plus Helps During The Holidays

With the Holidays around the corner, we need to focus on better eating habits, emotional eating and sleeping patterns. During this season, Taifu Plus is often used, as our Holiday Foods are mostly meats, a pound of butter in each dish and plenty of sugar that will definitely lower your Serotonin that contributes to depression and Candida over-load.

Have you ever wondered what Taifu means? Taifu means doctor. My father created the Taifu pills back in the 1950’s. He created them as a Digestive Aid understanding that something from the environment, some kind of toxin was a contributor of diseases. Perhaps more importantly for our current concerns, other than what we eat that causes problems, the bigger concern points to emotional contributions to the development of diseases, the need and the want, simply the “I can’t live without” addiction. CE has been created to balance the Liver and Spleen, the organs that reflect emotions.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we warn that irregular eating habits undermine the digestion and aggravate existing problems. Lack of nourishment can cause dizziness and fatigue called Spleen deficiency. The most common symptom is loss of appetite; some people feel dizzy, weak, get headaches and feel chest pains. Women are more likely to suffer than men.

Every year as we go through the change of season from Autumn to Winter. These winter months attribute to higher chances of flu, as our kids bring it home it continues to spread throughout the whole household. If it’s a virus, cook up the Cold and Flu regimen add a few slices of fresh ginger root and sweat it out. As I was growing up, grandma would perform Gua Sha she calls it a change of season and if our eyes are weak and pale face she’ll apply Kwan Loong oil and use a jade to scrape the illness away.

What is Gua Sha? Gua Sha is used to treat as well as prevent the common cold, flu, bronchitis, asthma, and pain both acute and chronic. It is also used to detoxify the body, and fevers as the scraping brings the excess heat and toxins to the surface of the body to be released. If you have coughing, we quickly combine Gua Sha with Cupping. Cupping can heal your cough and clear your lungs.

We sleep late, eat late, eating foods that is way too rich that we shouldn’t, drink all that we shouldn’t and finally it’s the stress that we put our self and others. For this coming holiday season, my gift to you is to start a new tradition.: focus on yourself, get plenty of sleep by going to bed early, eat less and spend quality time with your family and friends. Money can’t buy health and surround yourself with lots of great moments. Take great care of yourself and you may like it. I love it.

With love,

Less Yeast, Please!

Over the past 2 years that I’ve worked at Hen Sen Herbs, I feel that I have learned more about health and personal wellness than I ever would in my entire life. Before working here, I use to have a care-free life. Being a young adult, I would eat all the junk food I wanted, sleep late (2 sometimes not going to bed until 3am), and party to my little heart’s content. I use to love eating fried foods like nachos, fries, $1 burgers. And don’t even get me started on the sweets. But as I have grown, I have learned that sometimes freedom comes with a price.

As some of you may know, in previous articles I write about the harmful effects of sugar and the biological, emotional, and physical effects it may have on your body. On my journey for better health, I have learned so much about the body and the different processes it goes through to cleanse itself and maintain wellness. In one instance at our office, Juli explained one of her teachings that her father shared with her and it stuck with me and continues to be a motivation for me.

She explained, “My father taught me in order to be an herbalist; you need to know what herbs are toxic and poisonous first, and then know what herbs to combat these toxins.” Although in the context she was explaining about herbs, this teaching is important in many aspects. In this case, educating yourself on the toxins that ensue in your everyday life and how to combat them is highly important!

I was born and raised in America. Seeing that America is the #1 country in the world to consume the most sugar, doesn’t sit with me very well. I was astounded to find that the average American eats about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day (roughly) which equals to 119 grams of sugar a day. And many people have a serious misconception about sugar! Sugar is in everything nowadays from your simple Starbucks non-fat white chocolate caramel mocha with extra whip (73.8 grams of sugar about 18 teaspoons) to a single cup of Chobani Black Cherry Blended Greek Yogurt: (28 grams sugar). Most people don’t even think fruits like bananas and apples contain sugar (which they do) and combine too many fruits together to concoct a fructose smoothie. To put it simply, people are eating WAY too much sugar. And with all of this consumption, it can bring a variety of problems from obesity, to heart disease, and even cancer.

For myself, I have learned that with too much consumption of sugar, candida overload can invade your intestines causing a chain of reactions in your body. Candida isn’t something to be feared because it is not necessarily bad; it just feeds of sugar and creates too much yeast. When the body has too much yeast this is where you should raise concerns because it can cause symptoms such as acne, indigestion, bloating, fatigue, weight gain, brain fogginess and sometimes even muscle soreness. Signs of Candida include a white tongue coating, and bloated stomach, and difficult bowel movements. A white coating on the tongue is an indication of infection or bacteria which is what candida is.

There are many things that can disturb the balance of flora (good bacteria) in our bodies and cause Candida to thrive:

Taking antibiotics, which disrupt the flora in our digestive systems

Taking birth control pills, which disrupt our hormones

Eating processed foods, carbohydrates and sugar, which feed Candida

Stress, which depresses the immune system

Alcohol, which is high in sugars and yeast

The fact is that a yeast overgrowth is system wide and not simply a topical problem. It can take some time ranging from 3 weeks to 6 months to reduce the Candida level which takes dedication and discipline.

Some helpful tips to reduce candida levels are:

1. Have a support group of people who are health oriented and who you can go to for health advice and motivational support.

2. Look at the sugar content on nutritional labels. One teaspoon of cane sugar contains 4 grams of sugar. It is generally recommended that adults eat no more than 6-9 grams of sugar per day. If a single item has more than 10 grams of sugar, think twice about consuming it, or break it up into several portions.

3. Be aware of how much sugar is in common items like bananas (17 grams) or a cup of orange juice (21 grams).

Taking Taifu Plus combined with E15, and for the ladies CE, are great tools to help decrease the yeasty overgrowth. A great indication of progress is to look at your tongue and see if the white coating has receded. As the sugar season kicks in, it is important to check in with yourself to make sure that you are at the healthiest state you can be!

Take care and be aware!
Happy Autumn, Shaila

Life Advice From Juli For Living Through Stress

Sometimes you meet someone who says something that helps you in more ways than one. Like when a teacher from school told you how to solve a problem, or a grandparent who taught you about proper manners. As I get ready to celebrate my birthday, I’m fondly thinking of the lessons I have learned this past year as well as what I’ve learned over time.

This past year, my health has been well, but life still has stressful moments and challenges, and it is Juli’s advice that keeps ringing true during times of stress:

“It is what it is.” Juliana told me when I asked her why my health ended up a certain way.

You see, even though my health has improved, there are always things that come up and cause me stress in my life. And, those words, “It is what it is,” helps me to focus on the fact that I can’t change my circumstances or why things don’t turn out a certain way. All I can really do is to focus on how I respond to them or what I can do with my own actions.

How many of us experience stress while driving in traffic? How would knowing why it’s happening help us? All we can do about traffic is to be patient, and perhaps turn up the music or radio to focus on something to pass the extra time on the road.

Another thing that Juli has taught me is to pay attention to my mood. If I’m feeling angry, sad, or tired, those are like traffic lights I need to notice. If I ignore those signs too long, a source of stress could make me sick. Depending on the type of stress or causes, I can work out more, sleep more, or make sure I’m eating nourishing foods that do not put extra stress on the body. And, you know what happens when you take care of your body when it is showing you it’s stressed out? It starts to be able to handle the stress better.

While I cannot say that you won’t ever experience stress, I can say that if you take care of yourself as soon as possible, you’ll be able to handle it better. And, I’ve learned this the hard way, through experiences and Juli’s persistent reminders. No one likes being told to get more sleep or eat more vegetables, but the reason she gives us this advice is because it works.

Wishing you wellness,


Even Healers Get Weak

For a couple of weeks, my health has been getting weaker. I went to see my massage therapist, I call her grandma. She scolded me as she saw how weak I have become. Quickly, she started cupping me to loosen my whole back and as she got to my kidney region I had screamed that I can’t handle the pain, but instead of listening to me she increased the cupping. No Pain, no gain.

My problem was I don’t eat enough to drink strong tea, as it will cause me a Kidney deficiency. I am fairly slim, no fat to burn. I can’t drink or am forbidden to drink Oolong Tea and my body type can only handle Pu-erh tea or Jasmine tea as it is an tonic to my digestion. I am very thankful to have great people around me as I also need to be reminded or scolded once in a while. I am only human. Create that great circle of people around you. I am at 90% recovered and it feels great to feel good again. I love being healthy and I wish that for all my patients (my family).

Love, juli

Mother’s Day And Allergies

May is the month of Mother’s Day and spring time. Mother nature is busy focusing on the life-giving and nurturing aspects of growth The change of season is the most beautiful time of the year, our gardens are now seeded and in a few weeks the signs of life sprout as our vegetables start to grow. Watch out, the trees are blooming, the grass is growing, and runny-nosed, swollen red eyed zombies are invading the planet!

It’s allergies, it is miserable and frustrating. Pollen, aches and pain have arrived again. In Chinese Medicine, allergies and eczema is connected to Asthma. Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the air passages. The patients become sensitive to allergens like chemical vapor, dust, dust mites, pollen, jute, etc. The allergy reaction causes wheezing, difficult in breathing, and coughing.

The traditional Chinese herbal formula, Xiao Chai Hu Tang, is one of the ten famous herbal formulas in cases of cold and flu with chills and fever. The formula is adjusted depending on symptoms, and are only given when the tongue is white and yellow fur. As a prevention, UPR and AE Pills are recommended. UPR is formulated for respiratory support, in the formula the herb Huang lian is for heat in the upper part of the body like red eyes and sores in the mouth. AE Pills are for clearing the skin and anti-allergenic.

As the inflammation of the air passages are left untreated, our main organs, the Lungs and Heart become distressed, then it is time to get the herbal tea prescription. Lastly, wash off the pollen then take an Epsom salt bath to open the pores.

Take this month to focus on our own life and making nurturing changes to your health. We must nurture ourselves as nature changes the season. To all the mothers we will love and respect, Happy Mother’s Day!