Tag Archives: Chinese

Summer Survival: Purines and what they mean

Year after year we look forward to Seattle Summer. Finally the rain has stopped and sun is back. All the summer health problems are back, from the allergies, the mosquito bites and worst of all the inflammation.

Purines are a natural substance found in some foods. When your body digests purine, a waste product called uric acid is produced. When excess uric acid in the bloodstream builds too quickly or can’t be eliminated fast enough, it is deposited as needle-shaped crystals in the tissues of the body, including joints, causing intense pain (experienced as Gout). Increased meat and seafood intake is associated with approximately a 50 percent higher risk. Those in their 40’s or 50’s, when their ability to metabolise purine starts to deteriorate, eating a lot of purine-rich foods – like red meat, organ meat, certain fish and vegetables – over a short period of time increased the risk of a (gout)inflammation attack almost five fold compared to the risk when eating fewer purine-rich foods.

As you are going to all the summer fairs, stay away from the deep fried elephant eyes, burgers, barbecues, hot dogs and the famous deep fried twinkie. That is a recipe for disaster. I can’t wait to see you come in and get the Taifu Plus Pills and DTF Pills.

How about fruits? What about high-fructose fruits? You should avoid apples, cherries, mangoes, watermelon, peaches and pears. You can safely have moderate amounts of low-fructose fruits, such as honeydew melon, cantaloupe, bananas, blueberries, strawberries and oranges, if they are well spaced throughout the day. After 4pm, stop eating an all fruit diet because it is a disaster for raising your blood sugar level. All fruits are not recreated equal.

A few weeks ago I visited Vancouver, BC with my mom and aunt. Mom got so excited to speak to a great friend there that practices Chinese Herbs. Mom runs to him showing him her hands, expressing the pain from the inflammation. The healer looks at me and then with a very serious look towards my mom. Too much high purine level foods, stop the roast pork (compulsive eating, eat on the go), deep fried foods. If you stop eating all the roasted meats, you will lessen the inflammation and crystallization in the joints that creates pain. It’s funny how as I said the same to my mom she ignored me and when Uncle spoke she actually learns the lesson about her bad habit.

All fruit, all protein, no-carb diet, too much for short period of time, only causes the body to over stress the digestive tract. Moderation and know your body type.

Love, Juli

No Reset Button For Carpal Tunnel

Since it’s creation in the early 60’s, video games have been seen as a common hobby for both kids and adults alike. Often branded as a hobby for “nerds” or nonathletic individuals, video games have grown into something more than a standard at home activity.

Competitive gaming (Esports) once seen as an underground community, has grown to a now multi million dollar industry and even has articles in ESPN branding video games as a now, legitimate sport. Sponsors such as Redbull, Gatorade, and even the phone company HTC now offer contracts to competitive gamers making this once childhood fantasy, a reality. As a competitive gamer myself I’m happy that Esports has grown to such heights. Even I know however, these companies won’t just sponsor anyone.

I follow and play a game know as Super Smash Brothers Melee. Since it’s existence in 2001, this game’s competitive community is now bigger than ever. With it’s fast paced movement and style, people always ask the question. “How can a player move that quickly?” When tested, top professionals such as Adam “Armada” Lindgren and Aziz “Hax$” Al-Yami can average up to 900 inputs per minute. What may look like common “button mashing” to the average viewer are actually precisely timed inputs to make the players character move so quickly and efficiently. Inputs are the amount of times a player taps a button to cause an action in the game. With each match lasting around three to four minutes and played in sets of 3 and 5, one can imagine the toll it can take on ones hands by moving so quickly. I mentioned earlier how the game has been played for over 15 years with new and old players still going strong. As for the older players however, the toll of using such quick reflexes for years, is finally catching up to them.

Hax$ first got onto the world’s radar in 2008 by placing 9th at his first major tournament. At just 14 years old, he proved to be a rising star placing within the top 8 at almost every tournament (Participants ranging from 300-1,000+). In January 2015 seven years after making his debut he was forced to take his first hiatus from the game due to a nagging hand injury. An injury that would later develop into Carpal Tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness, tingling, and other problems in your hands due to pressure within the nerves of your wrists. The name strives from the area that your tendons run through and connect to your wrists. There are many causes for it as it has links to arthritis, diabetes, and even pregnancy. Unfortunately for Hax$ he developed carpal tunnel due to the excessive and repetitive inputs from his fingers causing his carpal tunnel to swell up and make the tunnel tighter. Seeing it as just a nagging hand pain, Hax$ took a hiatus from the game to ice and rest his hands. Three months later he returned to the scene for no more than a handful of tournaments before he found the pain coming back. Concerned about the constant pain, Hax was then diagnosed with Carpal tunnel syndrome and spent over half a year icing his wrists, not touching the game at all, and even wearing a splint to help heal his tendons before they got worse and his nerves would develop long term damage. Finally after months of treatment Hax$ returned in April and got 3rd at his first National since his diagnosis proving he could still hang with the best. This also however may mark the end of the road for Hax$ as he announced that his hands were in so much pain during the tournament he has no choice but to get surgery. It was a success but we all question when and if he may return to full time competition again.

Hax$ isn’t the only one concerned with retirement from their profession. Players all around the Esports community have expressed concern about their own hand pains and there are even talks of having on sight doctors at tournaments. Much like the NFL’s concerns with concussion/brain damage from excessive head trauma, Esports competitors although just playing a game, are at more health risk than one might think. I fear the day I develop such injuries, but when and if I do, I’ll remember the story of Aziz “Hax$” Al-Yami and the precautions I shall take.

It’s always good whether you’re a gamer or not, to ice, stretch, and flex your tendons throughout the day. A simple exercise you can do to strengthen your hand is to wrap a rubber band around your finger tips and stretch each finger 5-10 times. Take breaks often, and take time to flex and extend your wrists. Make sure your hands stay in a neutral position when typing on a computer, also keep your hands fresh and loose and this will definitely be better for you in the long run. So remember, video games are fun for everyone, just remember to give your hands a break, they deserve it more than you know.

~Bryan

Surviving Mosquito Season

Seattle has definitely hit the record high for rainfall, the endless soggy weather for winter 2015-2016.

Spring is now upon us, trees are blooming, the grass is growing and so are those runny noses, swollen red eyes from allergies.

Allergies are miserable and frustrating. Pollen, aches and pain have arrived again and the scariest of all is the warm weather, which puts small creatures like the mosquito is back in action. Mosquitoes that hibernate need warm weather to become active, while mosquitoes that spend the winter as eggs need rainfall to flood the eggs and make them hatch.

Since Mosquitos loves me and my kids, those tiny bites are brutal. They itch like crazy, then turns into a big red inflamed patch. Takes days to clear up. Finally bouncing around the chair itching the bite I use Ultra Potent Ping On Ointment – an effective mosquito repellent and stops itching. Before you get out there, apply the Ping On Ointment so you won’t itch, it’s that season. I have noticed a lot of media about different virus that is from mosquito like dengue fever and Zika Virus.

Dengue fever is an acute infectious disease caused by a virus and transmitted by the yellow fever mosquito. It usually occurs in tropical or subtropical climates. Varies the Zika Virus spreads through mosquito bites.

Using traditional Chinese diagnostics and herb therapy, the results are better than using modern drug therapy (no specific therapy).

Let’s prevent all the itching and the virus transmission (that is why I recommend Ping On Ointment).

In Wellness,
Juli

The Year Of The Monkey

If you could see into the future, your health and well-being would be top of the list. What’s your Chinese Zodiac Sign? The 12 animal signs, representing the year of birth are the most commonly known aspect of Chinese astrology, but it’s just one small piece of the puzzle. Each sign is heavily influenced by one of the five elements: water, fire, metal, wood and earth.

On February 8th, we celebrate Chinese New Year and the year of the Monkey. The cheeky Monkey is considered to be witty and protective. Issues with the respiratory system and small intestine are most common with this metal sign.

Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper cuts with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.

Gong Hei Fat Choi roughly translated as “Congratulations and be prosperous, now give me a red envelope!” – in hopes of bringing luck. The red envelope almost always contains money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred. Children and teenagers jokingly use the phrase. Children are taught to be in their best behavior and as they approach adults and say,”Gong Hei Fat Choi” with a big smile they are given a red envelope. It is a important celebration.

Happy New Year!!!

Monkey see monkey do! For this New Year my focus is to give more directions from better eating habits, preventative herbal remedies, and most important is to create daily exercise routines that will bring greatness to our health and stronger immune system. My father has once said that to not under estimate our bodies ability to heal, we make our patients body strong therefore our body can fight off diseases and heal. The best herbalist is the ones that can prevent illnesses.

My patients are strong and we practice together, we will build a strong village and not only that, we will have good health, even for the younger ones.

Happy New Years, Juli

Constipation: Traditional Chinese Herbal Cure

Constipation is a common and often distressing problem. Constipation is a symptom with many causes. These causes are of two types: obstructed defecation and colonic slow transit. About 50% of patients evaluated for constipation at hospitals have obstructed defecation. This type of constipation has mechanical and functional causes. Causes of colonic slow transit constipation include diet, hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism, side effects of medications, rarely heavy metal toxicity and those with kidney disease, heart problems, bowel obstructions or inflamed colons.

Women and people over age 65 are especially affected, about 42 million people at a time, or 15% of the population, have constipation. But it’s probably not news to most people that almost everyone suffers from it from time to time. Because constipation is a symptom, not a disease, effective treatment of constipation may require first determining the cause. Treatments include changes in dietary habits, laxatives, enemas, biofeedback, and in particular situations surgery may be required.

Let’s talk about Taifu Pills, the naturally occurring stimulant laxatives that are sufficiently safe and gentle for general use involve one basic category of chemical compounds, known as Anthraquinone. The Anthraquinones often occur in plants in the form of glycosides. These compounds are found in Rhubarb root (the prominent Chinese laxative), Senna leaf and pod (a Middle Eastern laxative), Cascara Sagrada (a North American laxative), Buckthorn (also known as Frangula; a European laxative), and Aloe (known worldwide). The use of laxatives to treat acute constipation has been mentioned throughout the literature of the world’s various herbal traditions. Acute constipation may occur as the result of a disease or a change of diet.  In the history of Chinese medicine, use of Rhubarb for acute constipation is firmly established in relation to the “yangming” phase of a disease; this is where the body fluids become dry as the result of a feverish condition; the intestines become dry, and the person suffers from constipation. Mirabilitum (Ingredient in E15 Pills) is often used along with rhubarb in the Chinese treatments for acute constipation. Emodin is the most widely occurring Anthraquinone in medicinal herbs. Valuable medicinal aspects of Emodin have been proclaimed on the basis of laboratory research, including: potential cancer prevention activity (blocking the growth of newly transformed cells); antiviral activity; antioxidant properties; gastric ulcer protection; liver protection; promoting blood circulation; inhibiting autoimmune attack; and benefiting the kidneys (inhibiting undesired proliferation of cells). Rhubarb root is a dominant herbal therapy in China for treatment of nephritis and prevention of renal failure.

Colonoscopy was developed as a routine diagnostic tool during the 1970s and it was soon found that many people had a black or dark brown intestinal wall; the condition was named Melanosis Coli.

A debate over the significance of Melanosis Coli in relation to Anthraquinone use soon arose, and it persists to this day. On the one side, many doctors have interpreted this condition as one of simple staining of the intestinal wall by Anthraquinone residues, and viewed it as a harmless and reversible condition. Other doctors have seen it as more than just staining, as possibly involving significant damage to the colon wall, and considered that it might be a precursor to more serious intestinal problems, such as colon cancer. The majority of articles written about Melanosis Coli indicate that the condition arises after years of frequent use of Anthraquinone laxatives and is not associated with harm. Our Herbal products are made with the respect geared towards prevention of illnesses and today my goal is to continue to educate my patients with the art of Chinese Traditional Healing. We at Hen Sen Herbs are referred as Healers and the Art of Healing is not lost.

Love, Juli

Finding A Healthy Balance During Seasonal Changes

For thousands of years, Chinese philosophy has held that good health is a result of five elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, being in harmony. Getting in touch with the elements can help us find better balance, in our bodies and our lives, and help us feel more connected to the natural world.

Earth is unique among the five elements. Earth is linked to times of change throughout the year: those few weeks between seasons in which autumn changes to winter, winter to spring and spring to summer. The Earth element is associated with the spleen, pancreas and stomach, the organs of digestion and nutrition. The stomach receives the food you eat and starts to break it down. The spleen and pancreas then distribute the nutrients throughout the body. The pancreas also regulates your blood-sugar levels.

Also pay attention to how you eat, not just what you eat. Eating calmly and slowly and having reasonably sized portions will let your stomach and spleen work best. A good rule of thumb is eating until 70% full, and try not to snack before the main meal to avoid over eating. After eating, take some time to relax and move the body, because movement aids the digestion, assimilation and distribution of nutrients. Thanksgiving is in season, we should take time to make sure everything pure and necessary is used and maximized, and that anything unnecessary or wasteful is eliminated.

I also wanted to touch base with the change from Autumn (Metal) to Winter (Water). Autumn is associated with the Lung and the Large Intestine which both deal with purification and elimination. The lungs take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide through breathing. The large intestine absorbs water and completes the absorption of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. It also holds and eliminates waste.

Eating vegetables and whole grains is necessary for our bodies year-round. Because they serve as cleansers for the intestines, however, they have added significance in autumn. A balanced autumn diet consists of hearty, rich and warm foods, including meats, cooked nuts, fish and oils.

Sauerkraut (natural fermented probiotic) like other preserved foods, provides a source of nutrients during the winter and restores gut flora. Root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, garlic and onion, are particularly healthful metal foods. Ginger promotes good digestion and elimination. Do weight training to make good use of muscles, building from the protein you crave as winter comes.

You might also try practicing a form of breathing meditation for the health of your lungs. Prepare for the change of weather and store up on our cold and flu regimen. Focus on relaxation in the evening hours as you get ready for sleep.

Change is inevitable, but we must try to embrace this to thrive on this roller coaster of transition. Let’s have a ride of your life, and I will meet you on top!       

Love, Juli

Kung Fu Stretches To Help You Get Through Your Day

Do you ever suffer from unbelievable back pain, joint or muscle aches, or even muscle tension? Being only 20 years old, I’ve had numerous jobs where the main point of the job is heavy lifting, standing all day, constant walking back and forth, or even sitting all day. My back, as I have come to find, has many years of stress put on it. The most tension has been embedded deep in my shoulder blades and mainly my lower back. Highly active jobs can really take a toll on your body, and after years of being in the workforce, I decided it’s about time I do something right for my body. So, I got my first professional massage.

It was magnificent at first. Laying on the long massage table, getting my back rubbed gently and listening to smooth jazz, then all of a sudden, “OW! OH, MY GOD!”  The masseuse takes her elbow and grinds it into my shoulder as if she was kneading the knot right out of me. After the all intensive body manipulation, it was time to bring on the cups! For those who don’t know what cupping is, cupping is a form of Chinese therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of circulating the blood flow in your body. On a side note, personally I like the after dots that come with this massage. Honestly, how many people do you know that wear polka-dots on their body? Not very many I bet! Anyway, the cupping was a way better experience than the body massage. My whole back was stretched by these small cups and each cup was on a specific pressure point, evaporating the toxins that have inhibited my body for so many years. When I was relaxed enough, I started breathing deeply and let out all that pain, but it got me thinking. What could I have done to prevent this pain? What can I do now that will help my body feel better so I won’t have to feel this pain again? The solution was simple. In fact it was so simple that it has been easily over-looked my whole life!

Stretching of course! It’s so easy and it has so many benefits. Just taking a little time away from your busy day is highly essential for your body. The constant go, go, go adds stress to all parts of your body, not just muscle pain. It causes a domino effect on your system because your whole body is linked together. For         example, when your back hurts, it sends stress signals to your brain, which makes you feel bad, so it affects your mode negatively which in turn, causes strain on your head.

Some have time for the gym and some don’t, but you don’t need a gym membership to stretch. The benefits of stretching include helping improve flexibility which increases your range of motion (remember the days when you use to do cart-wheels or touch your toes?). Stretching corrects posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away

from their intended position due to the extended amount of time on our computers; many of us have tight chest muscles which pull the shoulders and head forward, leaving us with hunched shoulders. Stretching has the potential to decrease injury by preparing muscles for work before activity. It increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness!

It even does wonders for your mind. In a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) of stretching calms the mind, provides a mental break, and gives your body a chance to recharge. It’s important to take time for yourself and let your mind relax. With all the different events that prolong through the day, that 10-15 minutes for yourself is vital.

Let’s try this relaxing exercise to help begin the stretching process. Take your hands and place them gently on your stomach (above the belly button, right below your chest). Now take a deep breath in for 4 counts (breathe in 1.2 .3 .4) and then breathe out for 4 counts (breathe out 1. 2. 3 .4). This should be really slow and your shoulders should feel relaxed and not tense at all. Do this 5 times. Now doesn’t that feel a whole lot better? Just doing this calms your heart rate and regulates your breathing which brings oxygen to your lungs. Now you are ready for some stretches! These stretches have been practiced by ancient Chinese farmers for centuries,  with kung fu martial arts, and in yoga.

Stretch 1: Exercising the Shoulders, Arms Lower Back

Forward Stretch

Forward Stretch

Starting Position: Find somewhere to balance yourself like the couch arm rest or your office desk, take one large step back away but to a point where you can still reach it. Spread your feet  shoulder lengths apart.

Movements: Bend forward reaching toward whatever your support is. Keep your head facing straight (look at a specific object and keep your focus on that), and really stretch those arms. You should also feel a stretching tension in your legs and lower back. After you stretch forward come back to the beginning position.  Do this stretch 10 times, but with each stretch take your time and really feel it. (see figure 1)

Stretch 2: Circling Single Arm

Starting Position: Take a left “bow step” with the left leg bent at the knee and the right leg stretched behind and place left hand on left knee. While the right arm hangs at the side. Or if you don’t want to look like a weirdo in the office/and or can’t bend too far, just stand up straight with your feet shoulder length apart and place your left hand on your hip.

Arm Stretch

Arm Stretch

Movements: Move right arm forward, upward and backward in a circular motion, counter clockwise. Then reverse the direction and go clockwise. Do each direction 10 times. Repeat these movements with the left arm but with your right foot bowed or with your right hand on your hip. Be sure to keep your arms straight and your shoulders relaxed. (see figure 2)

Stretch 3: Exercising Leg Pull

Knee stretch

Knee Stretch

Starting Position: Lean against the wall if you have to, this stretch is easy, place one hand against the wall and  simply lift one leg behind you and balance on the other. This stretch mainly focuses on your thighs.  Stretch for 1 minute. Do the same processes with the other leg (see figure 3)

Stretch 4: Exercising Leg Stretch

Starting Position: Stretch your leg out and place it on top of your nearest stable support (chair, table). Then stretch down to touch your toes, its not crucial to touch them if you can’t but eventually you will be able to. Do this stretch 10 times.

Front Leg Stretch

Front Leg Stretch

These are just a couple of basic stretches that will help your body immensely. Just keep in mind that with each stretch, you are doing your body a favor. These stretches won’t take too much time out of your day. Find a quite spot for yourself and stretch out that tension. Remember to breathe deeply, and while you stretch imagine pushing all that negative energy out of your body. Keep your body stress free and happy!

– Shaila Suleman

What You Didn’t Know About The Way You Eat May Be The Cause Of Your Digestive Problem

Digestive disorders are extremely common, not only in the United States, but also in any parts of the world where modern Western way of living dominates. Unless you have your own farm (by the way, that’s one of my dreams), grow your own vegetables and fruits, raise your own livestock, our access to high quality 100% organic foods are very limited. If you are lucky enough, you may have a resource to acquire high quality food on the daily basis without worrying about your bank account. But your busy lifestyle may prevent you from preparing and eating the kind of food you should be eating. This is why many people end up dining out more than they should, or eating store-bought processed foods. It has become normal part of daily life to eat the food on the run or consuming food while you are working. And not surprisingly, a stressful lifestyle causes you to crave for richer, saltier and sweeter unhealthy foods. I must admit, I am certainly guilty of this problem.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the way or the spirit in which food is eaten is very important. While eating, you must focus on the activity of eating without any distraction. Worrying and stressing will cause the harm to your body. You should also take your time and really enjoy your meal. Too much talking can disrupt digestion. For example, my kids tend to talk too much, asking me so many question while I am trying to eat. I found myself very stressed and not enjoying the food at all. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I believe eating alone slowly in silence is so much better for your digestion than busy talking or being distracted by others. So, I trained my kids not to even bother me while I eat after long day of work. I usually get bombarded with their stories and questions afterwards, but that’s okay.

Returning right back to stressful work or physical activities will greatly inhibit the digestive process. Again, I am very much guilty of this crime. I’ve struggled so many years. And I’ve definitely noticed my digestion has become very weak over the years because of eating while at work or stressing right after eating (or maybe I am just getting old.) My solution is to skip a lunch. No eating at work. Period. But, to be honest that’s not working out quite well either. It seems that “Stress” somehow gives you permission to do whatever is harmful to your digestive system – like eating junk snacks while working, or drinking alcohol after work (to release stress). I guess you already know what I am talking about here. We all know it’s bad for you, but can’t seem to control or break this habitual pattern.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the chronic digestive disorder as the result of food stagnation. The word ‘Dampness’ is often used to describe the food stagnation. Feeling of fullness in the stomach, bad breath, acid reflux, belching are the symptom of this Dampness in the digestive system. One of many causes of Dampness (food stagnation) is the diet mainly consists of Cold foods. Eating raw foods like salad or fruits is a typical example. Many patients here at Hen Sen Herbs claims that they eat very healthy because they eat nothing but salads and other raw foods. They believe that raw food contains much more live enzymes to aid digestion, which true, and no argument there. However, what they do not understand is that our digestive system is like ‘Fire’ that cooks the food to break down into small bits our body can convert into energy. Just imagine a pot full of cold foods (inside of your tummy) being cooked by Fire (energy to breakdown foods). It will take a lot longer and a lot more energy to breakdown foods into small digestible pieces. So, consuming Cold foods is like a pouring water into Fire. It immediately puts strain on your digestive system and causes food stagnation. If your body is young and strong – full of Fire, or living in the very warm climate, your body can handle Cold foods without a problem. But, if your health is less than ideal, or living in the cold climate, you should definitely avoid Cold foods altogether. Watermelon is the typical example. It should be consumed when your body is overheated during very hot weather. Cooling property of the watermelon effectively cool off your body. However, if you do this when the weather is cold, the Fire (digestive system)will be put out immediately. It will result in harming your digestive system, and you will be more susceptible to the common illness. Worrying about eating more enzyme rich foods is understandable. But if you are harming your digestive system with Cold foods (not to mention drinking Cold beverages), your body’s ability to produce enzymes is greatly compromised. So, your focus should be first to protect and reduce the strain on your digestive system with warm easily digestible foods so that it can function at an optimal level. In order to compensate for the loss of enzyme from cooking, fermented food should be always be added to your regular diet. Look at any traditional diet of countries with highest longevity. Fermented foods are always a staple of their diet. Even a hamburger come with tiny slice of fermented food tucked in between the buns: the Pickle. Unfortunately, the amount of fermented foods that average Americans consume is way too low, and typical American foods are too acidic or hard to digest.

Fire Energy required for digestion.

Fire Energy required for digestion.

There are so many other factors you should consider when it comes to maintaining a healthy strong digestive system. With so much information is available online, and it can be very confusing. And, many of them are misleading. So, be very careful. If you really want to learn about your health and digestion., go find someone who is 100 years old or older, and study how he eats, sleeps, exercises and everything about his lifestyle. I bet you will learn so much more about digestion and health overall than just reading research papers. If you can’t find such a person, next closest person you can depend on is experienced Chinese herbalist who have acquired wealth of historical knowledge complied by past great herbalists over many centuries. You need someone who understand the truth about human health. The truth that withstand the test of time. In other words, what was good for human health centuries ago should still be true today, and will be true centuries from now. So, stop chasing current fad diet or reading scientific researches that deals with only small aspect of human health. Good luck.

P.S. If you are too lazy to cook healthy meals or actually dread eating healthy food. Make sure to take Taifu Plus regularly. It will help break down nasty hard to digest junk out of your system. Less strain on your digestive system, better it is for your overall health!

Digestive disorders are extremely common, not only in the United States, but also in any parts of the world where modern Western way of living dominates. Unless you have your own farm (by the way, that’s one of my dreams), grow your own vegetables and fruits, raise your own livestock, our access to high quality 100% organic foods are very limited. If you are lucky enough, you may have a resource to acquire high quality food on the daily basis without worrying about your bank account. But your busy lifestyle may prevent you from preparing and eating the kind of food you should be eating. This is why many people end up dining out more than they should, or eating store-bought processed foods. It has become normal part of daily life to eat the food on the run or consuming food while you are working. And not surprisingly, a stressful lifestyle causes you to crave for richer, saltier and sweeter unhealthy foods. I must admit, I am certainly guilty of this problem.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the way or the spirit in which food is eaten is very important. While eating, you must focus on the activity of eating without any distraction. Worrying and stressing will cause the harm to your body. You should also take your time and really enjoy your meal. Too much talking can disrupt digestion. For example, my kids tend to talk too much, asking me so many question while I am trying to eat. I found myself very stressed and not enjoying the food at all. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I believe eating alone slowly in silence is so much better for your digestion than busy talking or being distracted by others. So, I trained my kids not to even bother me while I eat after long day of work. I usually get bombarded with their stories and questions afterwards, but that’s okay.

Taifu Plus for digestive aid.

Taifu Plus for digestive aid.

Returning right back to stressful work or physical activities will greatly inhibit the digestive process. Again, I am very much guilty of this crime. I’ve struggled so many years. And I’ve definitely noticed my digestion has become very weak over the years because of eating while at work or stressing right after eating (or maybe I am just getting old.) My solution is to skip a lunch. No eating at work. Period. But, to be honest that’s not working out quite well either. It seems that “Stress” somehow gives you permission to do whatever is harmful to your digestive system – like eating junk snacks while working, or drinking alcohol after work (to release stress). I guess you already know what I am talking about here. We all know it’s bad for you, but can’t seem to control or break this habitual pattern.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the chronic digestive disorder as the result of food stagnation. The word ‘Dampness’ is often used to describe the food stagnation. Feeling of fullness in the stomach, bad breath, acid reflux, belching are the symptom of this Dampness in the digestive system. One of many causes of Dampness (food stagnation) is the diet mainly consists of Cold foods. Eating raw foods like salad or fruits is a typical example. Many patients here at Hen Sen Herbs claims that they eat very healthy because they eat nothing but salads and other raw foods. They believe that raw food contains much more live enzymes to aid digestion, which true, and no argument there. However, what they do not understand is that our digestive system is like ‘Fire’ that cooks the food to break down into small bits our body can convert into energy. Just imagine a pot full of cold foods (inside of your tummy) being cooked by Fire (energy to breakdown foods). It will take a lot longer and a lot more energy to breakdown foods into small digestible pieces. So, consuming Cold foods is like a pouring water into Fire. It immediately puts strain on your digestive system and causes food stagnation. If your body is young and strong – full of Fire, or living in the very warm climate, your body can handle Cold foods without a problem. But, if your health is less than ideal, or living in the cold climate, you should definitely avoid Cold foods altogether. Watermelon is the typical example. It should be consumed when your body is overheated during very hot weather. Cooling property of the watermelon effectively cool off your body. However, if you do this when the weather is cold, the Fire (digestive system)will be put out immediately. It will result in harming your digestive system, and you will be more susceptible to the common illness. Worrying about eating more enzyme rich foods is understandable. But if you are harming your digestive system with Cold foods (not to mention drinking Cold beverages), your body’s ability to produce enzymes is greatly compromised. So, your focus should be first to protect and reduce the strain on your digestive system with warm easily digestible foods so that it can function at an optimal level. In order to compensate for the loss of enzyme from cooking, fermented food should be always be added to your regular diet. Look at any traditional diet of countries with highest longevity. Fermented foods are always a staple of their diet. Even a hamburger come with tiny slice of fermented food tucked in between the buns: the Pickle. Unfortunately, the amount of fermented foods that average Americans consume is way too low, and typical American foods are too acidic or hard to digest.

There are so many other factors you should consider when it comes to maintaining a healthy strong digestive system. With so much information is available online, and it can be very confusing. And, many of them are misleading. So, be very careful. If you really want to learn about your health and digestion., go find someone who is 100 years old or older, and study how he eats, sleeps, exercises and everything about his lifestyle. I bet you will learn so much more about digestion and health overall than just reading research papers. If you can’t find such a person, next closest person you can depend on is experienced Chinese herbalist who have acquired wealth of historical knowledge complied by past great herbalists over many centuries. You need someone who understand the truth about human health. The truth that withstand the test of time. In other words, what was good for human health centuries ago should still be true today, and will be true centuries from now. So, stop chasing current fad diet or reading scientific researches that deals with only small aspect of human health. Good luck.

P.S. If you are too lazy to cook healthy meals or actually dread eating healthy food. Make sure to take Taifu Plus regularly. It will help break down nasty hard to digest junk out of your system. Less strain on your digestive system, better it is for your overall health!

Digestive disorders are extremely common, not only in the United States, but also in any parts of the world where modern Western way of living dominates. Unless you have your own farm (by the way, that’s one of my dreams), grow your own vegetables and fruits, raise your own livestock, our access to high quality 100% organic foods are very limited. If you are lucky enough, you may have a resource to acquire high quality food on the daily basis without worrying about your bank account. But your busy lifestyle may prevent you from preparing and eating the kind of food you should be eating. This is why many people end up dining out more than they should, or eating store-bought processed foods. It has become normal part of daily life to eat the food on the run or consuming food while you are working. And not surprisingly, a stressful lifestyle causes you to crave for richer, saltier and sweeter unhealthy foods. I must admit, I am certainly guilty of this problem.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the way or the spirit in which food is eaten is very important. While eating, you must focus on the activity of eating without any distraction. Worrying and stressing will cause the harm to your body. You should also take your time and really enjoy your meal. Too much talking can disrupt digestion. For example, my kids tend to talk too much, asking me so many question while I am trying to eat. I found myself very stressed and not enjoying the food at all. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I believe eating alone slowly in silence is so much better for your digestion than busy talking or being distracted by others. So, I trained my kids not to even bother me while I eat after long day of work. I usually get bombarded with their stories and questions afterwards, but that’s okay.

Returning right back to stressful work or physical activities will greatly inhibit the digestive process. Again, I am very much guilty of this crime. I’ve struggled so many years. And I’ve definitely noticed my digestion has become very weak over the years because of eating while at work or stressing right after eating (or maybe I am just getting old.) My solution is to skip a lunch. No eating at work. Period. But, to be honest that’s not working out quite well either. It seems that “Stress” somehow gives you permission to do whatever is harmful to your digestive system – like eating junk snacks while working, or drinking alcohol after work (to release stress). I guess you already know what I am talking about here. We all know it’s bad for you, but can’t seem to control or break this habitual pattern.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the chronic digestive disorder as the result of food stagnation. The word ‘Dampness’ is often used to describe the food stagnation. Feeling of fullness in the stomach, bad breath, acid reflux, belching are the symptom of this Dampness in the digestive system. One of many causes of Dampness (food stagnation) is the diet mainly consists of Cold foods. Eating raw foods like salad or fruits is a typical example. Many patients here at Hen Sen Herbs claims that they eat very healthy because they eat nothing but salads and other raw foods. They believe that raw food contains much more live enzymes to aid digestion, which true, and no argument there. However, what they do not understand is that our digestive system is like ‘Fire’ that cooks the food to break down into small bits our body can convert into energy. Just imagine a pot full of cold foods (inside of your tummy) being cooked by Fire (energy to breakdown foods). It will take a lot longer and a lot more energy to breakdown foods into small digestible pieces. So, consuming Cold foods is like a pouring water into Fire. It immediately puts strain on your digestive system and causes food stagnation. If your body is young and strong – full of Fire, or living in the very warm climate, your body can handle Cold foods without a problem. But, if your health is less than ideal, or living in the cold climate, you should definitely avoid Cold foods altogether. Watermelon is the typical example. It should be consumed when your body is overheated during very hot weather. Cooling property of the watermelon effectively cool off your body. However, if you do this when the weather is cold, the Fire (digestive system)will be put out immediately. It will result in harming your digestive system, and you will be more susceptible to the common illness. Worrying about eating more enzyme rich foods is understandable. But if you are harming your digestive system with Cold foods (not to mention drinking Cold beverages), your body’s ability to produce enzymes is greatly compromised. So, your focus should be first to protect and reduce the strain on your digestive system with warm easily digestible foods so that it can function at an optimal level. In order to compensate for the loss of enzyme from cooking, fermented food should be always be added to your regular diet. Look at any traditional diet of countries with highest longevity. Fermented foods are always a staple of their diet. Even a hamburger come with tiny slice of fermented food tucked in between the buns: the Pickle. Unfortunately, the amount of fermented foods that average Americans consume is way too low, and typical American foods are too acidic or hard to digest.

There are so many other factors you should consider when it comes to maintaining a healthy strong digestive system. With so much information is available online, and it can be very confusing. And, many of them are misleading. So, be very careful. If you really want to learn about your health and digestion., go find someone who is 100 years old or older, and study how he eats, sleeps, exercises and everything about his lifestyle. I bet you will learn so much more about digestion and health overall than just reading research papers. If you can’t find such a person, next closest person you can depend on is experienced Chinese herbalist who have acquired wealth of historical knowledge complied by past great herbalists over many centuries. You need someone who understand the truth about human health. The truth that withstand the test of time. In other words, what was good for human health centuries ago should still be true today, and will be true centuries from now. So, stop chasing current fad diet or reading scientific researches that deals with only small aspect of human health. Good luck.

P.S. If you are too lazy to cook healthy meals or actually dread eating healthy food. Make sure to take Taifu Plus regularly. It will help break down nasty hard to digest junk out of your system. Less strain on your digestive system, better it is for your overall health!

– Kaz Isogai

How To Get Through Food Poisoning

It is pretty scary. One minute you could be enjoying your favorite food like juicy scallops, tuna drenched in mayonnaise, or a creamy potato salad. Then, oddly enough, you begin to feel that upset stomach creeping up on you. You get feverish, start to feel weak, uncomfortably and clammy, then all of a sudden you’re over a porcelain bowl, hurling up that once delicious dinner, and feeling absolutely sick. For anyone who has had food poisoning, this is no exaggeration (believe me I’ve been there). Food poisoning is a silent monster due to the fact that it hides in your food or water, containing all kinds of gross bacteria, nasty parasites, disgusting viruses, and toxins that can be odorless and invisible to the human eye.


Did you know that the CDC (Center of Disease Control) found that 1 out of 6 people get food poisoning each year in America? That’s like 48 million people getting sick from their food! Infectious germs can contaminate food at any point of processing or production. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked. So, when you buy food at the grocery store and bring it home, you’re often gambling on the fact that it’s safe to eat. It’s insane how many different diseases can cause food poisoning. Take a guess at how many different diseases can cause food poisoning. That’s right, 250! Some of the most common diseases that are caused by bacteria are: Salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria, Botulism, and Norovirus. Salmonella specifically sucks, because cookie dough rocks and it is just so tempting!


So, how do you know if you have food poisoning? Oh trust me, you’d know. The most common symptoms that occur while suffering through food poisoning are nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, abdominal pain/cramps, and fever. None of that sounds fun. Symptoms can start within hours after eating the contaminated food or they may begin days or even weeks later! The fact that food poisoning can linger in your system for that long is just horrifying, Sometimes if food poisoning is not treated immediately it could cause even worse symptoms – that’s right it could get worse. Imagine frequent episodes of vomiting, bloody vomit or stools, diarrhea for more than three days, extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping and a fever higher than 101.5 F. Never mind, don’t imagine that because that is really gnarly. But can you see how bad it can get?


Lets talk about treatments, as I mentioned before sometimes symptoms of food poisoning are immediate or can be dormant until it sneakily strikes a week later. So what can you do about it? Well luckily Hen Sen Herbs sells an all-natural supplement called Seirogan, which is touted to be effective! So, now you’re probably wondering, “Hmmm, okay, but, what is in it and what makes it so effective?”

Seirogan

The most active ingredient in Seirogan is Beechwood Creosote, which contains medicinal properties as an expectorant, antiseptic, astringent, and an anesthetic. This means that it specifically treats stomach-aches, diarrhea, food poisoning, vomiting, water contamination, soft stool, regulating stomach and intestine conditions, and pulpitis caused by tooth cavity aches. Sounds like just the thing when you are feeling miserable with an unruly stomach.


Let’s look at a bit of history to demonstrate its effectiveness. Believe it or not, this natural remedy dates back to 1902 when Mr. Saichi Nakajima obtained the license for drug sales for Chuyu-Seirogan from The Osaka Prefecture Government. Seirogan originated from Japan and during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 the Royal Japanese Army was the first to use Seirogan as a gastrointestinal medication due to the contaminated water and other diseases that come with war. For over 100 years, let me say that again, 100 YEARS, Seirogan has been a common gastrointestinal solution for many across Asia and now here. Pretty amazing huh?

So what did we learn? All in all food poisoning is highly unpleasant. Although food can easily be contaminated, it is essential to keep yourself safe from food poisoning.

Some precautions to take while eating or making food are:

1. Always wash your hands before cooking,
2. Wash your food,
3. Check labels for expiration dates,
4. Keep food in the fridge if it needs to stay cold, don’t eat food that smells, looks, or tastes bad (use your senses!),
5. Buy food locally, and be aware of any food warnings and recalls.

Food can be enjoyable, as long as you take the necessary precautions to keeping yourself healthy from food poisoning. Thanks for reading 🙂

– Shaila Suleman

The Art of Gua Sha

When I was little, whenever I would get sick, my Grandma would treat me with Gua Sha. Gua sha is a traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped with a smooth edge coin or jade to produce light bruising, while using a lubricant like Kwan Loong Oil, until the skin becomes red. This helps opens the blood scapular and increase blood circulation and healing, basically to scape the illness away. Even today, I still perform this for my family and patients.

This method works for the common cold. We can try to not catch it, but a cold is the most common infectious disease in humans and accounts for more time lost from work or school than any other disease. It is an acute viral infection that generally causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract Gua Sha treatment works on the thermal dynamic principal, which is when heat opens and cold closes. As we catch a cold, the pore closes, but Gua Sha stimulates and increase volume and flow of the blood cells. The heat opens and is able to move the stagnant blood.

Gua Sha is also commonly used to treat pain and such conditions as asthma, bronchitis, cold, flu, fever, heat stroke, fibromyalgia, strains and muscle spasms. Gua Sha helps restore the body’s natural biological balance.
As I am writing this I watched a movie called, “The Gua Sha Treatment” that was made in 2001. I believe it is worth watching as it opens your eyes to China’s culture conflicts and experiences in Chinese Families here in America.
Being raised in Seattle Chinatown, my grandma was well known for performing Gua Sha and Cupping, She would always have me take preventive cold/ flu herbal teas as we went through the change of seasons.

In China, it is common for the family medicine cabinet to include preventive herbal teas, and there are even herbal tea shops that precooks the teas, made to go. You can pick up our prevention cold and tea regimen on Hensenherbs.com or simply call us and we can send you what you need.

Love,
Juli