Tag Archives: Hen Sen Herbs

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

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,

Editor

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

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

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

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

Kidney Stones And Vitamin D

Lately, many patients have come in in with Kidney Stones, which were not only painful, but with many stones. Why? There has been a huge trend that we all are lacking Vitamin D, a vitamin that helps us absorb Calcium to maintain healthy bones. The reality is that Vitamin D is an Sunshine Vitamin. Ten to 15 minutes of sunshine, three times weekly is enough to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D. Too much vitamin D can make the intestines absorb too much calcium. This may cause high levels of calcium in the blood. Calcium deposits in soft tissues in the heart and lungs, and causes constipation and a more painful problem: Kidney Stones.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin D per day is 600 IU for those aged 9-70 years old. Just because it is a trend, doesn’t mean that it is good for you. If you start noticing that your urine is yellow or dark yellow with a strong smell, that is a health concern or a sign of kidney issues. What can you do about it? Take the Taifu Plus and DTF pills (Kidney support) with a least 8 glasses of water, which includes 2-3 cups of tea.

Be kind and thoughtful about your health. Getting the basics of 101 Healthcare is extremely important. Make the effort to pay attention to reality versus a myth (marketing trend) long-term, keeps us wise, healthy and looking good. I am cautious and careful because I love myself, and most importantly, I don’t like pain.

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!

Love,
Juli

So Long, Kaz. I Am Taking Over! (just kidding….)

newsletter photo

My name is Heidi Swensen, and I am the new support person for Hen Sen Herbs. I began my position at Hen Sen Herbs in January of this new year. I wear many hats at our herbal clinic including but not limited to: Account Manager, Assistant Manager, personal assistant, student of Traditional Chinese Medicine, entertainer, friend and ally to patients. I am 24 years old. I attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia for Communication and Environmental studies. I am originally from the San Francisco bay area, specifically the east bay. I was born in Oakland, and grew up in Alameda. Fun fact about Alameda: It is a man-made island. The territory of Alameda was originally a peninsula connected to Oakland. Oakland’s rise to industrial prominence, and its subsequent need for a seaport, led to the digging of a shipping channel in 1902, and thus led to the establishment of The Island City. The name Alameda translates to “tree-lined Avenue.”

I moved to Washington in 2009 to attend college, and this is where I met my significant other, Kit. I have now become a transplant to Washington State, where I get on quite well. To me, the trade-off of sunny weather in California for the abundance of nature in Washington is worth it. I don’t know what I want to be what I want to grow up, but I think it may be something in the field of innovation. I’ll leave it up to the imagination for now. How did I become involved in a family-owned herbal clinic specializing in Traditional Chinese Medicine, you ask? Good question, as I am from neither herbal medicine nor Chinese background. I was drawn to the unique practice of Hen Sen Herbs. I find the work that Juli does to be highly valuable, if not sacred, due to the rarity of herbal medicine in modern times. I have observed that Juli treats patient’s health with great care and attention. I think the work that she does is very important, and I enjoy supporting this practice. It is an honor to learn new information about Traditional Chinese Medicine whenever possible, especially through the distinguished practice of Hen Sen Herbs.

Heidi Swensen

How Traditional Chinese Herbal Pills Are Made – Part 2

Preparation of the honey

Honey is commonly used as an ingredient in Traditional Chinese Herbal pills. One main reason is that it makes easy for the powder to bind together to form pills. Though it is entirely possible to form a pills without honey, it tends to fall apart very easily. Thus, it is not suited for the production in bigger quantities. In modern production methods used by large manufacturers, chemical binding agents and preservatives are commonly used to stabilize the pills for the sake of mass production, which in turn sacrifices the quality of the pills. We are of course strongly against using ingredients that may negatively impact our health. Another important reason why honey is preferred is that it is the best form of natural preservative which dissolves in the digestive tract very easily. And the efficiency of the pills remains intact. However, it must be properly processed before used as an ingredient. It is a very simple method to purify the honey, but again it is a time-consuming process.

Here is how:

1. Add raw honey and water (1 : 1 ratio) in the large pot.
2. Stir and dissolve the honey as you heat it up on the stove.
3. Skim off anything that floats to the surface as you simmer the mixture.
4. Add more water as the mixture is reduced from evaporation while skimming off continuously.

Raw honey and water are added to the pot.

Raw honey and water are added to the pot.

 

honey 3

Foamy scum floats to the surface.

5. The process above is repeated for about 5- 6 hours, until no scum surface to the top.
6. Continue simmering and let the mixture reduce to the half of the original amount. 1 :1 (honey:water ratio) becomes 1:0 (honey water ratio) after the evaporation of the water.
7. At the end of the process, you will notice that a part of the mixture solidifies like Jello.
8. Strain and remove it from the mixture.
9. The honey is now purified and ready to be used.

Darker foamy scum after several hours.

Gooey scum that has been removed.

How The Pills Are Formed…

Small amount (about 3 -4 cups) of ultra fine powder is put into a giant spinning ball (Pill machine – see the picture on the right). The mist of honey and water (about 1 : 20 ratio) mixture is then sprayed onto the powder while the machine spins around.

The baller machine.

The baller machine.

When the powder sticks to itself due to the moisture, it forms thousands of thousands of micro pellets as they twirl in the spinning ball. The mist is applied slowly and repeatedly at this beginning stage until the most of original powder absorb some moisture to form micro pellets.

Then the small amount of powder (about ½ teaspoon full) is added. When the powder stick to the micro pellets, they become slightly bigger at microscopic level, drier again because of the dry powder. Micro pellets are still too small to see with the naked eyes at this point. (To give you an idea of how long it takes for the micro pellets to become the size of the grain of sands, this process has to be repeated a several hundred times.)

The mist of honey, water and powder are applied alternately and repeatedly thousands of times to the twirling pellets until they become 1/16th inches in diameter (about the halfway through the entire process). Although it requires extraordinary skill and so many hours of patience to form decent size pellets, the whole process eventually becomes much easier and faster as they get bigger, just like a tiny snow ball growing exponentially bigger as it roll down the snowy hill.

Because of the nature of this hand making process, the pellets never grow uniform in size. So shifting is required several times during the process to separate smaller pellets from bigger ones. Once the all the pellets become uniform in size, the process is repeated again and again to produce final pills (about 1/8th of an inch). After the pills are dried in the drier for a several hours, slightly more concentrated mixture of honey and water is applied in the pill machine to polish and coat the pills.