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Make Your Own Wine Tonic

Make Your Own Wine Tonic

Tonics have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for a very long time.  It is not unusual to see bottles of rice wine with herbs floating in them, ginseng being one of the most common (seen above) as it has known energy and immune boosting benefits.  Recently there has been a trend towards bitters which share some similarities with wine tonics and historically have been used as a digestive aid.  Wine tonics are easy to make and customizable to particular ailments and palettes.  Typically rice wine is used, however a good quality vodka or brandy may also be used.  Herbal tonics can be taken daily to strengthen the body, aid in sleep or digestion and boost the immune system.  Herb selection can be tailored to the need of the individual.  A small amount is ingested each day somewhere in the range of 20ml – 60ml.   The simple steps to making your own TCM tonic are outlined below.   1. Gather the herbs for the desired effect, tonifying blood...

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Why Gou Ji Berries?

Why Gou Ji Berries?

Gou Qi Zi, Gou Ji Berries or Wolfberry (lycium) fruit as it is commonly known has received a lot of positive press recently due to it’s many health benefits.  It has been used for a long time in many common traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulas and unlike many other herbs it has a pleasant flavour and texture.  It is also versatile as it can be eaten dried as a snack, added to baking, steeped in boiling water with or without other herbs for a caffeine-free tea. 1.  Gou Qi Zi  has been used for a long time in TCM for eye symptoms such as blurry vision, dry eyes, even weakening eyes.  From a herbal perspective it helps to strengthen the Liver system which is connected to the eyes.  Research shows that Wolfberry fruit contains compounds high in Vitamin A.  With people logging more and more screen time everyday having Gou Qi Zi  tea while working is a great supplement for tired eyes. 2.  Everyone knows about the health benefits...

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3 Questions on Chinese Herbs

3 Questions on Chinese Herbs

Continuing with the theme of three.  If you missed it last week I addressed 3 Common Acupuncture Questions.  This week the focus is herbs, which elicit some similar questions regarding treating specific conditions and length of treatment. However the first question is the most common: Q1. What will the herbs taste like? A1. Terrible!  That’s it, there’s nothing else to say.  Many herbalists/TCM practitioners will disagree (I myself like the taste of many formulas, even the bitter ones), but on the whole they are gritty, dirty, bitter concoctions.  Your body will love you for it, even if your taste buds don’t. Q2. Do you use rhino horn or any other endangered species? A2. No.  I don’t even use other more acceptable animal products in the formulas I prescribe in my private practice, however for Shanti Solutions, my tincture company, I do carry animal products such as e jiao and chan tui as they are commonly used by practitioners. Q3. How is taking herbs different from taking prescription or otc medications? A3.  This...

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5 Tips for Postpartum Care

5 Tips for Postpartum Care

According to traditional Chinese medicine practices there are three times in a woman’s life that require special care and attention for optimal health, these are menstruation, postpartum and menopause.  Here women often don’t receive the proper rest, nutrition or care postpartum due to work or family responsibilities, societal pressures to get back in shape or become super mom. Following delivery, wether it was a short and smooth few hour process or an exhausting 30 hours ending in a c-section, the mother has depleted her blood and energy stores.  In addition, breastfeeding relies on the energy of the mother as the nutrients she takes in are converted to breast milk in order to nourish the newborn.  Having a baby can also be stressful, especially if it is the first born, and hormonal changes and to the emotional vulnerability.  Therefore the 4-5 weeks following a birth should be a time to replenish and recouperate.  What are the simplest most effective ways to replenish your body postpartum? 1.  Tonics – herbal tonics...

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