Basil (Tián luólè 甜罗勒)

basilPungent,and sweet flavor and warm thermal nature. Acts on Lung, Spleen, Stomach and Large Intestine meridians.

Active compounds:

Basil contains dozens of aromatic essential oil components in its leaves including eugenol, linalool, astragal, limonene, citral methylchavicol, and methyl cinnamate. Besides being antioxidant, having vitamins and phenolics, is a rich source of vitamin K, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium and dietary fibre.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Dispel wind and promote the flow of Qi, eliminates dampness and promotes digestion, activates blood and removes toxicity
  • Basil is antioxidant. Antioxidants work by protecting cells from damage by reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are oxygen-derived molecules generated by natural chemical reactions in the body. Researchers found that basil extract was effective at actively searching for and eliminating harmful molecules and protecting against damage caused by some free radicals in key organs such as the heart, liver and brain. Antioxidants (e.g. vitamins and phytochemicals) contribute to the herb’s ability to prevent cancer. Helps on urticaria and headache due to exogenous pathogenic factor
  • Anti-inflammatory. Reduces inflammation by inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators (most important nitric oxide). Specific cytokines help initiate and regulate the inflammatory process. Similarly, nitric oxide, a chemical involved in various cell signalling reactions, helps orchestrate numerous steps in the inflammatory cascade. Thus, blocking the action of these two kinds of substances means blocking the communication and/or orchestration of inflammatory processes
  • Regulates the adrenal system making it an effective anti-stress tonic
  • Antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal and insecticidal properties. Its pungent and strong flavor plays a role in its biochemical activity, like inhibiting bacterial growth by degrading bacterial cell walls and inducing cell bursting. Linalool, methyl chavicol and methyl cinnamate inhibit the growth of disease causing bacteria such a staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus faceless, escherichia coli, and salmonella.  Pathogenic from these bacterias can cause food poisoning, urinary tart infections, pneumonia and dysentery

Directions: Decoct 5~15 g, or pounded into juice, or made into pills and powder. Proper dosage is for external application, pounded for applying, or decocted for washing or mouthwash.

Precaution: It is contraindicated in case of qi deficiency and blood dryness.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Baru Almond or Cumbaru (Dipterix Alata)

baru

Sweet flavor and and cool thermal nature. Acts on Liver, Kidney and Spleen meridians.

Active compound:

The baru is a typical fruit of the Brazilian Cerrado. The nut is about 23% protein and is a high nutritional value. In recipes and confectionery to baru nuts can replace peanuts, cashews or other nuts.

The baru almond exudes nutrients with antioxidant properties such as vitamin E; is high in fiber, rich in sugar, potassium, iron, omega-9, zinc and copper. The almond, appreciate as human food, is rich in unsaturated oil, and owns about 26 % of protein content, calcium and phosphorus, similar to peanuts.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Has anti-rheumatic medicinal properties
  • Fungicides properties
  • Has aphrodisiac properties
  • Prevents anemia due its rich iron content
  • Reduce hypertension and the bad cholesterol (LDL), also helps regulate glucose levels and decrease the incident of cancer. The Omega-9 is a potent antioxidant, which helps in healing and in reducing hair loss, since it also reinforce the Kidney-Yang

Directions: To add the properties of baru nuts to the body, just consume 4-5 units a day, but it should never be eaten raw. The ideal is to eat it roasted, as thus it is possible to inactivate the “so- called” anti-nutritional factors, which may interfere with the absorption of minerals like calcium and zinc.

The fruit can be fully used, resulting in fruit pulps, oils, flour, butter and pies. The flour made from the baru nuts may be consumed in juices and soups.

Precautions: As well  as other types of nuts, the baru nut has a high caloric content. If in a diet, use it sparingly.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Barley, common Wheat (Dàmài 大麦)

aaaaSweet and astringent taste and cool thermal nature. Acts on Spleen, Stomach, and Urinary Bladder meridians.

Active compounds:

Contains fiber, selenium, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B1 (thiamin), phosphorus, and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), protein, starch, fat, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, silicic acid, and mucins.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Generates physical strength
  • Produces virility
  • Clears Heat, moistens dryness, nourishes Yin, stoping thirst. Calms restlessness and anxiety. For feverish sensation, restlessness, and thirst, decoct barley with millet to gruel
  • Invigorate Spleen, improving digestion. For poor appetite and diarrhea due to weak Spleen and Stomach: take oven-dried and powdered barley with Che Qian Zi (plantain seed).
  • Reduce edema and swelling of the body: make a soup with perl barley and azuki beans. Boil the soup and reduce 10 cups of it to 1 cup and drink only the liquid
  • Benefits the Kidneys. Diuretic. For dysuria, difficult, painful and dripping urination, decoct barley, remove the dregs, mix with ginger juice, honey, and drink.
  • Overcome excessive wind
  • Nourishes the heart

Directions: In a soup or stew, in a bread, as breakfast cereal, decoct, make into a gruel, or powder.

Attention: Two types of barley are available: pearl barley is the refined version; pot barley is the whole grain. I prefer the pot barley, which has a point that is bent, are cool and light, and thus they clear away phlegm. It does have some gluten but levels are low.

From Tao of Tummy © book

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Banana (Xiāng jiāo 香蕉)

a bananaSweet flavor and cold thermal nature. Acts on Stomach and Intestines meridians.

Active compounds:

Recognized for its high potassium content that retards deterioration of internal organs and prevents high blood pressure and heart diseases, banana offers many other beneficial nutrients as well as 10 different vitamins and more than 15 minerals and trace minerals. Contains serotonin which is a good mood hormone. Glucose and fructose in banana are a good source of energy.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Tonifies stomach; promoting regeneration of body fluid. Dry throat, thirst due to stomach Yin deficiency. Ripe bananas excellent for treating ulcers. Restlessness, and thirst during febrile disease. Chronic cough with lung Yin deficiency: eat raw or make a decoction with crystal sugar
  • Tonifies Yin and moistens dryness. Dry stool, constipation due to dryness of the intestine. For

hemorrhoids (bleeding), cook with the peel for 20 minutes, in water, remove from the stove,

take off the peel and eat the cooked banana, throw away the peel

  • Hypertension, arteriosclerosis, or coronary heart disease. Banana prevents high blood pressure. Eat 3 – 5 bananas a day. Make a tea with 50 g banana without peel. Chop into small pieces, add 10 g Chinese black tea, and cook for 10 minutes, remove the tea leaves, add sugar to taste and drink.

Directions: Eat raw on their own, In oatmeal or on top of cereal, in yogurt, in a fruit salad, in a smoothie, steamed or cooked. Crushed ripe banana makes an excellent ointment for wounds and burns, supported by a cloth bandage.

Precautions: Do not eat too much. Can cause diarrhea, (loose stool due to Spleen Yang deficiency).

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Artichoke, Zucchini and Olive pasta

pastaThis light, delicious pasta is perfect for summer. All ingredients are beneficial during  the summer season.

Ingredients

Artichoke hearts – 1 can (even better if fresh)

Green olives with pimento – 1 cup

Zucchini – 1 medium, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick

Red wine vinegar – 1/4 cup

Fresh Oregano & Basil – 1 tbsp. each

Pasta – 1lb

Olive oil – 1/4 cup

Garlic – 6 cloves, smashed

Salt & pepper – to taste

Red pepper flakes – 1 tsp

Corn starch – 2 tbsp.

Water – 1 cup

How to prepare

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Add one tsp oil so pasta doesn’t stick.

Wash, cut in half, then slice the zucchini

Drain artichokes, and slice. Take olives and slice in half

In heavy pot, add olive oil and heat on low. Add smashed garlic and stir so it doesn’t burn. Wash and add oregano and basil. Add red wine vinegar & water.

When water boils, add pasta.

Add zucchini, olives and artichokes and turn heat up to medium, stirring constantly. Add salt.

Cover and let zucchini soften, about 10 minutes.

Once Zucchini is soft, add pepper, and more oil, red wine vinegar to taste if necessary. Add red pepper flakes.

Put corn starch in small glass and add enough water to cover. Stir. Add to sauce and keep stirring to thicken. About 2 minutes. Taste sauce to make sure it is delicious.

When pasta is done, drain and add into sauce. Stir well until all pasta is coated.

Serve and top with fresh grated parmesan or Romano cheese if you wish.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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The artichoke tincture – For Liver Jaundice

Artichoke ,It is made from 20 grams of mashed artichoke leaves macerated in 100 ml of 70% alcohol for 15 days. 5-15 drops should be taken 3 times a day. The tincture shall be diluted with water or with tea whenever taken…”

Precaution: It may cause flatuance. They may also cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to ragweed or flowers like chrysanthemum, marigolds and daisies. Avoid using for people with gallstones, it may worsen the condition.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Artichoke leaves (Jú yù yè 菊芋叶)

ArtichokeSweet flavor and warm thermal nature. Acts on Liver, Gallbladder, Spleen, and Stomach and meridians.

Active compounds:

The liver is a remarkable organ and is the central chemical laboratory in the body. Everyday we introduce new toxins in our body, and it’s more important than ever to make sure our livers are working properly and healthy. Artichoke’s antioxidant capacity is one of the highest reported in vegetables. Artichoke leaf contains caffeic acid derivatives, most notably cynarine. Cynarine is a chemical constituent in Cynara. The majority of the cynarine found in artichoke is located in the pulp of the leaves. It inhibits taste receptors, making water (and other foods and drinks) seem sweet. The leaf also contains rutin, a flavonoid closely related to the antioxidant quercetin. Other compounds found in the leaf include sesquiterpene lactones, such as naropicrin, cynaropicrin and cynaratriol.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Promote digestion, stops vomiting and lessens abdominal pain associated with dyspepsia (indigestion).The leaf extract has proved to be helpful for patients with functional dyspepsia and may ameliorate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  • For Liver and Gallbladder and Kidney function complaints. It has been shown in placebo-controlled studies to stimulate bile, helping on hepatic and gallbladder function raising the ratio of HDL and LDL. Artichoke extracts are used to decrease cholesterol and triglyceride level
  • The cynarine found in artichoke has been found to stimulate bile secretion as well as lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Artichoke also has some antioxidant activity
  • The extract from the leaves are taken to reduce nausea

Directions: For rheumatic conditions, digestive weakness, and obesity eat in small doses before meals. One small glass of artichoke juice is recommended to be drunk beforebreakfast and lunch. It is a treatment indicated for constipated people. It is a draining treatment in case of constipation, without aggressing the liver.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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