Apple Cider Vinegar (Cu 苹果醋)

appleSour and bitter flavor, and warm thermal nature, acting on Liver, Stomach meridians.

Active compounds:

Apples are a good source of pectin, a soluble fiber similar to the fiber that is the oat bran. Apple cider is an acid, which assists in the digestion of protein, which in turn is needed for the production of insulin. Insulin is necessary for converting glucose to energy – the energy required to maintain an active, fat burning metabolism. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar improves the absorption of iron from food, which is responsible for attracting the oxygen essential for burning energy in the body, increasing in this way, the energy consumption in the body making it a supportive food for weight loss.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Aids digestion, helping on gradual weight loss. For indigestion crush a small piece of Sheng Jiang (fresh ginger), and mix with 1 cup of vinegar. Add vinegar to meats when cooking to promote digestion. Discomfort due to fish meat or vegetables: vinegar by itself or mixed with crushed garlic to counteract mild food poisoning.
  • Disperse Blood stagnation. For hard masses in the abdomen: bolus of vinegar with San Leng or Bie Jia.
  • Arrests bleeding, hematemesis, epistaxis, anal bleeding
  • Treat hypertension with headache. Cook celery with vinegar to treat it. Soak 10 peanuts in vinegar overnight. Eat the peanuts and drink the vinegar for hypertension. Repeat 10 – 15 days.
  • Detoxifies, genital itching
  • Treats jaundice

Directions: Incorporating apple cider vinegar into your daily diet leads to gradual weight loss. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink before meals three times a day. Use in salad dressing as well.

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Apple (Ping Guo 苹果)

AppleSweet and slightly sour taste and cool thermal nature. Acts on Spleen, Stomach, and Lung meridians.

Active compounds:

Apple is filled with phytonutrients that functions as antioxidants, supporting heart health and helping to prevent a host of diseases, also have shown to help lower levels of C-reactive protein. Contains malic acid, quince acid, quercetin (is a type of plant-based chemical, or phytochemical, known as flavonoid), and tartaric acid, which has anti-inflammatory effect, vitamin C, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. Apple is filled with phytonutrients that functions as antioxidants, supporting heart health and helping to prevent a host of diseases.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Tonify Spleen, stops diarrhea. Indigestion with poor appetite, diarrhea due to Spleen-Yin Deficiency
  • One of the few food associated with killing breast cancer without harming normal breast cells, according to new study. Scientists attribute this to the flavonoid fisetin, present in several fruits and vegetables but in persimmon specifically.
  • Helps eradicate colon and prostate cancer cells due to a significant contributor flavonoid fisetin.
  • Promotes regeneration of Body-Fluid, quench thirst, clear Heat, relieve restlessness, fever, thirst due to consumption of Stomach-Yin by Heat, excessive alcohol consumption.  Eat raw. Cook with pears and sugar to make a thick soup
  • Helps the body develop resistance against infections. Drink fresh apple juice, and eat powder dry apples with sugar.

Directions: Eat raw, on their own, as applesauce, baked, sliced with nut butter. Make a smoothie, decoct. Make into a jelly. The most beneficial substances of the apple are found in the peel.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Amaranth Date Nut Bread

bread1 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup amaranth

1 cup boiling water

2 eggs or egg substitute

1/2 cup of honey

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups whole wheat flour 2 tsp non-aluminum baking powder

1 cup chopped pecans

Soak dates and amaranth in boiling water 15 minutes. Beat eggs well, add honey and butter, and beat again. Stir in all remaining ingredients, mixing well. Pour into an oiled loaf pan, and bake at 350*F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Makes 1 loaf.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Amaranth (Xiàncài 苋菜)

AmaranthLightly sweet flavor, and cold thermal nature.  Acting on the Lung meridians.

Active compound:

Contains iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus. Excellent source of protein (15-18%), fiber, amino acids (lysine and methionine), vitamin C, and calcium. It contains more calcium and the supporting calcium cofactors – magnesium and silicon – than milk. Amaranth contains twice the amount of iron in spinach, which means is effective on preventing anemia. One cup of cooked amaranth provides over 100 percent of our daily manganese needs.Can be use to fulfill protein and calcium requirements, promoting the growth of bones. It is helpful for people with consistently elevated needs, such as nursing or pregnant women, infants, children, or those who do heavy physical work. Amaranth is very strengthening to the lungs, very beneficial in these days of high pollution and ozone intoxication.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Strengthens the lungs
  • Dries Dampness
  • Rich in protein. Its grains help balance blood sugar levels
  • Prevents anemia

Directions: Use in breads, cakes, soups, and grain dishes. Can be used as cereal. Pop like popcorn or toast for a nutty flavor. Sprout and use in salads.

Precautions: As Amaranth is Cold in nature, those having a weak digestive tract and frequent diarrhea should not eat too much.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

Amaranth Pilaf with Almond Sauce

I cup Amaranth

2cups Bulgur wheat

3/4 cup lentil, soaked

1 small onion, minced,

1 teaspoon oil (optional)

7-8 cups of boiling water

Salt

Almond sauce: 2 cups béchamel sauce, 1/2 cup  of Almonds toasted and ground,1 tablespoon of mint.  Sauté onion, add Amaranth and Bulgur and sauté for 5 minutes longer. Add lentils. Pour boiling water over grains, lentils, and onion. Add salt, cover and cook 1/2 hour over low heat. Prepare sauce. Pour grain lentil mixture into oiled casserole dish and cover with almond sauce. Bake at F 375 for 15 minutes. Serves 7-8

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Aloe Vera (Lúhuì 芦荟)

Aloe VeraSweet flavor and neutral thermal nature. Acts on Liver, Large Intestine, Stomach and Spleen meridians.

Active compounds:

The aloe vera plant has many healing properties. The leaves of the plant are the yellow-colored liquid with medicinal properties. Aloe vera gel can be very beneficial to the skin, helping with sunburn, insect bites, rashes, cuts, and the like. The reason is because aloe vera is an anti-fungal as well as an antibacterial. It also helps with the regeneration of cells. So the application of aloe vera gel to the skin can greatly benefit common skin ailments and help in the healing process. Aloe vera juice is very healthy and has a great set of benefits for the body.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Moistens the Intestines, relaxing the stools
  • Relieves stomachaches and heartburn, promoting digestion
  • Helps to regulate blood sugar
  • Detoxifies the liver and colon, promoting the weight loss by increasing metabolic rate to burn more calories
  • Improves circulation
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Strengthens immune system retarding the growth of cancerous tumors
  • Reduce inflammation

Directions: Drink the juice and use the leaf gel to help for skin problems and sunburn.

Precautions: Is no recommended for more than four ounces a day. Side effects could be liver disfunction, nausea and allergic reactions. If staying with the recommended amount daily the benefits of this amazing plant will be visible.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Almond-Apple Toast

Almond toast

2 Slices cinnamon-raisin bread

2 Tbsp all-natural almond butter

1 crisp apple

Toast bread and spread with almond butter. Core apple, slice it in thinly and lay slices overtop almond butter.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Almond (Tián Xìng Rén 甜杏仁)

AlmondSweet flavor and neutral thermal nature. Acts on Lung, Large Intestine, and Spleen meridians.

Active compounds:

Rich in monounsaturated fats, they help lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. Contains vitamin E, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, calcium, monounsaturated fats.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Relieves Qi Stagnation from the Lungs, dissolving Phlegm, and stopping cough and asthma
  • Moistens the Lungs; cough due to dryness of the Lung. For prolonged cough or asthma due to deficiency disease: grind with walnuts, decoct into tea  and take with honey
  • Moistens the Intestines, relaxing the stools. Dry stool or constipation due to dryness of the intestines, eat raw or mix 15 g of Xing Ren with  30 g cooked rice. Add a bit of sugar. Crush it, whip to a cream and eat a bit 2 times daily for constipation

Directions: Most often eaten on its own, raw or toasted. Used in some dishes along with other nuts, sprinkled over deserts. Used in making baklava and nougat, almond butter (less salty taste than peanuts).

Precaution: When dampness and phlegm disorders is present. Almonds are known to cause allergies in some people.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Alfalfa (Medicado Sativa) (Zǐhuā mùxu 紫花苜蓿)

SproutsBitter flavor and warm thermal nature. Acts on Liver, Spleen and Intestines meridians.

Active compounds:

Alfalfa contains eight enzymes which help assimilate protein, fats and carbohydrates.. Is rich in protein, carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, sulfur, silicon, chlorine, cobalt, and zinc. Alfalfa also contains vitamin K and P (bioflavonoids) and abundant chlorophyll.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Detoxify the blood and body
  • Cleans and tones the intestines and takes harmful acids out of the blood stream
  • Alfalfa helps arthritis, edema, wight loss, and urinary bladder stones
  • Eliminates chronic sore throat, fever, gas pain, peptic ulcers
  • Helpful with drug and alcohol addiction recovery
  • Dries dampness, is a diuretic, helps the appetite, benefits the urinary system and intestines

Directions: 

Alfalfa is eaten fresh or as cooked in various dishes, or in sprouts. It may also be consumed as a tea infusion. Add on cooking congee (ad at the final 2 minutes so the heat does not destroy the nutrition value of alfalfa), in smoothies or itself alone.

Precaution: 

Alfalfa sprouts and seeds, is a rich source of amino-acid canavanine, should be avoided in rheumatoid diseases  such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Canavanine can ignite inflammations in these conditions. Alfalfa leaf, however, is not a source of canavanine and  may be used with no collateral effect.

From The Tao of Tummy © book

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Agastache, Patchouli (Huò xiāng 藿香,广藿香)

agastachePungent flavor and slightly warm thermal nature. Acts on Spleen, Stomach, and Lung meridians.

Active Compounds:

Contains about 2-2.8% volatile oil which is the most effective part of the plant.

Clinical Usage and Indications:

  • Dispels dampness. For accumulation of dampness in middle jiao: use with Cang Zhu (Swordlike Rhizome), Hou Po (Magnolia Bark). Make a tea
  • Disperses summer-heat, relieving exterior syndrome. For summer-heat and damp or early stage of damp-heat syndrome: steam with egg for 5 minutes and eat
  • Stop vomiting and alleviates nausea. Use with Ban Xia (Panel Tuber) to make a tea. Cook Ban Xia 15 – 20 minutes, add Huo Xiang in the last 3 – 5 minutes
  • Dermatosis and fungal infections affecting either the hands or feet
  • Headache caused by nasal obstruction
  • Vomiting and diarrhea accompanying abdominal pain

Directions: Eat decocted or steam together with eggs.

Precaution: Yin Deficiency with Heat patterns, or Stomach-Fire.

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Olive Oil and Stroke

olive oil:olivesSource: Neurology, June 15, 2011;[Epub ahead of print].

Research: Among participants from the Three-City Study with no history of stroke at baseline, researchers examined the association between olive oil consumption (main sample, n=7625) or plasma oleic acid (secondary sample, n=1245) and incidence of stroke (median follow-up 5.25 years), ascertained according to a diagnosis validated by an expert committee.

Results: In the main sample, 148 incident strokes occurred. After adjustment for socio-demographic and dietary variables, physical activity, body mass index, and risk factors for stroke, a lower incidence for stroke with higher olive oil use was observed. Compared to those who never used olive oil, those with intensive use had a 41% lower risk of stroke. In the secondary sample, 27 incident strokes occurred. After full adjustment, higher plasma oleic acid was associated with lower stroke incidence. Compared to those in the first tertile, participants in the third tertile of plasma oleic acid had a 73% reduction of stroke risk.

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