Posts Tagged ‘kidney’

Medicine in the Kitchen – Cinnamon

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Cinnamon1 300x183 Medicine in the Kitchen   Cinnamon

Cinnamon – it’s one of the most familiar spices in our kitchens, especially this time of year as the weather turns colder. It is also one of the most commonly used herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The outer bark of cinnamon is called Rou Gui in Chinese and is the form most people are familiar with. In TCM, the inner part of the branches is also used and is known as Gui Zhi.

Although there are some clinical differences in the usage between the two forms of cinnamon, they are both used primarily for their warming effect on the body.

For example, it is one of the main ingredients of a cold and flu herbal formula commonly prescribed when the person is experiencing chills and body aches.

Cinnamon can be used to warm up the digestive system for symptoms such as pain, cramps, and coldness of the abdomen and is also an important herb when the Kidney system is weak, with symptoms including lumbar weakness and lower back pain, fatigue, and coldness of the body and extremities.

A typical dosage of cinnamon would be 1 – 2 grams. Adding a pinch to your food or beverages is a great way to warm up the body, especially after being outside exposed to cold and windy weather.

A note of caution: because cinnamon stimulates the blood circulation, it should be used with caution during pregnancy or in people who have a high risk of bleeding such as those using blood thinner medication. When in doubt with any herbal medicine, you can always consult with your Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

Stress – An Eastern Perspective

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Although stress seems to be just an accepted part of everyday living in our modern society, it certainly is nothing new. In fact, one of the oldest Chinese medical textbooks, written over 2,000 years ago, was advising people on how to lower their stress levels so that they could live healthier and better lives.

In Eastern medicine, stress can be roughly categorized into 2 types – physical and emotional – although there is quite a bit of overlap between them because Traditional Oriental Medicine views the body, mind, and spirit as being inter-related to each other.

Physical stress can be caused by many factors, including overwork, not enough rest, environmental toxins, and simply pushing the body too much.

In terms of acupuncture theory, it is the Kidney system which is mostly affected by prolonged physical stress. In Eastern medicine, when talking about the Kidney meridian system, it relates not only to the urinary and reproductive organs, but also encompasses aspects of the entire endocrine system, including the adrenal glands. (more…)

The Kidney System – An Eastern Perspective

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

In Traditional Oriental Medicine, the understanding of the organs is different than that of Western medicine. The physical organs, along with their corresponding energetic meridian pathways are never regarded as independent systems but instead, are always viewed in relation to the rest of the body.

Probably the easiest way to get some insight into Eastern medicine is to look at the extremes of both a young infant and an elderly person, and how similar their characteristics are. In the case of the child, the Kidney system is still in development while for the older person, a weakening Kidney function is just a progression of the natural aging process:

  • bald / balding
  • no teeth / loosing teeth
  • bed-wetting / incontinent
  • weak back & legs / hunched back
  • soft bones & open fontanel / brittle bones
  • undeveloped memory / poor memory
  • undeveloped reproductive organs / declining sexual function

As can be seen from just this brief list, the Eastern view of the Kidney system involves many other parts of the body as well:

  • urinary system
  • reproductive system
  • hormones
  • growth & development
  • bones & marrow, especially the spine
  • brain function & memory

According to Traditional Oriental Medicine, the Kidney is also in charge of controlling the Fluid metabolism throughout the body and could be thought of as the coolant system that prevents things from overheating. For example, a condition commonly treated with acupuncture is the typical menopausal woman where the Kidney system is not doing its job of cooling the body. As a result, this extra heat rises up and collects towards the top of the body, producing symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, shoulder pain, and insomnia. (more…)