Posts Tagged ‘skin’

Medicine in the Kitchen – Burdock

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Burdock 300x199 Medicine in the Kitchen   Burdock

Burdock – although sometimes regarded as a nuisance weed (the spiked burrs on the seeds can get trapped onto clothing or pet’s fur if walking through a patch of burdock plants and were the original inspiration for the invention of Velcro), it’s a valuable herb in both Western and Eastern herbal medicine.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, burdock seed is known as Niu Bang Zi and is often used in the treatment of Lung system disorders, ranging from skin problems such as rashes, eczema, and psoriasis to other inflammatory conditions such as tonsillitis and sore throat.

However, in Japan it is the root of the plant, known as Gobo, which is commonly used. Resembling an over-sized carrot and valued for its gentle cleansing detox properties, including helping to purify the blood and lymphatic system, gobo is used not only as medicine but is also eaten as a common everyday food.

Although a tea can be made from the dried root, usually the fresh format of burdock is preferred and can be found in many Asian or other well-stocked vegetable markets. Thinly sliced or grated, fresh burdock root makes a delicious and healthy addition to vegetable stir-fry or soup recipes.

A note of caution: because burdock can act as a mild uterine stimulant, it should not be used during pregnancy. When in doubt with any herbal medicine, you can always consult with your Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

The Lung System – An Eastern Perspective

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Traditional Oriental Medicine views the Lung system as being part of the respiratory process, bringing in fresh air and energy from our surroundings and distributing this throughout the entire body. Besides the actual lung organ, Eastern medicine also includes the throat and vocal cords, nasal passages, and sinuses.

In addition, the skin and mucous membranes are also regarded as an extension of the Lung system. This connection is commonly seen in children who suffer from asthma or allergies and may later on develop skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Treatment is aimed at strengthening the health and functioning of the lungs, resulting in improvement of both the asthma and the skin.

In Eastern medicine, the Lung system is responsible for circulating “Defensive Energy” which travels along the surface of the skin, regulating the body temperature while also protecting the person from outside diseases. It is similar in concept to the immune system, and it is interesting to note that Western medicine views the skin barrier and mucous membranes as an important defense against infectious diseases, something recognized in China well over 2,000 years ago. (more…)