Herbal Preparations: Which Are Right for You?

Over the long and varied history of humankind, we have developed many ways to ingest plants for therapeutic benefit. From simple to complicated and everything in between, traditional herbal medicine has left us with several choices as modern humans seeking to heal ourselves by reconnecting to nature.

Or maybe you just want a source of medicine that doesn’t lead to a list of side effects and complications requiring a 30 second, double speed disclaimer at the end of its ad. Either way, herbal medicine has got you covered and you have options.

Astragalus: An Adaptogen for Immunity and Energy

Astragalus root is considered a Superior herb in Chinese Medicine.

Superior* herbs are those that can be used regularly and over long periods of time to encourage and facilitate health. Also known as tonic herbs, superior herbs can be thought of as Food Grade medicine. Food as in the stuff you eat to stay alive.

These Food Grade, Superior, Tonic medicines are herbs that are high in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are needed and used in a wide array of physiological activities in your body. They’re also low in unwanted side effects. Like kale and carrots, they can be used safely, with a wide dosage range without making you sick.

V-Steaming: Part 2 How to Set Up Your Steam

Now that you know V-Steaming is right for you, here’s everything you need to know about setting up your steam and choosing the right herbs.

The simplest setup requires only a heat proof vessel, a towel to wrap around the vessel to protect your legs and retain heat, a blanket or sheet to cover yourself - if you want to, and a handful of herbs.

You don’t have to use herbs when steaming. You can use pure water or add a bit of sea salt if you don't have any herbs on hand. The steam itself is softening, warming, and moistening and will have the effect of increasing circulation to your reproductive organs.

Better circulation means more fresh, nutrient-rich blood flowing to your ovaries and uterus so that hormones from your brain and hormones from your ovaries can communicate properly.

Adding herbs can help you fine tune the intention of your treatment to cause a specific change. Herb selection can be simple and general or prescribed and therapeutic. For at home use, common kitchen and garden herbs are safest and have an overall balancing effect. Be sure to use herbs that are organic and tested for residues and contaminants.

Vaginal Steaming: Part 1 Modern Trend or Ancient Wisdom?

As a lifelong learner and lover of knowledge - and herbal medicine - I’m constantly looking for new - and ancient - ways to help you feel your best. I especially love things I can teach you about that you can then do for yourself at home.

One such thing is the V-Steam. V Let me do my best to explain. While it may seem like a brand new trend for famous ladies with money and time to burn, v-steaming goes way back.as in Vagina.

Or Yoni Steam if you’re more the Earth Goddess type, and depending on what corners of the internet you frequent, you may have heard about this.

Gwyneth Paltrow has talked about it on Goop and Chrissy Teigen Instagrammed a picture of herself V-Steaming after her baby was born.

It sounds weird. I know. Why would you want to steam your vagina? Isn’t it hot? Do you have to be naked? Is it like a facial for your lady parts?

Let me do my best to explain. While it may seem like a brand new trend for famous ladies with money and time to burn, v-steaming goes way back.

Is Your Period Normal?

I talk to a lot of women about their periods, so I’m privy to a lot of info that normally doesn’t get shared.

There are three things that I’ve learned: 1) lots of women don’t know very much about their periods; 2) there are a lot of women out there suffering from dysfunctional periods; and 3) the dysfunction comes in lots of shades and none of them are fun.

It could be cramps ranging from mildly annoying to the sensation of your uterus trying to escape through your belly button. It could be scaring your friends and family with the swiftness and ferocity with which your emotions make a U-turn. Or it might mean having periods so unpredictable that white pants are always a risk.

While these symptoms might sound normal to you, because so many women suffer from them, they aren’t.

What Are Yin and Yang?

Yin and Yang are terms you’ve probably heard.

They’ve infiltrated pop culture and are used commonly to describe things that are opposite or complementary to one another.

While that usage is part of what yin and yang are about, that’s only scratching the surface.

There are literal stacks and stacks of books written on the interplay of yin and yang and how they relate to your health. Most of them are in Chinese, and most of them are beyond the scope and need of the average, everyday person.

As a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, part of my job is to figure out the imbalances in your body that are leading to your symptoms and then figure out how to bring you back into balance.

Surviving Flu Season in San Diego

Autumn in San Diego means Cold and Flu Season is upon us.

It's that time again. The time of year when the weather here in San Diego changes slightly from nice all the time to occasionally cold and somewhat damp... and then gets really hot again, but only during the day.

The time of year when we close up our windows and lock ourselves inside with all the germs that our friends, family, and especially any school-aged kids you may know and love bring home from the four corners of the county.

The time of year when we stuff our schedules like a Thanksgiving turkey trying to fit in all the parties, festivities, and sweet treats we can manage. Because, Holidays!

DIY Acupressure: Pericardium 6

One of the most versatile acupuncture points that I commonly use, Pericardium 6, lends itself well to at home use.

Firstly, it’s easy to find and use on yourself, and secondly, it treats a wide range of common symptoms. Especially symptoms related to anxiety, any type of nausea and vomiting, any type of chest pain or disorder, and stomach pain and bloating.

Pericardium 6 is a great point to use if you suffer from anxiety. Especially if your anxiety comes with racing or pounding heartbeats or any feeling of heaviness or restrictions in your chest.

Herbal Home Remedies for Cold and Flu

Cold and Flu season is by far my least favorite of all the seasons. It lacks the feeling of freedom and never-ending sunshine that Summer possesses, and it rains all over the festivities of Fall and Winter.

I prefer to skip it all together and my best resource for doing so is to arm myself with a stockpile of herbal remedies and essential oils.

Using herbs to treat cold and flu at home comes down to two basic strategies: 1) prevention and 2) treatment of early symptoms.

Acupuncture for Endometriosis

Once again, modern scientific research is discovering what practitioners of Chinese Medicine have known for thousands of years, acupuncture is an effective treatment for endometriosis and other severe period pain!

A small study in New Zealand has shown that 12 acupuncture treatments over three months significantly reduced the intensity and duration of pain associated with endometriosis of up to a year.

Progesterone Deficiency: What is it and how can I fix it?

Low progesterone is a common diagnosis for women with PMS symptoms and low fertility. It can show up as a short menstrual cycle, meaning less than 26 days, irritability, spotting before your period, acne flare ups, fatigue, low sex drive, and anxiety. All which add up to a whole lot of no fun at all.

A reasonable question to ask in such a case is, “What can I do to boost my progesterone?” While there are some herb and supplements you can take to support progesterone production, it’s not that simple…

Acupuncture for Kids?!?

Sticking your kid with needles is probably not the first thing you think of when she or he isn’t feeling well. But acupuncture is a gentle, effective treatment for your child, with no dangerous side effects.

In my practice I see kids for many common conditions that have likely run their course through your house.

Things like the common cold and coughs can effectively be treated with herbal medicine tinctures and acupuncture or non-needle techniques, especially if caught early.

How To Do A Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil packs are an easy, inexpensive, and relaxing way to help your body detoxify. Castor oil increases circulation, improves detoxification, and reduces inflammation.

These properties can be used to support liver detoxification by increasing blood circulation through the liver. Your liver is the organ that cleans out all the metabolic wastes from your blood, essentially taking all the used up and broken down hormones, food wastes, and environmental toxins out of circulation for elimination like a giant, squishy Brita filter.