Food and Herbal Medicine
You have an opportunity for renewal in every moment.
Every day, you choose what to eat, drink, and whether or not to take supplements or medications. When you’re able to listen to your body and understand the relationship between what you ingest and how you feel, the choices become more and more obvious.
There is stuff you ingest that makes you feel good, gives you energy, relieves pain, and allows for clear thinking.
And there’s plenty of stuff that turns the needle in the other direction.
Yes, food medicine. All food is medicine because it affects your energy, i.e. production of blood cells, antioxidants, etc. Simply stated, the food choices you make result in the energy that you produce – or squander – each day.
There’s really no way to overstate the role of diet in health. You are remaking your physical body with each bite.
In my practice, I encourage clients to explore their relationship with food. How does it make you feel? What if we tried eliminating a food or food group for a while to see how you feel… would it be worth a try?
It becomes clear that, like all things, all foods are not fit for all people. In Chinese medicine, we look to avoid foods that will create stagnation and buildup in the body. It could be that what you’re eating is encouraging the wrong bacteria for a healthy gut. Or that you’re really intolerant to some food (think gluten, lactose, casein) that is creating inflammation and harming the intestinal walls.
All this may require your digestion to work harder than necessary, which leads to loss of energy, fatigue, and eventually chronic illness.
Some simple adjustments can have a big effect on overall energy, relief of pain, loss of weight, and even reversal of chronic problems, like autoimmune diseases, headaches, and even anxiety, mood, and depression.
Like food, medicinal herbs help the body absorb nutrients, have a corrective effect on inflammation and blood stagnation, and help build strength where there is weakness.
But they have been chosen and evaluated over centuries for their powerful effects, that go above and beyond what you can do with dietary changes alone.
The herbs contain powerful substances that are often isolated to make pharmaceutical drugs. When taken in a more natural state and combined with other herbs, the body is able to change more gradually and with fewer, if any, side effects.
In Chinese herbal medicine, we combine herbs into formulas to enhance the effects and create a more synergistic physiological response in the body.
There are different formulas for every ailment; common colds and flus, digestive disorders, back pain, herniated discs, insomnia, painful menstruation, headaches … and on and on.
The combination of herbs is essential to maximize one herb’s potential therapeutic effects, while minimizing any harm to the body. That means they’re safe.
All herbal formulas can be taken by pill or capsule, which make them easy to comply with so that you get the most benefit with minimal effort.