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Kombucha is experiencing a revitalization as a healthy tonic beverage. While only recently gaining the popular spotlight, kombucha is believed to have first developed in China over 2000 years ago.  From there it spread throughout Asia, and within the last century, to the West. Some have said that kombucha can help with many types of illnesses, from insomnia, to poor digestion, and even reduce of gray hairs.  So does it do all that?  Let’s start with a little background. What is kombucha? Kombucha is a delicious fermented tea beverage. Its taste is both sweet and sour. Known as hóngchájùn (red tea fungus) in Chinese, the English word has been traced to Japanese etymology. The term “red tea fungus” can be

The introductory class for Acupressure for Self Healing at the New York Open Center is starting next week! Monday November 5th 2012 at 6pm. Interested in learning more about how you can use acupressure to relieve headaches, menstrual cramps, digestive problems, and improve overall health? Then you should come to my class at the New York Open Center in November 2012. What is acupressure? Acupressure is a traditional Chinese healing art in which physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points with the hand (rather than with needles as in acupuncture), so it can be practiced by everyone. How does acupressure work? Acupressure can helps to circulate and balance our qi (energy) to improve our overall health and wellness or help

The Meaning of Zhen Jiu ( 针灸) Acupuncture is not just acupuncture.  In fact, the word for acupuncture in Chinese, Zhen Jiu, actually  translates to “acupuncture and moxibustion”  which shows how central moxibustion is within acupuncture. Moxibustion is the warming of acupuncture points or needles.  Most often, this is done through burning an herb called mugwort.  It can also be done with heat lamps as well as herbal lotions. In my office, we use smokeless moxibustion because it is treated and does not create much smoke. How does Moxibustion work? Just like with acupuncture, moxibustion focuses on correcting the underlying imbalance in the body. Because it is warming, generally moxibustion is used when there is cold in the body.  Moxibustion

Green tea is well known for its health properties.  Recently, it has become popular for its antioxidants, which have been purported to reduce heart disease and cancer rates.  Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners sometimes will add green tea to an herbal formula, primarily for headaches. In Chinese culture, green tea is the staple drink.  Unlike in the West, in China people will refill their tea cup many times with water, using the same tea leaves. Not only is refilling the cup efficient and cost effective, by doing this one is drinking more of the antioxidants from the tea. The majority of the caffeine is extracted from tea within 30 seconds of brewing.  So the refills have very little caffeine in them,

Anything with the word “revenge” can’t be good.   Commonly called Montezuma’s revenge, traveler’s diarrhea is a common illness for adventurers. Traveler’s diarrhea was a concern of mine when we were trekking in Peru.  I’ve always known that I had a sensitive stomach when traveling, and I remember getting sick when in other countries.  I wanted to try to avoid it on this trip. I was still in graduate school during my Peru trip, and I did not have that much experience with treating traveler’s diarrhea.  I asked my favorite teacher, Dr. Kejian Xiao, who is a master herbalist about what to take for traveler’s diarrhea. Herbs for Traveler’s Diarrhea First, need to observe the intensity and symptoms. If you have

I serve as a volunteer expert on a number of websites for individuals looking for answers about health and Chinese medicine. Sometimes there is a question which I think would interest a lot of my readers. If you have a question about Chinese medicine, please feel free to e-mail me. Question: I have diabetes and have been tested for the GP and found to be retaining more than 30% of my food after four hours. I was taking Zelnorm which seemed to help but that has been withdrawn. Now I am on Reglan but my bowels seem to get unstable with it severe diarrhea followed by severe constipation. I have recently been dxd with my second colon infection also felt