Archives

You are currently viewing the tag herbal medicine

Attacking Seasonal Allergies with Acupuncture and Herbs

Ahhhh Choo!

At long last, spring has sprung! For many of us, the tender spring flowers, leaves and grasses blossom in tandem with runny noses, sneezing, itchy, red and watery eyes, headaches, brain fog, fatigue and scratchy throats. If spring is an enigmatic harbinger of long-awaited beauty as well as debilitating seasonal allergy symptoms for you and your loved ones, you’re in luck! Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be effective therapies when it comes to battling the pollen and keeping you feeling healthy enough to get outside and enjoy all that spring has to offer.

Invading Allergies

According to Chinese medicine theory, allergy symptoms arise when your body’s wei qi (protective barrier or immune system) is weak. The wei qi is connected to the Lung meridian, which is in charge of opening and closing the pores to release toxins from inside of the body and keep immune-compromising pathogens out. Imagine your wei qi as the first line of defense against an enemy attack! If the wei qi/ immune system is weak, the lungs cannot properly close the pores of the skin to protect the body from pathogens. Pathogens that cause allergies – like pollen – ride into battle on spring winds and easily invade weak immune systems, causing the combination of symptoms we know as “seasonal allergies.”

Counter-attack and Strength Building

If you seek help for allergies from an acupuncturist, they will choose acupuncture points that not only help alleviate allergy symptoms but also work to re-balance and build up your immune system so it is not as susceptible to invasion. Acupuncture can effectively help clear sinuses, soothe irritated throats and boost energy. When it comes to chronic allergies, however, it is best to receive regular acupuncture treatments for several months prior to the season when your symptoms flare. That way, you and your acupuncturist can ensure your body’s immune system and wei qi is strong enough to withstand allergens.

The Story of the Jade Screen

Chinese herbal remedies can also be effective when it comes to building up your body’s immune system and treating allergy symptoms. One of the most popular formulas for seasonal allergies is called Yu Ping Feng San or Jade Screen Formula. Just like acupuncture, this formula contains herbs that help expel seasonal pathogens from your body and bolster your immune system against future allergy attacks.

A teacher of mine once told me that the story behind the name of Jade Screen Formula stems from a tradition in ancient China. In the springtime, people used to put screens carved out of jade in front of their doors when they opened them to let fresh spring air into their homes. The screens were supposed to protect the household and its inhabitants from “evil wind pathogens” … otherwise known as seasonal allergens.

It is best to take this and other similar formulas for at least a month prior to allergy season.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, speak with an acupuncturist today! You may be stopping to smell the roses this year after all!

 

 


Three Natural Remedies for Heartburn

Theres Natural Relief from Heartburn

Have you suffered for months or years from heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion? Is it to the point where you carry Tums, Pepto-Bismol or proton pump inhibitors around with you wherever you go? Heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion are common ailments, and people of all ages experience their uncomfortable symptoms, says Dr. Sasha Rose, a board-certified naturopathic doctor and the Medical Director at Wildwood Medicine in Portland, Maine.

Yet, those who take the conventional route to treating heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion often never get to the root of their problem. Thats because Western Medicine often treats the symptoms but ignores the cause of the condition. In fact, many people permanently adopt the use of over-the-counter drugs, not knowing that these conventional treatments do not heal, they simply mask your symptoms. The fact is that conventional treatments are meant to be used for days or weeks, not months and years.

If youre using medications, such as proton pump inhibitors, to suppress your normal stomach acid for years or even decades, then you could be at risk for bigger problems,says Dr. Rose. Stomach acid is there for a reason, its there to digest food. If theres not enough acid in your stomach, then your food is not getting properly broken up and it can become a domino effect, leading to more serious imbalances in your microbiome and gut flora.

Proton pump inhibitors are really intended for two weeks,says Dr. Rose, yet people stay on them for months and even years.

Getting Natural Relief from Heartburn

The good news is that there are several natural ways to get temporary relief from heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion. Most people dont know that theres large a variety of natural remedies derived from common plants and herbs and many of these are already in your kitchen!

Here are some suggestions that can relieve the suffering from the burning or uncomfortable conditions that come with chronic heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion.

  1. Eat your biggest meal in the middle of the day, not at night which is when many people suffer from heartburn.
  2. Raise up the head of your bed and or sleep on two pillows.
  3. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), a form of licorice known to alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux is available in supplement or chewable form.
  4. Aloe Vera can help reduce acid production and act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Aloe Vera is available as a juice or in supplement form.
  5. Baking soda mixed with water can also provide temporary relief.

Finding the Long-Term Fix for Heartburn

The natural remedies listed above provide relief for heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion. For some, they can even cure the problem. For others, however, its necessary to go deeper. Once youve gotten temporary relief from your heartburn and acid reflux symptoms, thats the time to seek the long-term fix. Part of this entails looking at what is causing the problem in the first place.

One way to start your long-term healing is to look at the most common foods that exacerbate heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion. Among them are some of our favorites: coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, and tomato products, such as tomato paste. Reducing or altogether removing those items from your diet is a great way to start, but for some its not easy to make these dietary changes. Getting support can make all the difference.

The process of healing from heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion can take time, and having a doctor to help you along the path to optimal health, is not only smart, but its an investment in your long-term health and vitality. If you want to master your digestive health and treat your heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion naturally, Dr. Sasha Rose can help get to the root cause.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sasha, either in person or online, go to:

http://drsasharose.com/schedule/

About

Dr. Sasha specializes in treating chronic digestive disorders. These include GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disorder), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns disease. In 2013 she published her first book: Digestive Relief for Life: The Secret to the Mind-Gut Connection.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sasha Rose, go to:

http://drsasharose.com/schedule/


One Podcast Episode You Must Hear!

On the Science (and Magic) of Herbal Medicine

When I listened to this interview with Guido Masé on my way to work last month, I found that his words, quite literally, filled me to the brim. Within the next couple of weeks, I listened to this interview two more times. I’m not through with it, either. I plan on listening to it whenever I need inspiration. About anything, really – not just in the practice of medicine – which makes it doubly awesome, in my book.

So check it out, and hear Guido Masé eloquently explain the science and magic of plant medicine. He skillfully weaves in history and science and tradition to deliver a  fascinating and educational narrative about three therapeutic classes of plants (bitters, tonics, and aromatics).

His message is practical,  potent, and pure, and I encourage you to give it a listen! Check out the interview here.

Below is the link to Guido’s book: