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job's Tears or Yi Yi Ren (a.k.a. Chinese pearl barley), is one of the greatest herbs in Chinese medicine for aiding in weight loss!
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, all foods have their own properties, some more therapeutic than others. In the case of Job's Tears, it has a sweet and bland taste, cool in temperature and has an affinity for the Spleen, Lung and Kidney meridians; all three heavily involved in water metabolism.
The reason job's tears is so effective in a weight loss program is due to the therapeutic actions of the food / herb. The 3 most relevant actions in weight loss are: Strengthening the Spleen, Resolving dampness and clearing heat and damp-heat. Keep reading to learn more about these three actions and at the end you will find 2 recipes for weight loss that can be added to a comprehensive individualized weight loss program.
3 Key Actions of Job's Tears that Can Aid in Weight Loss
Tonifies (strengthens) the Spleen - In TCM, the Spleen is a crucial organ system that plays a critical role in maintaining gut health, proper digestion, providing nourishment to the tissues, and overall well-being. When the Spleen becomes dysfunctional, as it is in many Western patients, its ability to perform the all – in – important function of transformation & transportation (T&T) becomes inhibited. This function, with the help of the Stomach and Pancreas, is responsible for breaking down food, extracting nutrients, delivering those nutrients throughout the body, and sending the “clear” (nutrients) upward and the “turnbid” (metabolic waste downward.
Resolving dampness - As mentioned above, one of the main causes of the accumulation of dampness is a dysfunctional Spleen. Dampness, if untreated, can transform into phlegm, which can cause many pathological issues. Both damp and phlegm can be complicated by combining with either cold or heat. Pathogenic damp is one of the hardest pathogens to clear – up due to its sticky and turbid nature.
Dampness can be correlated to adipose tissue, the retention of water, metabolic waste, a decline in beneficial bacteria, fungus, turbid bodily discharges, and elevated levels of cholesterol.
Clear heat & damp-heat - In general, job’s tears is really useful for clearing heat away. This heat can be generated by physiological processes that are overworking due to stagnation (metabolic pathways that have become obstructed or micro stasis of blood / dead blood). If there is an accumulation of pathogenic damp and the presence of pathogenic heat, these two can combine into damp-heat, which is double trouble.
Job's Tears Soup
Drink soup and eat grains. You can add some honey for taste.
Tips: If you soak the Job's tears 2-3 hours in advance, it'll take shorter time to cook it. But I don't think it's necessary if you have enough time.
After boiling, you must turn to low heat, otherwise the water will evaporate very fast.
You can add more water if you want to drink the soup.
Job's Tears and Red Bean Soup
Small red bean is very effective for removing edema. It also helps to lose weight. When Job's tears and small red bean are cooked together it strengthens the therapeutic function.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
According to a 2011 study, the prevalence of hyperuricemia and gout has increased in both men and women over the past 20 years; effecting 8.3 million American adults.  Gout affects men 4 times more than women, and is seen to a greater extent in men over the age of 30. 
Gout attacks can be quite excruciating, but can be lessened or even prevented with some simple lifestyle changes. Below you will find some recommendations that will improve your quality of life, and reduce the frequency of attacks.
1. Stick to a low – purine diet  - Purines are amino acids that when metabolized create the waste product uric acid. The following foods are high in purines and should be avoided:
2. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet - Gout is an inflammatory disease, so it only makes sense to eat foods that do not invoke inflammation. (see list of anti-inflammatory foods vs inflammatory foods)
3. Avoid refined sugars and high fructose corn sugar (HFCS) - The standard American diet (SAD) is saturated with sugar and sweeteners like HFCS, and are implicated in many chronic diseases. HFCS is a combination of fructose and glucose sugars and directly linked with metabolic diseases. HFCS increases uric acid , and has also been found to cause scarring in the liver where most uric acid is synthesized. 
4. Eliminate alcohol - Alcohol converts to lactic acid, which inhibits the elimination of uric acid.
5. Stay hydrated - This helps flush the system. Add some freshly squeezed lemon juice to increase the detoxing effects.
6. Restrict caffeine intake - Studies have found a correlation between caffeine intake within a 24 hour period and increased gout attacks in people who already have the condition. 
7. Reduce weight - Obesity puts individuals at higher risk for gout, especially men.  Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys demonstrated that gout was more prevalent in individuals with a higher body mas index (BMI) score. 
8. Manage stress - No matter what the disease stress has a negative effect on the mind and the body. Stress can trigger a gout attack, so it's important to find productive ways to deal with stress. Here are a few suggestions: meditation, yoga or deep breathing; find what works best for you.
9. Eat lots of cherries or hawthorn berries ( 20 / day) - These contain antioxidants and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Studies have found that cherry consumption reduces the frequency of gout attacks. 
10. Avoid these medications:
Lifestyle modifications are the most effective deterrent of gout attacks. Visit our Conditions Treated page to read more about the condition of gout
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Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
Inflammatory Foods to Avoid
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Ever since the yo – yo dieting trends started to take hold back in the 80’s, eggs have gotten a bad rap as being an unhealthy food. Well, now you’re going to get the truth! Eggs are actually one of nature’s perfect foods that gives you all kinds of great nutrients all conveniently packaged in a low - glycemic, easy to fix food. Ironically, most of those nutrients are in the part of the egg most of you have been throwing away - the yolk!
Here’s what you've been missing . . .
One reason many people freak out over eggs is because the cholesterol “number” is so high, and most of it is concentrated in the yoke - the best part, by the way! If only they knew the facts about cholesterol.
The cholesterol in eggs is dietary cholesterol, which means it’s good for you - your body needs it and can use it. For many years egg cholesterol was made out to be the bad guy / girl and associated with low – density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. This couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, the dietary cholesterol from eggs has been found to increase the “good” cholesterol called high – density lipoprotein or (HDL).[i]
In fact, eating whole eggs is more nutritious and healthier for you compared to eating egg substitutes according to one study.[ii]
To take this one step further, just too clear up some myths about LDL cholesterol, these numbers cannot be interpreted on their own, they must be considered in ratios to one another; and most importantly, the LDL number on your cholesterol panel must be further analyzed in terms of particle size.
If you have a high LDL number it's not necessarily a bad thing. It’s only bad if the particle size is small, which means it can penetrate the arterial walls and cause plaque to build - up. On the other hand, if the particle size is large, that’s good, because it won’t be able to pass through the wall. Unfortunately, too many doctors don’t order the right blood work, and fail to interpret blood chemistry within the framework of “optimal health” ranges.
In Chinese medicine, cooked eggs are warm in nature with a sweet flavor. The nutritional value of the egg white is associated with benefiting the lungs, while the egg yolk benefits the heart and the kidneys.
They have a nourishing effect by supplementing the Qi and blood, nourish yin, have the ability to calm the fetus in pregnant women, moisten the lungs, and clear lung heat.
Eggs are considered a preferred food for the elderly due to their nourishing effects, and are generally used to treat patterns of deficiency.
Some of the indications are: fatigue, weakness, malnutrition, insomnia, red eyes, heart palpitations sore throat, dry cough, etc.
The final word . . . EGGS are AWESOME! They’re full of nutrients that you need, they’re economical, easy to cook, you can prepare them a million different ways, and they should definitely be a regular part of your diet.
Be sure to:
Don’t pay much attention to the USDA stamp, they’re just another useless government agency that fails to do their job; in this case, regulating labels, expiration dates, quality and farm conditions. The best thing you can do is investigate the farm you purchase from, to insure a high quality product.
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Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., LAc., Dipl.Ac.
1. Take time to eat. Instead of woofing down your meal in 5 minutes, spend 20 - 30 minutes at mealtimes.
2. Chew, Chew, and Chew. This is the beginning of the digestive process in which food is broken down into a smaller and more digestible size. People who don't chew enough tend to have digestive problems.
3. Limit / don't drink during a meal. When you drink liquids during a meal it dampens the digestive fire and dilutes the acid in the stomach, which is needed for digestion.
4. Eat foods that are beneficial to your gut microbiota (good bacteria). These include fiber rich foods like vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Fermented foods with "live cultures" are also very good, although not everyone can eat them.
5. Eliminate cold, chilled and raw food & drinks from your diet. These put out the digestive fire needed to digest food, and also damages the intestinal lining.
6. Follow your meals with a healthy dessert like fresh papaya or pineapple (not canned). These fruits contain natural digestive enzymes which aid in digestion.
7. Include plenty of fiber in your diet.
8. Don't eat at night. The GI tract becomes stagnant at night. If you eat late, the food will stagnate inside the colon and become rotten.
9. Stay hydrated throughout the day. Hydration helps to dissolve and absorb nutrients. If you're under-hydrated this can slow the digestive process and cause constipation.
10. Keep stress levels down. Stress negatively affects the digestive process by inhibiting gastric secretion and gut motility. For this reason, it's a good idea not to eat while stress levels are high or if your're emotionally distraught.
Bonus Tip: AVOID ANTIBIOTICS - They destroy your gut flora, especially after repeated use. If you take antibiotics, you must follow-up with a physician grade probiotic to restore your gut flora.
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At one time hunger and malnutrition was a global problem, but now there is a shift to West where obesity and under-nutrition now outweighs hunger. Read the full article here.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, LAc., Dipl.
There are many factors that determine how much caffeine a tea contains. Some of these are: the region, climate where the plant is grown, nutrients contained in the soil, cultivation methods,
altitude, when the leaves are picked, the variety of the plant, manufacturing methods, and how the tea itself is prepared.
The most popular teas are black, oolong, green and white, which all come from the same plant, the evergreen shrub (camellia sinensis). What makes these teas different is the processing they go through to arrive at the finished tea product. Following is a brief description of each type of tea and the level of caffeine it contains.
Black Tea – This is the darkest of the four types and contains the highest amount of caffeine. Black tea is the most processed tea of the bunch, which means that it undergoes full oxidation (a process of fermentation). After being picked the leaves are withered in the sun, then rolled / bruised in order to break the cell walls to release the enzymes, which start the fermentation process, and finally they’re dried. This process is basically the same for the other oxidized teas, the only difference is the fermenting time.
Oolong Tea – Is a semi-processed tea, meaning that the leaves are fired to stop the fermentation process. It contains the second highest level of caffeine.
Green Tea – Has the third highest content of caffeine and is unoxidized. The leaves are steamed, rolled and then dried.
White Tea – Is the least processed of the four and contains little caffeine. The leaves are harvested while very young and with the bud closed; only the top leaf is picked. They’re sun – dried and then packaged.
Ways to decrease Caffeine in a cup of tea
If you are someone who cannot drink caffeinated beverages, sensitive to caffeine, or would like to cut back on caffeine here are some options for you.
You can use water that is cooler in temperature and to steep the tea for a shorter period of time. If you’re using loose leaf tea, you can use less leaf. Another method is to steep the tea in hot water for approximately 1 minute, which releases 80% of the caffeine, dump it, and steep a second cup following the above guidelines.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, LAc., Dipl.
This was a good question posed to me a couple of weeks ago, and I actually had to do a little research.
Turns out, there's actually a really good reason why you get hot tea with your food.
Historically, Chinese food has been greasy and heavily fried; which amounts to a lot of fat. The Chinese figured out that if you drink green tea / black tea with the food it will pull out a lot of the fat and carry it out via elimination.
It's able to do this because the green tea molecules have a hydrophilic end (affinity for water) and a lipophilic end (affinity for fats). The water end stays in the water while the fat end attaches to the fat molecules in the stomach and pulls them out before they can be absorbed in the intestinal tract.
Keep in mind these healthy benefits, which lower cholesterol and fat absorption, and have a cup of green tea with your next meal.
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