Tag: holistic health

Health benefits of fermented Tea

 

by Ann Zimmerman, LAc.

Fermented Foods and drinks are rich sources of probiotics…beneficial bacteria for humans.Our digestive tract’s ecological community contains more than 1,000 types of bacteria. Fermented foods help with nutrient and vitamin absorption, the breakdown of proteins, boosting immunity, detoxification, alkalizing our PH, and restoring balance to our homeostasis.

Consuming fermented foods is somewhat like consuming predigested food, our bodies do less work for more nutritional gain.  Familiar food ferments include; cheeses, yogurt, pickles, miso, tempeh, kimchi, and sauerkraut. In addition to fermented foods, we also have the medicinal category of fermented beverages: kombucha, vinegars(shrubs), wine, beer, cider, Jun, and many more.

Lets focus on the ever popular Kombucha(commonly fermented black tea and white sugar) and Jun(fermented green tea and raw honey). The perfect cold drink for a hot summer day in the Rogue Valley. Many people decide to try these fermented gems because they seek to alleviate various ailments.  However the way these drinks are able to help with ailments is not by curing diseases, but rather, by optimizing the bodies ability to run it’s immune system and physiological functions more efficiently.  Stress specifically is one of the most detrimental factors to our health and fermented teas can help us mitigate the effects of stress on our bodies.

These ferments are considered adaptogens. Adaptogens normalize the bodies ability to deal with stress. They are a good source of anti-oxidants, helping us to eliminate the free radicals generated by stress, while providing protection for our liver by reducing cravings for sugar and alcohol.  Kombucha and Jun support healthy digestion by increasing the acidity in the gut. Gut acidity eases digestion and absorption of nutrients, thus reducing symptoms of bloating and irritable bowel.

These ferments also contain bio-available  B and C vitamins…meaning the vitamins are in a form the the body can easily recognize and absorb(in contrast to many vitamin pills).The B vitamins help to stabilize the mood and improve concentration, while the C vitamin suppresses cortisol(stress hormone)levels, reducing the risk for hypertension and depression.

Kombucha is extremely popular,with good reason, for being such a healthy and tasty beverage. Finding locally made ferments is not hard in the Rogue Valley or you can try your hand at the “wall of Kombucha” in the grab and go sections of most groceries. For those of you who would like to try your hand at home-brew…..I can personally speak to the rewards of caring for these cultures and enjoying the benefits of home-brew. Whatever you relationship is with ferments, I encourage you to keep experimenting with adding a consistent variety of fermented goodies to your wellness plan.

Double blind studies (and the politics of medical acceptance)

by Clark Zimmerman, LAc.

Western medicine is based on research.  It is a system that is always seeking the latest and greatest thing.  It is based on the idea that innovation is the solution to treating disease.  The cornerstone of modern medicine is the double blind study.  A double blind study is an experiment or clinical trial in which neither the subjects nor the researchers know which subjects are receiving the active medication or treatment.  It is meant to eliminate subjective bias from the test results.  These studies involve 3 groups.  The first is the control group that receives no treatment, the second is given a drug or treatment to be tested, and the third is given a placebo, which is an inert substance or treatment that shouldn’t have any effect on the patient.  The test is double blind if both the patient and the researcher doesn’t know who gets the drug and who gets the placebo.  It is considered to be the gold standard of western science in proving that a substance or treatment works.

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Lower Your Internal Thermostat

It seems that everyone is talking about the weather these days. We all know that summer is the season of heat. This is great if you want to go swimming or play in the river, but it can be quite distracting if you are doing most other outdoor activities. Chinese medicine focuses a lot of attention on the internal body temperature. Unlike the western approach of using a thermometer to determine the body temperature, Chinese medicine pays greater attention to how a person feels subjectively about their temperature. In other words, does a patient feel hot or cold, or are they generally comfortable. Temperature is such an important subject in Chinese medical treatment that it is one of the primary 8 principles used to diagnose and treat any illness.

On hot days, it is natural to feel warmer in response to the temperature of our surroundings. It is also expected that when the weather turns cooler our bodies would feel cooler as well. But these tendencies can be influenced by our internal balance. If we are cold internally, then colder weather can exacerbate cold symptoms, leading to a feeling of chilliness, nasal discharge, frequent colds, diarrhea, frequent urination, or digestive problems. If we have “internal heat” in the body, then the warm days may effect us more intensely, leading to symptoms of headaches, increased sweating, red eyes, irritability, dryness, skin rashes/itchiness, constipation, urinary difficulty, digestive complaints, or bleeding problems.

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