January 21, 2013

Bone Broth Chicken Soup with Healing Herbs

Making soup with bone marrow stock enhances your immune system and provides you with easy to assimilate minerals. The marrow inside the bones contains nutrients that feed your whole body, including your own bone marrow. When your bone marrow is nourished, you create healthier immune cells and can better fight off colds and the flu.

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August 7, 2012

Carob-Sesame Energy Bars with Black Beans (Hei Dou)

This recipe is good for keeping the Kidney energy strong.  Dark colored foods, particularly black, are known for entering the Kidney channels and for strengthening the energy of the body associated with this area.  These carob-sesame energy bars have plenty of black colored ingredients that tonify the kidneys: vanilla bean, black beans, carob and black sesame seeds.

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July 29, 2012

Goji Power Balls


  • 3 tablespoons dried Goji berries
  • 3 tablespoon mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, buckwheat, sesame, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoon dried cherries (or other dried fruit of your choice)
  • 3 pitted dried dates, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoon almonds
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 squares of dark chocolate, chopped

June 26, 2012

Making Non-Alcohol ‘Glycerites’ with Vegetable Glycerin & Fresh Plant Material

If you want to extract plant medicines into a liquid that does not contain alcohol, then one good option is to make a glycerite.  This is very similar to making a 'tincture', except that a tincture is made with alcohol. Sure, you can easily buy an Echinacea Glycerite at Whole Foods, but they are also easy and so fun to make!  Glycerin is a vegetable sugar and does not contain alcohol.  I currently buy my glycerin in 16oz bottles form Lhasa Karnak in Berkeley, CA.  After sufficient soaking (2-4 weeks) the liquid (called the 'menstruum') is separated from the plant dregs (called the 'marc') and the medicine is filtered. Here are two methods for making non-alcoholic plant glycerites:

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August 13, 2011

Healthy ‘Spleen Qi’ Soup

This recipe comes from Rebecca and is especially good for maintaining a strong digestive system (healthy Spleen Qi) and reducing dampness (water & mucus retention).    Strong Spleen Qi is the basis of 'post-natal Qi' and health.  Keeping your spleen strong ensures that your digestive system will have the ability to extract all the nutrients from your food so your body can stay well nourished.   This is a super tasty recipe -  enjoy!


  • 2 cups Yi Yi Ren (Job's Tears / Coix Seeds) - I had a heck of a time trying to find this and they were at Ranch 99 the whole time!
  • 1 whole cooked chicken, including raw gizzard/giblets
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 lb. kale
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Some olive oil
  • A bunch of water
  • Salt to taste
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July 17, 2011

Self-Moxa Safety Instructions

Always use moxa in a well-ventilated room.  Do not use moxa if you feel you are catching a cold or a fever.

Supplies needed:

1. Pen 2. Moxa stick 3. Matches or lighter 4. Sink or a large pot 5. Glass jar filled with 2 inches uncooked rice

Instructions for Use:

1. Locate the point(s) to be treated and lightly mark with a pen. 2. Tear off the outer paper liner of the stick, leaving the inner white liner intact. 3. Light one tip of the moxa stick. Once the tip is burning, blow out the flame. 4. Holding the moxa stick over the sink or large pot, blow gently on the lit end until you have an evenly burning coal. Make sure that any embers stay contained within the sink or pot, and are properly extinguished. 5. Once you have an evenly burning coal, hold the moxa stick above the point to be treated. Hold it perpendicular to the surface of the skin, keeping the burning tip a comfortable distance from the skin – usually about ¾ of an inch.

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March 9, 2011

Chicken Soup with Ginseng, Angelica & Ginger (Ren Shen, Dang Gui & Sheng Jiang)


This is a nutritious tonic to promote qi and blood, improve bodily functions and energy.  Overall blood tonic.


  • Angelica (dang-gui) head 當歸頭- 5-10gram  (too much will give the soup a bitter taste)
  • Ginseng 人參 - 8gm  (or substitute Codonopsis ‘Dang Shen’)
  • Small Whole Chicken  (about 1 lb., use black-meat chicken for best effects)
  • Pitted red dates  紅棗 - 12 pieces
  • Fresh Ginger 生薑 - 2 slices
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November 30, 2010

Japanese Sour Plum & Bancha Twig Tea

Tea Leaf (Camellia sinensis):

In class we made a home-remedy that is a mixture of the pickled Japanese ume plum along with a certain type of green tea called bancha or kukicha (from the tea plant Camellia sinensis).  A little soy sauce and ginger can be added for flavor and warmth. Umesho bancha tea can be taken if there is discomfort after fasting or long-term illness.  It is often given to a mother at the time her baby is delivered. The following is for 1 serving.  The preparation time is about 3-5 minutes, and the cooking time is about 7-10 minutes.

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September 29, 2010

Astragalus Wine (Huáng Qí Jiŭ 黃耆)

Rice Wine'Huang Qi' 黃耆 Astragalus is one of the most helpful tonic herbs from the Asian materia medica.  This sweet and warm herbal medicine is categorized in the same category as Ginseng, and the two herbs have some similar properties.  Astragalus is used in many formulas and is good for people who show some weakness or signs of deficiency.  The strengthening properties of this plant will help to balance out and build up the person's weakness.  However, Astragalus is not particularly helpful for people who are prone to excess stagnation (thick tongue coating).

How to Use Astragalus:

Astragalus can be used in many ways.  The dried root slices are often cooked in water to extract the medicinal components.  The herb can also be taken internally in granular form, as a powder and in an alcohol extract (either as a tincture or as a wine).

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