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- • Healthy Choices for a Healthy Spring •
- • Tips and Tricks for a Sparkling Spring •
- • Fitness Routine Spring Cleaning •
Jade Windscreen Tea
Jade windscreen tea is a tonic made up of three herbs that are used to enhance the immune system. This herbal combination is thought to improve resistance to colds and flu, strengthen the lungs, and help to balance the body during periods of stress.
To make Jade Windscreen Tea, you will need equal parts (2–3 oz. each) of the herbs listed below.
1.) Huang Qi (Astragalus root)
2.) Bai Zhu (Atractylodes)
3.) Fang Feng (Ledebouriella Root)
Boil and Simmer. Place one part herbs and four parts water in a large stockpot. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover. Do not lift the lid to look at the herbs too often, as this will diminish the “flavor” and allow the volatile oils to evaporate out of the tea very easily. Cook the herbs for 30 to 45 minutes.
Strain the Tea and Drink. Using a slotted spoon, remove the herbs from the pot and allow the soup to cool. Pour the tea into a mug or thermos and sip it throughout the day. Two cups a day, taken with a slice of fresh ginger, is recommended through the cold and flu season.
The tea has a slightly bitter taste. Water down the tea or add a natural sweetener such as honey if you find the taste disagreeable.
As with all herbal medicine, please consult with your practitioner to determine if this is the best formula for you.
The Anti-Flu Diet
Looking for ways to reduce your chance of getting flu this season?
A study, published by The American Physiological Society found that mice were significantly less likely to contract flu when given quercetin, a powerful anti-oxidant found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.
According to the study’s authors, the research also indicated that high consumption of quercetin resulted in catching fewer colds.
So, what are the best quercetin rich foods that you can load up on? Quercetin is found in red onions, grapes, blueberries, tea, broccoli and red wine. Red onions are one of the best quercetin rich foods as they have approximately four times the quercetin of most other produce. Eat them raw or cooked.
Source: American Journal of Physiology
Foods for Fertility
“Your body is like a garden… As in all gardens, the seed we hope to plant in our bodies grows best when we cultivate the ground and plant and nurture the seed in harmony with the laws of nature. You wouldn’t put a tender plant in clay soil without first tilling and amending the earth – at least not if you wanted to give that plant its best start. You wouldn’t plant in the dead of winter, or in the dry season without water, or in a sunless place. Likewise, if we tend our bodies, minds, and spirits with an awareness of the laws of nature, we improve our chances of welcoming the gifts of Quan Yin, the fertility goddess.” Angela Wu, L.Ac., author of Fertility Wisdom.
According to Oriental medicine, the energy of the Kidney system is important for reproduction and fertility enhancement often starts with the Kidneys. A good example of a food that nourishes the Kidneys and promotes fertility is black beans.
Health Benefits of Black Beans
From an Eastern perspective, black beans are warming in nature. They are thought to tonify the Kidney Qi and nourish Yin and Blood.
From a Western perspective, black beans are an excellent source of protein, folate, iron and fiber and are rich in antioxidants.
Loaded with Antioxidants
Research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry indicates that black beans are as rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins as grapes and cranberries, fruits long considered antioxidant superstars.
When researchers analyzed different types of beans, they found that, the darker the bean’s seed coat, the higher its level of antioxidant activity. Gram for gram, black beans were found to have the most antioxidant activity, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow, and white beans.
Overall, the level of antioxidants found in black beans in this study is approximately 10 times that found in an equivalent amount of oranges, and comparable to that found in an equivalent amount of grapes or cranberries.
Source: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, November 2003
The 5-Minute Acupressure Face Lift
Here is a 5-Minute Acupressure Face Lift to smooth wrinkles and firm up the face.
To draining the lymph system and smooth the skin
• Begin at the center of the forehead using the thumbs, and stroke across the eyebrows. Repeat 3 times.
• With the pads of the thumb, move from the outside edge of the eyebrows to the hollow in front of the ear (Fig 1).
• Using 3 inner fingers of both hands to massage the back of the neck from middle towards outside for 30 seconds with circular motion.
To lift and tone the face, chin and neck
• Stroke upward in lines from the eyebrows into the hairline. Repeat 3 to 5 times (Fig 2).
• Press on DU20 (the point on the very top of the head) to bring energy upward. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
• Using the pads of the thumbs, stroke in a circular motion from the eyebrow to temple to jawline and to the points below the eye. Repeat 9 to 12 times (See Fig 3).
• For neck wrinkles: Stroke upward from the collar bone to the jawline. Repeat 3–5 times (See Fig 4).
Recipe for Nourishing Beauty – Sweet Rice Congee
Sweet black rice, when cooked with longan berries (euphoria longana) and Chinese dates, becomes a congee that nourishes blood and Qi.
In the Oriental medicine system of food cures, these three foods work together to enhance beauty and longevity.
• The sweet rice promotes the flow of liver Qi, which helps keep angry feelings at bay and leads to calmness.
• The Chinese dates (different from the Mediterranean variety) nourish blood and spleen, promoting restful sleep and mental clarity.
• Longan fruit, a blood enhancer, was used by the ancients to add luster to the skin. From a Western perspective, we know that longans contain large amounts of Vitamin C and phenolic compounds, which may help to detoxify and protect the liver.
Sweet Rice Congee
(Taken from Ancient Healing for Modern Women, by Dr. Xiolan Zhao, C.M.D.)
6 cups water
1 cup black sweet rice (wash before using)
½ cup dried longan fruit
10 Chinese dates
2 tablespoons raw sugar
½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
In a large heavy saucepan, add 6 cups of water, black sweet rice, longan fruit, dates, and raw sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Garnish with ginger. Makes four servings.
Note: All ingredients are available at most Asian grocery stores.
Author: Elizabeth G. Lynch