Beetroot Dip

1 medium fresh beetroot

3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp lime juice

1 small Spanish onion

1 375ml tub bioactive yogurt

Sea salt and pepper to taste


Slow bake the beetroot for approx 1- 1.5 hour at 150-2000C. When cooked, allow to cool, then peel and grate. Chop finely the garlic and onion. In a bowl add all the ingredients and mix well. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato & Lentil Soup

Cooking time: less than 60 minutes

1 brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
olive or canola oil spray
500g sweet potato, cubed
½ cup dried red lentils
3 ½ cups vegetable stock
1 zucchini, grated

Sauté onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add sweet potato, lentils and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until lentils are tender. Stir in zucchini 5 minutes before serving.

Simple, tasty and healthy!

Spice Roasted Cauliflower With Quinoa

The dish makes a great side for roasted chicken or fish simply seared with lemon and garlic. Or, bring leftovers to work for a healthy lunch.

The recipe is endlessly adaptable. You can sub in 2 Tbsp. lemon juice for the preserved lemon, and also play around with other herbs and spices like mint, coriander and cinnamon.


1 head cauliflower, separated into small florets
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. za’atar
1 tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes or 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic with skins on
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 2/3 cup water
3 Tbsp. finely chopped preserved lemon rind (flesh removed before chopping rind)
3 Tbsp. golden raisins
3 Tbsp. toasted, chopped hazelnuts, pine nuts or sliced almonds
handful cilantro leaves, chopped
Optional: drizzle of plain yogurt and/or pomegranate molasses

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine cauliflower, olive oil, spices, and a good dusting of salt and pepper.

Spread on baking sheet and add garlic cloves. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to get the cauliflower evenly browned.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in saucepan, then reduce heat and add quinoa. Cover and simmer 15 minutes until liquid is evaporated.

Remove cauliflower from oven. Remove garlic cloves and let cool. Once cooled, squeeze garlic from skins and mince or mash with a fork.

In a large bowl, fold together cauliflower, garlic, quinoa, preserved lemon and pine nuts. Garnish with cilantro, and perhaps some yogurt and pomegranate molasses. Tastes great served warm or room temperature. Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Ear Acupuncture proves effective in addiction and detoxification treatment

by PF Louis


(Natural News) In 1972, a Hong Kong neurosurgeon, Dr. H. L. Wen, discovered that the acupuncture he used on a surgical patient for analgesic purposes also diminished the patient’s opium withdrawal and cravings. Dr. Wen was using auricular or ear acupuncture, where needle points are routinely used for diminishing pain throughout the rest of the body.

Dr. Wen experimented with auricular acupuncture on different addicts, and discovered a high rate of recovery for addictions of all types. By 1974, this treatment was used by the addiction recovery and detoxification clinic of New York’s South Bronx Lincoln Memorial Hospital. It was used as an adjunct for methadone treatments.

Methadone was eventually dropped. The acupuncture treatments were so effective that dropping the substituted addiction of methadone for heroin was a no-brainer. Since then, drug addiction recovery and detoxification clinics using auricular acupuncture have been established in several U.S. cities.

The clinics are often publicly funded, but not from Medicare or Medicaid. The FDA ruled that acupuncture was “experimental.” This ruling effectively restricted medical competition by banning government insurance and discouraging private insurers from providing coverage.



Acupuncture for back and pelvic pain during pregnancy

A Cochrane Database systematic review has concluded that current evidence supports acupuncture as a treatment for pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. The authors included 26 randomised trials examining 4093 pregnant women in their review. Moderate-quality evidence suggested that both acupuncture and exercise tailored to the stage of pregnancy can significantly reduce evening pelvic pain and lumbo-pelvic pain compared to usual care alone. In addition acupuncture was found to be significantly more effective than exercise for reducing evening pelvic pain, and was also more effective than physiotherapy at relieving evening lumbo-pelvic pain and disability and improving pain and function, although the effects were small. (Interventions for preventing and treating pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.2013 Aug 1;8:CD001139).

Mushroom & Asparagus Stir-fry


Serves 2


1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 spring onions, thinly sliced

5cm piece ginger, peeled, finely grated

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, extra

70g each grey oyster, white oyster, shiitake & brown chestnut mushrooms, chopped coarsely

Small bunch very thin asparagus, chopped coarsely

½ cup snow peas, trimmed

Pinch salt and white pepper

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tbs kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)

½ cup watercress sprigs or baby spinach leaves

Steamed rice to serve (if you like)


Heat oil in a small saucepan, add spring onions, ginger and salt then sauté briefly until fragrant. Set aside.

Heat wok over high heat until smoking. Add extra oil. Add mushrooms, asparagus & snow peas all at once. Stir-fry until just tender. Season with salt, pepper and sesame oil. Toss briefly to combine.

Transfer to a serving plate (with or without steamed rice). Drizzle with reserved spring onion & ginger mixture and kecap manis. Poke watercress sprigs in and around stir-fry to serve. Enjoy!


Chinese and Western Medicine comparison

Do you believe that a person’s disease can be diagnosed simply by feeling the wrist pulse? That puncturing specific sites on the body with needles could possibly cure your chronic backache? Or that mushroom-like herbal medicine can serve as an energy booster or even enhance your immune system?
If you don’t, you’re probably not one of those hundreds of millions of followers of traditional Chinese medicine, an ancient healing system based on nearly five thousand years of research and experiments.

There have been disputes, however, on the worthiness of traditional Chinese medicine and its methods of curing illness as compared to Western medicine.

But in recent years, the effectiveness of Chinese medicine, which covers a wide range of practices including such treatments as herbal medicine, acupuncture, and Tui na massage, has come to be recognized increasingly throughout the world.

In 2003, the World Health Organization published a landmark study entitled “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials,” in which scientific evidence is cited to support the claim that ancient Chinese medication has proven to be scientifically effective for a total of 28 conditions.

200 years versus 5000

“To Westerners, scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses,” says Chuang Shih-ming, a Chinese medicine doctor based in Taipei City.

“Chinese medicine also takes the same approach,” he argues. “The only difference lies in the fact that Western medicine uses about 200 years of such ‘scientific’ methods of observation and testing of hypotheses to prove its effectiveness, while the Chinese version uses several thousands of years.”

Methodologically, Chinese medicine is also at odds with Western medicine.

Western medicine is analytically based on anatomy of the human body by focusing on medical test results and in particular on numbers, while Chinese medicine is holistic, regarding the human body as an inseparable whole, Chuang says.

Looked at this way, Western medicine and Chinese medicine should thus be referred to as micro- and macro-medical medicine respectively, he notes.

“Unlike the Western belief that says that bacteria and viruses cause disease, Chinese medicine only sees the different symptoms, and we tend to believe in the ability of a human to heal him or herself.”

So Chinese medical treatments are aimed at elevating one’s ability to fight all the syndromes and to help people to regain and maintain balance in their body, he adds.

Clinical diagnosis and treatment

Sitting in the office of his Chinese Medicine Clinic in Taipei’s Tianmu area, Chuang discloses that he was originally a computer programming language major in college, but because of his family background, he later transferred to the study of Chinese medicine.

Chuang goes on to say that clinical diagnosis and treatment in traditional Chinese medicine are mainly based on the yin-yang and the five-element theory involving wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

These theories apply the phenomena and laws of nature to study of the physiological activities and pathological changes in the human body, he notes.

He shows me how a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner diagnoses a certain disease.

Traditional Chinese diagnostics are based on overall observation of human symptoms. A typical Chinese doctor’s diagnostic methods begin by observing (wang), then hearing and smelling (wen) a patient. He then asks about his or her background (wen) before feeling (qie) the person’s wrist pulse.

The pulse-reading component of the touching examination is one of the most important parts of diagnosis, Chuang says.

After taking a patient’s pulse, the doctor will do tongue examination.

The Chinese believe that by reading the condition of one’s tongue, including its color, texture, shape, size, and coating, a practitioner can determine one’s health.

Following all of the above examinations, the doctor will write a prescription which is taken to the front to be filled.

Herbs used in Chinese medicine are derived from plant, animal and mineral substances. Most herbal medicines are plant-derived, such as ginseng and ginger; however, some minerals and animal parts may also be prescribed for use in medication.

In Taiwan and many other parts of the world, herbs often come in formulas that call for a mixture of all kinds of herbal medicines.

In the past these prescriptions were steeped in boiled water to drink, but now they are also made into powder forms which are more convenient for patients to take.

Sometimes the patient may need other treatments for a condition, including acupuncture, Tui na and cupping massage.

Tons of treatments

If you are not afraid of needle and are looking for a faster approach to solve your problem, you can try acupuncture, a technique in which the practitioner inserts fine needles into specific points on the patient’s body.

The intended effect is to increase circulation and balance energy (qi) within the body.

But if you would prefer something less intrusive for your backache or shoulder pain, Tui na is something you should try.

The practitioner may brush, knead, roll and rub the patient’s body, usually on his back and shoulder, to open up the body’s qi and get the energy both along the meridians and in the muscles.

Another thing you can try is cupping: A type of Chinese massage, cupping consists of placing several glass (now usually made of plastic) “cups” or jars on the patient’s body. A match is lit and placed inside the cup and then removed before placing the cup against the skin. As the air in the cup is heated, it expands, and after placing it on the skin it cools down, creating a lower pressure inside the cup that allows the cup to stick to the skin via suction.

Cupping is generally indicated in the treatment of arthritic pain, lower back pain and headaches, and is also very effective for the common cold or coughing.

A global trend

As people begin to realize the effectiveness of TCM and learn the limitations of Western medication, more and more are turning their attention to the practice that has been developed and widely practiced and accepted by Chinese around the world for thousands of years.

Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia

A Cochrane Database systematic review has summarised the current evidence for the use of acupuncture in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Nine trials (395 participants) were included in the review. The authors conclude that there is low to moderate-level evidence that, compared with no treatment and standard therapy, acupuncture improves pain and stiffness in people with fibromyalgia. In addition, they found moderate-level evidence that the effect of acupuncture does not differ from sham acupuncture in reducing pain or fatigue, or improving sleep or global well-being. Electro-acupuncture (EA) was found to be better than manual acupuncture (MA) for pain and stiffness reduction and improvement of global well-being, sleep and fatigue. The effect of acupuncture was found to last up to one month, but is not maintained at six months follow-up. (Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 May 31;5:CD007070).

Ed: pain reduction lasting for one month is better than most pain medications!

Hospitals need Complementary Medicine

DANNY ROSE November 17, 2009 – 12:09AM


There is a place for complementary therapies such as herbal remedies and acupuncture in Australia’s hospitals, an academic says.


Professor Marc Cohen says the therapies should be part of the drive to make the nation’s hospitals more efficient, and it would also address an often overlooked area of risk to patient health.


Studies show up to 60 per cent of Australians routinely take “natural supplements” and, Prof Cohen said, many continued to do so in hospital without telling their medical carers.


“They take it in their little bag with the pyjamas … they are taking fish oil or multi-vitamins,” Prof Cohen told AAP.

“It’s not recorded on their hospital chart, or administered by the nursing staff, and if there was herb or drug nutrient interaction no one is recording that.

“It’s an unsupervised practice that is potentially dangerous, and those barriers need to be broken down.”


Prof Cohen, who is Professor of Complementary Medicine at RMIT University, pointed to a Victorian study which found 40 per cent of patients undergoing cardiac surgery were also taking undisclosed supplements.


Taking St Johns Wort as a natural treatment for depression was known to skew a person’s necessary dosage of heart medication, he said, naming just one example of a negative interaction.


It was not just about taking better account of a patient’s supplement use, Prof Cohen said, as where complementary therapies were shown to work they should be introduced to the regime of treatment options in hospitals.


Prof Cohen is overseeing a trial in two Victorian hospitals, in which people arriving at the emergency department with back pain, migraine or injuries like a sprained ankle are offered acupuncture for pain relief.


Early results of this study showed the ancient Chinese practice could be as effective as drug-based pain relief though the research will take another three years to complete.


“We have some examples where the patient has averted being given an opiate (pain-killing drug) by being given acupuncture, and can leave within half an hour,” Prof Cohen said.


“We know some complementary therapies are very effective in chronic conditions, often they are very safe and their costs are far lower than pharmaceuticals.”


Hospitals could also offer massage, meditation, yoga and even hypnosis, said Prof Cohen, and more research into the effectiveness of different complementary therapies was needed.


He will present a paper on the issue at the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine annual scientific meeting in Melbourne on Tuesday (November 17).

City MDs researching Chinese Medicine


Gary Yokoyama, the Hamilton Spectator


September 25, 2009 Joanna Frketich The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton doctors are turning to traditional Chinese medicine to find new ways to treat lung disease and cancer.


A Chinese doctor will spend the next two years at St. Joseph’s Healthcare doing research to show the effectiveness of using curcumin, which is an extract of popular Indian herb turmeric, to treat lung fibrosis.


McMaster University researchers are spending today meeting with scientists from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to create a collaboration aimed at integrating the 5,000-year-old practice into Western cancer care.


“We know a lot of the general public are using traditional Chinese medicine, especially in cancer care,” said Dr. Raimond Wong, associate professor of oncology and medicine at McMaster.


“The problem is there is no large enough (study) to know if those approaches are really useful or not. One would need to do appropriate research to generate the evidence saying this one is useful or that one is not useful so that we can put it into practice and try to integrate the two practices together.”


The goal is for that research to be done in Hamilton, starting with the lung fibrosis study already under way.


It’s a big step for western doctors, who tend to be skeptical of traditional Chinese medicine because it’s based on experience instead of evidence.


“My goal here is to bridge the gap between Chinese medicine and western medicine,” said Dr. Cui Ye, the research fellow from China working at St. Joseph’s Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health. “I’m considered as a liaison to better translate the effectiveness and safety of Chinese medicine.”


The province has made it a priority to find out more about traditional Chinese medicine.

And China hopes to learn more about how medicine is researched and taught in Canada.


“We need to test our assumptions,” said St. Joseph’s CEO Kevin Smith. “Historically, we’ve seen a bit of resistance from both parties to recognize the strengths or weaknesses of the other. We hear from western medicine criticism about the lack of rigorous evaluation in some traditional therapies. We similarly hear from more traditional therapies the fact that western medicine has ignored thousands of years of effective results. This will start the debate.”


For patients, it could open the door to new treatments that are less invasive, have fewer side effects and offer hope where up until now there’s been none.


“There has not been a cure in pulmonary fibrosis, the disease we’re tackling,” Ye said. “The current therapy only provides marginal effects with a lot of side effects.”

Lung fibrosis is a scarring of the lungs that makes it difficult to breathe for about 30,000 Canadians. It’s unknown what causes it and it normally kills within three to five years.

“Our problem is the excessive scarring and that is something that goes on and on and no one knows why or how to stop it,” said Dr. Martin Kolb, research director at the Firestone Institute. “From a doctor’s perspective, if we find something to stop that process we’d be extremely happy and the patients would be extremely happy.”


It could also mean great strides for cancer care.


The first meeting between McMaster and the Chinese and Hong Kong universities went well yesterday and continues today. McMaster researchers are planning to visit China by the end of the year.


“We do like to collaborate because our aim is to better the health of the general public,” Wong said. “If there is evidence suggesting it’s useful, we can bring out this option to the public.”