Thursday, November 19, 2009

Are Plastic Containers Unhealthy?

Dr. Weil's Q&A at
advised that "polycarbonate plastic containers may not be safe for storage and transport of food and beverages. Better choices are polypropylene (#5 pp), high-density polyethylene (#2 hdpe), and low-density polyethylene (#4 LDPE)." The answer particularly highlights the risk of insulin resistance i.e. risk of type-2 diabetes associated with using the unsafe plastic bottles. It prompted me to check a government site for more info. And here it is:
Indeed, only the bottles labeled with #2, #4, or #5 recycling number seem to be relatively safe, if you have to use plastic instead of glass or ceramic containers.

More Chocolate, Less Stress

"The researchers reported that eating the chocolate appeared to reduce levels of stress hormones in these volunteers. "

Original article at
Journal of Proteome Research, October 7, 2009
"The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 g of dark chocolate during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of free living and healthy human subjects, as per variation of both host and gut microbial metabolism."

Monday, November 9, 2009

阿胶 to Cure Arrhythmia and Bradycardia

Not all arrhythmia is created equal. But my 80-year-old father had it cured, at least for a month now, by 阿胶 (E1 jiao1), Donkey-Hide Gelatin. He had arrhythmia and bradycardia (very low heart beat, 40 per minute in his case) about a year ago after he practiced Taichi sword for too long with other old men and women in the morning, as they would do every day. Since then, the doctor told him to exercise for a shorter time each day, in addition to advising him to stay in hospital with a possible price tag of a few thousand RMB. There just happened to be another old man living in the same community that had exactly the same symptoms, and was successfully treated with 阿胶, taken with 西洋参 (Xi1 Yang2 Shen1) American Ginseng. So my mother did exactly the same for my father. It's been a month now. The result is amazing!

阿胶 is to bu3 xue3 (replenish blood, literally), and 西洋参 to bu3 qi4 (replenish qi). But the concept of xue3 in TCM is not to be confused with just blood; it includes all kinds of fluid plus nutrient. 阿胶 is also often used with 当归, (Dang1 Gui1, Chinese Angelica Root), another strong agent to bu3 xue3, particularly for women. But keep in mind that 阿胶 is warm in nature. My mother also took the "concoction" she made and got ichy, so she had to stop.

西洋参 is a strong bu3 qi4 medicine, like 人参 (Ren2 Shen1, Chinese ginseng), except that 西洋参 is cool in nature whereas 人参 is warm.

Standard Boring Disclaimer: In case you're not used to reading about alternative medicine, let me warn that always consult your doctor before you try anything.