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Ramen: Japanese style Noodles

Ramen: Japanese style Noodles

Ramen is another quick and nutritious dish which is fairly easy to prepare and make. What gives it the Japanese flavour is the inclusion of miso/soybean paste, seaweed, and gomashio/roasted sesame seed and salt.

Eating seaweed is good for you, so good, in fact, that seaweed might soon be an ingredient in functional foods – to make white bread. Seaweed is high in fibre. Scientists at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne have researched alginate, and found that it can strengthen gut mucus (which protects the gut wall), slow down digestion (so you feel fuller for longer) and make food release its energy more slowly. A Japanese study showed that high seaweed intake increases the good bacteria in the gut. The enzymes in kombu/kelp, which you can add in dried form to soups and stews, help pre-digest pulses, which in turn reduces wind. Seaweed may also improve heart health and is also good for detoxing. Seaweed is very high in lignans – these are plant substances that become phytoestrogens in the body, which help to block the chemical oestrogens that can predispose people to cancers such as breast cancer.

Sesame seeds add a nutty taste and a delicate, almost invisible, crunch to many Asian dishes. They are also the main ingredients in tahini (sesame seed paste) and the wonderful Middle Eastern sweet call halvah. Not only are sesame seeds an excellent source of copper and a very good source of manganese, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fibre.

Miso means ‘fermented beans’ in Japanese. In Japan, people begin their day with a bowl of miso soup, believed to stimulate digestion and energise the body. A traditional ingredient in Japanese and Chinese diets (hoisin sauce), miso paste is made from fermented soybeans and grains and contains millions of beneficial bacteria. The protein-rich paste is highly popular as it provides an instant flavour foundation. It adds the fifth taste, known as ‘umami’, to all sorts of dishes including soups/broths, salad dressings, vegetables, stews, glazes, and marinades.

Miso is rich in essential minerals and a good source of various B vitamins, vitamins E, K and folic acid. As a fermented food, miso provides the gut with beneficial bacteria that help us to stay healthy, vibrant and happy; good gut health is known to be linked to our overall mental and physical wellness. Miso is a live culture, especially the ones sold in health food shops. There are different flavours of miso, I like to use mugi/barley miso as it is particularly suited to a northern European climate.

Ramen is a broth based dish with noodles, meat, hard boiled eggs, stir fried vegetables, garnished with spring onions, toasted seaweed and Goma Shio/toasted sesame seed and salt. Ramen contains 3 protein sources, so it is very good to keep out the cold.

Preparation takes about 10 minutes and the cooking another 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 100g. noodles per person Wheat or rice noodles are fine. I prefer rice noodles for broth dishes and wheat noodles for fried dishes.
  • 100g. sliced beef steak per person
  • 1 Hard-boiled egg per person
  • Chinese cabbage or Pak Choi
  • Red Pepper
  • Mange tout, sugar snap peas or French beans

Broth ingredients:

  • 1-2 Garlic cloves
  • Ginger about 3-4 cm
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Thai 5 spice powder
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Vegetable stock cube
  • Miso paste, about a teaspoon full
  • Rice wine
  • Chilli Sauce

 

Garnish:

  • Spring Onions
  • Nori Seaweed
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sea salt

Preparation:

This doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare, and the cooking time is not that long either.

Put the eggs in cold water, bring to boil and simmer for 8 minutes. While this is happening you can do the rest of the preparation.

For the Ramen broth, put some toasted sesame oil in a saucepan along with some garlic and grated ginger. Saute for a few minutes and add hot water and bring to a simmer. Amount of water depends on the number of portions you are making, about 100 ml. per serving. Add the 5 spice, stock cube, soy sauce, chilli sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the stock cube is dissolved.

Marinade for meat:

Thinly slice the beef and place in a bowl. Slicing thinly will maximize the surface area to catch more flavor as well as ensuring a quick frying time. Add a clove of garlic, the rest of the grated ginger, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil to taste, chilli sauce to taste and a few drops of rice wine. Allow to marinade until ready to start cooking.

Garnish:

To make Goma Shio, add 6 tablespoons of sesame seeds to a dry frying pan and slowly roast until they are brown and starting to pop. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt to the pan and roast for another minute or so. Combine these ingredients in a mortar and grind them together until they are fairly fine. This is enough Goma Shio to last for a while and can be stored in a jar or spice pot.

Take a half sheet of Nori Seaweed and slowly roast in a dry pan until crispy. This takes about a minute. Rub the toasted seaweed between your hands to make small flakes.

Slice the spring onions.

Cooking:

Bring some water to the boil, add the noodles and cook until done. Fry the beef in a hot wok until it starts to turn brown. Add the chopped pepper, Chinese cabbage and beans/peas and cook until done, another couple of minutes depending on the temperature of the wok. Some people don’t like raw spring onions, in that case add them to the wok for frying.

Heat up the broth. Add the miso paste. Make sure the broth is not boiling. Miso is a live culture so boiling would kill it.

Peel the eggs and cut in half.

Drain the noodles and place them in a serving bowl. Arrange the meat and vegetables to one side and the hard-boiled egg on the other. Cover with the broth. Garnish with the spring onions, toasted seaweed and gomashio.

Enjoy!

Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) in the treatment of tumours

Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) in the treatment of tumours

                               dong-ling-cao-tabletsdong-ling-cao

Dong Ling Cao : Latin Name : Herba Rabdosiaedong-ling-cao

Dong Ling Cao is a herb used in Chinese Medicine for the treatment of tumours and cancer. When treating tumours and cancer it is normal to use a combination of herbs to make a formula which is specific for that patient. Dong Ling Cao is usually prescribed as well as a single herb, in tablet form. While the herbal formula is prescribed specifically for the symptoms of that patient, Dong Ling Cao acts against tumours in general. In my practice, I have treated many patients successfully using this herb, alone and with herbal formulae.

 Overview This herb is the dried whole plant of Rabdosia rubescens of the family Labiatae. It is grown in the northern provinces of China. mainly in Henan province and areas south of Yellow River Valley. Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) is an antipyretic. Many medications have antipyretic effects and thus are useful for fever but not specifically “heat” illness.  It detoxes the body, is a blood-circulation activating agent, and is an anodyne/relieves pain, as well as an antitumor agent. It detoxifies the liver and improves liver function.

Use of Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) in TCM

Bitter in taste and cool, it acts on the stomach, liver and lung meridians.

Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations

  1. Antitumorous: Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) in tablet form is used for malignant tumors, specifically esophageal, breast, liver, stomach, lung, and thyroid cancers. I have found it good for skin cancer and mast cell tumours. It can be used alone or with other anticancer herbs.
  2. Relieves Heat and detoxifies: can be used for the common cold, flu, fever, acute laryngitis, pharyngitis, and bronchitis. Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) is used alone or as part of a herbal formula.
  3. Invigorates blood circulation and relieves pain: for arthralgia – swollen joints, and pain. Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) is used in tablet form part of a herbal formula.
  4. Dosage 3-5 tablets, 2-3 times a day or as prescribed.

Precautions 

The herb is potent. Do not overdose. Not for pregnant or breast feeding women without consulting a qualified practitioner.

Side Effects and Toxicity

As reported in classical Chinese materia medica, the herb may sometimes cause nausea, stomach pain, a feeling of fullness in the stomach, and diarrhea after administering the herb to cancer patients.

Pharmacological Findings

Rabdosia is antimicrobial and antitumor.
As part of Chinese Medicine strategy, it clears heat and toxins, nourish yin, remove blood stasis, reduces swelling, and relieves pain.

Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) is used to treat cancer of esophagus, and gastroesophageal junction, breast and liver. For swelling of throat, insect bites, snake bites, and inflammation of the tonsils.

It is effective for epithelial hyperplasia of esophagus; for stomach ache due to stomach-heat, inflammation of the throat, cough, mammary abscess, chronic bronchitis, and chronic inflammation of the pelvic area.

These herbal tablets are not sold over the counter or are generally sold without a proper diagnoses by a practitioner of Chinese Herbal Medicine.

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms or would like a consultation with me, please email:

davidwhankey@gmail.com

or phone 087 2744 735

David Hankey

Acupuncture Cork.

Health benefits of making your own juice

Health benefits of making your own  juice20161102_123352-1

With winter approaching, now is a good time to increase your juice and vitamin intake to boost your immune system to help fight off Colds and Flu. Juice is also good for you.

Here is a simple recipe you can use to make your own citrus fruit and berry juice. It stores well in the fridge so only needs to be made once a week.

  • Blueberries 1 cup / 125 g.
  • Cranberries (fresh or dried) 1 cup / 125 g.
  • 2-3 Limes
  • 2-3 Lemons
  • 3 Oranges
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Water to taste, about 1/2 pint or 250 ml

Equipment needed:

  • Juicer
  • Blender
  • Zester or Grater
  • Measuring Jug
  • Storage Container

Method: If using dried cranberries, soak them in the water until they are reconstituted. Zest all the fruit. Put the water, cranberries, the blueberries and the zest into the blender. Blitz the mixture for 3-5 minutes at maximum speed until all the pulp and skin are completely blended. Juice all the fruit and add to the juice mixture. Add the cranberry juice, about 500 ml. Cranberry juice drink is usually sweet to taste, so the sugar will balance the tartness of the juice. Experiment with the ratio of cranberry juice drink to find your desired taste. Store the juice in a container. It will keep in the fridge for a week or so. This amount of ingredients makes about 2 litres of juice.

Blueberries are sweet, nutritious and wildly popular.

Often labelled a “superfood,” they are low in calories and incredibly good for you.

They are so tasty and convenient that many people consider them to be their favorite fruit.

Antioxidants are important. They protect our bodies from damage by free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage cellular structures and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.

Blueberries contain the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.

The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries belong to a large family of polyphenols, called flavonoids.

Flavonoids have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels inside the body.

Bottom Line: Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids appear to be the major antioxidant compounds.

The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to protect LDL lipoproteins (the “bad” cholesterol) from oxidative damage, a crucial step in the pathway towards heart disease.

Regular blueberry intake has been shown to lower blood pressure in numerous studies.

There is some evidence that regular blueberry consumption can help prevent heart attacks.

The antioxidants in blueberries seem to have benefits for the brain, helping to improve brain function and delaying age-related decline.

Like cranberries, blueberries contain substances that can prevent certain bacteria from binding to the wall of the urinary bladder. This may be useful in preventing urinary tract infections.

Cranberries are a  very versatile fruit and their benefits make them useful in food as well as in medicinal products. The cranberry plant is  native fruits of North America. Cranberries have a tremendous amount of antioxidant capacity as compared to other fruits and  vegetables like broccoli, spinach and apples.One cup of cranberries offers a total 8983 antioxidant capacity.

Cranberry juice can help lower the risk of heart related ailments and assist in sustaining cardiovascular health. The flavonoids present in cranberries have antioxidant properties and may decrease the threat of atherosclerosis.

The health benefits of cranberry juice include relief from urinary tract infection, respiratory disorders, kidney stones, and heart disease. It is also beneficial in preventing stomach disorders and diabetes, as well as gum diseases caused by dental plaque. Phytonutrients, which are naturally derived plant compounds, are present in cranberries and have been found to prevent a wide range of health problems.

According to conducted studies, cranberry juice helps to inhibit certain strains of the flu, which is a common cause of ear and respiratory infections in children. The juice inhibits the bacteria’s hair-like structures, inhibiting them from adhering to the surface of the skin.

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  • Strengthens Bones and Teeth: Although cranberry juice is a natural source of calcium, many juice companies add extra calcium to cranberry juice. Natural or otherwise, calcium reduces the risk of getting osteoporosis.
  • Cures Cold: Fresh cranberry juice is effective at fighting against infections. It can help cure sore throats and colds.
  • Good for Obesity: Cranberry juice is rich in organic acids, which have an emulsifying effect on the fat deposits in our body. So, it is good for people who want to shed those extra kilos.
  • Prevents Kidney Stones: The high amount of acid components in cranberry juice prevents kidney stone formation.
  • Peptic ulcers: Peptic ulcers are caused by a type of bacteria called  Helicobacter pylori or pylori. This microorganism attacks the protective layer of the stomach and duodenum, which is the first part of intestine. This may lead to further inflammation of the stomach lining. Foods rich in flavonoids help reduce the risk of stomach disorders, including stomach ulcers. An investigative study performed on a group of patients having that type of stomach disorders showed a 50% advantage over patients that didn’t consume cranberry juice. Therefore, doctors commonly advise the regular intake of cranberry juice to suppress the infection.
  • Scurvy: Deficiency of vitamin-C in an individual can result in scurvy. Cranberries provide high levels of vitamin-C, which is also vital for the body to make collagen, the main component behind the healthy functioning of tissues.
  • Lung inflammation: The anti-inflammatory effects of cranberry juice have been proven to be effective against the inflammation caused in the lungs by the influenza virus.

Saying that lemons are a superfood is an understatement. Not only do they add abundant flavor to a variety of dishes, but they also boast a ton of health benefits. The flavonoids within the juice are said to contain antioxidants, which is why lemons are useful in treating so many ailments and conditions. Here are some reasons to enjoy them ASAP.

  • Prevent kidney stones: Drinking one half-cup of lemon juice every day raises citrate levels in the urine. Studies have shown that this could protect against calcium stones in the kidney.
  • Soothe a sore throat: Mixing lemon juice with honey can help alleviate the discomfort that comes from a nasty sore throat.
  • Support weight loss: Studies have shown the ways lemon juice supports your goals. Lemon juice contains pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to aid in weight-loss struggles.
  • Start your day right: Leave caffeinated drinks behind, and start your day off with hot water and fresh lemon juice to stimulate your digestive track and add vitamin C.
  • Stop an itch: When it comes to poison ivy or insect bites, rubbing lemon juice on the area can soothe the skin, since it has anti-inflammatory and anesthetic effects.
  • Aids in digestion: Drink a mixture of lemon juice and flaxseeds in order to eliminate waste more quickly from your body.
  • Anticancer properties: Studies have supported the anticancer activity of citrus limonoids, compounds that protect your cells from damage that can lead to the formation of cancer cells.
  • Potassium power: Bananas aren’t the only way to get a big helping of potassium in your system. In addition to vitamin C, lemons offer 80 milligrams of this mineral that helps your body stay strong and nimble.
  • Bring down a fever: Forget the days of starving a fever! When your temperature goes up, drinking a lemon juice mixture can help bring your fever down faster.
  • Balance pH: While lemons may seem quite acidic, they’re a surprisingly good source of an alkaline food that can help balance your body’s pH.

Lime and lemon add refreshing zest to almost any drink which cleanse and enhance immune properties of your already healthy glass of juice.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Limes and lemons contain potent detoxifiers with anti-biotic effect that is protective against bacterial infections.

  • Asthma: Take a tablespoon of lemon juice at least one hour before each meal to relieve asthma.
  • Burning soles/feet: Rub a sliced lemon over the burning sole/foot/heel to relieve from pain and for toxin elimination through the pores of the feet.
  • Colds: The anti-viral properties in lime/lemon fight infections and halt the progress of a cold. Take the juice of two lemons in half a liter of hot water and add raw honey to taste. Sip it slowly before bedtime.
  • Constipation: Drink a glass of warm water every morning with some lime/lemon juice with raw honey. Stir in a pinch of cinnamon powder. This will help your body to detoxify and relieve constipation.
  • Digestion: Lime/lemon juice have amazing digestive qualities that are very similar to our digestive enzymes. Therefore, lime/lemon juice is effective in helping with digestion and relieving bloating and belching.
  • Feet, tired: After a long day on your feet, soak your feet in very warm water containing lime/lemon juice to enjoy the cooling, astringent feeling. This will also help promote deep sleep due to the relaxing action on the foot nerves.
  • Gums, swollen: Drink a glass of diluted fresh lime juice with a pinch of sea salt to relieve the pain of swollen gums
  • Heartburn: Add two teaspoons of concentrated lime/lemon juice into a glass of warm water and drink to relieve heartburn.
  • Inflammatory disorders: Even though lime/lemon juice are sour and taste acidic, it is actually very alkalinizing in the body and is highly effective in the treatment of inflammatory disorders like rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, etc. It also prevents the deposit of uric acid in the tissues, thus reducing the risks of gout.
  • Skin, dry: Rub the peel of a lemon on dry or scaly skin to restore softness and add moisture to the skin.

Despite all the goodness that limes/lemons provide as mentioned above, remember always to take only in moderation. More is not always better.

Some people are allergic to citrus peels, so when you take lime/lemon juice extracted together with the peel, check yourself to see if there is any allergic reaction afterwards.

Oranges have been a staple of eating healthy for thousands of years, and the fruit probably originated somewhere in Southeast Asia. Historical records of oranges date back as far as China, more than 4,500 years ago. It is one of the most popular citrus fruits, and its scientific name is Citrus sinensis. There are a number of different orange varieties, but this is the sweet orange, the most popular and commonly eaten variety. This provides some of the most delicious types of orange juice, although there are some people who prefer the juice from blood oranges, mandarin oranges, or even bitter oranges.

The zest in citrus fruits holds higher levels of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) than its juice. 100 g of fresh zest provides 136 mg per 100 g of vitamin C while its flesh carries just about 71 mg/100 g. Likewise, the zest is also a good source of vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, minerals such as calcium, selenium, manganese, and zinc.

Is it true that there are as many, if not more, nutrients in the zest of citrus fruits as in the fruits themselves?

Yes, the rind or zest, seems to contain more nutrients than the flesh. Citrus peels are packed with immune-boosting vitamin C, bone-building calcium and anti-inflammatory, antioxidant bioflavonoids. They also provide potassium, which helps keep blood pressure in check, and limonene, a phytochemical that may have anti-cancer effects and can help with heart burn.

However, if you have low calcium levels or a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones, check with your doctor before zesting every day. Citrus peels contain oxalates, which interfere with your body’s calcium absorption.

What’s the best way to get at the citrus peel: zest or chop?

A zester is best. And if you don’t own one, use a grater instead.

Is it best to use organic, or does it matter?

Yes, it is better to choose organic especially when you’re eating the zests  because conventionally grown citrus fruits can contain pesticide residue as well as wax.

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David Hankey

Acupuncture Cork