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What Race Are You Running?

Do themes of how we live life reflect how the world is like – running in a competition, stressful, quick-paced rush to the finish line, whatever the finish line may be?

Is the finish line clinching that *dream* job after graduation? Is it finally being able to start a family? Is it being able to buy a house or a car debt-free?

Two common examples that embody these questions are: Horse Race and Rat Race.

The “Rat Race” Experience

Expending exhausting efforts running around, but ultimately achieving nothing meaningful is the “rat race.” This phrase is used with regard to work, particularly when excessive and competitive. Put simply, if one’s perception is that he or she works frustratingly much, one is in “the rat race.”

This terminology implies that people experience work as a seemingly endless pursuit with little reward or purpose, both boring and meaningless. The increased image of work as a “rat race” in modern times has led many to seek better alternatives and a more harmonious work-life balance. Long hours, unpaid overtime, stress, time commuting, and less time for family and friends have led to a disgruntled workforce. Yet, nowadays, economic constraints force people to continue to work and endure these pressures, so we keep running.

Rat Race Running

The “Horse Race” Event

Experiencing life as a horse race implies several things: competition, ambition, gambling, and chance. Competing to win occurs from the school yard, the classroom, the workplace, through the political arena.

The added lure of randomness looms in the background to whet one’s appetite for potential success—a prize, the enticement of gambling and chance. There’s always something to win, something to aim for.

Using nonhuman, animal analogies to describe human experiences dehumanizes people. It reflects a de-”person”-alization of one’s life and is a perilous step before experiencing the self as an animated “device” —robotic in nature and mechanical in function.

But weren’t humans made to feel and connect? That we aren’t animals meant to labour till death?

Some can answer, “Oh well, what to do?”

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Money isn’t everything though it can buy a lot of things. At the end of the day, what will make a happier memory? Working till 1am in the office every night, or building up relationships, picking up new interests and living an enriched life all in all?

Running A Race Is Tiring

Feeling worn out? We have some soups to fight the fatigue/tiredness.TCM aims to treat the source of fatigue, not merely the symptoms of it. Anyone can consume an extra cup of coffee or (worse yet) gulp down energy drinks each day. Not only will that approach notsolve your fatigue issues, over the long run, it will make them worse. Approaches like acupuncture,mindfulness, dietary changes, and qigong practices, on the other hand, may put your fatigue to rest for good.

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Buying Herbal Supplements – Things To Note

You know all the benefits a herbal supplement can bring you, and if you simply look left, right or center, you will see a myriad of health supplements, and you might not really know what to make of it.

Other recent research presented at the conference CleanUp 2015 found that herbal and Ayurvedic medicines contain heavy metals, including arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. That’s a problem, since long-term exposure to these to these toxins has been shown to cause problems like organ damage and even cancer. Here in Singapore, health supplements are not subjected to pre-market approval by the Health Sciences Authority, and can be imported and sold without a license.

Before you pull out your wallet and buy that bottle claiming to “lower your cholesterol” and “increase your Vitamin D”, take note of these things!

  1. Vitamin and Mineral overdosing
    Large doses of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K can create issues, and even normal doses may interfere with certain prescription medications. Adverse effects can also occur with too much calcium or iron. As we all know, too much of a good thing is bad.

    Here is a good example of how one can overdose on calcium without knowing it:

    An older woman concerned about osteoporosis might eat Whole Grain Total cereal for breakfast (approximately 1,000 milligrams of calcium per serving), with a half-cup of skim milk (150 milligrams of calcium), and take a calcium supplement (500 milligrams) in addition to a One-A-Day Menopause Formula multivitamin (300 milligrams). The upper limit of calcium for this woman is 2,000 milligrams, so she’d only be 50 milligrams short of the daily maximum with more meals yet to be consumed that day.

    Important Things To Take Note When Buying Herbal Supplements

  2. Claims That Might Not Be True
    Be extra cautious around herbal supplements that claim to boost energy levels or help you lose weight. These tend to contain ingredients, like caffeine or bitter orange, that have been shown to create heart palpitations and other issues.
  3. Dubious Ingredients That Should Be Skipped
    In addition to number 2, these four have been linked to serious side effects, and aren’t worth the risk. If you see these ingredients in your herbal supplements, pay extra caution.1. Kava. It has been reported to cause liver damage.
    2. Bitter orange. It contains the chemical syndephrine, which has been linked to heart attacks and strokes in healthy people when taken alone or combined with caffeine.
    3. Contaminated L-tryptophan. It’s associated with neurotoxic reactions.
    4. Chromium. When overused, it’s been linked to anemia—even kidney failure.

It’s not that herbal supplements are all that bad, but with everything else, they should be taken in moderation and with caution and only professional research and recommendation from a healthcare professional.

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Guide To Natural Health For The Whole Body

Learn how to improve how you feel with natural health remedies. Jump right in, we’ve got everything you ought to know.

Eyes, Brain And Head Natural Health

Brain, head, eyes

Brain: If you’re feeling more than just the Monday blues (But Tuesday blues, Wednesday blues and all blues all day), you’d be pleased to find that acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Tai Chi, and yoga are known depression-fighters; For fatigue with depression, try acetyl-L-carnitine (an amino acid derivative). Take 500 milligrams two or three times a day.

Head: Biofeedback, a relaxation technique that sends brain-wave info to the user via headphones and fingertip electrodes, can prevent migraines. Magnesium supplements or herbs such as butterbur or feverfew may also help headache sufferers.

Eyes: Keep your vision sharp with bilberries, which are packed with antioxidants—even more than their blueberry cousins. Billberries sound a little bit like what we’d read in an Enid Blyton book, but it’s time to take them more seriously now.

Sinuses, jaw, throat
Natural Health Tips For Sinuses, Jaw, Throat

Sinuses: Aromatherapy could help if you are prone to sinus infections. Think of all the oils that put you in a relaxed state, more specifically, oils from dill, bishop’s weed and cumin work as well, if not, better than antibiotics against 8 types of common bacterial infections. Plus a herbal combination called Kan Jang can make sinus infections and the common cold more tolerable and reduce recovery time! We can see you say “Wow!”

Jaw: Biofeedback paired with cognitive-behavioral-skills training (a mind-body type of therapy), can significantly reduce pain from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

Throat: Fight germs and kill bacteria with a tea tree–oil gargle (11⁄2 tablespoons of pure tea tree oil to 1 cup of water). Swish and spit. (Don’t swallow.)

Breasts, tummy

Breasts: Flaxseed, which contains omega-3 fatty acids, reduces inflammation and tumor growth. Start with 1 tablespoon of ground organic golden flaxseed daily for a week, and work up to 4 tablespoons; drink lots of water to avoid constipation. Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, zinc, iron, vitamin E, and calcium, among other vitamins and minerals, and are low in saturated fat. They have a low smoke point, so they can’t really be used in cooking, but you can use them in baking, in cereals  and in smoothies.

Tummy: Excuse you! Get rid of your burping and bloating with digestive-enzyme supplements that help your body process sugars, starches, proteins, and fats; they’re available in capsule form.

Mint (drink it in tea; leaves)  long been considered a tummy soother, too. And enteric-coated peppermint-oil capsules (the enteric protects your tummy lining—never ingest essential oils in liquid form) may ease irritable bowel syndrome.

Natural Health Burping

Pelvis, urinary tract, colon

Pelvis: That time of the month is here and your pesky cramps are making their timely visit. A hot water bottle and your favourite chocolate can help, but to relieve cramps naturally, try taking black cohosh, magnesium supplements, omega-3 fatty acids, or vitamins C, B, and B6—all of which are thought to ease pain; calendula oil (made from marigolds) applied topically may help, too. Castor oil packs placed on the abdomen may also decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and increase relaxation.

Urinary tract: Natural health tip! And it’s not an old wives’ tale: Cranberries, in juice or capsules, can keep bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall—and this can help fight urinary tract infections. The herb uva ursi (bearberry) might provide some relief, too; it contains a natural anti­biotic that soothes irritation and reduces inflammation caused by bladder infections.

Colon: Research in natural health shows that hypnotherapy improves irritable bowel syndrome in most patients who try it. And probiotics (good, helpful bacteria) specifically Lactobacillus GG or Bacillus coagulans (we aren’t laughing if you can’t pronounce it) can help maintain healthy gastrointestinal flora and restore balance after a bout of traveler’s diarrhea. In two words – More Probiotics!

Back, butt

Back: Hours and hours of sitting and straining has put its toll on your back. Magnet therapy for low back pain has been recommended but it is controversial. For proven results, try acupuncture—relieving chronic low-back pain is one of the things it does best, research shows. In fact, recent trials in Germany showed it to be almost twice as effective for chronic low-back pain as conventional therapy. Meditation reduces pain, too.

Check your posture – ideally, we should be sitting upright with two feet flat on the floor.

Butt: Heat therapy reduces muscle spasms and increases blood flow. Moist heat—heat packs, a microwaved damp towel, or soaking in a hot tub—penetrates deeper than dry heat. But be warned: Heat increases swelling, so don’t use heat packs after an injury, and of course, check the temperature, don’t burn yourself!

Nicki Minaj And Natural Health
Maybe Nicki Minaj’s famous tush uses one or two heat packs too.

Skin, hands, bones

Skin: One way to prevent or lessen wrinkles in the name of natural health is to build collagen, which becomes thinner as a woman’s hormone levels fall. Try natural progesterone cream (rubbed into the thin skin behind your knees or on your chest), foods rich in phytoestrogens (soy), and antioxidant supplements (vitamins C and E; glutathione; and pine bark or grape seed extracts).

Bones: Vitamin D has emerged as a potent way to strengthen bones, as research has shown that calcium is virtually useless without enough of it. For those who don’t get much sun (which produces D), try a daily supplement with 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D.

Hands: Lifting weights and doing breathing exercises may help warm up cold hands and feet. Your hands can spread germs to your skin, so make sure you wash your hands regularly.

You know better now how to utilise natural health to you body’s advantages!

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5 Health Claims That Might Be Untrue

Have you ever picked one item over the other at a grocery store just because of the health claim it says it can provide? Do you really understand what it means when a label says “fat-free” or “no sugar added”?

Here are 5 health claims we think should be clarified so you know exactly what it means, and a few ways food companies pretend your snacks are healthy.

1. All Natural
All natural, all good, yes? A food labeled natural may contain preservatives or be injected with sodium, in the case of raw chicken. Some natural products will have high fructose corn syrup and companies will argue that since it comes from corn, it’s healthy. But you know sugar, it doesn’t matter what source it comes from, too much sugar isn’t good for you.

Health Claims Can Be Misleading

2. Multi-Grain
This claim simply means that there is more than one grain in the product. None of the grains are required to be “whole grains”—so refined white flour counts. It is not a useful claim….but man it sounds healthy, doesn’t it? When shopping for healthy bread and crackers, look for the words “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat”. It’s not enough if it says “multigrain” or “made with whole grain”

3. No Sugar Added
If you’re concerned about calories and carbs (maybe because you have diabetes or are trying to prevent it), you may toss no sugar added products in your grocery cart.

But foods, including fruit, milk, cereals, and vegetables naturally contain sugar. So although these products may not have added sugar they still may contain natural sugars. And no sugar addedproducts still may contain added ingredients like maltodextrin, a carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates—which can be simple sugars or more complex starches—raise blood sugar, andno sugar added doesn’t mean a product is calorie- or carbohydrate-free

No Sugar Added Health Claims
4. Sugar Free
A little like “No Sugar Added”, the claim is true that these products don’t contain real sugar but they do contain many forms of artificial sweeteners which are controversial ingredients at best.
Sugar Free Health Claims

5. High Protein
Bulking up on protein will help you get into buff shape and melt away excess fat. Fact: Too much of anything, even if it’s healthy, isn’t always good. Too many calories overall, and you can kiss that buff shape goodbye; too much protein, and your kidneys can go into overdrive. When it comes to food products touting “high-protein,” the source of protein is often from a manipulated, processed form of an ingredient, like soy protein isolate. Most of us get more than enough protein in our diets, so stick with simple sources like fish, meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, whole soy beans (edamame), tofu, beans, and quinoa.

High Protein Health Claims
6. Fat Free
One of the more misleading health claims. When the dangers of saturated and trans fat became clear, the market was flooded with products that touted their fat-free status. The problem? They sometimes contained nearly as many calories as full-fat versions.

Just because it says it’s fat-free, doesn’t mean you get a free ride. Packages could say it’s fat free, but be loaded with sugar, and sugar-free products could be loaded with fat.

Fat Free Health Claims

Spend time educating yourself how to read food labels and health claims and you’ll be doing yourself a favour in the shopping aisles!

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You Might Have Hair Problems Natural Remedies Can Fix

It can be long or short, luscious or frizzy, tough or manageable, smooth or shiny. Hair comes in different colours, textures, styles, colours and shades. We all want a mane we can be proud of, a mane that will attract praises, a mane that isn’t too difficult to take care of.

In our quest for that, we might have popped into one too many salons, dyed one too many colours, undergone one too many chemical treatments.

Hair Problem Supplements Can Fix - Ariana Grande

That colour and that volume, Ariana.

Sadly, subjecting our hair to all those treatments could have given rise to some hair problems you might not have wanted to begin with. Identifying your hair type can help in deciding which hair problems natural remedies can fix.

1. Normal hair
Normal hair can be managed easily and has an adequate level of moisture, with no excess oil.

2. Dry hair
This is the result of insufficient production of oil. The frustration of a dry scalp and hair tips that break easily can be managed by frequent conditioning and staying away from harsh shampoos.

3. Oily hair
Here, the scalp secretes more oil than is required and this results in (you guessed it!) oily hair. Oily hair attracts dirt more easily and  people with oily hair are more prone to having dandruff as well. You could add lemon to the water you use to wash your hair to help with the oily scalp, and stay away from harsh shampoos as well. Leave the lemon juice on the hair for 45-60 minutes and then wash the hair using clean water only. You don’t need to shampoo. Allow your hair to dry before combing them. This will effectively remove any traces of lemon on the hair. Do this treatment every day if possible or every alternate day. Regular application of lemon juice on the hair will curb the excessive secretion of oil from the hair. The massage will open the clogged hair follicles which will reduce hair fall and allow hair to grow. Lemon is also an effective remedy for dandruff.

Alternatively, tomato juice can help. Apply the tomato juice paste on the hair as well as the scalp. Wear a shower cap and leave for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes wash off the tomato juice on the scalp and hair using cold water. Massage the scalp as you remove tomato juice. This provides good stimulation to hair follicles.

 

4. Combination Hair
The combination of greasy roots and dry tips each require pretty specialist treatment, and finding a product that effectively manages to deal with both is a bit of a nightmare. Many people with combination hair end up alternating shampoos — using a clarifying one to get rid of excess oil and a moisturising one for dry brittle ends. However, not only is this not cost effective in the long run, it may worsen the condition of your hair.

Healthy hair isn’t so far away, actually.

  1. Beautiful hair starts on the inside. A diet rich in essential fatty acids (fish/flaxseed oils), proteins (lecithin, wheat germ oil), and minerals and trace elements (like silica and zinc) that contain the basic building blocks of hair will produce significant results.
    Good Food For Hair Problems Natural Remedies Can Fix

2. Acupuncture can assist in hair loss in a couple of ways:

  • By tonifying the kidneys with specific acupuncture points on the body
  • Through tapping your scalp with a 7-star or plum blossom needle (that consists of 1 mm needles arranged in a star shape at the end of a paddle) that stimulates blood flow to your scalp.

3. Herbal medicine can also accelerate hair growth. Rehmannia root, fo-ti root, dong-quai root are common herbs used in decoctions to tonify kidney yin and nourish blood.  So yes, these hair problems natural remedies can fix!

Fo-Ti Root
Fo-Ti root is rarely used in recipes, and for a very good reason. In large quantities, the plant can be quite harmful. There are some concerns about liver toxicity in both adults and children. So no, you do not want to eat Fo-Ti root. Alternatively, you can purchase Fo-Ti root extract tea, which is a tasty and enjoyable way to get some of the benefits of this plant. But a supplement containing concentrated Fo-Ti root extract is a more cost-effective way to do it. It is important to make sure that you do not exceed a reasonably low dosage. Researchers are still working on establishing the best dosage of Fo-Ti root, so aim to play it safe here. You only need a little bit, and a little bit goes a long way.
Fo Ti Root For Hair Problems Natural Remedies Can Fix

Dong-Quai Root
Traditionally used to stop hair loss and regrow hair, dong quai phytosterols can reduce the formation of the androgen DHT. DHT, a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, is the enemy of hairfollicles on your head. Simply put, under certain conditions DHT wants those follicles dead.

Dong Quai For Hair Problems Natural Remedies Can Fix
Rehmannia root
In  Chinese medicine, hair is thought to be nourished by the blood, which is influenced by the liver and kidneys. Chinese medicines for the hair are intended to help and nourish these organs and promote new hair growth; they include such herbs as polygonum (Polygonum multiflorum), lycium fruit (Lycium barbarum), Chinese foxglove root (Rehmannia glutinosa).

Hair problems natural remedies can fix are plenty, so don’t worry!

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6 Chinese Soup Making Techniques

In a recent blog post, we talked about making congee. If a bowl of warm, comfort-zone-inducing porridge does not appeal to you as much as a bowl of hot, soupy nourishment does, here are 7 techniques on how to make Chinese soup.

Chinese tonic or herbal soups are all about putting together various blends of natural ingredients which balance nutritional value and medicinal or therapeutic function, with taste or palatability.

Soup Making Technique #1. Double boil
Double steaming, sometimes called double boiling, is a Chinese cooking technique to prepare delicate food such as bird’s nest soup and shark fin soup. The food is covered with water and put in a covered ceramic jar and the jar is then steamed for several hours.

Soup Making Technique #2. Egg drop soup
Chinese Egg Drop Soup should be savory, soothing, a little warming heat from the white pepper. The eggs should be delicate, floating, whisper-thin silky strands.
Chinese Egg Drop Soup Making Technique
When you add an egg to soup, you are adding nutritional value to the soup as well.

Soup Making Technique #3. Quick Boil

Unlike simmering, quick boiling soups need a good soup base. Since it is cooked quickly, there is insufficient time for the ingredients to “impart” any flavour to the soup. So, instead of water, make sure you start with a good soup stock.

You will be surprised at how good a soup taste even if just a store-bought stock cube was added to flavor the soup. Water with seasonings like salt and pepper is not enough.

Soup Making Technique #4. Always Season As You Go
When making soup, it’s blending and stirring together different ingredients with different textures to form a cohesive whole. Taste a few sips every now and then while making the soup and season as you go, not just throw a chunk of salt at the end. By tasting constantly and adjusting accordingly, you can get a soup that’s got a taste just right.

Soup Making Technique #5. Thickening 
The use of cornstarch, potato starch or arrowroot to thicken soup and sauces is uniquely Chinese. The most well-known is the hot and sour soup, and the Westlake beef soup. A newer trick is to use rice instead of cream or milk for creamy soups. Good news for the lactose-intolerant.

Soup Making Technique #6. Blanching/Pre-Boil
Blanching or pre-boiling is a two step process in which food is plunged into boiling water, usually for only a minute or two, then quickly put into ice cold water to stop the cooking process.

How to blanch:

  1. Prepare an ice bath: put water and ice into a large bowl or into a clean sink.
  2. Heat a large pot of water to a rolling boil, about 1 gallon per pound of food to be blanched.
  3. Add salt to the water; the water should be very salty.
  4. Immerse the food into the boiling water for the specified amount of time.
  5. Remove food to the ice bath to cool quickly.
  6. Once cool, remove food from ice bath and pat dry.

Having a hot pot of soup simmering on the stove is such a comforting welcome, and equally as much fun as drinking the soup itself. In our next post, we will be sharing popular Chinese soup recipes and why Chinese soups can be healthy.

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Congee Recipes For Cold And Flu

Never paid attention to congee recipes before, have you? You have reason to do so now.

The middle burner in Chinese medicine is the heart of the digestive system.

A vivid image of the middle burner is a wood-burning stove that heats a house. Digestion is the stove, and food is the fuel. The quality of the fuel determines the efficiency of the stove and therefore the warmth of the house, i.e., the health and energy of the body.

A large, heavy breakfast would be like throwing a big oak log on a struggling, flickering flame; it might be snuffed. Cold cereal, milk or raw fruit would be like throwing wet, soggy leaves on a tender little fire. Fried eggs and hash browns would be like green wood; it burns poorly and produces thick, noxious smoke. Not eating breakfast would certainly put the fire out for the day. Ice-cold drinks and foods like ice cream and salads also destroy the digestive fire.

Wood Burning Stove And Congee Recipes

Congee Recipes
Congee is to Asians what chicken noodle soup is to the Americans. The comfort food of all comfort foods, congee holds some healing properties. Firstly, rice is neutral to warming, and very few people are allergic to rice. It tonifies the Qi and Blood and harmonizes the Middle Burner (your digestive system), the stomach and the spleen. Water balances our PH, detoxes and nourishes Yin.

A plain congee is easily digested and can act as a tonic when special ingredients are added.

For example, mulberry congee nourishes the whole body and promotes the production of blood and chestnut and longan congee replenishes the heart blood and kidney essence.

Since the rice itself strengthens the spleen-pancreas digestive center, other foods added to a rice congee become more completely assimilated, and their properties are therefore enhanced.

Watch a video tutorial of how to make chicken congee here.

Mulberry congee
Prepare fresh mulberries (30g, remove the stem) and glutinous rice (50g), bring 1000ml of water to the boil, add the ingredients, and simmer over a low heat for 50 minutes. Add rock sugar to taste, and serve in the morning. This congee is suitable for people with insomnia, dizziness, blurred vision and ear ringing.

Chestnut and longan congee
Prepare chestnut (10 pieces, peeled and chopped), longan aril (15g) and rice (50g), bring to a boil with 2000ml of water, and simmer for 50 minutes. The congee replenishes kidney essence and heart blood, which improves the quality of sleep.

Staying warm and happy is as easy as a bowl of congee. That’s not too difficult, is it? Enjoy your congee recipes!

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5 Questions To Ask About Health Supplements

Health Supplements
In today’s world, you might be eating your standard recommended servings of whole bread, vegetables, fruits and meats, but still you could be lacking in nutrients. (Calorie dense food might not be nutrient dense!) So you are considering health supplements.

You could lack nutrients due to a few reasons:
Current commercial agriculture techniques leave the soil deficient in important minerals, causing the food grown in this soil to share the same mineral deficiencies.

Erratic eating habits, insufficient chewing of food, eating on the run, and stress contribute to poor digestion, making it difficult for our bodies to extract all the nutrients it needs from We all have genetic weaknesses, including higher needs of some nutrients, higher rates of depletion for certain nutrients, and an increased likelihood of genetic expression of some illnesses if vitamin or mineral deficiencies are present.

So it’s natural to want to consider the use of health supplements.

But don’t just jump in and buy the first supplement you see. Consider these questions first.

1. Does the company have a research department?
Research For Health Supplement

The answer you’re looking for is “yes.” You want to buy from a company that conducts thorough in-house research on its products and makes that research available to consumers.

2. In a mineral product, are the minerals chelated?
You want chelated minerals whenever you can get them. Chelated minerals are minerals that have been combined chemically with amino acids to form “complexes.” You will see products labeled as chelated boron, chelated calcium, chelated chromium, etc.

3. Will taking this dietary supplement interfere with any prescription medicine I am on?
It could, so be sure you check with your physician before you purchase and pop any supplements. Additionally, before starting a new medicine, inform your physician about existing supplements that you are on. Supplements can interfere with the proper metabolisation of medicine, and vice versa. Ask a medical professional the correct dosage for your current health conditions. It is highly recommended that you check with a certified medical practitioner or healthcare professional on the appropriate dosage.

4. How can I compare the same health supplements from different brands?

The prudency of the company, the quality of its raw material and the standard of manufacturing all play an important part in the quality of a supplement. This reflects how the company checks and tests the ingredients to ensure it complies with the list of agreed quality criteria — which is set by both the raw material manufacturer and the product manufacturer during the manufacturing process.

Check if the company provides good nutritional advice and after sales service. The health supplements companies should also provide for face to face support through certified Naturopaths and healthcare practitioners.

5. Are they customised for men? For women? For specific age groups?
Every person has different nutritional requirements. What your body needs for optimal health depends on your age, gender, diet, and any health conditions you may have.

As a result, a general multivitamin is not always the best option. Instead, you should consider meeting your body’s specific nutritional needs with customized vitamin supplements.

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Tips For Anxiety Relief

Anxiety – you probably know what it feels like to be anxious. Going for your first job interview, asking someone out for the first time, cooking dinner for your family for the first time, driving your boss to an important conference, the list could go on.

However, if anxiety is persistent and exists even in unwarranted situations, it could interfere with normal living. The major types of anxiety disorders include Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Taking care of the kidneys is crucial for optimal health and healing anxiety with food, as you’ll soon see. The kidneys are the source of yin and yang and our vital essence. If they’re at all compromised, the rest of our organs will be sickly as well. If the kidneys are run-down, the healing process is much slower. Unfortunately, modern living is taking its toll on almost everyone’s kidneys. What weakens the kidneys? Overwork, exposure to toxins, eating too much animal protein, stress, excessive intake of alcohol, drugs and many medications, and poor sleeping habits are some of the key culprits.

In Chinese medicine, your adrenal glands are actually considered the same organs as your kidneys. There’s no distinction between the two.

 

Your adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys and help create energy.

They regulate your stress response and secrete hormones, including aldosterone.

When they’ve been overtaxed, they become fatigued, leading to the following symptoms: chronic fatigue, insomnia, being easily overwhelmed, craving salty and/or sweet foods, sensitivity to light or cold, difficulty concentrating, poor digestion, irritable bowel syndrome, frequent colds, PMS- and menopause-related problems, low blood pressure, allergies, arthritis, low libido and especially anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.

There are some herbs that can help reduce anxiety.

1. Chamomile
Some compounds in chamomile bind to the same brain receptors as drugs like Valium.

Chamomile Tea Can Fight Anxiety

2. Green tea 
There is an amino acid in green tea called L-theanine. Research shows that L-theanine helps curb a rising heart rate and blood pressure, and a few small human studies have found that it reduces anxiety. In one study, anxiety-prone subjects were calmer and more focused during a test if they took 200 milligrams of L-theanine beforehand.
Green Tea Can Fight Anxiety

3. Lemon balm
Other traditional medicinal uses for lemon balm have included improving appetite, and easing the pain and discomfort from indigestion (including gas and bloating, as well as colic). It was, and continues to be, used as an ingredient in Mediterranean dishes, as a garnish, as a fresh flavouring for deserts and sweets and to make hot and cold teas. Animal data shows it relieves stress and anxiety and sleeping disorders effectively.

Lemon Balm Tea For Anxiety
You can even try a lemon balm fruit salad!
Cut up your favorite fruit- melons, oranges, strawberries, etc. and top with chopped fresh lemon balm leaves.

4. Magnesium
 The supplement magnesium has been found to aid in the management of anxiety symptoms. Taking 200-300 mg of magnesium 2 to 3 times daily has been shown to help.

To fully relieve anxiety, one might need to undergo therapy or see a doctor, but these food has been proven to help. Sit back, have a cup of tea and a fruit salad, and take some deep breaths.

The grass is greener where you water it, and one moment of worrying just takes away a minute of happiness.

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TCM Tips To Help You Get Pregnant

Chinese New Year is coming up soon and we will welcome the year of the Monkey! Many Chinese try to give birth in a year of the Monkey because it is believed that babies born in the year of the Monkey are perceived as clever.

The Chinese character “猴” (hóu /hoh/ ‘monkey’) is pronounced the same as “侯” (‘high official’), and the association dates back hundreds of years into feudal times.

The imagery of the monkey as nobility often appears in ancient paintings:

  • A monkey hanging a seal on a maple tree symbolizes getting promoted to a high position with an official seal.
  • A monkey riding a horse symbolizes getting promoted quickly.
  • A monkey riding on the back of another monkey symbolizes maintaining a high official standing from one generation to another.

If you are planning to get pregnant in this year, these Traditional Chinese Medicine tips could prove helpful.

1. Increase blood flow

Increasing blood flow to your reproductive organs is key in TCM as experts say a stressful life actually pulls blood flow away from the reproductive organs and makes it harder to get pregnant. Get up from your seats, exercise, do some yoga and try some acupuncture, maybe.

Acupuncture - A TCM tip to help you get pregnant

2. Nothing damp
According to TCM, “dampness” can build up in our body and lead to cysts and fibroids, making it hard to get pregnant. Therefore, damp foods like butter, cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, greasy foods and alcohol should be eliminated from a diet if you are trying to conceive. Wet clothing and extremely humid environments should also be avoided. So maybe no late night drinks or weekend binging on Ben and Jerry’s for a while.

3. Eat right to enhance the “yin” and “yang”
In a woman’s cycle, Yin and Yang energies rise and fall throughout. With fertility, the Yin must be sufficient to nourish the uterus and ovaries in the first half of the cycle. However Yin cannot be activated unless there is sufficient Yang energy. When the Yang is in balance with Yin, then the Yin energy is able to fertilize and nourish the egg.

In the second half of the cycle, Yang energy must heat the blood in the uterus to provide a warm and healthy environment for the embryo.

TCM believes that certain food help nourish your bodies during the different phases of your menstrual cycle.

Foods that nourish Yin include: fruits such as raspberries, pineapples and grapes; vegetables such as asparagus and beans; adequate proteins, especially tofu and fish; and organ meats such as kidneys, brains and hearts. Avoid spicy, pungent foods.

Foods that nourish Yang include warming foods: ginger; ginger tea; beans; grains; and vegetables such as mustard greens, winter squash, cabbage and kale.

Foods that nourish blood include: fruits such as blackberries, raspberries and grapes; organic meats and poultry; soup stock made from the bones of the meat and poultry; and vegetables such as turnips, spinach and dark, leafy greens.

Here’s wishing you a prosperous Monkey year filled with the laughter of your own Monkey kid! :)