Seasonal Advice Summer is here and it’s the season for outdoor activities. The part of the world I live in is very hot, which gets people out in rivers and lakes to cool off. This month, we are focusing on herbal support during high intensity physical activity. If you are super active, like a marathon runner or crossfitter, I have a suggestion for you: Marrow Plus by Health Concerns. For those who are very physically active, it’s easy to burn up qi and blood with too much exercise. When my patients take Marrow Plus, they report feeling an improvement in their health and well being. This formula is great for athletes or people who have been struggling with a chronic disease for many years. I recommend it for bodies who’ve been having a fair amount of wear and tear. Originally created to support people undergoing cancer treatment, this formula is regularly used by HIV-positive persons, as well as people with other immune disorders. NIH Office of Alternative Medicine and Health Concerns thoroughly researched it with UCSF.
The chief herb, spatholobus, builds blood. In China, this herb is commonly used to stimulate bone marrow function when it is suppressed by cancer protocols. Salvia moves blood and repairs/regenerates tissues. Codonopsis and astragalus build qi, and strengthens stomach function, which is necessary for strengthening the body. Both herbs are used to increase white blood cell count. Tang kuei is a strong blood builder, and helps increase the body's folic acid and vitamin B-12 levels, so that anemia is addressed. Gelatinum strengthens the blood and has been shown to increase red blood cells.
If you have other symptoms, like numbness in your feet or back pain, we can combine this formula with another. Ask me if you think Marrow Plus is beneficial for you and what I would combine it with for you personally.
Recipe This recipe is great when it’s hot and you don’t want to run your oven for hours. Kale chips are a quick, easy snack that’s perfect to take on your summer adventure. If I bag them to go, I don’t seal them up airtight. It makes them soggy. I just seal the top partway and let air in. Kale is nutrient dense, packed full of vitamin A, C, K, iron, calcium and fiber. One of the benefits of eating leafy greens like kale is their phytonutrients, special antioxidants that reduce inflammation. I used to think kale was basically inedible. I’d cook with it in small doses and chopped finely. Kale chips changed my mind about kale. Now I can eat an entire head of kale easily. As much as I want to drench these chips in oil, I don’t. They get soggy and not crispy. The deliciousness comes from being super crunchy. I watch the oven carefully after 10 minutes because they burn. I’ve found 13 minutes is the magic number to get crispy but not blackened chips in my oven. You can add more exotic spices to them, but they are good with just salt. Note: I very rarely use normal table salt. Without the minerals of sea salt or pink salt, table salt (sodium chloride) can leach minerals from the body.
1 bunch of kale, washed and dried 2 Tbsp olive oil Sea salt or pink salt to taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Rip out the center stems and tear leaves into about 1 inch squares. Toss the kale and olive oil together in a large bowl, then sprinkle with salt. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until crisp. Serve and enjoy.
Acupoint Name: Sp 6 三陰交 san li jiao 3 yin intersection Location: 3 finger breadths directly above the tip of the medial malleoulus on the posterior border of the tibia Action: Build fluids, blood, and helps digestion disorders. Remedy for gynecological issues, difficult labor, and menstrual issues like irregular, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea. Treats bleeding disorders, like uterine bleeding. Cools blood in hot skin diseases. Resolves insomnia, palpitations, and other anxiety related emotions. Treats dizziness and hypertension.
Massage for 30 seconds, firm enough to activate but not enough to bruise.
I use this point all the time. It’s great at building up blood and energy, helping digestion, and treating the spleen, liver, and kidney. When I see a patient is fatigued, it’s one of the first points I think about using.
Exercise This is a fun one: go out in nature and get in water. Water has incredible healing properties and is a great way to reconnect with yourself. Feel your body and spirit rejuvenate in the water. Pick a place you’ve wanted to visit and go do it. Maybe check out a waterfall, lake, or river and get wet. If you can get all the way in it, good for you. At least get your feet and hands wet. When outside in this heat, use sun protection, drink water, and eat some healthy food.
Meditation Rejuvenation technique Get comfortable and take a few deep slow breathes. Imagine pure energy coming up from the core of the earth and slowly filling up your feet, ankles, knees, and thighs. The energy rejuvenates your body and makes every part of you more perfect, beautiful, and healthy. Imagine the energy drains back down, removing any impurities and leaves you fresh and clean. Fill up again and bring the energy through your lower limbs, up your core, down your arms, and up to the top of your head. As the energy passes up through you, imagine that body part in the most perfect health possible. Then slowly drain the energy out, taking all the things you no longer need with it. Repeat filling and draining energy until you feel refreshed and new.
I hope everyone is thriving in this warm weather. I look forward to seeing you at your next office visit. Dr. Heather Bird