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detoxifying kichari

Hey people!

Here’s an awesome recipe for one of my favorite dishes called Kichari.

It’s a delicious dish, traditionally made in India that is easy to digest, detoxifying and anti-inflammatory.

It’s really easy to make too!

I like to make a big batch and then eat it for the rest of the week. It can also be eaten as a fast to detoxify the body and lose weight.

It’s not exactly AIP perfect, but it’s still quite beneficial. (This is better after you’ve gone through the elimination phase and have reintroduced foods.)

One of the ingredients is mung bean. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s small green bean is used in Chinese Medicine to clear heat and toxins and was used traditionally as an effective antidote for overdose from a variety of toxins.

This dish is also flavored with turmeric, a fantastic anti-inflammatory.

Ingredients:

Equal parts:

Powdered turmeric, cumin and coriander. (1 tbsp or so of each)

1 cup white basmati rice

1 cup mung beans (if you feel ambitious you can sprout these first)

ghee or coconut oil (1-2 tbsp)

1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

Coconut yoghurt

Cilantro and lime to garnish

  1. Wash and soak the rice and beans separately.
  2. Cook each separately and set aside. (I like to use a rice cooker for the rice.)
  3. In a deep pan, heat the ghee or coconut oil until it is melted. Add the spices and mix altogether until all the spices meld together and you smell the aroma. Add the fresh grated ginger.
  4. Add the cooked rice and beans.
  5. You can also mix in cubed, cooked winter squash (butternut or kabocha) and/or some sautéed vegetable like spinach or kale.
  6. Garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro, a spoonful of coconut yoghurt and a lime wedge and enjoy!

Yum!

In previous a previous post, we looked at the role of blood sugar imbalances on the thyroid and the thyroid axis. The endocrine gland that is in control of sugar balance in the body is, of course, the pancreas.

earth-full-body-cropped

The Earth Element

The pancreas is part of the Earth Element in Chinese Medicine. In this post, which is an excerpt from my book, Roadmap to Remission, we explore some of the important concepts related to the Earth Element and how they affect the thyroid axis.

The Spleen/Pancreas: It’s a Hybrid

Okay, so now let’s take a look at the Earth Element and its sphere of influence. As I said, the yin organ is the spleen, and the yang organ is the stomach.

The endocrine gland associated with the Earth Element is the pancreas. In fact, a lot of what the ancient Chinese ascribed to the spleen sounds, in my opinion, very much like the pancreas.

The other parts of the system that represent the Earth Element are the mouth, saliva, flesh, or muscles. It governs the sense of taste.

The spleen governs digestion and keeps the blood circulating. We know that it is also responsible for cleaning old and dead red blood cells from the bloodstream. It also stores platelets that aid in clotting and coagulation.

The ancient Chinese recognized the spleen as an important organ for immune function. We know now that it also stores monocytes—the Pacman white blood cells—and that B and T cells are made and mature in the spleen.

Remember in the last chapter when we spoke about certain immune cells producing TSH? Well, some of those cells come from the spleen.

The sense organ associated with the spleen is the mouth and health issues involving the spleen sometimes manifest on the lips and the corners of the mouth.

The negative emotion of the spleen is worry or obsessive thinking, and the energy or vitality of the Earth Element is intent.

This energy is linked with mental and physical activity of the body. Lack of desire or difficulty with coordination and movement of the body may reveal an issue with intent and, therefore, the spleen.

This difficulty with coordination is a problem with moving and articulating the limbs, and it is associated with poor utilization of nutrients by the muscles.

What are they talking about? It could be insulin utilization—the state of insulin resistance that we spoke about in the last chapter.

Almost all cells in the body have insulin receptors. So intent involves a major mental component and is also under the influence of insulin, but not always for the purpose of just utilizing glucose. Insulin can also help with the uptake of certain amino acids.

Serotonin Is a Great Example

One interesting example of this relationship involves serotonin.

The brain’s ability to absorb serotonin is enhanced by insulin. If you become insulin resistant, what happens emotionally? You lose this intent, you become depressed, and you crave carbs to try and make you feel better.

Do you see how this is all connected? These are examples of spheres of influence.

In a spiritual sense, this intent affects the digestive functions of thought that allows for the processing and assimilation of our life experiences in a nourishing way.

Unbalanced function leads to brooding, worry, and excessive thought patterns, such as obsessive compulsive disorders. People who think obsessively can become stuck in a pattern of thinking for thinking’s sake alone, and they don’t get nourished by their experiences, because they can’t move on.

One of the health issues that is problematic for the spleen is dampness. Internally, this can take the form of phlegm. Phlegm is made in the spleen and then sent up to the lung.

Metaphorically, dampness is an accumulation of everything that should be nourishing, but instead has become a burden. In a psychological sense, it manifests as lethargy, boredom, mental sluggishness, obsessive thinking, and brooding.

On a physical level, phlegm dampness accumulates in the spleen, stomach, lungs, and large intestines. Sweetness is the flavor of the Earth Element. We’ve seen the problems excess sugar can cause.

Well, from a spiritual/psychological standpoint, this phlegm dampness represents the excessive need to give or receive sympathy. Therefore, it’s spiritual phlegm. It is giving too much and not taking care of yourself or demanding too much so that it becomes a burden to others.

 That’s the beauty of Chinese Medicine. It looks at the connection between things, mind, body and spirit are not separate. They all influence one another.

PUMPKIN POT PIE with CRANBERRY CHICKEN

pumpkin-pot-pie-stuffed-with-cranberry-chicken

Damn that looks good!

This is my partner, Olesia Farberov’s (she also took the photos!), take on the famous chicken pot pie but Autoimmune-Paleo style. This labor of love will definitely make an impression on your guests and kids.

What can be better than a perfectly wrapped, edible present!

Happy Holidays!

pumpkin-2-ingredients

Ingredients:

4 medium or 6 small Pumpkins, scraped of seeds and strings

3 lbs Chicken breast, cut in bite-size pieces

¼ lb Uncured Bacon

4 Carrots, cut in thin rounds

1 large or 2 small Yucca root (optional)

1 large yellow onion, chopped

4 Bay leaf

4 Savory sprigs, thinly sliced

2 Oregano sprigs, thinly sliced

2 Sage leaves, thinly sliced

½ tsp Salt

½ tsp Pepper

1 ½ cup Cranberries, fresh

pumpkin-3-prepared1. Give your pumpkins a bath with soap and water to rid of any loose dirt. Using a small knife, cut out a hole 4-5” in diameter around the stem and open the “lid”. Scrape the insides of seeds and gooey strings and discard. Set pumpkins aside.2. Peel and cut yucca root into 2” rounds. Cook, covered in water, until easily pierced with fork. Drain and leave it to cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut each piece into bite-size pieces, eliminating the hard, rope-like core. Set aside.

3. In a large pot, fry bacon until golden and crisp. Take out bacon and reserve for later.

4. Preheat oven to 395F.

5. Into the pot of bacon fat, throw in onion and cook until browned. Add chicken, yucca, bay leaf, herbs, salt & pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 min. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add cranberries and stir to distribute evenly.

 

pumpkin-4-cranberry-chicken-stuffing

6. Stuff each pumpkin with chicken mixture, including liquid. Cover with pumpkin “lid”. Place on a large sheet, covered with foil, and bake on middle rack at 395F for approximately 1hr or until pumpkin can be pierced easily with a fork.

7. Let pumpkins cool for at least 10 minutes with “lid” slightly open. Before serving, remove lid and sprinkle crumbled bacon into each pumpkin then place the “lid” back on.

pumpkin-5-stuffedEach pumpkin can be served whole or cut into either half (for adults) or quarter size (for kids).

 Have Fun & Enjoy!!

pumpkin1

Recipe and photos by Olesia Farberov, L.Ac.

sweet beverages and diabetes risk

What?

This week we are looking into the earth element which involves the spleen and pancreas and how this relates to thyroid and autoimmune disease.

A new study in the news this week has found that drinking soda and other sweet beverages (2 or more per day) doubles the risk for getting diabetes regardless of whether or not it is an artificial sweetener or not.

This was a case-control study within a population-based Swedish cohort study that aimed to see whether consumption of sweetened drinks was associated with risk of a lesser known form of diabetes called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).

LADA IS TYPE 1.5 DIABETES

LADA is sometimes called Type 1.5 diabetes because has features of both type 1 diabetes, where the body’s own immune cells destroy the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and type 2 diabetes, which usually develops later in life and is most commonly caused by eating too much sugar.

But unlike type 1 diabetes, which normally develops in childhood, in LADA the cell destruction is much slower.

Also, the condition often develops later in life and shares many features with type 2 diabetes. For example, the person doesn’t always need treatment with insulin straight away. This study reports that in the Swedish diabetes registry, LADA accounts for 5% of all cases.

WHAT DID THE STUDY FIND?

Data was available for 1,136 people with type 2 diabetes, 357 people with LADA, and 1,371 diabetes-free controls.

Average age was 59 for people with LADA and controls, and 68 for those with type 2 diabetes.

Just under two-thirds of all people reported consuming sweetened (including artificially sweetened) drinks.

In general they found that consumption of sweetened drinks was linked with higher body mass index (BMI) and other poor lifestyle factors like smoking, low physical activity and consumption of processed meat and sugary foods. (Birds of a feather flock together, as do unhealthy habits.)

One problem with the study is that, as you can see, there are many other potential factors that could also lead to poor health and the development of diabetes, so it’s hard to say it’s just soda and other sweet beverages, though these are certainly very high in sugar.

LINK BETWEEN TYPE II DIABETES, LADA AND AUTOIMMUNE THYROID DISEASE

How does this relate to Hashimoto’s?

There are few interesting links between these two diseases.

Firstly, as we noted in a previous post, when you have one autoimmune disease there is a higher risk of developing others.

What’s interesting is that insulin resistance has been found to increase destruction of the thyroid in thyroid autoimmunity, and it can also clearly be a trigger for Hashimoto’s.

These don’t usually develop at the same time and often take years to progress, just like other autoimmune diseases.

In one study of autoimmune polyendocrine diseases it was found that type I diabetes manifested first in half the cases and autoimmune thyroid disease manifested first in 17% of the cases.

And the most common combination was type I diabetes and autoimmune thyroid disease at 33%. 

So, it’s another reminder of how important sugar balance and sugar control is for people with Hashimoto’s.

We explore this idea in depth in this post.

CANDIDA ALSO A  FACTOR IN POLYENDOCRINE DISORDERS

Something else that is really fascinating is that candida is also a common denominator in many autoimmune polyendocrine disorders. 

What does candida thrive on?

Sugar.

Adding another layer of reasons why sugar should be taken seriously. It can not only lead to more autoimmunity, it can also lead to secondary conditions that are both causes of the disease and hindrnaces to getting better.

DIET SODA DOESN’T PROTECT YOU FROM ANYTHING

Finally, I think what’s also an interesting revelation from this is that there is a kind of myth that diet soda is a safer alternative.

Well, various research reviews and a case study have found this not to be true.

In fact, here’s one case study that showed dramatic improvement in Hashimoto’s symptoms when the patient stopped drinking diet soda.

BOTTOM LINE IS THIS

Excessive sugar consumption (and this includes artificial sugar substitutes) is a potential threat not just for Type II Diabetes or LADA, but also for autoimmune thyroid and polyendocrine thyroid diseases.

It can also foster secondary infections like candida and SIBO (Small Intestine Bascterial Overgrowth).

Treat sugar like the potentially dangerous substance that it is.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2016-10-21-sweetened-drinks-including-diet-drinks-may-raise-diabetes-risk-/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15182509 LADA and Thyroid autoimmunity

http://www.eje-online.org/content/175/6/605.abstract?sid=93eb363b-97d3-4f35-92cd-11e7c2ed5ee4 sweet

beverage consumption and LADA

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313612.php Diabetes risk doubled with soda consumption-diet doesn’t change anything

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18800291 Sucralose alters microbiome

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20693348 Previous research on soda and type 2 diabetes

http://media.aace.com/press-release/cause-and-effect-case-report-shows-association-between-sugar-substitutes-and-common-th Case study on artificial sweeteners and Hashimoto’s

https://www.sav.sk/journals/endo/full/er0301e.pdf   LADA and Autoimmune Thyroiditis

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2010/may/the-other-diabetes-lada-or-type-1-5.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/ LADA or Type 1.5 diabetes  

http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/type-1-5-diabetes/ More on LADA

lungs metal element book excerpt

In this contentious election season, there are going to be winners and there are going to be losers. Whenever you lose something, whether it’s a friend, loved one or your team or candidate is not victorious, then you can experience grief.

In Chinese medicine, traditionally, it is believed that emotions impact different parts of our bodies more than others and the metal element (which includes the lung and large intestine) is thought to be vulnerable to the impact of grief.

The Nei Jing, or The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, a classic text that dates back 2,200 years, describes the lungs as minister and chancellor. It helps the heart to regulate the body’s qi or energy.

The lungs govern the wei qi, which guards our outer most boundary, and prevents all that doesn’t match our true self from getting inside to our core.

Grief is the negative emotion of the lung, and grief can weaken them.

My father died when I was nine. The next year I got pneumonia. Maybe it was a coincidence or maybe there is some connection.

The lungs are very vulnerable to dryness, as well. If this boundary to self becomes too dry, then finding our true self can become more difficult.

If the lungs become too moist, then phlegm builds up and blocks our connection to the essence of life.

In health the lungs are thought to empower us to stay connected to the essence of life even after the material things disappear.

For example, after the loss of a loved one, a healthy lung can empower a connection to the spirit of that person.

But if the lung is weak, you could become fixated on the loss, become lost in that grief, and lose appreciation of the present moment.

This grief can become manifest as phlegm, a chronic cough, constant dripping sinus, like internal tears.

Phlegm is a very important thing in Chinese medicine. Like qi, it has a number of different definitions.

Good phlegm clears pathogens; it’s the first line of defense. Bad phlegm, (“Bad Phlegm!”), accumulates in the joints, the kidneys, the brain, and the thyroid in the form of nodules.

In the Chinese character of phlegm, we see the character that means inflammation. Phlegm can also represent the antibody response to pathogens that cross react to healthy tissues.

This kind of phlegm impairs cellular immune function leading to chronic disease.

Understanding the Large Intestine’s Role

The large intestine is the yang partner to the lung. According to the Nei Jing, the large intestine is responsible for transit. All waste products go through this organ.

This is true of waste moving through the large intestine, which returns to the earth. It’s also true metaphorically.

The large intestine constructs a barrier between self and non-self by sorting out the things we take in and then determining which acquired influences need to be kept and which need to be let go.

With autoimmune disease, so much of which begins and is perpetuated in the intestines, the barrier between self and non-self, is lost.

We lose self tolerance. And a lot of this happens in the intestines.

Failing to respond in a balanced way to loss in life (and not just loss of a loved one—any loss: a job, a relationship, a pet, an election), the large intestine reacts to the presence of grief and longing.

This grief can become distorted and it can be difficult to let go in that you keep holding on to things that no longer serve you. And what happens?

Diarrhea—where you loose important minerals, or constipation where you are literally holding onto things that no longer serve you.

This condition can make you pessimistic, cynical, and generally negative. It can make you judgmental of others.

Leaky gut or intestinal permeability is caused by a breakdown of the intestinal lining and cell walls.

Many researchers believe that it is one of the root causes of autoimmunity and the loss of self tolerance. (We will explore this in depth in the section on the Earth Element )

Leaky gut may also have an emotional root. It can make you feel not properly valued by others.

You see how this is all connected?

The ancient Chinese believed that emotions are not just things that we feel, they have real physical consequences and can profoundly impact our health and well being.

This is also why cultivating practices like meditation can be so valuable. You learn to not be ruled by your emotions and by observing them instead, you can also learn how to separate them from your physical body.

That can be a very valuable skill.

As always, we appreciate your comments, shares and insights.

Qi Gong Exercise for the Metal Element (The Immune System)

Reach for Happiness

This exercise focuses on bringing more energy and blood flow to the lungs. In Chinese medicine, the lungs are one of the most important organ systems for creating energy and sustaining health and well-being.

It has its origin in a famous statue of Buddha, in which he is portrayed with his hands above his head just like the photo above.

As we learned in the chapters on the Metal Element, the lungs and large intestines are united by the immune system. They both have an enormous number of lymph glands in and around them, as you can see in this illustration.

metal-body-closeup

The Metal Element: Immune System

So focusing on healing these areas can have a very positive effect on the immune system for calming, regulating, and balancing the immune system. All things that a valuable for people with Hashimoto’s.

This exercise is also good for digestive problems; heart, lung, spine, or back problems; and a stiff neck and eye problems. It helps also bring more blood flow to the brain, increases lung volume, and increases blood flow back to the heart.

How to Do It:

qi gong reach for happiness

Begin with the natural standing posture. Feet shoulder length apart, hands hanging relaxed at your side.

Inhale and gently sweep your hands out to your sides, to the front and bring your hands to meet at your abdomen, just below your navel.

Your palms should be facing up towards the sky, with your fingertips pointing up towards each other. As you sweep your hands up imagine that you are holding a ball of energy, keep your arms rounded and your armpits open.

Next raise your hands, lifting the energy ball slowly and steadily up to your chest. Keep your arms about six to eight inches from your body to keep the movement open. Gently hold the energy ball and imagine that you must balance it or it will fall.

Next turn, turn the palms down and rotate your thumbs underneath and push your hands out above your head. Keep your fingers interlocking and again imagine that you are balancing an energy ball and pushing it far into the sky.

At the end of this movement stand up on your tip toes as far as your balance allows. Push up for one or two seconds as you completely exhale. Then inhale as deeply as you can while staying relaxed.

Finally, exhale again, unlock your fingers and return your head and eyes to a forward position. Let your arms float outward as if gently pushing down a couple of big balloons.

Repeat the entire Qi Gong exercise three times, once or twice a day. When you are finished try to maintain the posture and height that got from doing the exercise.

From Liu, Master Hong. The Healing Art of Qi Gong Healing. New York: Warner, 1997.

 

loving your story

Today’s Hashimoment: Loving Your Story

We all have an inner narrative.

And one thing I’ve observed in myself and in many of the people I’ve worked with is a tendency to go to that default story.

It takes various forms, but what I noticed is that when I’m struggling it’s all about what’s wrong rather than what’s right.

And if you’re like many of the people I’ve worked with, you’ve struggled with Hashimoto’s and maybe felt defeated at times.

You’d have to be a super hero to not feel that way once in while.

But the truth is always nuanced.

It contains elements of comedy, things to celebrate and things to be grateful for.

As well as a fair share of tragedy, hardship and suffering.

So, what it comes down to is your perception of it, really.

The way you narrate the story.

It can be all about the tragedy and hardship and defeat.

Or all about the things to celebrate and what you’re grateful for.

But in order to heal, we need to try and use everything to our advantage.

And I know it has served me to focus on the things I can celebrate and what I’m grateful for.

Even when things are hard and there seems to be a lot of disappointment and difficulty, there’s always a way to be your own spin doctor and tell the story differently.

And like anything, the more you do this, the easier it becomes and the better you become at it.

So I encourage you to work on this.

Craft a story you love and make it more about the things you can celebrate and be grateful for.

This will make it easier to love yourself and that’s something that can never hurt.

Shares, comments and insights welcome!

flu virusHey people!

Earlier this week I shared a post I wrote that looks into some questions around the influenza vaccine.

We had quite a few reactions and they were distinctly different.

Some people reported getting the flu vaccine and it was no problem for them. Others reported terrible reactions and said they’d never get it again.

Well, as always, I’m curious about why this might be.

So I took a look at the research and I’ve come up with a plausible theory.

I’ll get to it in a moment, but, first, I think it’s important to understand something about the immune system.

The Immune System Is Incredibly Complex

The immune system is made of many different parts, and much of it is still a mystery to researchers.

One thing that we do know is that these different parts can behave differently in different situations and trying to over simplify and assign “good” or “bad” attributes to the different parts often results in frustration.

And the reason for this is that sometimes it does things that are “good” for the body (like defend it from pathogens like the flu virus) and sometimes it does things that are not so beneficial (like develop autoimmunity).

But even autoimmunity comes from a necessary and “good” process, the body needs to dispose of old dead cells or we’d become a toxic stew of cell fragments and mutations.

Sometimes these processes get thrown out of balance and “bad” things happen such as autoimmunity and one of the possible reasons for this has to do with the way the body tries to deal with and dispose of viruses.

And examining this process can give us insights into why some people with autoimmunity have such a bad reaction to the flu (and sometimes, other viruses, as well.)

In reality, everyone is a little different and we all have different immune profiles. Even among people with Hashimoto’s there is a good deal of variety in terms of how their immune system is functioning (or dysfunctioning).

Autoimmunity and Influenza Reactions Have One Thing In Common

The one common denominator in both bad reactions to the flu and the development of autoimmunity is that, in both cases, there is a deficiency in certain immune cells.

One thing that both autoimmunity and influenza infection have in common is that a deficiency of CD8+ cells can be found in autoimmune disease and it can also be a factor in having a more intense reaction to the influenza virus.

CD8+ cells are important for immune defense against bacteria and viruses and they also help the body monitor for tumors.

Some researchers have theorized that the Epstein Barr virus plays an important role in autoimmunity because it can ultimately leads to a decline in CD8+ cells.

This is a bit complicated and I have written about it in more depth here: https://www.hashimotoshealing.com/the-herpes-virus-and-has…/

How to Boost CD8+ Cells

For this post I thought it might be helpful to give you some suggestions for boosting CD8+ cells, which may help reduce your susceptibility and reaction to colds and flus.

Butyrate, which is important food for good bacteria and for cell lining in the intestines has been found to be helpful in restoring CB8+ cells that were depleted by viral infections.

These are short chained fatty acids and can be found in resistant starches. Butyrate can also be purchased as a supplement on it’s own.

The Chinese herb Chuan Xin Lian, or Andrographis can also boost CD8+ cells and is an excellent herb for sore throats and colds and flus. ( This is herb is contraindicated in pregnancy and must be used with caution. It is available in capsule and tablet form). More information can be found here: http://examine.com/supplements/Andrographis+paniculata/

Another Chinese herb called Jiao Gu Lan or Gynostemma has been shown to boost CD8+ cells and to have anticancer and cholesterol lowering properties: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24832985

Finally, Wu wei zi, or Schizandra is another herb that has been shown to boost CD8+ cells after radiation exposure: http://www.egh.net.cn/EN/abstract/abstract2207.shtml

(Note: Herbs are medicine too, so use caution when taking them and be sure to do your own research or consult an experienced physician on proper dosage and contraindications).

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC136883/ CD8+ def. and influenza

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ad/2012/189096/#B47 CD8+ def. in autoimmunity

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/12/1/pdfs/05-1237.pdf Cell mediated Protection in Influenza

http://bitesized.immunology.org/cells/cd8-t-cells/ Good explanation of CD8+ cells

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2015/979167/ Immune disorders and Hashimoto’s

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4196144/ Butyrate boosts CD8+ cells

star anise

Star Anise can be used to make a tea for cold & flu symptoms.

Hey People

Today, I thought we’d start a new type of post that we’ll doing periodically and that is featuring herbs and other treatments that are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

In today’s tip, I wanted to highlight Star Anise, known as Da Hui Xiang in Chinese.

This is an herb that is traditionally combined with other herbs and used as a pain reliever, and digestive aid (it is especially effective for treating nausea and indigestion).

It has a lovely licorice like flavor and you can find it in dried form at many Hispanic and Asian markets.

Another interesting thing to note is that Star anise is the major source of the chemical compound shikimic acid.

This compound is used to make the anti-influenza drug oseltamivir(Tamiflu).

And for all you trivia fans …in 2005, a temporary shortage of star anise was caused by its use in the production of Tamiflu.

So, that means it also has anti-viral properties and can be a good tea for aiding in the prevention and treatment of the flu.

Since pain, digestive complaints and colds and flus can all be issues for people with Hashimoto’s, we recommend this as a tea that you can keep around the house and drink regularly.

How to prepare it:

Use 2 star anise per cup of filtered water.

Bring water to a boil. Add the star anise, turn down the heat.

Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes for a strong cup of tea.

Doesn’t really need sweetening, and the flavor will be quite strong when you simmer it for this amount of time.

Simmering for this amount of time will release the medicinal properties and covering it will preserve the aromatic oils.

For a gentler cup of tea, simmer for 5 minutes.

Have a great day! Unless you have other plans. 🙂

Please share with anyone you think might enjoy this.

tsh-graphic

Hey, people!

Today’s health tip concerns blood tests.

As I’m sure many of you have experienced, a lot of doctors rely heavily on test results.

The most commonly ordered are TSH and T4.

Some doctors won’t order anything other than TSH.

And many labs now do what is called a TSH cascade, which means they only test more than TSH if TSH is out of range.

Which it isn’t, a lot of the time. Regardless of how lousy you feel.

What this practice amounts to is simply managing TSH.

Managing TSH is not the same as managing Hashimoto’s.

Lately, several people have posted questions regarding their lab values.

In most cases, I can’t give a good answer.

I’m not trying to be a jerk, it’s because lab tests are flawed.

They are not the be all and end all.

They do not provide answers by themselves.

With Hashimoto’s, what you feel, the symptoms you have, are clinically significant and diagnostically important.

And here’s why this is especially true of TSH.

TSH is thyroid stimulating hormone.

It is released by the pituitary gland to signal the thyroid to release thyroid hormone.

And research has found that the pituitary does not absorb thyroid hormone

in the same way that the rest of the cells in the body do.

A study published in the British Medical Journal, Meir et al looked into the question of whether or not TSH and the amount of thyroid hormone in the cells of the body were directly correlated.

It was shown that the TSH level had no correlation with tissue thyroid levels and could not be used to determine a proper or optimal thyroid replacement dose.

The authors concluded that “TSH is a poor measure for estimating the clinical and metabolic severity of primary overt thyroid failure.”

“… We found no correlations between the different parameters of target tissues and serum TSH.”

“…no correlations…” means these 2 things aren’t connected.

Do want to know what your test results mean?

Look at them in the context of how you feel.

A thorough assessment of your signs and symptoms is, by far, the best way to understand how you feel.

Trust your body.

It will tell you whether or not what you are doing is working.

And if you feel like crap, what you are doing is not working.

It’s time to change course.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC143526/

 

Edit:

I conducted a poll on my Facebook page the other day (http://facebook.com/HashimotosHealing) asking whether anyone who had normal lab results were still experiencing symptoms. These graphs below illustrate the results from that poll:

percentages

poll-results-from-10-8