13:06 13:06

Cherries! Nature’s Blood Cleanser

By |2018-05-21T13:11:13+00:00April 22nd, 2018|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Holistic Living, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Cherries! Nature’s Blood Cleanser

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

It’s time for cherries!  If you’ve ever picked cherries, likely you have an appreciation for how much labor goes into caring for and harvesting the delicate, tart orbs that are available fresh for only a few weeks. Depending on the variety, a single cherry tree can produce about 30 lbs of fruit each year.   A single acre of land can be planted with several hundred trees. That’s a lot of little fruit, and although there are mechanical harvesters, most cherries are still picked by hand making them one of the most labor intensive fruits with the one of the shortest harvest season. But they are well worth it.

A little cherry history

Cherries are a drupe, meaning they have a pit in their center. Like other drupes, including apricots, nectarines, and peaches, they are a member of the rose family and are native to the western hemisphere of Europe and Asia. Written records of cherry farming date back to 72 BC Anatolia (modern day Turkey) and they found their way to America with the pilgrims.   Today, only about 15 of some 500 plus varieties are grown for the American consumer.  However, heirloom varieties are on the rise thanks to the natural food movements throughout the world and our nation.

Western nutritional highlights of cherries

Cherries range from a deep black/red to a golden yellow, and they are categorized as sweet or sour, even in western nutritional terms.  Raw cherries provide dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A and minerals. Don’t look to cherries if you are seeking proteins, fats and or complex carbohydrates. That’s not their job–cherries clear and cleanse.

The healing energetics […]

12:12 12:12

Loving Chocolate–Understanding The Energetics of Chocolate

By |2018-06-01T11:02:46+00:00January 9th, 2017|Categories: April's Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CHN

Who doesn’t love a little chocolate?

Theobroma Cacao is a much loved and very powerful food living up to its ancient name as the food of the gods.    On the average, we Americans each indulge in about 12 pounds of the dark treat yearly.  That stretches out about 100 pounds of chocolate being consumed a second–whew–and that’s just Americans who rank 4th in consumption of chocolate worldwide.  Not surprisingly, the Swiss rank first in the world for individual consumption of chocolate.

The history of chocolate–in five paragraphs

Use of the cacao tree dates back at least 5,000 years to Brazil and the Amazon. Images of the cacao pods have been carved into Mayan stone temples dating back to as early as 300 C.E.  A symbol of fertility, vitality and life, the Mayans revered and used cacao extensively.  By 600 C.E. the Mayans had expanded and were cultivating crops of cacao from the Yucatan Peninsula to the Pacific Coast.

The Mayans mixed cocoa with peppers, cornmeal and other foods to create a strong drink that was used for religious ceremonies and a wide variety of medicinal purposes. This wasn’t the sweet confection we are so familiar with now, rather this was a very bitter and thick “bitter water” or xocoatl–which we derived the word chocolate from. The Mayans brewed xocoatl to treat everything from an upset stomach, low energy and libido, to lowering fevers, expectorating phlegm, treating blood in the stools and diarrhea. It was also used to regulate sleep–by either encouraging it or prohibiting–a dynamic little trait of chocolate. Woman used it treat patterns of deficiency including […]

18:03 18:03

Addressing Hypothyroidism with Chinese Medicine

By |2018-06-01T10:48:35+00:00March 16th, 2016|Categories: Blogs, Common Conditions, Holistic Living, Nutrition Articles, The Seasons|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM) AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

Feeling burnt out or exhausted?  Impaired thyroid functioning may be part of the problem.  A little gland located in the neck, the thyroid produces hormones that play roles in many major functions of the body including maintaining the body’s metabolic rate, growth, detoxification and immunity.  A hyperactive thyroid produces too many hormones and can lead to goiter, sudden weight loss, racing heart or the manifestation of Grave’s disease.  At the other end of the spectrum, an underactive thyroid can lead to hypothyroidism which affects more than 10 million Americans.

Symptoms of  hypothyroid disharmony

  • exhaustion
  • chronic fatigue
  • weight gain
  • feeling cold
  • dry skin
  • slowed metabolism
  • immune deficiency
  • lethargy
  • enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • low libido
  • general lack of vitality
  • depression
  • slowed mental functioning
  • anxiety
  • low basal body temperature
  • hair loss
  • estrogen and progesterone imbalance
  • painful cycles
  • constipation
  • loss of the outer 1/3 of the eyebrow–yes, really.

Quite the list.  Looks like things have cooled and slowed down, right?  Right. Most clients with hypothyroidism have a basal body temperature of 97.6 or below.  In the eyes of Chinese medicine this is a deficiency of Yang–the fire in the body–yet,  it’s not quite that simple.

Causes of hypothyroidism 

Heredity–Mom or Dad may have passed the trait down. However, even in this instance, there is improvement that can be made.  We look at whether the person’s habits encourage or discourage healthy thyroid functioning.

Burning the candle at both ends–Literally, you worked and/or played too hard and often without adequate rest and nutrition appropriate for your life stage, health and constitution.  This leads to a collapse of Yang and Qi (energy, for an over simplified definition) in the body–you snuffed out the […]

11:23 11:23

Tomatoes–A Fruit Dressed Up As A Vegetable

By |2018-05-31T13:33:28+00:00August 4th, 2014|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Nutrition Articles, Summer, The Seasons|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

It’s very hot this year, which means tomatoes will soon be running amok in my garden and kitchen.  Which sounds funny if you know me–I don’t love tomatoes and will pluck them off my plate–unless they are fresh or the sauce comes from tomatoes that I know ripened here and now. It’s a first world burden that comes from having a large garden with fresh tomatoes since I was little.  I love growing the colorful little gems in my garden, and their flavor is truly different fresh off the plant.

Fruit or vegetable?

Fruit. Tomatoes have of habit of hanging out in both the vegetable and fruit category in stores, garden centers and cookbooks, but to be botanically correct–they are a fruit.  Yes, just take a look at those slippery seed clusters that reveal their true identity.  Like other fruits, they develop from the ovaries of flowers.  However, they are most often listed in the vegetable category as they don’t share the sweetness and high sugar content of other fruits.

A little tomato history

Native to South America and Central America, the Aztecs had been eating tomatls for centuries, long before the Spaniards showed up in Central America.  History tends to credit Cortez with the discovery of tomatoes in 1519 when he found them growing in Montezuma’s gardens.  He returned to Europe triumphantly with his new seeds.  The first tomatoes to arrive in Europe were likely small and yellow in color, as the Italians and Spanish refer to them as pomi d’oro (yellow apples).   However, the Europeans were skeptical of the shiny new food, assuming them poisonous, and planted the tomatoes as ornamentals.   The French botanists, Tournefort, would […]