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Things I’m Learning in School, Part 1

Hello, Intrepid Reader!

I intend to write a multi-part series on things I’m learning in school. This series will not be consecutive blogs. Nope, I have to break it up with “Other Things”.

Without further ado, here’s part 1:

In case you don’t yet know, I’m pursuing a 4 year master’s degree in Oriental Medicine. This is comprised of acupuncture, herbology and a great deal of Western Medicine.

The techniques I’m learning go back thousands of years and work amazingly well for an incredible number of things, assuming your practitioner is on top of their game.

This week I want to talk about something I learned in herbs class. Some of the herbs we use in prescriptions are also food items. That food is medicine isn’t news to any of you. Turkey’s tryptophan makes you sleepy, drink a warm glass of milk to fall asleep at night, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, eating carrots improves your vision. I could go on, but I got hung up on trying to find medicinal properties in chocolate cake and drifted off on a mental “yum” cloud.

Anyway, here are a few other medicinal foods that you might not know are medicinal:

Green onions. 

Green onions can be eaten in the early stages of cold and flu to help you break a sweat and release the pathogen. They can also help relieve nasal pain and abdominal pain and distention. So don’t be afraid to toss some of those bad boys into your chicken noodle soup. By the way, chicken noodle soup is one of those foods we know and love for curing the common cold. Studies have shown that the soup is very effective. That’s not a chinese herb, but it’s another example of food as medicine.

Cinnamon twigs. 

Cinnamon moves the blood, helping to prevent or alleviate stasis. It can also relieve fatigue, fever and chills, body aches and respiratory symptoms, as with the flu.

Fresh ginger. 

We all know ginger is good for settling an upset stomach. But did you also know that eating it can help warm your lungs and stop a cough? Or that it can help relieve chills, chest congestion and phlegm from a cold?


Peppermint can help relieve a sore throat and red eyes. It’s also a good tea to have when you feel depressed and anxious.

Those are a few examples of foods you probably have around your home, or can easily get, that can help you out when you’d like to feel better. And, unless they’re genetically modified, they’re certainly a lot healthier for you than some of the artificially created cold remedies at your drug store.

Here’s to your health!


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