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Welcome to Wellness by Choice blog

August 16, 2010

My intention is to share information of interest, humor and perspectives about health, healing, the environment and our connection to all of those things.

Take a moment: breathe deeply, unhunch those shoulders, relax for 60 seconds.  GOOD START!  You have just fed your brain-

Discover more about Wellness, Relaxation, Stress Reduction and Meridian Tapping (EFT) at my website



I am back

October 13, 2016

I have taken a hiatus from the blog for almost 2 years. Many events in my life during that time. As I gather my thoughts into some semblance of order, I will share those events with you because they reflect the purpose of this blog: to share what I have learned about WELLNESS. Please continue to follow
Thank you to all who have written to me and thanked me for the information on this blog.

Unfiltered Juice is Best

May 7, 2014

Cloudy Juice is a Big Winner

Scientists have declared cloudy, non-clarified fruit juice a big winner when it comes to antioxidant content and health benefits. Cloudy fruit juice, they found, contains up to four times more polyphenols (a class of antioxidants that eliminate free radicals) than does clear juice. The study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture concluded that genetically engineered (GMO) derived enzymes used to extract and clarify fruit juice actually reduce antioxidants, flavor, and nutritional value. Clear juice was also found devoid of pectin and other beneficial fruit cell wall components that aid in assimilation of the natural fruit sugar fructose. The GMO derived clarifying and extraction enzymes used are deemed ‘processing aids’ so they are not required to be declared as ingredients on the labels.

Today, most fruit juice on the market contains only 10 to 25% actual fruit juice, usually from concentrate of questionable foreign origin. The other 90 to 75% is water, artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, chemical natural flavors and flavor enhancers, and other additives. The real thing, real fruit juice, can still be found but it has become quite rare in food stores. You must now sort through a forest of imitations to find 100% real fruit juice.

This is from the EDEN site (who DOES have REAL juice)

Treating the CAUSES of asthma

October 27, 2013

I am posting here a response to an article about asthma which was describing how to treat asthma—I really like this response.


Hans de Rycke wrote on 2013, October 26 – 19:08     

As a Kinesiologist I test for causes rather than ‘treating’ symptoms.   Extrinsic asthma is mainly due to allergens. Resulting immune reactions release inflammatory compounds that cause spasms of the bronchial tubes. Allergy is a likely cause of asthma in about 90 per cent of children with asthma and about 50 per cent of affected adults. One common cause of a chronic inflammatory setting is the presence of hidden food allergies. ‘Hidden’ means that people are not aware of the allergy because usually the body does not react to an allergenic food to which it is exposed every day. Most asthmatics have been shown to have such hidden food allergies. The most common foods to which asthmatics react are cows’ milk and cheese, gluten, eggs, nuts, and seafood. Intrinsic asthma is not due to allergies, and may come from microbial infestations, such as Candida albicans, emotional factors, and mucus congestion from other causes.

Modern Wheat Is The ‘Perfect Chronic Poison’ Says Expert

October 6, 2013


The world’s most popular grain is also the deadliest for the human metabolism. Modern wheat isn’t really wheat at all and is a “perfect, chronic poison,” according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, author and leading expert on wheat.

Approximately 700 million tons of wheat are now cultivated worldwide making it the second most-produced grain after maize. It is grown on more land area than any other commercial crop and is considered a staple food for humans.

At some point in our history, this ancient grain was nutritious in some respects, however modern wheat really isn’t wheat at all. Once agribusiness took over to develop a higher-yielding crop, wheat became hybridized to such an extent that it has been completely transformed from it’s prehistorical genetic configuration. All nutrient content of modern wheat depreciated more than 30% in its natural unrefined state compared to its ancestral genetic line. The balance and ratio that mother nature created for wheat was also modified and human digestion and physiology could simply could not adapt quick enough to the changes.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn’t the wheat your grandma had: “It’s an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the ’60s and ’70s,” he said on “CBS This Morning.” “This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there’s a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It’s not gluten. I’m not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I’m talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year.”

Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat – and dropping substantial weight.

“If three people lost eight pounds, big deal,” he said. “But we’re seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day.”

To avoid these wheat-oriented products, Davis suggests eating “real food,” such as avocados, olives, olive oil, meats, and vegetables. “(It’s) the stuff that is least likely to have been changed by agribusiness,” he said. “Certainly not grains. When I say grains, of course, over 90 percent of all grains we eat will be wheat, it’s not barley… or flax. It’s going to be wheat. The Nutritional Value of Wheat is Practically Non-Existent In Its Current Form. So-called health experts in nutrition who continue to promote the health benefits of wheat are extremely uninformed about the nature of modern wheat and its evolution from growth to consumption. It is shocking how many professionals in public health still recommend wheat products without an assessment of their individual requirements, especially considering the amount of evidence regarding its lack of nutrition and health risks for proportionally large segments of the population.

The majority of wheat is processed into 60% extraction, bleached white flour. 60% extraction–the standard for most wheat products means that 40% of the original wheat grain is removed. So not only do we have an unhealthier, modified, and hybridized strain of wheat, we also remove and further degrade its nutritional value by processing it. Unfortunately, the 40% that gets removed includes the bran and the germ of the wheat grain–its most nutrient-rich parts. In the process of making 60% extraction flour, over half of the vitamin B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, and fiber are lost. Any processed foods with wheat are akin to poison for the body since they cause more health risks than benefits. The body does not recognize processed wheat as food. Nutrient absorption from processed wheat products is thus consequential with almost no nutritional value.

Some experts claim if you select 100% whole wheat products, the bran and the germ of the wheat will remain in your meals, and the health benefits will be impressive. This is again a falsity promoted by the wheat industry since even 100% whole wheat products are based on modern wheat strains created by irradiation of wheat seeds and embryos with chemicals, gamma rays, and high-dose X-rays to induce mutations. Whether you consume 10% or 100% of wheat is irrelevant since you’re still consuming a health damaging grain that will not benefit, advance or even maintain your health in any way.

Dr. Marcia Alvarez who specializes in nutritional programs for obese patients says that when it comes to nutrition, wheat may be considered as an evil grain. “Modern wheat grains could certainly be considered as the root of all evil in the world of nutrition since they cause so many documented health problems across so many populations in the world.” Dr. Alvarez asserted that wheat is now responsible for more intolerances than almost any other food in the world. “In my practice of over two decades, we have documented that for every ten people with digestive problems, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, arthritis and even heart disease, eight out of ten have a problem with wheat. Once we remove wheat from their diets, most of their symptoms disappear within three to six months,” she added. Dr. Alvarez estimates that between the coming influx of genetically modified (GM) strains of wheat and the current tendency of wheat elimination in societies, that a trend is emerging in the next 20 years that will likely see 80% of people cease their consumption of wheat from any form.

It’s Really A Wheat Issue

Some health resources, such as the Mayo Clinic, advocate a more balanced diet that does include wheat. But Davis said on “CTM” they’re just offering a poor alternative. “All that literature says is to replace something bad, white enriched products with something less bad, whole grains, and there’s an apparent health benefit – ‘Let’s eat a whole bunch of less bad things.’ So I take…unfiltered cigarettes and replace with Salem filtered cigarettes, you should smoke the Salems. That’s the logic of nutrition, it’s a deeply flawed logic. What if I take it to the next level, and we say, ‘Let’s eliminate all grains,’ what happens then? “That’s when you see, not improvements in health, that’s when you see transformations in health.”

Health Effects

A powerful little chemical in wheat known as ‘wheat germ agglutinin’ (WGA) which is largely responsible for many of wheat’s pervasive, and difficult to diagnose, ill effects. Researchers are now discovering that WGA in modern wheat is very different from ancient strains. Not only does WGA throw a monkey wrench into our assumptions about the primary causes of wheat intolerance, but due to the fact that WGA is found in highest concentrations in “whole wheat,” including its supposedly superior sprouted form, it also pulls the rug out from under one of the health food industry’s favorite poster children. Each grain of wheat contains about one microgram of Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA). Even in small quantities, WGA can have profoundly adverse effects. It may be pro-inflammatory, immunotoxic, cardiotoxic … and neurotoxic.

Below the radar of conventional serological testing for antibodies against the various gluten proteins and genetic testing for disease susceptibility, the WGA “lectin problem” remains almost entirely obscured. Lectins, though found in all grains, seeds, legumes, dairy and our beloved nightshades: the tomato and potato, are rarely discussed in connection with health or illness, even when their presence in our diet may greatly reduce both the quality and length of our lives. Yet health experts dismiss the links between disease and wheat despite all the evidence.

Dr William Davis has documented several hundred clinical studies on the adverse effects of wheat. These are studies that document the neurologic impairments unique to wheat, including cerebellar ataxia and dementia; heart disease; visceral fat accumulation and all its attendant health consequences; the process of glycation via amylopectin A of wheat that leads to cataracts, diabetes, and arthritis; among others. There are, in fact, a wealth of studies documenting the adverse, often crippling, effects of wheat consumption in humans.

The other claim is that wheat elimination ‘means missing out on a wealth of essential nutrients. Another falsity. Dr. Davis states that if you replace wheat with healthy foods like vegetables, nuts, healthy oils, meats, eggs, cheese, avocados, and olives, then there is no nutrient deficiency that develops with elimination of wheat. Dr Davis also states that people with celiac disease may require long-term supplementation due to extensive gastrointestinal damage caused by wheat. People with celiac disease do indeed experience deficiencies of multiple vitamins and minerals after they eliminate all wheat and gluten from the diet. But this is not due to a diet lacking valuable nutrients, but from the incomplete healing of the gastrointestinal tract (such as the lining of the duodenum and proximal jejunum). In these people, the destructive effects of wheat are so overpowering that, unfortunately, some people never heal completely. These people do indeed require vitamin and mineral supplementation, as well as probiotics and pancreatic enzyme supplementation.

Due to the unique properties of amylopectin A, two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar higher than many candy bars. High blood glucose leads to the process of glycation that, in turn, causes arthritis (cartilage glycation), cataracts (lens protein glycation), diabetes (glycotoxicity of pancreatic beta cells), hepatic de novo lipogenesis that increases triglycerides and, thereby, increases expression of atherogenic (heart disease-causing) small LDL particles, leading to heart attacks. Repetitive high blood sugars that develop from a grain-rich diet are, in my view, very destructive and lead to weight gain (specifically visceral fat), insulin resistance, leptin resistance (leading to obesity), and many of the health struggles that many now experience.

Wheat gliadin has been associated with cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, gluten encephalopathy (dementia), behavioral outbursts in children with ADHD and autism, and paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations in people with schizophrenia, severe and incapacitating effects for people suffering from these conditions.

According to statistics from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, an average of one out of every 133 otherwise healthy people in the United States suffers from Celiac Disease (CD). However, an estimated 20-30 percent of the world’s population may carry the genetic susceptibility to celiac disease–and the way to avoid turning these genes ‘on’ is by avoiding gluten.
When you consider that undiagnosed CD is associated with a nearly four-fold increased risk of premature death, the seriousness of this food sensitivity becomes quite evident. The primary disease mechanism at play is chronic inflammation, and chronic inflammatory and degenerative conditions are endemic to grain-consuming populations.

Changes in genetic code and, thereby, antigenic profile, of the high-yield semi-dwarf wheat cultivars now on the market account for the marked increase in celiac potential nationwide. “Hybridization” techniques, including chemical mutagenesis to induce selective mutations, leads to development of unique strains that are not subject to animal or human safety testing–they are just brought to market and sold.

Wheat-Free Options

* Note that many of the wheat-free options still contain gluten and many people sensitive to wheat may still experience digestive problems and bloating. Experiment in see what works best for you. Caution is advised with cereal grains if you have diagnosed with gluten intolerance.

1. Cereal Grains: Barley, millet, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, and wild rice are all in the same cereal grain family as is wheat. All flours ground from cereal grains may be used as a wheat substitute. Commonly available are barley, buckwheat, rice and rye flour. The less utilized flours may be purchased online or from natural food stores. Note: people with a gluten allergy must also avoid barley, oats and rye.

2. Non-Cereal Grains: Amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat are three grain-like seeds unrelated to cereal grains. (Despite its name, buckwheat is not a wheat-relative.) It is rare for anyone to develop a sensitivity to these non-cereal grains. Amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat are gluten-free and therefore not suitable for making leavened bread; however, they make excellent quick breads and cookies.

3. Nut Meal: Ground nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts make the richest flour substitute for cookies and cakes. Because their fragile fatty acid content gives them a brief shelf life, it’s preferable to grind your own nuts in a food processor just prior to use. Nut meal requires a binding agent such as eggs. Because chestnuts are lower in fat than other nuts, chestnut flour has a longer shelf life. It is available online.

4. Bean Flour: Dried beans, such as navy, pinto and chickpeas may be milled and used, in combination with other flours, as a wheat alternative. Bean flour is, however, not always recommended. It tastes like beans and makes baked goods dense and hard to digest.

5. Other Flour Substitutes: Potato starch, arrowroot powder, and tapioca are thickening agents that substitute for wheat in sauces and gravy. In baked goods these starchy ingredients serve as a binding agent.

Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.
Source: Prevent Disease

What People with Type 2 Diabetes Should Know about Vitamin K

October 2, 2013

Vitamin K and type 2 diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, when was the last time your doctor or a diabetes educator talked to you about vitamin K? Chances are the topic of this often neglected nutrient has not come up, but there are some important things you should know about this vitamin.

What is vitamin K?

Vitamin K is not one but a group of related substances under this broad term. However, the two basic types of vitamin K are phylloquinones, which is produced by plants, and menaquinones, which is made by bacteria. Nearly all of the vitamin K people get comes from plants.

When you think of vitamin K, think green, because the foods richest in this nutrient include kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, Brussel sprouts, green beans, Romaine lettuce, and parsley.

Like vitamins D and E, vitamin K is fat soluble, which means it is absorbed in fat molecules and travels throughout the body before being stored in body tissue. The primary role of vitamin K is to keep the body’s blood clotting abilities in precise balance—providing clotting when there is an injury to prevent excessive bleeding and reining in clotting when there is no injury to prevent a blood clot from blocking a blood vessel.

Vitamin K also performs other critical tasks, including support of bone health and protecting the heart against build-up of calcium in the arteries. In fact, people who have a vitamin K deficiency are at greater risk for hardening of the arteries than are those who keep up their vitamin K intake.

There are some warnings

Because vitamin K has an impact on blood clotting, you should talk to your doctor about this nutrient if you are taking blood thinning medication as there is a risk vitamin K could interfere with medications like warfarin (Coumadin), Xarelto, aspirin, Plavix (clopidrogel) or other medications used to prevent stroke, heart attack and blockages after certain heart procedures like stents.

You should never supplement with vitamin K unless your physician tells you to, but instead eat a well balanced diet.

Some medications used long-term such as antacids, antibiotics known as cephalosporins, the anti-seizure drug Dilantin and drugs that lower cholesterol by interfering with fat absorption (e.g.Wellchol) can lead to vitamin K deficiency.

Some medications used long-term such as antacids, antibiotics known as cephalosporins, the anti-seizure drug Dilantin and drugs that lower cholesterol by interfering with fat absorption (e.g.Wellchol) can lead to vitamin K deficiency.

Vitamin K and type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, vitamin K is important for you in other ways. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a research team looked at the association between intake of vitamin K (phylloquinone) and type 2 diabetes in elderly individuals at high risk for cardiovascular problems.

A total of 1,069 adults free of diabetes at the beginning of the study (median follow-up, 5.5 years) were evaluated. Biochemical analyses, body weight and proportions data, and dietary intake information were gathered periodically. Here is what the researchers found.
•Dietary intake of vitamin K at baseline was significantly lower in individuals who later developed type 2 diabetes
•Risk of developing type 2 diabetes in these individuals was 17 percent lower for each additional consumption of 100 micrograms of vitamin K
•Among individuals who increased their intake of vitamin K during the follow-up period, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was reduced 51 percent when compared with those who decreased or did not change how much vitamin K they consumed

(By the way, the National Academy of Sciences established the Adequate Intake of vitamin K to be only 90 micrograms for females and 120 micrograms for males.)

These findings led the authors to conclude that dietary vitamin K is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But there is more.

In a recent study published in Diabetes Care, the authors explored the relationship between vitamin K and people with diabetes and their risk of cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease. At the start of the study, 518 adults had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers measured levels of circulating matrix Gla protein (MGP), a protein that require vitamin K to function properly, in the study participants. Based on their findings, they concluded that “a poor vitamin K status is associated with increased CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk” among people with type 2 diabetes.

In another study, researchers from the Netherlands followed about 38,000 adults for more than 10 years. They found that those who consumed a diet high in vitamin K had about a 20 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you know it’s critical for you to pay close attention to your diet. One often overlooked nutrient that can play an important role in type 2 diabetes is vitamin K, so be sure to eat plenty of leafy green vegetables!

Dalmeijer GW et al. Matrix Gla protein species and risk of cardiovascular events in type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetes Care 2013 Jul 22. Epub ahead of print
Ibarrola-Jurado N et al. Dietary phylloquinone intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in elderly subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2012 Nov; 96(5): 1113-8
University of Maryland Medical Center

Cilantro as a Water Purifier-new research

September 13, 2013

Cilantro, That Favorite Salsa Ingredient, Purifies Drinking Water

Date:13 September 2013

Type:Nutrition & Health News

Source:Nutrition Horizon

Sector:General Company & Ingredient Information

13 Sep 2013 — Hints that a favorite ingredient in Mexican, Southeast Asian and other spicy cuisine may be an inexpensive new way of purifying drinking water are on the menu at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Reporting on research done by undergraduate students at a community college, Douglas Schauer, Ph.D., said that cilantro — also known as coriander and Thai parsley — shows promise as a much-needed new “biosorbent” for removing lead and other potentially toxic heavy metals from contaminated water.

“Cilantro may seem too pricey for use in decontaminating large amounts of water for drinking and cooking,” Schauer said. “However, cilantro grows wild in vast amounts in countries that have problems with heavy-metal water pollution. It is readily available, inexpensive and shows promise in removing certain metals, such as lead, copper and mercury, that can be harmful to human health.”

Conventional methods for removing heavy metals from water such as treatment with activated carbon (used in the filters in home water purification pitchers) or more advanced technology like ion-exchange resins are very effective. However, they can be too expensive for use in developing countries, especially in rural areas. The need for lower-cost, sustainable alternatives has fostered research on biosorbents. These natural materials, which range from microbes to plants, latch on to heavy metals in ways that include both absorption and adsorption.

“Our goal is to find biosorbents that people in developing countries could obtain for nothing,” Schauer explained. “When the filter in a water purification pitcher needs to be changed, they could go outside, gather a handful of cilantro or some other plant, and presto, there’s a new filter ready to purify the water.”

Schauer, who is with Ivy Tech Community College here, enlisted his students in that quest, and they worked with scientists at the Universidad Politécnica de Francisco I. Madero in Hidalgo. Mexico does not have a system to filter out heavy metals, said Schauer, noting that cilantro grows wild there. Their small-scale experiments suggested that cilantro may be more effective than activated carbon in removing heavy metals such as lead.

Cilantro’s secret may lie in the structure of the outer walls of the microscopic cells that make up the plant. They have an architecture ideal for sorption of heavy metals. Other plants, including cilantro’s cousins, parsley and culantro, have similar features and could potentially work as biosorbents, he added. Schauer thinks that biosorbents like cilantro could be packed into tea-bag-like packets, reusable water filter cartridges or even tea infuser balls and used to remove heavy metals.

Schauer and his team cited a grant through the Lilly Foundation for instrumentation and a Perkins grant in support of the Chemical Technology and Biotechnology Programs, also used for instrumentation. Six students traveled to the University in Mexico to collect and investigate samples. Funding for this was provided largely by the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation.

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Aid in Ulcerative Colitis

August 25, 2013

Chinese Herb & Acupuncture Clear Ulcerative Colitis – New Research

24 August 2013

New research finds a very powerful Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herb effective in resolving ulcerative colitis. An inflamed colon wall is depicted. The patients examined in the study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology suffered from intractable ulcerative colitis and were unresponsive to conventional drug therapy. After use of the herbal medicine, 6 of the 7 patients in the study were able to completely discontinue the use of anti-inflammatory medications. This included the use of aminosalicylates, corticosteroids and azathioprine. Endoscopy and symptomatic responses showed everything from significant clinical improvements to a complete resolution of the condition.

Herbal Powder
The patients orally self-administered 1 gram of Qing Dai (Indigo Naturalis) powder, 2 times per day for 4 months. The results of the herbal program demonstrated significant clinical and objective improvements such that 6 of the 7 patients completely discontinued the use of prednisolone, a corticosteroid used to control ulcerative colitis. The researchers examined Qing Dai to learn more about its effective mechanisms of action. Using electron spin resonance, they discovered that Qing Dai has potent hydroxl radical scavenging activity. This discovery prompted the researchers to recommend further investigation into the mechanisms of Qing Dai’s anti-inflammatory effects.

This research coincides with other recent research demonstrating that acupuncture and herbal medicine are effective in the clearing of chronic ulcerative colitis. Published in the Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine, the study showed that a combination of herbal enemas consisting of Ku Shen and Bai Tou Weng combined with an acupuncture treatment regime was significantly more effective than taking antibiotics for resolving ulcerative colitis.

The Qing Dai study examined the oral administration of Qing Dai in its powdered form. Qing Dai has received a great deal of attention in modern research. One recent research study found that I3M, synthesized from the indirubin found in Qing Dai, downregulates cancerous tissues when applied topically to oral cancer. This shows great potential for the treatment of oral cancer. Historically, TCM documents Qing Dai as an important herb in the treatment of ulcers in the mouth and tongue. TCM also documents the use of Qing Dai as a topical paste for the treatment of acne and topical ointment for the treatment psoriasis. HealthCMi recently published instructions on how to prepare the anti-acne topical paste in its blog section. Visit the Healthcare Medicine Institute’s blog to learn more.

The I3M study cited the TCM formula Dang Gui Long Hui Wan as an historically important herbal compound for the treatment of chronic myelocytic leukemia. Many sources include Qing Dai as one of the ingredients in this formula that contains Dang Gui, Long Dan Cao, Zhi Zi, Huang Lian, Huang Bai, Huang Qin, Lu Hui, Da Huang, Qing Dai, Mu Xiang, She Xiang and Sheng Jiang. The researchers suggest that the indigo dye found in Qing Dai is partially responsible for the herbal formula’s efficaciousness given the modern research demonstrating that indirubin powerfully inhibits several types of human cancer cells. The Qing Dai researchers noted that modern studies demonstrate that indirubin has anti-inflammatory effects by suppressing interferon-alpha, interleukin-6 and nuclear factor. They added that Qing Dai has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory “effects on human neutrophils based on its ability to suppress superoxide generation.”

Clinical Highlight
The Qing Dai study highlighted specific clinical results of its participants. One patient vignette was of a man suffering from ulcerative colitis with hematochezia, the passage of fresh blood through the anus. This patient had taken antibiotics and prednisolone to control the hematochezia. However, he was unable to reduce the dosage of prednisolone without the return of hematochezia. Over time, the patient needed to increase the drug dosages to maintain clinical results and he showed no clinical improvements in his baseline condition. After 3 years, he began the Qing Dai treatments and after one month the hematochezia resolved completely. Objective testing also showed a marked decrease in serum C-reactive protein levels. The patient was able to discontinue the use of all drugs. Endoscopy revealed that his ulcers completely disappeared. A follow-up confirmed that the therapeutic effect of Qing Dai therapy lasted for more than 2 years.

The researchers note that other related research finds important clinical results from the use of Qing Dai. Yuan, et al, discovered that Qing Dai enemas are clinically effective for the treatment of chronic hemorrhagic radiation proctitis. Given the recent research combining acupuncture with herbal medicine demonstrating that enemas of Ku Shen combined with Bai Tou Weng are effective for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, it may be consistent that adding Qing Dai to the enema will enhance its therapeutic effects.

Distinct from Qing Dai used as a one herb formula for the treatment of chronic ulcerative colitis is its use within herbal formulas within the scope of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Differential diagnostics within the TCM system recognise Qing Dai’s appropriate application for this biomedically defined disorder in cases of Heat in the Blood, Damp Heat and Heat and Toxins. However, some clinical presentations of chronic ulcerative colitis may be due to cases of cold and deficiency. In these instances, herbal medicines with very different biological functions may exert more effective clinical actions for the treatment of chronic ulcerative colitis.

How serious is this research? Below is an image of three colon wall sections that are inflamed due to chronic ulcerative colitis. The image speaks to the importance of integrating TCM herbal medicine into the healthcare system.

A close-up of a colon wall. Colon wall inflamed from ulcerative colitis

Suzuki, Hideo, Tsuyoshi Kaneko, Yuji Mizokami, Toshiaki Narasaka, Shinji Endo, Hirofumi Matsui, Akinori Yanaka, Aki Hirayama, and Ichinosuke Hyodo. “Therapeutic efficacy of the Qing Dai in patients with intractable ulcerative colitis.” World journal of gastroenterology: WJG 19, no. 17 (2013): 2718.

Clinical observation on treating chronic ulcerative colitis with retention enema by Baitouweng Kushen decoction and acupuncture, Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1674-7860, 2013.

Lo W-Y, Chang N-W (2013) An Indirubin Derivative, Indirubin-3′-Monoxime Suppresses Oral Cancer Tumorigenesis through the Downregulation of Survivin. PLoS ONE 8(8): e70198. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070198.Editor: A. R. M. Ruhul Amin, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, United States of America.

Yuan G, Ke Q, Su X, Yang J, Xu X. Qing Dai, A traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of chronic hemorrhagic radiation proctitis. Zhong De Linchuang Zhongliuxue Zazhi. 2009;8:114–116.

Lin YK, Leu YL, Huang TH, Wu YH, Chung PJ, Su Pang JH, Hwang TL. Anti-inflammatory effects of the extract of indigo naturalis in human neutrophils. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;125:51–58.
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