Ginger is making the rounds as a powerful testosterone booster. In addition, evidence is showing that ginger will increase the weight and size of the reproductive glands.
In this study, testosterone levels doubled by taking ginger: Ginger Doubles Testosterone Levels.
A martial arts master I knew told me that it’s very important to crush the ginger to release it’s healing potential. He believed Ginger could cure just about anything!
If you are having trouble finding good quality ginger, this powdered version from SWAD works great:
Last week I woke up with a slight fever and a sore throat. Found this at the vitamin shoppe:
Manuka honey is found in Australia and New Zealand and is considered one of the strongest in terms of antibiotic activity.
It soothed my sore throat immediately but I still felt it every few hours and would take a little more.
I thought I would have to make a trip to the doctor for some antibiotic or to make sure I didn’t have something like strep.
After about 2 days of this treatment the sore throat was gone! Just luck? Not sure, but I’ll definitely try it again at the first sign of a sore throat.
I recently bought some raw Buckwheat honey because it was shown to increase antioxidant activity in the body. You can find the study here.
Here’s the abstract:
“Honey has been known to exert significant in vitro antioxidant activity, in part due to its phenolic content. However, conclusions that the antioxidants in honey are or are not efficacious in the human body cannot be reached if its antioxidant action is not assessed as part of a human study. In the present study, the acute effect of consumption of 500 mL of water, water with buckwheat honey, black tea, black tea with sugar, or black tea with buckwheat honey on serum oxidative reactions was examined in 25 healthy men. Antioxidant capacity of human serum samples was measured using different methods: the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay, ex vivo susceptibility of serum lipoprotein to Cu(2+)-induced oxidation, and the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) assay. The results showed that the serum antioxidant capacity determined by ORAC increased significantly (p < 0.05) by 7% following consumption of buckwheat honey in water. No significant changes in serum antioxidant capacity could be established after the consumption of any of the other beverages. Ex vivo serum lipoprotein oxidation and TBARS values were not significantly altered after consumption of any of the five beverages. This study provides primary evidence of the in vivo antioxidant activity of buckwheat honey. However, long-term studies and epidemiological data are necessary to investigate whether honey consumption can exert overall antioxidant-related health benefits."
This tonic was a nice surprise. It’s a staple in most asian grocery stores and I never thought much of it. I started reading up on the amazing benefits of Royal Jelly–the food that makes a Queen Bee a Queen Bee (more details to come in a later post).
After drinking a few vials, I felt a sudden increase in energy and strength. This is good stuff–and without side effects. You can take it right before bed, it doesn’t make you jittery or nervous.
Try it before working out!
Check out this interesting study showing that royal jelly can increase testosterone and sperm production (in rabbits)
Well, the secret is out. While obese westerners continue to down thousands of calories in noodles and pastas, our eastern cousins are eating just as much, but with practically NO CALORIES!! How is that possible? Shirataki noodles or Yam Noodles look and taste like noodles and pasta made from wheat, but have almost no calories. Yes, you read it correctly–no calories. In fact, the noodles are mostly soluble fiber, which we know is great for lowering triglycerides and cholesterol and for improving digestion. It’s almost a dream come true for your typical overeating, overweight type II diabetic American. These noodles are tasteless, so they absorb whatever sauce you cook them in. The fiber reduces hunger all day and cleans out your intestines. It’s said that the average person has up to 20 lbs of compacted fecal matter in their intestine. This stuff will clean you out!
So, don’t skimp on your diet anymore, these low to no calorie, no gluten, low carb noodles are your slimming secret!
It turns out my favorite tea, Pu-Ehr tea, is not only an enigma, it’s fermented! Who knew?? I learned this tea is not green and not black, it’s specially prepared and fermented to produce unique compounds that helps to burn fat! Wikipedia has good information on it, but here’s a pretty good summary: Good Pu-Ehr Tea Article.
Pu-Ehr tea often comes in tightly packed ovals or balls that is often hard to break apart. It has an earthy favor that is absolutely delicious.
This special tea is believed to improve digestion and to clear toxins from the body, especially when the toxins come from too much drink.
Try it the morning after imbibing a few guiness stout with raw egg!
My latest food adventure is preparing a dried sea cucumber I bought in a Chinese Herb shop. Sea Cucumbers are very expensive, slightly disgusting looking, very tasty and sought after for their reputed tonic effects. They are often eaten at Chinese weddings and other special occasions in the East as a delicacy.
Sea Cucumbers can be bought already cleaned and soaked but the most common way to find them is dried. They resemble rocks or what you would imagine a petrified cucumber to look like. This picture is a dried one next to one that has soaked for one day:
Preparing them is a time consuming process. I haven’t been able to google a good procedure for preparing them. I’ve been told to boil them with ginger daily and let them soak all day, changing the water once or twice daily. After it softens a bit, slice them open to remove the innards. The sea cucumber must be scrubbed and rinsed daily.
This is another shot of the sea cucumber getting ready to be boiled with slices of ginger:
I know it looks disgusting, but after several days of soaking, boiling, and cleaning, this gelatinous and phallic culinary item will taste delicious.
I plan to saute it with some mushrooms and oyster sauce!
What’s Natto? Many of you have probably heard of nattokinase, an enzyme that reportedly clears blockages from our arteries. This enzyme is found naturally in fermented soybeans, a popular breakfast food in Japan. It smells and looks, well, disgusting:
It’s an acquired taste, I’m actually learning to like it.
Natto is a great source of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 can reverse calcification of our arteries. It reportedly takes calcium out of your arteries and puts them in your bones. It can make your arteries young again!
You can find this stuff in the freezer section of most asian supermarkets. It usually comes in packs of 2 or 3 in little styrofoam boxes. Some come with packets of mustard or soy sauce. Skip the sauces and try it mixed with rice. Not a bad way to start your day.
Here’s an idea for you. Try drinking water from a copper cup. You can find an example here at: Copper Cup example.
I became intrigued with the idea a few days ago after having modicum success experimenting with copper bracelets for muscle and joint pain. There’s a slew of anecdotal evidence linking copper intake via jewelry worn next to the skin and via supplements. In Ayurvedic medicine, one is advised to store water in a copper cup overnight and drink it in the morning.
Copper has been touted for great skin, restoration of hair color and to balance excessive zinc intake.
I’ve tried it now for a couple days and have noticed increased flexibility and reduced muscle pains. Very interesting! Try it and let us know what you think of this simple practice.
Recently I posted about a great Chinese Tonic Patent Medicine I found called Gejie Bushing Wan.
However, you have to be aware of a big problem if you’re not careful in Chinatown. I’m finding more and more instances of knock offs and counterfeits. If you don’t check your ingredients, you’ll learn the hard way. For example, the Gejie Bushing Wan I mentioned above was about 6 bucks and had a plethora of tonic herb ingredients. I found a two dollar version that looked exactly the same, why would I think the ingredients were different? Of course, the cheaper version was missing all the active herbal ingredients.
Be careful with Shou Wu Chih too. I get a lot of hits for Shou Wu Chih on this site, so there’s alot of interest on it. However, read the ingredients!! There’s a knock off version out there that doesn’t have the full ingredients.
Someone joked that “made in China” is becoming the ultimate warning label. I hope this will not become a truth, however, I’m going to have to stop recommending Chinese herbs if problems continue with counterfeits, fakes, contamination and other problems stemming from greed and carelessness. What makes this tragic is that people turn to Chinese tonic herbs to improve their health and well being.
I found an interesting tonic in a local supermarket. It was a bag of pumpkin seed powder. Since it was only about $1.20, I decided to throw it in the basket and try it out. To my surprise, it tasted delicious. It’s a taste that’s hard to describe, obviously nutty like peanut butter, but oddly foreign. It’s dark green in color too. Weird but good.
I always knew pumpkin seeds had the reputation for boosting testosterone and libido (commonly thought to be because of it’s high zinc content) but I was surprised to find that there is much research regarding pumpkin seeds and urinary incontinence and for a healthy prostrate. The bladder control is due to pumpkin seed being able to boost nitric oxide levels. Read this: rabbits and pumpkin seeds.
Try this stuff out and let me know what you think!
Decided you want to try eating beef tendon regularly?
Don’t have access to an authentic chinese restaurant?
Can’t figure out how to make it?
I stumbled on a way to make it better than I’ve tasted in any Chinese restaurant in NYC. All you need is a slow cooker, a can of chicken broth (no msg), seasoning and time.
I use Swanson Chicken broth because it has no MSG and no added fat:
Open the can and put it in the slow cooker. Add 2 large beef tendons.
Season with powdered garlic,onion, etc. I used Oscar’s Oxtail Seasoning:
If you want to step it up a notch, add polygonum multiflorum, the main ingredient in Shou Wu Chih and some Goji Berry.
A word of caution..I went overboard with the chinese herbs. I tried some eucommia bark, and some other tonics and it ended up tasting pretty bad. My advice is to limit the tonic herbs to mild tasting ones like Shou Wu, which is actually tasty. Don’t ruin your beef tendon!
Let the slow cooker do it’s stuff for 8 hours or more. You’ll have the most tender, wonderful tasting beef tendon that rivals the best chinese restaurant.
So, it’s official. Shou wu chih is great for sleep! I’ve been taking Shou wu chih on and off for a long time. I started to suspect that it helped deepen sleep last year. I can say every time I drink Shou Wu Chih I get a great night’s sleep. I’m not really sure what the reason is for it, but it works. As I mentioned in previous posts, there is a version with alcohol out there. Drinking a few ounces of this will definitely make you sleepy, however you should wake up refreshed. Regular wine doesn’t have this effect on me, but shou wu definitely does.
Hmmm, does it contain melatonin?
Most people consider offal to be pretty disgusting. Offal is considered to be anything other than the muscle and bones of a butchered animal. There are many cultures that eat this stuff on a regular basis or consider them delicacies. For example, tripe (intestine) makes a delicious anti-hangover remedy in Mexico called ‘Menudo’. Pork Skin is a skin beautifier in Vietnam. Tendon is eaten in china to build strength and as an arthritis remedy. Browse any asian supermarket and you’ll find an assortment of hearts, livers, kidneys and even uterus for your fine dining pleasure! I think in modern society, we miss out on these essential foods. It’s not natural to only eat fine cuts of meat — muscle. The human race was built on eating every part of the animal. As I think of it, frankfurters and sausages are probably a pretty good way to get these things in your diet. So is head cheese.
For anti-aging, I feel it’s important to get collagen in your diet. You can’t get collagen by only eating fine cuts of beef. You need to eat tendon, oxtail, pork skin. You can find some great recipes online or visit an authentic asian restaurant and try something new. One thing you can try is the famous vietnamese soup called ‘Pho’ or beef noodle soup. They often throw in tendon and some tripe. It’s considered very healthy and a strength builder in asia. Try it!
So, I had been taking Shark Liver Oil religiously since October. You can read about it here: My Shark Oil Post.
After a routine physical last week, boy was I in for a surprise. I was expecting my usual great lipid profile. My cholesterol has been around 200 for the last few years, but with good HDL, low Triglycerides and very low of the bad LDL. However, this time, my LDL almost doubled from last year. The only supplements that were significantly different from other years was the Shark Liver Oil and tocotrienols. The tocotrienols, btw, I feel has contributed to significantly thicker and shinier hair (but more on that in another post). I really don’t think the tocotrienols have contributed to this problem. However, the shark liver oil is not looking too good. Check this study out: Shark Liver Raises Cholesterol in Hamsters.
Aaargh!! this is horrible. It states: “supplementations of Squalene (SQ) and Shark Liver Oil (SLO) in diets caused significant accumulation of SQ in the liver and adipose tissue. The present results suggest that SQ and SLO are hypercholesterolemic at least in hamsters. Caution has to be taken when SQ or SLO are routinely consumed as health supplements.”
Watch out with this one. To be fair, my HDL was still high and my triglycerides were still low. I’ll test again in 6 months and report on what I find out. For now, I think Shark Liver Oil is not on the recommended list. Until we know more about cholesterol levels and the ratios of the different types of cholesterol and inflammation, be careful.
Manhattan’s chinatown has at least 3 liquor stores that I’m aware of and probably a lot more. What makes chinatown liquor stores special is that they carry an assortment of chinese medicinal wines. There is one popular wine called Lu Wei Ba (I can’t seem to find a good picture of it anywhere). It’s basically an alcohol extract of deer tail. Deer tail is used in traditional chinese medicine as a tonic. It strengthens the lower back, legs and knees. I’ll publish a recipe soon for Deer Tail Soup, which I found to have a super tonic effect on me that lasted throughout the next few days. I especially noticed my legs felt like they had twice their normal strength after drinking this soup.
A few weeks ago, I found a chinese wine called Chang Chun Yao Chiew from Royal King. Unfortunately, the ingredients were not listed and apparently it’s a secret formula. The word “Yao” gives a clue, “Yao” usually refers to the waist (which means the lower torso and upper legs. This is supposed to be a kidney/liver tonic. Since it came from Royal King, I was comfortable buying it. Royal King is a reputable herbal tonic company. I can’t say I felt a super tonic effect, but I can say the nights I took it, I slept very well. I went through a 750ml bottle fairly quickly. I think this is something that should be taken for awhile to feel it’s effects. In the meantime, I’ll try to hunt down the formula for this tonic.
Browse a chinatown liquor store. Many of these tonics come in attractive bottles. Ask for one called ‘three whips’..i’ll explain that one in another post!
Who thought that the simple mushroom could be one of our biggest arsenals for staying young, boosting our immune systems and balancing our hormones? Did you know that mushrooms are powerful anti-aromatases?
Check out this link regarding how powerful the white button mushroom is for keeping your Testosterone levels high : Click to read about how mushrooms inhibit hormone conversion to estrogen.
If you take DHEA, you probably know that it’s hard to control what DHEA converts to. It can convert to testosterone or estrogen. Eating mushrooms should help make sure the DHEA doesn’t convert to estrogen. Too much estrogen is a bad thing! Not just for men, but for women too. There are too many environmental estrogens called Xenoestrogens that are wreaking havoc on our health. Read what Wikipedia has to say about Xenoestrogens here. They are bad news and have only appeared in the last 70 years or so. They are implicated in cancers and higher estrogen levels for men. In fact one study implied that men’s johnsons are getting smaller over the years because of it! Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones.
So eat your mushrooms! Try them with Oyster Sauce and a little onion, garlic and ginger.
It’s roughly 3 months now that I’ve been drinking Shou Wu Chih fairly regularly. It’s hard to take something almost every night even with free dailynudge reminders sent to my cellphone! Daily Nudge. Because it has a fair amount of alcohol in it, I didn’t take it on nights I had a few drinks or got caught up with work late into the evening. It’s non stimulating, so I find it’s a superb tonic to take before bed.
I do have to say, that my hair is much much darker. I haven’t found a hair with a dark root yet, but overall my hair is darker. Why the hair is darker is hard to say. More oil? Any experts out there?
If you read my first post on this product: Gray Hair Experiment you will notice that Shou Wu Chih is one of the more effective tonics out there. It’s taken to restore energy depleted from too much sex or stress. This is a good one to have and it’s certainly not expensive. I’ve been finding mine in a asian grocery store for just a few dollars. And it tastes good!
Despite it’s unfortunate name (who wants to bring this stuff to the counter), Horny Goat Weed or Epimedium, is an amazing chinese herb. Bodybuilders take it for increased testosterone (weak anecdotal evidence) and for the ‘pump’ (very strong evidence). It’s also thrown into herbal preparations for PDE-5 inhibition effects (very strong scientific evidence).
I like to check http://www.pubmed.com for scientific experiments related to the herbs and supplements I’ll be discussing here.
It’s very cheap as a raw herb you can purchase in any chinese herbal shop or over the net. It’s basically dried leaves packed tightly into little bricks that resemble a pack of dollar bills.
Scientists have found that it has strong Estrogenic qualities. What?? Yes, despite all the hype around male performance, it has been shown effective for woman going through menopause and for the prevention of Osteoporosis! Check out pubmed for the studies.
One substance that has been isolated from epimedium is a chemical called icariin. Again, check pubmed for this one. It’s PDE-5 inhibition rivals viagra. In fact, one study mentioned how they were working on derivatives of icariin to produce even more effective inhibition. Do your research! Check pubmed, don’t just believe me.
Despite all the clinical evidence pointing to epimedium being estrogenic, this herb has a strong reputation for being a testosterone booster. I think it’s probably due to it’s PDE-5 inhibition that get misinterpreted as libido enhancing. Another possibility is that the body absorbs these natural weaker estrogens instead of the dangerous estrogens purported to be in our drinking water, detergents and certain food additives. So it could have a protective effect against those dangerous substances. I haven’t studied the estrogen story in depth, but there seems to be strong suggestions that our environment is polluted with toxic estrogens.
I was thinking the other day about how much real information is really available in printed form and on the net. I was involved for many years in studying martial arts, especially the mysterious internal martial arts mainly from China — Tai Chi Chuan, Xing Yi, Bagua etc. What I like about these arts is that they tend to have associated health preserving practices often loosely labeled ‘Qigong/ChiGong/ChiKung‘ or ‘Nei Gung’. These exercises are loosely translated as ‘breathing exercises’ or ‘Inner Work’. There are some purists who will argue every statement made concerning these arts and practices. I always found them fascinating, especially the idea of a practice that could guarantee youth and vitality well into advanced age. One can find alot of books on these arts and introductory classes.
Unfortunately, the secret ingredient to make them work is not found in any of these books or on the net. If you want to learn from books and from introductory classes, you will not learn the true practice. I spent many many years and have yet to find the real secret. I’ve had a lot of secret stuff revealed to me, but it’s never the full story. I have had enough secret information revealed to me to know every book and video out there is pretty much useless. You will get hints from your teacher, but the only way is to stumble upon yourself. And that’s why we practice and practice.
But I will give you one secret a Chinese Herbalist revealed to me one day that I haven’t seen anywhere. For the tonic herbs, mix a little red wine in the resulting tea to magnify the effects. I thought this was a cool revelation, although minor, of the oral tradition only insiders get to witness. I humbly pass it on to you.
Notice the swirl? That’s a hint for another secret…..
One of my all time favorite tonics is something called ‘shou wu chih‘ and it’s found in any chinese herbal shop or asian grocery. It looks like this:
The main ingredient in Shou Wu Chih is an herb called polygonum multiflorum. There’s a raw version of this herb that is sold in many herbal tablets for hair loss and graying.. However, traditionally, the raw herb is specially prepared by boiling it in a broth made primarily of black soy beans and then carefully dried. Many people don’t know this, but if you’re interested in this herb for it’s reported hair benefits, you want the prepared herb, not the raw version.
This herb is also called FoTi and He Shou Wu. You’ll probably encounter just as many spellings and pronunciations as you can imagine. You’ll also find countless variations of the legend that states a person who was gray haired and really old, ate this herb and became young again with dark black hair. I’m told in chinese, he shou wu means something like ‘mr. he black hair’.
Many people familiar with Chinese Medicine take this tonic everyday in hopes it will either darken their hair or keep it from turning gray. There is another benefit–this is also a very good overall tonic that is supposed to benefit the ‘Jing‘ if you are depleting your energy from stress or other activities (read my post on Jing-Chi-Shen). It’s purported to be a reliable youth tonic and powerful libido enhancer. I really like the taste of this one. There are two versions–one made with alcohol (it’s labeled ‘cooking wine’ in some stores) and one made with water.
I could go into all the other ingredients, but you could google it. There’s a wealth of information on it.
So, I’m not happy that I sprouted some gray hair on my temples and scattered throughout what used to be very black hair. I’m going to take this everyday and report on results after a few months. If I see some gray hair with dark roots coming in, I will claim this a success.
I’m thinking about picking this up as well:
Shou Wu Pian is a concentrated version of the single herb in a small black pill. It’s supposed to be taken for a long period of time to see results. I think I may add this to the regimen.
The products are in my amazon store on this page. Your best bet if you live near a metropolitan area or asian community is to buy it yourself. These products are inexpensive. Try my links or search the web for a better deal. In the future, I may setup a store. Let’s see…