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!
Nitric Oxide is created in your sinuses. One of the best ways to get a healthy dose of Nitric Oxide is to simply hum and inhale through your nose. The humming creates a vibration of the sinus cavities which in turn creates nitric oxide.
Here’s an example finding from a study:
“We report that NO in humans is produced by epithelial cells in the paranasal sinuses and is present in sinus air in very high concentrations, close to the highest permissible atmospheric pollution levels.” You can read more here.
Here’s a study about humming and nitric oxide:
“Ten healthy subjects took part in the study. Nasal NO was measured with a chemiluminescence technique during humming and quiet single-breath exhalations at a fixed flow rate. NO increased 15-fold during humming compared with quiet exhalation.”
Here’s a link.
I found this tea at the Korean Market the other day. It’s a blend of 12 herbs from Japan called Ten-Chi Cha, translated as Heaven Earth Tea.
It looks like this:
I’m anxious to see what effects it has. It’s billed as a ‘detox’ tea and has something called “Hardy Rubber Tree” that I think may be eucommia bark.
I drank a few cups today. It has a roasted tea taste. Mild tasting. It’s good. I wouldn’t call it delicious, but it’s not disgusting like most chinese herbal teas. Very drinkable.
I’m guessing it could have a nitric oxide enhancing effect because it’s supposed to be immune enhancing and anti-bacterial.
Since it’s supposed to be a detox tea, i’m curious what effect it may have.
Read about it here.
Vitamin K and D are arguably the most important supplements you could take. As we age, our soft tissue can harden and become almost bone like. This process is called calcification. Calcification of the arteries is a big problem. Many of our glands calcify over time and are unable to function normally. Fortunately, there is good news..Vitamin K2! Vitamin K2 will reduce calcification of the soft tissue. It works by transferring calcium from our soft tissue to the bones where it belongs. So, you get stronger bones and young arteries and glands! Read this article for some background information.
Vitamin D3 is said to be the single most important vitamin you can take. Especially if your diet is not so great and you don’t get enough sun shine. Vitamin D3 will increase your ability to produce Nitric Oxide, improve your bone health–in fact, D3 helps just about anything you can think of.
Add K and D to your regimen and enjoy youthful tissues.
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.
There’s little known research that indicates aspirin works by increasing Nitric Oxide in our blood vessels. Wow! That’s big news..think about what that means..not only can it potentiate drugs like Viagra or Cialis, but it could probably also help fight off infections by increasing this bacteria killer. Nitric oxide kills tuberculosis, for example, and people are often recommended eating peanuts to help stave off this disease. For example, click here to read an article on this topic. Maybe you should pop a few aspirin to help fight infections!
Here’s a cool article from a blog on sexual health matters that discusses aspirin, nitric oxide and foods that contain natural aspirin: Menz News Blog.
And you can read the scientific study on how aspirin increases nitric oxide: Link to article.
Let’s hear how you’re doing!
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.
Looking to boost your nitric oxide levels? Then eat your vegetables, especially root and green leafy vegetables. We always knew eating vegetables was good for you, but now studies are showing why. Roots and Green Leaves are high in nitrates. These dietary nitrates will increase your nitric oxide levels. If you suffer from stomach ulcers, heart disease, baldness, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, certain immune disorders, slow healing or are interested in boosting your athletic performance, then you want to pay close attention! Beet Juice is one of the easiest ways to boost your nitrate intake–and it tastes great.
I googled around found this juice online. You can read about it on this blog: Biotta Juice Blog.
Try making your own juice with beets, carrots and spinach.
Here’s an article on how it increases athletic performance: Athletic Performance Boost from Vegetables.
Now it makes sense to eat and drink your veggies everyday!
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.
Here’s a cool one for you..try Guinness Stout with a raw egg. I first heard of this in the Caribbean where it is reportedly a natural viagra. It’s popular especially in Jamaica. However, a quick google search will show you that many cultures around the world drink Guinness with a raw egg in it. I have some ideas concerning why there would be such virility enhancing effects of this drink.
First, the real stuff is infused with Nitrogen to create the distinct head. When I hear nitrogen, I automatically think there must be some kind of nitric oxide related connection. Then of course is the alcohol content that helps boost circulation. Anything that boosts circulation is usually linked to enhancing nitric oxide. Last, the raw egg is full of choline and lecithin. Legend has it that Casanova frequently dined on raw eggs and oysters to enhance his prowess.
Try it out..it’s good stuff.
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!
Want to have some long and intense dreams? Take this stuff: Optizinc.
This supplement is crazy.
First of all, I can’t say enough good things about Zinc. This mineral is a must have in every person’s tonic arsenal. I’ll write more about great skin, energy, male performance and recovery in future posts. But for now, take 1 or 2 tablets before sleep and you will not only sleep deeply, but will have the most vivid and long dreams you’ve ever had. I feel like I’m dreaming for hours. You’ll awake refreshed..not like you’ve been tossing and turning all night either.
I’ve taken other forms of zinc, and they are all good. Especially the liquid ones. However, optizinc (which is a supposedly highly absorbable version of zinc) is the one that affects me the most in the sleeping and dreaming department.
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.
I discovered Shark Liver Oil recently. It’s been around for centuries. Apparently, fisherman in the cold deep waters off northern Europe have recommended it for wound healing, colds and flu, and as a general tonic. Whenever I hear about something being good for colds and flu and wound healing or general tonic, I start thinking Nitric Oxide related.
I did find an interesting study indicating that Shark Liver Oil may increase Nitric Oxide levels here. The article states shark liver oil may be helpful for boosting the immune system.
If you’re a pig, your sperm will improve. This study indicates that Shark Liver Oil improved sperm motility and velocity:Click here to see study.
Cod liver oil is something I’ll write about in the future. Cod liver oil is a great source of Vitamin D, that many consider the single most important vitamin supplement you could take. Well, shark liver has that too. Cod Liver Oil is a purported Testosterone Booster, however Shark Liver Oil is not as well known. I’ve discovered that no one seems to know what this is. You can certainly find it online, but good luck finding it in conventional health food stores or your local chinatown herb shop. I found mine in a chinese herb shop. The owner smiled when I bought it and said it was an excellent choice and to make sure I drank a lot of water with it. I’m surprised I found it in that store, since no one spoke English.
There’s a bit of hub bub on the net about this Oil boosting the immune system and fighting cancer. Cancer is not something to talk about lightly. I’m limiting my discussion to verifiable tonics. As a tonic, this has some interesting potential. Faster sperm? More nitric oxide? Sounds like a plan!
Sometimes you need to be your own cheerleader, coach or best friend. This site DailyNudge aims to help you do just that. You can configure daily or regular electronic reminders or nudges to be sent to your inbox or your cell phone. How is this helpful? Send yourself encouraging messages to stay on track for your goals. It’s amazing how we easily drift to autopilot during the day and our minds and emotions drift to our comfortable patterns. This is great if your normal patterns work for you..that is if you naturally believe you are healthy, happy, successful, wealthy, etc. However, if like many of us, you are a work in progress, then you need some cheerleading and coaching. Send yourself a personal message at 2pm, for example, to remember to relax, center and be mindful. It could be anything like eating better, visualizing a goal, smiling, or something more mundane like file that TPS report. The best thing is it’s free and I feel it’s a great tool.
The greatest tonic is already inside us. Our bodies can produce a healing tonic of hormones, chemicals and other substances when we are happy and at peace. We can produce this state by relaxing. Most people don’t know how to relax or that there is even a technique to it. The best we can do is take a walk, listen to music or do some mindless activity and think we’re relaxed. However, there actually is a technique to relaxing. Although this may seem like an oxymoron, it takes practice to relax. Relaxation is a big part of chinese martial art training. It’s called ‘Sung’ in chinese. If you were to study a chinese internal martial art and certain other disciplines, you would most likely learn techniques to produce relaxation and exercises to test and develop this relaxation. One really good system that is accessible to westerners has been popularized by Koichi Tohei, who is a master of the Japanese martial art of Aikido. In this system, Tohei developed exercises that test the extent of relaxation in your body. He even developed a system to work at perfecting the level of relaxation. One of my favorite books ever is Tohei’s Book of Ki available in my amazon store. He teaches breathing techniques and other exercises called Ki Tests.
Here’s a simple way to relaxation. If you’d like more detailed instruction, please indicate so!
Find a posture that is easy to maintain and allows for the lowest part of your abdomen to freely expand and contract with your breath (don’t worry if you can’t feel that yet). Allow your body to settle and notice your inhale and exhale. Find what part of your abdomen or torso expands with your inhale and exhale without forcing anything. Just observe and make no judgements. Release any holding in your body starting from the top of your head down to your feet every time you exhale. Your elbows will feel like they are lengthening, your chest will release and top of your head will soar upwards. As your elbows lengthen, the top of your shoulders (where an important acupuncture point is and where many people feel sore upon touch) will release. (Some martial artists say ‘drop elbow, release/sink shoulder’.)The more you release, the lower in your torso you will feel your breath on inhale. It takes time and practice. You might fall asleep. Just keep at it and your body will produce the best tonic.
In traditional chinese medicine, you want to feel a warm abdomen and a cool head. When the feeling of heat rises to the head, it’s considered a bad thing. The aim of many chinese health systems is to reverse the heat to move downwards. It’s not uncommon to hear of analogies of a pot boiling in the lower abdomen. Like this:
I believe certain foods and supplements have the ability to increase life force or Jing. Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum is certainly one of those products.
Considered a medicine in Jamaica, it is often rubbed into the chest and back when you’re sick or on any part of your body that is in pain. At upwards of 60% alcohol, it’s certainly potent.
A couple shots of this stuff and you’ll be sleeping like a baby!
One of the best known uses for this rum is a sore throat and cold antidote. At the first sign of a cold or sore throat, mix the following into a glass:
Raw Honey (I think buckwheat honey is the most potent)
Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum
Use your intuition for the right amounts, a little experimentation is needed. Drink this before you go to sleep, you’ll sleep like a baby and in the morning you’ll feel like a million bucks.
I like to take this as a tonic whenever I feel a little run down. I find I sleep very well after drinking it. I also believe the white rum, honey and lime all work synergistically to boost the immune system and as a Jing or power booster.
Note: You have to get Wray and Nephew Rum and it has to be the white rum. Jamaicans believe the white is best as the darker rums are harder on the liver.
This is something you can’t eat, but have to do. The Eight Pieces of Brocade exercise has a long history and there are many many versions and interpretations of this exercise. I, of course, will give you the right one. All kidding aside, I did get some insight into the proper intent and result for each exercise. Over the years, I have also honed my own understanding and developed theories of my own regarding why this particular set of exercises are deemed effective and have managed to survive for hundreds of years.
One legend states that a wandering monk invented these exercises after witnessing the poor condition of fellow monks who spent their days sitting in meditation and not exercising. This set of exercises was meant to keep the physical body in good condition.
There isn’t alot recorded about these exercises. I was told there were some cave or tablet drawings with basic instructions or ‘songs’. These songs were devices to remember the main points. They are largely unhelpful if you haven’t been taught the exercises. Therein lies the problem with a lot of traditions, arts or practices that have been revived from ‘old manuscripts’. One simply can not learn effectively from old manuscripts.
These exercises are very old and steeped in traditional chinese medical theory. That means that each exercise focuses on the body from the traditional chinese medical view of the body. An exercise will focus on a meridian (energy channel) or organ or both. In chinese medicine organs are more than just body parts like we tend to understand from a Western viewpoint. In Chinese Medicine, organs are connected to each other ‘energetically’ and control other parts of the body and emotions. Some organs don’t really exist physically, like the Triple Burner. The triple burner is an organ that is the focus of the first exercise, Holding up the sky to regulate the triple burner.
Stand with feet together or no more than shoulder width apart, arms at sides. While you start to inhale, synchronize your breath and the raising of your arms until they reach above your head, palms facing the sky. Again, from their position at the sides of your body, bring them together in front of you, turn them palm up and raise them up the front of your body. As you pass your chin, start to rotate them over so they face away from you. At the end you should be looking up and stretching your hands above you as if you were trying to push up or “hold up” the sky. Keep pushing and stretching and inhaling for a few moments and then exhale, bringing your arms back to their starting position. Relax.
Keep Inhaling to create pressure in your lower abdomen. Don’t hold the breath at the end, but keep inhaling
make sure the sides of your torso feel a stretch. Look on an acupuncture map for the triple burner meridian and make sure you feel it stretch.
Anything else is purely academic. These exercises were meant to be SIMPLE!! Don’t fall for complications or other “secrets”. These are not rocket science.
These were meant to be basic training exercises. I know a lot of people want to complicate these exercises with a lot of additional theories and points. Some of these additional points are very good, don’t get me wrong. However, they are probably additional points added from understanding and practices of deeper, more sophisticated internal arts or practices.
Keep this one simple. Remember the main points and that’s it.