The sexual prowess of internal martial art masters is legendary. I was told by one of my teachers that his teacher (in his 80s) was still enjoying regular relations.
I often wondered what could be the explanation for this? According to traditional chinese medicine (TCM), correct tai chi practice exercises the “kidney/liver” system. In TCM, kidney/liver does not mean only the physical organs. The kidney/liver system refers to a whole complex of spiritual, emotional, physical and other factors. The kidneys are related to life force and strong kidneys means strong libido, strength and creativity to be successful in the world.
However, I stumbled upon some research that offers a more tangible explanation for why tai chi could have these miraculous effects. Keep in mind that good and correct tai chi instruction is really hard to find. The millions of old people practicing in the park are largely doing it incorrectly!! Hard to believe but true. The real stuff has been watered down and popularized for the masses.
Most of the old people practicing in the park are doing it wrong and not getting benefits over fresh air, sunlight and walking. This is why tai chi practice does not appeal to young people and most non-chinese people.
If word got out about the side effects of correct tai chi practice, then everybody would do it and older people would be become vibrant and youthful.
Anyway, this study and many many others are saying that simple pelvic floor exercises can restore proper functioning to men provided they aren’t too far gone already (severe heart disease or heavy drinkers).
When tai chi is practiced correctly, it’s like an intense pelvic floor exercise. When the body is positioned correctly and relaxed the legs form a “bow” which results in the pelvic floor lifting and supporting the body. As one moves through the form, the pelvic area and legs get a thorough work out. It takes about 10 minutes to do the entire long form. Practiced up to 10 times per day, it’s 100 minutes of kegels and pelvic floor exercise each day!
If you are a tai chi student and do not feel this or your practice feels weak, seek out some new instruction. Traditional chen family style with a good lineage is a great place to start.
I absolutely love my nutribullet. For those living in isolation who have never heard of it, you can learn about it here . Nutribullet is the best way to eat superfoods. Sometimes I’ll throw my vitamin capsules in there. Pure vitamin C is a good one for this.
It’s basically a blender running at 600 Watts. A new version just came out at 900 Watts which I will get when my current one needs replacing. I use it everyday to make smoothies. I’m not really sure why it’s better than a basic $20 blender, maybe it’s the shape of the container. The marketing hype says it’s “cyclonic action” that blends the contents better than a blender, but I’m not entirely sure about that claim. Nevertheless, it works great, easy to clean and a super way to drink your vegetables with skin, seeds and fiber (unlike traditional juicers). I finder juicers ridiculously hard to clean and feel you lose all the beneficial fiber.
The nutribullet is the best way to add superfoods like cacao beans, gelatinized maca, goji berry and others to your diet. You can’t do this with a juicer. Load up the plastic container with some vegetables and your choice of superfood with some water, almond or coconut milk and you’re good to go.
I love to add fresh ginger and turmeric. You can get these at your local asian supermarket. I am thankful everyday that I live near several Patel Brothers Supermarkets where you can get many hard to find items like fresh turmeric root and other herbs. You can learn more about Patel Brothers here .
Let’s talk about cacao (chocolate beans). It’s an awesome superfood that you can add to your nutribullet for an extra anti-oxidant and nutritional punch. A great place to get a pound of the stuff is here:
These little crunchy nibs disappear in your smoothie. You can also snack on them (two travel bags are included in the purchase) or add them to salads, nut mixes and yogurt. Cacao increases nitric oxide levels in your body for blood flow and immune system benefits. The good things cacao does to your body are too numerous to mention here, but I bet if you are reading this blog you already know how good for you it is. All i’m saying is put it in your smoothie as a really easy way to add it to your daily regimen.
Sometimes I’ll make a basic smoothie with frozen strawberry, whey protein powder and the cacao nibs. It’s amazingly good!
Be careful when dosing medications and eating spices and herbs like Long Pepper. These substances can slow down the breakdown and removal of some substances increasing the amount that gets in your blood. This has the added benefit of lowering your dosage. Many people save money dosing PDE-5 inhibitors like Cialis and Viagra by taking some Long Pepper with it.
Long Pepper (Piper Longum) or “Pippali” is a spice and medicinal that has a long history of use in asia for a variety of ailments. It’s considered a powerful aphrodisiac and a tonic for the whole body, especially the digestive system.
It looks like this and you can buy them in online or in indian supermarket where they sell herbs and spices:
Did you know that if you take turmeric with Long Pepper you will absorb the active ingredient curcumin 2000% better than when taken alone?
The article states that One study found that when even 2g of curcumin was ingested, its serum levels were very low. However, when 20mg piperine was added to curcumin the bioavailability increased by 2000%. The bioavailability, serum levels and levels of absorption of curcumin all improved dramatically. Thus, if one takes turmeric, most of it is unutilized unless supplemented by addons such as black pepper.
As stated above, the ability to absorb more curcumin fromm turmeric is due to long pepper slowing down the breakdown and removal of curcumin in the body, so more is absorbed.
It’s very possible to overdose on your medication if you’re not aware of this fact. Grapefruit is another seemingly innocuous substance that can overdose your medication. Grapefruit juice also slows down the removal of some medications in your body and thereby increase the absorption rate.
On the flip side, you can increase the effectiveness of medications with Long Pepper. Especially if some of those substances are hard to absorb. Do your research and always check with your doctor first.
Turmeric is a “must have” addition to your health regimen. The research abounds with reports of reduced inflammation and many other benefits for the immune system.
Turmeric is a main ingredient in curry, however, you don’t need to make or buy curry to enjoy it’s health benefits.
Here’s a great way to take a teaspoon or two of turmeric:
Scramble two or three raw eggs with a couple teaspoons of turmeric powder and cook your eggs as usual.
Turmeric is often used as a dye, so your eggs will have a beautiful orange color.
It’s a tasty way to take turmeric!
The chinese are well known for making tonics for drinking and for applying to injuries. Anyone who has practiced chinese martial arts is familiar with ‘dit da jow’ or ‘hit medicine’. Dit da jow is usually a secret combination of herbs soaked in alcohol for several months to years and applied to injuries to speed up healing.
Taken internally, the tonics are often called ‘Spring Wine’. You can make your own chinese tonic spring wine with just a little bit of money and lots of time! I believe these home brews are much more powerful than anything you can buy in a bottle or pill at an herb shop.
I love to drink Shou Wu Chih and decided to make my own a few months ago. I bought a bottle in a chinatown herb shop and asked the owner to make up a batch of the raw herbs so I can soak them in rice wine and enjoy a fresh powerful home made batch. I had to buy 4 bottles of the highest percentage alcohol (38%) rice wine at the liquor store around the corner. When I got home, I added a bit of Rou Cong Gong, baji tian, du zhong and American Ginseng to add some kick to it. I tried a bit the other day to see how it was progressing and it was powerful! First of all, I slept like a baby after drinking a few shots. It was so strong, I had to mix some raw honey in there to make it palatable. Also, I have to say that this stuff increases nitric oxide production in the body. After a few days on this, my thinking was clearer, I easily felt 10 years younger. It makes you feel strong and powerful. So now I have a gallon of this stuff to work through! I didn’t measure my testosterone levels, but if I had to go by physical indicators, this stuff boosts testosterone levels!!
So, not stopping there, I found a great recipe for another batch here. This site has a jpg you can print out with the formula. It costs $15 in the united states to make up this batch (plus the alcohol). The owner remarked that this was a great formula and was really impressed that came in the store with it. However, I wanted to kick it up a few more notches. I added deer anter glue, korean ginseng, shou wu (fo ti) and goji berries. The blogger, happyhomemaker88 also had the same idea to add goji berries but complained they soaked up a bit of the wine.
The herbalist was impressed with my knowledge of chinese herbs and confirmed those were good additions. I wanted to do even more but was told “enough”..it was strong enough! Now I have to let this stuff soak a few months. I’ll try an early taste in 2-3 months and give a good 6 months.
I’m trying Bee Pollen. I found a local, dark, raw and unfiltered honey to take with it. Feeling pretty good after only a day on this stuff. I’ve tried bee pollen years ago and didn’t notice much. I’m thinking that maybe it’s true that you should try as much as possible to get bee products locally. Bee Pollen has been reported to kick the libido into high gear as well as heal prostate issues. It also reportedly helps you lose weight!
Many people are mixing cinnamon with honey for health benefits, weight loss, acne, hair growth and arthritis. A google search of “honey and cinnamon” brings up the same post about the benefits of this combination. It’s almost comical the way so many websites repost the same exact post. Cinnamon has made the news recently for its ability to reduce blood sugar and as a powerful antioxidant. However, be really careful with cinnamon. I found out there is a “real cinnamon” and then a similar substance that tastes like cinnamon called ‘Cassia’. Cassia is what most of us in America think is cinnamon. It’s not. What’s worse is that Cassia contains high amounts of Coumarin, which is toxic to our livers and kidneys. Taking too much cassia, thinking you’re doing something good for the body, can actually kill you!! It’s rat poison!
I found a site that shows a picture of the two and how to tell the difference at this link.
Cassia is dark and thick like a tree bark. It looks like one thick hollow tube. Real cinnamon looks like rolls of paper. It’s very ‘cigar’ like. Real cinnamon comes from Ceylon and is sometimes called ‘Ceylon Cinnamon’. I found out that most Mexican Cinnamon is imported from Ceylon. Saigon Cinnamon, Chinese Cinnamon and most unmarked Cinnamon in the supermarket is really Cassia–the ‘bad stuff’.
Chia seeds are very cool. These tiny seeds pack a wallop of Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants.
I get mine from VitaminShoppe.
A great way to eat these is to mix a tablespoon in a liquid. The seeds quickly form a gel. There’s a tonic from mexico that calls for these seeds in water with some lemon and honey. Strain the seeds if you wish for a refreshing tonic.
Another smart way to eat these is to mix the seeds with almond or coconut milk. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours for an awesome low calorie pudding. If it doesn’t gel enough, add more seed.
I’m forming a theory that foods that create gels like Irish Moss (Sea Moss), Sea Cucumber, Agar and now Chia Seeds are good for the joints and are an overall jing tonic. Of course, I have no scientific evidence for this observation, but it’s something interesting to note.
Try it and see what you think.
A couple years ago, I purchased a Teding Diancibo Pu (TDP) Lamp for personal use. I was intrigued by it when an acupuncturist I visited used one to heat up my lower abdomen and the needles in my dantian area. He said it would help “increase chi”. Acupuncturists have been using various forms of heat for thousands of years to make the therapy more effective. These new heat lamps (purportedly invented in the 80s) are yet another way to introduce focused heat into the body. The literature on the net indicates that this heat lamp using a special ceramic plate that has minerals on it. It looks like this:
I currently am using it to help heal a sacro-iliac injury. 20 minutes into the heating session, it feels pretty good. I’m doubling up with a chinese patent medicine called “Touku Wan” which has a plethora of herbs for pain and healing. A quick scan shows such notables as Frankincense and Myrrh, Cinnamon, Licorice and Notopterigyii Root. The formula, however, is different than what I’m used to in the past. I’m not sure why the ingredients change so much.
I also purchased some fresh notoginseng root. I’ll write more about notoginseng in the future. Many people have never heard of this fantastic healing herb.
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:
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)
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!
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.
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.
Good news and bad news. First the bad news. Be very careful taking chinese patent medicines from the herbal shops. Many of these supposedly “safe” herbals are contaminated with prescription drugs and worse — toxic metals like Mercury and Arsenic.
Read this good article that mentions many popular medicines and what problems were found: Patent Medicines and Contamination .
Now with that out of the way, I did find a cool one that is on the good list. It’s a “kidney nourishing” tonic made from gecko and other nitric oxide potentiating herbs. It’s called Gejie Bu Shing Wan and looks like this:
Here’s what a gecko looks like if you got it in your herbal prescription from an herbalist:
Typically you would boil one of these with your other tonic herbs in a tea or a soup. Bon Appetit!
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?
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!
Ching Chung Bao also spelled Qing Chun Bao is an interesting tonic I found while on my quest for Shark Oil.
It’s meant to be taken twice a day and over a long period of time. The bottle says, “Main functions: Postponing aging, maintaining youthful face, enhancing youthful vigour.” Sounds good to me!
These are the listed ingredients:
Chinese Asparagus Root
Siberian Solomon Seal
All of the above are Tonic Herbs. As long as there aren’t any hidden ingredients, I think this is a superb formula to take over time. Everyone’s heard of goji berries and ginseng. Solomon Seal is a wonderful lesser known tonic that is said to help restore your body after stress and over indulgence. Cistanches is a great nitric oxide enhancer and probably a decent pde-5 inhibitor (must research that sometime). Astragalus is another great tonic and has a reputation for enhancing your immune system. You should be able to find it for about 8 usd a bottle.
Generally, and according to the traditional chinese medical system, all of these types of tonics that benefit the kidney and liver system are good for anti-aging because those are the systems that are mostly responsible for keeping us young. They govern the condition of your hair, teeth, bones, connective tissue, memory, sex drive and youthful vitality. Check out the jing post on this site for more info.
Although this one is interesting, I doubt I can commit to taking it religiously twice a day. Anyone interested in trying this one out?