Migraines, magnesium, & brown rice

Migraines, magnesium, & brown rice

Soon after I published Food As Medicine in 2011, I received an email from a reader, who wrote about her experience with migraines and magnesium. A long-time lacto-ovo vegetarian, she told me that she took supplemental magnesium each month to control her premenstrual migraines, and that it was the only thing that worked for her. To be sure, it's been known for years that magnesium can be helpful in the prevention of premenstrual migraines. Several studies have shown that low serum magnesium is an independent risk factor for migraine headaches, and that magnesium can be used therapeutically to both prevent and treat migraines, as well as a host of other disorders characterized by spasm. She couldn't understand why she might be magnesium-deficient, however, because she ate a lot of brown rice, and had been told that brown rice was high in magnesium. According to nutritiondata.com, rice indeed tops the list of all magnesium-containing foods, at 781 mg per 100 mg. Although this refers … [Read more...]

Some musings on meal times

Some musings on meal times

One of the central tenets of eating in traditional medicine, is that we probably eat too much. According to an ancient Chinese legend, when the people of earth were starving the Emperor of Heaven gazed down upon them with compassion, and called the Ox god to him. “The people are starving," the Emperor said, "but if they work hard they could produce enough food to eat once every three days. Please fly down to earth and tell them this message.” The Ox god did as he was told, and on his way flying down from Heaven, began to recount what the Emperor had told him. “Oh my, what did he say again?" the Ox god asked himself. "If the people work hard, they can eat… hmm… three times…? Yes, that’s it! They can eat three times a day!” When the Ox god arrived on earth, he called all the people to him, and told them that the Emperor of Heaven said that if they work hard they can produce enough food to eat three times a day. The starving people were overjoyed with the news, and the Ox god feeling ha … [Read more...]

Is drinking from copper healthy?

Is drinking from copper healthy?

I was recently forwarded this short article on the benefits of copper, and was asked if there was any truth to the claims. The author of the article is a noted superfoods guru, and suggests that to improve our health we should be eating and drinking from copper dishware. Specifically, the author makes several claims in support of this assertion, that copper "stimulates the brain” and "balances the thyroid". A quick search on google, and I easily found other websites making the same types of conjectures. Normally I wouldn’t care what someone says, but when there is a health risk involved, I have a duty to respond if asked.  Copper is one among 14 different trace minerals required by the body. Although we require it in relatively tiny amounts, it plays a number of key roles, and like all oxygen-dependent (aerobic) organisms on earth, we can’t live without it. As a constituent of the enzyme cytochrome c oxidase, copper plays a critical role in cellular energy production, catalyzing the re … [Read more...]

Treatment of sarcoptic mange

Treatment of sarcoptic mange

A few weeks ago, I noticed that my white female husky-collie cross, who is already very pink in her nether regions, was decidedly pinker. I asked her to come over, rolled her on her back and examined her belly. To my surprise, her entire abdomen was covered in scabs. Upon closer examination, I noticed that the scabs were also in her armpits, around the base of her tail, and also on her back. I called the other dogs over, and took a look at them as well. While it wasn’t as extensive, it was clear that they had the same problem. It clearly was some kind of infestation, but I wasn’t quite sure which. It sort of looked like a bacterial infection, with the immature sores exuding a kind of yellow-green pus, soon followed by a blackish-colored scab. Many of these lesions had coalesced into larger patches. While it didn’t look like a demodex infestation, something akin to the pathogen I reviewed in my post on rosacea, it could be sarcoptic mange. Sarcoptic mange. What a bad-ass sounding t … [Read more...]

Ayurveda in Nepal tour

Ayurveda in Nepal tour

Hidden away in the foothills of the Himalayas are the last vestiges of Indian Buddhism, and an 800-year-old tradition of hereditary Buddhist priests and Ayurvedic physicians. In February of 2017, I will be taking a small group of students to study and experience what this tradition has to offer. I hope you can join me! Ayurveda In Nepal: The Bajracharya Medical Tradition 12-day Immersion program: February 5 ‑ 17, 2017 5-week Clinical program: February 5 ‑ March 10, 2017 According to the Indian scholar AL Basham, the Buddhist-influenced period of India was remarkable in many respects, not only for its embrace of pluralistic values, but also for the high degree of peace and prosperity that it brought. At a time when Europe was struggling through its Dark Ages, the subcontinent of India was a global center of trade, technology, and higher learning. Around the 7th century in India, Buddhism had begun to evolve as a householder tradition that existed along side the older celib … [Read more...]