You are browsing the archive for Western Medicine Archives - Food from East.

MSG and what it is

Categories: Asian, Food Safety, Western Medicine

http://www.msgtruth.org/whatisit.htm

Over Drinking Milk Can Lead to Calcium Being Pulled From the Bones

Categories: Articles, Beverages, Kidney Yin Vacuity, Nutritional Information, osteoporosis, Western Medicine

http://milk.elehost.com/html/why_does_calcuim_leave_the_bon.html

Nice explanation of Blood Building Foods

Categories: Blood Vacuity, Eastern Nutrition, Nutritional Information, Western Medicine

http://t.wisegeek.com/what-are-blood-building-foods.htm

The term blood building foods is commonly used in alternative medicine, particularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Blood building foods are those foods that contain high quantities of specific nutrients thought to encourage the production of new blood cells in the body. The most important ingredient in a blood building food is iron, but vitamin B12 and folic acid are also key.

Although many choose simply to strengthen the blood by taking iron pills or liquid iron supplements, eating a diet high in blood building foods can be equally effective. Some blood building foods are less appetizing than others, and though they are food, they are generally taken as a supplement rather then simply eaten as a meal. These include foods like animal liver, brewer’s yeast, bone marrow soup, and black strap molasses. Colostrum, the milk produced in mammals during the late stages of pregnancy, is also considered a blood building food. Colostrum is high in antibodies and nutrients needed by newborn mammals to build blood after birth.

If these options seem unappetizing, there are a number of blood building foods which may have wider appeal to the palate. These include meats, particularly duck, goose, lamb, and oyster. Dark leafy greens, such as spinach and wheatgrass, are also particularly high in iron, and are considered a blood building food. Wheatgrass, and other foods such as raisins, prunes, kidney beans, mushrooms, apricots, and soy foods can be particularly effective in building blood, especially if one is following a vegetarian diet.

The iron-rich foods listed above are considered particularly potent in blood building potential. Hypothetically speaking, however, any food that is high in nutrients is beneficial to the blood. Of course, if one wants to encourage the production of healthy new blood cells, it is also wise to stay away from those foods that offer little nutritional value, or rob the body of nutrients. Foods such as refined sugar, coffee, and alcohol are often thought to rob nutrients from the body, not to mention the taxing effect they can have on the liver.

Within the practice of TCM, herbs are also commonly recommended in a blood building regimen. Though they may not be foods in and of themselves, herbs, spices and extracts taken to build blood are often derived from foods, or other edible substances. These include ingredients such as licorice, ginger, red dates, citrus, cardamon, and alfalfa.

Blood building foods, due to their high concentration of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid, are an effective way to relieve anemia, fatigue, paleness, coldness of the body, and amenorrhea.

Gluten Containing Herbs – for Celiac Disease patients

Categories: Articles, Celiac Disease, Food Education, Food Safety, Inflammation, Nutritional Information, Western Medicine

From:  http://www.jadeinstitute.com/chinese-herbs-and-potential-allergens.php

Chinese Herbs Containing Gluten and Potential Allergens

Although not frequently noted in the Chinese materia medica, there are a few herbs containing gluten that may be problematic for patients with food sensitivities, and especially for those with celiac sprue (also called gluten sensitive enteropathy or GSE). People with soy or nut allergies may also be advised to avoid certain herbs. As herbalists, our recommendations are often dependent on the degree to which an individual patient seeks to avoid exposure to a certain food.

Gluten and Celiac Disease

Gluten is a family of proteins present in wheat and some other grains. Glutelins and prolamins are the 2 primary types of gluten proteins causing the immunologic reaction in celiac sprue that inflames and destroys the inner lining of the small intestine. The particular prolamin protein found in wheat is called gliadin. In idiopathic gluten sensitivity (IGS) it is typical to see the presence of anti-gliadin antibodies.

Proteins, including gliadin, are long chains of up to several hundred amino acids attached to each other. Normally during digestion, enzymes in the small intestine break the proteins into smaller chains and single amino acids. The intestines are only able to absorb single, or at most, chains of 3-4 of these acids.

In celiac sprue, the longer amino acid chains making up gliadin are not completely broken by intestinal enzymes, so that several longer chains remain intact. These long chains enter the cells of the intestinal lining where they attach to an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase. In individuals with celiac disease, the complex of longer chain amino acids and tissue tranglutaminase sets off an immune reaction resulting in inflammation and damage to the intestinal villi.

Because the intestinal villi excrete digestive enzymes and play a major role in the absorption of nutrients, this condition generally results in varying degrees of maldigestion and malabsorbtion. Symptoms can range from fatigue, digestive problems, and nutritional deficiencies, to more severe problems affecting the bones, teeth, skin, nervous system, and heart.

Wheat, Barley, Rye (Corn and Oats)

Wheat is by far the largest source of gluten proteins, while smaller but significant amounts are found in rye and barley. In oats, the gluten proteins cause only very weak inflammation. It is estimated that 2% of those diagnosed with celiac disease are reactive to the proteins in pure oat cultivars and they seem to be problematic primarily for those with severe celiac. In general, corn and oats are thought to be safe for most people with gluten intolerance.

The severity of gluten sensitivity varies considerably therefore some can tolerate more gluten exposure than others. There is also variability according to the age the condition is diagnosed and treated. When celiac is diagnosed in a relatively young person, a gluten free or nearly gluten free diet can often result in complete recovery, while if someone has had the disease for decades then begins to reduce their gluten intake, the extent of recovery of the intestinal lining may be limited.

Other Allergenic Foods

There are other allergies that may involve a different physiologic response than occurs with celiac sprue, including reactions to proteins in fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and milk. These food allergies typically do not cause damage to the intestinal villi, but instead cause skin rashes or, in severe cases, anaphylaxis. These reactions are not necessarily dose dependent in the manner that occurs with a toxic response. For those with a severe allergy, symptoms can be triggered by even very small exposures.

Chinese Herbs as Potential Allergens

Wheat
Fu Xiao Mai (Floating wheat) or Triticum aestivum, is the dry shriveled wheat grain that floats in water. It comes from a particular variety of wheat plant that is relatively low in gluten compared to the grain used for making wheat bread, though it is still may be of concern to people with moderate to severe celiac sprue.

As a medicinal, Fu Xiao Mai is primarily used to nourish the Heart qi and to stop sweating from qi or yin deficiency. Probably the most commonly used formula containing this herb is Gan Mai Da Zao Tang, a famous prescription from the Jin Gui Yao Lue. In the formula, Gan Cao (Licorice), Fu Xiao Mai (Floating wheat), and Da Zao (Chinese date) are used together to nourish and calm the Heart while tonifying the Spleen and Stomach. It is very effective in the treatment of disorientation, anxiety, crying spells and agitation due to dysfunction of the Heart, Spleen and Liver.

Shen Qu, (Massa fermentata), commonly known as “medicated leaven†is a fermented mixture of several Chinese herbs, wheat flour and bran. The fermentation process involves growing yeast on the grain substrate. Wheat is the traditional ingredient, but sprouted barley may be used. In either case, about 38% of the starting material is the grain.

The herbs used in the mixture are not standardized but commonly include those that regulate the qi, transform phlegm and promote digestion such as Xing Ren (Apricot kernal), Qing Hao (Artemesia), Cang Er Cao (Xanthium herb), and Chi Xiao Dou (Aduki bean). Shen Qu is used to harmonize the stomach and reduce food stagnation, especially where there is poor digestion of starches. Bao He Wan is a well-known formula containing Shen Qu and other herbs to treat “stuck food” causing indigestion, abdominal distention, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation.

Barley
Mai Ya (Sprouted barley or malt) begins with the barley grain Hordeum vulgaris. It is sprouted for about a week until about 6-9 mm long, then is dried in the sun. It is primarily used to reduce food stagnation and promote digestion, especially of starches and milk. It also promotes the movement of Liver qi in cases of abdominal distention and fullness, and when prescribed in quite large dosages it can help reduce lactation in breastfeeding mothers who are weaning their babies. Mai Ya is included in several digestive formulations including Jian Pi Wan and Bao He Wan.

Yi Tang (Barley malt sugar or maltose) is made by cooking barley malt with glutinous rice flour, non-glutinous rice flour, or wheat flour. It is sweet and tonifies deficiency, particularly of the Spleen and Stomach. It also generates fluids and moistens the Lungs in cases of dry non-productive cough. Though not a frequently used herb, it is traditionally found in the formula Xiao Jian Zhong Tang.

Yi Yi Ren (Coix), sometimes called “pearl barley”, is different from the barley grain that contains the gluten-like proteins problematic for those with celiac sprue. Yi Yi Ren is not believed to be allergenic.

Soy
Dan Dou Chi (Prepared soybean) is not a standardized preparation. Depending on the region, decoctions of different herbs are used to steam black soybeans until they are soft, then the mixture of bean and herb dregs is fermented and dried. The herbs used in this process are generally exterior-releasing medicinals such as Qing Hao, Sang Ye, Pei Lan, Zi Su Ye, and Huo Xiang. Dan Dou Chi gently releases the exterior in both hot or cold external disorders, and reduces irritability in cases of residual heat following a febrile disorder. It is an ingredient in Cong Chi Tang and Yin Qiao San.

He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum) is a prepared herb, and the form typically used in clinical practice and referred to in Chinese medical literature is in fact Zhi He Shou Wu (“zhi” indicating “processed”). It is prepared with yellow rice wine and black soybean (Glycine max) juice made by boiling black soybeans for several hours. The herb is steamed with this wine-soybean juice mixture until the liquid is completely absorbed by the Polygonum roots. He Shou Wu is a commonly used herb that nourishes Liver blood and tonifies Kidney essence. It is an ingredient in Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan and Dang Gui Yin Zi, and is often prescribed alone in Shou Wu Pian.

Sheng He Shou Wu is the unprepared Polygonum root. It is not widely used and has a very different function from the prepared version as it is not a tonic herb at all, but moistens the intestines, relieves fire toxin, and cools the blood.

E Jiao (Donkey-hide glue) is processed by washing, soaking and boiling donkey hide in water until it is very thick, then adding rock sugar, yellow rice wine, and soybean or peanut oil, to create the consistency of a thick glue. E Jiao is a very effective medicinal that moistens yin, replenishes essence, and stops bleeding. The amount of soy oil contained in the herb is quite small, and in a formula of multiple herbs, the amount becomes almost insignificant. But for those needing to practice strict avoidance, care should be taken with formulas containing E Jiao such as Jiao Ai Tang, Zhi Gan Cao Tang, Shou Tai Wan, Jiang Ya Pian, and Fu Ke Zhong Zi Wan.

Lu Jiao Jiao (Deer antler glue) is processed by a long series of steps involving soaking, cleaning, and boiling antler, best prepared in the cold weather of the winter season. Yellow rice wine, along with soy or peanut oil, is added near the end of the process. Lu Jiao Jiao nourishes blood and essence and can stop bleeding. The amount of soy oil in the finished product is quite small, but those concerned with strict avoidance of soy should use care with formulas containing Lu Jiao Jiao such as Wu Qi Bai Feng Wan, Zuo Gui Wan, and You Gui Wan

Tree Nuts
Bai Guo (Ginkgo nut) is toxic as a raw or toasted kernel, but heating greatly reduces the toxicity. When taken as a decoction it is not considered toxic, but allergic reactions have been reported. Bai Guo is astringent and used most commonly in cases of wheezing and cough, and also astringes in problems of excessive vaginal discharge or turbid urine.

He Tao Ren or Hu Tao Ren (Walnut) tonifies the kidneys, warms the Lungs and moistens the intestines to unblock the bowels. It is not a common ingredient in traditional formulas, but may be found in some patent medicines such as Bu Nao Pian and Hai Ma Wan.

Song Zi Ren (Pine nut) is not commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine but can be found in some patent medicine versions of Wu Ren Tang, a formula that moistens and unblocks the bowels. The medicinal attributes of Song Zi Ren are to tonify the qi, dispel wind, and moisten the intestines.

Xing Ren (Apricot kernel) is a fruit pit, not a nut, but believed to be from a species of tree that could potentially trigger a reaction in those with nut allergies. It commonly included in respiratory formulas for cough and wheezing and also serves to moistens the intestines and unblock the bowels. When avoiding Xing Ren, it should be noted that Shen Qu (Massa fermentata) often contains this herb.

Tao Ren (Peach kernel) is a fruit pit, not a nut, but believed to be from a species of tree that could potentially trigger a reaction in those with nut allergies. It is a very commonly used herb, strongly dispersing blood stasis in a wide variety of disorders. Like most nuts and seeds, it also moistens the intestines to unblock the bowels.

Overview of Possible Food Allergens in Chinese Herbs

Wheat gluten
Fu Xiao Mai (Floating wheat)
Shen Qu (Massa fermentata)

Barley
Mai Ya (Sprouted barley)
Yi Tang (barley malt sugar)

Soybean
Dan Dou Chi (Prepared soybean)

Processed with soybean or soy oil
E Jiao (Donkey-hide glue)
Lu Jiao Jiao (Deer antler glue)
He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum)

Tree Nuts
Bai Guo (Gingko nut)
He Tao Ren (Walnut)
Song Zi Ren (Pine nut)

Â

Seeds or kernels believed to be from species of trees that could potentially trigger a reaction in those with nut allergies
Xing Ren (Apricot kernel)
Shen Qu (Massa fermentata) commonly contains Xing Ren (Apricot kernel)
Tao Ren (Peach kernel)

Article References:

Bensky, Dan, Clavey, Steven, Stoger, Erich, Chinese Herbal Medicine Formulas and Strategies 3rd edition, Eastland Press 2004

Dharmanada, Sabuti Ph.D. Institute for Traditional Medicine, Gluten in Chinese Herbs Addressing the Concerns of those with Celiac Sprue, ITM Online

Fratkin, Jake Paul, Chinese Herbal Patent Medicines: A Clinical Desk Reference, Shya Publications 2001

Hsu, Hong-yen, Oriental Materia Medicia: A Concise Guide, Oriental Healing Arts Institute 1986

Mayway Mailer, Vol. 7-2 Fall 2006, Mayway Corporation, Oakland, California

_________________________

From: http://www.acupuncturebrooklyn.com/how-tos/foods-and-herbs-to-avoid-with-gluten-sensitivity-by-karen-vaugha

People with full blown celiac or lower level gluten sensitivity usually need to avoid gluten products indefinitely as they are more persistent than other allergens.  The main cause of gluten sensitivity as described by the researchers is a cell-mediated, immunological reaction to certain components of certain dietary glutens. Most of these abnormal responses are proteins contained in wheat, rye and barley. Previously oats were also considered to be a trigger but recent studies suggest that 95% of celiacs can tolerate the specific oat glianden so long as the oats are processed where they cannot be contaminated.  Corn, rice, buckwheat; millet; amaranth; and quinoa are safe for celiac disease patients. These commodities contain different type of gluten which does not appear to trigger celiac disease directly.The following list shows examples of many foods that are allowed or avoided, but it is not a complete list. It is important to read all food ingredient lists carefully to make sure that the food does not contain gluten.Beverages
Allowed: Coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, wine made in U.S., rum, some root beer.
Avoid: Ovaltine, malted milk, ale, beer, gin, whiskey, flavored coffee,  herbal tea with malted barley.

Milk
Allowed: Fresh, dry, evaporated, or condensed milk; cream; sour cream; whipping cream; yogurt.
Avoid: Malted milk, some commercial chocolate milk, some nondairy creamers.

Meat, Fish, Poultry
Allowed: Fresh meats, fish, other seafood, and poultry; fish in canned oil, brine, or water; some hot dogs and lunch meats.
Avoid: Prepared meat (especially sausage and coated meats) containing wheat, rye, oats, or barley; tuna canned in vegetable broth.

Cheese
Allowed: All aged cheese, such as cheddar, Swiss, edam, parmesan; cottage cheese; cream cheese; pasteurized processed cheese; cheese spreads.
Avoid: Any cheese product containing oat gum if oat sensitive, some veined cheeses (bleu, stilton, roquefort, gorgonzola).

Potato or Other Starch
Allowed: White and sweet potatoes, yams, hominy, rice, wild rice, gluten-free noodles, some oriental rice and bean thread noodles.
Avoid: Regular noodles, spaghetti, macaroni, most packaged rice mixes, seminola, spinach noodles, frozen potato products with wheat flour added.

Cereals
Allowed: Hot cereals made from cornmeal or other corn-based cereal, Cream of Rice, hominy, rice; Puffed Rice, cereals made without malt.
Avoid: All cereals containing wheat, rye, oats, or barley; bran; graham; wheat germ; durum;  bulgar;

Breads
Allowed: Specially prepared breads using only allowed flours.
Avoid: All breads containing wheat, rye, oat, or barley flours and grains listed above.

Flours and Thickening Agents
Allowed: Arrowroot starch, corn bran, corn flour, corn germ, cornmeal, corn starch, potato flour, potato starch flour, rice bran, rice flour, rice polish, rice starch, soy flour, tapioca starch, bean and lentil flours, nut flours.
Avoid: wheat germ, bran, wheat starch; all flours containing wheat, rye, oats, or barley; spelt; or any grains or cereals listed earlier.

Vegetables
Allowed: All plain, fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables; dried peas and beans; lentils; some commercially prepared vegetables.
Avoid: Creamed vegetables, vegetables canned in sauce, some canned baked beans, commercially prepared vegetables and salads.

Fruits
Allowed: All fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits; all fruit juices; some canned pie fillings.
Avoid: Thickened or prepared fruits; some pie fillings; raisins and dried dates that have been dusted with flour.

Fats
Allowed: Butter, ghee, vegetable oil, nuts, peanut butter, hydrogenated vegetable oils (not desirable), some salad dressings, mayonnaise, nonstick cooking sprays.
Avoid: Some commercial salad dressings, wheat germ oil, nondairy cream substitutes, most commercial gravies and sauces.

Soups
Allowed: Homemade broth and soups made with allowed ingredients, some commercially canned soups, specialty dry soup mixes.
Avoid: Most canned soups and soup mixes, bouillon and bouillon cubes with hydrolyzed vegetable protein unless labeled “gluten freeâ€.
Desserts
Allowed: Cakes, quick breads, pastries, and puddings made with allowed ingredients; cornstarch, tapioca, and rice puddings; some pudding mixes; custard; ice cream with few, simple ingredients; sorbet; meringues; mousse; sherbets; frozen yogurt.
Avoid: Commercial cakes, cookies; pies made with wheat, rye, oats, or barley; prepared mixes; puddings; ice cream cones; Jell-O instant pudding; cream fillings; products made with brown rice syrup or malt.  Even organic chocolate bars may be sweetened with malt.

Sweetners
Allowed: Jelly, jam, honey, brown and white sugar, molasses, most syrups, some candy, chocolate, pure cocoa, coconut, marshmallows.
Avoid: Commercial candies dusted with wheat flour, butterscotch chips; flavored syrups; sweets containing malt/malt flavorings; some brown rice syrup; some corn syrup.

Miscellaneous
Allowed: Salt, pepper, herb, herb extracts, food coloring, cloves, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder, tomato puree and paste, olives, active dry yeast, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, dry mustard, some condiments, apple cider, rice or wine vinegar.
Avoid: Curry powder, dry seasonings mixes, gravy extracts, meat sauces, catsup, mustard, horseradish, chip dips, most soy sauce, some distilled white vinegar, instant dry baking yeast, some cinnamon, condiments made with wheat-derived distilled vinegars, communion wafers/bread, some alcohol-based flavoring extracts.

Herbs or supplements that may contain gluten:

Many greens drinks.

Oat straw, milky oats may contain gluten but may not be irritating.

Emergen-C in raspberry and mixed berry flavors only, the other flavors are fine.

Several Chinese herbs are derived from species of wheat and barley and others are traditionally processed using products made from wheat or barley. For example, E jiao and Lu jiao jiao are processed with barley wine, Mai ya is barley sprout and Yi Tang is barley sugar. Fu xiao mai is a type of wheat, and Shen qu, known as “medicated leavenâ€, is processed with wheat or barley. Other herbs are E. jiao/Equus asinus gelatin, Lu jiao jiao/Cervus nippon antler, Mai ya/Hordeum vulga,Yi tang/Maltose, Fu xiao mai/ Triticum aestivum, Shen qu/Massa fermenta

The following raw herbs and raw herb powders are processed with barley wine and also may contain gluten: Shu di huang/Rehmannia glutinosa root — prepared, Huang jing/Polygonatum sibiricum rhizome, Chuan xiong/Ligusticum chuanxiong (wallichii) rhizome, Rou cong rong/Cistanche deserticola herb, Gui ban jiao/Chinemys reevesii shell — gelatin.

Chinese herbal formulas that contain gluten:

An Mien Pian, An Shui Teapills/An Shui Wan, Bao He San, Bao He Wan, Bojenmi Tea, Bojenmi Teabags, Butiao Tablets/Bu Xue Tiao Jing Wan, Calm Spirit Teapills/ Gan Mai Da Zao Wan, Curing Pills/Kang Ning Wan, Fu Ke Zhong Zi Wan, Gan Mai Da Zao San, Jian Pi Wan, Jiang Ya Pian, Jiao Ai San, Minor Restore The Middle/Xiao Jian Zhong Wan , Qing Zao Jiu Fei San, Rhubarb Teapills/Da Huang Jiang Zhi Wan, Wuchi Paifeng Wan/ Wu Qi Bai Feng Wan, Yang Rong Wan, Yue Ju San, Zhen Gan Xi Feng Teapills, Zi Sheng Wan, Zhi Gan Cao Tang Teapills, Zuo Gu Shen Jing San,

Thanks to Mayway Herbs and Bob Linde

Â

People with full blown celiac or lower level gluten sensitivity usually need to avoid gluten products indefinitely as they are more persistent than other allergens.  The main cause of gluten sensitivity as described by the researchers is a cell-mediated, immunological reaction to certain components of certain dietary glutens. Most of these abnormal responses are proteins contained in wheat, rye and barley. Previously oats were also considered to be a trigger but recent studies suggest that 95% of celiacs can tolerate the specific oat glianden so long as the oats are processed where they cannot be contaminated.  Corn, rice, buckwheat; millet; amaranth; and quinoa are safe for celiac disease patients. These commodities contain different type of gluten which does not appear to trigger celiac disease directly.

The following list shows examples of many foods that are allowed or avoided, but it is not a complete list. It is important to read all food ingredient lists carefully to make sure that the food does not contain gluten.

Beverages
Allowed: Coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, wine made in U.S., rum, some root beer.
Avoid: Ovaltine, malted milk, ale, beer, gin, whiskey, flavored coffee,  herbal tea with malted barley.

Milk
Allowed: Fresh, dry, evaporated, or condensed milk; cream; sour cream; whipping cream; yogurt.
Avoid: Malted milk, some commercial chocolate milk, some nondairy creamers.

Meat, Fish, Poultry
Allowed: Fresh meats, fish, other seafood, and poultry; fish in canned oil, brine, or water; some hot dogs and lunch meats.
Avoid: Prepared meat (especially sausage and coated meats) containing wheat, rye, oats, or barley; tuna canned in vegetable broth.

Cheese
Allowed: All aged cheese, such as cheddar, Swiss, edam, parmesan; cottage cheese; cream cheese; pasteurized processed cheese; cheese spreads.
Avoid: Any cheese product containing oat gum if oat sensitive, some veined cheeses (bleu, stilton, roquefort, gorgonzola).

Potato or Other Starch
Allowed: White and sweet potatoes, yams, hominy, rice, wild rice, gluten-free noodles, some oriental rice and bean thread noodles.
Avoid: Regular noodles, spaghetti, macaroni, most packaged rice mixes, seminola, spinach noodles, frozen potato products with wheat flour added.

Cereals
Allowed: Hot cereals made from cornmeal or other corn-based cereal, Cream of Rice, hominy, rice; Puffed Rice, cereals made without malt.
Avoid: All cereals containing wheat, rye, oats, or barley; bran; graham; wheat germ; durum;  bulgar;

Breads
Allowed: Specially prepared breads using only allowed flours.
Avoid: All breads containing wheat, rye, oat, or barley flours and grains listed above.

Flours and Thickening Agents
Allowed: Arrowroot starch, corn bran, corn flour, corn germ, cornmeal, corn starch, potato flour, potato starch flour, rice bran, rice flour, rice polish, rice starch, soy flour, tapioca starch, bean and lentil flours, nut flours.
Avoid: wheat germ, bran, wheat starch; all flours containing wheat, rye, oats, or barley; spelt; or any grains or cereals listed earlier.

Vegetables
Allowed: All plain, fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables; dried peas and beans; lentils; some commercially prepared vegetables.
Avoid: Creamed vegetables, vegetables canned in sauce, some canned baked beans, commercially prepared vegetables and salads.

Fruits
Allowed: All fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits; all fruit juices; some canned pie fillings.
Avoid: Thickened or prepared fruits; some pie fillings; raisins and dried dates that have been dusted with flour.

Fats
Allowed: Butter, ghee, vegetable oil, nuts, peanut butter, hydrogenated vegetable oils (not desirable), some salad dressings, mayonnaise, nonstick cooking sprays.
Avoid: Some commercial salad dressings, wheat germ oil, nondairy cream substitutes, most commercial gravies and sauces.

Soups
Allowed: Homemade broth and soups made with allowed ingredients, some commercially canned soups, specialty dry soup mixes.
Avoid: Most canned soups and soup mixes, bouillon and bouillon cubes with hydrolyzed vegetable protein unless labeled “gluten freeâ€.
Desserts
Allowed: Cakes, quick breads, pastries, and puddings made with allowed ingredients; cornstarch, tapioca, and rice puddings; some pudding mixes; custard; ice cream with few, simple ingredients; sorbet; meringues; mousse; sherbets; frozen yogurt.
Avoid: Commercial cakes, cookies; pies made with wheat, rye, oats, or barley; prepared mixes; puddings; ice cream cones; Jell-O instant pudding; cream fillings; products made with brown rice syrup or malt.  Even organic chocolate bars may be sweetened with malt.

Sweetners
Allowed: Jelly, jam, honey, brown and white sugar, molasses, most syrups, some candy, chocolate, pure cocoa, coconut, marshmallows.
Avoid: Commercial candies dusted with wheat flour, butterscotch chips; flavored syrups; sweets containing malt/malt flavorings; some brown rice syrup; some corn syrup.

Miscellaneous
Allowed: Salt, pepper, herb, herb extracts, food coloring, cloves, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder, tomato puree and paste, olives, active dry yeast, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, dry mustard, some condiments, apple cider, rice or wine vinegar.
Avoid: Curry powder, dry seasonings mixes, gravy extracts, meat sauces, catsup, mustard, horseradish, chip dips, most soy sauce, some distilled white vinegar, instant dry baking yeast, some cinnamon, condiments made with wheat-derived distilled vinegars, communion wafers/bread, some alcohol-based flavoring extracts.

Herbs or supplements that may contain gluten:

Many greens drinks.

Oat straw, milky oats may contain gluten but may not be irritating.

Emergen-C in raspberry and mixed berry flavors only, the other flavors are fine.

Several Chinese herbs are derived from species of wheat and barley and others are traditionally processed using products made from wheat or barley. For example, E jiao and Lu jiao jiao are processed with barley wine, Mai ya is barley sprout and Yi Tang is barley sugar. Fu xiao mai is a type of wheat, and Shen qu, known as “medicated leavenâ€, is processed with wheat or barley. Other herbs are E. jiao/Equus asinus gelatin, Lu jiao jiao/Cervus nippon antler, Mai ya/Hordeum vulga,Yi tang/Maltose, Fu xiao mai/ Triticum aestivum, Shen qu/Massa fermenta

The following raw herbs and raw herb powders are processed with barley wine and also may contain gluten: Shu di huang/Rehmannia glutinosa root — prepared, Huang jing/Polygonatum sibiricum rhizome, Chuan xiong/Ligusticum chuanxiong (wallichii) rhizome, Rou cong rong/Cistanche deserticola herb, Gui ban jiao/Chinemys reevesii shell — gelatin.

Chinese herbal formulas that contain gluten:

An Mien Pian, An Shui Teapills/An Shui Wan, Bao He San, Bao He Wan, Bojenmi Tea, Bojenmi Teabags, Butiao Tablets/Bu Xue Tiao Jing Wan, Calm Spirit Teapills/ Gan Mai Da Zao Wan, Curing Pills/Kang Ning Wan, Fu Ke Zhong Zi Wan, Gan Mai Da Zao San, Jian Pi Wan, Jiang Ya Pian, Jiao Ai San, Minor Restore The Middle/Xiao Jian Zhong Wan , Qing Zao Jiu Fei San, Rhubarb Teapills/Da Huang Jiang Zhi Wan, Wuchi Paifeng Wan/ Wu Qi Bai Feng Wan, Yang Rong Wan, Yue Ju San, Zhen Gan Xi Feng Teapills, Zi Sheng Wan, Zhi Gan Cao Tang Teapills, Zuo Gu Shen Jing San,

Thanks to Mayway Herbs and Bob Linde

_______________________

From Golden Flower:

Allergen Warning:
The following products contain gluten
Gluten is a protein found in grains, especially wheat, but also in barley and other grains.
Several Chinese herbs are derived from species of wheat and barley and others are
traditionally processed using products made from wheat or barley. For example, E jiao
and Lu jiao jiao are processed with barley wine, Mai ya is barley sprout and Yi Tang is
barley sugar. Fu xiao mai is a type of wheat, and Shen qu, known as “medicated leavenâ€,
is processed with wheat. Individuals with celiac disease, wheat allergies or gluten
sensitivity should use caution with the following products to avoid food sensitivities or
allergic reactions.
3919 An Mien Pian contains Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
3380 An Shui Teapills/An Shui Wan contains Fu xiao mai/ Triticum aestivum
3646C Bao He San, concentrated extract powder contains Mai ya/Hordeum vulgare/Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
3646 Bao He Wan contains Mai ya/Hordeum vulgare/Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
117CN Bojenmi Tea contains Mai ya/Hordeum vulgare/Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
117 Bojenmi Teabags contains Mai ya/Hordeum vulgare/Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
3797 Butiao Tablets/Bu Xue Tiao Jing Wan contains E jiao/ Equus asinus gelatin
3383/3383E Calm Spirit Teapills/ Gan Mai Da Zao Wan contains Fu xiao mai/ Triticum aestivum
3966 Curing Pills/Kang Ning Wan contains Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
3966E Curing Pills/Kang Ning Wan – economy size contains Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
3966i Curing Pills/Kang Ning Wan – pocket pack contains Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
3966C Curing San, concentrated extract powder contains Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
3654 Fu Ke Zhong Zi Wan contains E jiao/ Equus asinus gelatin
3383C Gan Mai Da Zao San, concentrated extract powder contains Fu xiao mai/ Triticum aestivum
3638 Jian Pi Wan contains Mai ya/Hordeum vulgare
3918 Jiang Ya Pian contains E jiao/ Equus asinus gelatin
3340C Jiao Ai San, concentrated extract powder contains E jiao/ Equus asinus gelatin
3739 Minor Restore The Middle/Xiao Jian Zhong Wan contains Yi tang/Maltose
3342C Qing Zao Jiu Fei San, concentrated extract powder contains E jiao/ Equus asinus gelatin
3188 Rhubarb Teapills/Da Huang Jiang Zhi Wan contains Mai ya/Hordeum vulgare sprout
3781 Wuchi Paifeng Wan/ Wu Qi Bai Feng Wan contains Lu jiao jiao/ Cervus nippon antler
3656 Yang Rong Wan contains E jiao/ Equus asinus gelatin
3116C Yue Ju San, concentrated extract powder contains Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
3395 Zhen Gan Xi Feng Teapills contains Mai ya/Hordeum vulgare
3652 Zi Sheng Wan contains Mai ya/Hordeum vulgare sprout/Shen qu/ Massa fermenta
3396 Zhi Gan Cao Tang Teapills contains E jiao/ Equus asinus gelatin
3311C Zuo Gu Shen Jing San, concentrated extract powder contains Lu jiao jiao/ Cervus nippon antler
*The following products also contain gluten: E. jiao/Equus asinus gelatin, Lu jiao jiao/Cervus nippon antler, Mai ya/Hordeum vulga,
Yi tang/Maltose, Fu xiao mai/ Triticum aestivum, Shen qu/Massa fermenta as a single herb extract powder, raw bulk herb, or
raw herb powder.
**The following raw herbs and raw herb powders are processed with barley wine and also contain gluten: Shu di huang/Rehmannia
glutinosa root – prepared, Huang jing/Polygonatum sibiricum rhizome, Chuan xiong/Ligusticum chuanxiong (wallichii) rhizome,
Rou cong rong/Cistanche deserticola herb, Gui ban jiao/Chinemys reevesii shell — gelatin. This also applies to single herb extract
powders of Shu di huang/Rehmannia glutinosa root — prepared and Huang jing/Polygonatum sibiricum rhizome. ***The following raw
herbs and raw herb powders are processed with vinegar made with grain based fermentation agents and may also contain gluten:
Xiang fu/Cyperus rotundus rhizome. This does not apply to any teapills or tablets made with these herbs, as our GMP factories process
these raw herbs with rice wine instead of barley wine.

What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Seaweed?

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips, Nutritional Information, Phlegm Nodules & Interior Heat, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Western Medicine

Overview

Sea vegetables, often referred to as seaweed or algae, are not as common in the Western culture as they are in other areas of the world. Sea vegetables come in a variety of colors including green, red and brown, each with a unique flavor, shape and texture. This exclusive family of vegetables absorbs nutrients from the sea and are, therefore, an excellent source of trace elements, vitamins, minerals and protein. Sea vegetables are some of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Proponents claim that sea vegetables can protect against disease including cancer; however, no scientific studies have been done to confirm this.

Dulse

Dulse is a reddish brown sea vegetable with a chewy and slightly salty taste. It is approximately 22 percent protein, offers more than 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin B-6, iron and fluoride in addition to 66 percent of the RDA for vitamin B-12. Dulse is also a rich source of potassium, manganese, iodine, iron, riboflavin, phosphorus, and vitamin A. It offers a variety of trace elements, enzymes and phytochemicals, yet is relatively low in sodium. Dulse is available powdered as a condiment or in whole stringy leaves. One-third cup of dulse contains about 18 calories.

Agar Agar

Sometimes called Japanese gelatin, agar agar is a clear, tasteless alternative to animal or chemical-based gelatin. Derived from red seaweed, agar agar is a natural thickener. You will typically find this sea vegetable used as a gelling agent in desserts, pie fillings, puddings and aspics. Agar agar can also be used to replace eggs and other thickening agents in baking. Rich in iodine, calcium, iron, phosphorus and fiber, agar agar acts as a mild laxative, adding bulk to your diet without the calories. One serving, or 11 g, of agar agar powder has about 40 calories.

Wakame

Wakame, also known as alaria, is a deep grayish green sea vegetable. Rich in dietary fiber, chlorophyll, beta carotene, B vitamins, calcium, iodine, iron, protein, calcium and vitamin C, this is one of the most tender sea vegetables. It has a subtle sweet flavor and slippery texture and is best eaten in soups or salads. Two tablespoons of wakame has about 5 calories Oriental medicine utilized wakame for skin problems, strengthening hair, thyroid disorders, menstrual regularity and blood purifier.

Nori

Nori is 28 percent protein and an excellent source of calcium, manganese, fluoride, iron, copper and zinc. It is the sea vegetable with the highest B vitamins, including B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6 and B-12 as well as vitamins A, C and E. This easily digested, deep purple-green vegetable is sweet in flavor with a slightly nutty taste. Nori is most commonly used as wrappers for sushi rolls. One sheet of nori has approximately 10 calories.

Kombu

Dark purple, kombu is one of the most commonly used and recognized seaweeds. Kombu comes in thick strips or sheets and will add iodine, calcium, magnesium and iron to your diet. It is also a good source of vitamins B, C, D and E, as well as calcium, beta carotene, potassium, silica and zinc. Tough and chewy, kombu contains enzymes that help break down the raffinose sugars in beans, making them more easily digested. One 4-inch piece of kombu has 10 calories.

Overview

A staple of Asian cuisine, sea vegetables are often vastly under-appreciated in the West. Sometimes referred to as seaweed, these vegetables actually include a wide range of different types of algae. Frequently sold dried, most sea vegetables need to be reconstituted before or during cooking. Sea vegetables may also be sold as dietary supplements in powder, tablet or capsule form.

Types

Sea vegetables come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and flavors. The most familiar for most people is nori, the green or dark purple sheets used to wrap some types of sushi rolls. Arame looks like thin black shreds and is cooked in stir fry dishes or used in salads. The brown sea vegetable dulse is frequently served in powdered form as a condiment but its leaves can also be pan-fried. Kombu comes in dark purple sheets that are often added to soups. Sweet and salty sea palm and tender wakame can both be eaten raw or served in salads or cooked dishes.

Nutrients

Sea vegetables are all typically high in iodine, iron, fiber and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. The iodine in sea vegetables is highly concentrated, but may dissipate some when the vegetables are reconstituted in water. The iron in sea vegetables is accompanied by vitamin C, which helps in making iron bioaccessible. Sea vegetables are also a good source of antioxidant micronutrients. In addition, they contain high levels of selenium, manganese, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin E.

Phytochemicals

In addition to the micronutrient antioxidants, sea vegetables also supply phytochemicals with antioxidant properties. Different varieties of sea vegetables contain differing levels of carotenoids and flavonoids. For example, nori contains high levels of beta-carotene, the carotenoid that can be converted into vitamin A and benefits visual health. Sea vegetables also contain alkaloids, compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. Because of the complex interactions between the phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, sea vegetables are best eaten whole instead of taken in supplement form.

Health Benefits

Proponents of sea vegetables promote their consumption as good for cancer prevention, particularly colon and breast cancer, and healing degenerative diseases. Extracts from sea vegetables have been shown to halt cancer cell growth in the lab, but these results have not yet been replicated in human or animal models. Research on the health effects of sea vegetables have been mostly limited to laboratory studies thus far. Human clinical trials are needed to determine the effects of sea vegetables on diseases such as cancer, diabetes or asthma.

Source of Nutrients

Most seaweeds are high in essential amino acids, which makes them valuable sources of vegetable protein in a vegetarian or mostly meatless diet.

Like most land vegetables, seaweeds contain vitamins A (beta carotene) and C. Seaweeds are rich in potassium, iron, calcium, iodine and magnesium because these minerals are concentrated in sea water. They are also one of the few vegetable sources of vitamin B-12.

Weight Control

Seaweed is a “free food” when it comes to weight control because it provides only 5 to 20 calories in a serving and contains virtually no fat. Its fiber content also contributes to a feeling of satiety, or fullness when eaten in a meal.

Japanese researchers at Hokkaido University have discovered that a substance in brown seaweeds called fucoxanthin helps reduce the accumulation of fat in the body cells of laboratory animals–although there is no evidence that these results carry over to humans.

Salt Substitute

Seaweed granules have been tested in the United Kingdom as a flavor enhancer that could replace sodium in snack foods and other processed food products. Cutting back on salt can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Blood Sugar Regulation

When eaten as part of a meal, seaweed can help balance blood sugar because its soluble fiber content helps slow the rate at which foods are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream.

Digestive Aid

Agar agar is a gelling agent made from seaweed that’s high in soluble fiber. When used as a laxative, agar agar soaks up water in the intestine and swells up. This creates movement in the bowels that helps with elimination of waste.

Other Possible Benefits

Seaweed extracts have been shown to have an anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effect on laboratory animals, though this has not been scientifically proven in humans.

1. Sea Vegetable History

People from all over the world have eaten sea vegetables for centuries. In Boston, years ago, dulse, a purple-colored sea vegetable, was available to purchase in the street markets. Russians and Irish have favorite sea vegetable dishes. Nevertheless, nowhere are sea vegetables as popular as they are in Japan. In Japan, an organization grades sea vegetables for quality as the United States Department of Agriculture grades meats. Sea vegetables are an important part of the macrobiotic diet.

2. Most Nutritious of Food Groups

Due to modern farming techniques and poor topsoil quality, vegetables today are not as vitamin-rich and nutritious as they were in times past. Sea vegetables may be one of the only ways to get precious trace minerals such as cobalt, copper, chromium, fluorine, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc back into our diets. These minerals are necessary in small amounts in our bodies. Of all the foods recommended in the macrobiotic diet, sea vegetables are the richest source of minerals.

3. Sea Vegetable Variety in the Macrobiotic Diet

The most popular sea vegetables used in the macrobiotic diet are arame, dulse, hijiki, kelp, kombu, nori, wakame, Irish moss, and agar-agar for thickening. Their benefits are unmatched. For instance, arame is very high in calcium; dulse is 30 times richer in potassium than bananas and has 200 times the potency of beet root in iron; hijiki has 4 times the amount of calcium of whole milk; kelp has 150 times the amount of iodine and 8 times as much magnesium as garden vegetables; kombu equals corn in phosphorus; nori has as much vitamin A as carrots and twice the amount of protein as some meats; wakame is high in calcium and phosphorus also.

4. Alkalize Acid and Remove Radioactive Substance from the Body

Sea vegetables help alkalize the blood to a healthy pH level. Modern diets and junk food make the blood acidic, which over long periods of time leads to acidosis, which means our bodies do not get enough oxygen. This continued process can lead to cellulite in women, skin disorders and overall unhealthiness. Sea vegetables can also reduce excess fat and mucous. Toxic metals in the intestines turn into harmless salts, thanks to the darker sea vegetables. In 1964 at McGill University in Montreal, an experiment showed sea vegetables removed radioactive strontium-90 from the body.

5. Buying Sea Vegetables

Sea vegetables are in all good health food stories. Usually you will not find the full variety of sea vegetables in one store, but bigger stores may carry most of them. If there is a particular variety, you want talk to the section manager about getting it ordered. You can also order online with Japanese and macrobiotic food outlets.

Overview

Some types of ocean plant life are beneficial for human consumption. Seaweed and other types of algae have been eaten for thousands of years. You can buy seaweed in the dried form or as a supplement at most health food stores. Commonly called sea vegetables, seaweed supplements may also go by other names and address a variety of health concerns.

Types of Sea Vegetables

Seaweed, whose varieties include kelp, kombu, bladderwrack, wakami, nori, dulse and algae, grows rapidly in the cool waters of most oceans, especially along the Pacific coast of North America.

Sea Vegetable Claims

According to The American Cancer Society, some proponents of sea vegetables claim they can prevent or treat myriad physical ailments, from cancer to obesity. They claim that these vegetables contain concentrated nutrients not available in land-based foods, as well as some nutrients that are not available to humans elsewhere. Infomercials and other marketing tactics claim seaweed can help control appetite and aid in weight loss.

Benefits

Seaweed contains high amounts of iodine. According to Dr. Donald W. Miller, the recommended dietary intake of 100 mcg to 150 mcg may be about 100 times too low. Iodine is a crucial element of thyroid hormones and is essential to the proper functioning of the thyroid, the gland located at the base of your neck that regulates your metabolism. Miller says that increased amounts of iodine may protect you from breast cancer and can improve your immune function due to its antioxidant properties.

The “Journal of Nutrition” found that several types of marine algae are also high in iron and vitamin C. Sea kelp may be able to help reduce the uptake of dietary fat by more than 75 percent, according to a 2010 article published in “Science News.”

Some sea vegetables contain varying amounts of carotenoids, flavonoids and alkaloids, which may have anti-inflammatory properties.

The USDA recommends you fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Eating sea vegetables counts towards your daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

Sea vegetables can also be used as thickeners in some food, ranging from infant formula to ice cream.

Iodine Deficiency

Too little iodine in the diet can contribute to hypothyroidism, goiter and mental retardation. According to the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, iodine deficiency is the most preventable cause of mental retardation and brain damage in the world.

Supplements

Common sea vegetable supplements include kelp and red, green or brown algae. Some manufacturers combine kelp with marine algae or other ingredients, such as sodium and iron.

Easy Juice or Smoothie Drink to Lower High Blood Pressure

Categories: Articles, Beverages, High blood pressure, Liver Fire Rising, Liver Yang Rising, Western Medicine

Source:  http://www.blogofherbs.com/recepies/easy-juice-or-smoothie-drink-to-lower-high-blood-pressure

We have discussed previously on how high blood pressure and high cholesterol are in the top of the disease chart in the US and most of the world. 3 of the top 10 medications prescribed in the US are for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Granted, most people are fine taking 1-3 medications a day plus some more for possible side-effects, some people are looking for adjunctive ways to help reduce blood pressure. Similarly, you may be borderline on high blood pressure and you have been prescribed diet and exercise by your doctor. So where do you go from there?

We talked in a previous post about herbs for heart health about herbs and tea and much more information on heart health. Here we will give you a quick recipe on adding some foods to lower blood pressure. Diet and exercise to keep your blood pressure under control or lower it includes: higher intake of fiber, lower intake of salt, lower intake of bad fats, monitor correct cholesterol intake levels, and move your carb intake to whole food and non-refined. Exercise by the American Heart Association is recommended as 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Basically if you do a brisk walk you want to do 30 minutes a day for 5 days. You can cut this in half with intense exercise.

Ok, so that is what we are told to contain our blood pressure and hopefully lower it, but what can we do to lower it? Luckily food therapy and herbal therapy have been used in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Additionally, China has spent lots of money in the last 50 years on research to prove or disprove many of these traditional therapies and advice. High blood pressure remedies from foods (remember herbs are often foods) are quite effective. So, let’s look at this juice or smoothie drink we have for you.

Using a blender, food processor, juicer, or anything else you want at together:
Granny Smith Apple- Typically use a whole or half a cored apple
Celery-
Celery is a big item here and has many other health effects, use a 1-2 stalks at least
Parsley-
Play with this one a little, a healthy pinch will do good but some may need to start lower to not over-power your drink
Bitter Melon-
This can be more bitter to some than others, but the apple should overpower this. You will have to play with how much you use here.
Cucumber-
Cucumber is quite refreshing this way and will add good taste, start with half to a quarter cucumber and modify from there.

No set recipe here, it is a great way to include a juice or smoothie in the morning for blood pressure. Since you should take this for a long period of time, it is more important to find a good ratio that you will enjoy daily! Feel free to send us comments on what ratio you came up with.

Top 10 Anti Inflammation Foods and Food List from an ND database…may surprise you

Categories: Articles, Food Culture, Inflammation, Nutritional Information, Western Medicine

Anti-inflammation food lists
http://theconsciouslife.com/top-10-anti-inflammatory-foods.htm
http://theconsciouslife.com/anti-inflammatory-foods-inflammation-factor-ratings.htm

Curd, buttermilk and the Nobel Prize of 1908

Categories: Articles, Indian, Nutritional Information, Western Medicine

Interesting article on pro and pre biotics, and a reminder of how variety, and a little bit of bacteria in our food is a good thing…

(Granted, the dairy thing may not fly with TCM, but this is a food eaten with hot-spicy foods in a hot-dry climate, so there’s some balance there.)

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/article2299567.ece

Cheese and its biological effects (and why I love it)

Categories: Articles, Damp, Food Education, Food Safety, Vegetarian, Western Medicine

http://www.yumuniverse.com/2011/04/25/dr-jenna-taylor-addiction-to-cheese-is-real-thanks-to-casomorphins/

What are the advantages and disadvantages of butter and ghee when it comes to cooking?

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips, Food Education, Western Medicine

From a nutritional standpoint, both butter and ghee are basically made from the fats of whole milk. Although butter in the United States is almost always made from cow’s milk, the ghee used for cooking in India is often made from buffalo milk. Both ghee and butter are usually 80% milk fat or greater in terms of their composition, and about two-thirds of that fat is saturated fat.

How Butter Is Made

Butter is made by separating cream from milk. Since the fat-based cream portion of the milk is lighter than the water and milk solids portion, the cream in fresh milk will eventually rise to the top of the milk over time if the milk is simply left standing. However, a centrifuge that very forcefully spins can be used to speed up this process. (When milk is centrifuged, the lighter cream will stay closer to the center and the heavier water and solid portions will fly to the outside of the centrifuge.) When cream has been separated from milk, it can be churned until it reaches a semi-solid state. That product is what we call butter.

Clarified Butter and Ghee

Clarified butter is butter that has been melted over low heat and allowed to bubble and simmer until most of the water has been evaporated. Clarified butter is also sometimes called drawn butter. Ghee is essentially clarified butter, although traditional ghee-making processes (originating in India, where ghee is very commonly used in cooking) place a focus on exact steps and specific qualities of the clarified butter. The cooking process is usually extended for a longer period of time with ghee, eliminating more of the moisture and also causing the milk solids to caramelize for eventual removal from the ghee through strainers. The highest-quality ghee is obtained when the long-simmered butter is allowed to cool and only the top-most layer is skimmed off. (That layer becomes the ghee that is considered top-quality and used in cooking.)

Health Consequences of Ghee and Butter

Research on ghee and health is limited, but fairly consistent. When ghee is consumed at levels above 10% total calories, it can increase risk of cardiovascular disease. (For a person consuming 1,800 calories per day, 10% of those calories would be 180 calories, or about 20 grams of fat, which equals approximately 2 tablespoons of ghee.) At levels under 10% of total calories, however, ghee appears to help lower cardiovascular risks, especially when other fats consumed during the day are exclusively from plants or plant oils.

Butter, like ghee, can increase risk of cardiovascular disease when consumed in excessive amounts. One research study has shown that 3 tablespoons of butter per day over 4 weeks can increase total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol. For this reason, if you are going to cook with butter, you will want to keep the amount at a moderate level of no more than 1-2 tablespoons.

The benefits of butter at moderate levels do not yet have the same level of research backing as ghee. However, there is increasing research interest in butter as having some unique potential benefits of its own, particularly in relationship to its vitamin K and vitamin D content. This content may vary, however, depending on the diet and living circumstances of the dairy cow. (We look forward to new research in this area, especially with respect to vitamin K2.)

Types of Fats in Ghee and Butter

When comparing ghee to butter in terms of health, one reason for the more favorable past research record of ghee versus butter might be the increased amount of medium- and short-chain fatty acids in ghee. Butter contains about 12-15% of these medium-chain and short-chain fats, whereas ghee contains about 25%. (Our bodies metabolize medium-chain and short-chain fats differently than long-chain ones, and medium- and short-chain ones are not associated with cardiovascular problems in the same way as the long-chain ones are.)

Ghee Has a Higher Smoke Point than Butter

Ghee tends to have a higher smoke point than butter. For butter, smoke point is typically reached between 325-375 F (163-191 C). Some clarified butters also fall into this general range, but ghee usually has a higher smoke point, between 400-500 F (204-260 C). This higher smoke point can be an advantage when cooking at high heat since smoke point is that moment when heat damage to some of the components in a fat or oil is sufficient to become visible in the form of smoke. When it comes to our health, heating above smoke point is not a good idea with any oil or fat.

Cooking Recommendations

For persons choosing to cook in fat at higher heats in the 400-500 F (204-260 C) range, ghee makes sense to us, provided that it’s used in moderation (no more than 1-2 tablespoons per day). Even for a person deciding to cook in fat, however, the use of butter at higher heats does not make sense to us due to its lower smoke point (325-375 F/163-191 C).

The use of butter and ghee at lower heats (300-375 F/163-191 C) may be acceptable, provided once again that both of these animal fats are used in moderation. Whether there are distinct advantages to the use of butter at lower heats versus plant oils is not clear to us from the existing research. In general, however, we do not like the idea of heating plant oils due to the delicate nature of their polyunsaturated fats and phytonutrients. Since butter has far fewer polyunsaturates than plant oils, it might provide a lower heat cooking alternative for this reason. However, the phytonutrient and vitamin content of butter would still be susceptible to heat damage, and since we have not yet seen research to confirm the health benefits of butter in lower heat cooking, we cannot recommend this practice without the benefit of more research. On our website, we offer a method of healthy sauteing that requires no fat or oil of any kind. You can visit the Cooking Healthy section of our website to learn more about this method.

References

  • Gupta R, Prakash H. Association of dietary ghee intake with coronary heart disease and risk factor prevalence in rural males. J Indian Med Assoc 1997;95(3):67-9, 83. 1997.
  • Kumar MV, Sambaiah K, Lokesh BR. Effect of dietary ghee–the anhydrous milk fat, on blood and liver lipids in rats. J Nutr Biochem 1999;10(2):96-104. 1999.
  • Kumar MV, Sambaiah K, Lokesh BR. Hypocholesterolemic effect of anhydrous milk fat ghee is mediated by increasing the secretion of biliary lipids. J Nutr Biochem 2000;11(2):69-75. 2000.
  • Nestel PJ, Chronopulos A, Cehun M. Dairy fat in cheese raises LDL cholesterol less than that in butter in mildly hypercholesterolaemic subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 2005 Sep;59(9):1059-63. 2005.
  • Niranjan TG, Krishnakantha TP. Effect of dietary ghee–the anhydrous milk fat on lymphocytes in rats. Mol Cell Biochem 2001;226(1-2):39-47. 2001.
  • Prattala RS, Groth MV, Oltersdorf US, et al. Use of butter and cheese in 10 European countries: a case of contrasting educational differences. Eur J Public Health 2003 Jun;13(2):124-32. 2003.
  • Shankar SR, Bijlani RL, Baveja T, et al. Effect of partial replacement of visible fat by ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid profile. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2002;46(3):355-60. 2002.
  • Shankar SR, Yadav RK, Ray RB, et al. Serum lipid response to introducing ghee as a partial replacement for mustard oil in the diet of healthy young Indians. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2005 Jan;49(1):49-56. 2005.
  • Singh RB, Niaz MA, Ghosh S, et al. Association of trans fatty acids (vegetable ghee) and clarified butter (Indian ghee) intake with higher risk of coronary artery disease in rural and urban populations with low fat consumption. Int J Cardiol 1996 Oct 25;56(3):289-98; discussion 299-300. 1996.
  • Trevisan M, Krogh V, Freudenheim J, et al. Consumption of olive oil, butter, and vegetable oils and coronary heart disease risk factors. The Research Group ATS-RF2 of the Italian National Research Council. JAMA 1990, Vol. 263 No. 5: 688 – 692. 1990.
  • Yellowlees WW. Milk, butter, and heart disease. Lancet 1991 Apr 27;337(8748):1041-2. 1991.
  • Zock PL, Katan MB. Butter, margarine and serum lipoproteins. Atherosclerosis 1997 May;131(1):7-16. 1997.

Â

http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=newtip&dbid=9&utm_source=rss_reader&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss_feed