Tags: seasonal health

‘Virological penicillin’: Plant MIR2911 directly targets influenza A viruses

In a new study, Chen-Yu Zhang’s group at Nanjing University present an extremely novel finding that a plant microRNA, MIR2911, which is enriched in jinyinhua2honeysuckle, directly targets influenza A viruses IAV including H1N1, H5N1 and H7N9. Drinking of honeysuckle soup can prevent IAV infection and reduce H5N1-induced mice death.

-via ‘Virological penicillin’: Plant MIR2911 directly targets influenza A viruses.

jinyinhuaHoneysuckle – known as Jin Yin Hua  in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a commonly used botanical particularly in the treatment of seasonal illness (colds and flus).  In TCM Jin Yin Hua has several therapeutic actions related to it’s ability to clear heat.  While herbs are usually used in combination rather than singly, each herb will still have representative properties and actions.  Jin Yin Hua’s ability to clear heat is used commonly to treat  febrile disorders, upper respiratory disorders, sores and abscesses due to heat toxins, and diarrhea and dysentery.  A well known formula containing Jin Yin Hua is Yin Qiao San (sometimes spelled Yin Chiao San) – that you may have received from your acupuncturist or seen at a health food store.  This formula has Jin Yin Hua as a primary herb and is traditionally used to treat the early stages of warm disease patterns  – what you may experience as a cold or flu – with symptoms that may include:  slight fever, aversion to cold, slight aversion to wind, sore throat, thirst and cough.  If you feel like you’re catching something and have these symptoms – visit your local licensed acupuncturist and see if Yin Qiao is right for you**!  PS – acupuncture is super effective at the early stages of seasonal illness – if you think you are coming down with something, come on in.  There’s lots we can do to help you get through it faster and with less intense symptoms.  If you’re not sick, come on in and make sure all your systems are go!

 **Please be aware that not all colds and/or flus will present this way and Yin Qiao San may NOT be the best formula for you – it is important that you are assessed by a licensed practitioner**


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Doctor’s Orders: For Better Health, Put Your Hands in the Dirt | TakePart

I love this!  Prescriptions not only for eating fruits and vegetables instead of taking pills, but actually to get out and garden, grow your own food.

Instead of scribbling out a drug dosage, some doctors are asking patients to incorporate good habits of self-care (like more movement and leafy greens) into their routine, not just as rote advice but as a medical directive—often before their health goes haywire. Doctor’s orders.

-via Doctor’s Orders: For Better Health, Put Your Hands in the Dirt | TakePart.

And not only does  gardening provide moderate activity and let you be intimately involved with your own food produce, but research has also show that getting your hands in the dirt can make you happier (really! UK researchers found a friendly bacteria that is common in soil produces similar effects in the brain as antidepressants).   So what are you waiting for!  Get out and garden!

Off the grid

I got out of Portland for the weekend and spent three great days out in nature, camping, hiking, taking photos and spending time with friends.  I think it’s really important to plan time off the grid – away from phones and computers.  Every time I do it, I wonder why I don’t do it more often.

nature, time and patience

I think it’s so easy to get caught up in technology and it’s promise of faster/easier/more  and to not be aware of the stress it brings. Of always being on and reachable and expected to respond.  I never think it impacts me that much until I go a few days without it and find out how much more relaxed and less stressed I am.

DSC_0267Getting away from it all is such a nice reset – I come back feeling refreshed and relaxed and ready to get back to it!  The clean air, the sounds of nature (in my case the McKenzie River flowing by), waking up with the sunshine, playing in the dirt – it’s all part of self-care and healing to both your mind and body.   If you haven’t done it yet this summer, make some time to get out in nature and get away from technology and let me know how you feel when you get back!


What’s your favorite way to reset? 




I was just re-reading some  notes from my awesome trip to Raleigh a few ago where I learned all about Functional Movement Systems and got to hear some pretty amazing speakers.  I just came across a quote from one of them that made me smile because, well, it’s pretty much always true for me.

“People who can palpate well have an anatomy book on their bedside table.” – Behnad Honarbakhsh

And while I don’t have a bedside table, I almost constantly have one anatomy book or another next to my bed – I am always trying to find new ways to understand the body and improve my skills as a clinician.  I thought it would be fun to give you a look at the current edition of #booksnexttomybed.


As you can see, I read a bunch of things at one time, and while my taste can vary somewhat, I usually have something in my stack related to health and the body, meditation and the mind and usually at least one fiction read.  This pile contains reference, re-reading, partially read and a couple I am hoping to start soon!  Here’s a quick rundown:

Thieme Atlas of Anatomy – by far my favorite anatomy book of all time (for the musculo-skeletal system) – yes, I like it much better than Netter.

The Sports Gene – a fascinating look at the nature v nurture in athletic excellence, and some super interesting research.

How to Meditate – I haven’t started this yet, but I am a huge fan of Pema Chodron’s writing, and am excited to give this one a read.

Descartes’ Error– an oldie but a goody – I love the way Damasio talks about the mind and body though it can definitely get a bit technical.  This is a throwback to my days doing neurosci research, and tend to re-read it every so often when I am missing that world.

The Story of the Human Body – just started this, am hoping to come glean some good info though!

Ruling Your World – another meditation book that’s long been on my list.  I often re-read and recommend Sakyong Mipham’s other book: Turning the Mind into an Ally for people looking to get into meditation – really accessible and practical.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – And while I do read all of the above for fun – here’s my bit of fiction!  Murakami is a perennial favorite of mine, and this one was a quick read that I found really enjoyable.

That’s what I’m reading these days – what’s on your nightstand?