Tags: seasonal

‘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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Spring newsletter from Anatomy Acupuncture

Not on our mailing list?  Check out the link to our Spring newsletter below!  It’s full of spring-time tips to help you heal faster and move better!

Spring newsletter from Anatomy Acupuncture

Spring newsletter from Anatomy Acupuncture.

Xin Nian Kuai Le!



Starting January 31st, the Lunar new year (also known as Chinese New Year) begins!  According to the Chinese zodiac, we have now entered the Year of the Yang Wood Horse.  It promises adventure, growth and everything moving a little bit faster.

Our friends over at the Oregon Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine say this about the coming year: “it’s the year of the wood Horse, mother and child, wood and fire, and a great time for communication and commercial ventures to gallop toward new horizons.”

If you’re in Portland, check out the list of activities going on at Lan Su for the next couple of weeks!  Also, for more information about what the year is supposed to bring energetically – visit The Western School of Feng Shui.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!


Watching Over the 5000 Hours — NEJM


Wondering what the 5000 hours are?  Roughly: the amount of waking time per year that you are responsible for your own health and well-being.

Scary thought, right?

 (photo by Robbert Van Der Steeg used under creative commons license) 

The article referenced here from the New England Journal of Medicine is about how to increase patient compliance when taking medications – which may or may not be of any interest to you.  However, the issue of compliance (for anything: exercises, herbs, diet…etc) is something that is a huge part of healthcare, and wellness in general and is THE major roadblock in people taking care of themselves. This article got me thinking about some issues that are pretty near and dear to my heart – like that of reactive vs preventative medicine.  As a healthcare provider my time with you is so limited compared to the rest of the time in your life – so how do I, as a provider, give you the tools and desire to change your lifestyle/behavior/diet in such a way that it improves your overall health and well-being?

The dominant form of health care financing in the United States supports a reactive, visit-based model in which patients are seen when they become ill, typically during hospitalizations and at outpatient visits. That care model falls short not just because it is expensive and often fails to proactively improve health, but also because so much of health is explained by individual behaviors, most of which occur outside health care encounters. Indeed, even patients with chronic illness might spend only a few hours a year with a doctor or nurse, but they spend 5000 waking hours each year engaged in everything else — including deciding whether to take prescribed medications or follow other medical advice, deciding what to eat and drink and whether to smoke, and making other choices about activities that can profoundly affect their health.
-via Automated Hovering in Health Care — Watching Over the 5000 Hours — NEJM.  [emphasis mine]

If you’ve never heard my thoughts on the current healthcare system (lucky you), one of my main gripes as a healthcare provider is the above, exactly.  The huge dependence on reactive medicine (and the financial reward for this, but that’s a whole other topic for another time).  Reactive medicine is necessary, yes (there are traumas and things in this world that no amount of prevention can prevent) – but largely the burden on our healthcare system is due to mostly preventable chronic diseases that could probably be avoided in the first place, or could be managed in such a way that expensive and frequent complications do not occur.  So then, why is preventative medicine not our focus?  So much of our research time, dollars and energy are spent on fixing something that’s already broken – don’t get me wrong, I do think we should certainly invest in reactive medicine  –but why isn’t our focus on preventing/minimizing the potential for these big, pricey problems such that the need for reactive medicine (which by nature is often too late and too expensive) LESS?

The second development is our deepening understanding of behavioral economics and the reality that although most people want better health and typically know what it would take to achieve it, the desires, distractions, and urgencies of the moment often get in the way of pursuing what’s in their own long-term self-interest.
–via Automated Hovering in Health Care — Watching Over the 5000 Hours — NEJM. [emphasis mine]

And there you have it – the trouble with prevention.  The difficulty with a paradigm shift to preventative  medicine is many-fold: for one, prevention does not have the sex-appeal of  “a cure” – it is not exciting and dramatic – it takes patience and diligence and putting aside immediate gratification for the big picture benefit. Whereas reactive medicine is so much easier to wrap our heads around (I got hurt/sick – now I have surgery/medicine to fix it).   For another, with preventative medicine a majority of the burden of change falls on us as patients – we are responsible and accountable for our own well-being, and this would require a mindset change (not to mention real effort) from our largely “magic-bullet/take a pill/ cure” loving society.  

But wait, there’s more!