Sunday, November 23, 2008

Juice Plus Vineyard Blend

Forgot to mention one small adjustment to my supplement regimen this month, stopped the Juice Plus Garden Blend and changed to the Juice Plus Vineyard Blend. My acupuncturist said she thought this possible because my liver is doing better -- good to hear that! Still doing the Orchard Blend also.

My acupuncturist said there were studies showing the the Vineyard Blend helps plump up the endometrium which is good for fertility, but some searching just now on the internet did not turn up anything except this general article about how Juice Plus is a helpful supplement during pregnancy.

slow-cooked bean stew recipe

I made this recipe for slow-cooked bean stew the other day, and it was really delicious! I highly recommend it.

I substituted 1/8 of a cup of blackstrap molasses for the 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

tea alternatives

As I wrote in an earlier post, fibroid shrinkers should avoid tea, coffee, and chocolate -- not just due to the caffeine, but due to the methyl-xanthines that can promote fibroid growth.

That makes hot drinks challenging, especially now that it's getting chilly outside and something warm really hits the spot.

I've mentioned previously that I'm a fan of Vanilla Hazelnut Dessert Tea by Celestial Seasonings, which is particularly good for fibroid shrinkers not only because it lacks regular tea but because it has milk thistle and cinnamon. And because it's delicious!

But no matter how good something is, there is only so much you can drink of it. So I discussed with my acupunturist what else I could put in my hot beverage lineup.

One suggestion was rooibos tea, which is free of caffeine, is full of antioxidants, and has other health benefits. The problem is, I don't paticularly care for the taste.

However, I've found two kinds that work well. One is Zhena's Gypsy Tea in Red Lavender in which the lavendar flavor nicely covers the rooibos. The other is Numi Green Rooibos , which is more mellow because it's green. I'm enjoying both of these a lot.

My acupuncturist also urged me to try the coffee substitute Teeccino, which she called "tonifying." It seems to have various health benefits, including being alkaline which is helpful for fibroid shrinkers. I got some of the Hazelnut and will let you know how it is. (In order to make it I also needed to get a French coffee press.) It has almonds and figs in it, sounds yummy!)

Friday, November 21, 2008


The Bioset machine used by my acupuncturist also gives recommendations for gem therapy -- it suggests a stone you can wear that will help with your healing process.

Interestingly, for me it came up bloodstone. This is a stone traditionally associated with healing tumors and fertility.

These pages talk about the properties of bloodstone:

I bought this necklace (who doesn't mind an excuse to buy jewlery!) and also a bloodstone pendant to attach to my eye pillow.

Ok, so maybe I'm just activating my placebo effect, but I'm willing to try anything! :)

more on xiao liu pian

I am sticking with the Xiao Yao Wan for the time being as they seem to be such a good match for me, but for those who are interested this page has further information on xiao liu pian as well as detailed discussion of Chinese herbs that help with fibroids and clinical trials associated. Worthwhile reading, would be worth sharing with your acupuncturist too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

when to use castor oil packs

Just had a query on my original post on castor oil packs, which made me go back and re-read it, and realize that there is conflicting information about when to use it.

For some reason I had thought menstruation was the best time to use it, but evidently (according to a whole bunch of sites, just google "castor oil pack menstruation") you are not supposed to use it during your period. Oops, I messed up last month, that's when I used it!

If you are TTC, you shouldn't use it right before ovulation or post-ovulation. So if you rule out menstruation too, this basically means that if you are TTC you should not use it at all.

Here is a sampling of the different advice that various websites give about when and how often to use them. If you poke around more, I am sure you can find many other recommendations.

Daily use as often as possible

Two times per week

At least three times a week

Five nights in a row, then rest for two nights, for three weeks

Do not use during heavy menses

Do not use during menstruation
(a whole bunch of others say this too)

Use with care during menstruation

During pregnancy do not use with heat, but ok to use without heat

This page cites an interesting study on benefits of castor oil pack use, and also raises some good questions which I have not seen answered anywhere.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tilapia Veracruz

I just made this scruptious Tilapia Veracruz recipe for dinner. It calls for grouper but I used tilapia. I quadrupled the olives and left out the water (why add water if you are just going to boil it down to thicken it?) and it came out just right.

Terrific over brown basmati rice, with a few chunks of fresh pineapple on the side.

I highly recomend this dish that's compatible with the fibroid shrinking diet!

mercury article

Cleaning up around here, found an old Time magazine with an interesting article on mercury and why there seems to be so much of it in our environment.

Interestingly, seems like Obama was already on the case then...

As readers know, I ended up with a mercury overload after eating too much fish while trying to avoid meat. This kind of toxic overload is not helpful for fibroid-fighters, to say the least...

Friday, November 14, 2008

overview of diet recommendations

Someone asked me for an overview of my diet recommendations, here they are!

No dairy, No red meat or poultry, if you must have poultry make it turkey
No more than 3 eggs per week
If you have any dairy, meat, poultry or eggs, they absolutely must be hormone-free
no sugar
no highly processed foods
As many green veggies as possible
As many crubiciferous veggies as possible
avoid wheat and other gluten
Grains like millet, amaranth, and quinoa are good
Beans are a good source of protein
Stay away from soy except natto, tempeh, and miso soup, and those in moderation
add seaweed to your diet
Make sure everything you eat is organic
get a water filter
don't store anything in plastic containers, don't drink bottled water from plastic bottles
drink 1 spoonful of blackstrap molasses in hot water 3 times per day

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beta Beet beet juice powder

I've written before about how beets are supposed to be a good food for fibroids -- Dominican healers use the raw juice along with blackstrap molasses.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, beets help to cleanse the liver and treat anemia -- two things that fibroid shrinkers need!

But beets are not exactly convenient to prepare and eat every day. So the other day it occured to me, what about getting beet juice in a powder form?

So I got some Beta Beet, and now can start enjoying beets every day! Sockin' it to them fibroids!

juice fasting

In preparing my next item, just found this one --- someone who shrunk her fibroid with a juice fast!

NAET, Biomeridian, and Bioset

I have been meaning to write for a long time about NAET and the Biomeridian machine. This is the technique that my acupuncturist uses to figure out which herbs and supplements are a good match for me.

I discovered NAET about 12 years ago, when I had a terrible problem with losing my voice (a major problem since I have to talk a lot in my job!) that nothing seemed to be able to solve and none of the expensive tests from the western medicine specialists could identify the cause of. My chiropractor asked to give me another test, a RAST test that showed I had a variety of food allergies – to gluten, sugar, tuna, tomatoes, citrus, rice and a few other things I can’t even recall now. In other words, I had to get rid of nearly everything in my kitchen! But when I avoided those foods, I felt better. Yet trying to keep up avoiding all these foods was quite a strain.

Then a friend told me how her sister’s boyfriend’s mother had a similar problem yet worse – to the extent that she could not eat anything not prepared herself. But she was cured by a woman who did something called NAET. I was warned, however, “It’s pretty unusual.” But by that point I was willing to try anything, as most of my caloric intake was from nuts, potatoes, and corn.

I went to the doctor she recommended, a quirky woman from the Philippines who wore a mumu. She was indeed unconventional, but she was also a board-certified allergist. The NAET therapy had been discovered by a woman, Dr. Nabumiprod, who was studying acupuncture and used it to cure herself of her allergies. It can be done using acupuncture, or just acupressure. After the various treatments, one for each of the items on the RAST test plus a bunch more that the allergist recommended, my throat problem had cleared up and I had also rid myself of the hayfever that had been a one Claritin per day habit for ages. Wow! I mean the allergies had completely gone away. I was so glad to be rid of them.

However, suddenly years later, after moving to California, my allergies cropped up again – now I believe this was not only exposure to new pollens etc. but also because my system had been weakened by the heavy metal buildup I had developed (see previous post). I found another NAET practitioner, who is also an acupuncturist. After I started working with her, I found out that my fibroids had grown. I then started having her do NAET treatments that would support the fibroid treatment plan. After my ultrasound in May did not come out as well as I had hoped, I consolidated all my acupuncture work with her because I thought she could step up my approach. I feel much better that she can pinpoint with the Biomeridian machine (used for NAET) what herbal formulas will really help me.

So how can the NAET treatments help with fibroids? Several ways:

1. By eliminating food allergies, the NAET helps the system process food more effectively and also be less irritated, which creates a better environment for healing.
2. In addition to eliminating external allergies, NAET can also be used to treat imbalances in the body.
3. Enabling precise matching of herbs and other treatments using the Biomeridian machine.

In my experience, the Biomeridian machine is extremely helpful, both for matching treatments and also for making the NAET itself easier and more effective (for example, when using the Biomeridian machine the usual 25-hour period of avoiding the allergen required by NAET is not needed as it clears the allergen instantly.)

Recently my acupuncturist has also been using a machine called the Bioset. It's similar to the Biomeridian -- she describes it as being the difference between a PC and a Mac. One is better for some things, and one is better for others.

All this stuff is referred to as "energy medicine." Some people, like my husband, think it's all crazy. But it has helped me a lot. I am hoping it will do for my fibroids what it did for my allergies -- make them scram.


I had read somewhere about how alfalfa is supposed to be good for fertility, so I brought some in and sure enough my acupuncturist determined that it was an excellent match for me.

My acupunturist also suggested that I buy some alfalfa sprouts and eat them. Sure enough, as you can see from this last link, from a Chinese medicine perspective they are good for the spleen, which is the organ I am really trying to work on right now. Being added to my shopping list!

This page gives a good overview of the positive effects of alfalfa, while also warning that it should not be consumed by pregnant women, so I am keeping it in my pre-ovulation arsenal.

Note, alfalfa is estrogenic, so some people recommend that those who have fibroids avoid it, and some recommend that those with fibroids take it because it will displace the body's excess estrogen in the receptors. This is the same debate that exists with soy. As readers know normally I avoid anything estrogenic, but this came up so strongly as a positive for me that I am going to take it...

Australian flower essences

I wrote previously about the Bach flower essences. This time it seems that none of those was a match for me, so my acupuncturist checked me against the Australian flower essences. Sure enough, one was a match -- Bush Gardenia. Again, something relating to my relationship with my husband, looks like we need better communication -- but then again I already knew that. It's really eerie how the one that comes up always seems to be so relevant.

Here's the site where I ordered mine. They have information on how to use them too, unlike the Bach you take straight from the dropper (phew, easier). This site also has a photo of the inventor of these flower essences, Ian White. My, he does look like Fabio! :)

changes to my supplement regimen

I went to my acupuncturist today and have made several changes to my supplementation routine.


Bach flower essence Hornbeam
Women's balance homeopathic


Beta Beet
Australian flower essence Bush Gardenia
(for the above three, I will write separate posts in a moment...)

Continuing with the Jia Wei Xiao Yao San pre-ovulation and then for post-ovulation am going to do Xiao Yao Wan from Plum Flower Brand. It's very similar to the Jia Wei Xiao Yao San except it doesn't have the herbs for heat and it lacks the stagnation-busting Mu Dan Pi which is contraindicated if one might be pregnant.

This page discussed Xiao Yao Wan's use for fibroids, and it also mentions some exciting clinical trial results for another formula, Xiao Liu Pan:

A 1992 study completed at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CATCM) and published in the Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of herbal treatment. Researchers Jiang Xinglei and Luo Xianchu tracked ultrasounds results of 30 women (ages 26 to 50) while they were being treated with the herbal formula Xiao Liu Pian. Each patient received a 0.3 gram herbal tablet three times a day for three months. At the end of the trial, 15 of the subjects had either substantial or total fibroid shrinkage, while an additional 13 had some degree of fibroid shrinkage. In 98 percent of the women, typical fibroid symptoms like excessive bleeding, abdominal pain and bloating virtually stopped.

My acupuncturist likes to switch my herbs around periodically (as you have probably noticed), going to tell her about this one...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DHC Germinated Brown Rice

On the fibroid-shrinking diet, I eat a lot of rice. It's nutritious, gluten-free, and combined with beans is a good source of protein. And of course I have brown rice, which is much more nutritious than white.

I usually use organic brown Basmati rice, which is said to be the most digestible.

However sometimes I get bored, and for variety I have been using It's not organic, but the germination process increases the digestible vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It also tastes great, with a nice texture and reminds me of Japan where I first discovered this product. It's short grained, so a nice contrast from the long-grained Basmati.

Q-link pendant

Ok, tell me I'm crazy, but I have been hearing a lot about the negative health effects of mobile phones and EMF's from computer monitors and other electrical equipment on health. And I've been wondering, perhaps this could be affecting me, increasing the stress on my body and not contributing to the anti-fibroid fight?

When I mentioned this to her, my acupuncturist suggested to me the Q-link pendant. It sounded odd to me but there is a bunch of research behind it. So I ordered one, to be the pendant equivalent of a "thinking cap" when I am sitting at my desk staring at my computer screen all day. It just arrived, let's see if it helps my productivity and reduces my stress, which should help with my fibroid shrinking and fertility among other things!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

more on spleen qi deficiency and fibroids

As a follow-up to my post on this topic the other day, here's some info I tuned up on the web relating to spleen qi deficiency and fibroids.
quote from this page:
Spleen Qi Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation is the third way in which fibroids may present in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Women with this pattern may present with digestive problems and irritability. The formula used for these women might include hawthorn fruits (Shan Zha) .

this is on Chronic Fatigue but is interesting

Fertility Yoga

I picked up Fertility Yoga with Monica Morell and did it this morning with my husband.

It turns out the yoga for fertility is not that much different from any other yoga class, other than being a bit slower and gentler. It was a nice workout, especially since we have been busy and haven't been exercising as regularly as we would like. My husband enjoyed it too.

If you are someone who does a lot of yoga regularly, you might be disappointed in this video as it will seem too basic for you. Indeed, there was only one pose in here that I had not done before, the Frog. But if you are a yoga fan and want to know what yoga you can do that won't be too strenuous as you are trying to conceive, this could be helpful.

However, if you are new to yoga and want to do yoga that will help your fertility or fibroids, this could be a good choice for you. Although she does not specifically mention fibrods, she points out how the poses are helpful to the reproductive system, and also how several of the poses are particularly good for the thyroid which seems to be a related issue for many women with fibroids.

It's also good if like me you would like a gentle practice that helps you get back into the yoga swing of things, and that you are comfortable doing in the 2 weeks after ovulation.

Friday, November 7, 2008

spleen qi deficiency

As blog readers know, I am TTC but it didn't work this month. I've been reading
The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies and according to it, my basal body temperature chart shows some signs of spleen qi deficiency in the luteal phase.

Reading further, in her excellent chapter on fibroids, the author gives the case study of a patient with a large fibroid that initially didn't respond to herbs, but when she added herbs for spleen qi deficiency, the fibroid had disappeared by the patient's next gyn visit. Although my bleeding is under control now, I also saw that too long and heavy menstrual bleeding is also a sign of spleen qi deficiency.

So, I marched into my acupuncturist and said, we had better work on my spleen. She agreed that made sense. and gave me Jia Wei Xiao Yao San. This works a lot on the liver, but one needs to calm the liver in order to help the spleen, to stop the liver from "insulting" the spleen. I'm using the Evergreen brand, not the ones on these pages, but the following pages have some good info about this formula:

Ingredients in this are: Dang gui, Bai Shao, Fu Ling, Bai Zhu, Chai Hu, Zhi Gan Cao, Mu Dan Pi, Zhi Zi, Wei Jiang, and Bo He.

The Infertility Cure also lists Shan Yao as one of the best herbs for strengthening spleen, and what do you know it's ingredient #1 in the Tao of Wellness Hot Herbal Cereal that I mentioned in a previous post. No wonder I love it so much! I discovered though, that it does not taste good sweet but is wonderful as a savory dish. I buy one turkey thigh and throw that and the cereal in the crockpot. Sometimes I add garlic, onion, carrots or even potatoes, but sometimes not. I cook it overnight and it's ready for breakfast. My husband likes it too (I usually give him the turkey thigh). This cereal also contains Fu Ling, a component in the formula mentioned above.

Good news too, my acupuncturist says she can give me some herbs to work on my spleen even post-ovulation, when blood-breaking herbs are contraindicated because I'm trying to get pregnant. That will be a different formula than the one above. This is good because it's been bothering me not to be taking any herbs during the second part of my cycle. I like to feel like I'm always doing something!

just ordered this workbook

If you are trying to shrink your fibroids for fertility purposes, this workbook looks like it could be very helpful. I just ordered it, and the CD too..

Monday, November 3, 2008

A new therapy to try -- Body Talk

I subscribe to the Dr. Lark women's health newsletter, which tends to have interesting tidbits I don't see elsewhere. One of those was a feature on a new form of energy medicine called Body Talk. The article was so glowing, and the practioner just a couple of towns down, that I decided to give it a try.

I went to two sessions this spring with the practioner profiled, and thought that they were really helpful. But then she had a baby and went on maternity eave and I got busy getting married, etc. However, this month when TTC failed I decided to step up my efforts on fibroid shrinking and fertility enhancement and took a look around for another local practitioner and use the Body Talk again. I went to another person today, Lisa Sullivan, and was quite impressed.

If you've ever tried Reiki, Body Talk is along the same lines, it deals with your energy systems. You lay there silently while the practioner puts her hands on your stomach and forehead; later in the treatment she put her hand right over my uterus. Basically it feels very relaxing, also my stomach gurgled a lot which makes sense since she was also working on my digestive system. The practitioner is obviously concentrating, but you just have to lay there. While it's happening you can feel yourself gradually feeling better.

Then afterwards the practioner reports what they worked on, what aspect of your body needed healing. I'm telling you it's really amazing, she told me things about what has been going on with me lately, what I've been worried about lately, etc. that nobody else could have known, and told me how those were showing up physically, and what she did to unwind them. Wow!

I feel like this is a great adjunct to acupuncture, and also is very helpful in guiding me where to focus in my emotional work I'm doing.

I realize this probably sounds and seems way-out to many of the people reading this, but I feel like it's really helpful to me. On this page, you can see if there is a practioner near you. If you are struggling with trying to shrink your fibroids and are not making as much progress as you would like, this might be worth trying.