4 Points For Big Toe Pain (Part 1)

Big toe (hallux) pain occurs in a significant number of people at some point in their lives.  Not only affecting athletes, hallux pain also includes the sedentary population to a significant degree.  Early assessment and treatment of big toe pain is important in preventing long-term damage and chronic reinjury.

Although hallux pain triggers are various, this article will be focused on pain due to stress and strain on the joint due to the surrounding musculature.  If hallux pain is mainly located on the plantar (bottom) side of the foot, the four points found here may help provide significant relief.  These simple points can be manipulated oneself or treated by a skilled massage therapist or licensed acupuncturist.

Point 1 –  Abductor hallucis muscle.  This muscle is responsible for plantar flexion of the hallux and some medial deviation (hallux varus) of the proximal phalanx (big toe points away from other toes).  The abductor hallucis gives structure to the medial arch of the foot as well.  Tight abductor hallucis muscles can be easily mistaken for plantar fasciitis pain.  A notable distinction is that this pain is typically concentrated along the medial arch of the foot between the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint and the calcaneous (heel).  [See Figure 1 for treatment location.]

Point 2 –  Adductor hallucis muscle.  Compared to abductor hallucis, this muscle similarly plantar flexes the big toe, but laterally deviates (hallux valgus) the proximal phalanx (big toe points toward other toes).  The opposing forces of the adductor hallucis and abductor hallucis provide stabilization of the hallux in the transverse plane.  Severe lateral deviation of the proximal phalanx is sometimes referred to as a bunion. The adductor hallucis pain is typically concentrated on the lateral edge of the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint and can spread to an area beneath the 2nd through 5th metatasophalangeal joints. This muscle is considered a deep foot muscle and will require adequate pressure for stimulation.  [See Figure 1 for treatment location.]

Point 3 –  Flexor Hallucis Brevis muscle.  The flexor hallucis brevis shares some of the function of both the abductor and adductor hallucis muscles.  Pain caused by the flexor hallucis brevis is mainly located around the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint.  This muscle is considered a deep foot muscle and will require adequate pressure for stimulation. [See Figure 1 for treatment location.]

1 - Abductor hallucis; 2 - adductor hallucis; 3 - flexor hallucis brevis

(Figure 1)  1 – Abductor hallucis; 2 – Adductor hallucis; 3 – Flexor hallucis brevis

Point 4 –  Flexor Hallucis Longus muscle.  This muscle is located outside the foot and is thus known as an extrinsic foot muscle.  It resides in the lower leg behind the soleus muscle and attaches to the fibula.  The flexor hallucis longus is a comparably large plantar flexor of the hallux and is thus responsible for strong plantar flexion of the big toe, especially during walking and running.  This muscle is one of the most important muscles to treat in big toe pain and due to its remote location, one of the least addressed.  Since this muscle is deep to the soleus, adequate pressure is necessary for proper treatment of the flexor hallucis longus.  [See Figure 2 for treatment location.]

Figure 2 - Flexor Hallucis Longus

(Figure 2) 4 – Flexor hallucis longus

In any painful foot condition, treat the musculature and soft tissue first.  Tight muscles will continuously pull on joints and elicit pain.  This common occurrance is often overlooked in sourcing joint pain.  Intolerance to orthotics may be a sign that the muscles in the foot are causing pain or problems associated with the big toe and foot.  Before seeking out orthotics, one should have the surrounding musculature checked for tender trigger points and sensitivity.  Orthotics typically solve structural problems of the foot and should not be used until all of the functional components (i.e. muscles, tendons, fascia) have been treated for some length of time.  Calf cramps, foot cramps, poor circulation in the lower extremities are other signs that muscular problems in the feet are occuring.  This functional approach to medicine can save hundreds to thousands of dollars in expenses and can circumvent more invasive procedures, such as surgery.

A simple, effective tool in maintaining the functional ability of the hallux is a rubber ball.  Roll each foot over a ball for 5 minutes a day, spending a minute or more on each of the points listed above.  Sit on the floor with legs straight out and place the ball under #4.  The weight of the lower leg may provide enough pressure to stimulate the flexor hallucis longus.  If not, cross the other leg over top of the leg being treated to increase the weight.  This procedure should be followed 4-5 days a week for a couple of months to allow the muscle spasms and tightness to abate.  This is an excellent way to promote good blood circulation, massage intrinsic foot muscles, stimulate nerve endings, and refresh tired, worn out feet.

August Point Wellness offers a self-massage tool called the Sciaticare Ball that is quite a bit more useful than the rubber ball stated previously.  The Sciaticare Ball can be used on feet, calves, back, hips, and much more.  With an easy to place handle, it allows better control in massaging those hard to reach places.  Visit www.augustpoint.com or Amazon to purchase.  As always, for best results, seek out the guidance of a licensed massage therapist or acupuncturist and combine professional treatment with self-treatment for optimal health.

Related links:

Big Toe Pain…And Gout is NOT the Diagnosis

Joint Pain is Not Always Arthritis

Over 50 million Americans have been doctor-diagnosed with some form of arthritis.  Most of these cases have chronic joint pain associated with them, which is the typical reason for the doctor visit.  There is a correlation between arthritis and chronic joint pain, but not all chronic joint pain is arthritis.  Yet, the general public has been led to believe that arthritis is the primary reason for joint pain.  Although sometimes true, not all joint pain should be equated to arthritis.  In fact, a significant portion of joint related pain is not due to the joint at all.

Joint movement occurs because of muscle contraction.  For instance, quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh extend the knee, while hamstring muscles in the back of the thigh flex the knee.  When the quadriceps muscles are activated, the hamstring muscles deactivate to allow for reduced resistance during motion of knee extension.  The opposite holds true such that hamstrings activate and quadriceps deactivate in knee flexion.  This is Sherrington’s law of reciprocal inhibition.

Muscular Forces From Quadriceps Can Cause Knee Joint Pain

When muscles are tight, the connected joint can get pulled in multiple directions.  (See image for example of quadriceps muscle forces pulling on the knee joint.)  The line of force on the joint is always along the length of the muscle.  When severe enough, the unbalanced muscular forces can actually alter the movement of the joint and cause repetitive joint stress to the point of pain.  This pain can mimic a plethora of arthritic conditions.  The interesting feature of muscular-related joint pain is that the muscles don’t often exhibit pain themselves.  Hence, the muscular spasm or tightness tends to escape detection as the true source of the joint problem.

Muscular-induced joint pain is the most common reason for joint pain.  It is also the most-missed cause of joint pain for the reason stated earlier, in that a muscle will often cause joint pain before the muscle elicits pain itself.  Differentiating arthritis from muscular-induced joint pain is key in determining the proper treatment solution for the patient.  Otherwise, joint pain that can be fixed through non-invasive methods will either persist or worse, lead the patient towards an unnecessary surgical procedure.

The moral of the story here is that arthritis is just one component of joint pain.  Muscles that are tight, overused, and/or imbalanced with its antagonist muscles cause joint pain as well and can resemble arthritis pain and other degenerative joint disease.  Any doctor or medical professional who claims joint pain is completely due to arthritis or other rheumatic joint disease has missed a compelling piece of the diagnostic puzzle, the role of the muscle.

If one is looking for a natural muscle rub to help in treatment of muscular induced joint pain and arthritis, August Point Wellness carries the Sciaticare Brand Penetrating Muscle Rub.  It is an all natural alternative to Ben-Gay, Tiger Balm, Icy Hot, and others.

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Misdiagnosis of Arthritis

Arthritis is a common complaint for many, especially as one gets older.  The sufferer doesn’t understand why they have joint pain and thus commits to a battery of procedures including X-rays, MRI’s, blood panels, medical reports, etc.  Sometimes, definitive sources of pain are found and the tests show severe tissue degradation or arthritic markers in the blood. But more commonly, the tests do not reveal sufficient evidence to prove that arthritis is even present.

This situation has played out countless times.  Data wrought with uncertainties leads to a shaky conclusion.  The patient is in pain and is looking for an answer.  The doctor, wanting to ease the patient’s concerns, may be too eager to point a finger at any anomaly found in the test results. The diagnosis of “I don’t know” or “I’m not quite sure” is unacceptable for most patients and the blame is directed at arthritis, a somewhat fuzzy amalgamation of signs and symptoms.  Patients easily accept arthritic pain diagnosis as a byproduct of the aging process, but  more testing is necessary to reveal the true source of the joint pain.

Here are a few reasons why arthritis is often misdiagnosed:

  • Doctors see something atypical in an x-ray – and immediately make a diagnosis.  No body is perfect.  There are abnormalities and variances in every human being’s anatomical structure.  Even movement and joint articulation will vary from person to person.  Finding an aberrant nodule or lesion somewhere in the joint capsule does not mean that arthritis is present.  Saying this, one must consider the idea that x-rays from two individuals showing the same joint abnormality may not create identical pain responses. Moreover, the two people may show considerable difference in the amount and type of pain elicited, even so far as to say that one may not show any local pain whatsoever.  Therefore, x-rays should be used as one part of a complete diagnostic exam, not the be all end all.  Especially in marginal to inconclusive scenarios, x-rays should accompany other positive test findings to make a more developed diagnosis.  Each patient should be evaluated on an individual basis.
  • Patients don’t get a second opinion – and rely on one doctor’s diagnosis.  Doctors make mistakes.  It is quite possible for an arthritis diagnosis to be incorrect, especially when symptoms do not fully fit the criteria of rheumatism.  The chances of a misdiagnosis are reduced if a second (or even third) opinion is sought out.  Additionally, patients should make an assessment of their doctor.  Pay attention to how they are being treated in his/her office.  If the doctor seems preoccupied, doesn’t listen, never tests the painful area, quickly prescribes medication, then maybe this doctor isn’t providing adequate patient care and attention.  Find a doctor who will listen.  Yes, some doctors may be good enough to take one look at the patient and figure out what’s wrong.  But these doctors are very few and far between.
  • Age is a believable reason for arthritis – Age is so often used as an excuse for joint pain that it goes without question.  It’s a sad affair that keeps perpetuating generation after generation.  Age is not the unquestionable cause of all joint pain.  Joint pain can be caused by numerous factors, including muscular imbalance, bone subluxation, inactivity, and postural deficiencies as well as the often stated age-related joint deterioration.  Uncovering the true source of pain is key to understanding what is truly wrong.

These are just a few thoughts on why arthritis gets misdiagnosed.  In order to lessen the risk of misdiagnosis, the patient should take a hands-on active approach to personal health.  It is always the responsibility of the patient to become an advocate for their own health, not the doctor’s.  It is also the responsibility of the patient to learn about their own pain.  Ask questions from your doctor.  Find groups with people experiencing similar conditions.  Learn what helps one’s own joint pain and what eases it. In this age of information, there are a lot of resources online.  Visit the doctor armed with some knowledge and understanding of the pain in question. It will go a long way towards achieving an accurate diagnosis and thus, a more comprehensive, effective solution.

The Burden of the Brachialis

Brachialis - Muscles of the Upper Extremity Vi...

Brachialis – Muscles of the Upper Extremity Visual Atlas, page 48 (Photo credit: robswatski)

The brachialis is the underappreciated workhorse of elbow flexion.  When one is asked to show their muscle, usually the biceps brachii takes the spotlight.  Both the brachialis and biceps flex the elbow, so why isn’t the brachialis muscle as popular?  The answer is because much of the brachialis is hidden underneath the biceps and cannot be seen.  The brachialis is surprisingly strong and doesn’t get the credit it deserves.  Many times, it doesn’t get the care it deserves either.

The main function of the brachialis muscle is to flex the elbow.  It works with the biceps brachii, brachioradialis and supinator.  Certain positions engage the brachialis more or less during elbow flexion yet there is variability in contraction of the muscle in each position.  Therefore, assessment of brachialis pain requires some skill and good technique.

Pain and spasm in the brachialis muscle can come about from activity such as lifting heavy objects or holding the arm in flexion for long periods of time.  Playing instruments such as a saxophone or guitar can trigger brachialis pain over time.  Other activities, such as typing on a computer while arms are unsupported, or carrying groceries can elicit a tight brachialis.

An injured or tight brachialis commonly causes pain in one or more of four locations.  Local pain may be felt on the outer portion of the humerus where the brachialis can be palpated.  Pain may also be felt near the muscular point of attachment on the proximal part of the ulna.  Referred pain may be felt at the base of the thumb on the same side as the affected brachialis.  The ipsilateral anterior shoulder or deltoid may also show tenderness from referred brachialis pain.

A muscle spasm or just plain tightness in the brachialis can impinge the radial nerve.  Symptoms of this nerve irritation affect the thumb and give the person a feeling of tingling or numbness in the thumb.  Since only the sensory portion of the nerve is affected, loss of strength in the thumb is not seen.

Much of the treatment for the brachialis can be done at home using the thumb of the opposite hand.  A massage tool could also be helpful for stubborn trigger points or muscle spasm.  Your alternative health practitioner can also be of great help, especially if one is searching for a natural healing therapy.

At August Point Wellness, we believe that many of the brachialis muscle issues can be addressed through acupuncture, massage therapy, and self-care.

An example treatment that we would use to address tight brachialis:

Why a Pregnant Woman Should Massage Her Soleus Muscles

A pregnant woman

Soleus Muscle Massage is Good For Mother and Baby

Pregnancy can be tough on the body.  Although a woman’s body is made to nurture and carry a fetus for 10 months, it does not mean that the task is easy.  Her physical structure will change to accommodate the additional load in the front.  The mother’s joints will become more relaxed and flexible to distribute the extra weight.  Her blood supply increases by approximately 30-40%.  Increases in breathing rate and cardiac output provide ample oxygen to both mother and growing baby.

With the increased need for cardiac output, the heart works harder to pump blood throughout the mother’s body as well as the fetus.  Keeping the circulation vessels (arteries, veins, capillaries) relaxed, open, and clear ease the heart’s pumping obligations.  Managing bodyweight, keeping an adequate fitness level, and maintaining a healthy diet are three things that are recommended before and during pregnancy to help a woman reduce her cardiovascular burden.  But, something that can greatly improve cardiovascular efficiency and reduce vascular resistance is soleus muscle massage.

The soleus muscles are large flat muscles of the calves located between the posterior knee and heel.  They lie underneath the gastrocnemius at the superior end and tie into the Achilles tendon at the inferior end.  The soleus muscles are situated adjacent to the deep veins that help transport blood back to the heart.  When the soleus contracts during walking, running, or jumping, it acts as a pump for venous blood returning to the heart.  The soleus is such a powerful pump, it has been dubbed the ‘second heart’.

Muscles of lower extremity

Muscles of lower extremity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The importance of the soleus muscles in pumping blood cannot be understated.  If they are strong, supple, active, and functioning to capacity, the soleus can synergistically work with the heart and pump blood efficiently throughout the pregnant woman‘s body.  But if the soleus muscles are tight and/or in spasm, the heart does not get the extra assistance.  Unfortunately, the heart will then work alone and be forced to pump that much harder.  Additionally, tight soleus muscles can restrict blood flow significantly and lead to swelling, edema, high blood pressure, varicose veins, phlebitis, posterior compartment syndrome, increased breathlessness, and other complications.  Tight soleus muscles can also trigger low back pain, which can amplify pregnancy related lumbago.

Treatment of soleus muscles should ideally be sought throughout the entire pregnancy.  Acupuncture and massage therapy are two drug-free solutions that can provide marked results while also giving the mother-to-be a chance to relax during treatment session.  With regular treatments, a woman can reduce lethargy and fatigue, improve emotional state, minimize painful edema and swelling, lower blood pressure, reduce back pain, lower respiratory exertion, and improve her overall state of being.

A sample treatment at our clinic would be:

The Soleus Muscle, The Second Heart

Deep and superficial layers of posterior leg m...

Soleus

The heart is an amazing organ that pumps between 5 and 7 thousand liters of blood a day.  Yet, it is not the only pump in the body.  While the heart pumps blood out towards the extremities, deep muscles assist in pumping blood back towards the heart.  One of the most important muscles for assisting blood flow back to the heart is the soleus muscle of the calf.

The soleus muscle is a large flat muscle in the lower leg.  Part of the soleus can be palpated directly, while the rest lies underneath the gastrocnemius muscle.  The location of the soleus muscles are important.  They are on the extreme distal end of the body and furthest away from the heart.  When standing upright, the soleus resides at the body’s lowest gravitational point.  These two factors put the soleus in an ideal position to work synergistically with the heart as an efficient pumping system.  The heart pumps arterial blood, while the soleus pumps venous blood.  But, this occurs best when the soleus muscle is healthy and supple.

Problems with the soleus are a frequent cause of pain and suffering.  Athletes and inactive people can both be affected.  This happens because the soleus is used in many activities, such as walking, running, and cycling.  It is a hardworking muscle that tends to get heavy use and very little care.  Most people don’t take enough time to stretch and treat the soleus.  Hence muscle tightness and trigger points can form, causing the soleus to hinder circulation rather than help.

Tight, stiff soleus muscles can radiate pain to the heel, ankle, and as far away as the lower back.  Complications from soleus tightness include:  ankle instability, calf cramps, varicose veins, phlebitis, lower leg edema, low blood pressure, orthostatic hypotension (postural hypotension), and hypersensitivity of lower back.  Pain that is mimicked by tight soleus muscle include:  plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, stress fracture, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and thrombosis.

Treatment for the soleus muscle should begin with natural therapy.  Home treatments such as strength training, stretching and self massage should be done regularly to maintain the muscle’s pliability, density, range of motion, and function.

At August Point Wellness, we believe that many of the soleus muscle issues can be addressed through acupuncture, massage therapy, and stretching.

An example treatment that we would use to address tight soleus:

Treating a Stubbed Toe with Alternative Medicine

A stubbed toe can be a very painful event.  If you have stubbed your toe on something, it’s possible that you may have either fractured it or damaged soft tissue surrounding the toe.  If you’re really lucky, you may not even bruise.  If you’re not so lucky, your toe could be broken.  When in doubt, visit your primary care physician or urgent care and get x-rays.  (A broken toe does not have to look disfigured in order to be broken.)

Take a close look at the injured toe.  Look for ruptured skin or a damaged nail.  If the skin is broken, clean the area with soap and water and apply an anti-bacterial ointment.  (It’s not necessary.  It’s a precaution for preventing local infection.)

Injured Toe, 3rd one. Swelling and redness on medial side.

There are numerous treatments styles and many of them recommend ice as a treatment for injured toes.  At August Point Wellness, we do not recommend ice on a stubbed toe.  Why? Because the toes are at a circulatory disadvantage being located at the most distal (and likely inferior) end of the body.  Circulation is imperative for the healing process and icing an injury improperly will constrict blood vessels and actually slow the healing process.  Sure, it could reduce swelling of the toe, but a reduction in swelling does NOT equate to increased rate of healing.

Here is an alternative treatment plan if you wish to take care of a minor stubbed toe injury naturally:

  1. Take arnica internally.  Arnica contains plant-derived anti-inflammatory compounds.  It is an alternative to ibuprofen.
  2. Warm the foot and toe in a footsoak bucket or a bath.  Use epsom salt and peppermint oil to reduce swelling.
  3. Massage the injured area.
  4. Apply a pain relieving topical ointment or bruise liniment to the injured area.  We recommend our own Sciaticare Penetrating Muscle Rub.  It’s based on traditional dit da jow herbal bruise and fracture formulas of China.  It’s 100% natural, safe, and effective.
  5. Elevate the injured toe and foot as much as possible until injury is healed.
  6. If very painful, splint the toe with the one next to it for the first week or two of the healing process.
  7. Wear stiff-soled shoes until injury is fully healed.  This is to reduce the excessive motion of the toe.

As you can see from the image above, the founder of August Point Wellness has suffered a stubbed toe injury.  Above is the actual protocol he is currently using for this injury.  Please note that the information in this article can be used to treat a jammed finger as well.

Spring is the Season to Nourish the Liver

yellow rooftops and the Pavilion of Ten Thousa...

Spring Season in China

Spring is a time of year when plants and animals are bursting forth from their dormant state.  Springtime has an energy that is fresh, vibrant, youthful, and alive.  You can see this energy of spring reflected in nature.  This is the time when flora bloom and fauna come out from under the hibernation of winter.

Traditional Chinese Medicine says that the Liver is related to spring and is strongly influenced by this season.  Therefore, nourishing the Liver just before and during spring is beneficial to keeping healthy and free from disease.  A healthy Liver cleanses and refreshes the body effectively by processing toxins and removing them from the blood.  Reduced blood toxins reciprocally increases proper immune system function.

According to the laws of nature, one should focus on improving Liver function during the vernal season.  One way of doing so, is to eat more raw foods, such as fresh greens and sprouts.  These light, uplifting foods are yang in nature and work to cleanse the body of the heavy, rich and dense foods that warm the body during the typically cooler temperatures of winter.  Drink plenty of water during spring to help your body stay hydrated.  On the flip side, drink less soft drinks and other beverages, especially ones that contain artificial sweeteners and/or chemicals.  Exercise is a great way to circulate blood and nutrients through the body.  This is very important for good liver function as well as other organ function.  For those that live in colder climates, spring is when one can get outside and return to a more active lifestyle.

When Liver energy in the body is balanced, the yin energy of winter transitions seamlessly into the yang energy of spring.  In Chinese medicine, a smoothly functioning Liver is responsible for healthy immune system balance during the changing of the seasons in which people tend to catch colds and flu.

3 ways to help unburden the Liver during spring:

  • Cut out processed food.  Incorporate fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits into the diet.
  • .Eliminate soft drinks and other beverages with artificial sweeteners.  Drink plenty of water instead.
  • Get some exercise.  Help strengthen the Liver as well as all of the organs through physical activity.

Detoxify Your Liver Gently and Naturally With Common Herbs

The liver is an extremely complex organ. Located in the upper right hypochondriac region, it is the largest gland in the body, weighing around 3 lbs. The liver is responsible for processing nearly every type of nutrient and carrying out over 500 metabolic functions, including regulation of blood plasma cholesterol levels. Therefore, proper function of the liver is important for health and vitality.

Luckily, the liver has an incredible capacity to heal itself. Able to regenerate its hepatocytes, the liver can regrow to its former size even if 70% of liver tissue has been removed. Clearly, this ability highlights the importance of liver function on human physiology and life.

An enjoyable way to improve the health of the liver is through natural herbal medicine.  Used for thousands of years, herbal medicine can be effective as well as gentle on the body system.  Ingesting herbs or drinking an herbal tea can aid in liver detoxification and promote or restore liver function. Below are 5 herbs that are great for improving liver function in the body:

  • Milk Thistle – contains silymarin. Silymarin has been proven to protect the liver from alcohol abuse, substance abuse and hepatitis virus. Silymarin also stimulates the repair of liver.  Studies have also shown that silymarin may help patients with type II Diabetes by assisting in blood sugar control.  Milk thistle has been tested and approved in Europe to use for liver damage.
  • Dandelion Leaf – contains potassium, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamins A and C.  Dandelion leaf can increase the output of the liver, pancreas, and spleen.  The leaf stimulates the release of bile from the liver into the gallbladder.  Dandelion leaf also produces a slight diuretic effect.  Those with allergies to ragweed may have a reaction.   The University of Maryland Medical Center states that there is supporting clinical evidence of dandelion’s effects on the liver and hepatic function.
  • Chamomile Flowers – is traditionally used to calm and induce a deep sleep.  It is a widely used herb in America for this purpose as well as to ease stomach upset. Another major use for chamomile is to relax smooth muscle spasms in the gut. Chamomile is also an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-parasitic herb. The chemical compounds azulene and guaiazulene present in chamomile were identified as being able to initiate the growth of new tissue in experimental rats which had a portion of their livers surgically removed.
  • Lavender Flowers – are typically used in culinary dishes.  Some of the benefits of lavender flowers are to aid in treating insomnia, nervous stomach, and anxiety. Other uses for lavender are to treat headaches, migraines, diabetes and insulin resistance.  Lavender’s benefits are similar to those of chamomile.
  • White Peony Root – Peony root is a highly sought after plant in Chinese medicine for its ability to relax muscle and cleanse the blood. Peony root is used to relieve cramps and spasms anywhere in the body.  White peony is used primarily to nourish the blood circulation and to smooth and relax the liver function.

August Point Wellness offers an herbal tea composed of all five of these herbs for a powerful, effective liver detoxifying effect. The Liver Longevity Tea By August Point Wellness is 100% organic, herbicide, and pesticide free and carries two certifications for organic authenticity, USDA Certified and OTCO Certified. This is a natural remedy for liver detoxification and liver protection to be used long-term as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.  Every ingredient of the Liver Longevity Tea is edible and can provide even more benefit if ingested.  Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to your Liver Longevity Tea for greater liver detox effect.

Liver Longevity Tea By August Point Wellness - 100% Organic

In combination with a liver detoxification tea, here are a few other great natural ways to detoxify your liver.

  • Eat healthy and organic foods
  • Exercise daily
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid interaction with harsh chemicals
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners, ingredients, and food coloring

Chick Pea Roast with Sherry Sauce – (Vegetarian)

I got this recipe from a book called Classic Vegetarian Recipes By Parragon.  It’s somewhat of an intermediate level recipe, but if you’re willing to put in a little extra effort, the reward is worth it.

  • 16-oz can of chick peas (garbanzo beans) drained
  • 1 Tsp marmite (yeast extract)  [I used yeast here instead]
  • 1 and 1/4 Cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 and 1/4 Cup white breadcrumbs  [I used 3 slices of bread instead]
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/4 Cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Ounces canned corn, drained [I used frozen corn instead]
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Dry sherry
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 8 Ounce puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • TOPPING
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp Dry sherry
  • 2/3 Cup vegetable stock

—–

Chick Pea Roast – Before

Put the chick peas, marmite (yeast), nuts, and breadcrumbs in a food processor.  Blend for 30 seconds.  Put the onion and mushrooms in a large skillet and saute for 3-4 minutes.

Stir the chick pea mixture into the skillet.  Add corn and garlic.  Stir in the dry sherry, vegetable stock, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Bind the mixture together.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Roll the pastry out to form a 14″ x 12″ rectangle.  I think they usually come in 12″ x 12″ squares, so it’s not that difficult to stretch out a little bit more.

Shape the chick pea mixture into a loaf shape.  Place the mixture in the center of the pastry puff dough and wrap the pastry around it, sealing the edges.  Place the seam side down on a dampened cookie sheet and score the top in a criss-cross pattern.  Mix the egg and 2 Tbsp milk and brush over the pastry to glaze.  Cook in oven for 30-35 minutes or until risen and golden.

Heat the oil for the sauce in a pan and saute the leek for 5 minutes, stirring.  Add the dry sherry and vegetable stock.  Simmer for 5 minutes and serve with the roast.

Chick Pea Roast – After

TCM Notes:

This dish is yin in nature and neutral in temperature.  The chick peas.

Chick peas are sweet and moderate in nature.  They regulate the Spleen and Stomach and promotes detoxification.  Chick peas are good for treating diarrhea.

Garlic is a powerful anti-bacterial, help digestion, and prevents diarrhea. Eating garlic on a regular basis lowers the risk of stomach and colon cancers according to research.

Onion supports the immune system.  It can also open the pores and release exterior attack from colds and flu.

Dry Sherry is an alcohol, warm in nature.  Sherry promotes digestion and increase blood flow.

Mushrooms typically support the immune system.  Mushrooms have different properties depending on what type you are using in the cuisine.