Nutrients in Chinese Medicine – Vitamin C

Ah, vitamin C. The most popular nutrient! Somehow everybody knows that you take vitamin C when you get a cold, or feel that flu coming on. For centuries people understood that something in fresh fruits and vegetables – especially citrus fruits –prevented scurvy, a debilitating disease that often affected sailors (since they would go months without any fresh food). Vitamin C has a broad range of functions in the body, acting as a cofactor for numerous enzymes as well as functioning as an antioxidant. Vitamin C correlates with several different systems in Chinese Medicine physiology as well.
CONTINUE READING

Chicken or Egg? – Causality in Complex Systems

What came first, the chicken or the egg? This is a common thought experiment (and actual scientific question) that represents a paradox of causality. This is a good example of linear causality, a hallmark of Western philosophical and scientific thought. This is the basis for reductionism, whereby a complex system is reduced systematically to its component parts, and each part is evaluated for its contribution to the whole. However, issues arise when examining a complex system.
CONTINUE READING

Side Effects – An Unwanted Result

Most people know what side effects are. They are the results of something a person does, or of a medication that a person takes, or perhaps a decision a person makes; and these results are either unnecessary, or unwanted, or sometimes even counter to the effect the person was going for. But there is really no such thing as a side effect. There are only effects, which can be helpful, neutral, or harmful. Therefore the question becomes whether all the effects can be known, and whether the helpful effects are worth the cost of the harmful ones.
CONTINUE READING

Nutrients in Chinese Medicine – Fat Soluble Vitamins

The fat soluble vitamins play a critical role in maintaining immune and nervous system function. Though they also relate to Spleen qi, as the B vitamins do, they play very different roles in the body. They aren't considered quite as important as the B vitamins in conventional nutrition but as a component of jing-essence they are absolutely crucial to good health.
CONTINUE READING