One Size DOESN’T Fit All

acupuncture for diabetics

Using food to regain and maintain health has long been a feature of all the world’s medicines. We are constantly on the lookout for information about how common foods are used to make us healthier. However, we must take our own conditions into consideration before blindly accepting a “one size fits all” approach, common to western thinking.
In a recent article about how cinnamon has been linked to improving blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, the article concludes by saying “we need more evidence to prove efficacy, but adding more cinnamon to a diet probably wouldn’t hurt either.”

One of my clients read that article. He decided to try it, without consulting a trained herbal professional. He used less than a teaspoon of cinnamon per day, and his blood pressure shot up to 200/100 over the period of a week. When he removed the cinnamon, his BP went back down to its normal level. Despite what cinnamon does for blood glucose or cholesterol, here is a person who should not be using a lot of hot, pungent foods in general—cinnamon, garlic, etc., because his state of health will get WORSE with large doses of those foods.

Western herbalism (and western science in general) is often looking for herbs/foods that will benefit the health of everyone. And while cinnamon will be a terrific choice for some people, it is not going to be “harmless” to everyone. And, when you add our tendency to think “if a little will help, more will be better,” you can really be in trouble!
This is a great example of how the “one size fits all” approach of western thinking can be a disaster when applied carelessly. Chinese medicine looks at your health in general, and can recommend foods or herbs that will benefit you without harming you in other ways. So watch out for those magazine articles that tout the efficiency of anything that can be found in the cupbord when used in large doses: you can be asking for trouble.

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Samantha Kadrmas M.Ac, L.Ac

Samantha Kadrmas M.Ac, L.AcI began my journey in acupuncture as a patient in 2003. It seemed that everywhere I went I heard people praising the value of acupuncture and how it was positively benefiting their lives. I was curious to see how acupuncture could change my life too. I quickly found myself walking through the world with more ease and experiencing more stable emotions than ever before. My senses were opened, my immune system incredibly strong, and my wellness came from within. More About Samantha

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