Rice Grains

Love and Luck

Two beautiful and unexpected things happened this weekend. I had recently lost my pocket tiger's eye and I found the perfect replacement. And I thought I'd have a hard timing finding the moon plant I had in my college dorm room for four years, but it presented itself precisely when I needed some greenery in the office!

I don't know a lot about stones, but I'm just starting to dip a toe in (with a hefty dose of skepticism). At any rate, I started carrying the tiger's eye last year because it was smooth and I've always liked tiger's eye and it was nice to have something to run my fingers over when I got anxious. Anyway, I lost it, probably in someone's car, and I was uncharacteristically ok with it (I normally hate losing things), but my friend had just come back from the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and generously opened her wealth of stones to me to choose a new pocket stone. I've had carnelian on the mind a lot lately because I thought getting an orange crystal to put inside my orange lightsaber would be fun and nerdy (in Star Wars lore, kaiburr crystals are force-attuned and integral to a working lightsaber). I have a friend in my lightsaber group who has a purple crystal in his purple saber and I love the idea. So she not only gave me a beautiful carnelian pocket stone, but two carnelian beads to put in my saber.

It turns out carnelian is linked to fertility (perfect for our women's health focused clinic) and also balances energy levels, stimulates the appetite, and brightens outlook. It's also a little good luck charm. I'm happy to bring that energy into our work together!

Then yesterday I was walking through a neighborhood I don't get to frequent often enough and there was a giant pilea peperomioides in the window! I knew this plant as a moon plant in college and evidently that's only one of hundreds of names this little plant has. It's from the Yunnan province of China (unlike the other plant often called a money tree, Pachira aquatica, which is actually native to South and Central America) and is also thought to bring good luck. Once it gets large and strong enough, it starts to create baby plants that you can separate out and plant separately. Over four years in college I gave several baby moon plants away to friends and was very sad to have to eventually leave mine with a friend's parents before moving back West.

I'm happy to have the perfect plant friend cheering up the new office. I already spy a few baby moon plants that should be ready to go home with a lucky patient at my next open house!

ABOUT SHAWNA

Shawna Seth, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. is a California state licensed and nationally certified acupuncturist whose areas of specialty include promoting women’s health and fertility and breaking the cycles of stress, anxiety, and depression. She uses the gentlest effective methods possible to guide her patients to balance. Shawna sees patients both in her private practice in San Francisco and in a collaborative practice in Temescal, Oakland. To learn more about Japanese medicine and the world of acupuncture, read her blog A Cuppa Qi and make your appointments online or email contact@shawnaseth.com.

Why Is There Green Plastic in My Sushi?

Ever pull out that piece of green plastic from your sushi and think, "why is this always here?"

The plastic clearly isn't useful and it's not meant to look like a child's drawing of a grassy lawn. It's meant to represent the perilla or shiso leaf, which should be included with your raw fish for far more than aesthetic purposes.

 Silly grocery store sushi, the shiso (perilla) leaf was meant to eat, not just for decoration!  Photo: Pixabay

Silly grocery store sushi, the shiso (perilla) leaf was meant to eat, not just for decoration!
Photo: Pixabay

Just in case there's anything wrong with the raw fish, both perilla and ginger are traditionally included with your meal. Taking bites of these combat the effects of bad fish on your system:

Perilla leaf is known as shiso in Japanese and zi su ye in Chinese. It is an aromatic and warm herb that disperses cold and promotes sweating (helpful for the immune system), circulates qi and harmonizes the middle (digestion), detoxifies food poisoning from fish, and calms a restless fetus. So it's a lovely herb for morning sickness or nausea or vomiting with a cold (especially the kind that has chills, coughing, and clear or white phlegm).

 Wasabi and pickled ginger still come with most sushi  Photo: Pixabay

Wasabi and pickled ginger still come with most sushi
Photo: Pixabay

Ginger, shoga in Japanese, sheng jiang in Chinese, is also spicy and slightly warm. It has very similar effects to shiso, but a stronger warming effect to stop vomiting and coughing and ginger resolves toxicity or overdose of a wide variety of herbs and foods. If they were only going to leave one herb on the plate, I'm glad it's ginger. But that doesn't mean shiso doesn't deserve to be there too!

So you should eat both ginger and the perilla leaf for their health benefits as well as for their lovely spicy taste! I do see shiso at quality sushi restaurants, but honestly we should be getting shiso in our grocery store sushi of all places!

found this interesting? Related posts on a cuppa qi:

Why is Chicken Soup Good for a Cold?

How to Survive and Thrive in the First Trimester

ABOUT SHAWNA

Shawna Seth, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. is a California-licensed and nationally-certified acupuncturist whose areas of specialty include promoting women’s health and fertility and breaking the cycles of stress, anxiety, and depression. She uses the gentlest effective methods possible to guide her patients to balance. Shawna sees patients both in her private practice in San Francisco and in a collaborative practice in Temescal, Oakland. To learn more about Japanese medicine and the world of acupuncture, read her blog A Cuppa Qi and make your appointments online or email contact@shawnaseth.com.

Header Photo by Jonathan Forage on Unsplash

Stress Relief and the Pantone Color of the Year

The Pantone Color of 2017 is Greenery. Leaves. Fresh greens and dark, shadows and tendrils. The classics say green is the color of Spring and of its associated meridian, the Liver (not to be confused with your anatomical organ).

The Liver is easily injured by anger, whether felt rightfully when we are not respected or felt in excess when we seek more than we're due. A smooth Liver meridian allows for the free movement of energy (qi), properly nourishing other body processes and meridians and relieving pain, stress, and tension. Since the Liver governs the sinews and tendons, we can stretch and move freely in our physical body as well as in our emotional range when the channel is free of stagnant energy and substances.

And when the Liver needs soothing, as it does when we are stressed and angry, we should walk among trees and soothe the liver by looking at leaves and grasses. It's almost as though Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, know of this connection as she explained, "Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose."

I couldn't think of a better color for 2017. Get outside, everyone, rain or shine, and find the greenery. Just take a scarf to protect your neck from the wind!

ABOUT SHAWNA

Shawna Seth, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. is a California-licensed and nationally-certified acupuncturist whose areas of specialty include promoting women’s health and fertility and breaking the cycles of stress, anxiety, and depression. She uses the gentlest effective methods possible to guide her patients to balance. Shawna sees patients both in her private practice in San Francisco and in a collaborative practice in Temescal, Oakland. To learn more about Japanese medicine and the world of acupuncture, read her blog A Cuppa Qi and make your appointments online or email contact@shawnaseth.com.