It all starts with a question...How can one make a contribution to the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine?
With the support of my professor, and his amazing team, the possibilities are endless!
We all know food is the fuel that powers our body, but I believe whole heartedly that food also has the power to act as medicine. Chinese herbal medicine is exactly that, food. We have the honor and privilege of living on “Mother Earth.” From the mountains to the sea, and everything in between, She can nourish and provide all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we need to thrive.
Unfortunately we live in a time where most of our foods are processed, packaged, stored, and genetically modified. Our soil is often depleted of nutrients, which leads to nutrient-depleted food. To make matters worse, we live in a fast-paced society where we want immediate gratification at the expense of making healthy food choices.
If food is to function as our medicine, and we are not getting the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we need from it, we are going to be nutrient-deficient. This deficiency leads to inflammation through our body, which has a strong correlation to a multitude of diseases.
For example, inflammation in the brain will cause Neuro degenerative diseases; inflammation in the gut will cause IBS, colitis, gallstones pancreatitis; inflammation in the joints can cause pain and arthritis; inflammation in the cardiovascular system can cause High blood pressure, hyperlipidemia; inflammation in the lungs well cause COPD; inflammation in the muscles will cause myalgia; inflammation in the endocrine system can cause irregular hormones PCOS mentstraul irregularities; and Inflammation can cause cancers and autoimmune conditions. The list goes on and on.... In other words, when inflammation is prevalent, diseases will manifest.
With that being said , my hypothesis is that the Endocannabinoid System directly connect our gut to our brain (gut-brain axis).
The food that nourishes the Endocannabinoid System is Cannabis sativa L, also known as Mabo. Mabo has been cultivated in China for a millennia. It is used as a fiber, food, and medicine. References to cannabis are found throughout classical Chinese literature, including in many famous works of philosophy, poetry, agriculture, and medicine.
Since the discovery of the cannabinoid receptors and the ligands, significant advances have been made in studying the physiological function of the endocannabinoid system and how the presence of cannabinoid receptors on cells of the immune system and it’s effects. Cannabinoids can stimulate both function and secretion of cytokines from immune cells. Therefore, they can be considered for treatment of inflammatory disorders.
Since my arrival in China, I’ve been pondering what herb I can research. I’m excited to say that the answer might be my next contribution to the field of medicine.