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The acupuncture office of Deborah Hutchinson, PhD, LAc, DiplAc (NCCAOM)®. Located in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, offering acupuncture and moxibustion according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles


Chinese New Year 2022 – Year of the Tiger

Chinese New Year 2022 - Year of the Tiger

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China for good reason. Each new year brings new energies and opportunities. The celebration begins the day after the first new moon between January 21 and February 20 each year and lasts until the following full moon. These 2 weeks are a time of welcoming and aligning with the new energies. This year, the Chinese New Year falls on Feb 1st and festivities continue through Feb 15th, 2022. Each year has a corresponding element and animal of the Chinese zodiac.

This is the year of the water-tiger year that holds a lot of promise for an exciting, productive year. This indicates a new beginning, a fresh start, and it’s a year made for bold action. The Tiger is known for its power, daring, and ability to do everything on a grand scale. 

This water-tiger year is in gear to be a faster-paced, more passionate year after a slower year of the Ox (2021) and a very challenging year of the Rat (2020). The tiger has been sleeping, awaiting his time for action. 2022 has great potential to be a year of change because of the energy of the tiger: brave, self-assured and ready to pounce. Individually we might be inspired to embark on new adventures, such as travel or moving, or starting a new business. Collectively, there may be an energetic shaking off of stagnation brought on by the past couple years of the pandemic. It will be a year of exploring new ideas, and not shying away from challenges. If energy is not allowed to flow (individually and/or collectively) there may be some restlessness or unpredictable behaviors. It is also important to balance the aggressive energy of the tiger with times of rest. Even tigers take cat naps. This is a water year, so the yin energy of the water can help to balance the fierce fiery nature of the tiger. continue reading »

How to Eat Dandelions

In most parts of the country, as your lawn greens, it also turns yellow—yellow with dandelions. For such a beautiful flower, dandelions can cause a lot of homeowners dread. But did you know that your lawn’s enemy is your health’s ally? Dandelions are a great source of nutrition, but few people eat them. Dandelions have been a central herb for Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM) for thousands of years, too.

Native to the Mediterranean, this incredible flower’s medicinal qualities were also known to the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. Originally, these groups found dandelions to be beneficial for ailments including fevers, toothaches, constipation, arthritis, diabetes, gallbladder problems, heartburn, and skin irritations, as well as generalized liver, stomach, and kidney disorders…to name a few! Often the roots and leaves of the plant were rendered into a tonic to remove toxins from the bloodstream. Modern science also proves that this bright yellow superfood is incredibly nutritious and full of vitamins.


What are the health benefits of dandelions?

Many people know that dandelions are great for detoxing, but that is just the beginning. The roots are a fantastic liver tonic. The leaves are a digestive bitter and support your circulatory and lymph systems. The flowers are great for your skin. Even the sticky sap is useful — it can erase warts, corns, and calluses. The entire plant is packed with nutrition. Dandelions are high in vitamins A, B, C, and K. They contain a lot of minerals, including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. Controlling your blood sugar is easy with a dandelion meal. They are a low-calorie, high fiber, and high protein food. Dandelions are also recommended for many health conditions. People with bone health concerns, liver disease, diabetes, urinary disorders, skincare, acne, weight loss, cancer, jaundice, gallbladder issues, anemia, and high blood pressure all benefit from eating dandelions. The nutrients found in dandelion greens may help reduce the risk of cancer, multiple sclerosis, cataracts, and stroke. And on top of all of these benefits, dandelions are anti-inflammatory and may offer benefits to people with inflammatory conditions.


Image of dandelion up close with text reading ‘how to eat dandelions’

So how do you eat dandelions?

In short: any way you’d like. There are so many ways to eat dandelions. A quick internet search will provide lots of recipes and suggestions. The entire plant is edible — leaves, flowers, and roots. As a rule of thumb, use the leaves in the same ways you’d cook with spinach and the roots the way you cook carrots or radishes.

The flowers and roots can be both meal and beverage. Boil or stir-fry both the flowers and roots as a cooked vegetable. You can even make wine with the flowers and roast the roots for a coffee substitute!

Dandelion leaves are the most common part to eat. They’re wonderful both both cooked or raw. In addition to steaming, boiling, or stir-frying the leaves, try tossing them in a soup or combining them with kale, lettuce, or cabbage in a hearty bowl. Use raw dandelion greens in salads or on sandwiches. Dry the greens and use them for an herbal infusion. You can even juice the leaves or add them to a smoothie.

With all the great benefits and ways to fix them, I seems a shame so many people spend so much time, effort, and money getting rid of them!

Here’s a recipe for dandelion pesto I recently came across. Gather some dandelion greens (make sure from a pesticide free lawn and clean them like you would other garden greens) to make some pesto. Serve the pesto with some crusty bread, delicious cheese, and fresh spring-time fruits. Enjoy your meal while looking at your weed-free lawn.

Dandelion Pesto

Makes 2 cups

  • 12 ounces washed and cleaned dandelion leaves
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 1/2 ounces Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

1.     Put one-third of the dandelion greens in a food processor or blender with olive oil and chop for a minute. Add remaining dandelion greens in two batches until they’re finely chopped.

2.     Add garlic, pine nuts, salt, and Parmesan. Process until everything is a smooth puree.

3.     Taste and add salt as needed. Thin with olive oil or water if needed.

(Some people substitute sunflower seeds or sesame seeds for the pine nuts.)

Storage: The pesto can be refrigerated in a jar for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months. To prevent the top from darkening, pour a thin layer of olive on top.

Serving ideas for Dandelion Pesto

  • Spread over pizza with cooked potato slices and bake.
  • Smear on crostini over a layer of fresh spreadable cheese.
  • Dress a potato salad.
  • Toss with whole wheat pasta, and add chicken or roasted vegetables. Use the pasta water or butter to smooth the sauce over the noodles.
  • Mix with a salad of farro or wheat berries.
  • Swirl it into a bowl of Soupe au pistou.

Recipe from: David Lebovitz

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