Yesterday, on the Dr. Oz TV show, the subject was how to prevent or cure cancer, but more importantly, there was a segment on how to take care of your kidneys.
According to Dr. Oz, there are two things that can damage your kidneys: high blood pressure and diabetes. I have been going to a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor since I had a stroke over a year ago. According to TCM theory, it is the other way around: weak kidneys CAUSE high blood pressure and weak kidneys are also the CAUSE of diabetes.
So how do you know if you have weak kidneys? Your first clue is having to go to the bathroom to urinate at night. According to my TCM doctor, this means that your kidneys are so weak that they must work overtime to eliminate the toxins in your body; normal kidneys rest at night. Another clue is having white space showing under the pupils of your eyes, which means that you have toxins in your body that are not being removed by the kidneys. Also, having swollen ankles, caused by retaining water, means that your kidneys are not working to eliminate the water. And when your kidneys are really weak, you will feel exhausted all the time.
Dr. Oz mentioned some natural remedies to strengthen the kidneys and lower blood sugar: Hibiscus tea, Gumar Extract and herbs. He didn’t identify the herbs which were in liquid form in a small brown bottle and he didn’t say whether they were Chinese herbs or not. Dr. Oz put a few drops of the herb liquid into the mouth of a volunteer and she said the taste was acceptable, but Dr. Oz tried it himself and said that the herb liquid tasted awful. Don’t worry, if you want to try some herbs for your kidneys, you can get them in the form of pills that are so tiny that they can easily be swallowed by anyone.
Dr. Oz said that “perfect blood pressure” is 115/75. When I was younger, doctors used to tell me that 120/70 was perfect. I didn’t develop high blood pressure until my kidneys gradually began to fail as I got older. I think the numbers have changed so that drug companies can make money off medications that lower blood pressure. According to my TCM doctor, perfect blood pressure, for a person who is 78 years old, is 135/70, and perfect blood pressure for a teen-ager is 115/70.
Dr. Oz gave the normal numbers for fasting blood sugar as 77 – 88 on a blood sugar meter. Years ago, the numbers were much higher. Diabetes was not diagnosed unless fasting blood sugar was over 140. Then the normal number went down to 125 a few years ago. Now perfect blood sugar level is 77 – 88? How low will the medical industry go in order to allow the drug companies to make more money?
In any case, Dr. Oz recommends Gumar extract to lower blood sugar. He explained that Gumar Extract comes from a plant leaf and the name means “Sugar Destroyer” in Hindi. He recommends 200 mg of Gumar Extract twice a day to lower your blood sugar. Gumar extract also goes under the name Gymnema Sylvestre. I have learned that when Dr. Oz recommends anything, the stores quickly sell out of it, so it might be hard to find.
I used to take pills, sold at a health store, which contain Gymnema Sylvestre, along with Cinnamon (the main ingredient), Fenugreek, Bitter Melon and Bilberry leaf. They are sold under the brand name Nature’s Way. I still carry some of these pills in my pocket when I go to visit someone who might serve cake or pie. I don’t eat sugar when I am at home.
I now use only cinnamon, in my food and in the form of pills, to lower blood sugar. Cinnamon works because it forces the body to use insulin. Type II diabetes is defined as “insulin resistance.” Cinnamon will not work for Type I diabetes which is defined as a lack of insulin; cinnamon might even be harmful to a person with Type I diabetes who is injecting insulin.
Then Dr. Oz said that you should always double check with your doctor before taking any herbs. What do you think your Western doctor will say about taking herbs for any medical condition? Of course, your Western doctor is going to tell you to take the drugs that he will prescribe for you. If you ask a TCM doctor about taking herbs, he will tell you that herbs have been used in China for 5,000 years and very few of them have ever been found to be harmful.
I have been taking Chinese herbs, in pill form, for over a year and have not observed any side effects. But just in case you are worried about taking herbs, any TCM doctor will give you the names of the herbs in the pills that he prescribes, so that you can look these names up yourself on the internet.