He Shu Wu….who?

images What the???

Well, here’s a new one to me!  He Shu Wu.  (pronounced huh show woo)

He Shu Wu is is one of the most popular and highly revered tonic herbs in Asian herbalism.  It is said to possess almost magical properties and the ‘elderly’ love it the most, believing it can maintain hair color, preserve youthfulness and restore fertility.  What’s not to love?

According to dragonherbs.com,

He Shou Wu is widely used in Chinese tonic herbalism as a tonic to prevent premature aging by tonifying the Kidney and Liver functions, toning up Jing (vital essence), nourishing the blood, and fortifying the muscles, tendons and bones. It strengthens and stabilizes the lower back and knees. He Shou Wu is used to enhance sexual drive, increase sperm count and to strengthen sperm and ova. It is also widely used in Asia to maintain the youthful condition and color of the hair. This is one of its most popular attributes. Because it is a very mild sedative, it will calm the nervous system, and because it has components that are potent antioxidants with gentle anti-inflammatory action in the liver, it can clear the eyes.”

Well…….there you go! 

images  Pretty, no?  No. 

But, let’s summarize:

  • liver and kidney tonic
  • relieves constipation (with Dang Gui and Hemp Seed)
  • helps with insomnia
  • clears skin problems
  • elevated serum cholesterol
  • weakness
  • excessive sweating
  • pain

But before you get all giggly about this herb, there are some side effects you might want to investigate first……Read more about side effects HERE.  And ALWAYS consult your healthcare practitioner before starting any new program…

  • loose stools
  • skin rash
  • numbness
  • liver dysfunction
  • estrogenic effects

It can be purchased HERE in tablet form.  According to Natural News, William Rudolph, “Potency and quality are keys when consuming He Shou Wu. It should have been  growing for at least 4 years and it needs to be properly prepared (by a  qualified herbalist) to experience the full tonic effects. This is done by  slicing the root shortly after harvesting and then boiling it in a soup of black  beans. It can then be made into a powder suitable for mixing in smoothies, or it  can also be taken in capsule or tincture form.”

Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/028709_gray_hair_He_Shou_Wu.html

are you getting enough?

  • Sleep, silly!!!  Not many of us are getting enough, and especially if you have a special needs child!

And did you know that insufficient or interrupted sleep can be dangerous to you and others?  I know this because I was the one with the interrupted sleep for over 15 years.  It can affect your concentration, memory problems, work and can also lead to serious or fatal car accidents.  Studies have shown that when we don’t sleep enough, our bodies suffer real physical damage which can lead to heart disease, stroke, cancer or even diabetes.

Here are some warning signs to see if you have a sleeping disorder:

  • Difficulty paying attention or concentrating
  • Falling asleep while driving
  • Performance problems at work or school
  • Frequent memory lapses
  • Feeling the need to take naps almost every day
  • Having slowed responses
  • Struggling to stay awake when inactive
  • Problems controlling your emotions
  • Getting told often by others that you look tired .. (ok, that would just make me mad..)

So you might not have insomnia, but you may be suffering from insufficient sleep.  A lot of  moms could sleep more, but don’t  because their kids keep them up or they are just too busy to catch all 7-8 hours.  So the result is a sleep deficit…which is the total amount of sleep that you lose over a period of time.  So if you need 8 hours of sleep and you are only getting 7, then by the end of the week you have a sleep deficit of seven hours!  You’ve just lost the equivalent of an entire night’s sleep in only one week!

Now what?  Here are some ways to help…

  • Share nighttime duty, if you have a spouse or partner.  Are you the morning person?  Are you the night-owl?  Try trading off times for both of you to get some quality sleep.  Maybe ask family or friends to help for a night when you just really need that extra hour.
  • Nap when you can!  Sometimes even a 20 minute nap can make the difference between a sweet mom and a wild, screaming head…..
  • Hire someone!  Find out if there is respite workers in your community.  Some options might be an overnight respite, or maybe you could have someone that is qualified to come to your home.

If you are exhausted because of your child’s sleep problems, then see your child’s doctor to rule out any interactions with one or more medications, or perhaps allergies.  Your child may need a sleep study to help manage sleep problems.

Now here are a few ways to be sure you can catch some zz’s…

  • Avoid caffeine (cola, tea, coffee, etc) in the afternoons
  • Take a warm, relaxing bath
  • Try to go to bed at the same time each night
  • Turn off the tv and get off the computer.  Save the bedroom for sleep.
  • Exercise during the morning hours, not late afternoon.
  • Breathe…..

Remember, taking care of yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.  You can’t do it all and sometimes you need to be still and listen to God.  In order to have the inner resources to take care of your special needs child, your family and yourself, you need to have a spirit of stillness and make a quiet time, just you and God.  You will find that the more you have Him in your life, the more you will have a sense of calmness and a ‘peace that surpasses all understanding.’ (Philippians 4:7)