Things my great grandmother taught me...



Sorrel, a sour green that is a staple of eastern european Jewish cuisine has been used for centuries to make a tasty soup high in vitamin A and is great for your liver.


Known as shav or green borscht, it's delicious both hot or cold.  One might say it's the original cleansing dietary staple.  My great-grandmother had it down - cold shav with a dollop of sour cream, a hearty black bread and afterward a few good games of canasta. If you can't find sorrel you can substitute dandelion greens, they are more bitter than sour but another great green to support your liver health.  To my great delight I found sorrel condensed to a pesto consistency in a Russian specialty store a block from my house.  I combine the condensed sorrel to taste (about 4 tablespoons) with dandelion greens
(if I can't find fresh sorrel) for a soup that tastes just like my great-grandmothers.  I remember Bubbi picking the weeds from our lawn after she had sold the farm. We had weeds, not pesticides.

How does this tie into Chinese medicine? 

 In Chinese medicine dietary theory, sour is the flavor of the liver.  If you've gone to an acupuncturist complaining about how stressed and on edge you feel, you've probably heard about liver qi stagnation.  Stress, lack of exercise, a fatty, greasy diet, drugs and alcohol can all contribute to liver qi stagnation. What does liver qi stagnation feel like?  Have you ever heard the expression "Don't get your panties in a bundle"? That's a pretty good description.  Irritability, frustration, anger, depression, a feeling of constriction in your ribs or chest, sighing, belching, migraines, pms cramps, breast distention - these are some symptoms associated with stagnant liver qi. My Chinese medicine professors called this "NYC syndrome".

Adding bitter/sour greens to your diet are a great addition to your holistic health care arsenal.  Including any of these greens daily will be a great start building liver blood and smoothing your liver qi.  


I tweak the classic recipe by omitting the eggs, replacing butter with olive oil, using vegetable stock instead of chicken and adding baby potatoes.  All of these amounts should be altered according to your taste.   


1 pound young sorrel leaves, washed, stemmed & chopped  (if you can't find sorrel substitute dandelion greens and try to get the sorrel pesto)

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

1 large minced onion

6 cups water or chicken stock ( I use 1/2 vegetable stock and 1/2 water )

1 teaspon kosher salt or to taste

2 tablespoons sugar (I omit the sugar)

juice of 1 lemon

baby potatoes cut into 4-6 chunks each

dollop of sour cream in each serving if desired

In a large saucepan, melt butter or oil and sauté sorrel (or dandelion greens) and onions for about 10 minutes or until greens are wilted and onions are translucent.  Add water and/or stock and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. 

Remove from heat and stir in sugar and lemon juice a little at a time, tasting after each addition of lemon juice, until desired tartness is achieved. 

Serve hot or cold with a dollop of sour cream.


The dandelion - Foe or Wish Granter?


Does the sight of a dandelion inspire you
to make a wish or run for the hills?

Scratchy throat, watery/itchy eyes, sneezing, headaches, sinus pressure - UGH!  Who told you that you had to resign yourself to a lifetime of suffering and over the counter medications that leave you foggy headed and fatigued? 

I get a lot of pleasure from helping people to resolve lifelong, nagging conditions with time honored holistic tools.  Acupuncture, classic Chinese herbal formulas and a few simple lifestyle and dietary tools are all it takes to go from dreading the Spring season to enjoying it's budding beauty.

SO - If you'd like to experience breathing freely, thinking clearly, feeling energized & nourished AND smell the flowers start treatment now before the season gets into full swing.  


Book an appointment for relief here


Learn why dandelion greens are good for you here


Nip a cold in the bud (Chinese medicine style) here



A few do it yourself tips to start you on your way  

You probably already know what not to eat - dairy, sugar, refined carbohydrates, fruit (all create mucous), but do you know which foods can help you to create a strong immune system and reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies?

These foods, beverages and aromas all contain some or all of these properties - 
antioxidants, beta-carotene, Vitamin C & E and Selenium (a trace element that helps to break down histamine).  They also fight inflammation and scavenge free radicals - a must for a strong immune system.

EAT  . . .

Dandelion greens
Mustard greens
Flax seed
Red grapes


Drink . . .

Stinging Nettle

SMELL . . .

Lavendar essential oil
Peppermint oil



Wish upon a dandelion here



Easy & Nourishing Soup For A Cold Winter's Day


Chinese medicine philosophy has said for thousands of years that food is our first medicine. We are finally catching up…

It’s almost miraculous how injuries and illnesses can be healed by simple dietary changes.  An easy way to start is simply by paying attention to eating seasonally and locally.  If it’s a cold season you want to eat warmer foods. If it’s a hot season you want to eat more cooling foods.  In all cases we want a strong digestive fire.  Digestion takes up a lot of our energy or qi so we are doing our bodies a big favor by eating foods that are more easily digested.  The less our digestion has to work, the more qi our bodies have to direct toward illness or injury.  Makes sense, right?  Our digestive system likes warmth so think about some small changes to make a big difference.  No ice in your drinks, less raw foods, more steamed or sautéed vegetables. 

Here’s a delicious and nutritious soup that you can whip up quickly which is chock full of nutrients.

Creamy & Delicious Green Vegetable Soup

2-3 large leeks
2 bunches swiss chard (or broccoli, asparagus) 
Generous amount of shiitake mushrooms  - at least half of the plastic bags or more
8 cups vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Clean and chop leeks, vegetable and shiitakes
Sauté the leeks and shiitakes in olive oil until tender
Throw in the green vegetable and sautée until wilted (if broccoli add sooner)
Add broth, coconut milk, salt and pepper  and bring to boil

Simmer for 30-40 minutes
Let cool then blend (an inversion blender makes this super easy)  

* I add more coconut milk - you can add to taste 




Are you protected?

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All living things have a protective layer to keep out what Chinese medicine calls "evil pernicious influences".  Take a walk through the woods or your local produce aisle.   Flowers have thorns, fruits have rinds, nuts and legumes have shells and husks, animals emit odors and sprays. Many often camouflage themselves to blend into their environment. Observe nature, it will always inform you.  

Our protective qi (wei qi) circulates on our skin, regulates the opening and closing of our pores, and protects us from pathogens.  In western terms we might call this our immune system. When our protective qi is resilient our defenses are strong. When it is weak we are more susceptible to illness.

Living in NYC can be a challenge on both a physical and psycho/spiritual level.  Whether it's the germs from sharing a crowded, stuffy subway or the emotional toxins in a stressful or negative environment, we are all susceptible to external influences. 

All living beings share the same instincts to protect and nurture themselves so that they remain resilient. What do you practice daily to insure your well being?

Here are a few simple tools to add to your holistic healthcare arsenal which focus on maintaining a strong immune system . . . 

HOME MADE BROTHS  are rich in minerals and amino acids.  They support detoxification & digestion, support the adrenals, and build bone and teeth health.  Drink a cup daily to insure for a healthy winter . . .

A few simple  QI GONG  exercises to activate your Lungs' protective qi . . .

If you do feel a cold coming on  NIP IT IN THE BUD with Miso Soup & Scallions.  This is one of the first recorded Chinese herbal formulas from "Emergency Formulas to Keep up One's Sleeve" written by the Chinese doctor Ge Hong (283-243 CE).  It works beautifully !

Learn What Patients Say   . . .

Schedule An Appointment   in my Flat Iron or Washington Heights office . . . 

To your health,



Nipping a cold in the bud - Chinese medicine style!

Nipping a cold in the bud - Chinese medicine style!

You know that feeling - perhaps a slight fever alternating with chills. Your skin and scalp feel extra sensitive, maybe a headache or the beginnings of a stuffy nose. Cong Chi Tang (Miso soup with scallions) is one of the first Chinese herbal formulas from  "Emergency Formulas to Keep Up One's Sleeve"  written by the Chinese doctor Ge Hong (283-243 CE).  

If taken upon the very first signs of a cold this soup is quite effective.  The goal is to induce a sweat and push the pathogen out of the body while it's still lingering on the protective layer of our body, (our skin or wei qi).  This is why your skin feels so sensitive, it's trying to fight off the pathogen.  So make sure to drink your miso hot and bundle up in layers of clothing or get into bed under the blankets.  If you do induce a sweat, make sure to change clothing afterward.  Rest is the third ingredient in this formula, not to be omitted!  You will be pleasantly surprised at the simplicity and effectiveness of this formula.  Renewed health is just a bowl of miso away if you keep these two ingredients on hand.

Miso Soup with Scallions

Miso  (fermented soybean paste)

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Turn off flame and stir in 2 - 3 tablespoons of miso paste until dissolved.  Chop 3-5 stalks of scallion and add to the broth just prior to eating. *Never cook your miso and make sure the scallions are added last.  Serve hot