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The Practical Herbalist


Gelatin is a protein derived from the connective tissues of animal skins, tendons and hooves. Once processed it has the ability to absorb ten times its weight in water. It is used in glue and with some flavor and sugar makes a nice dessert. Gelatin has been around for a long time. It wasn't until large scale manufacturing made it cheap and readily available did this product move from the realm of medicine and dessert of the wealthy to the plate of the common man.

From a herbal perspective gelatin or in Chinese, E Jiao which translates to "Ass hide glue", is important in many formulas that are said to control "Wind". Wind in Chinese medical terminology is marked by any symptom that creates uncontrolled movement in the body. Tremors, tics and parkinson disease are extreme examples of wind type symptoms in the body. This metaphor for describing these symptoms also points to the way to treat the condition. The counter force to wind is dampness. The rich heavy sticky nature to gelatin becomes the obvious counter to the wind type movement of energy in the body.

Gelatin now is a readily available addition to a persons diet. I often encourage my elderly patients to add gelatin desserts to their diets as a way to help steady their hands and other body movements as they age. Gelatin is by no means going to reverse the aging process. This simple addition to the diet can have some positive effects on the quality of a persons life in regards to helping them have confidence and control of their body movements.

David Bock

This article was from David's LakeCountryOnline.com column, "The Practical Herbalist"

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David Bock, C. Ac., Dipl. OM, FABORM
Wisconsin Certified Acupuncturist
National Board Certification in Oriental Medicine
Fellow American Board Of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Bock Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine
888 Thackeray Trail #206
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066