Jim Galbiati, M.Ac.
Five Element Acupuncture

1350 Pine Street
Suite 3
Boulder, CO 80302

Chai - Spiced tea from central asia

Coffee is a tropical crop. It causes the body to dissipate energy. In the tropics, this is good; people need to get rid of heat. In other climates, however, coffee causes the body to dissipate energy that the body wants to hold on to. Although this release of energy gives a short term high, in the long term it depletes the body of its energy reserves. Thus, the more coffee you drink, the more you need to maintain normal energy levels. It is not the caffeine in coffee that causes this trouble, but the energetic nature of coffee itself. Green tea, for example, has plenty of caffeine, yet studies demonstrate remarkable beneficial effects. Decaf coffee causes the same problems as caffeinated coffee.

Chai is a great substitute for coffee. The herbs and spices it is made from have a beneficial effect on digestion. It is a very warming drink, thus is especially appropriate in the colder seasons, or for people who often feel cold. And it tastes great. This recipe is very forgiving. You can vary the amounts of any of the ingredients to suit your own taste.

1 to 2 inches fresh ginger root, sliced thin
10 to 15 cinnamon sticks
10 cardamom pods
5 to 10 cloves (like are used in ham)
5 peppercorns (too much will make it undrinkable)

Simmer in 1 to 2 quarts water for 45 minutes. Add black tea, milk, and honey to taste. It will keep in the refrigerator for a week or more.

Baked Garlic

Garlic has tremendous medicinal powers. Nicknamed 'Russian Penicillin' during World War II, both eastern and western authorities recognize its ability to ward off illness. From a western viewpoint, it has both anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. From an eastern perspective, it bolsters the 'wei-qi', or the surface level of defense. I find garlic is most effective in the early stages of a cold or flu. When you notice the very first signals that something isn't right: a scratchy throat, a tiredness that shouldn't be there, or a little bit of achy muscle. Some people worry about the odor of garlic. Personally I'd much rather be a little smelly than a little (or a lot) sick. And if you make enough for your whole family, they won't notice anything.

Take one head (not one clove) of garlic per person.
Cut off the pointy ends.
Drip some olive oil on the cut ends, and wrap in aluminum foil.
Bake at 450 degrees for 50 minutes.
Peel and eat.


One common pattern of disharmony is called, in Chinese Medicine, Deficient Blood. Some signs of deficient blood are a pale tongue, pale complexion, and fine, or thin pulse. Some symptoms are low energy and stamina, tendency to be cold, insomnia or light sleep, poor memory or forgetfulness, and light menstruation, sometimes with varying lengths between periods. No person will have all the signs or symptoms of any pattern. Indeed, because we are complex combinations of constitutional and environmental factors, people will often have combinations of contradictory symptoms. Signs (pulse and tongue) are more reliable indicators of the underlying condition. Acupuncture can help to alleviate patterns of disharmony. Food can also help. The best food to help replenish the blood is red meat. From the vegetable world, beets are a wonderful support.

Beets grow year-round in most parts of the country. Look for smooth, round beets with dark red, unmarred skins and crisp green, not yellowing leaves. The leaves are a good source of potassium, calcium, and vitamin A.

Scrub the beets in cold water before cooking. Remove loose dirt, but try not to break the skin. Leave an inch or so at the stem and root ends. Peel the beet after cooking.

Boiling is the most common method of cooking beets. Place them in a large pot filled with cold water. Bring the water slowly to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until the beets are barely tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Rinse under cold running water and drain them before peeling.

Cook beet tops quickly in a saute pan with just the water in which they have been washed. To remove bitterness from overly mature beet tops a, boil in salted water for a few minutes.

After cooking the beets, you can vary the recipe to suit your particular tastes. The basic recipe is to cut the beets into small bite size pieces, add butter, vinegar, and sugar and cook a little more.


1 pounds small beets
cup raisins
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon grated lime peel

1. Cook the beets until tender, about 30 minutes, remove skins, slice.
2. Soak the raisins in cold water, let stand 10 minutes.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the ginger, cook 5 minutes. Add the beets, raisins, honey, and vinegar. Cook until thoroughly warm. sprinkle with the lime peel and serve.


1 pounds beets
3 tablespoons butter
cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
cup cream
fresh parsley

1. Cook the beets until tender, about 30 minutes, remove skins, slice.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook a few minutes. Stir in the flour and cook another few minutes. Add the mustard and cream, and cook until slightly thickened.
3. Add the beets and cook, stirring often, until warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with chopped parsley.


1 pounds small beets
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vinegar
Grated peel of 1 medium orange
Grated peel of 1 small lemon
Juice of 1 medium orange
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the beets until tender, about 30 minutes, remove skins, slice.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion; cook until translucent. Add the honey, vinegar, orange and lemon peel, orange juice, and the cinnamon.
3. Stir in the beets. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste..

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