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Heart Health

Asian Medicine doesn’t necessarily view high cholesterol as a disease. Rather, it’s symptomatic of a dysfunction of the metabolic pathway.  Specifically, it’s an accumulation of dampness and phlegm. And this accumulation is the result of weakness in certain organs. Most notably, Spleen, Stomach, and Liver.

Although in ancient times high cholesterol was not a diagnosis as it is today in western medicine, it’s possible that centuries ago, while conducting dissections or autopsies noticed a white, waxy substance in blood vessels. This natural substance found in the body is cholesterol.

Is Cholesterol Bad?

But cholesterol is not in itself an evil substance it’s made out to be. In fact, from a western perspective, it’s a precursor to several hormones. Without it, we wouldn’t have testosterone to help build lean muscle tissue and provide a healthy libido. Cholesterol also gives structure to cell membranes. Our cells would be more vulnerable to oxidation and structural damage without enough of it.

Asian Medicine doesn’t necessarily view high cholesterol as a disease, rather, it’s symptomatic of a dysfunction of the metabolic pathway.

Some natural health experts view cholesterol as a repair substance that responds to inflammation in the body. Nonetheless, an estimated 20 million people take statin drugs. Statin drugs limit the amount of cholesterol naturally produced by the liver.

Asian Medicine Root Causes of High Cholesterol

Even in ancient times, a well-known predictor of health was diet. It was common knowledge that eating a diet rich in fried and/or fatty foods (and not getting enough movement) can lead to health problems.

According to Asian Medicine theory, the root cause of excess cholesterol in the blood is dysfunction of the Spleen and Liver organ systems.
  Spleen in Asian Medicine is the primary digestive organ system. It transforms the food you eat into usable energy. But if you’re eating lots of fast food and highly-processed food, your Spleen won’t have the proper building blocks (nutrients) to produce healthy levels of Qi and blood.

Poor Diet, Not Enough Exercise = PHLEGM

The liver naturally produces cholesterol. But if someone has too much Yang energy in the liver, it could cause the liver to operate in hyper drive, producing excess cholesterol.  This cholesterol has to go somewhere. And if diet is poor and not enough exercise breaks up the cholesterol deposits, this can potentially lead to the build-up mentioned above in the arterial walls.

Many health concerns, from a Asian Medicine perspective, can be attributed to excess internal dampness. Excess cholesterol in the blood fits this pattern. Internal dampness can produce phlegm. Not the phlegm you may automatically think of with bad colds, but internal phlegm from an excess of fatty tissue.  Internal dampness stems from blood stasis. Think of blood stasis as when your blood, instead of flowing like a free-flowing river, instead, is stagnant like a swamp.

What can be done

The good news for those looking for natural solutions to support healthy cholesterol levels can text for an appointment to go over your next step in supporting blood circulation and normal cholesterol metabolism.  

Kidney Health

Kidney Bean Burgers

Author: Melanie McDonald

Kidney Bean Burgers with loads of flavor and texture. They are quick and easy to make, perfect for midweek meals and great for making ahead too!

PREP TIME: 15 minutes minutes

COOK TIME: 16 minutes minutes

Servings: 4 burger patties



  • ▢ 1½ cups (9 oz or 265 grams) canned kidney beans , This is equivalent to 1 x 15 oz can (398 ml can in Canada or 400 gram can in the UK)

  • ▢ ¼ medium onion

  • ▢ 2 medium cloves garlic

  • ▢ 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

  • ▢ 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • ▢ 1 teaspoon chili powder or smoked paprika , see notes if you are in UK/Europe

  • ▢ ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ▢ ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ▢ 1 cup (90 grams) rolled oats , or old fashioned oats (use gluten-free certified oats of necessary)



  • Rinse the kidney beans and give them a good shake to remove any excess water.

  • Scoop up about half of the beans into a small container and set aside. Add the remaining half to a food processor.

  • To the food processor also add the onion, garlic, ketchup, oregano, chili powder/smoked paprika, salt and pepper then process to a paste. Scrape down as needed to make sure everything is blended.

  • Open the food processor and add the remaining kidney beans, oats and parsley if using. Pulse to combine, breaking up the oats and beans into smaller but still chunky pieces. You will need to get in there and give it a scrape down the sides and into the bottom to make sure everything combines well. Don't process it too much or you will lose the texture.

  • Have a plate or small baking tray lined with parchment paper next to you.

  • Remove the blade from the food processor and shape the mixture into four ½ to ¾ inch thick patties. Prior to shaping each patty, really squeeze the mixture together in a tight ball in your hand to compact everything. This helps them hold their shape.

  • Lay the patties out onto the lined plate or tray once shaped. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes but up to 3 days is ok. If only chilling for about half an hour there is no need to cover them. Any longer cover the plate/tray well so the patties don't dry out.

To pan fry

  • Brush a large skillet or frying pan with a little oil and place over medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, carefully add the burger patties. Cook for about 8 minutes on each side or until firm and brown on both sides.

To oven bake

  • Put the burgers on a lined baking tray and bake them in the oven on 375°F (190°C) for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through and crusty on the outside. Flip them over halfway through the cooking time.

To grill

  • I don't recommend putting these burgers right onto the grill grates. Instead either place on greased aluminum foil on the grill to give them some support, or use a greased grill pan or cast-iron skillet. Cook them over medium-low heat for about 7 to 8 minutes each side or until brown and firm.


Store uncooked burger patties in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Cooke burgers can also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 


Serving: 1burgerCalories: 185kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 9gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 363mgPotassium: 404mgFiber: 8gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 133IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 3mg

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