Lana Farson, M.S., L.Ac., Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Lana's Thoughts on Health and Healing…

Take care of yourself with sustainable, natural medicine. Good for you. Good for the earth.

Nothing contained on this site is or should be considered as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Reading and using information from the In Good Health Blog indicates that you agree to the terms of use of this site.

Tasty Detox with Mung Bean Cookies

Mung beans (called ‘Lu Dou’ in Mandarin) are a very valuable remedy for

Mung Beans and their Sprouts

Mung Beans and their Sprouts

detoxification.  They are commonly used for skin toxins such as carbuncles, pimples, sores and ulcers.

Mung beans are an effective antidote for the intake and overdose of many toxic substances, such as pesticide poisoning, drug poisoning and food poisoning.  Mung beans also prevent summer heat stroke, by reducing body temperature, relieving thirst and sweating.  The beans can be powdered to make a ‘mung bean flour’ and used creatively in various recipes, such as for making shortbread type cookies.

Mung Bean Cookie Recipe

These cookies melt in your mouth and have a very similar taste to peanut cookies, minus the peanut.


Mung Bean Cookies

Mung Bean Cookies

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornflour
  • 3/4 cup mung bean powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg yolk, for glazing


  • Cream butter, powdered sugar and salt until creamy.
  • Mix in sifted flours and hand knead until a dough is formed.
  • Scoop the dough with a teaspoon and roll into a ball.
  • Brush the top of each cookie with the yolk glaze.
  • Bake in preheated 300F oven for 20 minutes.

Hydrogenated Oil

Hydrogenated oil is the process of forcing hydrogen gas into oil at high pressure & temp. It’s used to take the place of butter in many baked items because it makes the oil solid at room temperature & prevents it from going rancid. Hydrogenated oil contains toxic trans fatty acids, which contribute to heart disease, cancer, MS, diabetes, allergies, weight gain, arthritis and many other conditions. Some of the things that contain hydrogenated oils are crackers, cookies, frozen waffles, pudding, peanut butter, cereal & granola bars, prepared frozen foods, canned & powdered soups, & salad dressings.  It’s likely that you’re already reading labels and keeping hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated oils out of your diet… Great!

Longevity food – Goji berries

These lovely red berries are also called wolfberries or ‘Gou Qi Zi’.Gou Qi Zi (scanned)

Botanical name:  Lycium barbarum

Goji berries, with their sweet taste, enter and work in a moistening and strengthening way upon the channels of the kidney and liver.  The energetic temperature of these berries is neutral, which means that they can easily be used with both warm and cold cases.

Benefits of Goji Berries:

1. Goji Berries are loaded with high concentrations of:

Anti-oxidant vitamins (A, C, E)
Minerals (selenium, zinc)
Phytochemicals (‘carotenoid’ anti-oxidants, polysaccharides, flavonoids)

  • healthy skin
  • healthy eyes
  • slows aging and neurodegeneration
  • reduces damage to organs, tissues and cells
  • reduces genetic mutations and gene signaling (can reduce free radicals and oxidative stress)

2. Goji Berries strengthens the blood and vitality of the liver and kidney channels

  • increases iron
  • sore back & legs
  • abdominal pain
  • reduced sexual strength
  • infertility & impotence
  • high blood pressure
  • grey hair

3. Goji Berries benefit and brighten the eyes

  • blurred vision
  • dry eyes
  • diminished visual acuity
  • dizziness

4. Goji Berries moisten the fluids of the lung

  • dry or consumptive cough
  • blood-streaked sputum
  • thirst
  • chronic, dry throat

DOSAGE: Daily dosage of Goji berries is typically 6-12 grams.

CAUTION: Be cautious with the use of goji berries in the case of dampness in the spleen (loose stools, poor appetite, etc.) as this herb is already moistening.

Caution should also be used in the case of dampness in the lungs (wet phlegm, nasal mucus, etc.).

Only use goji berries in small amounts during pregnancy, as they may stimulate uterine contractions in large doses.

RESEARCH: There is a lot of research currently being done on the effects of Goji berries.  Studies show that Goji berries have an overall positive effect on the functions of the body, including immunity, blood pressure, sleep, mood, mental clarity and energy.  Have a look at these studies:

Studies show a positive effect on health in general:

Goji Berries: Immune Function & General Well-being

Studies show that Goji berries can lower the blood pressure:

Goji Berries: effect on hypertension

Studies show that Goji berries can increase the immune system. Here’s research indicating that Goji berries can reduce the growth of cancer cells:

Goji Berries: effect on gastric cancer

Goji Berries: effect on colon cancer

Goji Berries: effect on breast cancer (by favorably altering estradiol metabolism)

Goji Berries: effect on prostate cancer

Goji Berries: effect on tumors

Never Give Up

Never Give up

No matter what is going on

Never give up

Develop the heart

Too much energy in your country

Is spent on developing the mind instead of the heart

Develop the heart

Be compassionate

Not just to your friends

But with everyone

Be compassionate

Work for peace in your heart

And in the world

Work for peace

And I say again

Never give up

No matter what is going on around you

Never give up

His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

Are you using Dangerous Pesticides?

Pesticides have been a source of water pollution and health problems for decades.  Fire_antsThe runoff from rainfall, as well as from lawns and gardens, washes fertilizers and pesticides into local water.  Pyrethrin is now one of the most popular classes of household pesticides, despite the fact that there are many effective pest control methods that are not nearly as toxic.

Check labels carefully and avoid using pesticides containing pyrethrin or pyrethroids (including permethrin, bifenthrin and deltamethrin).  Popular brands that may include these pesticides are: Raid, Hotshot, Garden Safe, Fert-i-Lome, Bio Spot, Duocide, Happy Jack, Hartz, and K9 Advantix.

Less toxic pest control products and methods can be found here and here.

Your educated choices help keep our environment healthy.  Thank you.

Facial Acupuncture

Inner health equals outer beauty.

At In Good Health in Lafayette, CA, we’ve been giving beauty rejuvenation treatments since 2000 and are certified in advanced constitutional facial acupuncture.

For thousands of years, Asian medicine has been used for longevity and the maintenance of the skin. Acupuncture and herbal therapies can boost both health and beauty. They increase circulation in the body and facial tissues. Organic herbs are used to make facial masks, poultices, and moisturizers. Cooling jade rollers massage the skin to remove fine lines and age spots associated with heat.

Asian facial rejuvenation can:

  • Reduce puffiness and dark circles
  • Smooth fine lines and wrinkles
  • Plump out sunken areas
  • Tone sagging skin and address loss of elasticity
  • Activate facial muscles
  • Improve skin texture and color
  • Reduce blemishes and pimples
  • Soften and address scar tissue, adhesions
    (by releasing old trauma)
  • Relax twitching and bell’s palsy

Click here to get more information about acupuncture and other healing treatments we do such as moxibustion, medicine cups and ‘gua sha’ energy rubbing.

Interested in comparing facial acupuncture to botox? Here’s a link to an article that talks about just that.

The ‘New’ Water Bottle – Hip & Hot

I love hot water bottles for warming the muscles and encouraging good circulation,hot water bag especially the german ones made of odorless thermoplastic.  They are so helpful for healing imbalances that are worse with cold weather, particularly during the winter months.  Who knew that you can now buy a hot water bottle with a protective and cozy cover!?  I rarely make commercial recommendations, but will share a website where you can get these great hot water bottles along with a removable and washable cover (not shown in photo). Here’s the link.

Organic – To Buy or Not To Buy?

To avoid proliferation of toxic, chemical pesticides in the body, it’s a good idea to buy Bing Cherriesorganic produce whenever possible.  Since this is not always feasible either due to availability or price, it’s helpful to make some distinction. Which fruits and vegetables should you be sure to buy organically?  Which are lowest in pesticides?  Some of this information is based on how much spraying is typically done with a particular food.  Other considerations are the shape of the produce and how much pesticides can enter or cover the edible parts.  For example, pesticides easily lodge in foods with lots of little crevices such as spinach, lettuce, strawberries or raspberries.  It is best to buy all berries organically.  Conversely, it is less crucial to buy organic when it comes to foods with thick, protective, inedible rinds such as melons or bananas.  However, choose organic if you plan on using the rind, as with citrus, since pesticides are concentrated on the outer surface.

Pesticides and the Brain

Repeated exposure to pesticides is associated with an increase in the risk for Alzheimer’s disease in later life, according to an observational study published in Neurology.

According to the study, commonly used pesticides (organophosphate and organochlorine) inhibit acetylcholinesterase—needed for learning, memory and concentration—at synapses in the somatic, autonomic and central nervous systems. There may be lasting effects on the nervous system.  In the study, the most common route of exposure was farming. Here’s yet another reason to purchase organic foods. The more we eat organic, the fewer people will be forced to work in agricultural jobs that expose them to pesticides.

Highest in Pesticides (buy organic or unsprayed):

  • Apples
  • Bell peppers
  • Blueberries (domestic)
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Collards
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Red raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

Lowest in Pesticides (less crucial to buy organically):

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cranberries
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos
  • Melons (Honeydew, Watermelon)
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Peas (sweet)
  • Sweet Potatoes

Candles & Air Quality

Candles with lead-core wicks pose air quality hazard in the home, especially during winter candlemonths when windows and doors are kept closed. Here’s an easy test: rub the tip of an un-burnt wick on a plain piece of white paper. If the wick leaves a light gray pencil-like mark, it has a lead core.  If there is no mark left on the paper, the candle is lead-free.

Good quality wax is important too.  It appears that petroleum-based candles (which includes paraffin) and scented or aromatic candles are the worst offenders and can trigger allergic reactions or certain lung conditions.  Paraffin is derived from petroleum which produces carcinogens in the air when burned.  Beeswax, soy and carnauba wax based candles are three types of non-petroleum based wax candles to look for.

Here’s a link for more information: Environmental Health & Safety – Candles & Indoor Air Quality

What is acupuncture like and how does it work?

acup - vicki

Acupuncture is one of the fastest growing fields in medicine right now as it provides real solutions to health issues, without the side effects of pharmaceuticals.

Here’s a link to an interesting article and video by The Wall Street Journal about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.  It’s pretty well done and gives some good information.

New research published in Nature Neuroscience in July of 2010 shows that acupuncture can increase the body’s levels of adenosine, which has the ability to reduce pain.  Here’s a link to a BBC Health News article about that study.  And, here’s the link to the study in Nature Neuroscience.

According to the University of Chicago Medical Center, attention has been focused on the following theories to further explain how acupuncture affects the body:

  • Conduction of electromagnetic signals
    Evidence suggests that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating these points enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at greater-than-normal rates. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, or release immune system cells to specific body sites.
  • Activation of the body’s natural opioid system
    Considerable research supports the claim that acupuncture releases opioids, synthetic or naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain that may reduce pain or induce sleep. These chemicals may explain acupuncture’s pain-relieving effects.
  • Stimulation of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland
    Joined at the base of the brain, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands are responsible for many body functions. The hypothalamus activates and controls part of the nervous system, the endocrine processes, and many bodily functions, such as sleep, regulation of temperature, and appetite. The pituitary gland supplies some of the body’s needed hormones. Stimulation of these glands can result in a broad spectrum of effects on various body systems.
  • Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones
    Studies suggest that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry in a positive way. This is accomplished by changing the release of neurotransmitters (biochemical substances that stimulate or inhibit nerve impulses) and neurohormones (naturally-occurring chemical substances that can change the structure or function, or impact the activity of, a body organ).