A long break between blogs again. I have been super busy balancing the same global dilemma that has affected all of us since January 2020 surprised us with a pandemic. Covid-19 TCM food choices are important, together with lifestyle choices, to guarantee a full recovery!

TCMchef raphael gamon

After helping a severe diabetic client in Malibu to get back on her feet—literally (physically)—I pondered whether how I was guiding people to recover is actually sane from a Buddhist perspective. My friends tease whether it’s constructive to restore a person to health when that person shows little compassion about the life of other people. 

My wisdom is not derived from Internet research or pushing sponsored food trends. I diligently research science around the globe. My fine-tuned approach is an individually focused approach to help clients regain their health, sanity, and will to live. My goal is to help them stay on a healthier path forward and maybe convince their family members and friends to change their way of consuming foods. 

Eating healthy requires you to prepare your foods; develop a “relationship” with all you consume…

The biggest challenge in guiding another through recovery is their many well-intended tips from family members, friends, and even doctors who don’t actually understand (or believe in) the general suggestions provided by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and its take on nutrition. Daily, I have to maneuver around insecurities when asking others to trust me fully as their chef. To carry a patient through a culinary journey, I must be informed, clear about product research, and capable of reading a medical blood chart. Often I go against a doctor’s suggestion and reject eager nutritionists trying to sell a product that actually has no benefits. A family member confronts me with opinions derived from google searches. I have bite marks on my tongue when the physiotherapist adds well-intended advice about “another client of mine added this to their diet” or even worse when an early morning article promotes a fancy-sounding treatment with absolutely no scientific research to justify it. Such articles typically are written well and may even highlight a celebrity, as if the successful consumption of a Chinese miracle pill that seemed to help them could be equally beneficial to my trusted client. 

Covid-19 not only challenges virologists and the medical community; it also brings curious TCM nutritionists together: We have been busy sharing our discoveries, and together, we have a great arsenal of long-proven ingredients to adapt to individualized help safely.

I think of myself as an ideal assistant to any doctor. My work typically starts after a client has suffered through an emergency room visit or, even worse, after surviving intubation by highly skilled medical professionals. 

I’m dedicating this blog to anyone affected or helping another recover from Covid-19; it’s a complex journey, and what we know to be true today will most likely change shortly.

broccoli benefit gut health

One-third of all Covid-19-positive people complain about long-term consequences, including memory loss, fatigue, lingering sensations of pain, or inability to recover their sense of taste and smell full. Fifty percent of people that experienced high fever and pneumonia-like symptoms have been diagnosed with myocarditis, necrotic tissue in the left ventricle indicating stress on the heart muscle, and oxygen deprivation or coronary occlusion. Autopsies reveal that Covid victims have an astonishing amount of thrombogenic material in their main organs; Even bodies below the age of 30 reveal multiple thrombus emboli (detached blood clots). 

The current estimate shows that three million people in the U.S. by the end of 2020 will need to change their diet, forced to take this epidemic seriously and start improving the microbiome of their gut! 

If you take your recovery seriously, food is now medicine, and a lifestyle choice must be aligned to benefit fully. As of August 1, 2020, these are my suggestions. Embrace that unlike most nutritionists and medical professionals in the Western world, practitioners of TCM do not promote a generalized approach: I’m merely designing a guideline within which you need to reach out to a professional and communicate specific health issues that could complicate your approach to food as medicine.

osteopathic medicine Covid-19 recovery

Let me provide you with a summary of how TCM analyses the pathogenic nature of Covid-19. From a TCM perspective, Covid-19 clinical symptoms display with its basic pathogenesis a destructive chain reaction on all five main organs: Lung, Liver, Heart, Spleen and Kidney. This virus might cause reactions similar to Influenza, but the damage was done beyond the classical flu profile like fever, cough, fatigue, and headache surprises the science communities worldwide. We can summarize that Covid-19 is an invasive epidemic virus that attacks the upper respiratory system and progresses into the lungs quickly, causing vital qi deficiency. Covid-19 is not only a respiratory illness. It also invades the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels, causing damage and inflammation. At first, in the TCM community, we thought that this virus would require treatments similar to those used in treating the H1N1 virus outbreak from 2001, which gave us a great understanding of how to help recovery during that particular outbreak. However, the original SARS virus, a sister coronavirus to the current infection, did not spread past the lungs.

The human brain is shielded against many viruses, bacteria, and chemical agents by the blood-brain barrier. It looks as if this SARS-CoV-2 virus can bypass this barrier or even enter into the embryotic placenta. No conclusive studies are available to suggest long-term developmental problems. In any case, 14% of people who survived intubation or severe Covid-19 sickness complain about consequential long-term memory deficiency and sleep disorders.

Today, we should start to concentrate on treating Covid-19 patients with a focus on their pathological properties involving dampness and heat and treating the body as I would for poisoning (understanding the interference of Western prescriptions with natural remedies). We should become better informed about the benefits of sound sleep, exercise, and yoga, the effects of breathing deficiencies, and control mood stasis. My foremost food combinations help to balance circulatory function and providing lung-boosting properties. I’m laser-focused on the discovery of the pathogenicity of this epidemic. Being informed about (medically sane) current research, I have added snack suggestions by simply understanding facial expressions and being aware of weather changes or mood patterns. I encourage my clients to sleep regularly and exercise diligently! This is a serious virus, and no one is ensured of a full recovery. Sugar addiction aside, encouraging well-to-do people to change their lifestyles is a challenge. In the end, I’m rarely recognized for having prevented a much worse outcome. 

Covid-19 herbs for recovery
When ill, think of Food as Medicine: Embrace your Journey!

One client last June made me aware of TCM-promoted Chinese capsules sold under the name of LinHua QingWeng. These capsules were developed in China during the H1N1 outbreak. In January 2020, most foreign Chinese students studying the USA received a “free preventative dose” through their consulate in the USA. This is not a preventative medicine that I would recommend.* It actually is unhealthy when taken without an underlying ailment! However, three out of its fourteen ingredients make a perfectly safe tea to consume during flu season (listed below). You can find these ingredients in your herbal store. Don’t purchase teabag versions; order through a reliable TCM pharmacy, such as The three ingredients that I do recommend are:

  • Semen Armeniacae Amarum, bitter apricot kernel. It soothes coughs and calms the lungs.
  • Fructus Forsythiae, Forsythia. This disperses the pathogen exogenously, reduces the swelling of small air passages in the lung (bronchiolitis), reduces fevers, balances pain, and reduces skin rashes. In Asia, forsythia is given intravenously (by IV) with other herbs for treating bronchiolitis.
  • Flos Lonicerae, Flos Lonicerae, Jin Yin Hua, or honeysuckle. This contains anti-inflammatory properties, and it fights viruses and tumors. It also contains an anti-oxidation and scavenging DPPH radical, which calms the nervous system and having an antipyretic effect. Honeysuckle tea inhibits the activity of alpha-glucosidase and lowers blood sugar and blood lipids.

Chinese Honey Suckle

*Just for the curious: why I cannot support LinHua QingWeng. This TCM product contains herbal ephedra, sold in the USA as Mormon Tea, a supposed weight-loss remedy. A systematic review found that ephedra led to a twofold to threefold increased risk of nausea, vomiting, psychiatric symptoms, and palpitations compared with a placebo. Because of this and other evidence, the FDA banned ephedra on April 12, 2004.

In my first meeting with new clients, I make sure that I understand how to eliminate foods that will interfere with a successful treatment; this sounds more shocking than it is. It also gives me a measurement of how sincere a client is likely to follow my suggestions. No sugars or artificial sweeteners: the latter is worse than white sugar, guaranteed. Yes, that includes stevia or date sugar or basically any substitutes. The idea that maple syrup is healthy shows how marketing has twisted our minds!

Fruit sugar is healthy! I have to repeat this. Even diabetic watermelon and most fruit sugars are less harmful if consumed with their natural fiber-packed consistency. As soon as you isolate it (fresh-squeezed fruit juice), they become unbearably dangerous to diabetics and cancer patients. Same with the celery, carrot, and ginger “juicers” out there. I shake my head when I watch this insanity! 

Celery is a prevalent allergen; reactions to it can be life-threatening. If you’re allergic to birch pollen or mugwort, you’re also likely to react adversely to celery. Symptoms include swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, and throat; itching; rashes; dizziness; and stomach upset. Celery contains several compounds known as furanocoumarins. These chemicals cause skin to be photosensitive—that is, sensitive to bright light, especially sunlight. Celery is stressful on your kidneys! Pregnant women should avoid large doses of celery and celery seed, as they can induce bleeding and uterine contractions. My favorite part about celery is that it grows fast and cheaply, and it absorbs more chemicals from the ground than any other field-grown vegetable in California.

So, stop consuming it in large amounts or worth; juiced.

With a few exceptions, you DO NOT need vitamin or herbal supplements. I’m baffled how much money is spent in the mistaken belief that when you consume isolated forms of vitamin C, your body knows how to absorb it. Yes, if you’re malnourished or have no access to fresh products (I mean starved), you can supplement with multivitamins, which are not ideal but OK at best! Does anything stored in a glass or plastic container seem natural or healthy to you? 

During Covid-19 isolation, many may think “delivery service” is safer to get fresh products into their homes. AS a private chef, I am baffled about the ungroomed and sketchy characters hired to select and deliver your goods. If you think this is a Covid19-sane solution, you’re taking big risks. And while we’re at it, please don’t shop at your neighborhood health-food store for products you intend to reheat and eat out of microwavable plastic food containers.

Please keep it simple; being healthy is not difficult. Go back to basics. Simplify!

My blogs are somewhat lost in the endorsed consumer world, far behind brand-sponsored prolific writers with little experience at the forefront of personalized care. My mission is not self-enrichment but to actually provide help and a sense of  “I can cope with this….”

The Internet is the biggest culprit in the Covid-19 epidemic throughout the USA. Misinformation is rampant; you can find more false claims, fake cures, idiotic health suggestions, and an endless list of products that bank on fear and gullibility. Amongst some of my favorite claims are that milk protects people from the virus because it contains “lactoferrin, which is a protein that helps to fight off viruses,” as well as “vitamin C and zinc, which both play crucial roles in strengthening your immunity.”  May you have come across promotions for smoking THC or eating CBD gummies to protect against Covid-19. This is beyond stupid; making such claims should be criminal.

Covid-19 recovery suggestions
Ceylon Cinnamon

In TCM, single applications are rarely used. Although I invite clients to study singular health benefits, to effectively balance anyone’s healthy diet, I must be able to understand the effects of multiple food combinations – while respecting prescription medicine – and have a pretty broad understanding of modern medicine to adjust your bloodwork with my care suggestions.

For example, research shows that Cassia cinnamon may lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. But other studies haven’t found that benefit. I wrote blogs in 2002 disproving that cinnamon could lower cholesterol or treat yeast infections in people with HIV. Medicinal cinnamon shows promise as an antioxidant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory, but for now, there aren’t enough studies to prove that it can help. When reading cinnamon, most of you think of that spice rack: a spice laced with anti-clumping chemicals, color enhancers, and dubious byproducts that don’t need to be listed. But when you start consuming it by the spoonful daily, my alarm bell goes off. Because cinnamon is an unproven treatment, there isn’t a set recommended or safe dose. Some experts suggest 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2–4 grams) of powder a day. Some studies have used between 1 gram and 6 grams of cinnamon. Very high doses are toxic. Know your sources.

The cinnamon you buy at the store could be one of the two main types, Ceylon or Cassia, or a mixture of both. Ceylon is easier to grind, but it may not work as well for diabetes; cinnamon may affect your blood sugar, so if you have diabetes and take cinnamon supplements, you might need to adjust your treatment because it can affect the way antibiotics, diabetes drugs, blood thinners, heart medicines, and others work. Use fermented garlic (black garlic) instead; the same result, no toxicity, and way more health benefits!

I’m not done with my rant. Before going back to Covid-19 foods, it is important to embrace the dilemma of how in the Western world food is promoted, packaged, and consumed. Your digestive track must be your foremost focus when changing your diet to snap back to health. A study conducted in China found that gastrointestinal symptoms might be more common than previously thought. Instead of the 4% initially suggested, the study found 11.4% of 651 coronavirus patients presented with GI tract symptoms. In over half of the patients, fecal samples remained positive for SARS-CoV2 RNA for a mean of eleven days after clearance of respiratory tract samples. A recent study further confirmed that eight of ten infected children had persistently positive viral rectal swabs after nasopharyngeal testing was negative. Even for those with mild cases of Covid-19 and respiratory symptoms, 23% experienced GI issues, and more than half (57%) experienced gut and respiratory symptoms. According to Medical Xpress, “It also took longer for those with digestive symptoms to clear the virus.”

Healthy living is very difficult for Americans facing relentless advertising for processed and unhealthy foods, addictive ultra-processed food high in salt and sugar, entrenched and culturally-reinforced taste preferences, limited access to healthy foods for many Americans, public policy that subsidizes disease-promoting foods, sedentary behavior, and a healthcare and medical education system that still largely emphasizes sick care over prevention.

All go humanity must start by cutting the subsidies in our agricultural programs, specifically massive commodity support for dairy, sugar, wheat, corn, and soybeans—much of which is converted into livestock feed, refined oils, white flour, and high-fructose corn syrup. Americans are paying billions of dollars to subsidize the foods that open the door to diseases, paying trillions of dollars to support the chronic healthcare costs to cover diseases, and then losing trillions more in the economy when pandemics arrive. Within medical training, there needs to be a greater focus on nutritional and lifestyle medicine (TCM/yoga) that prevents and reverses chronic disease rather than the increasingly robotic “name it, prescribe it, and bill it” style of pharmacological medicine. 

80% of all Pain Medicines produced Worldwide are consumed in the US alone!

The lessons for the military had been sudden and harsh. Weakened troops and ships shut down by the virus in 20200. America’s military leaders must build the immunity levels of our troops through a radical change in diet. We’re already struggling to recruit a healthy military because of the obesity epidemic. Now is the time for the military leadership to mandate reducing disease-causing foods in favor of fresher and healthier food. 

The Western diet, which is high in saturated fatty acids (SFAs), can lead to chronic activation of the innate immune system and an inhibition of the adaptive immune system. Briefly, excessive SFA consumption can induce a lipotoxic state and activate the innate immune system via activation of toll-like receptor 4 expressed on macrophages, dendritic cells, and neutrophils. This triggers activation of canonical inflammatory signaling pathways that produce pro-inflammatory mediators and other effectors of the innate immune system. In mice studies, this led to increased macrophage infiltration to lung tissue, specifically in the alveoli. This is especially relevant to Covid-19 patients, given the high rate of infection among lung alveolar epithelial cells and the involvement of lung tissue inflammation and alveolar damage in Covid-19 pathology. Consumption of a Western diet significantly impairs adaptive immunity while ramping up innate immunity, leading to chronic inflammation and severely impairing host defense against viral pathogens.

It is critical to consider the impact of lifestyle habits, such as consuming unhealthy diets, on the susceptibility to Covid-19 and recovery. Furthermore, many people who will recover from Covid-19 (with lingering adverse after-effects) may lead to a spike in chronic medical conditions that could be further exacerbated by unhealthy diets or in vulnerable populations. Therefore, we recommend that individuals refrain from eating foods high in saturated fats and sugar and instead consume high amounts of fiber, whole grains, unsaturated fats, and antioxidants to boost immune function.

General Suggestions:

• Change your pantry: Throw away anything sugar-laced, out-of-date, or that contains preservatives. (If you’re not sure, throw it away.)

• Cut out as much sugar as you can.

• Void pasta, bread, and crackers.

• Avoid anything stored in your fridge: salad dressings, sauces, liquid food flavors, jams, margarine, and anything that uses wordings like substitute.

• Eliminate snacks that contain sugar. Eliminate ALL artificial sugar, flavors, or chemical byproducts. Let me make this easy for you: There’s no need to read the ingredients lists; eliminate all of them. Yes, the Keto ones especially!! The word keto on synthetic foods is just wrong!

No dairy, except well-aged cheese and butter. (Yes, butter is healthy and important for recovery.) No, low-fat food is not OK. Yogurt is not easily digestible either, nor is it an ideal probiotic, despite what advertisements state or imply. No cottage cheese and lactose-free suggestions. Reminder: This blog intends to get you back up on track and maybe change your idea of what eating healthy is about! Take your physical and mental health seriously!

• No meat replacements. Sorry, Beyond Burger; for Covid-19 recovery, these patties are an artificially produced time bomb churning in your belly. There goes another endorsement…

• Nothing that contains food color or “natural flavors.” Who gave the green light to this misleading wording? I don’t care whether it’s organic or not; in the U.S., this too is just a marketing ploy. If you know your source, great. I don’t care where the apple is from, as long as you consume it with the core and skin!

• No alcohol. (Yes, an occasional glass of red wine is fun…)

• If you smoke or vape, why are you reading this blog?

• I’m OK with topical or edible CBD/THC, but keep it within controllable doses! (Gummies are not ideal.)

• Stop Juicing everything. Nature intended you to eat whole fruit and vegetable bodies.

• Look at all the Western medicines you currently take and get a better understanding of why you need them. Study!

Now you’re ready. Finally, the medicine you must concentrate on:

• You can eat (Basmati) rice, yams and polenta, any varieties, but in small amounts—never more than a cup a day.

• You can slow simmer and gently roast in butter or oils within their smoking points. (Learn about them.)

• Consume daily an equal amount of protein and cooked vegetables.

• Eat soups and salads daily, and snack regularly on unsalted nuts and fruit. Watch dry fruits sold; 90% have added sugar and coloration (no regulatory labeling required). 

• Keep your metabolism going by never making food breaks longer than two hours.

•  DO NOT drink iced anything and only drink thirty minutes before or after eating. (Void carbonated drinks…)

• Always cook, bruise, blanche, or quick roast your greens, such as spinach, cabbage, kale, or broccoli. They are tough to digest when raw while you’re in Covid-19 recovery. Use very little spice (unless chili), salt, or sauces.

• Don’t eat heavily after sunset. We all adhere to an internal clock, even when seemingly forgotten. Eat-in (good) company, away from the TV or cell phone!

Finally, take twenty minutes every day and make them YOURS: find a space of solitude, stand, breathe, allow yourself to say “life is beautiful,” or find your own inspirational words. It does not have to be meditation or activity. It is twenty minutes that you claim for yourself… just being. Peace!

Reach out and contact me: I’m here to help.

TCMchef Raphael


09/2021 my TCM cookbook is being redesigned

It slowly dawns on me that a six-year journey of writing and designing the “cooking with traditional Chinese medicine” (TCM) cookbook is finally in print. It is now available for anyone curious about everything we consume and how it affects us.

TCM cook book is out
Chuck full with Color Illustrations

The TCM cookbook with over 170 pages is chuck full of helpful information and designed as a mini-self-study to introduce all of you to the complex world of Eastern medicine from my perspective as a TCM chef.  I’m fusing two great traditions: Chinese medicinal food and French cuisine!

“As a trained chef, my curiosity early on focused on learning how food has an affect on us, not just on our physical wellbeing, but how we psychologically react to what we intake. My work informs beyond eating, drinking and the product choices we consume to sustain life; we are affected by what we see, breathes and listen too – we respond to everything we touch, we apply and the circumstances we choose to live in.  We all agree to know this, but turned away from confronting to understanding it – it seems too complex to comprehend. This full colored work is designed for young and old to quickly understand the basics of Traditional Chinese methods. My recipes are easy, tasty and original!”

Sample menu page: Vegetable juice w turmeric

Cooking with TCM is a visually stunning and clever book; a simplified presentation with well established wisdom and modern references to scientifically support facts. Learn about the remedies that have been studied on millions of people without side-effects. You quickly realize how to make perfect choices to support and sustain health.  With this book you can wisely filter through today’s luring promotions of products that are natural, safe and share with others these powerful alternatives.

There are 140 recipes with vegetarian and vegan variations and hundreds of healthy remedies to include into your daily routine. The TCM cookbook is a trove of fun information for people pondering how to sustain health, cope with illness and curious about non-invasive options to enhance our bodies ability to heal, boost immune response and guarantee longevity.

Please, support me in sharing this blog.  I am specialized in helping anyone with kidney-, liver-, diet-problems and sleep- and pain-management. We have setup an introduction consultation special for the first one hundred people that sign up through our new website. You can share this coupon as you see fitting.

The Book: Cooking with TCM is a perfect gift for friends, family and a collectable for all chefs!

Thank you,

TCMchef Raphael



When Nestlé tries to patent TCM wisdom…

Nestlé is a Swiss multinational food and drinks processing conglomerate. In a paper published last year, Nestlé scientists claimed they had “discovered” what much of the world has known for millennia: That Nigella sativa extract (fennel seeds) could be used for “nutritional interventions in humans with food allergy.” Nestle failed to patent a TCM wisdom…


Instead of creating an artificial substitute or fighting to make sure the remedy was widely available, Nestlé was attempting to create a nigella sativa monopoly and gain the ability to sue anyone for using it without Nestlé’s permission. Nestlé has filed patent applications — which are currently pending — around the world.

Update 2020: The patent was denied…

nestle failed to exclusively patent old TCM wisdom
I am perplexed about this last public outreach: My response is, let Nestle Corp. patent any idea they want… What difference does it make? Anyone interested still has the same access to fennel flowers when trying to find benefits, regardless. Grow it in your garden… It does not limit anyone from brewing a fresh fennel tea at home. I actually think these silly attempts to claim “title” to ancient knowledge are great exposure of public knowledge in today’s uninformed, pill-pushing culture. Look at this example: Although chicken soup has been demystified as a scientifically correct cold remedy, this data ignores the placebo effect of any caring mom, sister, or friend preparing it for you when you are sick – i.e., health benefits nobody doubts and science can’t really pin it down into data either way…

vanilla creamer by Nestlé

In 2006 Nestle, after getting in contact with EYS (Eu Yan Sang), a Hong Kong-based Chinese traditional pharmaceutical corporation – produced in collaboration with a TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) – fused bouillon that did not successfully breach the market. Within this relationship, Nestle must have discovered that there is more to consuming food than “feeding”… Now, a few of Nestle’s modern scientists seemingly hashed out this idea they could patent 3000 years of herbal wisdom as if to dominate the market with a singular “ownership-certificate” of common natural wisdom. Next, they might attempt to patent that fresh ginger root corrects equilibrium and goji berries significantly slow the progress of cataracts. Let ‘em claim!

…and I admit, I love their Coffee-Mate Vanilla…

Any good TCM practitioner will merely smirk about this naïve attempt to secure greedy power. It is a misguided marketing scheme that one isolated entity is the “cure-all” for trusting consumers searching for alternative help. You should never trust a laboratory geek selling you packaged “wellbeing,” especially if they produce junk-food brands like Coffee-Mate Creamer and Lean Cuisine (run)!  Sugar and food color-loaded products like Cheerios, KitKat, and Nesquik chocolate milk cause tooth decay, child obesity/diabetes, and skin disorders… Nestle intends to create a natural anti-hive remedy based on ancient herbal knowledge, and they pushed to claim this herbal remedy as exclusively theirs. These modern scientists must believe that if they could isolate a plant product, patent it and add it to unhealthy food products, people would consume it longer or in higher quantities because they don’t get sick as quickly…? Well, it’s like trusting Coca-Cola or Pepsi Cola with “healthy fruit juices.” Even so, they are loaded with corn syrup, preservatives, and a multitude of ingredients you should never poison yourself or your child with… Heck, all their “fresh” ingredients have shelf lives beyond nature’s date… Their products claim to be 100% fresh fruit juice! …“how much,” you should be asking – “how much is artificial and how much is actual fruit juice?” We just “read” the words that comfort us, not the text, intrinsically trusting.

nestle product

From the perspective of TCM, it takes a multitude of herbs and minerals to support a patient successfully. Not one singular remedy. As we all know, the same good herb that is intended to aid one person could harm another with the same symptoms. Modern pharmaceutical corporations like Nestle, blind-sided by generating revenue, are now laughably attaining a patent for an ancient claim that fennel flowers have skin healing properties… rather reflecting silliness in the face of simple herbalists: Yes, tea of fennel flowers reduces skin ailment in people – only if they have no internal inflammations. You cannot just isolate one powerful substance and give it to “all.” Most of the “natural medicines” you will find in today’s health-food stores are packed to lure consumers into finding “help” but are branded falsely or even promise “cure.”  Some go as far as to claim “healing power.”  These are all mass-produced “remedies” by factories producing little valuable substance for anyone. As if all humankind with the same symptoms – an ongoing catch 22 – could be cured with one singular ingredient, regardless of our height, our originality, condition, sex, or age… Nothing TCM supports nor recommends.

Contrary. Fennel flower tea contains thymoquinone that can aid women during their dysmenorrheal (painful menstruation), but at the same time, it can cause severe photodermatitis (skin rash) to another. While Nestle files patents requesting worldwide to create a skin remedy “cure for all” with an herb that’s been around for thousands of years – no modern practitioner would prescribe singular fennel flower tea as a successful skin remedy (Nestle claims it was to help children with food allergies…). Not in the last 3000 years of well-researched herbology was such simplicity effective enough to herbalists. Fennel flower (also known as Nigella sativa, black seed, and black cumin) would be prescribed within many herbs and minerals. Single applications are not the TCM norm.

Nestle should not claim they “own” this wisdom… Fennel is documented in over 3000 years of medicinal history. It is the knowledge that any well-rounded druid will pass on to you (to no cost). Like mom teaches her kids to brew a chicken soup for an ill sibling and encourages them to go and get him to drink it… She will give them the best advice yet: “Watch, he might be a bit grumpy, just ignore it and join him in eating the soup….” There, healing is initiated!

the TCM wisdom about fennel seed does not need a patent by nestle

Hint; fennel is health-boosting and can stop vomiting and reduces fever… If you want to learn more about it, visit the menu pages in and learn how to prepare a healthy shrimp and fennel salad – it is an aphrodisiac as well… That recipe was drafted by myself in 1998… Just in case Nestle gets any ideas!

TCMchef raphael


It takes hours to prepare a dish you consume in minutes…

Life of a chef: I miss the jungle, that gypsy blood in me – inherited, I’m convinced… My love for TCM food is to prepare bites that give others pleasure, even for a few minutes.

It is truly odd coming back to Los Angeles after spending time in pre-Olympic Europe and Singapore. Tossed around by rain in London, hail in Switzerland, and the brutal humidity of South East Asia – I’m still wandering in a cloud of jet-lagged daze. Impossible to adjust to my craving for spicy curry… Good quality of life, healthy food, living without texting, cultural discoveries. A well-adjusted sense for business lacks in the US. Although I love living in California (yes, the weather), I tend to compare and wish to surround myself with only the best from other lands.

I rebound with familiar faces from the rwp (red, white & pure) days in Singapore. Not much seems to have changed. As life moves forward, we merely become wiser about the past and cautious about the future. A sense of belonging when dealing with EYS (Eu Yan Sang) mixed with a peculiar hesitation. I love the general intelligence, the kindness of Asia cultures. I do clash a little with my “pushy” American attitude, trying to add quick efficiency. Seemingly, my free-spirited and enthusiastic ways of adapting to the possibilities do not align with a corporate structure of a slow directive approach. Here at home, we are more expedited in developing ideas into reality but lack a sincere and logical business structure.

The need on both ends to come together and bridge a complex TCM conundrum is still the same. I have developed into a gifted, versed chef with the unique ability to incorporate simple herbal formulas into tasty food. EYS has the ingredients, the testing facilities, and production factories lined up and need my talent to produce intelligent food concepts that can attract a worldwide multi-generational clientele. How do we come respectfully together? The opportunity to learn Traditional Medicine is my lure…

My dilemma is still the same: It’s hard to promote oneself as a good chef; Until you have sat on my table, tasted my food, shared my compassion… my job’s best resume is a short-lived three-dimensional experience. What seems a quick “toss-together” of seemingly lucky gestures and choices is actually a professional methodic selection of actions to blend wisdom – years of study and struggle – into a dish. IT IS METHODIC AND WELL THOUGHT OUT when I form flavor, balanced taste, and target sensations. The critique is brutally quick. One bite, judged by a few seconds of lesser joy, and my entire reputation is murky!

An irate chef would burst into a defensive mode of reactions, insulted by the simplicity of the judging entity that seemingly excluded years of study, ignoring the artistic layers incorporated in a dish judged… Judged by a lesser compassionate palate, unaware of the circumstances that now counter against the master: The soils composition, the mediocre bare ingredients, the lack of tools and time… The personal facts, the judge’s physical momentary circumstances…? This instant measures one few seconds of tasting a nibble and a whole life.

I have long learned not to give in to such negative notions. One must look at the entire experience: Secured by my research, supported by my wisdom, and motivated by my drive to please the most common of palates, I embrace a challenge and provide solutions. The simplicity of merely cooking a meal to please and earn an income bores me. Today’s life dictates that we find healthy solutions and combine the best minds to create intelligent food without synthetic toxins. My motivation is not the business aspect, although I respect that money is vital to sustaining trade and production.

Back to the drawing tables – in my case, the test kitchen… I gotta get this right! My sense is to work, show my kind intentions, and trust that others will protect my rights.

At this point, I find myself newly motivated by the possibilities presented. It feels incredible to be a part of a development that sincerely caters to bring intelligent foods to the masses. Changing a world where most “nutritional” food is a farce. I welcome the opportunity to design TCM food for EYS again. This requires my artist side to bow to the slow-moving process of regulations and bureaucracy…

Is there a decent curry house in Los Angeles?

TCM chef Raphael