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Question About Sense of Taste >

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Question About Sense of Taste >

Posted by PeterB on August 08, 2001 at 21:03:18:

Does anyone know how to restore the sense of taste? I go for weeks without tasting my food, sensing only salt and sweets. The rest of the time its about 50% what it used to be. I'm just entering middle-age, this shouldn't be a problem at my age. I hear that zinc can help, but I take zinc, it hasn't helped. Could it be candida? This is a chronic problem Ive had for a few years now. It takes just about all the joy of out of eating. Thanks if anyone has information.



Do you use cinnamon toothpaste? This is a typical side effect. -nmi

Posted by beth on August 08, 2001 at 21:33:58:

In Reply to: Question About Sense of Taste > posted by PeterB on August 08, 2001 at 21:03:18:

...



Re: Do you use cinnamon toothpaste? This is a typical side effect. -nmi

Posted by PeterB on August 08, 2001 at 21:47:37:

In Reply to: Do you use cinnamon toothpaste? This is a typical side effect. -nmi posted by beth on August 08, 2001 at 21:33:58:

Nope, ginger and peppermint. I use lots of other spices in cooking, not that one. Thanx for the info.

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Re: Question About Sense of Taste >

Posted by Judy on August 08, 2001 at 22:15:23:

In Reply to: Question About Sense of Taste > posted by PeterB on August 08, 2001 at 21:03:18:

How much zinc are you taking? There may be an absorption problem. I forget which forms of Zn are the most absorbable.

Back when I was still eating junk food (and was a lot sicker than I am now), I liked cheddar cheese popcorn and sour cream & onion flavored potato chips. I thought the makers of the products were really cheap when it came to the seasonings. After I was on a fairly high dose of Zn for a few months I realized that I hadn't been able to taste the seasoning very well and my sense of taste had been off! (I was on the Zn for immune system problems.)

From a TCM standpoint, lack of a sense of taste or poor sense of taste points to Spleen Deficiency. Either or both can be present considering that from a TCM standpoint, the Spleen Organ system includes many of the functions of the pancreas as well as some other aspects of digestion.

Judy



Re: Question About Sense of Taste >

Posted by PeterB on August 09, 2001 at 08:08:34:

In Reply to: Re: Question About Sense of Taste > posted by Judy on August 08, 2001 at 22:15:23:

I was taking 24mg in combined sources (not counting food) for a few mths at most, then dropped off the extra zinc -- now get just 5mg in my multi. Maybe youre right and I need to give it more time. Any info. on how to assist the spleen (about which i know nothing) would be much appreciated. THanks and stay well.



Re: Question About Sense of Taste >

Posted by Sonja on August 09, 2001 at 09:51:28:

In Reply to: Question About Sense of Taste > posted by PeterB on August 08, 2001 at 21:03:18:

Hi Peter.
I don't know if lack of taste can be contributed to the zinc deficiency, but I know of way to establish if you have one. Have you tried the liquid Zinc Tally test by Metagenics?

I have done this, some time ago and found out I was totaly depleted. My husband tried the test with me on several occasions, but he had only a slight deficiency reaction the first time, and none afterwards. I took liquid zinc for a while, and a tablet/day supplement afterwards, for about 6 months.
It helped a lot for my enzyme production (took away some major digestion problems) and I guess it helped the immune system after a chronic Candida infection (no infection whatsoever now).

Whether it helps to regain a sense of taste...sorry I wouldn't know. Hopefully someone will know.

Regards,
Sonja



Re: Question About Sense of Taste >

Posted by PeterB on August 09, 2001 at 11:32:20:

In Reply to: Re: Question About Sense of Taste > posted by Sonja on August 09, 2001 at 09:51:28:

I don't know either, but I'd like to take the test and see what happens. I'm going to look into that. Thanks.

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Re: Question About Sense of Taste >

Posted by Judy on August 10, 2001 at 02:35:26:

In Reply to: Re: Question About Sense of Taste > posted by PeterB on August 09, 2001 at 08:08:34:

I wish I could remember exactly what I took back then, but I was so out of it my husband and the clerks at the healthfood store had to look up the vitamins, minerals, and other things that were needed to fight mono and CFIDS. It seems like it was a 50 mg zinc, but I can't remember what form or if I took one or two a day. I was so sick I had to write each thing down as I took it, otherwise if I waited until I took all I was supposed to at each sitting, I couldn't remember if I had taken it or not. I remember a multiple B, but I'm not sure how many daily. I think the magnesium was 3X per day, but I'm not sure. The dose of A was very high, and I think that was more than once a day as was the C. I think there was echinacea more than once a day.

I don't know if there was something among everything I was taking that facilitated the absorption of the Zn. After I had improved somewhat and found out about the taste thing, I tried to get my Zinc from sunflower seeds, but my digestion was still so bad (even with digestive enzymes) and my need so great, I had to stay with the pills.

Here is a partial list of foods which are tonic to the Spleen according to Henry C. Lu in Chinese Natural Cures:

Beef, caraway seeds, carrots, cherry leaves, cinnamon bark, dillseed, garlic, fresh ham, lotus fruit, mullet, perch, pheasant, pineapples, white rice, rice sprouts, royal jelly, string beans, whitefish, sweet rice, and yam (but not sweet potato). Ginger targets the Spleen and Stomach. I believe millet also is good for the Spleen.

The Spleen likes Warm and Dry, and is bothered by Cold and Damp. The amount of raw foods may have to be limited somewhat because they tend to be too Cold in nature. (The exact ratio is something that only the individual can work out.) Certain foods such as dairy and wheat are Damp-engendering, so these need to be eliminated or severely curtailed when one has a weak Spleen. From a TCM standpoint ice cream is one of the worst foods there is. It's cold, it's dairy, it's overly sweet, and it has a lot of fat - a quadruple whammy from a TCM standpoint.

Oddly enough TCM doesn't say to eliminate all sweets. For one thing this would be virtually impossible since from a TCM standpoint a majority of foods have a sweet taste (including meat). The Spleen will suffer if there are too little or too much of sweets.

I've found the TCM idea of a balanced diet to be very helpful and very filling and easy to digest. A balanced diet from a TCM standpoint is one that contains all 5 flavors at each meal. The 5 main flavors are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and pungent (spicey). The exact ratios will differ according the the individual's needs. For example, I require more spicey than most people because I have a lot of problems with cold.

When you look at Qi tonic herbs like licorice root, ginseng, astragalus, Ziziphi Jujubae fruit, codonopsis, and Dioscoreae Oppositae root, most of the Qi tonic (inceases Qi) herbs target the Spleen and the Lungs because these are the 2 Organ systems most responsible for Qi reserves in the body. A lot of Qi tonic herbs also target the Stomach. (In TCM it's recognized that each herb and each food have a special affinity for certain Organs. It's also recognized that each herb or food has a thermal energy - hot, warm, neutral, cool, or cold. In addition, the flavors of herbs and foods are listed in the TCM Materia Medica (sort of like a TCM PDR). Part of the training of an herbalist is to taste each herb and identify the flavor(s). Practically all of the Qi tonic herbs have a sweet taste. This is not surprising considering that the sweet flavor has an affinity for the Spleen and Stomach. (Salty has an affinity for the Kidneys and Bladders, and the directions for some Kidney tonics are to take with a pinch of salt. Spicey/ pungent/ acrid for the Lungs and Large Intestine, sour for the Liver and Gall Bladder, and Bitter for the Heart and Small Intestine.) When you chew a little bit of licorice root, you understand how it got one of its nicknames - "wood candy".

In addition, there are certain acupoints that can help the Spleen. One of the best for both the Spleen and Stomach is Stomach 36 (aka Three Mile Point). If you go to acupressure.com and click on articles and then on Chapter 23 Immune System Boosting, there are written directions for finding St 36 and a photo of where it is located. I wish the website had included the drawing that can be found in the book as it helps even more. St 36 is one of the points that get used a lot in acupuncture and acupressure because good digestion is critical to so many things from both a TCM and a Western standpoint.

Judy



Re: Question About Sense of Taste >

Posted by PeterB on August 10, 2001 at 09:26:41:

In Reply to: Re: Question About Sense of Taste > posted by Judy on August 10, 2001 at 02:35:26:

Thanks, Judy! I appreciate a guide with new avenues to explore. INterestingly, I gravitate to many of the foods on your spleen-friendly list, but I notice I am tasting less since stopping my garlic caps a few weeks ago. And garlic is on your list, so I'm starting back on it today. I also thot about your comments on ice cream. I stopped eating it about 6mos ago, but one night 6wks back I picked up a pint at the store (relapse!) and got seriously ill later that night. The other half of that pint is still in the freezer (scheduled for a meltdown in the sink later.) I believe im like you with needing more spicey foods, its like i really crave them. I will save your comments for reference as i continue to refine my eating habits. I wonder if you can comment on which OILS you think fall into which TCM category? Take care, stay well.

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Re: Question About Sense of Taste. (Archive in aging.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on August 10, 2001 at 09:49:42:

In Reply to: Question About Sense of Taste > posted by PeterB on August 08, 2001 at 21:03:18:

Hi, PeterB.

If the Zinc Tally test is negative, still try an easily absorbed zinc (aspartate, orotate) for a few months for a therapeutic trial; since this would be the easiest thing-- and one of the most common--to resolve.

If this does not work, I would get really serious about a wellness program since this is a sign of aging and THAT can be reversed some and retarded some as well.

Few people appreciate how much losing the sense of taste will degrade their enjoyment of life until it is gone completely.

Let us know how you do.

Walt



Re: Question About Sense of Taste. (Archive in aging.)

Posted by PeterB on August 11, 2001 at 23:54:38:

In Reply to: Re: Question About Sense of Taste. (Archive in aging.) posted by Walt Stoll on August 10, 2001 at 09:49:42:

Thank you Doctor, Im now on the zinc and hope to report back good news. You are right about the effect of this...it can be depressing. Stay well.

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