Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to naturally exfoliate and brighten your complexion, diminish inflammation and acne for only a few cents


A yogi friend and fellow health, fitness and beauty blogger from Luxembourg Vesela Savova's post on beautiful skin.  


Lemon tree

Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants in nature. And while vitamin C is important for the immune system (remember the hot tea with lemon and honey?), it also fights free radicals and can help reduce the aging signs of your skin. Lemons also have the most protein of all fruits and are high in collagen, the protein that gives structure to your skin.  Hello healthy looking skin!
So what can lemon do for your skin?
  • It diminishes scars and skin blemishes. The vitamin C can help the skin become more firm and strong.  Applying lemon juice on your skin can really reduce skin redness and pimples, as it brightens and lightens the skin. Its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties fight pimple build up.
  • It can help win the acne battle. Skin experts believe that lemon juice can effectively remove blackheads and speed up the process of acne healing.
  • Lemon juice helps reduce wrinkles. The moisturising and toning effect of lemon juice can help reduce the wrinkles on your skin.
  • Exfoliate the skin naturally. The citric acid in lemons acts as a mild peel for the skin that removes the top layer of dead skin cells.
How to use lemon juice for skin care?   

by Ali: In addition something I used to do is after juicing a lemon to rub the inside of the half of a lemon on the face and leave it for 5 minutes before rinsing your face. Stay out of the sun as lemons can increase your sensitivity to sunlight. 

Meyer Lemons that preserved in salt water for recipes

Mayer Lemons and Kumquats 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What I eat in a day High Carb Vegan

Blog number 3 (I think) on What I eat in a day :)

Most of my food made it in the photos :)

Good morning Beautiful Yogis. The day here was bright and sunny. Sofie loves 15 minutes of sunbathing in the morning. She gets her vit D :) One other thing Sofie LOVES is kumquats (always cut and deseeded). I can't take a kumquat photo without her getting her little self ready to jack me out of my kumquat :)

My day started with Some Reishi "Coffee" Reishi Coffee Recipe Video HERE
BTW I have been getting a lot of questions in regards to knee pain. This recipe nourishes the kidneys which govern the knees in Chinese Medicine. Generally kidneys and knee pain is almost always related. So definitely check it out and if you can source the herbs indulge in its grounding, nourishing, earthy goodness.
I added cardamom and ginger to make it easy on the digestion. Rehmannia can be a bit heavy as its prepared traditionally in a reduction of wine and black bean juice. This is a deeply rebuilding herb that supports vitality and fertility, it can regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce inflammation.
Rehmannia, Reishi mushroom, astragalus, cardamom, ginger brew

After I left it simmering for a while I was ready to enjoy a few mugs.
Reishi coffee with hazelnut stevia and Dream Blends Hazelnut Cashew milk
The first brew is always bitter and intense and I have to add vegan milk to it. The subsequent brews are milder and I have them with no add ins.
I was working while drinking my reishi so an hour or two later I made some GREEN COFFEE as I was quitting black coffee.
Kumquats, Persimmons and Green Coffee with non dairy milk
Notice Sofie in the background. You couldn't script this if you tried to haha


Later on I had some baby bananas.

I am not sure why I prefer them over regular bananas but the taste is pretty close. The baby bananas seem to have a lower water content and taste more like banana bread, banana dessert or something. Also they are less hybridized.
On some days I have 5 of them (we split with Sofie of course) on others 15. Depends what quantity makes me feel satiated for the moment.

A big baby banana - size reference (Yes!! She thinks she is getting sum lol) 
I worked on a L Handstand & Legs Routine for 20 minutes. This workout was very intense and a ton of fun for the advanced yogis. I am hoping to shoot it this week and upload it as soon as I can. Then I made some of the celery lime drink from my chaturanga challenge class, the link to the class is here. A few of you asked for the ingredients so I remembered to photograph them.  If you want to join the chaturanga challenge this is the link to the video. There is nothing more important for arm balances than mastering chaturanga dandasana perfectly.
Cilantro or parsley, celery, jalapeno, lemon, garlic(optional) and some savory and other dried spices.  Blend with water!

A few hours later I had some of this stevia sweetened sparkling water.
SPREE with vitamin B12
Followed by some more Kumquats
This is how much she loves kumquats! She is all business around them.

Oh but she wants them!
She actually knows to never grab anything from the table, trash or grocery bags! Phew! 
Dinner time. As usual I had raw and steamed/roasted veggies and dip. Salad and dressing.
I made the best salad dressing ever! This was an incredible combination of flavors. I combined tangerines, kumquats, wasabi, chipotle, sesame seeds, tofu, flax seed, ginger, pomegranate seeds and a few more ingredients to make something that tastes out of this world. Recipe here

Some veggies and dip

Pumkin tofu dip

As a rule adding mashed pumpkin, peanut butter, carrots, tofu and sesame seed to dips makes them amazing. This dip was made with pumpkin, tofu, chipotle, cinnamon and a few other ingredients.

Sauteed (no oil) carrots for dipping. Glazed in orange, pomegranate molases base.
Glazed carrots (orange juice, pomegranate molases glaze)

Tofu tomato carrot dip with sumac and raw brussel sprouts

I ended up eating around 1500 calories and around 15% of the calories from fat. Why I don't eat more calories? I have changed how I train in the past 4 years quite a bit. I think I mentioned in my BIO that I used to teach up to 20 classes a week. Most of which were power yoga classes lasting an hour and a half. So I know quite a bit about being very physically active. I am a person that needs balance in certain areas of my life. Yes, certain areas only. Knowledge is off limits. There! I allow myself to be on the extreme side. Overall I follow what I consider for me a middle path. So if I eat 3000 calories as promoted by many health gurus then I will have to exercise more which is not optimal for me. I prefer to exercise enough to be fit, strong, flexible and balanced and that's not that much exercise. :) 
Why I dont believe in low sugar, low carb diets - that's a future post. I have eaten the same way pretty much since the age of 15. Meaning mostly fruits and veggies with some other additions such as beans, grains, nuts and seeds. Superfoods to me are a fad. Herbs however are Natures Superfoods! As far as dry powdered superfoods most of them are not bad for you but extremely overprised and of average health promoting efficacy compared to the local varieties of FRESH veggies and fruit in your area. Herbs however are a truly powerful medicine. I turn to Nature when I need to heal. I love herbs more than I love yoga. Sorry Yoga you are still my second biggest love :P Yoga is a way to connect with the human soul. Herbs are a way to connect with the soul of Mother Nature. They are the expression of her genius. 
Time to walk the little monkey! 

Best salad dressing ever! Tangerine, wasabi, chipotle, sesame, ginger

Best salad dressing ever! Super Healthy too. 
The ingredients are not traditional and you can either get them at various ethnic stores or online. I have been using a lot of dried pomegranate seeds lately. This is not the same variety of pomegranates that we normally find fresh in grocery stores. It's used in indian and a persian cuisine. The seeds are dried from a sour type of pomegranates. The antioxidant content is at the top of the charts. It's surprisingly higher than acai and goji berries! It also makes for a great salad dressing ingredient. VERY HEALTHY!
Another unusual ingredient is the wasabi powder. The one I used is from Penzey's. I randomly walked into their store in Santa Monica and got a few things that are hard to come by. Needless to say a Japanese ingredient. 
Chipotle - dried smoked mexican hot peppers. I get them at health food stores, online or mexican stores. They add a smokey flavor to any dish. They can be mild or hot. 
Aleppo pepper is a type of mild, sweet, oily pepper. It's rich and bright in color. It comes from Aleppo, Syria. It's superior to any pepper I have ever tried. I randomly bought it at an Armenian store not thinking much of it. It turns out it is the most gourmet mild hot pepper out there. Its a bit salty and oily. I am pretty sure it's from the way they process it. It's flavorful and sweet with a slowly building heat. It is not a must but if you happen to see it in your store definitely try it out. It creates a great presentation when sprinkled over zucchini "fries", potatoes, salads, etc.
Kumquats can be substituted for oranges and orange zest.
Jamaican Jerk is a combination of ginger, brown mustard seeds, onion, allspice, garlic, paprica, thyme, fennel seeds, black pepper, red pepper, cloves. OPTIONAL
Tofu can be substituted for boiled garbanzo beans. Tofu gives it a nice creamy consistency. 


1-3 tangerine
3-4 carrots
200 grams (organic) tofu
4-5 kumquats
a  slice of fresh ginger
chipotle or hot peppers to taste
a dash of ceylon cinnamon
2 tbsp (freshly) roasted sesame seeds
tamari sauce or soy sauce to taste 
stevia (optional) or (palm, cane) sugar
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp pomegrante seeds
1-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp flax seed
a dash of jamaican jerk spice
2-3 tbsp of aleppo pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon of wasabi powder
water to achieve desired consistency

Blend in a high power blender. If you don't have a high power blender make sure you grind the sesame and flax first. Boil the carrots so they blend to a smooth consistency. 


Dried Pomegranate Seeds

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Green coffee brew for creative focus, quitting coffee, super antioxidants and weight loss

I have been getting raw green coffee for years so that I can roast my own fresh coffee fresh. Roasted coffee has a very short shelf life. The oils contained in coffee become rancid about 5 days after roasting and a lot of the health benefits of coffee are diminished. Plus nothing tastes (smells) better than a freshly roasted and brewed cup of coffee. My approach to drinking coffee is to drink it on a regular basis for a few months (drinking one cup a day) and then go off of it for a while. I do enjoy it every so often and I do not buy into the two extreme camps one saying coffee is the worst and the other saying it's totally healthy. Coffee can stress your adrenals if consumed in excess. If used consciously it can increase your athletic performance, help with creative ideas and and cognitive function, decrease joint inflammation, etc. That being said I am going to discuss the best way to quit coffee that I found or how to go get off of coffee without the withdrawals.

The SECRET is in the raw unroasted green coffee bean itself.
There is very little information on the internet regarding green coffee. Recently there has been a buzz about the weight loss benefits of green coffee extract so we hear the word a lot but you still don't see green coffee beans being sold anywhere.
I like to experiment with all things natural and I always have a big bag of green beans laying around so a few years ago I decided to try green coffee in its unroasted form. I tried to grind the beans at first. Umm...but those little green babies would break even a Vitamix. They are as hard as a rocks! They would for sure break your coffee grinder. The only thing I could do is soak them and boil them for quite a while. The resulting brew tastes nothing like coffee.

The brew left overnight turns bright green almost fluorescent green

The deep green color of the first brew of the pale green raw coffee beans.
The coffee beans themselves in their raw form are pale green. Where is this rich green color coming from?
Raw green unroasted coffee beans brew/drink
 The color is deep to bright green with a somewhat vegetal, green taste. The consistency is thick and almost reminiscent of celery juice. Its hard to describe. Has something in common with green tea but personally I like it much better. Actually I love it. As far as some of its health benefit claims it is said to block dietary fat absorption and to raise metabolism and to burn of fat deposits at a faster rate. I don't know about these sort of claims. As you may suspect I don't believe in magic pills. Well... I am an herbalist so technically I DO believe NATURE is magical and herbs that come from it are miraculous "potions":) But nothing, nothing, nothing can substitute for a healthy diet, fitness and state of mind other than your actual lifestyle. I am not drinking it for weight loss purposes. As a matter of fact I am 100% sure all the big buzz weight loss supplements are more of a problem than a solution. The type of thinking that we can take a pill for an ailment is just not in accordance with nature. There are true remedies in nature and there is true healing through certain natural practices such as fasting, diet and movement. If you have a chronic condition you absolutely must adjust your lifestyle and habits. This is your body telling you that it doesn't like something that you are doing or being exposed to. Always change, always learn, always evolve! In this line of thinking I don't particularly believe that caffeine helps with weight loss. Caffeine supplements are definitely harmful. But if you are still looking for the magic pill there are some vegetables that really help with weight loss. Read my article on testosterone, estrogen, cabbage, weight loss, inflammation  HERE and my more detailed article on the healing powers of the cruciferous vegetables HERE
Rare coffee that is honey processed with some of the cherry fruit dehydrated on the bean. So the resulting brew is smooth and sweet reminiscent of honey. 

Actually in some coffee producing countries such as Yemen prize the coffee cherry much more than the coffee bean (the seed). The fruit (the cherry) has much higher nutritional and healing benefits. 

So how do I use green coffee. I soak it and then simmer it for at least 20 minutes. Soaking is not required, but it will save you time. I use anywhere from 5-30 beans. Usually around 20 beans which is minimal. If you do not drink any caffeine I do not recommend you try this now. If you decide to try it brew around 5 beans. Unroasted coffee is much smaller in size than roasted coffee is. I keep adding water to the pot as I am drinking it and I continue brewing it. An interesting observation - these 20 tiny beans never stop giving off a rich, thick, green brew. This is a testimonial to their huge antioxidant content. The taste is unusual but very good. I don't even put nut milk or sweeteners in it. That's how much I enjoy it. It does give me a mild caffeine stimulation. Not quite the same as I get from roasted coffee. It's much more pleasant. There is no caffeine rush and no crash. And the stimulation is very focused yet calm. To be quite honest with you I get very creative from it. It's very stimulating.

OK now to the genius discovery of mine. 
I understand that coffee is a ritualistic, shamanic drink and has been used for centuries for ceremonies, meditation and creating connection to higher consciousness. Nowadays humanity is definitely not treating it as the sacred drink it once was. It's pretty much an abused plant, sprayed with too many pesticides, grown in conditions and habitats that are not natural to the plant (often not shade grown). It's over-planted, over-consumed, burnt, packaged and stored until all the aromatic oils have deteriorated. 
It was actually not meant to be consumed on a daily basis. It is a very potent elixir and it should be respected and treated as a powerful medicine gifted to us by the Earth. It became a popular drink at the beginning of the industrial revolution and the corporate 9-5 structure that our society imposes upon us. The big coffee companies have taken advantage of the indigenous populations in the coffee growing regions around the world and have used it to contribute to our wage slave mentality and work structure. Not to mention that it is one of the heaviest sprayed crops in the world and the second most traded commodity after crude oil. 

So whether you are looking to switch up your morning routine or you are thinking of quitting coffee this might be for you :)
Quitting coffee can be quite painful. The side effects of caffeine withdrawal can include headaches, muscle aches, nausea, sleepiness, irritability, fatigue and so forth. 

Well, the great news is green coffee can do the trick of helping you quit your morning habit without the nasty withdrawal symptoms. 

Basically you have to get your hands on some green coffee beans. I recommend the internet for that. Order online on ebay, amazon or from a specialty website.
The day you decide to quit coffee soak your raw coffee beans over night or just boil them a tad longer in the morning. Start with 20-30 beans even more if you are a big coffee addict. And simmer them through the day. Basically try to have a mug every few hours or as soon as you start feeling the symptoms of caffeine withdrawals such as a headache, muscle aches, nausea, etc. If you are leaving the house early you can boil a stronger brew and take it with you as a concentrate to add to your drinks or just to sip through the day.
The next day toss the beans and start over. 

Stop drinking it at around 3-4pm just in case. Overall it shouldn't keep you up because each subsequent brew has less and less caffeine in it since we are simmering the same beans. All of the brews will have a lot of taste and color to them. You should get a nice mild stimulating effect from it. Once you are off black coffee say 5-10 days later you can start reducing the beans. Start brewing 10 beans, then 5 you get the picture. At the end you are off of all caffeine without ever having to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. As a matter of fact green coffee has some great health benefits so all in all it's a good switch. 
I cant find definitive information about the caffeine content in a cup of green coffee. However it seems to be significantly lower in caffeine than brewed black coffee. Also the quality of the caffeine seems superior to me. Meaning I don't get an edgy over-stimulated feeling from it. In terms of relieving coffee withdrawals it seems to have a homeopathic effect.

BTW I got a micro lens for my phone camera and it is amazing! I never really noticed that there is so much detail on a coffee bean. This is how my coffee photo session went. After all I am a yoga teacher, nothing can happen unless a few downward facing dogs were done prior... or during. 

Coffee beans on top are Panama Honey Processed. On the bottom Ethiopia washed organic Limu Kafa
Green coffee brew in the garden

Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Let me just start by saying that I have always loved make up and have no intention to stop using it  :).  That being said I am a minimalist with makeup. I find that breaking a sweat during yoga gives you a clearer, brighter complexion naturally. It's always best to get your skin to look healthy through diet and lifestyle. Most of us would agree that a carefree, natural look beats a polished overdone look any day.

Unfortunately, even though most women have heard about the toxicity in cosmetic products, they are just not convinced or do not realize just how toxic these products truly are. Your Skin Absorbs up to 60% of the Products Used Topically ~ both Natural or Chemical and only 10% of the  VITAMINS that are  taken orally get absorbed into the system. (Rates of skin absorption of contaminants in public drinking water were studied by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. The study found that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of the total contaminant dosage.) The studies showed that absorption rate varies depending on the compound. Some examples include, caffeine, which is absorbed by the skin at 48% while DDT is absorbed at 10%.
Alarmingly fragrance ingredients, showed a 100% absorption rate (Robinson et al, 2000).

What's even more interesting is that the underarms and genitalia showed up to a 100% absorption estimate (Kasting, 2005). Breast cancer is so wide spread nowadays! Do you think there is any connection with the use of aluminum laden antiperspirants? I choose not to put carcinogens under my armpits! Further more I do not block my body's need to sweat! And I do not buy products that contain parabens. 
(A study done on accumulation OF PARABENS in the body from long-term, low-dose levels to which humans are exposed. Detailed studies enabled identification and measurement of mean concentrations of individual parabens in samples of 20 human breast tumours by high-pressure liquid chromatography followed by tandem mass spectrometry. The mean concentration of parabens in these 20 human breast tumours was found to be 20.6 +/- 4.2 ng x g(-1) tissue. Significance of the detection of esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (parabens) in human breast tumours. [J Appl Toxicol. 2004]). Aluminum (an antiperspirant ingredient) and parabens do not belong in a beauty repertoire, end of story.
Sweating is one of the contributing factors for breast health.  Allowing your body to detox and your lymph to move is essential for good health.  

Speaking of not sweating or sweating in public, Yoga comes in handy here. Instead of having to strive for a photoshopped, perfect, non-sweat look, Yoga can teach us to accept our own perfection and "own" our imperfection(s). Yoga teaches us to find beauty in athleticism, movement, simplicity and health rather than in a magazine inspired, over-done, "covered up" look. 

OK back to makeup.

Statistically the average woman absorbs into her tissues up to 5 lbs of toxic substances a year from beauty products. I don't know about you but to me that does not sound very beautiful. Rather than trying all the latest products how about we just go back to basics.  Lets use more oils like coconut, avocado, rose hip oil for example, essential oils, organic products, things that are already in our kitchen. Lets use skin actives (that's a whole article on its own). Basically you can get the active ingredients themselves from online pharmacies and add them to your serums and creams to make your own custom serums and creams (an example of an active ingredient is l-ascorbic acid which is very unstable in products and practically inactive at the date of purchase so using your own powder is both more concentrated and more effective). That way you know their potency and freshness while avoiding fillers and preservatives. Lets use less trendy, popular products, less synthetic ingredients, less toxic cosmetics. For example instead of using a fragrance and paraben laden brand name face toner buy orange blossom, lavender or rose water hydrosol from an ethnic store; put it in a spray bottle and use it on your skin to awaken it, freshen it and make it radiant naturally. Hydrosols are also therapeutic and can have the same effect that aromatherapy can have on our emotions. 

Lets be kind to ourselves and treat beauty as an aspect and reflection of health!

It's my true belief that our relationships with our own selves is what people see in us first before they actually see the shell.
Self acceptance and self respect are the true measure of beauty. 

Our skin absorbs everything we put on it, so much so that some substances are more dangerous placed on the skin than consumed. Think about the hormone patch! And so many of the toxic substances are xeno-estrogenes that can disrupt our hormonal system, affect our reproductive and endocrine system and have a damaging effect on our moods and mind. Not to mention the possible carcinogenic risk.
So .... is it really a question of should we use the most popular brands of cosmetic products?????? You tell me!

For me the answer is: ummmmmm ... how to put this politely?! No way in hell am I putting that crap on my precious, divine body! No way I am supporting a sick industry that recycles poison and toxic waste. Then sells it to me in a  glossy pink plastic ...but very, very cute.... wrap.  (excuse the sarcasm)!  Then the million dollar advertisements make it seem so great for you that you really must have it. Forget that some of the ingredients include lead, parabens, phthalates, triclosan, mercury (in mascara), endocrine disruptors (in lip products). But worry not! It was tested on animals and it's perfectly safe for you and your kids! Why? Because the animal got cancer and suffered a nasty painful death at doses so high that it cannot possibly have any effect on you in a lower doses...

I am very conscious about voting with my money. In some ways shopping and boycotting is a more powerful statement than protesting. I am definitely not perfect at all and still participate indirectly in supporting industries whose views, approach and agenda I am absolutely against; but this is a journey and we all have to wake up and realize our mission here on earth while respecting and loving our Mother Earth and get better and better at it with every passing day.

I am a crazy label-reader and I check most of my cosmetics on the

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database | Environmental Working Group



Physicians formula eye palette (not your best choice)

They offer a rating and ingredient break down for a lot of the cosmetic products on the market. 
Sometimes you can get a popular brand lipstick that is toxin free based on their rating. For example some of the Revlon Lip Balms are rated a 2. A very low toxicity rating. Not perfect as we don't know all their environmental practices but if it can make your life less complicated go for it! 

Now dropping toxic makeup out of your beauty repertoire does not mean you are gonna sacrifice your beauty regime. On the contrary - there are plenty of great makeup and cosmetic brands that are non-toxic and vegan and they are actually good for you. So you can support smaller, more conscious companies while still using some great products.
I am gonna list some of the products I have personally used or that I like and if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments so we can build a longer list of alternative beauty items that are good for us.

Here are a few products and brands that I am currently using and that can give you an idea of how to get started on a healthier skin path :)
Larenim blush, highlighter and Mineral Silk Powder

Jane Iredale Highlighter and eye shadows 

Revolution Organics Cream Blush, BLOOM lipstick


A few other brands worth looking into are MyChelle,  Lavera, Juice Beauty, Mineral Fusion, Aubrey Organics, Alba Botanica, ECCO BELLA. Other more popular brands that are OK can be certain Tarte products and certain Boots #7 Botanics products. 

Let me know if you have any thoughts, suggestions, comments or questions on the subject.



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Energetics and Doctrine of Signatures, Cabbage and Broccoli Health Benefits

One of the reasons I love Chinese Medicine is because it has a more holistic way of looking at health.
A few days ago I wrote a post on broccoli and cabbage and their beneficial effects on your health. As far as Western Medicine is concerned food is not all that related to health! Western Nutritional Studies would tell you that broccoli and cabbage are both a part of the cruciferous family and they have this and that amount of fiber, carbs and protein per serving and this and that amount of vitamins and minerals. Overall both have similar nutritional properties and you can substitute one for the other if you are looking to lose weight or improve your nutrient intake.

Now it doesn't take a genius to look at the two and notice that they are dramatically different in the way they look, smell and even taste. Chinese Medicine in its deeper way of looking at things will observe the energetics of food; are they warming or cooling,  contracting or expansive, yin or yang, with an upward or downward energy, inward or outward direction, which Body Meridian are they affecting, which organs are they going to work on and in which way? For example if the food affects the lungs is it going to moisten them or dry them out (i.e.phlegm).

You see why I love Chinese medicine? It gives me answers to questions about body and food energetics that I can't get from the modern dry scientific literature.
I like to look at things from a symbolic stand point. That's why Doctrine of Signatures is so dear to my heart. Unfortunately Doctrine of Signatures is incomplete. I would love to add to the list of foods covered by it.
It is so lovely when we have known and used a traditional folk remedy for generations and all of a sudden there is a new scientific study discovering and explaining why this remedy is so healing in such ways.
For example the walnut (looks like a human brain within a hard shell like the scull) always known to be beneficial for brain function is high in DHA which is so important to brain health and cognitive function, in addition if you slice a walnut across then it looks like a heart.

"Coincidentally" omega 3 fatty acids abundant in walnuts are heart healthy :)

I am sure there are a few more nutrients in walnuts we will discover in the next decade. Maybe some much more important than what we already know. 

In comparission walnuts in chinese medicine are tonifying, yang and sweet (one of the 5 flavors). They affect the Lungs and the Kidneys. They are prescribed to people with lower back and knee pain, impotence, sexual dysfunctions, infertility, frequent urination (all kidney related); as well as asthma. 
Reminds of 2 kidneys
(They Tonify the Kidneys and can help a weak back and achey knees with coldness, frequent urination.
Nourish the blood, Warm the lungs, help the kidneys grasp lung qi - chronic cough, wheezing.
Moisten the intestines - constipation in elderly patients.)
And BLACK foods and herbs in chinese medicine have an affinity to kidneys. No mistake there! 

In certain Islamic and Western Herbal traditions, in order to determine a plant's function we will observe the habitats of the herbs and plants, the way they grow, the conditions they grow in, the smell, color, shape and the taste. For example plants growing under the ground will affect the physical body and the lower part of the body. Plants growing in harsh conditions will strengthen our immune system and our ability to adapt to difficulties, stress (therefore they are called adaptogens)
Flowers and especially their energetic water imprint will affect our emotions and soul and so forth and so forth. 

After this extensive intro let me get to the point I was making! 
Brocoli and cabbage look different from one another (haha)..... ha yes took me only 5 paragraphs to come to that conclusion. Thank god I am not writing about psychology. Imagine if cabbage is so complex and complicated in my head what I will do to physics or astronomy for example........ 
So yes broccoli does look like the Lung Alveoli. And a compound in broccoli called sulforaphane is researched as a possible treatment for preventing or reducing infections in smokers and people with lung disease.

Broccoli in Chinese Medicine is used to improve vision. Now thanks to modern science we do know that Broccoli is high in Lutein a pigment in vegetables and fruits that can protect our vision. I can see some resemblance between the little branches of broccoli and the anatomy of the eye specifically the retinal blood vessels. 

Sulforaphane in broccoli is also known to block cartilage-destroying enzymes by intercepting a molecule that causes inflammation therefore preventing the onset and development of arthritis. Again I see a resemblance to joints in the branches and stalk of the vegetable. Do you?

On the other hand cabbage looks like a head and even resembles a brain. 

In chinese medicine it is used to clear "heat", lubricate the intestines and stop coughing.

Used for: constipation, whooping cough, hot flashes, common colds, frostbite.

Frostbite is obvious as the vegetable itself is a fall vegetable and has to resist frost itself.

Common cold usually affects the head.

New research is finding that cabbage has brain protective properties.

‘’Qian Jin Yao Fang Shi Zhi’’ a Traditional Chinese medicine book, says that eating cabbage often can strengthen the kidneys and brain!

Cabbage purifies the blood and clears toxins (free radicals and uric acid which is a major factor in developing  rheumatism, gout, arthritis, renal calculi, skin diseases, eczema etc.).  Cabbage, being rich in iodine and polyphenols- antioxidants such as anthocyanins(the pigment in blueberries), also helps in the proper functioning of the brain and the nervous system, as well as the endocrine glands. Bottom line CABBAGE is good for the brain and treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
(Red cabbage could cut Alzehimer's risk By Stephen Daniells, 10-Mar-2006
In a new study red cabbage was seen to reduce the build-up of certain plaques in the brain that could cause Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia that costs the UK an estimated £15 billion (€ 22 billion) every year.
"One ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine book called ‘’Ben Cao Shi Yi’’ records that cabbage clears the channels by removing toxins that may block the Qi and blood around the joints, strengthens and loosens joints." *