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Archive for Body Systems

Diet and Supplements for the Liver

While I personally recommend a regular cleansing regimen that includes a cleanse especially for the liver due to its unique status as the primary detoxifying organ of the body, I strongly support the idea of ensuring your supplement regimen and your diet remain liver-friendly for the same reasons. The liver, by its very function, takes a lot of abuse; and you can’t live without it. So, take special care to keep it healthy.

Some special diet considerations are due to common functions of the liver itself:

  • The liver manufactures cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential for making cell membranes and cell structures in the body. It is also vital for the synthesis of hormones, vitamin D, and other substances. About two-thirds of the cholesterol in our bodies is manufactured by the liver; the other third comes from our diet. Cholesterol is necessary, and while we must have some cholesterol for our bodies to function, the liver will usually produce enough and we compound problems if we add too much by allowing ourselves a high-fat diet. Reducing dietary fat can ease demands on the liver.
  • The liver also stores glucose fuel in the form of glycogen. The body has a feedback system that between meals tells the liver to release more sugar to maintain the body’s energy level. The liver then converts either fat or glycogen into the simple sugar glucose. Too much sugar can mean problems for other body systems. So, reducing simple sugars from your diet can also ease production demands on the liver.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver is a disease with which we’re all familiar. We associate it with heavy drinkers (and this is one real cause). It is a degenerative inflammatory disease that results in hardening and scarring of liver cells. What many of us don’t consider is that malnutrition and chronic inflammation can also lead to liver malfunction.
  • Keep the colon clean, regularly use an herbal detoxifying blend if you work in an environment that contains known toxins, and limit alcohol intake.

Our liver processes require vitamins, minerals, proteins (preferably from vegetable sources), amino acids, and enzymes. Ensuring these nutrients are in your diet (or a good broad-spectrum vitamin-mineral-amino acid-essential fatty acid supplement), will also help keep a healthy liver. Other supplements that you may consider specifically for the liver may include:

  • Herbs that help to ensure a healthy liver. Alfalfa is an excellent source of vitamin K and a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to bleeding. The silymarin in milk thistle has been shown in scientific studies to repair and rejuvenate the liver. Fermented red yeast rice extract is beneficial for those with high cholesterol as it inhibits the liver’s production of cholesterol. Other herbs that can be beneficial include barberry, black radish, burdock, dandelion, fennel, horsetail, Irish moss, red clover, rose hips, suma, thyme, chickweed and wild Oregon grape.
  • Drink lemon water to “wash” the liver.
  • Choline and inositol are B-vitamins that prevent scarring and help prevent cirrhosis and high cholesterol.
  • And liver-healthy foods include red beets (especially raw and shredded in a salad), almonds, bananas, blackstrap molasses, prunes, raisins, wheat and rice bran, kelp, beans, and seeds. Dandelion greens are a great Spring tonic if they contain no herbicides or pesticides. Poor food choices include excessive animal proteins, processed foods, junk food, refined white flour and white sugar foods.

In a previous blog I noted a fact that is worth repeating here: “Overeating is probably the most common cause of liver malfunction. It creates excess work for the liver, resulting in liver fatigue. Since the liver must detoxify all of the various chemicals present in our food supply today, it is easily overworked and may not be able to keep up, leaving harmful substances in the body.”

There are many ways to alleviate the stress of a degenerative liver. But it doesn’t “just happen”. Be aware of the load you’re putting on your liver by poor diet choices, working in toxic environments, and making poor lifestyle choices. Carefully care for your liver and it will care for you throughout your lifetime!

  • Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is Owner of The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 73130. Call us at (405) 736-1030, and visit our website at www.thehealthpatch.com.

A Simple Liver “Flush”

So, what is the difference in a cleanse and a “flush”? If you asked that question to a dozen different people, you may get as many responses! But for my purposes here, I’m going to look at it this way. A cleanse is usually better in the long run. It is more thorough. It cleans deeper. It takes longer. And it may be trying to get more work accomplished that just a simple flush. For example, you go into a bathroom right after the toilet has been used and you can get rid of many of the smells and much of the waste by simply flushing it. But while that takes care of the immediate problem, you have not necessarily deep cleaned the toilet itself or gotten rid of the microbes, stains and trapped wastes that are accomplished by the routine, less frequent cleaning of the toilet.

Most of us do the cleaning of our bathrooms (and toilets) regularly to keep them running at peak efficiency, and we thereby avoid messy breakdowns. In your body, a regular cleansing regimen does that for each body system. That’s what I try to accomplish by the annual cleansing regimen that I follow for each of my body systems. Most of them take about a month to accomplish but leave me with the sense that I get by the carrying out of the recommended mileage inspections I do on my vehicle. I flew aircraft in the military for a while and I know a lot about routine maintenance and the longevity accomplishing it gives to the aircraft – or car – or my body!

So where does the “flush” come in? It’s sort of an emergency quick fix for an unexpected breakdown. It’s the maintenance the aircraft or vehicle needs when something unexpected happens. Or the “quick fix” we make on the toilet to get rid of the waste quickly after a necessary “toxic” use.

If we were conscientious about following all the rules for the care of our livers, we may not need the “flushes” to get us through the emergency breakdowns. There is no logical reason to need to discharge kidney stones or gall stones, or liver sludge, if we’re following the necessary anti-toxic safeguards and dietary guidelines to keep them healthy. But we didn’t and now we are faced with stones and sludge. What can we do?

I’ve used a simple two-day gallbladder/liver “flush” many times. It’s not pleasant; it definitely ties you to the bathroom; and it tastes kind of nasty. But it works. The full recipe may be found in our website “recipe” section. But, in essence, it is using Epson Salts and water to drink at two-hour intervals on the first evening and ending the night with a mixture of grapefruit juice and olive oil along with eight capsules of the amino acid l-ornithine. Go to bed around 10PM, lay on your back for 20 minutes and then sleep on your right side. Next morning finish off the Epson Salt/Water mixture in divided doses at two-hour intervals, follow two hours later with a large glass of juice and an hour later with a piece of fruit. At this point, I’m telling you not to be more than a few feet from the bathroom; expect “explosive” diarrhea, passage of the gallbladder, kidney and liver sludge, and final relief!

Note that I do not recommend this procedure if you know you have kidney stores. There are different treatments for that, and using this flush could force stones through the fragile nephron filters of the kidneys and gallbladder. I certainly prefer the routine maintenance of the regular cleanses, but this is a handy “flush” when the situation requires it! Keep it handy – or just copy if from our “recipes” website section. I’ve used it several times; feel free to refer questions to me!

  • Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is Owner of The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 73130. Call us at (405) 736-1030, and visit our website at www.thehealthpatch.com.

Keep Your Liver Clean

Unless you have a disease specifically concerning the liver, you rarely think much about it. But if you have a compromised liver, or suffer from cirrhosis or hepatitis or several other such conditions, it can take priority in your lifestyle accommodations. When you do stop to think about it, you realize you can’t live without it. It is, by far, the most significant cleansing organ in the body!

While it normally weighs only three to four pounds it is a very complex organ. It has a double circulation system. That means it receives blood from both the veins and the arteries. The main artery carries in plenty of oxygen from the lungs and the main vein comes directly from the small intestine full of nutrients. The liver performs over 500 functions. It serves as a digestive aid, it detoxifies food impurities, and it inspects nutrients before allowing them into the bloodstream. Further, it has the ability to be its own metabolic chemical plant to make new compounds you must have to live.

Of all the organs you have in your body it is often the most abused and yet has the greatest capacity for regeneration if it gets the proper supplements and care. I read a report from Johns Hopkins Medical Center that states “The liver is the only organ in the body that can replace lost or injured tissue (regenerate). [A] donor’s liver will soon grow back to normal size after surgery. The part that you receive as a new liver will also grow to normal size in a few weeks.”

The liver also manufactures cholesterol and bile, stores glucose fuel, and can suffer from a number of diseases. We have a number of studies that show that the typical American diet can produce liver damage, digestive problems, low energy, allergies, and even depression. One study even showed that a low-grade fever at night could indicate liver problems.

So, it only makes sense that when we are considering a cleansing regimen for the body, we should include at least one liver cleanse each year. And there are a number of them. We carry at least a half-dozen of them at The Health Patch, by almost as many different companies. I have also used a simple, popular “mini-cleanse” for the liver which can be accomplished over a 30-day period by the consumption once a day of two (2) tablespoons of olive oil mixed with two (2) tablespoons of lemon juice and four (4) ounces of apple juice. This can be both refreshing and cleansing.

We’ll cover the specific functions of herbs that help clean and heal the liver, foods that support it and other supplements we use for liver health in another blog in a couple of weeks. But a simple list of many of them include: alfalfa, milk thistle, red yeast rice extract, barberry, black radish, burdock, dandelion, fennel, horsetail, Irish moss, red clover, rose hips, suma, thyme, and wild Oregon grape.

Overeating is probably the most common cause of liver malfunction. It creates excess work for the liver, resulting in liver fatigue. Since the liver must detoxify all of the various chemicals present in our food supply today, it is easily overworked and may not be able to keep up, leaving harmful substances in the body.

Stress is also a major contributor to a fatigued liver. Deliver your liver from stress by ensuring it has the proper nutrients and is sparred undue excesses of known toxins. You only get one. Keep it healthy.

  • Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is Owner of The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 73130. Call us at (405) 736-1030, and visit our website at www.thehealthpatch.com.

The How and Why of Lymphatic Cleansing

In dealing with our customers, I often question them about how they view the functioning of their various body systems. Curiously, when I ask about their lymphatic systems, I often just get an askance glance. Few people even know what the lymphatic system is, much less how to describe theirs as functioning. They may recognize that they have lymph nodes, but may not know what they do. But the functioning of the lymphatic system is essential to good health.

Upwards of 100,000 body cells die each day. And where do they go when they die? Into the lymphatic system. It is a system of interconnected nodes that collect and move the dead material from all over your body into the waste disposal systems of the body so it may be evacuated. We do not want to hold on to all that dead and decaying material which quickly becomes toxic to the rest of the body.

Besides the network of connected nodes to collect the dead cells there are three main larger collection points: the spleen, the tonsils and the appendix. Interestingly, many of my peers, including me, had their tonsils removed in childhood because the doctors didn’t at that time know of any serious function they performed. So, when they swelled up during an infection which caused more than average cellular death, the doctors just removed them. I know of people today who have recently had their appendixes removed due to that same logic. And, granted, we can live relatively normal lives without them, but have to stay more on top of large-scale infections without them. Now we realize a lymphatic cleanse may be warranted.

An annual lymphatic cleanse would also be recommended for folks with a more sedentary lifestyle. You see, the lymphatic system has no pump to move the waste through the body. I call this the “toothpaste” movement system. How do you get toothpaste out of the tube? You squeeze the tube. The lymphatic tubes run through muscle structures in the body. So, to get the waste to flow, you need to contract the muscle so they squeeze the tubes. No muscle movement means no squeezing on the tubes which means no movement of the dead material. Exercise is essential. And the more sedentary your lifestyle, the more you need regular cleansing of the lymphatic system.

I personally enjoy using herbs and herbal combination to cleanse. The phytonutrients in many of the herbs encourage the body to detoxify naturally. And as a rule, we should regularly cleanse the eliminative organs (kidneys and liver) and the blood and lymphatic systems, as well as the intestinal system.

Fifteen years ago, we had a test we could use to see how your body systems were working. The developer of the test worked for several months with a body of career herbalists to develop cleansing products for the kidney and the lymphatic systems. He stated that we could expect ninety percent of our clients to need these two products prior to begin any other cleansing programs. In my experience, he was accurate. Herbs for cleansing the lymphatic system include: parthenium, yarrow, capsicum, cleavers, red clover flowers, prickly ash bark, and others. They include encapsulated herbs or liquid tinctures which may be accomplished in a single month.

I cleanse my lymphatic system each year. Join me, and I hope you can feel as good as I do! Good health and God’s blessings!

  • For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

A “Whole Body” Cleanse

Most of my family and my customers know that I have an annual approach to cleansing. Every month of the year I have some particular part of the body or some body system that I work to “cleanse”. But twice each year I use products – a different one each time – that are designed to be “Total Body” cleanses.

Obviously, such a “total body” approach isn’t going to do as deep a cleanse on any one body system as a focused product on a particular system will, but it serves a purpose. I use the individual system cleanses that I do each month to “deep clean” body areas that need the regular (annual) focus, but manage relatively well with routine maintenance the rest of the year.

So, the “whole body” approach is used a couple of time a year to clean those systems that are “collection points” for the routine depositing of the debris of the heavier, annual cleansing of the individual systems.

One example is the colon. This body system is the final accumulation point of most everything that is processed out of the body (with some obvious exceptions, like stuff that is eliminated through the skin or the respiratory system). But it processes most of the body’s waste and needs more than just the annual heavy cleansing that I referenced every January! So, two other months during the year, the “total body” cleanse will have ingredients/herbals/cleansers that will do on-going sweeping (brooms; insoluble fibers) and scrubbing (sponges; soluble fibers) of the colon specifically. This routine cleansing coupled with the deep cleaning in January keeps the colon operating at peak efficiency all year long.

Other such routine maintenance is allowed by other overworked body systems such as the little individual cells, various individual organs, the blood stream, the digestive system, and some very common parasites. We have a number of these types of “overall” body cleansing systems that we can use. They generally consist of small packets of capsules that are taken once or twice a day for anywhere from a week to half a month. They don’t “tie you to the bathroom” or cause any cramping. They may stimulate an extra bowel movement some days, and should always be taken with plenty of water.

Such routine care of your elimination systems facilitates the proper functioning of all your other body systems! Consider making it a part of your routine body cleansing regimen!

  • For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, call 405-736-1030, e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com, or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

Fighting Pathogens

We are currently in the middle of a rare and dreadful pandemic. Anytime I want to talk about things we can do to protect ourselves from these scary times, I begin by reminding my friends, family members and customers that I am a Naturopathic Doctor, not a Medical Doctor. As such we discuss body systems and do not seek to diagnose, cure or treat any named diseases. So, I am not trying to tell you how to prevent or “cure” any diseases – current pandemics, or even common diseases. Your body has a system to help you stay healthy, even in times of environmental stress. It is the immune system, and I simply want to help you understand some things that you can do to keep your immune system strong and active so that it will be better able to protect you in such times.

In a blog we did several years ago, I stated that “your immune system is made up of many body parts with big names like bone marrow, tonsils, spleen, thymus, and a subsystem called the lymphatic system with its many lymph “nodes” (collection points).” You can look back on our website at the blog entitled “A Child’s View of the Immune System” to get those details.

The bottom line is that the body has a system to protect you from the adverse effects of all kinds of pathogens. Let’s define “pathogen”. Directly from the web, I found this definition: “In biology, a pathogen, in the oldest and broadest sense, is anything that can produce disease. A pathogen may also be referred to as an infectious agent, or simply a germ”. We often refer to some common pathogens as bacteria, viruses, yeasts, fungi, poisons, parasites, …, anything not natural to the body which could result in disease if not killed, eliminated, or simply passed on.

So, it stands to reason that the stronger and healthier our immune systems are, the better they will perform these functions. The next logical question then is “how do I keep my immune system strong?” I have a few ideas.

  • Dr. Joel Wallach, the Father of modern supplementation for humans, made a list several years ago of some 90+ nutrients that your body needs every day to perform all of its required functions. I did a blog several years ago on his complete lecture, but for purposes here I’ll just reiterate that he said “if you die before the age of 120, you’ll either die of an accident or a nutritional deficiency.” Therefore, it makes sense that a great place to start is to ensure you’re getting as many of these nutrients each day as possible. An absolute minimum would be a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement!
  • Just as your house collects clutter and needs regular cleaning, so does your body. Normal, less-than-perfect lifestyles necessitate regular body cleansing. Such a regimen is essential to good health. Next week, I’ll talk about a “whole body” cleanse that I like and personally use twice a year. Again, a great place to start.
  • Exercise regularly. Several body systems need movement to perform their functions. I recently read a medical article that declared that “a sedentary lifestyle is the new cancer.” It referred to the increase in disease which can be attributed to our just “doing nothing.”
  • Learn your genetics. You may need to be taking supplements to counteract family genetic weaknesses. I take a number of things for my heart because most of my family have died of heart failure. My cardiologist told me this has already once saved my life!
  • I don’t know who introduced the statement “cleanliness is next to Godliness”, but I understand the thought behind it. Clean lifestyles are also necessary. We live in a dirty, polluted world. We overtax our body’s immune systems by not taking better care of ourselves. Bathing, brushing your teeth, washing your hands regularly, and other common hygiene habits are necessary. Look at the differences in health conditions and life expectancy figures between our country and many countries where even simple water sources aren’t available.

There are many herbs, teas, supplements and essential oils to assist your body in putting up a good fight against those pathogens that would make you ill. But daily attention to our overall health and good health habits, including good nutrition, plenty of rest and exercise, and adjustments of unhealthy lifestyles and habits, will often “win the day”. Work at staying healthy and you won’t have to work so hard to get well.

Give your body a “fighting chance”. Give it the tools to strengthen your immune system, so it can fight the common pathogens in our own environments and keep us healthy.

Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Alternative Health Clinic and Market, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com or visit thehealthpatch.com.

The Flow of Good Health: The Lymphatic System

I, like you, may not really give much thought to my home’s plumbing; until an uncomfortable issue arises. Clogged pipes, poor drainage—oh, what a mess that can be. The lymphatic system, like your home’s plumbing, is the drainage system of the body. Through its complex construction of lymph fluid, nodes, ducts and lymphoid tissues such as the tonsils, spleen, appendix, and thymus gland, the lymphatic system works to keep our bodies healthy. The systemic functions of the lymphatics:

  • Balance-By balancing fluids in the tissues, collecting fluid near tissues and organs and returning it to the blood stream, this process prevents fluid from building up and causing swelling.
  • Filtration-This system filters lymph by attacking any bacteria or virus when lymph fluid enters the lymph nodes and filters blood through the spleen by replacing old blood cells with new blood cells, and carrying away cell debris
  • Fights infection-Using specialized white blood cells, called lymphocytes, that are produced in the lymph, the lymphatic system fervently works around the clock to combat sneaky toxins and infections.

Unlike the circulatory system, there is not a pump to keep the flow of fluid and debris through the vessels. Instead, this system depends on muscle movement and compression to help with flow. Any lymphatic congestion is an underlying issue in chronic pain and inflammation. So how can we relieve any congestion that might present as tender and swollen nodes in the neck, breast, arm pits, or groin?

  • Movement– Inactivity creates lymphatic stagnation. Exercise as a gentle walk or gentle bouncing on a mini trampoline are excellent ways to keep lymphatic fluid moving.
  • Hydration-In dehydration, up to 70% of water loss is inside the cells, but approximately 20% is from lymph. When you are thirsty, it may be due to congested lymph fluid.
  • Deep Breathing-Deep breathing compresses the thoracic cavity which creates a pumping action in the lymph system. Sobbing and laughing work similarly. Proverbs 17:22 says laughter is a good medicine. Not only does laughter increase oxygen flow, it also creates lymphatic drainage.
  • Massage-Massaging an area can help improve lymph flow, ease pain and promote healing.

Along with these lifestyle tips to increase lymphatic flow, there are some herbs that are very helpful as well.

  • Cleavers-This herb is soothing to the lymphatic system and helps ease congestion and lessen swelling
  • Red Clover-This herb strengthens the lymph system, improves lymph flow, and aids swollen lymph nodes. This herb is particularly helpful for inflammation in the mammary glands.
  • Echinacea-This is a powerful lymphatic cleanser and immune system stimulant. It is helpful for swollen lymph nodes due to infection.

Just like with any other body system, lifestyle changes and quality supplements can be helpful in keeping this powerful system working well so you can continue to stay healthy. Here at The Healthpatch we are happy to help you with any of your natural health needs.

Health and Blessings,
Kimberly Anderson, ND

For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, call 405-736-1030, e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com, or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

The Circulatory System: The Heart of Good Health

The circulatory system is made up of the heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries with the primary function of carrying oxygen and nutrients to every cell of the body as well as carrying away waste from each of those cells. The circulatory system also works intricately with the immune system to carry white blood cells and the endocrine system as an avenue to deliver hormones to tissues.

This system is vital for good health in every area of our fearfully and wonderfully made bodies and when circulation is impaired, tissues can begin to deteriorate and begin to lose function. Some common symptoms of poor circulation include cold hands and feet, poor memory, poor wound healing, and a pale complexion. Diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes can increase heart disease and poor wound healing by decreasing the circulatory system when there is a constant high glucose level in the blood. It is imperative to keep the circulatory flow to every tissue of the body and there are some wonderful herbs that help us achieve that goal.

Capsicum– has long been used as a circulatory stimulant. Its alkaloid, capsaicin, is what causes the herb to be hot. It is also the active part that is responsible for the ability of the herb to stimulate circulation. By helping to increase circulation, Capsicum has been useful in lowering blood pressure and in aiding in the healing of wounds. This herb is often blended with other herbs to work as a catalyst in getting the medicinal properties throughout the body. Capsicum is also rich in Vitamin C and E as well as other antioxidants known for their ability to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Ginkgo Biloba– this herb has a group of antioxidants known as bioflavonoids that help increase circulation, particularly to the brain and extremities. Several clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Ginkgo Biloba for improving blood flow to the brain, helping to improve memory loss, depression, headaches, and ringing in the ears.

Butcher’s Broom-this effective herb received its name from one of its uses many years ago. Butchers would tie several of the shrub branches together and use it to sweep their carving blocks clean. Butcher’s Broom is a vascular tonic which means it helps strengthen the veins and improve circulation, particularly to the lower body. Because it helps strengthen veins, it can be very helpful for varicose veins and hemorrhoids. This herb is also rich in iron, chromium, and B3. Due to its ability to strengthen the veins, this can cause the vessels to constrict and slightly increase blood pressure. Take caution if you have high blood pressure.

Hawthorn Berries– this herb loves the heart and helps protect it from oxygen deficiency. The Rutin, Quercetin, and other bioflavonoids in this herb help dilate and relax arteries, enhancing circulation to the heart. This increase in circulation and oxygen helps it to strengthen and normalize heart beats as well as help lower
blood pressure.

Garlic– the herb that those mythical creatures avoid is one that helps improve many circulatory problems. Garlic can help prevent the formation of clots in the circulatory system by inhibiting the clumping together of blood cells called platelets. Garlic is also a circulatory tonic, helping to strengthen and dilate circulatory vessels that can help reduce blood pressure.

In most of the herbs presented here, there is a rich presence of bioflavonoids that are important nutrients for the circulation. Foods such as blueberries, citrus fruits and pomegranate are rich in bioflavonoids. Pomegranate also enhance nitric oxide, a molecule produced in the body. Nitric Oxide’s important function is as a vasodilator—opening up the blood vessels—and this helps lower blood pressure.

Finally, an herb that can help with the stress and emotional component of good circulation is Holy Basil. This herb is an adaptogen and helps the body adapt to stress and helps protect the heart from stress as well as helps lower blood pressure connected to daily stress.

If you would like to learn more about how to better strengthen the circulatory system and help alleviate the conditions that can come from poor circulation, contact us here at The Healthpatch.

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

The Digestive System: Root of Good Health

Our digestive system has many functions similar to how roots function in plants. They both absorb nutrients and water. If we are not properly absorbing the nutrients we need, this can lead to a host of issues. If fact, up to 50% of health ailments we suffer from can be rooted in poor digestive health; making the digestive system the root of good health when absorbing and functioning well and the root of poor health when it is not.

Toxins in foods, medications, environmental toxins and stress can all be culprits that can disrupt proper digestion and lead to irritation in the digestive tract that can cause such symptoms as bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, diarrhea and constipation. It’s not just these symptoms we need to be concerned about either. Up to 70% of immune tissue is found in and around the digestive tract and up to 90% of serotonin receptors are found in the gut; making gut health imperative to a healthy immune function and healthy mood.

So, how can we keep a healthy and happy digestive system?

Diet The most important step for a healthy digestive system is to look at what we are ingesting. Processed foods and allergens can create a world of havoc on digestion. Common food allergens are wheat, dairy and corn. Of course, there can be many other offending foods, but these are very good places to begin omitting foods that can cause gut irritation. Committing to healing foods like the Paleo diet can go a long way in healing the digestive tract.

Enzymes We have often heard the saying “We are what we eat.” In actuality, we are what we digest. We can eat very nutritiously, but if we are not breaking down and assimilating foods well, we will not benefit with nourishment needed for energy and good health. Enzymes are protein structures that have the ability to combine substances or to take them apart and regulate numerous body functions. They are typically found in raw foods. Because it is difficult to eat a 100% raw diet, supplementing with a plant-based enzyme supplement is important for good digestion.

Probiotics Good intestinal biofilm is crucial for good health. These biofilms act as a protective barrier against toxins and aids in assimilating nutrients. Biofilm is created by good bacteria in the gut. Once again, poor diets, stress and antibiotic use are destroyers of this good gut flora. Supplementing with a good probiotic as well as eating cultured vegetables and yogurt can help restore the intestinal biofilm.

Stress The big “S” word. Seems like we just can’t strive for good health without dealing with stress. As mentioned above, stress depletes the body of good gut flora, creating a poor foundation for health, and it also decreases our bodies ability to digest properly. Digestion works best when we are relaxed; making it important, as much as possible, to eat our meals in a low stress environment. That means avoiding eating while driving. Eating with family during the holidays might count as stressful, but we have an herb for that!
We here at The Health Patch are happy to help you find the best supplements for better digestion and a happy digestive system.

Health and Blessings,
Kimberly Anderson, ND

For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd., Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or email pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit http://TheHealthPatch.com.

Oral Health

Much research in alternative health of late has been directed toward the links between the gut and the brain – your microbiome. And the gut begins in the mouth. Good oral health is essential for a healthy biome. So let’s look at some factors to consider when we talk about oral health.

Regular brushing of the teeth, gums and tongue. The mouth is warm, moist, and dark – the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. And that bacteria can grow rapidly in such an environment. Regular brushing to remove that bacteria is essential. Few of us brush enough. You should actually brush after each time you eat – a meal or a snack. If you can’t (for whatever reason) ensure you brush with a good quality toothbrush at least twice each day – in the morning after you rise and at bedtime. Overnight there is nothing going on to disrupt the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

Don’t forget to floss! It’s obvious that brushing removes plaque-forming bacteria from the teeth. And it also gets particles from between the teeth often missed by a brush. But it also “massages” the gums, stimulating blood circulation in the mouth with its immune stimulating factors.

Choose a good toothpaste. Toothpaste is effective for removing tartar and plaque, and it also prevents cavities, periodontal disease and bad breath. It is also the agent for removing stains and discolorations from your smile, and adding ingredients to strengthen your teeth, preventing early breakage and tooth loss. Follow brushing and flossing with a good mouthwash to rinse away the stuff you just brushed off and leave a protective barrier against the bacteria.

And there are certainly things to avoid in your toothpaste:

  • We all know that processed white sugar is one of the worst inflammatory substances we can put in our bodies. It is empty calories that feed yeast, fungus, and bacteria while contributing to obesity, tooth decay and numerous diseases.
  • While many people have been told fluoride is a good thing, it is considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA who actually warns you to keep it out of the reach of children under six; and tells you not to swallow it!
  • Artificial sweeteners often produce a laxative effect, and some have been linked to serious (and sometimes deadly) diseases. Try natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol instead. Xylitol has actually been shown to prevent tooth decay. Dentists love it! Most artificial colors have been banned by the FDA for health reasons. If the toothpaste is colored, ensure it used natural colors.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent often used in tooth and hair products that has been shown to produce microscopic tears in the mouth. An often-used thickening agent called carrageenan has been linked to ulcers and gastrointestinal inflammation. And propylene glycol is an oft-used antifreeze used to soften the paste, but has been linked to nervous system, heart and liver damage.

And there are certainly things to avoid in your toothpaste:
We all know that processed white sugar is one of the worst inflammatory substances we can put in our bodies. It is empty calories that feed yeast, fungus, and bacteria while contributing to obesity, tooth decay and numerous diseases.
While many people have been told fluoride is a good thing, it is considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA who actually warns you to keep it out of the reach of children under six; and tells you not to swallow it!
Artificial sweeteners often produce a laxative effect, and some have been linked to serious (and sometimes deadly) diseases. Try natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol instead. Xylitol has actually been shown to prevent tooth decay. Dentists love it! Most artificial colors have been banned by the FDA for health reasons. If the toothpaste is colored, ensure it used natural colors.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent often used in tooth and hair products that has been shown to produce microscopic tears in the mouth. An often-used thickening agent called carrageenan has been linked to ulcers and gastrointestinal inflammation. And propylene glycol is an oft-used antifreeze used to soften the paste, but has been linked to nervous system, heart and liver damage.


We all know that processed white sugar is one of the worst inflammatory substances we can put in our bodies. It is empty calories that feed yeast, fungus, and bacteria while contributing to obesity, tooth decay and numerous diseases.
While many people have been told fluoride is a good thing, it is considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA who actually warns you to keep it out of the reach of children under six; and tells you not to swallow it!
Artificial sweeteners often produce a laxative effect, and some have been linked to serious (and sometimes deadly) diseases. Try natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol instead. Xylitol has actually been shown to prevent tooth decay. Dentists love it! Most artificial colors have been banned by the FDA for health reasons. If the toothpaste is colored, ensure it used natural colors.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent often used in tooth and hair products that has been shown to produce microscopic tears in the mouth. An often-used thickening agent called carrageenan has been linked to ulcers and gastrointestinal inflammation. And propylene glycol is an oft-used antifreeze used to soften the paste, but has been linked to nervous system, heart and liver damage.

Just a word about probiotics. “Pro” means “for”; “biotic” means “life”. And we always want the “good” to win out over the “bad”, right? So if one of the real reasons to brush is to get rid of bad bacteria that cause any number of tooth and mouth disorders, it should make sense to use a good probiotic to fight against the bad stuff that invades our mouths and causes the diseases. I don’t see many toothpastes or mouthwashes with probiotics, but you can certainly use a chewable probiotic at the end of the toothcare routine, and don’t rinse it out of your mouth. They usually taste great and add yet another level of protection to the entryway to your whole digestive system – the mouth!

  • For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.