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Archive for Body Systems

Staying Healthy: Nutritious Foods

For the first almost half of this year our first blog/podcast of each month has covered a holistic monograph (our 2021 focus) dealing with family preparation.  For the remainder of the year, we’re going to look at various ways of staying healthy. For most of us that would start with eating right, i.e., getting all the nutrition we need. There are many popular programs that seek to give us that illusive perfect diet. We’ll look at several.

You don’t have to be talking about nutrition with me before you start hearing me espouse Dr. Joel Wallach’s list of essential nutrients. He was nominated for the Nobel prize in Medicine in 1991 for his work on necessary nutrition for humans and supplementation to provide them. He documented over 90 nutrients that we need every day: 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, twelve amino acids, and three essential fatty acids. I remember reading an article in the Journal of American Medicine shortly after the turn of the century that stated that they recommended that at a minimum every American should be on a good, quality Multiple Vitamin because all the necessary ones would be impactable (if not impossible) to get anymore from just food.

You can’t watch TV for any length of time before you’re seeing advertisements for “systems” that offer you programmed meals for various purposes – mostly losing weight. But I always question whether weight loss becomes more important than healthy eating. How many nutrients are missing from these focused diets?

Last month I heralded the new programs that portion prepare your ingredients and offer packages that only need to be cooked by you.  And I do like many aspects of these programs. But remember, YOU select the meals you want to prepare, so there is the potential to “get in a rut” and continually eat only the things you know you like and skip the variety that will provide an assortment of nutrients. I believe the folks designing these meals seek to provide balanced meals, but they don’t decide what you order, or how strictly you stick with the recipes.

We used to carry hundreds of books to cover every aspect of diet, nutrition and health. But few people bought them and fewer still spent time researching the nuances of the offerings there. There were many “words of wisdom” in them. I remember books like:

  • Eat Right for Your [blood] Type – It focused on how bodies of different blood types “burned” nutrients differently, and what was good for one blood type may not be so good for another one.
  • Eat Your Colors – It taught us that blue and purple foods helped to control obesity and were antioxidants that protected us from free radicals and cellular damage; greens contain chlorophyll and carotenoids that protect human eyes and skin; red foods protect us from oxidation damage, especially from ultraviolet light and tobacco smoke; among many other things, the vitamins and carotenoids in yellow and orange foods play a role in age-related macular degeneration and cataracts; and white foods contain more fiber, potassium and magnesium.

I’ll address the book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water more fully in a future session. But for now, we need to know that the water content of our foods is also important to our health.

Remember, each of us has many common traits of anatomy – but each of us is also different genetically. Therefore, I don’t believe that is ONE perfect diet for the whole of us! So, if you were reading/listening to this to find the perfect answer, I’m sorry.  The purpose of this session is to address the fact that there ARE many nutrients that may be missing from your diet, and that absence WILL affect your health and enjoyment of life.

Even the Food & Drug Administration publishes a Food Pyramid describing a “healthy diet”; but I note that it has changed twice in my lifetime, based on new research, and new food production techniques.

Those of us who are healthier will need to study our family histories, our genetics, our current health and make judgments. Keys will include better food sourcing, better food preparation, more food variety, limiting food intake, …, AND a really good, quality Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement to help fill in some of the dietary gaps!

–  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.

Healthy Body Systems: Glandular

Again, we’ve completed a full year in which we covered the very important topic of how to cleanse each body system to allow it to function at an optimum level, free of toxins and sludge buildups.  Now this year, as we look at the proper functioning of these systems, we’ll consider “what does it take to allow the systems to have the nutrients to allow them to stay healthy.

This month, we’ll consider “care and feeding” of the glandular system. Its basic function is to regulate all the body functions through secretion of its messengers – hormones! They assist in the repair of injured body tissue, determine sexual identity, promote body growth, control body temperature, and even regulate our emotions.

Years ago, the company Nature’s Sunshine (NSP) organized its herbal program around their count of nine body systems. In addition to products to nurture each gland in the glandular system, they also produced a product as the “umbrella” for normal, regular maintenance of the overall system. The NSP product for the glandular system is called Master Gland, and contains a wide assortment of vitamins and herbs that have been used for centuries to care for the hormones within this unique “regulatory” system. You’ll recognize many of these, like dandelion, alfalfa, asparagus, licorice, kelp, and marshmallow. Less known by the novice are herbs such as parthenium, eleuthero, and uva ursi. Here we won’t discuss the use of each of them, but I do want you to learn to recognize their names and know that they have a place in the generation of hormones.

Each gland in the system has a specific function and its own products for its care.  Rather than make this a lecture on herbal contents, I’d like you to question whether any of the functions “rings a bell” for you regarding a health problem you face.  If it does, stop by The Health Patch and talk with any of our five Naturopathic Doctors, or make an appointment for a private health consultation with any of them.

Top of the body to the bottom, the major glands are:

  • the pituitary – it’s about the size of a pea, resides in the brain, and has been called the master gland because it secretes hormones that regulate most all of the other glands.
  • the thyroid and para thyroid – they influence the growth, weight and metabolic rate of your body. It also influences your emotions, physical vitality and intellectual ability. It works with the parathyroid to balance body calcium.
  • the thymus – it is behind the breast bone, butterfly-shaped, and plays a key role in producing the immune system’s T-cells. These circulate in the blood and lymph to help protect the body from “invaders” or malignant cells.
  • the adrenals – they are for “fight or flight”. They produce some 50 different hormones that stimulate the heart, regulate blood sugar levels, and help normalize your blood pressure.
  • the pancreas – it is a major contributor to the digestive system, producing some 50 different enzymes, including insulin to regulate blood sugar.
  • the ovaries (for females) and the testes (for males) – the sexual glands for humans. They regulate the reproductive process and produce the hormones which control the physical and mental characteristics of each sex.

Common problems associated with the Glandular System include: hormone imbalances, emotional stress, reproductive troubles, and blood sugar levels.

Note that every hormone is carried through either the blood or lymph to stimulate or inhibit the activity of another organ or tissue. And prolonged stress can cause both the thymus and lymph glands to shrivel and also exhaust the adrenals as they try to keep up with demands. It is my personal belief that adrenal “burnout” is a major contributor to PTSD and Road Rage.

If you have glandular issues, talk to us about supplementation that may be an answer to many of your physical and emotional issues.  Add “glandular” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

–  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.

Healthy Body Systems: Urinary Maintenance

In 2020 we completed a full year in which we covered the very important topic of how to cleanse each body system to allow it to function at an optimum level, free of toxins and sludge buildups.  Now this year, as we look at the proper functioning of these systems, we’ll consider “what does it take to allow the systems to have the nutrients to allow them to stay healthy.”

Many herbal supplement manufacturers not only focus supplementation on specific problems within a body system but they also usually have what I call an “umbrella” product. This umbrella is an attempt to both cleanse AND nourish that system.

This month we’re considering the Urinary System. Its primary functions include ridding the body of soluble toxic wastes storing and expelling urine and maintaining fluid regulation. Many of us may not know that it is also responsible for helping the body to maintain proper levels of minerals. The urinary system in the body is composed of your kidneys, ureters, your bladder, and urethra.

Functionally, the kidneys do most of the work. They lie behind the stomach in a protecting cushion of fat. They balance the blood’s pH by maintaining sodium/potassium balance, secrete some hormones to help regulate the body, extract water from the body to keep it healthy, help regulate blood pressure, and filter toxins from the bloodstream. The ureters are tubes attached to the bottom of each kidney to carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder stores the urine and signals the brain when it needs to be emptied. And the urethra is a tube that leads to the outside world for toxic waste disposal.

One maintenance function I like to mention here is that if you fail to empty the bladder often enough the chemicals it holds can allow bacterial growth causing infection and/or irritation. And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you here to drink enough water. How much? My answer is always half your body weight in ounces – with a minimum of 64 ounces and a maximum of 100 ounces regardless of your weight! One easy way to consider whether you’re drinking enough water is to pay attention to the color of your urine: look for bright, sunshine yellow urine for adequate water consumption. Dull yellow or tannish brown is inadequate. No color (totally clear) may indicate too much!

Common problems associated with the Urinary system include kidney stones, bladder and/or kidney inflammation and infection, and pain and irritation.

I have some old Nature’s Sunshine training materials from a body systems class we used to offer that listed some interesting facts about the urinary system. It states that the kidneys recycle about 45 gallons of blood every day. 25% of your blood is being filtered in the kidneys at all times.  Inside the kidneys are 2.4 million nephron filters requiring 50 miles of tiny capillaries and tubules. And micturition is the medical term for emptying the bladder! Fun, huh?

While there are many herbal supplements to help alleviate problems with different components and functions of the urinary system, the “umbrella” product we use for folks who have general problems or a hereditary predisposition for urinary system problems is actually called “Urinary Maintenance.” It contains asparagus stem which is known to help detoxify; dandelion leaf which serves as a potent herbal diuretic; parsley which is another diuretic; cornsilk which is known to cleanse the urinary tract and help with urinary tract infections; watermelon seeds which are known to be rich in magnesium, iron, and zinc; the potent silica source of horsetail; hydrangea which has been shown to dissolve the minerals that may cause kidney and gallbladder stones; and several other herbals with specific aids for the urinary system.

If you have urinary issues, talk to us about Urinary Maintenance supplementation. Add “urinary” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

–  Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the 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.

Flower Essence: Willow

The Willow tree has long been recognized for its contribution to alleviating pain.  The bark of the Willow has been used since the Roman empire to make a tea and the medicinal compounds found in Willow—salicin– is the original source for the over-the-counter pain reliever aspirin.  The Willow is of the Salix species with many variants, but the species we will discuss here is the Salix vitellina.  This species can be found growing in moist ground with flowers that open in early May. 

Just as the medicinal compound in the Willow can help alleviate physical pain, the vibrational energy in the Salix Vitellina is used to help overcome emotional pain and the feelings that keep us from moving forward in a positive way.  The Willow is often associated with sadness and weeping.  In Psalm 137 Willows are mentioned during a time of great grief: “By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion.  On the willows, we hung our lyres.”

The very characteristic of the Willow is its ability to continually replace cut branches with new shoots. The willow sees opposition but can cling to life despite hardships, making the tree a symbol of not only mourning but of new hope and beginnings.  It is often referred to as The Destiny Flower and can help one to move from grieving and resenting what life has handed to them to take personal responsibility for one’s own life. 

Dr. Edward Bach, the founder of the Bach Flower Essences described the person that can benefit from Willow as this: …those who have suffered adversity or misfortune and find these difficult to accept, without complaint or resentment, as they judge life much by the success which it brings.  They feel that they have not deserved so great a trial, that it was unjust, and they become embittered.  They often take less interest and are less active in those things of life which they had previously enjoyed. 

Now, one cannot live on planet Earth and not experience some pain and loss.  It is perfectly normal to feel grief and even depression in the face of adversity, but the one that benefits the most from Willow is one that has become embittered with life and blames everyone and everything but one’s own self.  Self-pity, resentment, and bitterness reign, and one feels like a total victim of fate.  This negative mentality of being a victim creates the perfect environment for not taking responsibility for one’s own destiny.  Other common behaviors and beliefs include:

  • Feelings of being held back.
  • Feelings of being powerless.
  • Believing that life has failed to provide the things that are rightfully deserved.
  • Reacting defensively and with accusations
  • Unconsciously putting a damper on the cheerful mood and optimism of others.
  • Wearing a sad face and withdrawing more and more from life.
  • Reigning thoughts are spiteful and grudging.

Due to the bitterness, anger, and resentment, the one in need of support from Willow may often feel ill.  They can have physical symptoms, but even when the symptoms improve, they will not acknowledge that they are feeling better.  This person does not want to allow any positive thoughts.

Willow Flower essence helps one to let go of bitterness and to actively take responsibility for their life.  It also has the positive potential to help one to think more constructively about situations and to understand the principle that we can attract positive or negative events and make use of this principle.

For more information about this product, click the link: https://www.naturessunshine.com/recommended-products/10258/4051pmoklqplm3i/?sid=10258&offer=NSP Should you decide to purchase, use sponsor number 10258.

Once again, it amazes me how the God of the universe loves us so that he provides natural means for us to live our best life both physically and emotionally. We here at The Healthpatch would love to help you on your health journey.

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

–  Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the 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.

Simples: Gingko Biloba

“Do you have anything for memory?”

Right behind a request for supplements for better sleep, this may be the most frequent question I am asked.  The question has no age boundaries, either; adults in any age group find from time to time that they are just not thinking as clearly or recalling information as they would like.  It really is not surprising to me that this issue is on the rise; in our time of great technology, we are never “unplugged”.  We have constant information at our disposal without time to really process that information.  The stress that our culture experiences lend itself to a rise of quicker aging processes and diseases that can decrease our ability to think or remember clearly. 

With oxidation and aging quicker from stress, we often experience a lack of circulation throughout the body and recognize it by the fatigue and “foggy” thinking that can come with it.  Increasing circulation throughout the body, particularly to the brain, is key in helping to increase cognitive function.  Gingko Biloba has been found to have compounds that can do just that.

The Gingko tree is an ancient tree, but it has only been in the last several decades that the compounds in the Ginkgo leaf have been found to have significant effects on circulation.  Since this discovery, Gingko has become one of the most studied medicinal herbs in the world.

What have these studies discovered? Gingko can relax blood vessels to enhance blood flow to the brain and extremities.  This action can help improve concerns caused by decreased blood flow such as memory loss, lessened cognitive function, ringing in the ears, dizziness, some cases of erectile dysfunction, and hypertension. Gingko also strengthens capillaries, helping with easy bruising.

Gingko also has the added benefit of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aggregation properties; making it useful in helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases and free radical damage.  Free radical damage has been indicated in dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

While using the whole herb for medicinal purposes is recommended for the benefits of utilizing cofactors in the plant, studies have shown that that is not the case in Gingko. Concentration, standardization (meaning the doses are kept consistent), and consistency are key with this herb.  The extracts of the Ginkgo leaf have been found to be the most beneficial and using standardized extracts consistently for at least 2 to 3 months is when the most health benefits have been recognized.  Also, due to its blood-thinning properties, Gingko Biloba should be used with caution when taking blood thinners.

As always, we here at The Health Patch are happy to help you find the most beneficial supplements for you.

Health and Blessings,

Kim Anderson, ND

Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the 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.

Healthy Body Systems: Mega-Chel

We’ve just completed a full year in which we covered the very important topic of how to cleanse each body system to allow it to function at an optimum level, free of toxins and sludge buildups. Now this year, as we look at the proper functioning of these systems, we’ll consider “what does it take to allow the systems to have the nutrients to allow them to stay healthy.

Many herbal supplement manufacturers not only focus supplementation on specific problems within a body system but they also usually have what I call an “umbrella” product. This umbrella is an attempt to both cleanse AND nourish that system.

What is Mega-Chel? Mega-Chel is Nature’s Sunshine’s umbrella product for the entire Circulatory System. It contains high levels of herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glandular extracts, and other nutrients that have a history of “conditioning” the entire circulatory system. According to a resource card produced by Natures Healthy People, “Ingredients found in Mega-Chel reduce fatty deposits in the arteries; reduces blood cell clumping; lowers triglyceride, LDL and total cholesterol levels; improves vascular and heart muscle tone; and increases circulation, peripheral warming, and oxygenation of all body tissues.”

Why do we need it? Most of us know of someone (or perhaps you are that someone) who suffers from high cholesterol or hardening of the arteries. The function of plaque in the arteries is to “plug” cracks in the arteries, or cover foreign material that may be seen by the body as dangerous. LDL cholesterol and other floating fats may be seen as such a foreign material. So, the plaque simply acts as the glue or cover to adhere that material to the artery walls to “take it out of circulation. Over time, too much coverage of this type of material may narrow the diameter of the artery causing blockages. Most of us know of someone in the family who has required “stints” to re-open these arteries. And such blockages can also overwork the heart which is trying to pump adequate blood through these vessels – leading to strokes and heart attacks.

How does Mega-Chel work? As noted above, many of the ingredients in this product are for toning the system, “feeding” the system with needed nutrients, and soaking up and removing many of the unwanted elements in the system – a “cleansing” effect. But additionally, many of the ingredients are various minerals that serve the function of “chipping at’ or “scraping” the walls of the arteries. These minerals can remove the plaque from areas where the excess foreign material was covered without removing the “glue” from actual cracks where it is still needed.

This process should be accomplished slowly because stuff adhered to the walls long ago may be packed on, but new plaque will come off the walls quickly releasing those materials back into the bloodstream easily. And heavy scrubbing of those materials could release too much debris into the bloodstream too quickly producing headaches and excess fatigue.

Years ago, a Mega-Chel Program was introduced and has proven highly successful in removing decades of plaque buildup. We would be glad to share this program material with you and discuss how to best use it. Accomplishing the complete program would generally require about three months plus one month for each decade of your age. The cost would be limited to the cost of the required amount of Mega-Chel and also depends on your age. Drop by the store and talk with us about it if you are interested. I completed the Mega-Chel program about a decade ago and found it to be very helpful in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Successful use of this product DOES NOT require doing the complete program. I introduced it to an 85-year-old friend of mine some years ago and in two years reduced her arterial blockage by about ten points with minimal supplementation and enabled her to avoid arterial surgery.

If you have circulatory issues, talk to us about Mega-Chel supplementation. Add “circulatory” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

For more information about Mega-Chel, click on the link. Should you decide to purchase it, use sponsor number 10258.

Simples: Ginger

Remember our moms reaching for the Ginger Ale when we were not feeling our best or feeling particularly nauseated?  While the sugar in the commercial drink was not the best option, Mom knew best when it came to the ginger part.

Most of us are familiar with Ginger and the culinary possibilities this herb spice offers–its pungent flavor adding flair to our recipes; But the flavor is not the only benefit of this flowering plant.  There are many medicinal properties in Ginger as well. 

Originating from Asia, this plant was brought to American in the 15th and 16th centuries through the Spanish.  It is now cultivated in tropical regions of the United States.  It is a flowering plant, but only the rhizome, or underground part of the stem, is used for medicinal purposes.  Being in the same family as turmeric, it carries similar health benefits:

Anti-inflammatory

One of the main bioactive compounds in ginger is gingerol and is responsible for the smell, flavor, and health benefits in the plant.  Like its sister plant, turmeric, ginger is especially useful in cases of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and colitis.  A study in 2011 found that a combination of ginger, cinnamon, and sesame oil applied topically helped reduce pain and stiffness in people with Osteoarthritis.  Ingesting ginger as a tea or in capsules enhances this effect by lowering systemic inflammation.

Antioxidant

Antioxidants are molecules in the body that fight free radicals.  Free radicals are compounds that are constantly being formed in the body.  They serve a positive function that is important to health such as helping immune cells fight infection. 

However, if levels of free radicals become too high, they can lead to a state of oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress has been connected to health issues such as heart disease and cancer.  Oxidative stress also increases the aging process and, along with inflammation, is one of the key causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Gingerol in ginger has been found to have antioxidant properties—those important properties that help keep oxidative stress in check.

Antibacterial

Ginger can also help lower the risk of bacterial infections, with a special affinity against oral bacteria linked to gum diseases.  Small intestinal bowel overgrowth or SIBO is another condition that ginger can be used as an alternative.

Antinausea

Ginger is highly effective for taming nausea.  Studies have shown ginger to be effective against nausea connected to motion sickness without the drowsiness that can occur when using over the counter medications; making it a safer option when needed for traveling.  Studies have also been shown that ginger may help with morning sickness.   While ginger is safe, as with any supplement use during pregnancy, always check with a qualified practitioner before use. 

Antacid

As of November 2019, 60 million Americans were believed to suffer from indigestion, causing recurrent pain and discomfort.  Many pharmaceuticals prescribed for chronic indigestion have now been found to cause certain cancers. 

Certainly not a desirable side effect when trying to alleviate discomfort.  Ginger is a natural alternative in relieving indigestion.  It is believed that one key trait of indigestion is a slower emptying of the stomach.  Ginger enhances digestion, by increasing digestive secretion.  By enhancing digestion, it is possible that the stomach empties sooner, reducing indigestion. 

Anti-Aggregation

Platelet aggregation is the clumping together of blood platelets that can create blood clots or thrombosis.  Blood clots can be life-threatening.  Gingerol in ginger has been known to help prevent platelet aggregation and increase blood circulation.  It has also been known to help support the heart and pumping action.

With so many medicinal properties and delicious flavor, it is easy to see why so many natural health practitioners consider ginger to be one of the best spices to have on hand.  Here at The HealthPatch, we carry ginger teas, capsules, and bulk ginger in crystals and powder.  We are happy to help you find the best for you.

How about a healthy Ginger Ale?  Here is a recipe from  Katrin Nurnberger of Sugar-Free Londoner using a sugar alternative, making it a healthier option.

Sugar Free Homemade Ginger Ale (makes 2 cups)

Ingredients 6 cm of ginger root peeled and grated Juice of ½ of a lemon 1 TBSP of powdered sweetener like Lakanto Monk fruit 2 cups of carbonated water

Instructions Peel and grate the ginger.  Place it in a muslin or cheesecloth and squeeze until you have around 1 tablespoon of liquid ginger juice. In a jug, mix ginger juice, lemon juice and carbonated water. Stir in sweetener to taste. 

Enjoy the taste and health benefits!

Health And Blessings,

Kim Anderson, ND

Healthy Body Systems: Intestinal System – Colon

If we consider that the Intestinal System is actually a major component of the Digestive System since its function is to “consume” the nutrients found in the food we eat and deliver them to the bloodstream for delivery to the rest of the body, then the Large Intestine, which we call the Colon, actually carry out the water reclamation and waste disposal function of the body.

The colon is also called the large intestine, begins in the lower right part of the abdomen, and is divided into four parts: the ascending colon which travels up the right side of the abdomen, the transverse colon that runs across the abdomen, the descending colon that travels down the left side of the abdomen, and the sigmoid colon that curves to align the colon with the rectum to allow waste to leave the body.

The colon removes water, salt, and some nutrients from the stool and has muscles that line the colon’s walls, squeezing its contents along. Like a balloon, as this muscle is overfilled and evacuated for some time, it begins to “dimple”. These dimples are called diverticula and are pockets where foreign mater can collect, become inflamed, and cause disease. Therefore, regular bowel movements are necessary; ideally, you should have a bowel movement about 45 minutes after each meal.

To keep your bowel healthy, you need fiber, water, and regular bowel movements. There are two types of fiber that are necessary – soluble and insoluble.

I call the soluble fiber “sponges”.  They wipe down the colon walls, absorb toxins, and help remove liquid waste.  We refer to herbs that perform these actions as mucilage – herbs like slippery elm, glucomannan, and marshmallow.

The insoluble fiber I call “brooms”. This type of fiber “sweeps” heavier waste and scrubs colon walls to remove the more solid waste material from the colon as the muscle linings move all the waste along. Herbs that help perform these functions generally contain more cellulose/structure, like acacia, psyllium, and cascara sagrada.

A healthy colon will also have billions of probiotics (friendly bacteria) lining its walls, living in a healthy balance with the body.

As for a healthy colon diet:

  • Increase your fiber intake. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Consider apples, pears, raspberries, bananas, oranges, and cooked peas, corn, broccoli, and artichoke. Add whole grains and legumes: Consider whole wheat flour, barley, quinoa, wild rice, oatmeal, and beans.
  • limit red meat consumption. Try to stay under 100 grams of red meat, and under 50 grams of processed meats.
  • keep sugar intake at a minimum because of its inflammatory potential.
  • control your weight

Last year our blogs covered the topic of cleansing for each body system. I would reiterate here that an annual bowel/colon detox could be helpful in keeping the colon functioning well. (Refer to last year’s colon cleansing blog.)

Colon issues can be very uncomfortable, and also very deadly. Keep it healthy.  Add “intestinal” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

–  Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the 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.

Simples: American Ginseng

The word “simple” can have a few definitions if one were to look it up in the dictionary. One definition of simple is “easy to understand, deal with, or use.”  In reference to plants, the definition refers to an “herb or plant used for medicinal purposes.”  Obviously, as a natural health practitioner, this definition is my favorite, and I am excited to be bringing a “simple” to Natural Health Dialogue each month.  It is my hope that the information I share is “easy to understand, deal with, and use”. 

This month’s simple is American Ginseng.

Ginseng, derived from the Chinese word jen-shen meaning “the essence of man”, has long been valued in Asian countries and was once so revered that only the emperor was allowed to collect the plant.  Panax ginseng is the Asian or Korean species of ginseng and continues to be one of the most highly prized herbs in the world due to its ability to increase energy, physical stamina, and agility.

American Ginseng or Panax quinquefolius has historically been widespread in the Appalachian or Ozark regions of the U.S.   The temperate climate and shady, rich soil in these mountainous regions provide the unique requirements for the growth of ginseng. However, due to overharvesting and urban growth, the ginseng supply is far less than what it once was.  Fortunately, small doses still provide significant health benefits. 

While American Ginseng is less stimulating or energizing than Korean or Asian Ginseng, it contains similar energizing compounds called ginsenosides and a second group of compounds called panaxanes.  These compounds appear to have even more health benefits that include helping the body cope and adapt to stress, boost the immune system, and regulate blood sugar.  Ginseng also has antioxidants that are important in helping to prevent free radical damage that can cause premature aging.

This month, in our holistic dialogues, Dr. Lee has discussed digestion and how important it is for us to be digesting well.  As we age, digesting and utilizing nutrients well can become difficult.  American Ginseng’s medicinal properties make it greatly beneficial in building up and nourishing the digestive organs as well as helping the body to absorb nutrients more efficiently.

While generally safe and non-toxic there are some that should not use ginseng.  Persons with high blood pressure, acute inflammation, or acute illnesses such as cold or flu should not use ginseng.  High doses can cause insomnia and overstimulation.  However, 100 mg one to two times a day can be an effective long-term tonic for digestion, and the other health benefits listed above.

If you think American Ginseng is for you, we would love to help you here at The Health Patch.

Health and Blessings,

Kimberly Anderson, ND

Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the 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.

Healthy Body Systems – Enzymes

We’ve just completed a full year in which we covered the very important topic of how to cleanse each body system to allow it to function at an optimum level, free of toxins and sludge buildups.  Now this year, as we look at the proper functioning of these systems, we’ll consider “what does it take to allow the systems to have the nutrients to allow them to stay healthy.

For this first offering of the year, we’ll consider enzymes – what are they, why do we need them and how do we get them.

What are enzymes? They are biologically active proteins found in every living cell.  They fall into two different categories. Metabolic enzymes are regulatory; they regulate every biochemical reaction occurring in your body. They are essential for overall health. Digestive enzymes primarily turn the food we eat into energy. There are over 1300 different enzymes found in the body and they combine to numerous coenzymes to form around 100,000 chemicals to carry out virtually all of our body processes. As we look at our digestive system, we will be more concerned with the digestive enzymes – those that break down our foods so that we may extract the nutrients we need to “feed” our bodies.

Why do we need them? Nutrients from the foods we eat could not be extracted without their being broken down into a mush-like substance. This allows the friendly probiotics to “digest” them and then excrete them in a liquified form. Then the intestinal villi may absorb them and pass them along into the bloodstream for delivery to the cells that require them. Enzymes facilitate this process as well as allowing the waste byproducts of digestion to be discarded.

How do we get them? There are several functions that allow us to get the enzymes we need.

Firstly, the body produces some of them and they are secreted along the digestive tract.  Around 50 or so are produced and stored in the pancreas. A “trigger” in the stomach announces the arrival of food components and the pancreas secretes those enzymes needed for the breakdown of the specific foods found in the stomach. The liver, gall bladder, small intestine, stomach, and colon also play a role in this process. And the quantities of enzymes our bodies produce are affected by our age and the health of the various components of our digestive systems.

Secondly, raw foods we consume contain enzymes to help in the digestion of those foods themselves. Unfortunately, those foods generally only contain specific enzymes, and in appropriate quantities, to digest that food itself. Further, cooking and processing these foods destroy most of the enzymes they contain. This fact has led many people to consider a completely raw diet which is difficult to carry out and impractical for most.

Thirdly, these two shortcomings often lead to the necessity for supplementation. Which supplements you need is determined by the foods you eat and the need to know which enzymes you need to add to your diet.

A list of the most common enzymes which would help your dietary needs would include protease and peptidase for digesting proteins, amylase and glucoamylase and malt diastase for starches, lipase for fat, cellulase for fiber, and invertase and alpha-galactosidase for sugar. And it is good to know that in most cases, plant-based enzymes work better than those that are chemical based.

One article I researched stated that almost “one out of every three people in the US experience some kind of digestive problem. Though many suffer, few have to. The typical benefits of enzyme supplementation include reduced digestive distress, increased energy, and improved regularity.”

If you have digestive issues, talk to us about enzyme supplementation. Add “digestive” to your list of Healthy Body Systems!

–  Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is the 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.