Archive for Body Systems – Page 3

Your Cardiovascular System

Every day your heart beats over 100,000 times in order to push 2,000 – 5,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of arteries, veins, and capillaries. Astounding, huh? Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for both men and women. Over 600,000Americans die from heart disease each year, accounting for about one out of every four deaths. One-fourth of all Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease.

This is the body system that is responsible for transporting nutrients to the cells and removing waste from the cells. It includes the heart itself which does the pumping. The arteries are living tubes which allow nutrients to be delivered to all parts of the body. The capillaries are the tiniest of the blood vessels which allow the blood to reach even the smallest areas of the body.  The veins do the return trip to carry waste from the cells back to the kidneys and lungs.

Problems within this system may be many. Just a few include:

  • Cholesterol buildup. Cholesterol is necessary for at least three actions in the body:
    1. the production of some hormones,
    2. as a building block for human tissues, and
    3. assisting in bile production in the liver for digestive purposes.

But too much can clog the arteries and raise blood pressure.

  • High blood pressure. Too much pressure can stress the heart and rupture blood vessels among other things.
  • Arterial plaque. Besides restricting artery sizes, it can also increase blood pressure and stress the heart.
  • Poor circulation through insufficient movement or degenerative vessels can cause restricted blood flow and hardening of the arteries and veins themselves.
  • Acne and skin problems. If wastes can’t be removed normally, the body pushes toxins to the skin surface causing skin problems such as rashes, eczema, and so on.

A well-functioning cardiovascular system requires:

  • proper nutrients,
  • adequate water to keep liquids in the body in balance,
  • and exercise to activate the system components and control of stress within the body.

Keep the system in balance and it will serve you well for a full, viable lifetime.

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

Is Your pH Balanced?

If you took chemistry in high school then you’ve heard of “pH.” “pH” stands for “potential of Hydrogen” and is the mark of the acid-alkaline ratio of an item. In this case, we’re talking about the pH balance of your body. It is the balance between positively charged ions (which form acids) and negatively charged ions (which form alkalines).

Why is this important? A recent pamphlet (available to you at the shop without cost) states that “the body continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is threatened, however, many unpleasant sicknesses can arise. Because our bodies naturally use hydrochloric acid to break down foods and nutrients, the optimal saliva and urine pH for our bodies is slightly acidic, around 6.4-6.5.”

This is only slightly acidic because the number assigned to “neutral” is 7.0. And the measure of a well-functioning body is a saliva pH between 6.4 and 6.8 both morning and evening, and a urine pH of 6.0-6.4 in the morning (since your body has been removing acids during the night) and 6.4-7.0 in the evening. Numbers outside these set up an environment in the body where disease can flourish.

You can easily know what your pH levels are. While the old litmus strips we used in chemistry class only showed us red for acid and blue for alkaline, newer developed strips use a color-code to measure pH from 5.0 to 9.0 in .5 increments.

While the range of diseases attributable to pH imbalance is great, it should be noted that more people suffer from too much acid – a condition known as acidosis. This condition causes the body to borrow the minerals needed to buffer the acids from other organs, tissues, and bones. And while less common, high alkalinity can cause the body to digest foods too slowly and create problems in the bowel and urinary tracts. And too much acid in the saliva can indicate a problem with digestive enzymes from the stomach and liver.

Another example of conditions attributed to an improper balancing of your pH may be the inability to lose weight because the body may be improperly using the minerals needed to maintain proper metabolism.

Many foods we eat contribute to acid and alkaline buildups in our bodies. Further, new research shows that our blood types cause our bodies to react differently from one person to another. A food that is well-used by someone with a blood type of “A” may cause acid problems in a person with blood type “O”, for example. You need to research which foods are best for your blood type.

What do you do if you test your pH and find it out of balance? Well, besides modifying your diet, there are numerous mineral and herbal combinations available to correct either condition. Interestingly, different forms of the same mineral may be necessary to correct an acid as opposed to an alkaline condition. But some elements are common between the conditions: enzymes are essential to ensure vitamins and minerals are absorbed, using the correct calcium is needed, and one should cleanse regularly. Cleansing serves to detoxify your body and a “cleanse” should be accomplished quarterly or at least semi-annually.

While proper nutrition and a good supplement program are always advised, experts further recommend checking your saliva and urine pH levels twice a day and at least two days a week. Conditions caused specifically due to improper pH balances may go undetected for years, but the consequences can be devastating. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.  Gen.1:29.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130 | ph:736-1030 | e-mail:

Call to schedule your private health consultation with one of our five Naturopathic Doctors!

A Game Changer – Body Systems

For years we’ve described our ailments in terms of specific aches – e.g., my head hurts so I need an aspirin; my tummy hurts so I need an antacid, etc. But the fallacy in this approach is that we are just treating symptoms. We may alleviate some individual discomfort, but we haven’t addressed the underlying problems.

But today, in addition to helping get rid of temporary discomfort, many of our better supplement companies are putting together herbal combinations that address the functioning of whole body systems. Now THAT’S a “game changer!” I can still give you an aspirin (or an aspirin substitute with fewer side effects) for your headache, but I may now give you a more complete herbal combination to treat your body’s many pain centers.

One of my main product suppliers has divided the body into nine primary body systems – the digestive system, the immune system, the intestinal system, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the lymphatic system, the glandular system, the structural system, and the colon – and has used a panel of herbalist to formulate an “umbrella” supplement for each system. It’s a formula meant to keep that whole body system healthy. And they’ve kept the individual formulas for specific issues within the system.

So, for example, if you know you have a weak heart, you may just want to take a supplement that strengthens the heart muscle. My family genetics centers on an issue with the heart. So, for a number of years, I’ve been taking hawthorn, an herb known to strengthen the heart. So when my heart issues finally flared up my cardiologist said, “Based on what I found in your circulatory structure, you should have died five years ago. But your heart is incredibly strong, and I’m finding no other issues, I believe you should live another 20 years!” Needless to say, I have also been taking the core circulatory system products for many years as well.

New research has also unfolded another body system that is being called The Master System. It is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). It appears to be the center of the wheel that keeps all the other systems working properly. Over 200 cannabinoids have been identified and about 85 of them have been studied. This system seems to release cells to travel to other cells signaling them to adjust their activity levels. This is an exciting new area of research, and portions of it are heavy in the news these days.

The systems approach to body balance is the real “game changer.” I love the quote from Albert Einstein that was in a pamphlet supplied by one of my vendors. He says, “Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving forward.” Study YOUR body and seek help in finding the system products that will give you a longer life with more quality!

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health
1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130 | ph:736-1030 | e-mail:
Call to schedule your private health consultation with one of our five Naturopathic Doctors!

Let’s Build Our Immunity

echinacia, garlic, morindaSneezing, coughing, watery eyes and runny noses are the order of the day, it seems. It’s the time of year when the seasons are changing, the trees are beginning to drop leaves, and molds fill the air. And there are new strains of flu this year again. This is the time of year when our immune systems are bombarded daily, and many of us fall prey to colds, flu, and allergies.

Your immune system may already be working below par. It can be weakened by parasites, viruses, poor diet, toxins, smoking, a poor environment, poor lifestyle choices, lack of exercise, inadequate rest … anything that causes it to have to work too hard. If you “catch everything that comes along” or feel generally poor much of the time, you’re at higher risk of being laid up by another “bug”.

But you can prepare for the season. You can do much to build your immune system so that it can adequately fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Let’s look at how the immune system works. Its basic function is to protect the body from “foreign invaders.” Your bone marrow produces specialized cells that produce antibodies to neutralize these invaders. Your lymphatic system “filters” toxins and microbes from body tissues for cleansing. And tonsils, the spleen and the thymus also produce fighters and cleanse. The enemy? All those things listed above that weaken the body. There are a number of herbs that may help to “boost” it and allow the body to “fight.” Several popular immune system-building herbs are:

  • Echinacea – The root has important anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal actions that help build resistance to infections. It protects the cell-bonding tissues in the body that protect cells from infection. And it contains two polysacharides that stimulate “killer” cells. This is probably the most popular of the winter herbs for both children and adults.
  • Garlic – It has a broad range of well-documented healing properties including being anti-microbial against bacteria, fungi and worms. Because it contains aromatic sulfur-containing oils, many body systems including the respiratory system benefit. Be sure to get garlic containing its full complement of allicin (often removed from “odorless” garlic) as this does much of the healthful work. The odor can be absorbed with the use of herbs rich in chlorophyll.
  • Grape seed and white pine extracts – These are powerful antioxidants, up to 50 times more potent than vitamin E. They strengthen connective tissues including the blood vessels and capillaries needed to carry the “fighter” cells.
  • Golden Seal – The root of this herb is a rapidly effective, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, healing tonic. It may be particularly helpful after symptoms of the flu have set in. It is frequently used with damaged or infected tissues including the eyes, mouth and throat. One word of caution with golden seal, it should be used with caution by hypoglycemics because it is known to lower blood sugar levels.
  • Morinda – The roots, leaves and fruit are used in either capsule or liquid forms. Known as “Nono” in Tahiti and “Noni” in Hawaii, it has been called the “queen of sacred plants” throughout the Pacific basin. It benefits most of the body systems, particularly the immune system. It builds the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count to fight bacteria.
  • Anamu – Folk use suggests that, while this herb is not as well known in this country, people with compromised immune systems (chronic immune system deficiencies) may benefit from the immune-supporting properties of the anamu leaf.
  • Bifidophilus – These are actually friendly bacteria necessary for digestion and found in your intestine. I mention them here because pharmaceutical antibiotics, which we often use during the cold and flu season, kill indiscriminately both friendly and unfriendly bacteria. So, it is usually helpful to take some bifidophilus after completing a round of antibiotics.

Many of these herbs can be found in teas – a tasty way to build your immune system. And there are many combinations of these and other herbs specifically designed to support specific glands – e.g., the spleen or the thymus.

Aromatherapists have also shown us that there are a number of essential oils that may benefit us at this season, too. Oils such as camphor and eucalyptus open the sinuses and upper respiratory tracts to allow us to breathe better. Diffused tea tree and other oils can kill airborne viruses and bacteria in our homes and workplaces.

For the common cold, try one or more of the following. Put a few drops of thyme, tea tree, eucalyptus and lemon oils in your bath and breath deeply. Do a facial steam and add a drop of thyme, tea tree, lavender and clove oil. Keep a tissue with you that you can inhale from as often as necessary; moisten it with a drop of red thyme, peppermint, eucalyptus, and clove oils. Massage the chest, neck, forehead, nose and cheekbones with a drop of lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary oils diluted in a teaspoon of vegetable oil.

A dry cough may be relieved by adding a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil and a couple of drops of lemon oil to a couple of tablespoons of honey, mixing it with a small glass of warm water, and sipping it slowly.

Assist your body in putting up a good fight against those foreign invaders that would make you ill. Regardless of the current state of your immune system, you can help it to improve. The keys are good nutrition, plenty of rest and exercise, and adjustments of unhealthy lifestyles and habits. Herbs, teas, and oils can help. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

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

Joint Health

joint_health, Painful joints affect millions of Americans. Basically, they are inflammation issues, but the inflammation may have a variety of roots. Recent research says delayed food allergies may cause joint diseases. And there are other diet and weight issues to consider, too.

Pain is generally the primary concern for sufferers.  And besides common prescription painkillers, there are many natural pain relievers, such as turmeric, curcumin, white willow bark, una de gato, yucca, colostrum and others.

Gout is one prevalent joint issue that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the body.  It was once called the ailment of the rich due to the fact that many foods in their diets (now common in most of our diets) such as red meats, mushrooms, alcohol, flour and sugar leave a uric acid residue.  Reducing these in your diet and adding black cherries and celery seed can reduce these symptoms. You might also consider supplements containing safflowers and juniper berries.

Uric acid often collects in the joints forming small crystals that grind into the tissues as the joints move.  A great tonic to help dissolve these crystals in made by mixing an ounce of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a teaspoon of raw honey, two ounces of warm water and two ounces of apple juice and drinking this one to three times per day.

The breakdown and loss of the tissue pads between the bones of your joints due to wear also causes bone-to-bone inflammation. While much research says that these tissues cannot be rebuilt, we have found that long-term use of glucosamine with chondroitin is helpful. Here, MSM also helps to alleviate much of the pain in the tissues around the joints.

Several years ago I had a customer come in early while I was cleaning the floors and wanted to talk about joint pain in her knees. I noted her weight without mentioning it to her and asked if she would walk with me while we chatted.  A moment later I asked her to hold a 25-pound wooden display barrel so I could clean under it and then walked a few steps further. She followed. Then I picked up a second barrel and asked her to hold it. Still talking, she followed me and began to breathe a bit harder. I chuckled and took the barrels from her and asked her what she felt as we walked only those few steps. She mentioned the hard breathing but also commented on the added discomfort in her knees. She admitted that the two barrels weighed about the same as the amount of weight she needed to lose. Being overweight definitely contributes to the wear and inflammation in our joints. Try to get to and maintain the optimal weight for your age and physical structure and you may have less joint issues as well.

Our body systems all work together. Proper anti-inflammatory diets, appropriate exercise, sufficient hydration, and recommended supplementation may all help you enjoy health joints and painless movement throughout your life.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: See our blog at Our full staff is now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Multi-Level Healing

healing, multi-level healing, naturopathic doctorUsually, when we get sick our aim is to alleviate the symptoms.  We simply want to quit hurting and suffering and feel better. So, we look to those who can offer us relief and not really healing. Relief may lessen the symptoms that cause us discomfort and stress, but may not do anything to actually alleviate the root causes of that discomfort, causing us to feel better temporarily, but the symptoms return as soon as the medication (whatever it is) wears off.

We need healing on multiple levels – alleviate the symptomatic discomfort, find the root cause of the discomfort, and then promote true health in the affected area of the body.

Causes of stress may include any or all of the following: simple fatigue, known or unknown tissue wear or injury, nutrient deficiency, or our response to external pathogens.

Tissue Wear

Tissue wear is a part of the aging process, and while regular exercise is an essential pillar of good health, it should be commensurate with our age and our normal activity levels. Even the staunchest of athletes get occasional tissue damage, so it is important to start slow when starting to exercise. It’s easy to injure tissues that are not regularly manipulated if we jump into something new. If an injury does occur, look for creams and lotions containing arnica, camphor, menthol, capsicum, boswellia, and turmeric for short-term healing and don’t forget to seek medical care for more serious injuries.


As for nutrition, Dr. Joel Wallach (1991 Nobel Prize nominee for his work in nutritional supplements) states that we need 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 essential amino acids, and three essential fatty acids in our diet every day to really stay healthy for life.  And that doesn’t count the addition of other herbal supplements that may be needed to help combat “family histories” of disease.  For example, you may need additional supplements if your family has a genetic history of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc.  And there’s a real sense of truth in the old adage “you are what you eat”.  Your body isn’t going to function well on a daily diet of junk foods, fats, and sugars.

Immune System

Our immune system should be kept at optimum to address the bombardment of a host of environmental pathogens – viruses, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, etc. These may reoccur and many have a variety of symptoms. Most people have a susceptibility to common pathogens that they have come to know and have treatments for. But finding the right match of a supplement for a specific pathogen may require the help of a health care professional.  If you’re continually fighting the same symptoms of recurring varieties of symptoms, get help!

stress free, low stressStress and Fatigue

Stress and fatigue are known contributors to all kinds of ailments.  If your life is in chaos or you’re going through a particularly stressful time, try to set aside time to just rest or find pleasant things to occupy your time – take even a mini vacation or “stay-cation.” You’ll reap super rewarding health from it. Enjoy a full life and always seek out healing on multiple-levels.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: See our blog at Our full staff is now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Taking Care of Your Feet

naturopathic care for feet, foot massageThey’re there; they aren’t particularly attractive; they only serve to get us around.  Most of us don’t give much thought to our feet.  That is until they start to give us problems.  Americans spend tens of millions of dollars each year on foot care products.  But there are many items you may have around the house that will help to take good care of your feet.

Essentials for Feet

There are some rudimentary essentials for keeping our feet healthy.  A good diet is important – one low in junk foods and rich in nutrients.  Consider a diet balanced in carbohydrates, proteins and fats.  Stay away from processed foods and “junk” foods.  And maintaining a proper weight for your frame will put less stress on the bottom of you skeleton too.

Proper Footwear

Proper footwear is a necessity.  This is not the place to “cut back” on your clothing budget.  Good shoes are needed for protection as well as support for your feet.  Add these to plenty of water, regular exposure to fresh air, proper exercise, and safe amounts of sunlight and you can have the healthiest feet around.

Helps for Hurting Feet

There are some “helps” though for those of us whose feet need some tender, loving care.  For example, if your feet are “burning” (and you’re not standing on hot asphalt!) you may have contracted the ever-present “athlete’s foot”.  Herbals that help this condition are Una De Gato (Cat’s Claw), tea tree oil applied externally, or grapefruit seed extract as a wash (ensure it is diluted!).   Internally, ensuring that you have a healthy colony of friendly bacteria (bifodophilus), sufficient vitamins A and C, and the mineral zinc will also be helpful.

Another cause of “burning” feet is chemical toxicity.  Did you step in a chemical spill at work, or spill toxic materials on your feet?  If so, herbs like juniper, parsley, uva ursi, dandelion, and chamomile will help flush the kidneys, capsicum will improve circulation to move the toxins, and milk thistle combinations will help detoxify the liver (our body’s main filter!).

For sore, achy feet try this foot relaxer.  Soak your feet in a basin of warm water to which you’ve added some shower gel and six drops of tea tree oil.  After 15 minutes or so dry your feet and massage them with two tablespoons of olive oil mixed with a tablespoon of sugar.  The sugar will act as an exfoliant.  Then re-soak the feet, dry them well and elevate them for a few minutes.  What a wonderful way to pamper yourself!

Another soak that I have found very relaxing when my feet were particularly tired or overworked is to bring a pan of water to a boil.  Then place two tablespoons of dried yarrow in a tea infuser or cheesecloth and steep it for five to ten minutes.  Add five drops of tea tree oil, five drops of eucalyptus oil and five drops of lavender oil.  Allow this to cool until it is comfortable to the touch, pour it in a basin with glass marbles in the bottom, and soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes.  While you soak them, roll the marbles under your feet slowly.  It’s almost as good as a massage done with your fingertips.

Daily Foot Care

Most of us simply neglect our feet.  Simple things go a long way toward keeping them healthy.  Wash them thoroughly when you bathe.  Ensure they are completely dry.  Massage them vigorously and often with a nice oil and let them breathe a bit.  Use dry socks and change them whenever they get damp.  Alternate your shoes daily so that they get a chance to dry completely.  And take advantage of opportunities to get off your feet and, when feasible, elevate them.  They’ll say thanks in a most comfortable way.  Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.  Gen.1:29.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail:


Deliver Your Liver

Consider your liver.  You can’t live without it.  While it normally weighs only three to four pounds it is a very complex organ.

What Does it Do?

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.

The liver also manufactures cholesterol.  About two-thirds of the cholesterol in our bodies is manufactured by the liver; the other third comes from our diet.  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.

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.

Herbs for a Healthy Liver

There are a number of 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 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, and wild Oregon grape.

Vitamins for a Healthy Liver

Choline and inositol are B-vitamins that prevent scarring and help prevent cirrhosis and high cholesterol.  And liver-healthy foods include red beets, almonds, bananas, blackstrap molasses, prunes, raisins, wheat and rice bran, kelp, beans, and seeds.  Poor food choices include processed foods, junk food, refined white flour and white sugar foods.  Keep the colon clean, regularly use an herbal detoxifying blend if you work in an environment that contains known toxins, and limit alcohol intake.

What Can Harm Your 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.  All of its processes require vitamins, minerals, proteins (preferably from vegetable sources), amino acids and enzymes.

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.  Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.  Gen.1:29.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail:

Hair, Skin and Nails

One of the most often asked questions at our shop is “Do you have anything that will help me to have stronger,

healthier hair?”  Hair, along with your skin and your nails, are made up primarily of proteins.  These three body components also reflect how the rest of your body is doing.  Because they are, by nature, eliminative, they contain much of the toxic material that your body rejects. A skin rash may be caused by toxic material being pushed to the surface by your lymphatic system.  Forensic investigation often uses your hair to determine what drugs or poisons may have been recently in your body.

Biggest Factor

So how do we keep our hair, skin, and nails healthy and strong?  The first item that comes to mind is that we need to drink plenty of pure water.  Water flushes our system and allows the rest of the body to move the toxins along. And there are a number of herbs that help with the strengthening.


Pitting on the surface of the nails may be an indication of unwanted parasites in the body.  Black walnut hulls, mugwort, wormwood, pumpkin seeds, clove, garlic, and castor oil are all good for killing parasites in our bodies.  Brittle nails are often a vitamin A or calcium deficiency. Splitting or vertical ridges may indicate a lack of enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach to digest our foods.  White spots usually indicate a zinc deficiency.  Anemia shows itself through horizontal ridges of “spoon” nails. And a nail fungus can indicate candida or a lack of friendly bacteria in the bowel.  Usually, tea tree oil applications will alleviate this condition.  Adding herbs high in silicon like dulse and horsetail to the diet will usually help to strengthen the nails, too.


Plenty of pure water is a definite requirement for healthy skin.  The advice to drink at least eight glasses a day is an excellent guideline.  That is the equivalent of about a two-liter bottle a day.  Soda, coffee, tea or other drinks do not count toward that total.  In fact, the caffeine in most of these drinks can actually cause the body to lose water.  Certainly, we should stay away from as many toxins as possible – use proper safety gear when handling paints, gasoline, oils, etc., as they will seep through the skin to poison the body.  And seek to avoid breathing pollutants.  Some common problems are worthy of note.  Using wild yam in either a capsule or creme form may help to alleviate liver spots.  If you seem to itch unusually, a lotion of pau d’arco may help.  Or take a supplement of vitamin A, trace minerals, flax oil, morinda or yellow dock.  Little bumps on the back of your arm may indicate a vitamin A deficiency. And sticky skin may indicate a sodium deficiency, and you may benefit from celery, dandelion or liquid minerals.  Dry skin is usually caused by a lack of unsaturated fatty acids found in such foods as nuts, avocados, and soybeans.  Or consider a supplement of linolenic acid.


Hair loss can be caused by a number of conditions.  If it is due to a low thyroid output, herbs to stimulate the thyroid (kelp, Irish moss, parsley, and hops along with the minerals zinc and manganese) may prove helpful.  There are a number of supplements to enhance the production of male and female hormones if the hair loss is hormonal. One major contributor to hair loss is stress (the B vitamins help here) – there may be more than we care to admit to the old saying “you’re going to make me pull my hair out!”  And, sorry, but there are no herbs to help you if your hair loss is due to heredity.  Horsetail will help to strengthen your hair though, and a daily scalp massage with jojoba oil is also beneficial.  Finally, many believe that taking trace mineral supplements, using herbs like fo-ti (also called ho shou wu), and using rinses containing rosemary and sage may help ward off the gray.

Today more than ever we can forestall some of the effects of aging on our hair, skin, and nails.  Drink plenty of water, take supplements and lessen the stress in your life.  You can look younger for much longer…and feel younger, too.  Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.  Gen.1:29.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail:

Herbs During Pregnancy

Pregnant outdoors

There are many herbs that may be used during every stage of pregnancy – from planning to post-delivery.  They can make the pregnancy and delivery easier and help to ensure a healthy baby as well.

If you are planning to become pregnant then ensure you are on a good prenatal vitamin with ample vitamin E, folic acid, calcium and magnesium, and trace minerals.  This will enhance your health and the health of your baby as well.  Incorporate a regular exercise regimen to your daily activities. And keep ginger on hand to address morning sickness and magnesium for anticipated constipation.

If you are having trouble becoming pregnant, consider supplements containing several of the “female” herbs, like red raspberry leaves, false unicorn, blessed thistle, squawvine, ginger and uva ursi.  These help prepare your body to conceive and start the pregnancy well.  You might also consider having the father take some damiana as it will help to increase his sperm count.

Tea pot and cupDuring the last five weeks of the pregnancy, there are herbs that will begin to condition your body for an easier delivery. They should only be used during this last five weeks! Common supplements for this use include more squawvine and red raspberry leaf together with black cohosh, butcher’s broom, and dong quai.  Users have reported to me that they had less painful and shorter duration contractions, easier delivery with less tearing, and deliveries that were less stressful.

There are several herbs that should not be used during pregnancy as they may complicate this special time. Among them are herbs we routinely use for deep constipation (cascara sagrada and senna), wormwood, juniper berries and the anti-parasitic artemisia. Aromatherapy should be used sparingly and very carefully if at all.

Childbirth should be a time of great joy for a new mother.  These herbs should also help make it easier and more pleasant.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 736-1030, e-mail: