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Archive for General Knowledge

Spicy Holidays

spices, spicy, holiday, turkeyBecause of all the recent interest in herbs for medicinal purposes, many of us forget that “herbs and spices” were first thought of as a cooking term. But it is especially wonderful at this time of year to stop and think about how the herbs and spices that we use in our holiday treats make them special for us. An exhaustive treatment of this subject would require books, but here I’ll present a few of my favorites. Much of the information is from a couple of my favorite books on the subject: Dr. Jack Ritchason’s Little Herb Encyclopedia and Hanna Kroeger’s Spices to the Rescue.

A friend from Puerto Rico gave me the recipe for my favorite way to fix a turkey for the holidays. And therefore we just call it “Puerto Rican turkey”. It is spicy and the skin is “hot” and zesty. Finely chop several cloves of garlic. Add them to one-fourth cup of each of the following: black pepper, oregano, and basil. Add to this mixture one-cup of raw Apple Cider Vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This will form a paste when can be rubbed all over the turkey including the inside cavity. Then bake the turkey as you normally would. Your kitchen will smell like heaven and your taste buds will certainly be prepared for the feast to follow.

Why are we attracted to the wonderful taste of these spices? I think it is just one of the ways that God has of drawing us to some nutrients that are really beneficial to us. Look at the health benefits from just the ingredients in this one recipe.

Black pepper cures and prevents many diseases. “It is a digestive aid, relieving gas, and has been used as a tea for running bowels. It is good for constipation, nausea, vertigo, and arthritis. It is a diuretic and a stimulant. Black pepper is loaded with chromium which is needed for proper functioning of the pancreas and heart.” You can also sprinkle a bit of it on some honey and eat it to help alleviate infected sinuses.

Oregano was named by the Greeks and means “joy of the mountain”. Technically it is wild marjoram. While its aromatic influence is to strengthen the feeling of security, it has anti-viral qualities. It may aid the body in balancing metabolism and is useful as a tea for coughs, stomach and gallbladder problems, and menstrual pains. “Oregano has also been used for nervous headaches, irritability, exhaustion, and as a sedative. It is thought to prevent seasickness. It can be applied externally for swelling, rheumatism, and a stiff neck. Chewing on an oregano leaf provides temporary relief for a toothache.”

“Basil was said to have been found growing around Christ’s tomb after the resurrection, and some churches use basil to prepare holy water while others set it around their altars. The Indians swore their oaths upon this herb.” Its aromatic influence is reported by many to help one have an open mind. “Basil is food for the brain. When you feel victimized or criticized, eat some basil.” Basil also works as an antidepressant, is helpful for nervous exhaustion and mental fatigue, is anti-viral in its use against the flu, and helps to relieve itching and ringworm. It may also be used for indigestion, kidney and bladder problems, headaches, cramps, and constipation. And in Africa, it is used to expel parasitic worms.

We could write books (and some have!) about the health benefits of garlic. Helping both the physical and mental bodies, “garlic has been prized by healers for more than 5,000 years. Pyramid builders and Roman soldiers on long marches were given a daily ration of garlic. Garlic is so strong an antibiotic that the English purchased tons of it during World War I for use on wounds. Journals of that period state that, when garlic was used on wounds, there were no cases of sepsis. It is a world-renowned cure-all and home remedy in practically every culture. Today even orthodox medicine accepts its healing powers.”

And if we follow the advice of Dr. Paul C. Bragg, perhaps the best-known advocate of daily use of apple cider vinegar, we’ll use vinegar in many tonics several times each day. He espouses its benefits to the digestive and circulatory systems, the bowel, and certainly the mind.

These are only a few of the spices we may find in our pantries and cupboards. We use them to prepare special dishes all the time. But we probably take for granted the wonderful health benefits they give to us. Perhaps, like my family, you may enjoy a Puerto Rican turkey this holiday season. 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: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. See our blogs and podcasts at www.TheHealthPatch.com. Our full staff are now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Staff Intro

Community Spotlight

The Health Patch
Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health

Randy Lee, the owner of The Health Patch has been interested in health care since he was a youth. His goal as a young man was to attend medical school and care for his family and friends. Lack of finances prevented medical school, but did not diminish his interest in the health care field. So in 1997 he opened an alternative health care supplement store and called it Nana’s Pawpaw Patch – he and his wife are Nana and Pawpaw to seven wonderful grandchildren, and he grew up eating pawpaw fruit in rural Arkansas.

Nana’s Pawpaw Patch has been open in Midwest City for 21 years. The store has blossomed. The alternative health care field has further evolved and both the store product focus and staff have grown with the times.

naturopathic doctorsIn April, 2016, the store “rebranded.” The new store, “The Health Patch,” is indeed “cultivating naturopathic care for total health.” Along with Randy, the other staff members – Shirley Golden, Jolene Griffiths, and Cheryl Sevy – have all become Naturopathic Doctors. The remaining staff member, Kim Anderson, already a Naturopathic Doctor, joined the staff this year. We believe this to be the most certified and capable staff of any like store in Oklahoma!

Once trending toward the health food format, the store is now moving toward full naturopathic care for its customers. Bulk herbs, essential oils, many varieties of teas, personal care products, fruit juices, alternative sweeteners, and numerous products for making your own protein shakes are currently among our products. We also cater to crafters and those who wish to make their own personal care products.

Besides having an extensive line of herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals, the staff has the knowledge as to how to use them. And while any customer can get free information about the products by simply visiting the store, you may also now schedule private consultations with any of the staff members and allow them to track your wellness progress.

Our website includes weekly blogs, podcasts, videos, and most recently, an evolving e-commerce, online store where customers may purchase many of the products available in the brick-and-mortar storefront.

The store mission statement is “We want to help our customers attain and maintain Wellness – Physically, Materially, Emotionally and Spiritually.” In-store conversations, private consultations, free classes, and the best supplements available focus us toward reaching this goal.

The Health Patch is located at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, in the Village Oak Shopping Center in Midwest City. For more information, call 405-736-1030 or visit thehealthpatch.com.

Spicey Thanksgiving

turkey, spiceyBecause of all the recent interest in herbs for medicinal purposes, many of us forget that “herbs and spices” were first thought of as a cooking term. But it is especially wonderful at this time of year to stop and think about how the herbs and spices that we use in our holiday treats make them special for us. An exhaustive treatment of this subject would require books, but here I’ll present a few of my favorites. Much of the information is from a couple of my favorite books on the subject: Dr. Jack Ritchason’s Little Herb Encyclopedia and Hanna Kroeger’s Spices to the Rescue.

A friend from Puerto Rico gave me the recipe for my favorite way to fix a turkey for Thanksgiving. And therefore we just call it “Puerto Rican turkey”. It is spicy and the skin is “hot” and zesty. Finely chop several cloves of garlic. Add them to one-fourth cup of each of the following: black pepper, oregano, and basil. Add to this mixture one-cup of vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This will form a paste when can be rubbed all over the turkey including the inside cavity. Then bake the turkey as you normally would. Your kitchen will smell like heaven and your taste buds will certainly be prepared for the feast to follow.

Why are we attracted to the wonderful taste of these spices? I think it is just one of the ways that God has of drawing us to some nutrients that are really beneficial to us. Look at the health benefits from just the ingredients in this one recipe.

Black pepper cures and prevents many diseases. “It is a digestive aid, relieving gas, and has been used as a tea for running bowels. It is good for constipation, nausea, vertigo, and arthritis. It is a diuretic and a stimulant. Black pepper is loaded with chromium which is needed for proper functioning of the pancreas and heart.” You can also sprinkle a bit of it on some honey and eat it to help alleviate infected sinuses.

Oregano was named by the Greeks and means “joy of the mountain”. Technically it is wild marjoram. While its aromatic influence is to strengthen the feeling of security, it has anti-viral qualities. It may aid the body in balancing metabolism and is useful as a tea for coughs, stomach and gallbladder problems, and menstrual pains. “Oregano has also been used for nervous headaches, irritability, exhaustion, and as a sedative. It is thought to prevent seasickness. It can be applied externally for swelling, rheumatism, and a stiff neck. Chewing on an oregano leaf provides temporary relief for a toothache.”

Basil was said to have been found growing around Christ’s tomb after the resurrection, and some churches use basil to prepare holy water while others set it around their altars. The Indians swore their oaths upon this herb. Its aromatic influence is reported by many to help one have an open mind. “Basil is food for the brain. When you feel victimized or criticized, eat some basil.” Basil also works as an antidepressant, is helpful for nervous exhaustion and mental fatigue is anti-viral in its use against the flu and helps to relieve itching and ringworm. It may also be used for indigestion, kidney and bladder problems, headaches, cramps, and constipation. And in Africa, it is used to expel parasitic worms.

We could write books (and some have!) about the health benefits of garlic. Helping both the physical and mental bodies, “garlic has been prized by healers for more than 5,000 years. Pyramid builders and Roman soldiers on long marches were given a daily ration of garlic. Garlic is so strong an antibiotic that the English purchased tons of it during World War I for use on wounds. Journals of that period state that, when garlic was used on wounds, there were no cases of sepsis. It is a world-renowned cure-all and home remedy in practically every culture. Today even orthodox medicine accepts it healing powers.”

And if we follow the advice of Dr. Paul C. Bragg, perhaps the best-known advocate of daily use of apple cider vinegar, we’ll use vinegar in many tonics several times each day. He espouses its benefits to the digestive and circulatory systems, the bowel, and certainly the mind.

These are only a few of the spices we may find in our pantries and cupboards. We use them to prepare special dishes all the time. But we probably take for granted the wonderful health benefits they give to us. Perhaps, like my family, you may enjoy a Puerto Rican turkey this Thanksgiving. 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: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com

Your Health – Your Responsibility!

Most of us as adults have long since come to grips with the fact that we have to take responsibility for our own actions in every area of our lives. Genetics certainly play a part in our physical makeup, but given those constraints, we can challenge ourselves to make the most of what we are. For example, we can’t make ourselves taller or shorter, but we can make ourselves lighter or heavier.

Your body is made up of trillions of cells. They are organized into tissues, organs and body systems (respiration, circulation, digestion, etc.). To function in the manner in which God intended it, it needs five important things: oxygen, pure water, food or nutrition, elimination, and homeostasis (that’s a big word meaning an even temperature).

We get oxygen in the air we breathe, but we can increase the amount of oxygen entering our systems with exercise. In fact, many of our body systems (for example, the lymphatic system which has so much to do with our immune system) have no “pumping mechanism” – as the circulatory system has in the heart! And therefore, without exercise, it has no means of moving its waste. We can find positive benefits that stem from exercise in every body system. Increased exercise means improved health.

Water is absolutely essential for life. Most of us could live for six weeks or more before we suffered permanent, life-threatening consequences from lack of food, but only days without water could kill us. Most of the reference works I’ve encountered state that for optimum functioning we need to take in six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. And that’s water intake – not soda, coffee, or other liquids.

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” for 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.

Elimination is simply the process of expelling the waste materials that remain after our bodies have extracted the nutrients that exist in the foods we eat. Many things we eat can’t be digested. Many fibers are just for “sweeping out” our systems. Many environmental factors contribute to toxins in our bodies. And waste material rots in our intestine if not eliminated in a timely manner. Toxins remaining in our intestine too long can be reabsorbed and redistributed through our bodies contributing to a variety of diseases.

And our body temperature will normally rise a bit when it is fighting infections. But if our immune system is strong and intact, it should return to normal in a short period of time.

There you have it … the five things necessary for good health and a long life. So who is responsible for ensuring that these things are available to you? YOU ARE! If a good, long, healthy life is a priority for you, then you need to learn what is and what is not good for you. You need to practice discipline in exercise and proper nutrition, and becoming aware of the signals your body sends you of impending crisis.

So, are you ready to accept responsibility for your own health? True, your genetic predispositions may have “dealt you a difficult hand” but what you make of your health is truly your responsibility. Want to make a change in your health condition? Don’t depend on someone else to tell you what to do. Study what supplements may be available, and then commit yourself to a healthy exercise and nutrition program. Live long and in good health.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, website: http://www.thehealthpatch.com, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. All of our staff are now offering affordable private consultations!

ND Care – Game Changer

naturopathic doctorsWith rising health care costs many of us have turned to self-care as our primary health initiative. We ask family and friends for advice and spend time reading labels in the over-the-counter meds section of the grocery store looking for our symptoms.

Wouldn’t you like to have another alternative that gave you access to a professional to help track your wellness journey but cost less than traditional medicine? How does a full hour with a Doctor of Natural Health for only $35* sound? Would that be a “game changer” for you?

Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) advocate the use of Vitamins, Minerals, Whole Foods and Herbal Supplements (Alternative Medicine) to help you attain and maintain wellness.  They don’t diagnose, treat, or cure named diseases, but they analyze body systems and listen to you as you describe your ailments.  They pay attention to your family health history. And they keep records of your progress from visit to visit.

No one knows your body like you do. Taking charge of your own health and having a personal ND to train and guide you could be the Game Changer you’ve been missing.

*A common average; initial intakes may be more.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com.

Back to School

It’s that time of year again.  The kids lament and the moms breathe a sigh of relief.  Summer seems to get shorter and shorter, and ever more full of activities.  So there is little time for rest and then it’s back to the routine of homework and school activities.  What can we do to help our kids get the most from their school experience?  Here are some ideas.

A well-balanced vitamin and mineral supplement is a necessity.  The purpose of every cell in our bodies is to produce energy.  But they must have a balance of proper nutrients as well as adequate water, exercise and rest to accomplish this task.  Since most of us don’t get regular, well-balanced meals, supplements help to meet this need.

Mental alertness is imperative.  Establish a routine early in the school year.  Schedule adequate time for rest, exercise, homework and desired activities.  It takes planning and hard work to fit in everything and balance all the desires of a healthy, well-adjusted young person.  There are some wonderful nutrient supplements to help with mental alertness, too.  They can aid with focus and concentration and they are all natural.  This is especially important if your child has focus and attention challenges.  Talk to the folks in your local herb shop about specific supplements for your child’s special needs.

Also, consider adding an immune system booster to your child’s supplement regimen here at the beginning of the school year.  I’d recommend an echinacea or elderberry supplement.  This is also important as the flu season starts up in another couple of months.  But as we begin to gather in classrooms we mix our ailments with those of our classmates and become susceptible to “who knows what!”

This is also the time of year that we usually see the first round of head lice.  There are some excellent natural shampoos and treatments to get rid of this infestation.  One effective recipe using essential oils is to mix two drops of eucalyptus oil, one drop each of lavender oil and geranium oil, and a teaspoon of any of the common carrier oils.  Then massage this into the hair, leave it for at least a half an hour, and shampoo and rinse.  An excellent rinse is made by combining two drops each of these three oils with half an ounce of vinegar and eight ounces of water.  Make sure you rinse every hair and let it dry naturally.  Repeat this process daily until all the lice and eggs are gone. My grandma used to say that a good head scrubbing with old-fashioned lye soap was a great natural remedy for this, too.

Does your child suffer from acne?  They certainly don’t want to return to school with outbreaks of skin rashes and pimples.  Help them alleviate this problem with a good hygiene regimen.  There are some wonderful herbal programs and some herbal blend supplements to help also.

Finally, remember that the new school year also brings on other conditions for the average student: increased mental stress, increased muscle aches and pains for those involved in school sports, and increased emotional anxiety.  Every student experiences these on different levels.  Watch your students and listen to them.  If a supplement is in order to help them adjust, contact your health food store or herb shop.

This is a wonderful time of the year.  We anticipate fall and the end of summer.  We look forward to school accomplishments and rejoining friends in daily communication.  But it can be a time of added stress.  Be sure to put a positive twist on every adventure.  Enjoy life and make it full. 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: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com.

Water, Water Everywhere!

How much water do you drink each day?  We all know we don’t drink “enough,” but how much do you really need?

8 Facts About Water

A friend I trust e-mailed me this list of 8 facts about drinking water… it’s rather eye-opening.

  1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (This likely applies to half the world population.)
  2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
  3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%. (This will certainly make it more difficult to loose weight!)
  4. One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a U-Washington study.
  5. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Finding Good Water

With three-fourths of the world’s surface covered with water you’d think we’d have no trouble finding enough good water to drink.  But the truth is that we have not been good stewards of our precious water resources.  Pollution now affects virtually every lake, stream, river, sea and ocean in the world.  Yet every cell, tissue and organ in our bodies require pure water daily to perform properly.  While many have done lengthy fasts demonstrating that we can survive for many days, even weeks, without food, our bodily functions and our mental abilities begin to shut down in only a few days when deprived of water.

Finding potable water is getting to be a more difficult task all the time.  Let me quote Dr. Andrew Weil from his book Eight Weeks to Optimum Health.

According to recent reports, drinking water in the U.S. is increasingly becoming a health risk, whether you live in a big city or a rural area.  More than one hundred million Americans drink water that contains significant levels of three cancer-causing chemicals: arsenic, radon, and chlorine by-products … In addition to chemical contamination, chlorine-resistant viruses and parasites … can slip through the more than one thousand large water systems in this country lacking proper filters.

And we can add to his comments that many health advocates believe that even chlorine and fluoride, which we routinely add to our drinking systems, are themselves health risks.

Bottled Water

I recently saw a news program on television that also brought the bottled water movement into question.  Many of the tests they ran in preparing the program showed many bottled waters to be no purer than most tap water.

Home Filtration

To address this significant problem, many have turned to home water filtration systems.  There are a number of different types of contaminants that these systems are designed to reduce and remove.

Chemical:  We’ve mentioned the chlorine by-products already.  Many of our water sources also contain industrial VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), agricultural SOC’s (Synthetic Organic Compounds), pesticides, detergents, fertilizers, and so on.

Biological:  Besides the viruses and parasites mentioned above, there are also many types of cysts, fungi, and spores that may be present in our water sources.

Dissolved Solids:  We need to guard against heavy metals such as aluminum, asbestos, copper, lead, mercury, and others.

Aesthetic contaminants include sand, silt, sediments, odors, and offensive tastes.

What Can I Do?

What can you do to ensure a safe drinking water supply?  Have your water tested to see what contaminants are present.  If you need a filtering system, research a reputable one that will filter out the specific contaminants you need to remove.  Never drink from the hot water side of your tap.  Dissolved metals are more prevalent in hot water lines, and water that has been stored in the hot water tank is a prime candidate for contamination.  Flush your system regularly.  And research the origin of bottled water you may use.  You may even question the bottler regarding his bottling procedures.

Travel

What about travel?  I recently found a “mobile” water filtration system that I use away from home.  It is a water bottle that can be filled from any water source and has a filter that removes all these types of contaminants. Many such products can be found in health food stores and camping supply shops.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

Remember that you need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to fully hydrate your body systems.  That’s about the equivalent of one two-liter bottle a day.  Fill a two-liter bottle each morning with good, pure water.  Make it a goal to drink it all before bedtime that night.  You may alleviate many of your health problems with just this simple solution.

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: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com

Kid’s Health

School’s out – summer’s here!!! What do our kids need to stay healthy? Well for starters, a well-balanced vitamin and mineral supplement is a necessity.  The purpose of every cell in our bodies is to produce energy.  But they must have a balance of proper nutrients as well as adequate water, exercise and rest to accomplish this task.  Since most of us don’t get regular, well-balanced meals, supplements help to meet this need.

Establishing Mental Alertness

Mental alertness is an imperative.  Establish a routine early.  Schedule adequate time for rest, exercise, and desired learning activities.  It takes planning and hard work to fit in everything and balance all the desires of a healthy, well-adjusted young person.

Supplements to Enhance Alertness

There are some wonderful nutrient supplements to help with mental alertness, too.  They can aid with focus and concentration and they are all natural.  This is especially important if your child has focus and attention challenges.  Talk to the folks in your local herb shop about specific supplements for your child’s special needs.

Supplements to Enhance the Immune System

Also consider adding an immune system booster to your child’s supplement regimen.  I’d recommend an elderberry supplement.  During the summer we mix our ailments with those of our friends and become susceptible to “who knows what!”

The Stress of Summer

Finally, remember that summer also brings on other challenges for the average kid: increased mental stress, increased muscle aches and pains for those involved in sports programs, and increased emotional anxiety.  Every student experiences these on different levels.  Watch your kid and listen to them.  If a supplement is in order to help them adjust, contact your health food store or herb shop.

This is a wonderful time of the year.  But it can be a time of added stress.  Be sure to put a positive twist on every adventure.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com.

Herbs from Your Garden

herb garden, herbs

Herb Garden [photographer – ladymacbeth]

I was looking at a beautiful book this week that has pictures of formal herb gardens from around the world.  Many of them use classical designs and are carefully planned.  And I was reminded of my mom’s backyard garden.  It wasn’t formal by any stretch of the imagination, but it was useful and full of wonderful vegetables – and herbs.  You see, mom canned many of her vegetables and we ate them all year long.  The herbs were useful, and often essential, to the process.  Kitchen gardens, as they were called, were popular in much of American history, and had every sort of vegetable and herb which one might want for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

Possibilities

For many years now I too have had backyard herb gardens.  They have taken the form of a small plot surrounded by landscaping timbers, to an assortment of pots on the back porch or patio, to just using herbs as borders or focal points in my flower beds.  Most herbs are “cultivated weeds” and few of them need special attention.  We can grow a variety of tasty herbs in the Oklahoma Summers and enhance both our meals and our health.  Here are some plants which most of us regard as culinary herbs.  Yet many of them have wonderful health benefits in addition to their delectable flavors.

Basil

That staple of Italian cooking is easy to grow.  It is an annual which often re-seeds itself.  A single plant will grow to about two feet tall and provide most families with all the leaves they need.  What is left over at the end of the Summer can be dried and used all Winter too.  As a medicinal herb, its uses are usually associated with the stomach and its related organs; it helps stop stomach cramps, alleviate constipation, and stop vomiting.  It is also useful for drawing out poisons when applied to wasp and hornet stings or venomous bites.

Dill

Dill is a prolific producer.  It readily re-seeds itself so be careful to plant it where you won’t mind it coming back year after year.  While dill is necessary for making dill pickles, it is also very useful for stimulating your appetite.  Dill tea is a popular remedy for upset stomach, nursing mothers can use it to promote the flow of milk, and you can chew the seeds to get rid of bad breath.  An added bonus to dill in the flower beds is that it is one of the plants that butterfly larvae love to eat, so butterflies will be present to lay their eggs in a dill patch.  Use it to attract more butterflies to your garden.

Sage

Sage is a wonderful addition to sausages.  And many a mother has used a sage dressing for holiday feasts.  It’s a perennial bush that will grow to about three feet and should be pruned back like a rose bush every fall (otherwise it will get very woody).  It is well known for reducing perspiration making it useful for conditions which produce night sweats, and a nursing mother who has weaned her child can use it to help stop the flow of milk.  For occasional use, a tea made from sage has been prescribed for nervous conditions, trembling, depression and vertigo.  As a gargle, it is useful for sore throats, laryngitis, and tonsillitis.  And the crushed leaves can be used for insect bites.  Many a woman has used infusions of sage to color silver hair, and as a hair rinse to help return hair to its original color.

Rosemary

Rosemary is a popular perennial, but will not usually survive the Oklahoma Winters outdoors.  So plant it in a pot and bring it indoors for the winter.  You’ll enjoy the wonderful aroma it will impart to your kitchen.  Two of its most popular culinary dishes are leg of lamb and herbed potatoes.  Medicinally, rosemary has been in use for many years as a heart strengthener that helps reduce high blood pressure.  It is a blood cleanser and an antiseptic; it is useful for sores around the mouth, and it makes a wonderful mouthwash to freshen the mouth.  A tea made from rosemary has been effective as an eyewash to clean eyes that are sore due to allergic irritation.

Parsley

Parsley is another herb that the butterflies love.  It was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as both a flavoring and a garnish for foods.  While most of us see it as a token garnish on restaurant plates, it is really edible and its high chlorophyll content makes it a natural for breath sweeteners.  It is diuretic and is frequently used in formulas to build internal organs including kidney, thyroid, liver and prostate.  Rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, it is especially known as a digestive aid, improving digestion and reducing cramping and gas after meals.

We could list many more herbs that you can grow this Spring: thyme, garlic, onions, any of the mints, oregano, etc.  But you get the picture.  Why not pick up a few of your favorites at a local nursery and enjoy them fresh from your own yard.  You’ll add taste to your food, joy to your soul, and health to your body.

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: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com

Your Health – Your Responsibility

Most of us as adults have long since come to grips with the fact that we have to take responsibility for our own actions in every area of our lives.  Genetics certainly play a part in our physical makeup, but given those constraints, we can challenge ourselves to make the most of what we are.  For example, we can’t make ourselves taller or shorter, but we can make ourselves lighter or heavier.

Your body is made up of trillions of cells.  They are organized into tissues, organs and body systems (respiration, circulation, digestion, etc.).  To function in the manner in which God intended it, it needs five important things: oxygen, pure water, food or nutrition, elimination, and homeostasis (that’s a big word meaning an even temperature).

We get oxygen in the air we breathe, but we can increase the amount of oxygen entering our systems with exercise.  In fact, many of our body systems (for example, the lymphatic system which has so much to do with our immune system) have no “pumping mechanism” – as the circulatory system has in the heart!  And therefore, without exercise, it has no means of moving its waste.  We can find positive benefits that stem from exercise in every body system.  Increased exercise means improved health.

Water is absolutely essential for life.  Most of us could live for six weeks or more before we suffered permanent, life-threatening consequences from lack of food, but only days without water could kill us.  Most of the reference works I’ve encountered state that for optimum functioning we need to take in six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.  And that’s water intake – not soda, coffee, or other liquids.

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” for 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.

Elimination is simply the process of expelling the waste materials that remain after our bodies have extracted the nutrients that exist in the foods we eat.  Many things we eat can’t be digested.  Many fibers are just for “sweeping out” our systems.  Many environmental factors contribute to toxins in our bodies.  And waste material rots in our intestine if not eliminated in a timely manner.  Toxins remaining in our intestine too long can be reabsorbed and redistributed through our bodies contributing to a variety of diseases.

And our body temperature will normally rise a bit when it is fighting infections.  But if our immune system is strong and intact, it should return to normal in a short period of time.

There you have it … the five things necessary for good health and a long life.  So who is responsible for ensuring that these things are available to you?  YOU ARE!  If a good, long, healthy life is a priority for you, then you need to learn what is and what is not good for you.  You need to practice discipline in exercise and proper nutrition, and becoming aware of the signals your body sends you of impending crisis.

So, are you ready to accept responsibility for your own health?  True, your genetic predispositions may have “dealt you a difficult hand” but what you make of your health is truly your responsibility.  Want to make a change in your health condition?  Don’t depend on someone else to tell you what to do.  Study what supplements may be available, and then commit yourself to a healthy exercise and nutrition program.  Live long and in good health.


Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, website: http://www.thehealthpatch.com, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. All of our staff are now offering affordable private consultations!