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Archive for General Knowledge

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: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com

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

New Start

new start, resolutions, new yearAnother new year! January is the time of year we commit ourselves to renewal. New Year’s Resolutions reflect our intentions to make our lives better this year than we did in the last, not to repeat past mistakes, and to make life changes that will encourage better relationships, better livelihood, and better health. But we all know that it takes more than a resolution to make those changes in our lives … it takes a plan, too. The “how to” is often as important as the “what” where significant changes are concerned.

What resolutions do you have for 2019? How will you effect these changes? Have you heard the adage “plan your work, then work your plan”? Well, start with the resolution, the commitment. Make a list of desired changes. Then make a definite plan as to what it will take to effect the changes. Put a timeline on the plan: what will you work on daily, what will be worked on weekly, etc., and do you need to put together a chart to track your progress? Finally, begin immediately (no, not tomorrow!) to work the plan.

I hope “better health” is on your list of New Year’s Resolutions. It certainly is on mine. One of my goals is to lose some weight. Watching my diet, exercising more and taking my supplements are in my plan. I have a chart with places for weekly weigh-ins to track my progress. And I’m telling you about it so you can ask me how it’s going (accountability to others for my goals, too).

In her book Help Yourself: The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Medicine, Karolyn Gazella states that “natural medicine has been catapulted to the forefront of our ailing healthcare system.” She quotes Dr. Michael Murray giving a primary reason for this: “Modern medicine has not done a very good job at teaching people how to be healthy. The dominant medical model is really not a ‘health-care’ model. Instead, it is a ‘disease-care’ model that focuses on using drugs or surgery to promote health. This view is rapidly being replaced by a more rational model of health promotion where the focus is on what can be done to promote health rather than treat disease.”

Dr. Murray gives five principles for this focus:

  1. The body has considerable power to heal itself. The physician facilitates this process and must do no harm.
  2. An individual must be viewed as a whole person composed of a complex interaction of physical, mental/emotional, spiritual, social, and other factors.
  3. It is important to seek the underlying cause of a disease rather than simply suppress the symptoms.
  4. A physician should be foremost a teacher. Educating, empowering, and motivating the patient to assume more personal responsibility for their health by adopting a healthy attitude, lifestyle, and diet.
  5. Prevention is the best cure. Prevention of disease is best accomplished through dietary and life habits which support health and prevent disease.

People who have not used herbal supplements before often ask, “How do I get started?” I recommend any number of good books that correlate ailments to herbs or herbs to ailments. Here are a few examples.

  • The Little Herb Encyclopedia
  • The How To Herb Book
  • Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible

Then look up a hereditary family medical problem or a personal ailment, and see which herbs have historically been used for that condition. Or talk to older family members; many grew up using herbal remedies. Some of the more common ones are glucosamine for arthritis, valerian for sleeplessness, licorice root for fatigue, ginger for motion sickness, kava for nervous anxiety & restlessness, saw palmetto for an enlarged prostate, milk thistle for liver damage, peppermint oil for tension headaches, feverfew for migraine headaches, and vitamins C and E for heart medications that will keep arteries open and dilated, fight plaque buildup and ward off heart attacks.

It’s the New Year. Let’s take advantage of our good intentions at this time of the year and plan to GET STARTED. Then work that plan. Remember, it’s your health … make the most of it.

– 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

Why and How to Make Mulled Cider

Apple Cider, mulled ciderOne of my most fond memories of the holidays from my childhood and one which has followed me into adulthood is the smell of the kitchen as we prepared the mulled cider which was a part of warm family gatherings.  The mulled cider was made by placing about a gallon of apple juice (or apple cider, red wine, cranberry juice, or pineapple juice) in a large pan on the stove.  We’d add the mulling spices (about a half-cup of them) tied in cheesecloth. These days we use a tea ball instead.  Then we’d simply let it simmer – at least a half hour, though I can remember mom dipping servings from the pan, adding more juice, and letting it simmer all evening.

Recently I thought, what were these spices? And since the recipe dates back to the Middle Ages, what was the importance of such wassail to the folks back then?  Obviously, it was a tasty treat.  But the spices were expensive back then, so the treat was only for the more affluent, their families and their friends.  And even then it was reserved for special occasions, like the holidays we’re about to enter.

I wanted to take it a bit further and look at the spices individually and see what other needs may have been met in their use as a festive, winter drink.

The Spaniards introduced Ginger to the Americas in the 16th century.  It is known to inhibit an enzyme that causes cells to clot and, as such, help to prevent “little strokes”.  It helps to relieve nausea, to relieve congestion in the sinus cavities, to warm blood vascular stimulation, to treat sore throats, and as a body cleanser. Herbalists have long recommended it as a regulator of blood cholesterol and to improve blood circulation.  In China, ginger is used for bronchitis, flu, and the first stages of the common cold.

The volatile oils in Orange Peel help to reduce fevers, help warm the body, aid in relieving scurvy, and help relieve heartburn.  Dental texts note that orange oil helps prevent gingivitis!  Aromatherapists traditionally use these oils to improve appetite, treat bronchitis and respiratory infection, lower cholesterol, and help to relieve mid-winter “blues”.

Cinnamon is listed in most texts as one of the spices that spurred world exploration. Studies conducted by Japanese researchers have shown that it contains a substance that is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.  It helps to control virulent outbreaks by many microorganisms including the one that causes botulism and staphylococcus.  Historically it has been used for treating bronchitis, arthritis, diarrhea, stomach upset, fever, nausea, parasites, rheumatism, and vomiting.

One text on spices notes that Allspice can be used to make couples more harmonious.  Physically it is a balm for the liver, helps warm the body, improves digestion, calms the nerves, opens the sinuses, relieves colic and gas, and loosens tight muscles.

Herbalists have used Clove for centuries to cure nausea and rid the stomach and intestine of gas.  Its essential oil is today one of the most effective pain relieving agents used by dentists and has broad-spectrum antibiotic properties.  It also helps relieve bad breath, poor circulation, dizziness, nausea, and dysentery.  Oh, by the way, it is also said to increase sex drive (just what you need on those cold winter nights!).

And finally, star anise.  It was used by the Romans to provide a delightful palette and to help prevent indigestion from overeating.  And today it is a popular addition to cough syrups, mouthwashes, candies, and bakery goods.  It is a cell stimulator for the heart, liver, brain, and lungs, and its volatile oils can be helpful for treating bronchitis, spasmodic asthma, and emphysema.  It can also be used for colds, coughs, indigestion, excessive mucus, pneumonia, loss of appetite, and stimulating most of the glands.

Is it any wonder that this popular drink was used so extensively, especially during those cold Winter months.  Make it a welcome addition to your holiday festivities.  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.

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